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iPad: Is it ready for lawyers?

My BlackBerry is getting close to three years old. It has served me faithfully in that time, allowing me to ping co-workers at never-ending meetings, to e-mail prospective clients on the weekends, and to confirm my Southwest Airline reservations exactly 24 hours in advance to guarantee I get the best seating assignment possible. I love the little guy. Secretly, though, I want him to die a quick death.

I think I’ve subconsciously tried to kill him on a few occasions. Once, I gave him to my daughter, then about a year old. She loves things with lights and buttons, especially those things that she’s not allowed to have.

Of course, little BB went straight into her mouth. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that he wasn’t working right — I pulled out the battery and saw that saliva had seeped inside the case. Miraculously, putting the device in dried rice worked, and he was resurrected a day later.

Another time, I lifted my bag onto my desk, and “accidentally” hit the BB, flinging him across the room. His screen cracked (still broken to this day), but he still works. He’s tenacious, and he continues to doggedly serve his human master.

If he would just slip away to wherever dead electronics go (the Cloud?), I could get a new phone. I’ve always wanted an iPhone, but I have T-Mobile, and I tend to stay loyal to my brands. No matter — lots of good-looking Android phones out there. The bigger issue, though, is that I just can’t give BB up. He’s still functional, and every day I keep him is a day I’m saving money by not having to buy a new phone. I drove my last car into the ground, and that’s how I am with everything — squeeze the last bit of life out of it before moving on (you should see my toothpaste).

The problem with new electronics like the iPad is that once I make a purchase, I know I’m going to be stuck with it for a long, long time. I have a constant fear of the next best thing. If I were to buy an iPad, which many of my friends says is the best thing ever, I’m certain that iPad 2.0 would come out within a few months, and it would have more work functionality.

Where the iPad is concerned, I’m not really interested in entertainment. I don’t need to watch movies on it (yes, I would probably download all of the Star Trek movies, but that’s it). I really want to use it make my work life better. Easier access to e-mail or my electronic files while outside of the office. Easier ability to take notes from a remote location (the Bluetooth keyboard is nice).

Here’s what I’m really waiting for, though. I want to be able to walk around a courtroom with the iPad, free from the bondage of wires and cables, and control my PowerPoint/Keynote presentation. I want to be able to pull up documents at will, and project them in front of the entire courtroom. If the iPad could do that, then I would purchase it in a heartbeat.

Sadly, it looks like the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter is the closest thing we have, and it is reportedly about 10 centimeters long. It’s hard to look suave in front of a jury when you’re chained to the projector like a bad dog. As far as software goes, there are some apps for iPad, including TrialPad. I haven’t tested it, but it looks like everyman’s Trial Director or Sanction.

I’m hopeful that upcoming iterations of the iPad will have more trial-related functionality for lawyers. It could be a perfect device for trial presentation. The question is whether I’ll be ready to buy it …