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Need a jury? There’s an app for that

By: Correy E. Stephenson//September 2, 2010

Need a jury? There’s an app for that

By: Correy E. Stephenson//September 2, 2010

Technology has come to jury selection with a new app for the iPad called iJuror.

Created by software developer Scott Falbo with help from his wife, Renee, a lawyer at Freid and Klawon in Buffalo, iJuror is intended to help lawyers pick a jury.

“I had heard my wife and some of her friends talk about the jury selection process and it sounded like they used a lot of paper and had a lot of information that needed to be organized,” Falbo said.

One friend described dividing a piece of paper into 16 squares, which he then filled in with Post-it notes.

Helping lawyers by creating a more organized, efficient system for jury selection “seemed like a pretty good idea for an iPad app,” Falbo said.
He spent three months developing iJuror, which was released earlier this summer.

The application allows lawyers to create an avatar for each potential juror. Personal information like name, age, gender, ethnicity and marital status can be assigned using a drop-down menu. Additional information relevant to the case — Does the person have a criminal record? Has he served on a jury before? — also can be added.

Finis Price, a Louisville, Ky.-based attorney and author of the legal technology blog Techno ESQ, praised the convenience of the pre-populated scroll wheel.

“You can list information about the entire jury pool very, very quickly with just a flick of the finger,” he recently told The Daily Record’s sister publication, Lawyers USA.

A notes section is included for any other comments a lawyer might make about potential jurors, as well as slots to fill in occupation and hometown. Lawyers have the option to assign their feelings about the possible juror, ranging from “Like” to “Don’t know” to “Dislike.”

Price said the ability to take notes with just a fingertip makes it easier to focus on jurors, who will be less cognizant that a lawyer is writing down their every word.

“With a piece of paper and a pen, trying to write as small as possible, it can be a real distraction when talking to a juror and trying to get down what you think is important,” he said.

The jurors can be moved around, depending on whether they are selected or tossed on a challenge. A counter keeps track of the number of peremptory and cause challenges used by each side during the process.

The digital jury box shows empty chairs; a user drags chosen jurors and alternates into the box or drops dismissed jurors to the side. The box and panel can be configured for up to 60 potential jurors.

Information about a given jury also can be saved and e-mailed to associates or law partners.

“The response has been very positive,” Falbo said. “Lawyers appreciate how quick it is to access their information, [to] tap just a few buttons and have a basic demo profile filled out for a [potential juror] which they can save or e-mail to anybody.”

Falbo already has updated the software based on requests from attorneys, and is at work on iJuror Connect, which will allow real-time sharing between lawyers in the courtroom and legal assistants or other support staff back at the office.

He also is working on a second legal-themed application for the iPad for use in depositions.

The ultimate positive review? Falbo said his wife uses the app, which can be purchased at the iTunes store for $9.99.

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