By Nicole Black
And it’s not just practicing lawyers who use tablets. Believe it or not, judges do, too. In fact, not only do some of them use tablets — some of them rely on their tablets to get their jobs done. Judge Richard Wesley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is one of those judges. In this two-part series, I’m going to share with you how he uses his iPad to increase his efficiency on the bench and what he thinks about the effects of technology on the legal profession.
For Judge Wesley, the iPad is an indispensable tool that he uses on a daily basis. “The iPad was a game changer for me,” he explains. “With it, I can work from anywhere as long as I have wifi access. Once I realized that I could log into the federal court’s virtual private network and work securely from any location, the rest was history.”
Judge Wesley uses his iPad in a number ways, all of which provide him with increased flexibility, convenience, and efficiency. “I use it to prepare for an upcoming sitting. My secretary downloads all briefs and records. I review the files, add bookmarks, highlight sections, and add comments on them and highlight aspects of them. I also add comment boxes in which I list questions I want to ask about a particular section. Then I synchronize the changes with my hard drive in my chambers so the document no longer resides on my iPad,” he explains. “Also, my clerks produce bench memos for me, which I mark up, and they also include hyperlinks to the cases referred to so that clicking on the link takes me right into Westlaw.”