The developer of the popular iJuror iPad app was kind enough to provide me with a copy of his juror selection product to take for a spin. iJuror, as the name suggests, is a an extremely full-featured app designed to help counsel keep track of all aspects of jury management from the juror pool to strikes.
The user is allowed to select the size of the juror pool and assign seats for a particular juror. This allows the attorney to match his iPad notes to specific potential jurors in the same way lawyers have been doing for years on legal pads. The main benefit here is that you can assign greater visual detail of a perspective juror, and then tag them with notes.
For example, in the third seat from the left is an African American male who is 33 years old. This categorization can be made in the app and now at a glance you can see on your screen that Jeremy Robinson is answering a question about insurance. This beats the pants off the current method of looking up the juror’s name on the venire and then trying to figure out which row and seat he’s answering from. Anyone who’s ever struck a jury can tell you that if you get the order of jurors wrong on your legal pad you’ve got a mess on your hands. With iJuror I can simply scan my visual seating chart and find the caricature of an African American man seated on the left side of the virtual room and know I’ve found the right juror. No more counting seats.
You can also add any number of notes about a prospective juror as well as common characterizations. Once entered, you can click a juror and see that he’s a 27 year old man with a wife and one child with some college education who has a police officer in his family, has been arrested, and has no prior juror service. You can even categorize potential jurors by your gut feeling such as “like”, “dislike”, or “don’t know”, and the app will shade them in green, red, or yellow respectively. This feature proves extremely useful during strikes as you can quickly eliminate a disliked juror with a peremptory challenge. Also, after your panel is in place you can quickly assess your situation. 10 reds and two yellows, and I’m already working on the appeal in my head.
As if all that wasn’t handy enough you can export and import these notes to other users via Bluetooth and email so your crack team can stay on the same page. This is a great benefit when you have one attorney asking the void dire questions and taking notes. It saves a mountain of time in that all parties are on the same page as to who they want on their jury.
While it’s obvious that the developer tried to make this app as user-friendly as possible, the dizzying array of features takes some getting used to. I would like to see some cloud storage integration like Dropbox or Spideroak to save these trial juries to a specific case for posterity. Also, the app would be supremely benefited with the addition of handwritten note recognition similar to Penultimate to allow the utilization of a stylus. Holding the iPad to type with your thumb tends to draw unwanted attention in a courtroom. I prefer to have my iPad in a portfolio case so that jurors can’t see that I’m holding it.
However, iJuror is well-built and reliable, even if I do think the app icon looks like a preschool education game. The price may cause some to shy away, but after continued use I can’t imagine keeping tabs on a jury with a pen and legal pad again. With the slight learning curve aside, as a practicing attorney, iJuror warrants a place in my litigation arsenal. Therefore it has earned a spot on the prime real estate that is my iPad’s homepage.
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