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The Trial Lawyer’s Electronic Notebook, by Bruce A. Olson, ONLAW Trial Technologies, LLC (Applies to Microsoft Office OneNote 2007)


In my experience, it is rare to find two lawyers who prepare exactly the same way for trial. Some folks still adhere to tradition – banker’s boxes filled with pleadings, witness files, deposition transcriptions, etc. Others rely solely on technology, which is great as long as the judge’s courtroom has adequate resources and space. Others prefer a combination of the two.

Certainly, if your jury is filled with younger people, please use technology rather than cumbersome foam boards on easels for presentations to the jury. Otherwise, you will likely bore them to death and quickly lose their attention.

I found this example intriguing because it uses OneNote. Granted it is the 2007 version, but it still gives an excellent example of how to use this type of technology to organize a trial notebook. I am not saying this is the only type of technology that can be used in to prepare trial notebooks. Hopefully it will give you inspiration to try this method or another type of technology at trial. -CCE

My opposing counsel kept looking at me with obvious envy as I made my argument to the judge why certain key evidence should be excluded from the trial we were involved in. I could tell from the look on the attorney’s face that he was puzzled how I could refer to portions of the record, prior witness testimony, exhibits, case law, and a brief that I had previously submitted, all without a single piece of paper in front of me. The only thing I used was my laptop and a mouse. He sat at a table with loose papers piled haphazardly, manila folders strewn about, and a Bankers Box on the floor, stuffed to overflowing. . . .