n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
[Middle English ipocrisie, from Old French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, play-acting, pretense, from Greek hupokrisis, from hupokrnesthai, to play a part, pretend
As I continue to watch the sewer that has become social media for lawyers on the internet, I wonder why the real lawyers, the ones who practice law as a profession, haven't risen up and told the others to get the hell out.
Actually, I don't wonder that much, as there are plenty that will take advice from a non-practicing lawyer on the latest tech toy that will be a "game changer."
A new application ("app" for today's tech lawyer that can't use any words with more than 5 letters) was recently released for the iPad. You know the iPad, every lawyer MUST have one?
It's called TrialPad. Some folks right here in Miami developed it, and it's all the buzz.
The idea behind Trial Pad?
Litigators know that presenting evidence electronically is a winning strategy for large, high profile cases. But the cost of this persuasive presentation tactic was always prohibitive for smaller matters, and learning curve for available technologies was steep.
In response, legal tech evangelist and lawyer Nicole Black (who doesn't read anything I write because apparently I've been "globally filtered" out of her social media world from what I hear) wrote a review:
I tried it out a few times, but it wasn’t until I sat through a demo with the developer at LegalTech in Manhattan last week that I truly realized how useful this app will be for litigators.
Then she goes on and in part says:
Using TrialPad, you can simply and easily control the presentation of evidence to a jury. You can highlight and annotate documents in real time, drawing the jurors attention to important aspects of the document.
The TrialPad interface is intuitive and easy to use, making trial preparation and presentation more effective.
And of course, like all good tech evangelists that subscribe to my theory of the self fulfilling prophecy, she ends:
...mark my words, within the next 2 years, trial presentation software such as TrialPad on tablet computers will be the norm in the courtroom.
"Everyone will have one."
But here's the problem.
When you write about new tech being essential for lawyers, and you present yourself as a lawyer who is also a tech evangelist, you're going to get this type of question from let's say someone like... criminal lawyer Nicole Farnum, who asks:
@nikiblack have you used it yet?
Well of course she's used it, why else would she be saying how easy it was to use in a jury trial? Why else would she say it will be the norm in the courtroom? Why else?
@nicoleruns I've tested it out but I don't litigate at this point in my career, so I haven't used it at trial.
We'll get back to that in a minute.
As I said in the beginning of this post, play acting is a definition of hypocrisy, and there is no better place to play act than as a lawyer on the internet playing with shiny toys and social media.
My good friend and lawyer Adrian Dayton, who has decided his best offense against my continued questioning of his complete lack of rainmaking experience, is to crawl in to a hole and not answer any questions, was recently interviewed about his "career" teaching lawyers how to tweet and use other forms of social media to make money.
Now this is an impressive looking interview, even with the host not able to control his laughter at 1:41. It's always great to be interviewed. It gives you the "organic" following Adrian talks about so much. It makes a lawyer with 8 months experience in a law firm, look like someone we all should hire to give us rainmaking advice.
So I asked Adrian if this was an interview he was asked to participate in, or whether he paid for it.
He paid for it.
It's totally fake. It's play acting.
But it looks real.
When people with law degrees claim authority over anything in the legal profession, whether it be the toys of Apple, or the keys to social media, lawyer ears perk up. "We're one of you," they say. But they are nothing more than "passionate" about toys and tweets. They don't use any of them to practice law, and never will.
I have no issues with lawyers who don't practice law. Plenty don't, and have started businesses, work at charities, work in other professions, become President of the United States, or do nothing.
But to all those that left the practice and are using their "lawyer" moniker to play act and try to gain relevance and authority over real, practicing lawyers, I have some advice:
Shut the fuck up and go away.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.