After a week traveling with a laptop filled with thousands of pages of records—and their matching paper copies—attorney Roger Clayton thought there had to be a way to make those files more accessible. While waiting on a delayed flight, he wondered if there was an app that could do just that.

Finding no app on the market that functioned the way he wanted it to, Clayton, a partner with Heyl Royster, decided to design his own. Working with the Peoria-based app development company, Appitudez, he came up with Second Chair Mobile (SCM), which allows litigators to carry on their practice wherever they are—without lugging around a laptop, or worse, boxes of paper.

“I made sure that using the app is intuitive, and that it can be used in the same manner as with paper or electronic files,” Clayton explains. “The documents are kept electronically on the iPad and synced with their office files.”

Pleadings, discoveries, medical records, depositions, exhibits and other documents can be imported and maintained just like traditional paper files—and because they are only a few taps away, can be retrieved more quickly. Users can handwrite or type notes, and annotations can be made to any document, then emailed, printed or even presented to a jury. Exhibit lists link to the actual exhibits, while customizable deposition and case templates are also available. In addition, the app links to common legal research sites, allowing attorneys to research information quickly, even while in the courtroom.

Shortly after SCM’s release, Clayton developed a second app, Second Chair Mobile Jury, which helps attorneys handle the jury selection process. A customizable list of questions for prospective jurors is available for easy access, while users can drag-and-drop jurors into the jury box as they change chairs, or as jurors are excused and new ones seated. The app also features selectable avatars and a color-coded slide-bar to show the attorney’s favorable or unfavorable impression of each juror.

The jury app was exhibited at last year’s ABA TECHSHOW, where attendees were impressed by functionality that’s unavailable in other legal apps. User recommendations led to a feature in Legal Technology magazine, which received favorable comments for the app’s intuitiveness and ease of use.

With the success of his first two apps, Clayton says he’s always thinking of others yet to be developed. “With three sons—an attorney, a software engineer and a marketing major—I wouldn’t be too surprised if we didn’t come up with some app ideas in the future!” In the meantime, thanks to Clayton, any attorney can take his or her practice on the road. iBi

For more information on the SCM family of apps, visit secondchairmobile.net.