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How to Use an iPad to Recreate a Scene at Trial, Deposition

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Maybe you're tired of playing Angry Birds all the time. Maybe you want to stop streaming YouTube during meetings. Maybe you feel like you need to justify that $500 iPad price tag. Look no further - there are actually some practical work applications for your iPad (or your iPhone and smartphone)!

With a few simple clicks, your iPad can transform into a high tech photo grabber, useful in the discovery process and in trials.

Here are some simple steps to recreating a scene at trial, or during a deposition, as inspired by a recent blog post by Rob Dean of Walking Office:

Step 1: Pull up the Google Maps application. This application is free, and is pre-installed on most smartphones and the iPad. Remember the recent concerns about privacy and Google Street View? Forget about it! Here, think of Street View as your voyeuristic friend. You may not be able to drive over to the corner of First and Main to take a photo to present to the witness in the middle of a live deposition, but Street View has you covered.

Step 2: Input an address into the search bar. Once the address is pulled up, Google Maps will bring you to a page that displays the address on a map with a pin marker. Clicking on the pin marker will bring up a menu on the screen. If Street View is available, an icon should appear which will allow you to click on it and access the street view of that exact address.

Step 3: Take a screenshot using your iPad, iPhone, or Android phone. The process is different depending on the Android phone you have. But for Apple products, simply press both the "home" and the "power" button at the same time. This takes a screenshot of your phone, which is saved to your "Photo Roll."

Step 4: Doodle, then save. Many smartphones and the iPad have free image editors that can let you draw directly onto your image. If you're in a deposition, you can have the witness mark up the photograph on your iPad. You can then re-save the marked up image, print it out, and use the photos during trials or for future reference.

Not only are these screenshots producing photographs that you can use later in court, but they would also be helpful visual reminders for witnesses.

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