An American law firm is pioneering the use of Google Glass as a new way to convey clients’ evidence to judges, mediators and juries.
Arizona-based Fennemore Craig launched the pilot, called ‘Glass Action’, by equipping several business and personal injury clients with the new Google Glass technology, not currently available to the public.
Double-amputee Gary Verrazono – who lost his right arm and leg in an accident in 2012 – is one of those clients and it enables him to stream his life as it unfolds, send a text or e-mail, record video, teleconference with his lawyers, and photograph, exchange and distribute legal documents – all with a voice command or blink of an eye.
“Before I had the glasses, it could take me days to get documents to my attorneys because of the physical challenges I face,” said Mr Verrazono, whose lawyers are in Phoenix while he lives in Las Vegas. “Now, with just one device, I can communicate easily through various multimedia platforms.”
Having access to his case documents anytime and anywhere is another benefit. “My lawyers are able to talk me through what I am reading while I am reading it, which helps me better understand what’s going on with my case,” Mr Verrazono said.
When Verrazono struggles to wash his dishes with one hand or to move a shopping trolley while pushing his wheelchair, the technology streams those first-person accounts directly to the lawyers or pushes them to the cloud for later retrieval. The material can then be used in the proceedings.
James Goodnow, a personal injury lawyer at Fennemore Craig, said: “It’s the experience of the client unfiltered. Jurors will now be able to see the nuances of a victim’s daily challenges firsthand.”
His colleague, Marc Lamber, added: “This technology gets us the information instantly, lightening the burden on the client and allowing for more frequent communication. Knowing more about our clients helps us build the strongest case possible.”
Mr Lamber said the technology has a great deal of potential; the firm is now testing it with expert witnesses and in mock trials. “We can put Google Glass on jurors during trial simulations to see what’s catching their attention.”
The firm has previously embraced iPads to go paperless and also loans out the tablets to clients during the course of a case. These iPads provide a direct ‘red phone’ link between key parties, making it easy for clients to keep in contact and provide key information such as photos, video documentation, and signed release forms.
Clients can stay in touch with their lawyers via email on iPad, and even participate in remote meetings using FaceTime or Skype.
Fennemore Craig also uses the technology to create ‘video demand packages’ that outline the facts of a case to opposing lawyers, mediators, and other decision-makers in legal negotiations, rather than sending documents.