JuryNotes: A Low Tech Approach to Voir Dire Notes
Ian O’Flahetry was a jury consultant long before he started Lit Software, LLC and brought us TrialPad and TranscriptPad. Apparently he got tired of watching lawyers struggle with legal pads and post-it notes to keep track of notes on jurors.
His response wasn’t an app. It was JuryNotes. JuryNotes is a simple structured paper pad system. In reality, it is simply a better legal pad and post-it note. Is this the holy grail of voir dire systems that trial attorneys have been searching for? No. But it is a solid, simple system for organizing simple data and short notes during voir dire.
Voir dire has been a hot topic here on Lawyerist in the past few weeks. We’ve looked at some suggestions on how to conduct voir dire and reviewed JuryPad, an iPad app. JuryNotes is another take on a piece of the voir dire puzzle.
JuryNotes consists of a large 12″X18″ paper pad and a small sticky note pad. The large pad consists of a 6×3 grid of juror cells. Each cell contains spaces for basic demographic data, a notes section that takes up about half of the available cell and spots for quick indications regarding your general thoughts on the juror. There are also locations for indicating whether the juror was seated or stricken and by whom. The sticky notes are identical single cells that can be used to replace jurors who are seated part way through voir dire or for additional notes on a juror.
All court rooms are configured in various ways and different judges can utilize the available space in the same courtroom in different ways. JuryNotes can accommodate these configurations by joining multiple sheets together to accommodate the courtroom you are in. Not high tech, but effective.
Each jury note set comes with a large pad, a small sticky pad and a pen/highlighter combo. They well for $24.95 each, plus shipping. Could you accomplish the same thing with a large pad, a ruler and a post-it pad? Sure. And you can put together your own trial notebook rather than purchase trial notebook kits. Is it a good addition to your trial kit? I think so. JuryNotes is a simple and effective way to keep your notes on voir dire organized.
JuryNotes does exactly the same job that many of the simple iPad apps try to do–it organizes simple notes regarding voir dire. What it doesn’t do is allow you to integrate your voir dire outline and individual juror information on a juror by juror basis. But unlike the iPad apps on the market, JuryNotes isn’t trying to solve this problem. It is simple note taking system and nothing more. And it accomplishes that task well. Sometimes low tech is the most effective solution. Until someone comes up with an iPad app that does it better, this may be your best option.
Reviewed by Todd Hendrickson April 4, 2013
Summary: JuryNotes is a simple, effective paper-based note taking system for voir dire
Overall Score: 3.5 (out of 5)