David M. Lederman
David Lederman is the current State Bar of California Family Law Section (FLEXCOM) Chair. He also served as FLEXCOM’s Legislation Chair and is the immediate past Vice-Chair. He also served as the Contra Costa County Family Law Section President (and is its current Legislative Director). A Certified Specialist in Family Law since 2001, he is the current Association of Certified Family Law Specialists’ Technology Director. Mr. Lederman is a frequent speaker and writer on family law and technology issues and speaks Mandarin.
Technology, computers, iPads, smart phones and software are all just tools. IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)1, tools are chosen for a purpose. They enable us to perform our jobs more efficiently, quicker, and qualitatively better. The focus of this article is on the use of personal technology.
Use of devices in the Courtroom: Some courtrooms have a rule that all electronic devices should be turned off. Judges do not appreciate hearing beeps and vibrations from electronic devices. If I am in an unfamiliar courtroom and there is any indication that there is such a rule (either by a written sign or a warning from a bailiff), I always leave my iPad off. When the case is called, I will acknowledge the rule and ask for permission to use my iPad or iPhone. Sometimes, a court will caution me not to record the proceedings, but usually the judicial office appreciates that I’ve acknowledge the rule and asked for permission. Very rarely will a court deny this request; as I type this, I cannot think of a single instance when my request was denied.