Today, the Justia Law, Technology & Legal Marketing Blog will begin a new series of articles focused on useful legal-related smartphone applications. As my colleagues have mentioned, the United States Supreme Court is back in session this week, and as such it seems fitting to begin our App of the Week series with an application that’s all about the Supreme Court: PocketJustice by our friends at Oyez.
PocketJustice is currently available in both a free “Top 100 Cases” edition and a “Full Set” edition for $4.99 for the iPhone and iPod touch mobile devices. An iPad optimized version will be coming soon.
Both the free and full editions make it easy to find information about constitutional law cases decided by the US Supreme Court.
By far, the most impressive feature of the app is the ability to listen to oral arguments from many of the cases available, even in the free version, with full transcripts. In cases where the transcript is available, there is a great feature that Jerry Goldman of Oyez calls “Flip. Tap. Listen.”
This feature lets you scroll through and tap on any point in the transcript and PocketJustice will play back the oral argument from there. Furthermore, as you are listening, PocketJustice will highlight the section of transcript that is currently being played. If you want to hear another part of the oral argument, select another point in the transcript and PocketJustice will play from your new selection.
Both versions also contain summaries of all of the cases available in the app, including how each justice voted, bios of all of the Supreme Court Justices, and a quick “Lawyers” button to find a lawyer in the Justia Legal Services & Lawyers Directory.
When asked about the difference between different versions, Goldman answered, “The basic (free version) includes information on the most popular cases used in con[stitution] law courses based on a survey of con law casebooks. The full version represents every case we could find in any of the con law books we surveyed. I get occasional requests to add cases. As long as the requested case can be found excerpted in a con law casebook still in print, I will add it to PJ-Full.”
He also let slip some details about the upcoming iPad version.
The iPad version will have more functionality including the ability to create and share audio and text notes and the ability to create clips from the audio carrying along the equivalent chunks of transcript for repurposing in other applications (presentations, documents, etc.).
While no specific timeline was available at print for when the iPad version will be available, Goldman says to expect it at “the end of the year, or 2011 Q1.”
You can find both the free and full versions of PocketJustice in the iTunes App Store. For updates on the progress of the iPad version and updates to the existing version, you can follow @PocketJustice on Twitter, Fan them on Facebook, or visit PocketJustice.com. And be sure to visit the Oyez Project, which makes this fantastic app possible.
Lawyers, if you would like to support the Oyez project, be sure to claim your profile on the Justia Legal Services & Lawyers Directory and purchase the Oyez Supporter Badge for your profile. Doing so will help support Oyez’s projects including PocketJustice and their Supreme Court multimedia archive, and in turn will give you a higher placement listing in the Oyez Lawyer Directory.