Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional law firm, is changing the way lawyers interact with clients by lending them Google Glass. With the use of Google Glass, firsthand, live-action experiences are shared in real time between clients and Fennemore Craig attorneys, creating new mechanisms to convey evidence to juries, judges and mediators.
The pilot program, called “Glass Action,” was launched in January 2014 when Fennemore Craig personal injury attorneys James Goodnow and Marc Lamber equipped several business and personal injury clients with the new Google Glass technology, not currently available to the public.
Double-amputee Gary Verrazono is one of those clients and has been using the firm-provided Google Glass for the past three months. Verrazono lost his right arm and leg in a tragic accident in 2012 while working at a racetrack. Google Glass is a game changer for Verrazano, allowing him to share the challenges of his daily life with his Fennemore Craig attorneys, Goodnow and Lamber. He can stream his life as it unfolds, send a text or email, record video, teleconference with his attorneys and photograph, exchange and distribute legal documents — all with a simple 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,” says Verrazono, who lives in Las Vegas but works with the firm’s Phoenix-based counsel. “Now, with just one device, I can communicate easily through various multimedia platforms.”
“It’s the experience of the client unfiltered,” says Goodnow. “Jurors will now be able to see the nuances of a victim’s daily challenges firsthand.”
Having access to his case documents anytime and anywhere is another benefit Verrazono appreciates through Google Glass. “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.”
“The legal process is often intimidating for clients,” explains Lamber. “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.”
When Verrazono struggles to wash his dishes with one hand or to move a grocery cart through the store while pushing his wheelchair, the technology streams those first-person accounts directly to Fennemore Craig attorneys or pushes them to the cloud for later retrieval. Lamber and Goodnow can then use the material in court or other legal proceedings.
“Glass Action” comes on the heels of the firm’s innovative use of the Apple iPad, which Lamber and Goodnow used to elevate client communication and invent new workflow processes for the firm. Their novel use of the iPad caught the attention of Apple, which profiled them in a case study.
Lamber believes that Fennemore Craig has just scratched the surface of what Google Glass can do for its practice. The firm is now testing the technology with expert witnesses and in mock trials. “We can put Google Glass on jurors during trial simulations to see what’s catching their attention,” says Lamber.
Goodnow and Lamber have been widely recognized by the media for their use of technology. The ABA Journal named the attorneys to its list of “America’s Techiest Lawyers.”