I must be the last person in America to get a Facebook page.
It’s not that I have anything against Facebook. It’s just that life is so busy that there’s never really been a need – or much of an opportunity – to check it out before.
But there it is. Big as life. And now I have not only one Facebook page — but two. A personal page, and a second one for my law office. So now I feel like I’ve made it into the twenty-first century.
And that’s not all. My son recently came home from Argentina, where he spent two years doing volunteer service. A great experience for him and for those he met and served with. When he came home, he was all of 21 years old, and he didn’t have much in the way of goods or money. In fact, he was pretty much broke. But when he came home, he asked for only one thing: an iphone.
This was no small request. I’ve had cell phones for years, and they’ve been super useful in my law practice. The ability to make calls from court and from outside the office has been priceless. It’s been a real change over the years. When I first started practice, there were phone booths in the courthouse. If a judge wanted to set a date in a case, I’d sometimes be out in the hall dialing up my office trying to get my calendar availability. Or I’d be calling a client, or someone else. Courthouse phones were a big deal.
No more. I don’t even remember seeing a phone booth in a courthouse for years. I remember the first cell phone I ever saw. I was in my office and got a call from an attorney who said he was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting to take the doctor’s deposition. Nobody had said anything to me – and the doctor was my client! So I hurried over to this doctor’s office. When I got there, the waiting room was full of patients. I saw the attorney sitting there, and we started conversing. I didn’t see any available phones around, and I asked him how he had made his call to my office. He pulled out a bulky Motorola cell phone that had a microphone that flipped open and he showed me how it worked. Unbelieveable. I felt like he had walked into that office straight out of “Star Trek.”
Now all that’s changed. Cell phones are a part of everyday life. Some of my clients don’t even keep a land line anymore – they do everything by cell phone. So I’m familiar with – and grateful for – cell phones.
But an iphone – I’d never spent any time with one, and wasn’t familiar with them. But my son asked for one. It was the only thing he asked for when he got home from Argentina. Several months earlier my wife had suggested we get iphones. With my wife and son looking at me this way, I finally caught up and we all three got cell phones.
My! How convenient they are! I had no idea. It’s a phone. It’s a camera. It’s a dictionary. It’s an encyclopedia. It’s a timer. It’s an alarm clock. It’s a mirror. It’s a reminder device. It’s a calculator. It’s a calendar. It’s a scanner. It reviews restaurants. It sends emails. I use it everyday, all the time. I really had no idea. I know one person who calls it her “iLife.”
So I was recently in court at trial. The case involved a dispute between a real estate broker and a seller of property. The broker wanted to collect a commission from the seller even though the transaction had been canceled. The opposing side offered up a document in evidence that I hadn’t seen before. They had to show it to me before they could submit it to the judge. As soon as I saw it, I knew we’d be talking about it in open court – a lot. But there was no way for me to find a copy machine and make a copy so I could review it while we discussed it in open court. I had a few brief moments to review it, and then it was going to be submitted to the judge for her review and we would immediately start discussing it. So what did I do? I whipped out my iphone, and took a photo of it. That way I was able to review it on my iphone as soon as the opposing party submitted it to the judge. Honestly, I never thought I’d be using my iphone to preserve or discuss evidence at trial. But there it was – super handy, super convenient. Could I ever go back to a plain old cell phone? Sure I could. But it wouldn’t be fun.