These days, an attorney clutching an address book is quaint at best, somewhat akin to a barrister with a powdered wig. It’s no longer enough to have your personal database residing electronically in your suit pocket. Now you can send and receive e-mail — and even surf the Web (after a fashion) — virtually anywhere, anytime with handheld devices.

You never know when a handheld might save the day. For example, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker L.L.P. used one to trump opposing counsel during a deposition, according to a recent report on, part of A litigator in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office was in a deposition when opposing counsel began asking his client about a speech the client had given. The lawyer knew that the speech was being mischaracterized by opposing counsel. So he shot off a quick e-mail to his secretary, who e-mailed back a copy of the speech within three minutes. The litigator was able to clarify the record on redirect. Here’s an overview of three options for wireless e-mail through a handheld unit:

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