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Archive for the ‘Legal Technology’ Columns

Drop the Hard Drive, Take the Laptop

Lawyers who work on international matters may face the challenge of taking their client information across borders. In fact, any lawyer using a laptop may find herself balancing productivity with the risk of unintentional access to client data while on the road. One way to avoid this is to use a clean laptop. The concept has been mentioned on Slaw before (see here and here, for example) but how do you create a clean laptop?

One method that is mentioned is to use a second laptop, one that is installed (or re-imaged) with a clean operating system on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology


Is that the sound of your life being eaten away by the trojan called work, infiltrating our personal time via portable devices? Or is it the sound of forgotten files? Hopefully, it is you conveniently dealing with work on your terms.

Lawyers have had a long list of tools to help with getting things done. One of the first was the ToDo button, the brainchild of Peter Hart of Legalware with his Project Modeler in 1986. Inspired by this, it became the trade marked Do button in another Practice Management System (PMS).

Now there is no shortage of ToDo tools . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Admissibility of Social Media Evidence: A Case Study

In the Internet age, people still have the same interests and passions as they had before electronic communications became pervasive, but they have different methods of expressing them. It may be a challenge to apply traditional rules of law to those methods. This note reviews one example of such a challenge, with respect to the use of evidence from Facebook and the reliance on Wikipedia to inform the tribunal of relevant facts.

In Landry c. Provigo Québec Inc (Maxi & Cie), 2011 QCCLP 1802 (CanLII), Madame Landry complained about harassment at her workplace at Provigo, the Quebec grocery chain. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Expose Yourself

For a variety of reasons, some law firm websites may not have reached the top slot in Google, Bing, or Ask. There is competition for keywords, and the search engines change their algorithms frequently. Without having a team of folks tweaking the site, there will likely be some ebbs and flows in visibility in search results. However, there are a number of ways to boost visibility on the web so that whether someone finds the firm or attorney through social media, a directory, the website, or a professional nameplate site, you can get the message out about the firm’s professionals . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Future of Broadcasting

Out of touch in Hawaii

It was late October, 1992, and I was in Honolulu. I had been fortunate enough that year to have had the means to attend the annual meeting of Westpac, the western Pacific chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries. And so, on Saturday, October 24, I was at one of the social events of the conference, a luau, when I heard the news that the Toronto Blue Jays had won the World Series. It was easy to get that news, because several of the attendees had brought radios with them to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Securely Deleting Data From Mobile Devices

Why do we care about deleting data from mobile devices? Usually, we are trying to get back data that we inadvertently deleted. It could be that we “fat fingered” an e-mail or text message or blew away a photo that we really wanted to use as a background image. But what about when we are upgrading our smartphones, iPads or other mobile devices? Do you really know what confidential or personal information resides within the memory of your prized possession? As lawyers, we have an ethical obligation to protect the information of our clients. This means that we better be . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Myth of Non-Repudiation

The story of the commercial, professional and administrative uses of electronic communication is a search for trust. Who are we dealing with? How do we know? How certain can we be – or do we need to be? I have reviewed the basics in my column on Authentication and Trust .

Trusted technology

Sometimes the search focuses on the technology that purports to offer trust. This can be described in terms of a specific technology, such as dual-key encryption in the framework of a public key infrastructure (PKI ), for example. At other times the focus attempts to be . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Another Apps Article?

Since I seem to be the only tech author who hasn’t yet shared his list of “must-have” SmartPhone apps for the lawyer on the go, I thought maybe I’d go ahead and give you mine. Of course, you’ve seen these plenty of times so I’ll try to focus on the ones that might be a little less obvious. You’ve been told a million times about QuickOffice, Evernote and Instagram (and if not, you might want to check those out too).

The apps I’m going to talk about are for Android, but unless I note otherwise there is also a version . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Cloud Nein?

Cloud-based Practice Management Systems (PMS) roll on as an increasingly alluring option for law firms. Packages such as CLIO and Rocket Matter have attracted serious investment this year, while adding features standard in their more mature desktop rivals, such as document merge. Other PMS available in the marketplace are also surprisingly powerful. ActionStep, for example, started life as a workflow engine, but has grown into a full-feature PMS.

For those in smaller firms who are reluctant to let “strangers” manage their server, I remind them that I would certainly prefer to occasionally lose access to my data, than to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

How to Auto-Archive Client E-Mail in the Cloud

A perennial challenge for lawyers is managing client communication. E-mail remains a cornerstone of lawyer interaction with clients and colleagues but it requires constant tending. You can use cloud-based tools to help you to automate some of your e-mail management. When a new e-mail hits your inbox, slap a label on it and archive a copy of the e-mail to your online file storage service.

One way this is possible is with a service that has already been mentioned on Slaw called If That Then This (IFTTT). In the Year of Coding, it seems a fitting name for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Mine Your Own Business

An almost overwhelming amount of information is generated and stored in disparate places in our digital world. Email, documents, tweets, posts, status updates, reports, and other data flow through our computers, tablets and smartphones. Cataloging and retrieving this information is a challenge. Fortunately there are a variety of tools that make simultaneously searching through these data mines a little easier.

At Your Command

Operating system search tools, including MS Window 7 and Apple’s OS X Lion Spotlight, allow users to search files and emails locally and on external drives. They both can also be extended to search Web sources, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Technology, Magic and Bill C-11

It was just about 50 years ago that Arthur C. Clarke wrote Profiles of the future: an inquiry into the limits of the possible (New York: Harper & Row, 1962) [Amicus No. 10912514]. On page 19, he wrote:

Suppose you went to any scientist up to the late nineteenth century and told him: "Here are two pieces of a substance called uranium 235. If you hold them apart, nothing will happen. But if you bring them together suddenly, you will liberate as much energy as you could obtain from burning ten thousand tons of coal." No matter how

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology