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Archive for ‘Technology: Office Technology’

Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)

We mourn the passing of Steve Jobs, whose singular achievements are recounted by the HuffPost, MTV on his impact on music, Washington Post , Wired and the Daily Telegraph.

For the legal community, the perspective is slightly different. Jobs contributed to a host of patents reviewed here. Law firms toyed with Apple computers for a while in the 1980s, but currently the only firms that are using that platform tend to be IP and media law firms who are following their clients – the creative community has always loved Apple machines. And of course there are . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Computing in the Cloud

I’m new to the cloud, just having opened a Dropbox account a couple of weeks ago. Still even to a newbie like me its clear that cloud computing on a larger scale can raise many legal issues about privacy and security. As it turns out the potential new law and policy issues are many. To address these issues the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law is hosting an all-day conference on Friday October 14 entitled Cloudlaw: Law and Policy in the Cloud. The conference will consider the issues that may arise . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Is Your Data Safer in the Cloud?

Medical data is one of the most sensitive types of data and, like lawyers, some doctors have reservations about storing confidential client data “in the cloud.” The security of storing Electronic Health Records and related data on-premise is perceived by many doctors to be more secure than cloud-based alternatives.

This thinking is challenged by a US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study that assesses the root cause of significant data breaches involving health information. The study finds the top causes of breaches of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to be:

  • Physical theft of devices /
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

AeroFS: A Viable Dropbox Alternative for Lawyers?

While Dropbox continues to lead the way in easy-to-use cloud-based file synchronization, recent security- and privacy-related lapses have left many Dropbox-loving lawyers looking for alternatives. To date there has been a lack of viable options, but AeroFS, a new startup, is looking to become the Dropbox for security-conscious users.

AeroFS offers the same ease-of-use that characterizes Dropbox, but adds a new spin to how file synchronization works: rather than storing your files in the “cloud”, as is the case with Dropbox, AeroFS synchronizes files directly between your devices via an encrypted channel. This “peer-to-peer” synchronization technique means your data never . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Consumerization – Some Tips for IT

Back in May, David Whelan wrote an excellent column on the pressures law firms experience because of consumer technology products titled The Core of Legal Technology. This month, the Law Society Gazette (UK) contained an article titled Technology in law firms transformed by ‘consumerisation’. Today I found a clever way to get the alternate spelling into the keywords of this article. Clever keyword content is not what I want to write about though.

I want to share three ideas to help law firm technology departments cope with the issue of consumer (and by this I mean Partner) demand . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Are E-Mail’s Days Numbered?

E-mail’s days as a communication medium that offers a “reasonable expectation of privacy” may be numbered.

The ABA’s newly issued Formal Opinion 11-459 revisits the topic of e-mail security, and offers the following concluding paragraph:

A lawyer sending or receiving substantive communications with a client via e-mail or other electronic means ordinarily must warn the client about the risk of sending or receiving electronic communications using a computer or other device, or e-mail account, to which a third party may gain access. The risk may vary. Whenever a lawyer communicates with a client by e-mail, the lawyer must first consider

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Do You Still Fax?

Paul Venezia of InfoWorld asks why the fax machine refuses to die. In what is a bit of a rant rather than a reasoned analysis, Venezia advises:

Consider what a fax machine actually is: a little device with a sheet feeder, a terrible scanning element, and an ancient modem. Most faxes run at 14,400bps. That’s just over 1KB per second — and people are still using faxes to send 52 poorly scanned pages of some contract to one another. Over analog phone lines. Sometimes while paying long-distance charges! The mind boggles.

A few reasons come to mind as to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology

The Significance of the BNA Purchase

Bloomberg announced this morning that it was acquiring the legal publisher, BNA for $990,000,000.

Bloomberg will acquire all 25,116,830 outstanding shares of BNA for $39.50 per share in cash for a total purchase price of approximately $990 million.

It is a key development in Bloomberg’s strategy to challenge Thomson West and Reed Elsevier in the lucrative legal information market.

In Bloomberg’s history, this is only the third acquisition – they bought Businessweek and New Energy Finance in 2009. Bloomberg’s growth has all been internal and organic to date.

Normally, prices aren’t given so this one is revealing – the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Office Technology

Google Docs Introduces Page-Level Permissions

According to the Google Docs Blog today, they’re introducing the ability to control access to documents at the page level:

Using page-level permissions, you can make some pages private for certain users while keeping other pages public for everyone to see. For instance, let’s say you have a Google Site that you’ve shared with your team and your manager. You can allow your team to see one set of pages, let your manager edit another set of pages, and keep yet another set of pages private for only you.

As is usually the case with innovations, they’re not available right . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Office Technology

Investigating and Forgetting on the Web: Issues in the Internet and Employment and Labour Law

These are notes are from a panel presentation organized by the ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law at the American Bar Association 2011 conference in Toronto on Sunday, August 7, 2011. Panelists included Douglas E. Dexter, Farella Braun & Martell LLP, San Francisco; Roy L. Heenan, Heenan Blaikie LLP, Montreal; Mauricio Paez, Jones Day, New York; and Lauren Schwartzreich, Outten & Golden LLP, New York. The moderator was Cynthia E. Nance, Professor of Law, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Stuff You Can Use – the Ethical Use of Cloud Computing and a Google Tip Sheet

First to BC where a committee of the Law Society of British Columbia, under the chairmanship of Gavin Hume, has produced the best and most thoughtful piece on how to practice ethically and effectively using cloud computing. We’ve referred in the past to helpful work done by the Bar Association in North Carolina and the ABA’s 20/20 Commission – see Jack Newton’s posts from May and July, as well as Connie’s and Omar’s take on last week’s ABA discussion.

At the Canadian Lawyer, David Paul has a good tip sheet of practical advice on the intelligent use . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Office Technology