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Archive for ‘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

Patently Absurd

The past couple of weeks have offered an amazing ringside view of an unusually public and acrimonious debate over software patents.

First, This American Life aired When Patents Attack, a fantastic expose of Intellectual Ventures, a patent holding company owned by Microsoft’s one-time CTO Nathan Myhrvold. The episode leads listeners to the seemingly inevitable conclusion that companies like Intellectual Ventures are at the root of all that’s wrong with the US patent system. It’s a must-listen for anyone involved in, or merely interested in, intellectual property law.

Then, last week, after losing out on a huge bidding war for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

iPad Apps Suggested by ABA Panel

Here’s the promised post on the iPad apps recommended, or mentioned warmly, by Tom Mighell and Nerino Petro during the ABA session on Thursday that discussed the use of tablet computers in the practice of law. Some of the those identified as “free” also have a beefed up version offered for sale. As I’m sure you’ll understand, there are literally thousands upon thousands of iOS apps now, and it was only possible for the panel to discuss a very few in the time allotted. And, as I’m sure you’ll also understand, all kudos goes to the two expert panelists and . . . [more]

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

Why Lawyers Should Upgrade to OS X Lion

If you’re a Mac-using lawyer, Apple’s recently released OS X Lion has a new feature that single-handedly makes the upgrade worth the $29 price of admission.

FileVault 2 enables whole-disk encryption for OS X Lion computers with just a few clicks of the mouse. Whole disk encryption ensures the contents of your drive are only readable when you provide a valid username / password combination to the operating system. This means your entire computer’s hard drive will be encrypted, and thus unreadable, should it fall into the wrong hands.

I consider whole disk encryption a best practice for all lawyers, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Responses to ABA, North Carolina Proposals RE: Cloud Computing

Back in May I wrote about two sets of proposals that may impact the adoption of cloud computing technology among lawyers.

The first set of proposals comes from the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, which has issued an initial set of draft proposals addressing lawyers’ confidentiality-related obligations when using technology. The second set of proposals comes from the North Carolina State Bar in the form of in Proposed 2011 Formal Ethics Opinion 6 – Subscribing to Software as a Service While Fulfilling the Duties of Confidentiality and Preservation of Client Property.

Last week the comment periods for both proposals . . . [more]

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

Is Google+ Social Networking’s New Black?

Google’s new black navigation bar is the first outward-facing component of a massive social networking project the company’s been working on for over a year: Google+. I’ve been using Google+ during its “field test” (what we’d normally call a beta I think, but Google has forever ruined the public’s expectations of a beta), and I’ve come away impressed. It may be the first social networking tool I use, and enjoy using, on a daily basis.

While I have a personal Facebook and Twitter account, I find I rarely use them. Yes, Facebook’s endless privacy follies have given me cold . . . [more]

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

Email Charter

TED Curator Chris Anderson suggests that we help curb the proliferation of emails by subscribing to a Charter that he and fellow TEDer Jane Wulf have devised. He argues that in some sense we have all joined spammers in contributing to the modern “tragedy of the Commons” that our summed-up bad behaviours have produced. You’ll get a much better idea of what he means by reading the actual Charter, set out below. (It’s available as plain text and as a PDF, also, in case you want to pass it around the office — not by email.) . . . [more]

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