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]
Archive for ‘Technology: Office Technology’
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Outlook 2010, I love you, I think. Yesterday I attended an internal training class that introduced me to Outlook 2010. This is one of the beginning steps (from the user perspective) of a renovation, evolution, revamp, revision of our firms desktop software. From the perspective of our IT department, this is the mid-point in a long line of projects that will culminate in current Office Suite software for our firm’s users.
Since other Slawyers may be going down (moving up?) this particular software update road, I am sharing a couple of my Outlook 2010 experiences. Note that we jumped from . . . [more]
Last week I asked if Apple’s forthcoming iCloud service spells doom for Dropbox. My conclusion was no, iCloud does not pose a critical threat to Dropbox, but this week I’m worried about a new threat to Dropbox’s viability: Dropbox themselves.
Yesterday Dropbox disclosed a “bug” they’d introduced that allowed users to log into any Dropbox account using an arbitrary password. That is, if you have a Dropbox account, all a potential hacker would have to know was your e-mail address, and he would have unfettered access to your entire Dropbox.
Although the impact of the bug on users was . . . [more]
I’ve had an iPad for about a month now. I remain convinced that the tablet format is a game changer. There are pros and cons and fans and detractors for various devices. In the long run it will be interesting to see how the market shakes out. There is of course the iPad, various Android devices (the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 just coming out now is highly anticipated), and the Blackberry Playbook. And don’t count out Microsoft. They will be late to the game, but their Windows 8 concept may gain some traction.
I’ll give some examples of how I have . . . [more]
Last week Apple released iCloud, a new cloud-based service for syncing documents, calendars, e-mails, photos, music and more across your desktop, laptop, iPad, and iPhone.
iCloud represents one of the most important and risky strategic shifts Apple has ever taken. Prior to iCloud, Apple’s “digital hub” strategy promoted the PC as your central data store, with the various “spokes” of the digital hub – your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, etc. – synchronizing with your PC. With iCloud, the PC has been, in Jobs’ words, “demoted” to just another device – with the cloud taking its place.
The shift . . . [more]