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Archive for ‘Technology: Office Technology’

Why Every Law Firm Needs a Disaster Plan – Disaster on Duckworth Street

Sad news from St John’s, and some truly shocking footage here, of the destruction by fire of Roebothan McKay and Marshall the law firm that was the pre-political home of Premier Danny Williams. The building has now been demolished.

And the hopeful news that their servers were fully backed up on Friday and that the firm will be operating out of temporary premises and reopening soon.

Think that disaster planning is just for big firms? Think that fire – or flood – or earthquake couldn’t happen to you?

Here are resources to start your own plan, or to dust off, . . . [more]

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

OLITA Digital Odyssey 2010 – Going Mobile

On Friday, I attended the amazing workshop Digital Odyssey 2010 – Going Mobile, held by the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association. Focused on how to develop information/library services and products in a mobile environment, the individual sessions discussed augmented reality, QR code, designing for mobile, ebooks, and more. Jason Griffey, keynote speaker, discussed why the mobile world is important and why we should be thinking about it. Here are some highlights from his session:

  • 4.1 billion people on the planet have cellphones.
  • More cellphones and cellphone contracts than people in some countries. People are carrying multiple devices.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Lawyers’ Ethical Responsibilities Relating to Metadata

We are all undergoing training at my place of work on the newest versions of word processing and e-mail programs. At a session today, talk got around to the the need to be careful about the “metadata” that is created whenever we create and change a document.

It so happens that the American Bar Association website has recently updated its list of professional ethics opinions from around the United States concerning the handling of metadata:

(…) the term refers to the embedded stratum of data in electronics file that may include such information as who authored a document, when

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

Technology and Court Reporting

When I was first appointed to the High Court of Justice of Ontario in March, 1988, the era of having a dedicated court reporter assigned to a judge and traveling with that judge throughout Ontario was coming to an end. In 1988, most court reporters created a court record of the viva voce evidence by way of shorthand. If the presiding judge required a portion of the evidence transcribed, the court reporter would create a transcript after court hours from his/her shorthand notes. This system started to disappear in the late 1980’s as a result of the expense involved in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Office Technology

iPads for Lawyers: New Blog – iPad4Legal

Colleague and fellow blogger Patrick DiDomenico has started a blog called iPad4Legal that is further whetting my appetite for an iPad. He describes his new blog in these terms:

iPad4Legal is a blog about iPads as they pertain to lawyers, law firms, and the legal profession. We may occasionally stray and discuss iPhones or other Apple products since the technologies often overlap.

Another colleague described iPad as good for content consumers (which I am) but perhaps less so for content creators (which would be perhaps disappointing but something I suspect Apple would improve upon). The obvious interest will be in . . . [more]

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

Beware of Track Changes in Word…

♫ Oh say can you see by the dawn’s early light…♫

Lyrics by Francis Scott Key (who was a lawyer), music by John Stafford Smith.

Lawyers today are concerned about metadata and not transmitting same to another lawyer or their own client when they electronically send a document.

Most of us use “Track Changes” in Microsoft Word when working on a document to note the changes/additions/deletions done by others. Once that process is over, the typical next step is to agree to the changes in the document to produce a non-red-lined version ( or ‘clean copy’) as it . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Jury Confirms Novell Owns Unix Copyrights – Linux Remains Free

We have not heard much about this lately, partly because a summary judgment in 2007 stated that Novell owned the Unix code. A jury confirmed last week that SCO had not acquired the copyright to Unix from Novell in an asset purchase agreement.

The significance of this to the world at large is that Linux was derived from Unix. SCO launched a long standing battle claiming it owned Unix, and thus had rights to certain code within Linux, and thus the right to be compensated for Linux use. 

Apparently, SCO is not yet giving up though – there is some . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

SharePoint Summit 2010 in Montreal

I noticed there is a SharePoint conference coming up in Montreal later this month, SharePoint Summit 2010, April 12-14th. While the sessions are not specific to law, I am pleased to see the depth being given to these topics:

  • taxonomy and metadata
  • information architecture
  • what one speaker is calling social computing (microblogging, blogs, wikis, mobile social clients)
  • archiving of content
  • enterprise search
  • migrating to SharePoint 2010

There are many more subjects covered in 6 tracks of sessions over 3 days, so lots for anyone from beginner to advanced. If you are managing a SharePoint initiative in your organization, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Plan for Success With a Law Firm Business Plan Precedent and Sample Budget

It was great to be quoted on the benefits for law firms of having a business plan in the April 2, 2010 Lawyers Weekly

There is great advice in this article. Unfortunately, it fails to mention that practicePRO also provides lawyers a sample law firm business plan (in Word) and a law firm budget template (an Excel spreadsheet). PDFs of both documents are also available, and all can be found on our Precedent Documents and Retainers page.

New and established lawyers alike can use these documents to plan for a more successful future.

Cross posted on Avoid A . . . [more]

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

Commercial Documentation Automation Systems Available Soon in Canada

Legal Systematics is in the process of launching a series of practice systems, initially aimed at the Canadian market. The line of products, dubbed SpeedMatters, currently includes systems for accident benefits, small claims and real estate. Systems for estate planning and motor vehicle litigation are in the works, and products for other practice areas will follow. Heritage Law is assisting with the drafting of the estate planning documents.

Web-based versions of these products will be available and integration with Time Matters is also supported. These systems are designed to help lawyers be more efficient in their work, particularly when it . . . [more]

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

What if the Cloud *Evaporates*?

♫Some sunny day-hey baby
When everything seems okay, baby
You’ll wake up and find out you’re alone
Cause I’ll be gone
Gone, gone, gone really gone…♫

Lyrics and Music by Don Everly and Phil Everly, recorded by The Everly Brothers.

The ABA Journal today published an article “Get Your Head in the Cloud” which states:

The early indications from ethics authorities are that storing client data in the cloud does not violate ethics rules, as long as the lawyer took appropriate steps to safeguard the information from inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure.

While I agree about taking . . . [more]

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

The Bad News About Email Message Recall: It Doesn’t Work!

You’ve likely received a “Message Recall” e-mail at some point. They have a Subject line that looks like this: Reid Trautz would like to recall the message “You won’t believe what Dan Pinnington said.” The text within the quote marks is the Subject line of the original message – the one the sender wants recalled.

Many e-mail systems, including the widely used Microsoft/Outlook Exchange Server and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino Server, offer a Message Recall feature. This feature is supposed to delete unread copies of the recalled message from the recipients’ inboxes so they never see it.

When does one make . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology