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Archive for ‘Technology: Office Technology’

Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime Dangers: Keep the Bad Guys Out With a Firewall on Your Internet Connection

Cybercrime dangers are many, complex and ever-changing. Hardly a day goes by without another news report of a data breach or other cyber-related scam or theft. Cyber criminals have considerable resources and expertise, and can cause significant damage to their targets. Cyber criminals specifically target law firms as law firms regularly have funds in their trust accounts and client data that is often very valuable. This article, from the December 2013 issue of LAWPRO Magazine, reviews the specific cybercrime dangers law firms need to be concerned about, and how they can mitigate their risks.

When you are connected to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

A New Year’s ‘Resolution’ for Display Screens

There hasn’t been much reason to upgrade the screens we look at in recent years. Our consumer attention has been fixated on mobile technology, and there haven’t been any real “game changing” reasons to upgrade the screens for our fixed location devices. On average, the monitors we use at work, or the ‘big screen’ TV in our homes, haven’t been upgraded in quite some time.

In 2014, however, we may finally have reason to upgrade these fixed location screens. New ultra-HD, or ‘4K’ resolution displays, may make the upgrade decision worth revisiting. Resolutions on these devices are quadruple what most . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Thank Goodness for the NSA! — a Fable

If it weren’t for the U.S. National Security Agency’s trying to spy on everyone in the world, Bleeker Street Law would have been a cooked goose.

Back in 2013, we had a group of clients from a particular country applying for refugee status here in Canada. Because the NSA spying was in the news, we did a forensic audit of our computers, just to be safe. We promptly discovered that we had been hacked. Not by our clients’ former national security service, or by the NSA, but by a for-profit organization. A set of aspiring criminals had broken our security . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Bare Minimum Tech Standards for Lawyers

I am dealing with an older lawyer who told me that he won’t be able to review my 3 page agreement until January 6, 2014 because his staff will be gone for the holidays and he needs staff to help him with technology – in this case, with blacklining my agreement, which would be tough since I sent the agreement to him in pdf format. I suggested that he make his comments in pen on the document and then fax it back to me. He did manage to do that.

This is not the first time that I have come . . . [more]

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

CryptoLocker Malware Warning

The Law Society of British Columbia has published a warning to members concerning a species of malware known as CryptoLocker Ransomware. The malware, thought to originate in Eastern Europe or Russia, infects your machine in the usual way, e.g. when you open a dodgy email attachment or other file; but then it proceeds to encrypt most of the files on your computer, eventually denying you access. The malware operators then contact you with an offer to decrypt your files if you pay a certain amount of ransom—often demanded in untraceable Bitcoin. Payment can result in the release of your encrypted . . . [more]

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

Electronic Evidence: Spreadsheets Are Not Expert Evidence

In a recent civil case, the British Columbia Supreme Court had to decide on the admissibility in evidence of a database of transactions under a contract, and the results of SQL analysis of the database that produced a number of Excel format spreadsheets. The people who generated the spreadsheets were available to testify in person about how they had run the queries: Animal Welfare International Inc. v. W3 International Media Ltd., 2013 BCSC 2193 (CanLII).

The opposing party submitted that the analysis done in extracting the data constituted expert evidence, and the witnesses needed to be qualified as experts . . . [more]

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

Draft Practice Standards on Timekeeping and Law Firm Data: Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society is currently seeking input from lawyers on two proposed new practice standards. The draft standards, proposed by the Law Office Management Committee, relate to lawyers’ responsibilities in the areas of timekeeping and data maintenance:

1. A lawyer’s accounts must be fair, reasonable and lawful.

a) The assessment and reasonableness of a lawyer’s account will depend on many factors, of one which is the time and effort “required and spent”.


Lawyers must ensure there is a system in place for the maintenance, backup, and access of all electronic data.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Oz Leads the Way in Open Office Concept Law Firms

They laughed at me when I suggested that law firms should move to open concept offices for all lawyers with fun amenities like rooftop terraces.

Not possible! they yelled.

We could never get any work done! they sneered.

We need our offices! they pompously carolled.

We’re not techies working for Google! they laughed.

Now Australian law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, with offices across Australia employing over 500 lawyers has proven them all wrong.

Walking into Corrs’ new Sydney office at state-of-the-art new office tower, 8 Chifley Place was like walking into a dream.

Click on image to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Australia Points the Way Toward a Bright Future for Legal IT Professionals

Having spent the last 3 weeks in Australia and Hong Kong, I will be using Slaw to discuss some of the ideas and the firms that I met while out in the Wild East. *** Listen for the audible sigh of relief from everyone at the Law Society of Upper Canada as they learn that I won’t be throwing any more daggers at them – this year ***.

Australia is a beautiful country with a legal market not that dissimilar to Canada. Although with a population of about 20 million people and about 37 law schools, Australia is ripe for . . . [more]

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

How Will Technology Change the Practice of Law?

“It’s hard to take law and technology seriously when they still have a typewriter at the courthouse – and a pen remains the judge’s weapon of choice.”

That statement from Ottawa lawyer Bryan Delaney neatly sums up the paradox faced when talk turns to incorporating new technology into legal services – some may be riding technology’s cutting edge, but other parts of the profession are still tootling around in granddad’s jalopy.

Tuesday night’s CBA Legal Futures Twitterchat, hosted by My Legal Briefcase founder Monica Goyal, featured participants representing a full range of practitioners, from traditional to tech-based. There seemed to . . . [more]

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

Dreamforce 2013: The Shape of Legal Conferences to Come?

This week I’m attending my first Dreamforce conference, the annual “user conference.”

I put user conference in quotes because, although that’s where Dreamforce started, over the years it has evolved into something much, much larger. There are nearly 100,000 attendees and over 1,000 sessions covering topics ranging from starting up a new company to collaboration to meditation. Keynote speakers include Marissa Meyer from Yahoo and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook. Green Day and Blondie are playing a concert for attendees. The breadth and depth of the topics is simply mind-boggling.

The vibe and energy at the conference is amazing. . . . [more]

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

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

“I know lawyers who are very innovative and lawyers with very traditional practices. The latter seem to make much more money,” says Noel Semple, a self-described “lapsed lawyer and aspiring professor.”

And there, in a nutshell, appear two of the biggest impediments to innovation in the legal field: the idea that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t need fixing, combined with the real possibility that the innovation will fail – or at the very least, that the innovator will be scrambling for money until the idea catches on.

Innovations in the legal sector – and the impediments thereto – were . . . [more]

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