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Reid Trautz’z 6th Annual Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers (2010 Edition)

My good friend Reid Trautz just published his always popular annual gift holiday guide for lawyers. And regardless of whether you are giving loved ones hints for yourself or are looking for gift ideas for your favorite lawyer spouse, partner or friend, Reid’s annual gift guide can help make sure you don’t find yet another scales of justice tie under the tree this year.

Reid always has an interesting list of serious and not so serious gifts. The obvious ones are there – yes an iPad is on the list. And there are some great suggestions that are not so . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading

Things Japanese

I had the pleasure of going to Japan for the last 8 days or so on vacation with my wife. Overall, we had a wonderful trip that included visiting friends and family, eating good food, and trying a few different “onsen” (Japanese spas). And while I had thought about posting from Japan, my schedule and Internet access did not really permit it. As such, I thought I would post a few comments now that I have returned.

1) WiFi Access: In retrospect, I should have likely brought my notepad (which has an ethernet port). My iPad was less useful . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Macs in Law Offices: A Rising Trend?

At last week’s second annual MILOfest, the official Macs In Law Offices conference, I was pleased to have the opportunity to share the results of Clio’s inaugural Apple in Law Offices Survey.

The Apple in Law Offices survey was undertaken as an attempt to quantify what seems to be a rising trend of using Macs, iPads, iPhones, and other Apple products in law offices. While the number of anecdotes of PC users switching to Macs, BlackBerry users opting for iPhones, and iPads being embraced is no doubt on the rise, there is a lack of hard data to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

More on the Future of Looseleaf Publications

Two very good columns were posted here recently on the topic of looseleaf legal publications—one by Susannah Tredwell; the other by Ruth Bird. Ruth in particular painted a very negative picture of the looseleaf—basically the care and feeding is too onerous—and predicted its demise within the next 10 years.

Susannah referred to an article in BoingBoing; the comments on the article are most entertaining—mostly cries of woe from people who had been forced as part of their job duties to file looseleafs. From the tone of some of the comments you would think that looseleaf filing is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Architecture and the Law (Or an Excuse to Talk About the Farnsworth House)

Although duty-bound to report on the Ark Group seminar on Legal Project Management held last week in Chicago (led by Stephen Levy of Lexician and Patrick Lamb of the Valorem Law Group) — which I will do shortly — I will instead first post a SLAW travel tip that will highly recommend a visit to the iconic Farnsworth House about 1 hour outside of Chicago in Plano, Illinois (and yes, if you bear with me, there are several law-related components to this travel story, if only slight).

To hear about or see pictures of the Farnsworth House does not . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Blackberry Playbook – RIM Enters Tablet Wars

Given that lawyers are heavy users of Blackberrys, most Slaw readers will already know that RIM just announced the Playbook tablet, which is an iPad competitor.

RIM has taken an interesting approach. It is designed for business users, and as a companion device that will tether to a Blackberry. Indeed, its promo hits heavily on features that the iPad has been criticized for lacking – such as a forward facing camera, and usb. It may very well be a compelling choice for Blackberry users.

While it was just announced, it is not available until early 2011. I suspect it was . . . [more]

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

Case Law Junkies Will Like the iAnnotate Application

This is a short endorsement of the iAnnotate application for the iPad, produced by Aji and available on iTunes for $9.99.

I used to maintain piles of case law on a bookshelf, working my way though cases one highlighter at a time. I bought an iPad to rid myself of the enviro-guilt borne by my case law habit and was also happy to get rid of highlighters – my suits, shirts, linen, pets and kids too-often marked with indelible pink, green and yellow. The iPad, however, was a less than perfect replacement until I installed iAnnotate about a week ago. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Meet the New Twitter

Twitter has a new design on its way. It will feature embedded media thanks to partnerships with Flickr, TwitPic, USTREAM, Vimeo, Yfrog, YouTube and a number of other providers. The fun video below gives a preview. The new version is being rolled out over the next several weeks.

The new Twitter platform for the Internet reminds me a lot of the Twitter iPad App, although perhaps not as slick since there is no screen touch available with this version.

More details about the new Twitter are on the Meet the New Twitter page. What do you think? . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Law Firm Reputation Management: Who’s Keeping Watch?

A rogue and disgruntled associate in a large Canadian law firm had a bone to pick with a few of its partners. Rather than pull in one of those discrete committees that operates just under the surface of every large firm and deals with sensitive internal matters, this associate opted for an office-wide diatribe sent via e-mail from his home. 

The scandalous statements created shockwaves and went through the local legal community like a missile. Inside 24 hours the first media outlet called the firm and the associate for interviews, with many more to follow, including national print media. Then, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Cleaning Files From Hard Drives

Most of us realize that merely deleting a file doesn’t really remove it from the hard drive or other storage media it resides on. (For some background on this issue see a post I wrote a while back.)

Given how we use digital devices today – both for work and personal use – we can’t just abandon this issue to our firm IT staff. Our personal computers at home, our phones, copiers, memory sticks and ipads all probably contain our own personal information, or personal or confidential information of others. We need to manage that not only while we use . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Some New and Interesting Readers

I’ve run across a few interesting tools for making reading the web a bit easier. Depending on what you are after, one of these might suit…

Readability

a simple tool that makes reading on the Web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what you’re reading.

Read it Later

One reading list, everywhere you are

Use the bookmarklet to add things to your reading list, then sign in to the site later when you have the time to read. Designed for the longer-form materials that actually require some time and concentration.

Flipboard (iPhone and iPad only)

World’s first social magazine

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Starting to Think About HTML5, or the Joy of Firebug

I drift along sometimes, dreaming that maybe I can stop learning new technical things for a while and actually use a few technologies to finish some long-term projects. Then something comes along to wake me up. One of the more recent of these wake-up calls came with the announcement of Apple’s iPad. People were complaining that it didn’t support Adobe Flash content.

I don’t generally pay a lot of attention to either Apple or Adobe, because I tend not to associate either one with open standards or open software. That’s just a bias though, and life is never that simple. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology