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The Latest Information About ABA TECHSHOW - The World's Premier Legal Technology Conference

Copyright: Copyright 2011 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.

Right to an Attorney...or an Attorney with an iPad?

Thursday, 3 Feb 2011 9:00:00 GMT

Whenever I think about new technology in the courtroom, I always wonder what that technology would have been like in a famous trial. When I think of famous trials, I always think of the Clarence Gideon trial (Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) 372 U.S. 335), which expanded our Constitutional right to an attorney in a criminal matter. What if Mr. Gideon’s attorney, Fred Turner, had an iPad?! It’s a bit odd to think about, especially since most of the TV world was still black and white in 1963, but in the year 2011, it is a reality. I just finished reviewing some of the latest and greatest trial presentation tools, and I have to admit that after a few years of things being a bit stagnant, I am excited about what is hitting the legal market this year. The first thing that I am impressed with is Sanction ( and Trial Director (, the two competing giants in the trial presentation world. For a decade now, these two have gone toe to toe in this market. You have to love competition! If it weren’t for these two products, technology in the courtroom would be years behind what it is. The new interface and presentation effects are fantastic. The second area that I am impressed with is the rapid emergence of tablet computing, which is a very hot topic at ABA TECHSHOW this year ( Somewhat to my surprise, tablet/mobile computing has surfaced in the trial presentation world. That’s right, … there is an App for nearly everything, including one for trial presentation. It is called TrialPad ( Being a bit of a trial presentation snob, I admittedly was skeptical about this. However, after trying it out, I found it to be pretty good. TrialPad imports PDFs from a folder structure stored in Dropbox ( This allows you to organize exhibits on your computer and import multiple files into TrialPad, keeping the folder structure intact. Files can also be imported from email, GoodReader, and obviously iTunes. Using a VGA adapter that I bought at the local Apple store, I was able to hook up my iPad to a projector and display documents. I did experience a little quirkiness with the video from time to time, but nothing I couldn’t navigate through. Cons: (1) no video support yet and (2) knowing there are many flavors of PDFs (not all PDFs are created equal), I would be sure to give it a good test with your exhibits ahead of time. In conclusion, while the iPad wasn’t really designed for this type of application, that can be said about many technologies and developments. The reality is that the iPad can be used for small hearings and cases, and at a minimum, TrialPad and the iPad could be used as a “paperless file” for the countless pre-trial and motion hearings that we have day in and day out … unlike all the trials that settle or get continued.

Getting the Most From Speech Recognition Software

Tuesday, 1 Feb 2011 9:00:00 GMT

Are you a fan of speech recognition software and want to take your usage of it to the next level? Prior ABA TECHSHOWs have introduced you to this amazing technology, but this year’s session on “Getting the Most from Speech Recognition Software” will explore more advanced features of Dragon NaturallySpeaking and similar products. Kicking off the Small Firm/Solo track on Monday, April 11, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. speakers Britt Lorish and Nerino Petro will present a demonstrative session on how to use more than just the basics. Learn how to setup time saving custom commands that act like “voice macros” for commonly used tasks. See how you can use Dragon not just for dictating, but actually full navigation of your PC, including instant web searches. Discover how products like Dragon can be used in specialty software such as time & billing, and practice management applications. The truth is that most users only harness 10% or less of a software product’s capabilities. Increase your percentages by attending this and other great sessions at ABA TECHSHOW 2011. Register today at

Google Tools for Lawyers

Friday, 28 Jan 2011 9:00:00 GMT

Google continues to develop a wide array of productivity tools that go beyond its famous search functionality--almost all of these are free to users. From news alerts to language translators, from word processing to marketing tools, knowing where to find these tools and how to use them can help you more efficiently and effectively deliver legal services to your clients. Our Google experts, Mark Rosch ( and Dan Pinnington, showcased the best Google tools available for lawyers and what you need to know to practice safely and profitably when using them! Register at | Download the paper (

Voice Over Internet For the Solo and Small Firm Practitioner

Wednesday, 25 Jan 2011 9:00:00 GMT

For years, only clients of large firms benefitted from VoIP technology. However, VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) Phone Systems are not just for large law firms. There are many affordable systems available for the small law office. VoIP Phone systems, cell phones, voice mail, and software like Skype and Google Voice create a converging host of opportunities to improve your practice performance, profitability, and the service to your clients while unifying communications. VoIP experts Nerino Petro ( and Lincoln Mead detailed how VoIP systems can save you money and improve your workflow through integration with existing software such as billing and practice management systems and MS Outlook.

Google’s Free Online Apps and What You Need to Know About 11.1

Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 16:00:00 GMT

Every week I get asked by attorneys what I think about using Google’s free online Apps software to run their practice. My response is: “11.1”. They stare at me blankly so elaborate. ”Have you read their terms of service, particularly section 11.1?” Of course they haven’t. Let’s read it together: 11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services. You give Google a perpetual, irrevocable…license to reproduce…publish…publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit? Any lawyers in the room really want to agree to that? Next question.

Introduction to "Cloud" Computing

Friday, 21 Jan 2011 16:00:00 GMT

Cloud computing has emerged as a force in the technology marketplace, but few lawyers really know what it is or how it can impact the delivery of legal services to clients. In this introductory session, David Bilinsky ( and Matt Kesner walked the audience through the basics (without being too technical) and helped them understand how it differs from traditional software applications, what types of tools are offered via cloud computing, and well as the advantages and disadvantages of using the cloud to serve your clients. Today, popular cloud tools include on-line back-ups, document processing, and virtual meetings, but how safe and reliable is this new delivery method? Registration details ( View paper (

Document Management on a Dime

Thursday, 20 Jan 2011 16:00:00 GMT

Do you want to take your office paperless but don't want or can't afford an expensive DMS solution? In this session, Reid Trautz and Donna Neff explored low-cost options for organizing your Windows folder structure, how to name, store, scan, search and retrieve your client files, emails, firm documents and more. They discussed how to make use of what you already own and about the low-cost and/or free powerful software that is available on the market today that will help you get your arms around out-of-control email inboxes and overflowing paper to create a customized DMS system that works the way you do! Registration details ( View paper (

Appy New Year!

Thursday, 20 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

By now, we’ve all grown accustomed to the world of “apps” -- those small software programs that turn our iPhones and mobile devices from fun gadgets into productivity-enhancing machines (or, depending on the apps you choose, really fun gadgets). No longer satisfied with being confined to the tiny screens of our mobile devices, in 2011 apps are making a break for the big time -- your computer. Users of Google’s Chrome web browser (and if you are not using Chrome, you should give it a look-see) now have access to the Chrome Web Store -- a place they can go to install apps that run right in the web browser. Most users of modern web browsers have been accustomed to personalizing their web browsers with themes and extensions for some time, but the emergence of browser apps signals a sea change in how we will use our browsers and buy our software going forward. If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out Chrome apps, make some time to do so. I’ll be presenting on this and other browser tips and tricks with Jim Calloway at ABA TECHSHOW this year. If you’ve never been (or if it’s been a while since you attended), register at and come on out for the conference. Hope to see you there!

New ABA TECHSHOW anniversary video now online

Tuesday, 18 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

The team of ABA TECHSHOW produced a video, which is a fun take on the past 25 years of technology. Available at, this brief and comical video features the current Chair, past Chairs, faculty members and attendees alike in a montage sure to get you geared up for ABA TECHSHOW 2011, taking place April 11-13. If you haven't already, be sure to register at to take advantage of the early-bird pricing -- expiring in February.

E-Discovery in Small Cases

Thursday, 13 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

As E-Discovery expands into more areas of litigation, counsel's responsibility to identify, process, and produce electronically stored information (ESI) even in smaller cases looms large. Knowing the requirements and basic techniques of E-Discovery could mean the difference between winning your client's case or facing a malpractice action for botched E-Discovery! This session featured Bruce Olson (, Tom O'Connor (, and The Honorable Judge David J. Waxse of Kansas who covered practical and productive E-Discovery strategies for smaller-scale cases. Registration details ( View paper (

Using Technology for Settlement and Decision Making

Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

How can technology support settlement, mediation, and other litigation-related decision-making contexts? In this session, David Sparks ( and Mark Lauritsen ( discussed custom negotiation spreadsheets, emerging online dispute resolution techniques, risk analysis software, and related technologies, and showed how presentation software and related media can be used to further and enhance your settlement opportunities. This session provided clear proof that Information systems can help both lawyers and clients make better choices. Registration details ( View paper (

Call for Nominations

Friday, 07 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

The ABA Law Practice Management Section is asking for nominations for the James I. Keane Memorial Award for Excellence in eLawyering, to be presented at ABA TECHSHOW 2011. There are exciting initiatives underway now that deserve attention by all lawyers – present and future. While admittedly just a subset of the vast legal technology world, eLawyering and its lawyer-less analogs present fundamental challenges for our profession. Visit for more information about nominating someone for the Award or to download a nomination form.

Free Enterprise-Level Protection For Your iPhone & iPad

Thursday, 06 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

If you use an iPhone or iPad in your practice, you should sign up for the FREE Find My iPhone service now available from Apple. The Find My iPhone service has been around for quite a while, but it was only available as part of the $99/year MobileMe offered by Apple. In an extraordinary move in late November, Apple announced that the Find My iPhone service would now be free for anyone that uses an iPad, iPhone 4 or 4th generation iPod touch that runs iOS 4.2. The Find My iPhone service allows you to locate a lost or stolen iPad or iPhone on a map by simply logging on to on a computer. To sign on to the service, you'll need to use your free Apple ID, which you already have if you've purchased an app or music from iTunes. You will also need to set up a MobileMe account on each iPhone or iPad to enable the service (I've posted additional instructions on the Macs in Law blog). Once you locate a lost or stolen device, you can 1) make the device play an alarm and display a message, 2) remotely lock the device so that it requires a passcode, or 3) remotely "wipe" the device so that it deletes all data and restores the device to factory settings. These are security features regularly found in enterprise-grade mobile systems that require expensive servers and full-time IT professionals. Here, Apple provides the service free of charge for anyone that owns an iPad or iPhone. Any legal professional that uses an iPad or iPhone should sign up for this service immediately. It's another layer of protection for the gobs of confidential and personal information that we all carry around with us on these devices. Even more, Apple also now offers a free Find My iPhone App for the iPhone and iPad which you can use to locate other iPhones and iPads. So, for example, if you have multiple iPhones in the family, make sure you download and install the free App for each device so that you can use one device to find another when necessary.

Complete ABA TECHSHOW 2011 Schedule Now Available

Wednesday, 05 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

The complete ABA TECHSHOW 2011 schedule is now available at This year's conference and EXPO will feature exciting and relevant new tracks such as Emerging Technology and two tracks dedicated entirely to SmartPhones/Mobility. Plus, ABA TECHSHOW will again offer popular tracks including Mac, Paperless, and Meet the Author/Face-to-Face. To lead the must-attend sessions of each track, ABA TECHSHOW is pleased to welcome faculty members -- both new and returning speakers alike -- who are all experts in their fields. Check out the full schedule at, and register today ( to get the best pricing for ABA TECHSHOW 2011!

For the Love of BlackBerries

Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011 12:00:00 GMT

Are you completely and utterly in love with your BlackBerry and can’t imagine your life without it? Don’t worry, you are not alone. At this year’s ABA TECHSHOW, April 11-13, 2011, speakers Dan Pinnington and Donna Neff will present an exciting session celebrating all things BlackBerry. Whether you have just begun your love affair with BlackBerry or have already made a long-term commitment, this session will have something to offer everyone. Did you know . . . That BlackBerry accounts for nearly 15% of worldwide smartphone sales; Webster's New World College Dictionary named "crackberry" the "New Word of the Year for 2006"; and, Marketing experts have estimated President Obama’s avid use of a Blackberry or "celebrity endorsement" to be worth between $25 and $50 million. For all the latest Blackberry ‘tips and tricks’, this will be a session you won’t want to miss!! Register today at

Digital Workflow: Developing the Paperless Habit

Thursday, 30 Dec 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Transitioning to a paperless office involves more than just scanning incoming documents; it requires a strategic approach and sustained commitment. You need to develop good 'digital habits' to insure that the transition to a paperless workflow is successful. In this session, Ernie Svenson ( and Nerino Petro ( offered practical practical approaches to scanning, digital file organization, digital workflow, elimination of unnecessary printing (e.g. electronic faxing and use of digital signatures), and discussed electronic document review, bates numbering and more. Registration details ( View paper (

Running Windows on a Mac

Tuesday, 28 Dec 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Most Mac-using lawyers will boldly proclaim that Mac is superior to Windows, but there are many situations where they will still need to use Windows for one reason or another. For example, there may be a piece of software important to their practice that only runs on Windows. The great news is that today's Macs can run Windows too! In this session, Brett Burney ( and Dave Bilinsky ( explored the options available for for running Windows on a Mac (Boot Camp, VMware Fusion, Parallels, etc.) and the best tips for juggling both operating systems. Registration details ( View paper (

Document Management Software: The Electronic File Butler for the Law

Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Once you convert your paper to electronic format, what do you do with it? In this session, Richard Serpe ( and Steve Best ( discussed how the major legal DMS vendors (Worldox, NetDocuments, Autonomy, and OpenText) could help your law office streamline your paperless efforts and workflow to deliver efficient and high quality legal services to your clients. Richard and Steve walked through the major DMS software choices, including Software as a Service (Saas) solutions and how these technologies can help manage out-of-control email in-boxes, documents, PDFs, multi-media files and discovery. They also discussed how DMS helps manage security, versions and document relationships. Learn more about managing your documents at the upcoming ABA TECHSHOW 2011 on April 11-13, 2011. Registration details ( View paper (

Scanning and Paper Reduction in the Law Office 101

Monday, 20 Dec 2010 12:00:00 GMT

How do your clients like to receive information? Are paper files getting lost? Is your law office buried in paper files and you are never able to find anything? Many lawyers have considered buying a scanner, but what models and features are the best fit for a law office? What software is best to use for scanning? Should you create an OCR’d MS Word document or text-searchable PDF? How should you scan to archive closed files? Get answers to all of these questions and more from our paperless law office experts. Learn the nuts and bolts essentials to convert paper to digital.

Managing Your Online Presence: The Care and Feeding of the Online YOU

Friday, 17 Dec 2010 12:00:00 GMT

More and more clients "meet" you online before even deciding to meet you face-to-face. In this session, Matt Homann and Nikki Black instructed the crowd how to build and grow a sustainable online presence. A successful online presence enables potential clients to find you and existing clients to access more helpful information provided by you. Topics covered included: 1) Choosing (and using) a blog or website as your online "home base"; 2) utilizing social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to connect with clients and build your professional footprint; 3) magnifying your online presence by distributing your existing content seamlessly to multiple places online; 4) Monitoring and managing your online reputation. Managing your online presence keeps your existing clients more informed and your prospective clients more impressed. Learn much more about blogging, tweeting, and social networking at ABA TECHSHOW 2011 on April 11-13, 2011.

Document Management System to Control, Store and Find Mission Critical Data Now

Thursday, 16 Dec 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Law firms create a great deal of highly valuable content, mostly documents and accumulated data, everyday which, unfortunately, often is lost from sight upon creation and its initial use. Therefore, the long-term value of the document does not become part of the firm’s intellectual assets. To achieve the highest degree of value from the creation of these documents the firm must ensure that the documents remain easily accessible to anyone who needs it and that should be allowed to see it. For the content to remain easily accessible it must be stored in a known location, where access and changes are controlled and it must be easily found. A document management system is a system to organize your electronic files to ensure easy access to critical information. From solo to large firm, every attorney believes that they have a system in place. Some work really well and some barely work. The real test of any system is how it works when there is more than one person using the system. Systems that survive this test usually have some common features. These successful systems require compliance with a strict set of filing rules, integrates all documents, including emails, and allow users easy access to the documents from anywhere. For many small firms compliance is dependent upon each individual following a common formal or informal naming convention and filing convention. On occasion, this naming and filing convention will be supplemented by a desktop search engine. However, I find that these simple and often informal systems completely stop working when there are changes in staffing. A systemic breakdown of the document management can be prevented by implementing a document management software program which will require compliance with established rules when saving the document and the document can be found easily within the system. The upcoming ABA TECHSHOW 2011 will include excellent presentations on document management software solutions, best practices for implementation and demonstrate how firms save time and make more money using these systems.

The Lone Mac in a Windows Law Firm

Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 12:00:00 GMT

You can be a Mac lawyer in a PC firm. This session featured Mac-using lawyers David Sparks ( and Finis Price ( discussing how they integrate their Mac-based practice into an office full of Windows computers. David and Finis discussed connecting to Microsoft Exchange and various Mac software for remote access, file sharing, calendaring, and other tools that allow them to run circles around their Windows colleagues while still seamlessly supporting their clients. Look for another full day of the "Mac Track" at ABA TECHSHOW 2011, April 11-13, 2011.

Protecting Your Clients Means Protecting…your Copy Machine?

Wednesday, 10 Nov 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Did you know that your copier could have gigabytes worth of client confidential information stored on its internal hard drive? Well, it's true … and that means that attorneys must dispose of them properly! Model Rule 1.6 imposes a duty that we act competently and take reasonable steps to protect client information and confidences; however, most companies simply turn in their copiers or sell them without taking any steps to scrub the data stored on them. The reality is that with today’s copy technology, that would be like returning file cabinets to the store – with all your files still in them! Today’s copiers are not just a one-trick pony – they can scan, fax and handle multiple jobs and guess what, they need a hard drive to accomplish all this work. A modern-day copier will first scan the image to a hard drive, and then will print copies. This means that inside your copier, a computer image has been created of every document ever copied – and if someone else accesses that hard drive, they’ve got your data. That's right … medical records, confidential papers, documents subject to protective orders, everything. In February of this year, CBS News and an investigator went to a warehouse in New Jersey to see how hard it would be to buy a used copier loaded with data left on hard drives. They selected four machines copiers based on price and the number of pages printed. In a matter of hours, the copiers were purchases, packed and loaded onto a truck for approximately $300 each. One of the machines had documents still on the copier glass from a major U.S. City’s Police Sex Crimes Division. It took 30 minutes to pull the hard drives out of the machines and then using a forensic software program available for free on the Internet, they found tens of thousands of documents. The results were frightening … documents from the sex crimes unit … detailed domestic violence complaints … a list of targets in a major drug raid … 95 pages of pay stubs with names, addresses and social security numbers … $40,000 in copied checks ... 300 pages of individual medical records, including everything from drug prescriptions, to blood test results, to a cancer diagnosis. See: So when it comes time to get rid of a copier in your office, make sure you protect yourself and your clients by considering the following steps: ·Investigate capabilities of your copier – some brands (i.e. Canon and Xerox) have protective settings that can encrypt or erase data on your machine. Talk to your copier vendor and make sure they are familiar with and setup these features. ·Before turning your leased copier back in to your vendor or otherwise disposing of it, “scrub” the hard drive. Manufacturers sell this as a service and/or it may be part of the service contract. ·Remove the hard drive and keep it with you, or find a private copier service company to scrub the hard drive and provide you written verification of the same. Ultimately, protecting your clients’ data and yourself is paramount, and your photocopiers are not excluded when it comes to data security concerns. Find an experienced copier vendor that can help you ensure that data that goes through your equipment is always under your control, even when the equipment is long gone. Paul J. Unger, Esq. is currently serving as Chair of the 2011 ABA TECHSHOW and is a founding partner of Affinity Consulting Group and HMU Consulting, Inc. i[...]

ABA TECHSHOW Chair, Paul Unger, Announces Keynote Speaker Lawrence Lessig

Monday, 8 Nov 2010 12:00:00 GMT

I am thrilled to announce the keynote speaker for the 25th Anniversary of the ABA TECHSHOW: Lawrence Lessig is currently the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Lessig is an accomplished speaker with a unique presentation style (sometimes referred to as the "Lessig Method"). Lessig's presentations have been featured on TED and TEDx. Much of Lessig's career has focused on law and technology, especially how technology affects the institution of copyright. Lessig has been very active in the Free Software Foundation and Creative Commons. Lessig has served as lead counsel in a number of important cases marking the boundaries of copyright law in a digital age, including Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Sony Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Lessig has authored several books on the intersection of law and technology, including The Future of Ideas (2001), Free Culture (2004), Code v2 (2006), Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (2008). Do not miss Lawrence Lessig's keynote presentation at the 25th Anniversary of the ABA TECHSHOW on Monday, April 11th, 2011.

ABA TECHSHOW 2011 Chair, Paul Unger, Announces Registration Now Open

Tuesday, 2 Nov 2010 12:00:00 GMT

We are excited to announce that ABA TECHSHOW 2011 conference and EXPO are now open for registration --! Celebrating its 25th anniversary of bringing lawyers and technology together, the 2011 conference and EXPO takes place April 11 - 13, at the Chicago Hilton. What can you expect at the silver anniversary? In addition to the nearly 20 educational tracks, networking possibilities, and opportunities to interact with legal technology experts from all over the country, ABA TECHSHOW is excited to welcome our keynote speaker, Larry Lessig. As the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Larry Lessig has focused much of his academic career on law and technology. His dynamic speaking style and enthusiasm is contagious. To celebrate this special year for ABA TECHSHOW, we felt Professor Lessig was the perfect choice for our keynote speaker as we reflect on the importance of technology in the legal industry. We’re thrilled to have him at ABA TECHSHOW and are sure attendees will enjoy the experience of his engaging presentation. Additionally, join us for our Welcome Reception on the evening of Sunday, April 10, and our 25th anniversary celebration reception on Monday evening, Taste of ABA TECHSHOW dinners with expert speakers, an amazing EXPO hall featuring all the latest technology, and another exciting year of Ignite Law are sure to heighten your ABA TECHSHOW experience. Be sure to register for ABA TECHSHOW 2011 now at, and join us in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the best legal technology conference and EXPO of the year.

Farewell from ABA TECHSHOW 2010 Chair, Debbie Foster

Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010 12:00:00 GMT

It has been an honor to serve on the ABA TECHSHOW Planning Board for the last 4 years, and an even greater honor to be Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2010. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to each and every person who made the conference and EXPO such a HUGE success. To those who have had the White Ribbon - those were some awfully big shoes to fill, and I hope that each and every one of you know that the mark you left on ABA TECHSHOW was evident. ABA TECHSHOW is what it is today because of your leadership through the years. I am proud to be a Black Ribbon Holder To the Planning Board of 2010 – Paul Unger, Reid Trautz, Herbert Dixon, Ben Schorr, Browning Marean, Dominic Jaar, Britt Knuttgen and Brett Burney - you all are amazing. Truly dedicated professionals with an unmatched passion for legal technology and the drive to bring the best conference and EXPO ever to lawyers all around the world. I could not have asked for a better group of supporters and hard workers. To the LPM Staff – you are the wizards behind the curtain. Without you, the show would not go on. I am forever grateful for your words, your creativity, your design skills, your attention to detail and your organization. My hat is off to you! To our Speakers – WOW. Each year, it just gets better and better and the bar goes higher and higher. You all outdid yourselves. Our new speakers were fantastic, and really showed some dedication to making their presentations valuable. Our returning speakers hit it out of the park. The attendees were absolutely raving about how great the sessions were. Thank you is not enough. To our Exhibitors and Sponsors – Thank you for your support and for continuing to make the NEW thing. Our attendees want to see what you have to offer, and we work hard to fill that floor for you. The buzz in the EXPO Hall was palpable, and our attendees had nothing but good things to say about your participation in the show. You all make it easy to pull off a show like this. And last, but far from least, to our attendees. We do this all for you…each person involved in ABA TECHSHOW has a burning passion to see lawyers and legal professionals embrace technology, and when you come to TECHSHOW, we feel such a sense of accomplishment. Many of you approached me and emailed me to tell me about your great experience, and I cannot tell you how much that means to me, the board and the staff. At the end of ABA TECHSHOW, we want to be able to raise a glass, and say “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,” and this year, we were able to do just that. I hope that you will join us next year in Chicago to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ABA TECHSHOW at the Chicago Hilton, April 11th – 13th, 2011 (

What you missed at TECHSHOW 2009 - don't let it happen in 2010

Tuesday, 16 Mar 2010 12:00:00 GMT

The ABA TECHSHOW ( is one of the absolute best values for legal technology education, networking, and information. If you missed TECHSHOW last year, you missed an incredible keynote and numerous educational opportunities. To get a flavor for last year's TECHSHOW, you can read my review of TECHSHOW 2009 entitled "The End of Lawyers on the Heels of Technology" ( Some key quotes: "...[The] ABA TECHSHOW [2009] held a whiff of anxiety that wafted among the attendees and vendors. Concerns about the economy prompted fears of low turnout, but an amazing number of first-time attendees and virtuosic veterans alike made the annual trek to Chicago. ...The setting was perfect for Richard Susskind's keynote address. His remarks spoke directly to the unspoken apprehension prevalent at the conference. Most lawyers, Susskind contended, are concentrating on keeping their heads down during the current downturn, and looking forward to the day when they can "return to normal." Susskind declared, however, that this is not just a temporary "blip" in the legal landscape, but a vehicle for information technology to permanently alter the efficiencies of delivering legal services. ...To demonstrate, Susskind distinguished between automation and innovation. He stated that many of us think of automation when we consider technology in the legal profession -- the application of technology to mechanize and streamline a process that already exists. ...Susskind argued, however, that technology is better utilized when it is used for innovation. He offered the ATM as an example. One could argue that the ATM simply automated the disbursement of money, but the ATM was innovative and downright revolutionary in that customers could receive money at 2 a.m. in the morning. They had access to cold, hard cash 24 hours a day from multiple locations. While banks had always disbursed money, there was no precedent for 24 hour access. The ATM was a technological innovation that significantly transformed the banking industry. ...In 1996, Susskind boldly asserted that e-mail would become the dominant method of communication between lawyers and their clients. That statement sounds trivial today, but Susskind commented that 13 years ago he was verbally flogged by lawyers who insisted he lacked a fundamental understanding of client confidentiality and security -- no 'serious' and upstanding lawyer would ever use electronic mail to communicate with their client." For extra credit, you can also read my review ( of ABA TECHSHOW 2008 on Don't miss out on ABA TECHSHOW 2010 – more details at

Staying in touch before and during ABA TECHSHOW

Thursday, 11 Mar 2010 12:00:00 GMT

ABA TECHSHOW ( has provided a number of ways for attendees and speakers to communicate before and during the conference and EXPO. One of the most popular ways is the use of Twitter. You can follow and tweet on ABA TECHSHOW’s Twitter feed at, and you will also notice that tweets appear right on the ABA TECHSHOW Web site! Similar to last year, there will also be a large flat screen TV near the Conference Concierge desk. Tweets will be broadcast on that screen throughout ABA TECHSHOW, so you will be in the know about what other attendees are doing and thinking. Have a question or advice to other attendees and speakers? Post it on Twitter for all to see. Are you more of a Facebook or LinkedIn guru? Be sure to check out ABA TECHSHOW’s Facebook (!/group.php?gid=51010033338) and LinkedIn ( pages, too. Attendees will receive e-mail updates, each day, to help remind them of important news and events at ABA TECHSHOW. With so much to do and see at ABA TECHSHOW, these fun and easy-to-use communication channels will make sure you don’t miss the things that matter to you.

Taste of ABA TECHSHOW now available for two days

Tuesday, 09 Mar 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Due to overwhelming popularity, the Taste of ABA TECHSHOW is now available on both Thursday, March 25, and Friday, March 26, nights! Attendees can meet the speakers of ABA TECHSHOW and fellow attendees during this Dutch-treat experience. Reservations have already been made at several Chicago restaurants. Once you are at ABA TECHSHOW, simply stop by the Conference Concierge to sign up and view the list of restaurants and hosts of each dinner. Some of the great restaurants lined up include: · The Berghoff ( · Catch 35 ( · Rosebud on Rush ( Join us, for one or both nights, for great food and even better conversation!

The New Big Bang: The Convergence of Technology and Marketing

Thursday, 04 Mar 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Something big has happened – new technologies are exploding in the world of marketing and communications. This year’s keynote speaker is Ari Kaplan, a lawyer and seasoned marketing and technology author. During his presentation on Thursday, March 25, Mr. Kaplan will discuss why the convergence of technology and marketing matters and how legal professionals can use these powerful new tools to bust through a cluttered and competitive marketplace. Drawing from a wide variety of social media, he will show how to develop cutting edge marketing strategies to take advantage of technology and the power of the Internet. Mr. Kaplan has practiced law with large firms in New York City for nearly 9 years and currently trains law firm administrators, legal assistants, law students/summer associates, associates and partners on the mechanics of getting published, effective communication and dynamic networking. The New York Law Journal called Mr. Kaplan’s book The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development “[a] must-have treasure box of marketing ideas.” Mr. Kaplan earned his J.D. from George Washington University Law School and his B.A. magna cum laude, from Boston University. Join us for the Keynote Address and Lunch, and be sure to visit ABA TECHSHOW’s Web site ( to see all that the conference and EXPO have to offer!

Ignite your ABA TECHSHOW experience on Wednesday, March 24

Tuesday, 02 Mar 2010 12:00:00 GMT

LexThink and InsideLegal have teamed up to host Ignite Law 2010 on the eve of ABA TECHSHOW ( – Wednesday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. If you haven’t attended an Ignite session before, you can expect a high-energy presentation in which speakers are given 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds, giving each speaker 6 minutes and 40 seconds to speak. As one of the first topic-specific Ignite events, Ignite Law will ask each presenter to share his or her vision of the future of law practice during the 6 minutes and 40 seconds of fame. This event is free to join and will be a great way to meet some of the speakers and attendees of ABA TECHSHOW in a fun and relaxed atmosphere before the conference and EXPO begin. To sign up, simply visit Try not to burn the midnight oil so that you are sure to get a full night of sleep and are ready to tackle the first full day of ABA TECHSHOW!

ABA TECHSHOW - simply the best legal technology CLE available

Thursday, 25 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Don’t miss out on the great learning resources available to ABA TECHSHOW ( attendees!. ABA TECHSHOW always showcases some of the best legal technology publications written by speakers and other experts in the profession, and this year attendees will be introduced to a record number of new books packed with the latest information on legal technology. On Thursday, March 25, a dedicated “Meet the Author” track allows ABA TECHSHOW attendees to interact directly with some of the authors featured at the conference and EXPO. One such book, The 2010 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide, is being highlighted in a brand new podcast. Click here ( to listen to the podcast with authors Sharon Nelson and John Simek, and don’t forget to register for ABA TECHSHOW to learn about all of the latest legal technology available to help you and your practice. REMINDER: ABA TECHSHOW early bird discount ends tomorrow. Save as much as $300 by registering today (!

Early bird deadline extended!

Tuesday, 23 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Did you miss the great savings of the ABA TECHSHOW early bird discount? There’s good news – the discount has been extended until February 26! With a full registration, you can save as much as $300. Also, the guaranteed group rate at the host hotel, Hilton Chicago, ends tomorrow (February 24). After that, you may not get the favorable rate offered exclusively to ABA TECHSHOW attendees. (Visit for complete details.) What makes ABA TECHSHOW the best bang for your legal technology buck? Here are a few things: Two-day EXPO featuring over 100 vendors Face-to-face events with speakers and authors Two nights of networking at the Taste of ABA TECHSHOW Multiple discounts on LPM books Product demonstration sessions Free flash drive with program materials Be sure to register ( today to get the best rate available, and take advantage of all ABA TECHSHOW has to offer!

Don’t just watch the PowerPoint, ask questions at ABA TECHSHOW

Thursday, 18 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT

ABA TECHSHOW is simply one of the best legal technology events of the year. One of the things that makes ABA TECHSHOW such a great value to attendees is that they have the opportunity interact directly with presenters to ask the questions that matter most to their roles in the legal profession. Both Thursday, March 25, and Friday, March 26, offer tracks filled entirely with roundtable-style sessions in which attendees are encouraged engage in a dialogue with ABA TECHSHOW faculty and other attendees. “Meet the Author,” on Friday, gathers some accomplished authors to discuss the contents of their books that made them so well received by the legal profession. Get inside information from these experts that you may not find in the pages of their books. “Face-to-Face,” on Saturday, was designed as a forum to tackle some hot topics in the legal profession today. “Taking Your Law Firm Mac” and “Practical Use of SmartPhones” are just two of the sessions guaranteed to stir some great discussion. Visit for complete information about these tracks. REMINDER: The early bird discount ends tomorrow. Register at today to save!

New at ABA TECHSHOW 2010 -- Smartphones

Tuesday, 16 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Chances are you probably have a smartphone that you use to help you keep up with e-mails, appointments, and contacts. While smartphones have greatly increased the mobility and organization of 1egal professionals, often times smartphone users aren’t taking advantage of all of the features their wireless assistant has to offer. To help you get the most out of your smartphone, ABA TECHSHOW is bringing you a “SmartPhones” track devoted to two of the most popular products being used today – BlackBerries and iPhones. Join ABA TECHSHOW’s smartphone gurus on Saturday, March 27, for “iPhone Tips for Lawyers” and “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Crackberries.” Both sessions are packed with easy-to-understand information presented to help you use your device to better organize and manage your role as a legal professional. Visit for complete information about these must-attend sessions for anyone who uses a smartphone. REMINDER: The early bird discount ends in three days. Register at today to save!

Don't Miss the ABA TECHSHOW Early Bird Discount

Thursday, 11 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT

The early bird discount for ABA TECHSHOW expires on February 19. You can save as much as $200 off of your full registration by taking advantage of this discount. And what a great value: TECHSHOW features legal technology experts from all over North America bringing you the latest technology information, all under one roof. Of course, ABA TECHSHOW isn’t just about learning: the networking you'll find at TECHSHOW is unparalleled for legal technology conferences. You can dine with speakers and fellow attendees during the popular Taste of ABA TECHSHOW Dutch-treat style dinners, sip drinks and mingle during the opening night Cocktail Reception, and engage with attendees and exhibitors at one of our Lunch ‘N Learn Sessions. ABA TECHSHOW offers you a fantastic opportunity to learn about legal technology and network with legal professionals just like you. Be sure to register today at to get the best deal on registration!

Best of ABA TECHSHOW: Hardcore Scanning for Law Offices of ANY Size

Tuesday, 26 Jan 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Lawyers are afloat in a sea of paper presenting challenges in both short term and long term storage, being able to find information quickly and reducing malpractice risks from handling all of this paper. As firms move more and more to a paperless environment (or at least a reduced paper environment), scanning has become an integral piece of accomplishing these goals. In this session, attorney Nerino Petro and legal technology consultant Britt Lorish Knuttgen help guide you through the maze of scanners available, including desktop scanners, multi-function machines, flatbeds and portable scanners, giving you practical application examples for each. They also focus on having internal scanning policies and standards, and enforcing those for consistency within your firm. Also included in the discussion are software products to accompany scanners for maximum benefit. These products include OCR (optical character recognition) software, as well as document management systems and PDF software. The importance of scanning to searchable PDF is also explained and highlighted. The standing room only crowd was treated to a number of product demonstrations during this presentation, and left with a better understanding of how to implement a scanning workflow for better paperless practices. Both Nerino and Britt will be speaking again at ABA TECHSHOW 2010, and Britt is currently a member of the ABA TECHSHOW Planning Board. Visit to read Britt and Nerino's papers!

Best of ABA TECHSHOW: Capturing Quicksilver: Records Management for All That Other Stuff

Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010 12:00:00 GMT

In this “Best of ABA TECHSHOW” post, we are pleased to bring you the written materials which supported last year’s popular e-discovery session:”Capturing Quicksilver: Records Management for All That Other Stuff.” This session was presented by Sharon Nelson and Peg Duncan, who took a close look at the world of Web 2.0 data which may or may not constitute a “record” for the purposes of records management – and E-Discovery. Sharon and Peg offer their thoughts on what constitutes a corporate record, from wikis to blogs to social networking postings to tweets. There is much to give a records manager heartburn in these materials. In the end, Sharon and Peg agree that the format of the data is not the point – the content is. So if company information is created, it is probably a record. Even if it isn’t a record, it certainly is subject to being discovered in litigation. This also means that records managers must have a way to capture this “quicksilver” when under a litigation hold. The implications of this new world are profound. Reading these materials will bring you quickly up to speed on a subject which didn’t exist just a short time ago. Visit to read Peg's and Sharon's papers!

Best of ABA TECHSHOW: E-Discovery Ethics: An Ounce of Prevention ...

Thursday, 14 Jan 2010 12:00:00 GMT

The legal press and court opinions continue to be filled with incidents of E-Discovery misconduct and sanctions. One survey found that in 2008, 25% of all reported E-Discovery cases involved sanctions. Attorneys caught up in these cases face court sanctions, malpractice claims, and disciplinary proceedings, as well as dissatisfied clients. Protect yourself and your clients by following the core ethics requirements for E-Discovery - Competence, Confidentiality, Communication, Candor, Cooperation, and Diligence. This session was presented at ABA TECHSHOW 2009 by Judge Herbert Dixon, Ralph Losey and Dave Ries. Visit to read Ralph's and David's papers!

Best of ABA TECHSHOW: Research on a Dime: Effective Authoritative Sources for the Budget-Minded

Tuesday, 05 Jan 2010 12:00:00 GMT

Keep Your Research Costs Down Catherine Sanders Reach & David Whelan Today’s economic troubles make our 2009 ABA Techshow presentation, “Research on a Dime”, as relevant as it was when we first put it together. Well ahead of Google Legal Scholar, our presentation covered a number of ways that you can use free, or free-to-you, legal and business information resources to keep down your research overhead costs. For a short list of tips, check out the related article, 10 Ways to Stretch Your Research Dollar, from the March 2009 Law Practice magazine. The financial woes of lawyers have also been felt by the legal publishers. They are caught between the dropping off of print subscriptions and increased demand for comprehensive online resources. But free online resources, subsidized by bar associations or even from the publishers themselves, give lawyers choices. What can you do? The rules are pretty much the same as ever: 1. Monitor your electronic licenses. If you are licensing both Westlaw and LexisNexis content, and they overlap, consider dropping one or cutting back coverage. Use free resources, when you can and they are reliable, to supplement your fee-based resources. 2. Curb your print enthusiasm. Stick to single volume softbound books, like those put out by ABA Publishing and sections. Avoid looseleaf services wherever possible, because the updating and annual increases are highest in these types of binder sets. 3. Get expert at using your tools. Know how to find information quickly. Don’t forget to start your research in the commentary, and then dig in to the statutes and cases. Know how to search your online services. 4. Negotiate your costs. Know what’s free and what you need to license electronically. Then get the legal publishers with the applicable content to compete on price. Legal research is no different from a new kitchen – get quotes and know what you’re getting for your money. 5. Make the system work for you. Use RSS and e-mail alerts to help you stay on top of changes in your practice areas. The legal publishers are providing this as part of your license. Getting updates on changing law can have a huge impact on your ability to practice competently. Visit to read Catherine and David's paper!

Best of ABA TECHSHOW: Taking the Leap Essential Technology for the New Law Practice

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2009 12:00:00 GMT

There are few milestones in a lawyer's career that provide excitement and terror in such equal parts as the decision to open your own law firm. Not only do you need to be a subject area expert in your chosen field of practice, but you also need to become well-versed (if not expert) in the entrepreneurial art of starting and running a business. Suddenly, phone systems, marketing campaigns, and smart phones don't just magically appear in your hand courtesy of an IT staff or legal administrator; instead, each new undertaking is a new world to be explored and mastered. It is against this backdrop that we were so pleased to be asked to present at ABA TECHSHOW last year on Essential Technology for the New Law Practice. We dug in and really tried to evaluate the options that we thought provided a start up law firm the most bang for the buck and least outlay of that most valuable of commodities: time. It is worth noting again here, as we did in our manuscript and presentation, that in preparation for the session we leaned heavily on the excellent book by Sharon Nelson and John Simek, The 2009 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide. There is no more convenient, practical and up-to-the-minute resource available to the lawyer starting out and trying to make sense of her new firm's technology needs. We commend that book (as well as a trip to this year's ABA TECHSHOW) to set you and your new law practice off on the right foot. We hope you find the materials valuable and wish you a successful 2010! Visit to read Bruce and Erik's paper!

Best of ABA TECHSHOW: Telecommuting 101 - Take the First Step

Friday, 18 Dec 2009 12:00:00 GMT

Telecommuting and remote access use many of the same technologies, but that’s about where the similarities end. While it’s great to have remote access anywhere and anytime, that’s typically meant for those who only need access for a short amount of time. Telecommuting, on the other hand, is a ‘hole ‘nother way of working. There can be lots of reasons why people want to telecommute, but it typically boils down to the individual situation. If you don’t need to have face-to-face meetings, then telecommuting may be an easier argument to push. Face it, with today’s technologies like video conferencing, web cameras, and free Skype services, there are less reasons for mandatory face-to-face meetings. I know many lawyers as well as staff who prefer to telecommute and their law firms have found ways to make it happen, mainly because they didn’t want to lose that valuable individual. The downside to telecommuting is that the telecommuter becomes isolated and may miss out on the interoffice conversations and camaraderie. But that may not be a problem for many telecommuters – they simply find ways to communicate. Visit to read Andy and Ben's paper!

Best of ABA TECHSHOW: Defining the Bottom Line

Tuesday, 08 Dec 2009 12:00:00 GMT

Are Lawyers TRULY in touch with profitability and their bottom-line … or "Accidentally Successful"? Historically, lawyers tend to think they are great businesspeople because they are able to write nice checks to themselves and their employees every month. Not so much for many law firms in today’s economy. Still, as lawyers, we indeed tend to just focus on substantive law … on being good lawyers and not managing the law firm finances. I don’t know many lawyers in small firms who know how to generate their own income statement and balance sheet, let alone read the one that their accountant or bookkeeper gave them. What about the difference between Accrual, Cash or Modified Cash Accounting and how that affects advanced expenses to clients? Do we as lawyers properly analyze how profitable our lawyers are … or know how to run a report showing billed amounts vs. collected amounts? Unfortunately, not enough of us know. ABA TECHSHOW 2009 seminar paper Defining the Bottom Line states that in most cases, law firm salaries are the largest expense, and unless you are overstaffed, making a dent in reduction of non-salary expenses is normally not going to happen. However, most law firms spend an enormous amount of time trying to figure out how to cut marketing, office supplies, and other non-salary expenses. Defining the Bottom Line by Debbie Foster (ABA TECHSHOW 2010 Chair) and Steven Best discuss practical ways to make an impact on the bottom line. Their paper and presentation provides a fantastic nuts and bolts primer on law office accounting. Every attorney should be REQUIRED to read this seminar paper from ABA TECHSHOW 2009. Visit to read Steven and Debbie's paper!

Best of ABA TECHSHOW: E-Discovery for the Rest of Us: What You Need to Know NOW!

Wednesday, 02 Dec 2009 12:00:00 GMT

In this “Best of ABA TECHSHOW” post, we are pleased to bring you the written materials which supported last year’s popular e-discovery session: “E-Discovery for the Rest of Us: What You Need to Know NOW!” This session was presented by Sharon Nelson and Dominic Jar, who took a close look at the garden variety e-discovery cases handled often by solo and small firm attorneys. Can you really handle a small case for under $10,000? Sure, it’s done all the time. Sharon and Dominic present tips for cost containment in electronic discovery, including: 1) Go after the low hanging fruit first 2) Identify key players and time frames to narrow the scope of the data 3) In many cases, you only need active (non-deleted) data – and that’s much cheaper 4) If you need deleted data, get a report by letter or phone from your computer forensics technologist unless you need a full scale forensics report for court 5) Native format is cheaper! 6) Utilize lower cost review tools and do-it-yourself Brew a cup of coffee and read some very practical advice that can save you and your client a lot of money and time! Visit to read Sharon's and Dominic's papers!

Best of ABA TECHSHOW: Software as a Service: Can You Say Goodbye to Upgrade Headaches with SaaS?

Monday, 30 Nov 2009 9:30:00 GMT

Can Software as a Service (SaaS) alleviate upgrade headaches in your law firm? The short answer is yes, but that’s only part of the story. You have to decide whether SaaS is right for you – how you work, your acceptable level of risk, your budget – before you can get to the benefits of using it. If you use SaaS, you should find that you can eliminate upgrade headaches as more and more of your work occurs within your Web browser. Our paper takes you through a number of SaaS products that lawyers use and discusses the issues around free and “freemium” ( consumer applications like Google Docs and Yahoo! Mail. SaaS products are not all created the same, even when you get past cost issues. Forrester Research has a SaaS maturity model that plots out where products are, based on how they serve their customers. Many of the current SaaS legal applications are in the level 3 and 4 range. Online legal research is in most cases at, and likely to remain at, Level 3. As new practice management products emerge, however, they are likely to move up that maturity scale. It’s been nearly 9 months since we spoke at ABA Techshow 2009 and the SaaS landscape for lawyers continues to evolve. Concerns are raised about lawyers using online-only tools to store and work with client private and confidential data. On the other hand, SaaS applications for lawyers are maturing ( and part of this process of growing up is the ability of SaaS providers to answer some of these difficult issues. Lawyers have bet on small software companies in the past in order to become more efficient practitioners. Many are already making the choice for cost and convenience issues. SaaS is likely to become a larger part of solo and small firm law practice, just as it grows in importance for mainstream business. Visit to read Catherine and David's paper!

The Best of ABA TECHSHOW: Supercharge Your Referrals With Technology

Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009 17:36:26 GMT

Swing your mouse around legal sites on the Internet these days, and it's hard not to hit a story, Tweet or blog post about how to use technology to develop new business. While these articles and how-tos are undeniably useful, they often leave out an important reality: that it's easier to get new work from existing clients than find brand new clients. Surely technology can help lawyers market to their past and current clients as well? The answer, according to Steve Matthews ( and Reid Trautz, is a definite yes. At ABA TECHSHOW 2009, they showed attendees how to stay in contact with clients, through use of newsletters, blogs, and social media, among other marketing tools. This is just one example of the great presentations you'll see at ABA TECHSHOW, which next takes place March 25-27 in Chicago, Illinois. To learn more about the conference, visit the ABA TECHSHOW Web site at Visit to read Steve and Reid's paper!

The Best of ABA TECHSHOW: Got Apple Envy? Practicing Law with a Mac

Tuesday, 03 Nov 2009 17:36:26 GMT

It used to be the only apples found in the law office were in lunch bags. No longer: the resurgence of the Apple Macintosh platform has led to many attorneys now practicing law on their Macs. Popular Mac attorneys and bloggers Ben Stevens ( and David Sparks ( discussed the Macintosh platform at ABA TECHSHOW 2009 in their session "Got Apple Envy? Practicing Law with a Mac." David and Ben provided a convincing argument about why using a Mac for the practice of law makes sense, and also shared strategies and recommendations on the best hardware and software solutions for a Mac attorney. Finally, they explained how to successfully drive a Mac in a PC firm with recommendations for networking and file sharing. The attendees enjoyed an entertaining and educational session. Ben and David will both be back presenting at ABA TECHSHOW 2010. Visit to read David and Ben's paper!

The Best of ABA TECHSHOW: E-mail Archiving: So, What's Wrong With Saving Everything?

Tuesday, 27 Oct 2009 8:36:26 GMT

We are proud to announce ABA TECHSHOW is opening its archive to bring you the best papers and presentations that have been prepared for past educational sessions of ABA TECHSHOW! Every week, past speakers will blog about a session they presented at ABA TECHSHOW over the past years AND will provide you with a complimentary copy of their material. If you don’t see something in the blog posts you want to learn about, or if you see a blog post that piqued your curiosity and you want to know more, we invite you to contact us and let us know about topics or presentations of interest to you so that we may invite the speakers to share their expertise and material in a future blog post. In our first “Best of ABA TECHSHOW” blog post, we are proud to present: “E-mail Archiving: So, What's Wrong With Saving Everything?” This session was originally presented by Peg Duncan and Jason R. Baron at ABA TECHSHOW 2009, and took a practical look at the issues pertaining to e-mail management and why e-mail is such a problem for information management in general and for litigation in particular. Turns out it isn’t just the volume that makes e-mail challenging! It’s the way people use it, the way people manage it (or DON’T manage it!), and the way other people exploit it. We take our day-to-day use of e-mail for granted. No surprise, then, that it has become the single most “interesting” source of evidence in litigation! Tips regarding the following are offered in this excellent piece: - Why it is NOT wise to save all e-mail - Alternatives to e-mail Do you have any comments about this blog post? Do you have personal experiences to share that may help other readers? If so, please feel free to share your comments and experiences with us at! Stay tuned for next week’s “Best of ABA TECHSHOW” post!"

ABA TECHSHOW Registration Opens in Two Days!

Tuesday, 22 Sep 2009 8:36:26 GMT

Registration for ABA TECHSHOW 2010 opens on Thursday, October 1! Be sure to visit to register today in order to receive the early-bird discount -- as much as $200. ABA Law Practice Management Section has presented ABA TECHSHOW, the world's premier legal CLE technology Conference and Expo, for 24 great years. Join us March 25 - 27, 2010, at Chicago's historic Hilton Chicago, and enjoy more than 60 educational sessions moderated by professionals who are experts in their fields.

Who's Been Viewing your Gmail?

Tuesday, 22 Sep 2009 8:36:26 GMT

There's been a lot of buzz lately about G-mail flaws and hacks. If you're curious about whether someone has been able to gain access to your account without your knowledge, G-mail has a feature which can help you find out. Once you're signed in, at the bottom of the page you'll find a lot of fine print. Beneath where it indicates how much of your allotted storage space you're currently using, you'll see a line that gives the time and IP address of your last account activity. Click on the "Details" link, and you'll be taken to a window showing the last several times anyone signed in to your account, how (Browser, mobile, POP3, etc.), the IP address, and the time. It will also tell you whether there is concurrent activity. There's also a button to allow you to close any concurrent sessions and link to allow you to change your password immediately. Whether or not your account has been compromised, isn't it time to change to a strong password now?

IT Employees May Be Reading Your E-mails and Copying

Tuesday, 15 Sep 2009 23:50:26 GMT

On June 11th, 2009, The Wall Street Journal reported that a global survey has found that the number of information-technology (IT) employees who admitted to accessing corporate information has risen from 33% to 35% in just a year. Additionally, the survey demonstrated that the number of individuals who stated that they would take company financial reports and merger and acquisition plans has increased over six-times from a year ago, to approximately 47% of IT staff surveyed. Many believe that the recent economic turmoil and layoff fears contribute to some of the behavior revealed in the study. Adding to this problem, 74% of IT workers said they could get past the controls currently in place for protecting confidential information. Also, a downsized company may now employ a smaller staff which makes monitoring access that much harder. The security-software company that administered the survey emphasized that companies must realize that IT administrators have access to anonymous accounts which do not leave footprints showing who is logging in and accessing the information. A copy of the survey results can be found at

5 Great Feature Enhancements to Expect in PowerPoint 2010

Tuesday, 08 Sep 2009 14:50:26 GMT

Microsoft is hard at work on its Office 2010 product. We've started to see features of the updated productivity applications, and here are some of the great feature enhancements to expect in PowerPoint 2010: 1. Screenshot Tool. You can now easily capture screenshots and add them to your PowerPoint presentations without having to use the antiquated Print Screen method or purchasing a third-party product. This is fantastic for capturing and zooming in on paragraphs in legal documents or displaying sections of graphics photographs. 2. Video Editing Tool. Microsoft has embedded basic video editing capabilities in the new version, so you do not have to invest in a third party program to make many basic edits. Using the Trim Video feature, you can trim the start time and end time from a video. You can also use the slider tool to make these adjustments. Bonus: Once edited, you can also compress the video. 3. Add a Video from an Online Site. From the Video button bar, there is now an option to insert Video from an online video source such as YouTube. This will automate the process of inserting a hyperlink to the video into your presentation. Note, however, you will still need an internet connection during your presentation. TIP: An alternative to this is to convert the online video to an MPEG or AVI and save it locally on your computer. This can be done with a free download utility like Vixy Video Converter or online converter such as 4. New Slide Transitions. Microsoft has many added new professional-looking slide transitions to give presentations a little more oomph. 5. Save PowerPoint to Video. PowerPoint shows can now be saved as popular video formats, such as AVI, WMV, MPEG, MOV, MP4, and FLV. This is a great option for letting non-PowerPoint users review a show, or if the audience wants to view it on a DVD player.

Smartphones and Security

Tuesday, 01 Sep 2009 14:50:26 GMT

An increasing number of lawyers and firms are adopting iPhones - a trend evidenced by the increasing interest in the devices at TECHSHOW. But before you rush off to find an app for that you might want to pause to consider what you're going to use that iPhone for. In recent weeks security researchers have discovered or announced a number of serious security flaws in the iPhone. One of those flaws, the SMS bug that affects a number of mobile devices including the iPhone, has apparently been patched in the most recent version of the operating system. However a serious vulnerability that could allow someone to bypass the iPhone's encryption and access the data from the phone (which might include contact information, e-mails, even documents in some circumstances) is apparently still an open issue. For more details on this issue read John Simek's article at: Whatever mobile device you choose you need to exercise caution about what data, including e-mails and attachments, you allow on the device. Losing your phone is bad enough. Losing your client's confidential work product (and the other things you might lose as a result) is even worse.

Even Free Speech Needs a Traffic Cop Sometimes

Tuesday, 25 Aug 2009 17:30:26 GMT

As more and more people begin to adopt social media, many businesses,including law firms - both internally and on behalf of their clients - are struggling with creating policies that will allow employees to show off their expertise in a given field without causing the company to come down with a bad case of "foot-in-mouth" disease. This topic recently came up on the PMA circuit, and led to a search for a good form or other starting point for drafting a social media use policy within a business organization, bar association or law firm. We came across a great article, How to Write a Twitter Use Policy for your Employees (, by C. G. Lynch at ( which lists 4 easy steps for crafting your own policy. And the website of Sun Microsystems provides their Guidelines for Public Discourse (, which is a great starting point for drafting a policy of your own.

Paper Evidence Can Still be Persuasive

Tuesday, 18 Aug 2009 17:30:26 GMT

People v. Ashonti Hall: 07CR10342. July 14, 2009. This is a murder trial arising from a shooting that occurred in a church parking lot. The People are presenting a diagram to the jury which includes markings for shell casings, bullet fragments, and other evidence to show locations in the parking lot. They have shown this to the jury by way of a document camera. Moral? Sometimes there is no substitute for a piece of good old-fashioned paper. The jurors are straining to see the very small markings on the diagram. The People also present more than 50 photographs depicting that evidence. If each juror had their own color copy of the diagram, it would have made it easier for them to understand the evidentiary value of this evidence. Think about the most effective way, not necessarily the most technologically advanced way, to present evidence.

Originally Posted at Compujurist on July 15, 2009

Tuesday, 11 Aug 2009 17:30:26 GMT

Converting images into files that can be used by your word processor is a technology that has been maturing since the early 1990’s. The cost of the software and equipment to perform OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on scanned images has steadily dropped. However, there are still a large number of lawyers who don’t have OCR software in their offices. Rick Broida, a PCWorld blogger, recently posted about free online OCR from Free OCR in his Problem Solvers: Banish Errors, Save Form Data, and More post. Even though many lawyers don’t have OCR software, they may have the ability to create images of scanned documents using their office digital copy centers. What’s lacking is the capability to take advantage of OCR for converting these images into usable text that can be brought into their word processor. For these lawyers and their staff, Free OCR Free OCR can provide basic OCR functionality at no cost. The service is web based and easy to use. You browse your hard drive from the Free OCR site to select a PDF, JPG, TIFF, GIF or BMP image. Select the language and click the Send file button. Processing was relatively fast with the recognized text displayed in a scrollable box at the bottom of the page. Copy this text and past it into your word processor. Unlike stand alone OCR programs such as OmniPage Pro or Abbyy FineReader, Free OCR doesn’t keep formatting attributes such as italics and bold or formatting such as columns, tables and quotes. I also verified the quirk that Rick encountered in that Free OCR only converts the first page of a PDF (although according to his column this is to be remedied shortly). Other restrictions according to the Free OCR site: The only restriction is that the images must not be larger than 2MB, no wider or higher than 5000 pixels and there is a limit of 10 image uploads per hour. For those of us using robust OCR software, Free OCR will be of little use in most instances. However, for lawyers that don’t have OCR capabilities in their office or for lawyers on the road who need OCR capability and don’t have it on their laptop, Free OCR is worth bookmarking as a handy tool.


Tuesday, 4 Aug 2009 17:30:26 GMT

On June 1st, 2009, the ABA Journal reported that a North Carolina judge, B. Carlton Terry Jr., has been reprimanded for using the social website, Facebook, to contact and converse with a lawyer in a pending case as well as accessing the website of a party during the pendency of litigation. According to the opinion, Judge Terry, Jr. “friended” the lawyer, discussed court proceedings on the site, and referenced a poem found on a party’s website during court. At the request of the non-friended counsel, the judge disqualified himself from the trial. During the subsequent judicial standards commission hearing, the commission stated that the ex parte communications and the independent gathering of information indicated a disregard of the principles of judicial conduct. As such, Judge Terry, Jr. was publicly reprimanded and agreed that he would never repeat such conduct in the future. The opinion can be found online at


Tuesday, 28 Jul 2009 23:02:26 GMT

On May 21st, 2009, The National Law Journal reported that five lawyers who allegedly engaged in a text message scandal involving former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick face ethics violation charges. The main thrust of the allegations is that the lawyers either knew about, or took part in a secret lawsuit settlement to hide text messages that demonstrated the mayor had lied under oath about an affair with a former aide, a revelation leading to perjury and obstruction of justice charges as well as the mayor’s resignation. The lawyers’ conduct has raised serious questions about the attorneys’ behavior, specifically whether the lawyers knew perjury had been committed and failed to notify the court as well as whether a newspaper Freedom of Information Act request for the actual text messages was properly handled. Hearings have been set for the second week in July, and if convicted, the lawyers face possible suspension or revocation of their law licenses. For more information, the story may be found at

Why I like My iPhone

Tuesday, 21 Jul 2009 10:24:20 GMT

After years of using a Dell Axim for my PDA, earlier this year I chucked it and moved to the iPhone. And now I’m totally devoted to the product especially with the 3.0 operating system upgrades which I just downloaded to my 3G version of the phone. There are about 100 new features on this version of the iPhone and two in particular are making a big difference in my daily productivity. First, Apple has finally added a copy, cut and paste feature. Second, I can finally work on emails in landscape mode and, hence, have a larger keyboard to work with when typing messages. There are also a couple of new apps that I am finding really helpful. First, NewsAddict is great if you like to read news on your iPhone. The app combines over 20 news sources – including the big ones like the New York Times, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal – in an easy to view format. The $1 price tag is obviously great and once you’ve set this application up, you can skip the separate apps the individual publications provide as well as well as viewing the sites on Safari. Amazon has also produced a Kindle app that allows you to read books available in the Kindle format on your iPhone. I’ve been reading books on my PDA for more than five years and love the format. First, I like a bright screen and the iPhone meets that test. Second, the iPhone allows you to flip pages quickly with just a slide of your finger across the screen. The iPhone also has a key advantage over the Kindle device – it’s always with you. I read books just about everywhere I have a few spare moments and look at waiting on lines as an opportunity to get a little reading in. There are other book apps as well that are pretty good including eReader and Stanza. Another app that is helping me a lot is TripIt which aggregates all of your travel details for a particular trip in an easy to read itinerary. The kicker is that you just forward your trip’s email receipts to and it recognizes your email address and puts all of the details in your itinerary for you so that you don’t need to retype all of that information. This is a huge time saver. And finally, my favorite new app is the NY Times crossword puzzle which is now up each day in an easy to use format. And the Times has an archive available if you like to feel good about yourself and do only the easier Monday puzzles.

Document Camera v. Real Exhibit

Wednesday, 15 Jul 2009 10:24:20 GMT

People v. Charles Dean, Case No. 08CR10323: 4/20/09 This case involves allegations of First Degree Murder, and the facts involve a claimed arson that was intended to cover up the homicide. The Defendant was contacted the evening after the fire, and he was found to have a lighter in his pocket. The plastic casing on the top of the lighter had melted. The District Attorney is using the document camera to show the jurors the lighter. The lighter is contained in a sealed plastic bag. Some of the jurors are having difficulty (along with the Court) seeing the lighter. The Court suggests that the lighter simply be passed along to the jurors for their view during testimony. Although document cameras have their place, and indeed they are effective generally at showing the exhibit to the jurors simultaneously, in order to point out something important about the exhibit, often we forget the notion of “self-persuasion”. If the exhibit is in a state that allows it to be handled directly by each juror, giving them time to examine it, look carefully at the important part of the exhibit to see for themselves, this is an effective step in self-persuasion of those jurors. If a person is allowed to examine an object on their own, making their own conclusions, then those conclusions will be far more effective in how they view the case than any conclusion that is spoon-fed to them by the attorneys in the case. It further involves them in the case itself, since a camera is no real substitute for the real thing. Request that the Court pass the exhibit amongst the jurors, and do not delay the trial for this view – simply continue with questions that will highlight that exhibit while the jury is viewing it.

ABA TECHSHOW is Back To Work!

Monday, 06 Jul 2009 10:24:20 GMT

Just a couple months back, we celebrated a successful ABA TECHSHOW 2009, with Laura Calloway at the helm of the ship. I am very grateful to Laura for all of her hard work over the last year and all of the sacrifices she made to ensure that the show was a huge success. I am honored to take the reins from her for ABA TECHSHOW 2010. Laura leaves behind her contributions to ABA TECHSHOW just like the Chairs of TECHSHOW past have done. Collectively, they leave VERY large shoes to fill, so I will do my best with ABA TECHSHOW 2010. The planning for 2010 has already begun! The board met in New Orleans in May for 2 days to get started, and we have a big planning meeting coming up in July in Chicago. We have a great board this year – you can read all about the fantastic team that has been assembled at As we begin to plan tracks, sessions, speakers, social events and the keynote, our ears are open! If you have any suggestions for any of those things, please send them on to me at And don’t forget to bookmark the blog. We have lots of good stuff coming!

TECHSHOW 2009: It’s Been a Lovely Cruise

Monday, 06 Apr 2009 10:24:20 GMT

There’s an old Jimmy Buffet tune that expresses well my feelings about ABA TECHSHOW 2009. “I’m sorry it’s ending, it’s sad but it’s true. It’s been a lovely cruise.” As I wait for my flight home to Alabama, my mind runs back over all the great events of the last few days. I had intended to post to this blog during the show, but there was just too much to see and do to stop to write about it all. ABA TECHSHOW is truly a collaborative effort. I’ve received lots of kind messages about the success of this year’s show, but I can’t take credit for it. It’s the result of all of the hard work that the great planning board of ABA TECHSHOW 2009 has put in over the last year, and the contributions made by all of our fantastic speakers. ABA TECHSHOW really is the legal technology conference by lawyers for lawyers. If ABA TECHSHOW is about anything, though, it’s about the enduring friendships you develop when you attend. I’ve built so many great friendships at TECHSHOW over the last 12 years. So as my year as Chair winds down to a close, and I sail off into the sunset with the other past chairs, I’d like to say a final thank you to the LPM Staff, Shelby Meyer, the TECHSHOW 2009 board and all the fine speakers who donated their time to make ABA TECHSHOW 2009 a huge success. Great job, everyone! Now, mark your calendars for ABA TECHSHOW 2010 March 25-27, and I hope to see you all again next year!


Monday, 06 Apr 2009 10:24:20 GMT

On December 9th, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered the Seneca County Board of Commissioners to pay for forensic recovery of its deleted e-mails. The case stemmed from a records request from the Toledo Blade for e-mails concerning the Board’s decision to demolish the county courthouse. The Board could not produce the e-mails because the e-mails were deleted, and the Blade filed a writ of mandamus to compel the Board to forensically restore the e-mail. The court granted the writ, finding that the Board deleted e-mail in violation of its own retention policy. The Blade produced sufficient evidence to show that the e-mails still existed on the Board’s computers even though they were deleted, and that the e-mails had significant value to the litigation. The court considered shifting the cost of the forensic analysis to the Blade, but decided against it because the requesters of information under the Ohio statute are not required to pay for the costs of their requests. The story may be found at


Friday, 03 Apr 2009 10:24:20 GMT

On January 5th, the Trend Micro Malware Blog reported that fake LinkedIn profiles were linking to malware. The fake profiles took celebrity names including Victoria Beckham, Christina Ricci, Kirsten Dunst, Salma Hayek, and Kate Hudson, and created profiles such as “Beyonce Knowles Nude.” Once users were lured to the website, the links contained malware that if clicked on would install Trojan software. Cybercriminals buy and sell pre-registered profiles on social networks to launch attacks. Previously, the attacks were limited to social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace, but cybercriminals branched out to professional networking sites. The story may be found at


Tuesday, 31 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

Who among us hasn't regretted sending an e-mail? Maybe you were too hasty hitting the Send button on an angry tirade. Or maybe you were too quick to accept a suggested name from our contact list? You know the situation - there are three "Roberts" in your address book. One's a client. One's a vendor. One's a law school buddy who you share e-mail jokes with. Gmail now offers an option for everyone who has ever wanted to "unsend" an e-mail as soon as they've sent it. Unfortunately, the option only available briefly. To enable the new feature, Gmail users should click the Settings link and then click on the Labs tab. This will display a list of optional features you can add to your Gmail Inbox. Scroll down to Undo Send and click the Enable radio button. Once enabled, this feature adds two new functions to your Gmail Inbox. The first is the addition of a Cancel link next to the Sending notification that appears on screen while the email is being sent. Clicking Cancel stops the sending process and returns you to the composing screen so you can edit the e-mail's contents or the recipient's e-mail address, subject line, etc. The second addition is an Undo link that appears next the Your message has been sent notification that appears after the sending process is complete. It's important to note that this Undo link appears for only about 5-6 seconds ­ then it's gone and there's no way to retrieve the message. This makes its use pretty limited but if you've ever had that pang of regret, or dread, after you've hit the send button, this offers some option ­ if ever so brief. It's also important to note that you have even less time to hit the Cancel link. In a number of test messages where I clicked the Cancel link, I apparently did not click it fast enough, because the message still went through to the recipient. Unless you see a Sending was canceled message and are returned to the composition screen, the message is still being delivered. You¹ll still have 5-6 seconds to hit the Undo link though. Other useful Labs features for Gmail include Offline (which makes your Inbox available when you're not connected to the Internet) and Email Addict (which lets you block access to your Inbox for 15 minute intervals so you can concentrate on other tasks).


Tuesday, 31 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

On January 7th, Alan Heuss was sitting in his car at night with the engine running when a man with a gun approached him and took his car, cell phone, and some cash. Heuss and his friends filed a police report and then came up with their own scheme to outsmart the carjackers. His friends suggested they try to contact the carjackers via Huess’s stolen cell phone. They sent text messages saying that they had “hot chicks and drugs,” with an address to report to. Stupidly, the carjackers went to the address in the stolen car and were met by police. The local news report may be found at


Monday, 30 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

Two recent court decisions by the Southern District of Georgia and the Southern District of Florida came to two different conclusions on whether police should be able to search handheld devices such as mobile phones as an incident of arrest. The issue came down to whether handheld devices should be treated as traditional “containers” under the law. On December 22nd, U.S. District Judge William Zloch ruled in a case involving a drug bust where a DEA agent examined the defendant’s two cell phones during the booking process. The Southern District of Florida judge found that the evidence obtained from the search should be suppressed because the search was not incident to lawful arrest, as it took place during booking. Judge Zloch also found that the DEA agent lied when he said that he conducted the search to ensure the text messages would not expire, as the real reason was to find incriminating evidence. The search required a warrant because “searching through information stores on a cell phone is analogous to a search of a sealed letter, which requires a warrant.” But Judge B. Avant Edenfield of the Southern District of Georgia disagreed in a similar case decided on January 5th. In that case, police responded to a call about a parked car and scrolled through the photos on the cell phone of the driver and found images of what appeared to be a fourteen-year-old girl in lewd poses. The driver was charged with possession of child pornography. Judge Edenfield ruled that the evidence was admissible, because the cell phone was a container found on the driver’s person, as part of a search incident to lawful arrest. The split highlights the issue of whether cell phones are like physical containers or are entitled to more protection because of the uniquely personal nature of the contents. The story initially reported by Cnet may be found at

Judicial Admonishments are Being Revised in the Age of Facebook and Twitter

Friday, 27 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

Two recent articles, "As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials are Popping Up," ( and "The One Simple Rule when Jurors go Online (, are timely reminders that Web 2.0 is changing the way we conduct jury trials. I routinely tell jurors not to investigate the case using Google, or talk about the case to anyone, including friends and relatives, but now I need to add Twitter, Wikipedia and Facebook to that admonition. This is another real world example proving that judges and lawyers need to keep up with the technology that is being used in everyday life.

Are you the HR Manager at your solo or small firm? Do you know about web resources that can help?

Thursday, 26 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

Several companies accessible over the internet (and through more traditional means) provide payroll services at a very reasonable cost. Even a small firm with only one or two employees can find a payroll service that will take them on. Using a payroll service means that someone else keeps on top of government regulations and tax compliance issues, tracks payroll deductions and issues appropriate tax slips to employees in a timely manner. For all that a payroll service provider does, the fees are reasonable and the peace of mind is priceless. Another web resource that may prove helpful are virtual assistants (VA) -- individuals that you may never meet but who can perform a multitude of tasks for you at a reasonable cost. Consider using such a service during a period when the firm's workload has increased temporarily or to give you time to advertise, interview, test and hire the right permanent person. For as little as $7 per hour, an off-shore VA can be hired to perform administrative tasks that require nothing more than a telephone, fax, computer and access to the internet. North-American based VA services are generally more expensive but offer local knowledge and understanding that an off-shore VA will not have. Join me and Ellen Freedman at the ABA TechShow on April 3 to learn more about these ideas and others. We'll share information about tools and resources that can reduce the time and cost demanded by HR management responsibilities and maybe even increase the enjoyment factor!

FACEBOOK CAN'T CATCH A BREAK - Settlement Details Revealed Due to Improper Redaction

Wednesday, 25 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

Just days after the amount of Facebook's preliminary, confidential settlement with ConnectU were trumpeted in a marketing piece by former ConnectU law firm Quinn Emanuel, (and widely reported by ) Facebook is dealt another blow. San Francisco-based, Associated Press technology reporter Michael Liedtke was able to extract a more precise breakdown of the reported $65 million dollar settlement Facebook reached with Connect U from a PDF of the proceedings' transcript "unsealed and [improperly] redacted by the court." (comment added) Liedtke reported that even though,"Large portions of that hearing are redacted in a transcript of the June hearing, but The Associated Press was able to readthe blacked-out portions by copying from an electronic version of the document and pasting the results into another document." The transcript, as posted by the court, is available via . That document shows large portions of blank space where text has apparently been deleted with a simple "[REDACTED]" notation. It appears that whoever "redacted" the document simply removed "the visible text" from the image layer of the document, but not the "invisible" information in "text" layer. (The availability of the separate text layer is what makes certain PDFs searchable.) It's that invisible information in the text layer that the reporter would have been able to highlight, copy, and paste into another document to reveal the redacted details. This is avoidable with Adobe Acrobat Professional's Redaction tool (available in version 8 and newer). The redaction tool not only covers the visible text with a black box, it also deletes the "invisible" information in the text layer - making it non-retrievable. Learn more tips and tricks for handling and safeguarding electronic documents in TechShow 2009's Paperless Practice Track.

Persuasive Summaries People v. Charles Porter, Case No. 08CR2351: 3/12/09

Tuesday, 24 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

This case involves allegations of First Degree Assault against a police officer. Several police officers were on scene at the time a suspect was taken into custody. The suspect eventually landed in the Intensive Care Unit, with a lacerated liver and ruptured kidney, among other less serious injuries. There is a central question as to who inflicted those injuries. The defense theory is that two of the officers on scene concocted a story to place blame upon a third officer, and that they conspired during several telephone conversations following the incident to “get their stories straight”. A summary exhibit of several pages of cell phone records is submitted to the jury by way of a large poster board. While the pages of records are also submitted, there is a question of whether a summary exhibit will be accepted by the jury as accurate, and whether they will take the time to compare the summary to the records themselves. How could technology add to the persuasion of this exhibit? Consider preparing the summary right before the jurors’ eyes. Several software programs allow lawyers to load the exhibit itself, and then to capture certain entries in each exhibit for copying and pasting into a demonstrative, summary exhibit. Preparing the summary in this fashion allows the jury to actually see that the information used for the summary is completely accurate, giving the summary exhibit far more credibility. This method might also allow the presenting lawyer to illustrate the examination in a more interesting way than to put the cell phone records on a document camera. Jurors are often skeptical of everything a lawyer puts before them – using technology in this way may well add to your own credibility, while making the summary itself more believable, and therefore, more persuasive.


Monday, 23 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

On January 14th, U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy issued an emergency order requiring the White House to search staff workstations, personal storage table files, and to turn over any media devices such as CDs, DVDs, memory sticks, or external hard drives that may have e-mails from the period from March 2003 to October 2005. The order was in connection with a lawsuit filed in September 2007 by the National Security Archive to compel the White House to preserve its e-mails. The Archive was concerned that the Bush e-mails will be lost when the Obama Administration takes over. The order was issued in response to a hearing at which the White House admitted that it had done little to nothing to recover e-mail files from computer workstations and external media devices. But the White House lawyers also stated at the hearing that they located about fourteen million missing e-mails and that a major restoration project was underway to recover missing e-mail from backup tapes. On January 15th, Magistrate Judge John Facciola, who is overseeing the White House e-mail litigation, enforced Judge Kennedy’s emergency order. The Archive press release, with links to the orders may be found at


Friday, 20 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

On January 15th, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review released a redacted opinion of an August 2008 decision that ruled that federal agencies could conduct warrantless surveillance for national security purposes. The case arose after a telecommunications company filed suit challenging the surveillance law. The court dealt with whether the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures applied to intelligence agencies compelling telecommunications companies to open their networks for surveillance purposes. The court found that the Fourth Amendment was no bar as long as the executive branch had safeguards in place to protect individuals against unwarranted surveillance. The court also stated that courts should not frustrate executive branch efforts to protect national security. The redacted opinion may be found at

Do You Know Where Your Documents Are?

Thursday, 19 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

Document management and retention are very hot topics as eDiscovery sweeps across the legal landscape. Firms far and wide are implementing document lifecycle policies to try to control where and how long documents exist in your system; expiring or archiving old documents as necessary and keeping an accurate index and inventory of existing documents so that in the event of an eDiscovery request the appropriate materials (no more or less) can be quickly, accurately and inexpensively produced. But are your employees subverting your policies? Documents are like rabbits – they tend to multiply when left unchecked. Here are a couple of scenarios that you may not have considered that might impact your document retention policy (or that of your clients): Paralegal needs to do some more work on a key document but also doesn’t want to spend all weekend at the office. For security reasons the firm doesn’t provide the ability for paralegals to access and edit documents remotely so the paralegal e-mails the document to himself at his Gmail account. Gmail has multiple gigabytes of storage space and the paralegal just never thinks to go back and delete that file later – it lives in his e-mail archive indefinitely. Draft of a document is e-mailed to a client who receives it on their Blackberry. They download and save a copy of the attachment to the memory card in the Blackberry so they can read it – and there it stays, long forgotten. Associate working on a document does a Save As and saves a copy to the local hard drive on her laptop so that she can work on the document during tomorrow’s flight. She eventually e-mails her final draft to the billing partner on the matter for review, but never deletes the earlier draft from her My Documents folder on the hard drive. …the document attachment is still in her Sent Items folder too. …until AutoArchive moves it to a mostly forgotten PST file on a network share. …where it gets swept up into the monthly backup of that share. There are plenty more scenarios where a document can be replicated or stored in man[...]

Software-as-a-Service: Reshaping the legal software landscape

Wednesday, 18 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

A buzzword that has been gaining increasing attention over the past year is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). With the SaaS model, software is delivered via the Internet, and is paid for by a monthly subscription; there is no need to install or configure desktop or server-based programs. For example, in my own practice, Ledgit Consulting , I have been using a new web-based practice management system called Clio . I became a subscriber immediately after they launched back in October 2008, and thus far I have been very impressed with the program's scope of functionality and ease-of-use. With the Software-as-a-Service delivery model, I don't have to purchase, install and continually upgrade software or servers, which helps to keep my firm's technology-related overhead at a minimum. Also, since the software is web-based, I can get to my practice's data securely from wherever I am - a major benefit for a regular traveler such as myself. Given the ease of deployment, anywhere accessibility, and outsourced security/backup benefits of SaaS, I predict products such as Clio are going to change the way lawyers, especially solos and small firms, look at software. We started to hear rumblings of SaaS at TECHSHOW 2008 - expect it to be a major topic of discussion at TECHSHOW 2009.

All Atwitter over TECHSHOW

Tuesday, 17 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

If you follow Dennis Kennedy on Twitter you've already seen this, but if you don't and you're planning to attend ABA TECHSHOW 2009, you really should check out Chris Brogan's 27 Things to Do Before A Conference ( Chris blogs on social media, and his recent post has some great suggestions on how to use technology before a conference to make sure you get the most from it, and the networking opportunities it offers, once you arrive. There are some super ideas about using Twitter to make sure you meet the people you want to meet, and also some useful ideas on how to maximize your exposure on your own blog or through Twitter as you comment on the conference, maximizing your ROI on the cost of admission. And to help you tweet throughout TECHSHOW, we've just added a roundtable session titled All Atwitter: What's the Buzz About Microblogging, to be led by Tom Mighell, Dominic Jaar and Catherine Reach, at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. Novice users of Twitter will learn how to follow all their favorite speakers and not miss a bit of the content or fun, and those who are experienced tweeters are welcome to come and share their secrets. We're less than 3 weeks away from the opening day of ABA TECHSHOW 2009 now, and I'm really looking forward to meeting up with old friends and making new ones. I could not be prouder of the job our great planning board has done this year in putting together a must-attend conference. See you soon in Chicago!


Friday, 13 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

Boulder, CO Judge Lael Montgomery ruled that cell phones and computers would be allowed in the courtroom during a local man's child abuse trial. Both sides argued against the real-time blogging that had been allowed during the trial of the man's wife - which had been held previously. (She was found guilty and sentenced to 16 years in prison.) In published reports, defense attorney Paul McCormick went so far as to warn that the practice could, "contaminat[e] our jury in some way." In approving access, a report quoted the judge as saying, "I think there are other manageable options and less restrictive options than shutting down the flow of information during the trial." The report also noted that she would "give clear instructions to the jury to refrain from reading or viewing any media accounts of the case," etc. For more information about this case see The Boulder Daily Camera

Going Paperless – Is It Worth the Hassle? You be the judge!

Thursday, 12 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

It has been 2 ½ years since I took the plunge into the paperless office. Before deciding to go paperless, I had considerable concern about what it would cost, the technical knowledge that might be required, and whether my staff would support or resist the idea. Would the potential benefits be worth the time and expense? Having gone paperless I have to say it was one of the best practice management decisions I have ever made and has been worth it on every level. The benefits for me have been numerous – no more wasted time searching for documents, dramatically reduced need for storage space and the associated costs, reduced salary cost in part due to the efficiencies of reduced paper handling (when one staff member resigned, I didn't replace her), the ability to access documents from anywhere. Going paperless is also an environmentally smart thing to do. To learn how I did it, join me and Nancy Duhon at our ABA TECHSHOW session on April 2. I am excited about attending ABA TechShow and sharing my thoughts and ideas with you about going paperless. Like me, you can do it!


Wednesday, 11 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

On December 2nd, the Washington Post reported terrorists in the recent Mumbai attacks utilized technology to carry out the attacks. The attackers used GPS devices and high resolution maps to sail to India from Pakistan. Indian investigators also found that attackers used BlackBerrys and cell phones with switchable SIM cards to make tracking more difficult. But technology is a two-way street, as victims kept the outside world updated through text messages and Twitter updates to friends and relatives. The technology is also being used to trace the attacks to Pakistan, as an e-mail sent by the organization claiming responsibility for the attacks was traced from a computer server in Moscow and to Pakistan. The attacks show the increasing role of technology in our daily lives, and how it can be utilized in disconcerting ways. The story may be found at


Monday, 9 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

On December 11th, Virginia Attorney General Bob McConnell appealed the Virginia Supreme Court’s decision overturning the first felony spam conviction in the country to the U.S. Supreme Court. McConnell asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the spam law, which the Virginia Supreme Court struck down on First Amendment grounds. In doing so, the Virginia Supreme Court overturned the conviction of one of the worlds’ worst spammers, Jeremy Jaynes. The Virginia law was held overbroad because it was not limited to commercial e-mails, and could include political or religious messages. McConnell claimed that the situation where an imaginary spammer is prosecuted for sending religious e-mails is rare to nonexistent. Jayne’s lawyer said it was unlikely that the Supreme Court would hear the case, and if it did, the decision would likely be upheld. McConnell’s press release may be found at

Cover Your Assets: Affordable IT Support for Small Practices

Tuesday, 3 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

How do you give or receive computer help when you or someone else needs need it? It seems the folks at CrossLoop think that they have your solution. According to the Company: CrossLoop is redefining the tech support category for consumers and small businesses by providing immediate, low-cost access to qualified help anytime and anywhere. Through its easy-to-use desktop sharing software and Help Marketplace, CrossLoop connects computer users with trusted, qualified service providers and tech-savvy friends who can provide the support they need immediately. Consumers and small businesses lose productivity due to lack of accessible, knowledgeable tech support resources. CrossLoop makes finding and working with tech support professionals fast, friendly and affordable. Available in 21 languages and used by individuals and businesses in over 190 countries, CrossLoop serves over 1 million unique users and has enabled more than 65 million “help minutes” to provide technical support, training and collaboration around the globe. CrossLoop is backed by El Dorado Ventures ( and Venrock ( So what’s so novel about this approach? Traditionally, getting or giving remote technical support involved using the telephone, but this is often difficult as it is often hard to walk someone through a fix without actually seeing their screen. With wider adoption of broadband internet, technical support providers and even sophisticated law firms can use paid services such as GoToAssist or LogMeIn Rescue, but these are pretty pricey for most folks. If you have a GoToMyPC or LogMeIn account, you can give others access, but then you are giving others access to at least the first level of your account and need to create one time passwords for use. For the DIYers with good technical knowledge and skills, you can use free products such as UltraVNC or TightVNC to setup rem[...]

Twitter and ABA TECHSHOW

Tuesday, 3 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

A home page was all you really needed To seem like a success but not a geek As long as you updated semi-annually And checked your email once or twice a week Technology was moving rather quickly And the next thing you needed was a blog With intimate and detailed press releases And now and then a photo of your dog... ... You’re no one if you’re not on Twitter And if you aren’t there already you’ve missed it If you haven’t been bookmarked, retweeted and blogged You might as well not have existed... Lyrics and Music by Ben Walker ( Oh how the world has changed! Now when we are in or giving a presentation, we need to be aware of how the audience is twittering about the presentation. Certainly at TS2008 the Twittersphere was just starting to catch fire and people were posting Tweets during the presentations. This year I fully expect that the audience and the presenters will be all linked together in real time, asking questions and providing commentary as the presentations unfold. So it was only time before someone posted an article on “How to Present while People are Twittering” ( This is a wonderful article for both attendees and presenters alike. It offers great tips on how to make the most of any presentation while using Twitter. It will be a handy guide for Techshow attendees to gain the best value at the Show. In the meantime, don't forget to watch the Twitter video and listen to the song: I will be looking for you on Twitter at TS 2009 and certainly Tweet during my presentations: My twitter address: david_bilinsky And whether you're attending ABA TECHSHOW or not, be sure to visit the TECHSHOW Buzz page ( -- it will [...]

Don’t Miss Out! Early Bird Deadline Extended!

Tuesday, 3 Mar 2009 10:24:20 GMT

ABA TECHSHOW is right around the corner, and we don’t want you to miss it, so we’ve extended the Early Bird registration deadline, along with the hotel group rate registration deadline, by one week only – to Friday, March 6th. Take advantage of the lower registration fee and hotel costs, along with currently discounted air fares, so that you can experience one of the best legal technology CLE programs in the world, not to mention an extensive legal expo with all the latest technology products and services for the law office. We know that budgets are tight right now, but our programming will help you make the most of the technology you currently have and make the best, and most affordable, choices for any new technology you need to implement. You really can’t afford not to attend. I’ll be looking for you at ABA TECHSHOW.

Using Windows on Your Mac

Monday, 2 Mar 2009 14:58:40 GMT

As a Mac-using attorney, I often raise eyebrows when people look over my shoulder to see Windows XP. Recently I attended a seminar for Casesoft’s excellent relational database application, Casemap. Casemap does not support Apple OS X so when my computer’s Apple logo began glowing amidst a sea of Dells, I got a variety of responses ranging from curiosity to denial. Yes, you can run Windows on a Mac. In 2006, Apple moved the entire Macintosh line to Intel processors. Now Apple and PC clones are all using compatible hardware. Almost immediately, Apple and third party software developers found ways to run Windows on Apple hardware. There are currently three primary ways to accomplish this. Apple Boot Camp -- Boot Camp is Apple’s own virtualization application built into every new Macintosh computer. It allows you to partition your hard drive for both a Windows and OS X install. Once you enable boot camp, you are presented a choice when you boot up your Mac, Windows or Apple OS X? You simply click the desired operating system and away it goes. If you choose Windows, your installed Windows partition will load no differently than if it were a Dell or Lenovo. You can run any windows application your hardware will support. If you click the button for Apple OS X, your computer boots into the Macintosh operating system. This, in essence, gives you two computers in one. The only downside to this usage is that you can not load both operating systems at the same time. This leads to the second method, third party virtualization solutions. Third Party Virtualization -- While Boot Camp provides a free and easy solution to run Windows on your Mac, some users prefer to run both Windows and OS X at the same time. Using virtualization applications such as Parallels ( or VMWare Fusio[...]

Analyze Your Law Firm as a Business

Friday, 27 Feb 2009 14:58:40 GMT

Whether you practice law by billing by the hour, flat rate bill or live and breathe by contingency fees, it is important to capture your "day" as doing so provides important analysis into how your firm is performing as a business. Businesses that sell goods and/or operate in the retail sector "do" inventory to capture sales and performance information. Our inventory as lawyers is our time. How are you spending your time? How are your staff members spending time and what output are you receiving? Of the "time" that is captured, how much turns into attorneys fees and how much is written off? This, whether you believe it our not, is CRITICAL information for the long haul and success of your business (firm). While cash is king, "cash flow" is the more important item as your business continues. An integral part of cash flow is being able to analyze anticipated revenue as well as anticipated expenses. And, time that should become attorneys fees (anticipated revenue) vs. time that is discarded (perhaps due to lack of productivity) should be regularly analyzed and adjustments should be made so that your firm can operate effectively. This is espcially true as hard economic times fall on some of us. As my good friend and colleague Debbie Foster often says, you want to be successful, not accidentally successful, as the latter may lead to business failure.

Data Projectors That Fit into Your Pocket

Tuesday, 24 Feb 2009 14:58:40 GMT

One of the more amazing things I saw at this year’s CES was a new(er) class of data projectors - pico projectors. These tiny projectors could change the way we think about sharing presentations, video, images, etc. Smaller than some of last year’s smart phones and easily fitting into the palm of your hand or pocket, they are a lot easier to travel with than the “portable” LCD projectors we’re all used to seeing. I say “could” and not “will” because like any first generation technology, they have some limitations. In the case of the pico projectors it’s image resolution, brightness and battery life. There are about a half-dozen companies making the devices, including 3M, Aiptek and Optoma. Samsung has even integrated one into a phone (launched in Korea in January – not yet available in North America). The devices utilize Texas Instruments’ DLP technology to produce their images. In most settings you would need to turn the room lights down – if not off entirely – to project a usable image. Most of these projectors have a brightness in the single digits (lumens), whereas even low-cost portable projectors available at office superstores are in the 1000-2000 lumen range. Image resolution is generally 640 x 480 pixels – the de facto standard in 1996. Battery life ranges from 2 -3 hours. Prices range from about $300- $400. Expect to see higher resolutions and longer battery life in future generations of the product. For now though, these can be handy for client or co-counsel presentations, mediations, arbitrations, or anywhere you want to share information with more people than can comfortably gather around your laptop screen.

Successful Training? Offer Happy Hour

Friday, 20 Feb 2009 14:58:40 GMT

TGIF! Do you have a favorite bar you'll be visiting this afternoon? Yep, me too. Take a sec and think about what makes it your favorite bar. you time to think... Did you come up with things like great atmosphere, good music, love the bartender? I bet many of you, like me, rank a bar based on the bartender(s). Bartenders are fascinating characters in our society. They become our best friends, our confidants, our counselors and sometimes even our mates (Whatever. Don't act like I'm the only one who's been there.). Even an ugly bartender can become attractive and keep you coming back as long as other important "bartender elements" are in place. In our world of law firms and legal tech, the person you allow to interface between technology and the people is often a trainer, or a help desk attendant. They ARE your firm's bartenders. Used wisely, they can be the most valuable weapon in your technology arsenal. As a free-lancing trainer, I'm often asked by clients what they should be looking for in a full-time trainer. The answer is quite simple: they, like bartenders, must be likable. A really good trainer is first and foremost naturally likable and liked by everyone - by partners, associates, word processors, staff, even by outside vendors. Think about have to find (or be) a person who an attorney is willing to trade-in a billable hour for. Second, they need to be trainable. They should have a broad knowledge base that can easily and willingly be expanded and connected. Every mixologist graduates with the same skill-set. But based on the bar, region, holiday, clientele, etc, they are constantly learning and perfecting new concoctions. They are not afraid to say. "Never heard of that one! Ho[...]

Records Retention and the Financial Crisis

Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009 14:58:40 GMT

A recent article in Computerworld discussed how the Wall Street crisis brings lax e-discovery law enforcement to light ( In summary, a number of experts are noting that lax enforcement of records and data retention laws, combined with inadequate oversight, is a factor in the recent meltdown of the financial services industry, and predicting, as I have predicted, that Congress is likely to respond with additional laws that may not be well-thought out or well-crafted. I might observe also that financial institutions in any way involved in the sub-prime mortgage mess, derivative securities issues or credit default swaps are likely to find the adequacy of their records management and retention programs (as well as their ability to conduct e-discovery) severely tested in coming months by litigation. There will be a tsunami of lawsuits seeking to untangle things, and I’ll go on record as predicting that many organizations will not be up to the test due to deficient records and information management programs and practices.

Thinking Ahead

Friday, 13 Feb 2009 14:58:40 GMT

LaHonya Ortega v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Case No. 07CV11177: 12/2/08 This is a Uninsured Motorist case involving policy limits of $25,000.00. Plaintiff claims that she was forced off the highway in snowy conditions by a tractor trailer driver, who veered into her lane, causing her to run off the road. Based upon the potential recovery, counsel has worked to reduce costs, and presents testimony of the main orthopedic surgeon by video deposition. The deposition was submitted to the Court the Wednesday before trial (the day before Thanksgiving). The Court ruled on the objections the first morning of trial, redacting answers to three questions. As the video is played for the jury, counsel stands by and turns the sound level down during the excluded testimony. The jurors are fairly confused, despite instructions from the Court, and at times, they laugh. There is also a lengthy statement by the witness in which he speculates about the effects of insurance, Medicaid and other issues on potential payment for surgery. This is not called to the attention of the Court, despite the Court ruling on an objection excluding this same information earlier in the deposition. Moral? Think ahead, especially if you are asking the Court to rule on objections. It is imperative that you give the Court, and yourself, adequate time to properly redact any video before presenting it to the jury. It takes very little time to prepare for this, but the impact on your credibility to the jury (by looking unprepared) is permanent.


Friday, 06 Feb 2009 14:58:40 GMT

On August 27th, news sources reported that a computer virus was found on a laptop in the International Space Station. The virus was a W32.Gammima.AG worm, which is malware that steals login names and passwords from popular Internet games. NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries explained that the virus was detected through virus protection software, and did not pose a threat to the ISS computer systems. NASA was conducting an investigation to determine how the virus got aboard the space station. On website SpaceRef it was suggested that a flash drive brought aboard by an astronaut was the source of the virus. The story may be found at


Friday, 06 Feb 2009 14:58:40 GMT

On September 16th, McAfee released its report on the riskiest celebrities to search for on the Internet. This year, the list was topped by Brad Pitt, as 18% of searches for downloads about him could result in the placing of malware or other online threats on your computer. The rest of the top ten, in order, included Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Heidi Montag, Mariah Carey, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, Cameron Diaz, George Clooney, and Rihanna. McAfee Senior Vice President of McAfee’s Product Development & Avert Labs explained that cybercriminals take advantage of American interest in celebrity gossip. He warned that capitalizing on celebrities was common, and to beware of any downloads after doing your celebrity searches. The McAfee press release, with more information about the threats for each celebrity, may be found at

A Tip for PowerPoint Presentations

Tuesday, 03 Feb 2009 14:58:40 GMT

(Originally posted at Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog) If I am doing a CLE program, I'll generally try to submit written materials and not just print the PowerPoint slides for my materials. (There are exceptions.) But if I have submitted written materials in advance that are not the same as my PowerPoint slides, I would often be interrupted at the beginning of the presentation with "I don't have the slides here in the materials! Where can I get slides? Will you send me the slides?" So here's the solution. The day before the program (or the hour before if I'm being bad,) I print the PowerPoint slides to a PDF file; 2 or 3 slides per page depending on the images used. Then I use YouSendIt ( to "send" that file to my assistant or another of my e-mail accounts. I then copy the URL on the YouSendit download page and run it through ( to make it smaller. Then I go back to my original PowerPoint and paste that tiny URL into the second page of the presentation in a very big font. It takes less than five minutes and now the second page of thePowerPointsays "Don't get writer's cramp. Download a PDF of this PowerPoint at http:TinyUrlWhatever." (Remember a big font on the URL.) Without becoming a paying subscriber, YouSendIt only allows 100 downloads, so if it is a really big audience, a simple workaround is do the above twice and have two links on the slide, with one link for last names A - L and one for M - Z. But realistically only 10% will ever download it anyway. Of course I also have to warn them that the link will only b[...]

The Joys and Pains of Social Networks

Friday, 30 Jan 2009 06:58:40 GMT

They seem to have exploded around us: those new profile-housing, connection building, relationship highlighting, social and business on-line networks, such as LinkedIn (, Legally-Minded (, Plaxo (, Facebook (, and others. They are now hard to ignore. Many of us receive multiple invitations almost daily to join these networks. The evolution is often the same: first we ignore the invitations and the world of social networking. But after we receive more invitations, then our curiosity is piqued. So we create an account with one network (often LinkedIn), fill in the basic profile, accept a few invitations, then ignore it. But after accepting a few more invitations we decide maybe there is something to this new social networking thing, so we add more to our profile and attempt to add to our out-bound connections. Next thing we know, we are spending several hours a week tweaking or expanding our on-line social presence. The time consumed becomes greater and greater, but to what end? Where is this all headed? What return will I get on my investment of time and energy? What will happen if I don't adapt now? As businesspeople, we need to learn to manage our on-line networks so they work for us and not waste our time. We have to learn to understand the potential and limits of this new technology that may significantly change the way we interact and communicate with colleagues, clients, and potential clients. There are tools to help, such as ([...]

30+ Legal Tech/Practice Management Predictions for 2009

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2009 11:58:40 GMT

(Originally posted on Ross Ipsa Loquitur at 1205AM 1/1/09 at It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without predictions, would it? Powered by a wonderful champagne just a few minutes ago, here are the short version of mine: 1) At LEAST 10% of the AmLaw 100 law firms will fold by the end of 2009 - the era of the megafirm is over. Heller Ehrman and Thelen are history. Who’s next? (Take a look at these websites - it’s positively chilling - when Goliath falls, he falls HARD!) 2) The rise of BigSolos - not sure what else to call them - these are emigrants/escapees/laid off/downsized lawyers from megafirms who decide to go the SSF route. I’m working with several helping them make the transition from megaoffice and being used to an army of bodies to help them to . . . being on their own. Watch for my upcoming SmallLaw column on Technolawyer this month on this very topic! 3) SaaS products start to make serious inroad in legal technology areas including practice management and billing systems. 4) Twittering will get more press than blawging as the “hot” approach to leveraging web technology to market one’s practice. 5) Windows Vista will quietly disappear from the scene, more than a year earlier than scheduled, to be replaced by Windows 7 - and we’ll all hold our collective breath hoping that it sucks a whole lot less. I suspect Microsoft shareholders will also be breathless waiting to see what happens. 6) Macs will finally get the attention of mainstream legal soft[...]

Take Advantage of Discount Air Fares -- and ABA TECHSHOW!

Monday, 26 Jan 2009 9:58:40 GMT

Airline sales in January are not unusual, but right now many major carriers are not only offering sales but allowing you to extend travel until April, May or even June, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune.,0,7171116.story. So why not take advantage of these low fares and make plans to attend ABA TECHSHOW 2009? If the current uncertain economy has got you down, come learn to better use the technology you already have to improve the delivery of client services, while boosting your bottom line. And if you register before February 28th, you will receive a $200 Early Bird discount. With discounted air fare and admission, how can you afford not to attend? New tracks this year include E-Discovery Boot Camp, Tech for Client Development, Tech for Finance, A Day in the (Techno) Life and Virtual Office. And some favorites such as Trial Skills, Enterprise IT, Internet, I'm a Mac and two concurrent Solo & Small Firm Tracks on Friday make TECHSHOW one of the best CLE bargains around. You can check out all session titles, descriptions and speakers, which are now available on the TECHSHOW website.

Wireless Mouse or Wireless Keyboard Suddenly not Working?

Tuesday, 20 Jan 2009 19:58:40 GMT

Any other wireless devices nearby? That could be the problem. I work at home a fair bit and enjoy the convenience of a wireless mouse and keyboard when curled up on the sofa with two monitors set-up (my law practice is paperless, hence the two monitors!) and my Tablet snapped into its docking station. From time to time for no apparent reason, the keyboard and/or mouse stop working. I tried unplugging the USB wireless connector (the piece that plugs into one of the Tablet's USB ports to allow the keyboard and mouse to 'talk to' the Tablet) and moving it to another USB port. Sometimes that worked. I've also tried re-booting with mixed results. I've also checked that the batteries in the keyboard and in the mouse are OK. Recently, during a telemeeting with Dan Pinnington, I experienced the same old problem – the wireless mouse and keyboard stopped working when they had been working fine just moments before. Our telemeeting was delayed while I waited for my Tablet to re-boot. When I mentioned to Dan why I was in the midst of re-booting, he asked if a mobile phone was anywhere nearby. Sure enough, I had set my mobile phone down within a foot or two of the Tablet. Dan suggested that the mobile phone and wireless keyboard and mouse devices could be interfering with each other's signals and might be the cause of the problem. My husband, a hardware engineer, later confirmed that Dan was right. He also pointed out that my mobile phone could also be interfering with the indoor/outd[...]

ABA TECHSHOW is on the Boston on February 11

Friday, 16 Jan 2009 17:58:40 GMT

As the Chair of the Tech Core Group of the ABA's Law Practice Management Section ( I'm happy to tell you about the very first ABA TECHSHOW Road Show. It's being held at the Massachusetts Bar Association on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - read the announcement here ( We have really exciting sessions being delivered by REALLY exciting speakers...check this out: The Mobile Office: Take Your Desktop in Your Pocket by Paul Unger ( and Debbie Foster ( New Resources and Personal Knowledge Management by Catherine Sanders Reach ( and Adriana Linares ( Shock and Awe: PowerPoint for Opening Statements and Closing Arguments by Paul Unger and Catherine Sanders Reach Turbocharge Your Practice With Affordable Technology with Alan Klevan ( and Rodney Dowell ( PDF-ing for Lawyers by Debbie Foster and Adriana Linares Look Who’s Talking! What Lawyers Need to Know about Digital Dictation and Speech Recognition by Jim Calloway ( and Dave Bilinsky ( The Lawyer’s Guide to Managing Client and Case Information with Out[...]

Really Use Your Calendar to Manage Your Work

Tuesday, 13 Jan 2009 17:58:40 GMT

Here's a recycled tip I offered during ABA TECHSHOW 2005's 60 Tips in 60 Minutes. I think it's just as useful today as it was then. If every file on your desk is on fire, and it feels like your practice is approaching meltdown, how do you know where to start to put the fires out? Let common technology you probably already have help you. First, start by making a single TO DO list containing everything that you can think of that needs to be done. Don't try to organize tasks or arrange them by priority. Just list them. Second, once you have the list made, go over it carefully to break it into two lists - one for yourself and one for your secretary or legal assistant. Your list should contain just things that only you (a lawyer) can do. Everything else should be on the other list. If the other list looks humanly impossible, you probably need more help. Third, go over these two lists again, and divide each into two more lists, one high priority list for the things which must be done today and a second one for everything else. Revise the lists each afternoon before you leave or each morning as soon as you arrive at the office. Let the priority list guide your work during the day, but use the second list to add less pressing tasks as they come up. This way you can stay focused on what's most important, because you won't have to worry about forgetting something else. It's all on the list. Once you've done triage on your [...]

There's No Cure for Stupid -- How Failing to Back Up Killed Journal Space (originally posted on Nerino Petro's Compujurist ( on January 2, 2009)

Friday, 9 Jan 2009 17:58:40 GMT

I and other legal bloggers like Ross Kodner constantly push the need for proper backups using a layered approach involving multiple points of data redundancy and backup. For a refresher check out one of my many posts on backups, including Don't Be an Idiot- Backup Your Data ( or Ross' Great Truths About Data Backup ( Part of that backup strategy is to use hardware RAID ( to prevent against hardware failure. However, RAID itself isn't sufficient to safeguard against catastrophic loss or damage such as a fire, tornado, flood or someone inadvertently or deliberately overwriting your data. Seems the folks at JournalSpace, the popular blog hosting site, failed to pay attention to common backup strategies and best practices and didn't have ANY BACKUPS. That's right folks, none, nada, zip, zilch. Instead, they relied on a set of drives mirrored (RAID 1) on a server running OS X server. Somehow - they're not sure how exactly- their data was overwritten and its gone. Just like that, the data for everyone that had a blog with JournalSpace is out of luck unless they somehow made their own backups. There's a line from the movie Forest Gump -- "Stupid is as Stupid Does" -- that I think is appropriate in this instance. I say this because of the actions [...]


Tuesday, 6 Jan 2009 17:58:40 GMT

Many firms shy away from the idea of charging interest as being unprofessional or somehow underhanded. However, it is these firms that typically have the longest receivables period. Unless you charge interest, what incentive does your client have to pay you in a timely fashion, other than the risk that you may withdraw from their case? Hmmm… pay the attorney or go to Disney World? And as economic times continue to be forecast as gloomy, clients may put your bills aside and take even longer to pay you for legal services. And, a delinquent client, whose outstanding bills are accruing interest may call and seek some payment term or forgiveness – consider forgiving interest if they pay the principal due sooner rather than later. Yes, interest can be a bargaining chip to not only ensure on time payments, but also persuade a late paying client to catch up on his/her payments to your firm! Having said this, before you begin to charge interest, you should be proactive and ensure that whatever interest rate you charge is within the guidelines of your state or provincial bar rules and regulations, within the guidelines of statutory laws in your state/province and, most importantly, you should advise your client in engagement agreements and on each and every invoice that you send out that unpaid balances are subject to interest at xx rate. Thus, charging interest will certa[...]