In 2009, the American Bar Association created the Commission on Ethics 20/20 to examine in depth how changes in technology affect the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The commission made many recommendations and, most notably, the ABA modified Rule 1.1 regarding lawyer competence. In the new version, Rule 1.1 Comment 8 reads “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology…” But what does it really mean to be competent in technology as a lawyer?
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Jim Calloway interviews lawyer and legal technology blogger/podcaster Bob Ambrogi about the lawyer’s duty of technology competence, how it applies to discovery and confidentiality, and how technology can really benefit lawyers too.
Tech duty: regulatory burden versus the reality of practicing law today
State bars that have adopted the ABA rule change
Implications of the California eDiscovery Ethics Opinion
Relevant technology and knowing what you don’t know
Getting up to speed on encryption
eDiscovery and knowing how to collect, preserve, and search data properly
How to effectively contract out competence
The duty to supervise
Benefits of technology in practice management
Bob Ambrogi is a legal technology writer, blogger, and podcaster. He writes two nationally-recognized blogs, “LawSites,” covering new networking sites and technology for the legal profession, and “MediaLaw,” on freedom of the press. Ambrogi is a Massachusetts attorney representing clients at the intersection of law, media, and technology for his firm, The Law Office of Robert J. Ambrogi.
The technology lawyers use at home can differ greatly from that at work, especially in medium or large law firms. This can result in two separate technology worlds that are at best difficult to manage. Many lawyers have multiple smart phones, calendars, computer operating systems, or even versions of Microsoft Office. For some, commingling systems can be the answer, but this can cause security and organization issues. So how can we effectively bridge the gap between our dichotomous technology lives?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss managing multiple tech personalities, how to bridge the gap (or not), and ways lawyers can organize their technology. Tom mentions how iPads and other popular home devices mean people have better personal hardware. Because of this, we might need more workarounds including bring your own device (BYOD) policies at law firms, but we need to be aware of the risks and benefits. Dennis talks about the three tech crossover scenarios: totally synced, partially synced, and independent systems. Dennis and Tom then discuss how partially synced lawyers can effectively organize their tech to reduce chaos in areas like passwords, contacts, calendars, and website bookmarks.
In the second half of the podcast, Dennis and Tom talk about Twitter’s move away from reverse-chronological order. They talk about feed relevance, events playing out in real time, and whether they’re happy with Facebook and Amazon’s algorithm. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
In this episode of In-House Legal, Yahoo General Counsel Ron Bell joins host Randy Milch for a conversation about national security vs. online privacy. For companies that provide access to online content worldwide there can be a fine line between freedom of expression and unlawful content. Just because something is legal in the U.S. does not mean that it’s allowed in other countries. And furthermore, if something is lawful does that mean a company has to provide access to it?
In addition to providing access to content, Randy asks Ron about his path to Yahoo, which had some interesting stops along the way. Originally starting as an associate at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in Illinois, Ron set his sites on Silicon Valley fairly early in his career. Without being licensed in California or even an available position to apply for, Ron asked for a meeting at Apple Computer, Inc. As it turned out, a position opened during his visit and he was hired shortly after. Tune in to hear more about his story and what it takes to ascend to the top.
Ron Bell is the general counsel, secretary, and vice president at Yahoo. Prior to that, he served as deputy general counsel for several regions of the company as well as other legal positions as he advanced through the ranks. Before beginning his career at Yahoo, Ron served as senior corporate counsel at Apple Computer, Inc. and as an associate at the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.
Law firms are considered by many hackers to be soft targets with a wealth of valuable information. Data from social security numbers, credit cards, and client confidences is enough to make the criminal mind salivate with malicious intent. Between 31-45% and 10-20% of firms have been infected by spyware or experienced security breaches respectively. But what can a private practitioner or law firm do to prevent these trespasses on their networks?
In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares welcomes cyber security expert Sherri Davidoff to discuss the dangers to data that exist for law firms today. To begin their dialog, they define what ransomware is and tell us why so many firms give in to its extortion.
Tune in to learn what practitioners can do to counteract or mitigate some of the risks. Spam filters, employee training, role-based access controls, and anti-virus software are among many countermeasures available for even small firms. In addition, lawyers may want to consider network monitoring, cloud-based software platforms, and comprehensive backup and retrieval systems. The key to successfully implementing the latter is to test your IT firm’s ability to restore lost files.
Sherri Davidoff is a nationally-recognized cyber security expert who is a founder and Senior Security Consultant at LMG Security. She has over a decade of experience as an information security professional, specializing in penetration testing, forensics, social engineering testing, and web application assessments. Davidoff is an instructor at Black Hat and co-author of “Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers Through Cyberspace”. She is a GIAC-certified forensic examiner (GCFA) and penetration tester (GPEN), and holds her degree in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT.
Notifications and reminders are useful when they remind you about your daughter’s soccer game, an upcoming meeting, or a software update. But are lawyers (and everyone else) being bombarded with too many notifications all day long? There is a difference between a calendar alert and having Omnifocus remind you what you haven’t accomplished today. Furthermore, with the development of smartwatches, notifications can constantly distract you all day long. Are we as lawyers using reminders and notifications on our programs and devices as effectively as we can? Where do we draw the line?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the life-encompassing emergence of reminders and notifications, how to control them effectively, and their benefits to lawyers’ personal and professional lives. Dennis discusses personalizing notification settings and mentions that the default settings on most apps are overkill, yet many people never modify them. Tom talks about the changing mobile platform, how email notifications can distract and drain lawyers at work, and the difference between necessary reminders and optional notifications. They finish the section with recommendations for trimming down and properly filtering your notifications so that they work for you rather than distract you unnecessarily.
In the second half of this podcast, Dennis and Tom go over the subject of application updates; should we install them the day they come out? They discuss the benefits (security) and downfalls (bugs) of automatically updating your apps and other software. Stay tuned for a Parting Shots segment with several useful podcast recommendations.
“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” – Sun Tzu
In the time leading up to litigation, many attorneys grapple with the pros and cons of litigation for their clients. It is often difficult to quantify the probability of success or what it will take to get there. In the intellectual property world, an expensive victory can be as devastating as a loss. Fortunately, data analytics are making this process more predictable by offering insights to future results based on information from the past.
In this episode of Law Technology Now, host Monica Bay interviews Lex Machina CEO Josh Becker. Together, they discuss the value of data analytics when it comes to making decisions in litigation. Organizations like Becker’s are able to collect data points that show, among many other things, the historic instances of judges ruling on certain motions, wins vs. losses of opposing counsel, and the length of proceedings. From the perspective of lawyers, this information can help craft arguments to conform with successful past efforts and help in the prediction of success. From the perspective of clients, this information can be used to hire counsel, make business decisions on prospective patents, and much more. Stay tuned for Becker’s tips for being a successful upstart in the legal industry.
Josh Becker is the CEO of Lex Machina, a company that provides intellectual property litigation data and analytics to companies and law firms. He is also the founder of The Full Circle Fund and co-founder of New Cycle Capital. Prior to that, he was on the founding team at Redpoint Ventures. His previous employment includes Brentwood Venture Capital, Netscape Communications, and McKinsey & Co. Josh was the second employee at EarthWeb Inc. and formerly one of youngest press secretaries on Capitol Hill.
It is an exciting time for legal research. The text-based searches of yesterday are giving way to the interactive visualization of data. What this means is that lawyers will have more control over and increased awareness of their research projects. The visual ability to map out information empowers researchers to understand when enough is enough, thus saving time and reducing the cost of providing legal services
In this episode of Law Technology Now, host Bob Ambrogi talks shop with Fastcase founder and CEO Ed Walters. Together, they share exciting new developments in legal software and how it’s developed as well as how it can create jobs for lawyers rather than take them away. With the majority of people doing their computing through mobile devices, there is enormous opportunity to provide valuable legal services in new ways.
Ed Walters is the CEO and co-founder of Fastcase and currently teaches Law of Robots at Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to that, he worked at Covington & Burling in Washington D.C. and Brussels, where he advised clients such as Microsoft, Merck, SmithKline, the National Football League, and the National Hockey League. From 1991-1993, Ed worked in the White House for the Office of Media Affairs and the Office of Presidential Speechwriting. Walters also clerked for the Hon. Emilio M. Garza on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fourth and Fifth Circuits.
Law Technology Now returns as Monica Bay and Bob Ambrogi bring the show back to the air in an exciting new format. By alternating hosting duties back and forth, the show is designed to provide a different perspective episode to episode.
Catch up with our hosts as they discuss their predictions for 2016, ideas for future show topics, and why it’s an exciting time to be practicing law. Despite their shared belief that legal technology is generally good for the industry and increases access to justice, both Monica and Bob recognize that there are pros and cons. Monica warns that lawyers who can’t keep up with innovations may be forced into early retirement whereas Bob debates the liberating versus enslaving effects of constant connectivity. Now that some 20 states are conforming with the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct by requiring lawyers to be competent in technology, it looks like the only way to go is forward. Welcome back listeners!
Even lawyers start the new year with at least a few resolutions. Some are predictable, falling into the usual categories like exercise or diet. However, creating legal technology based resolutions can really help your practice and overall happiness. Have you been thinking about trying a new app or learning to use one you’ve already downloaded? Does the idea of starting a blog or finding a new podcast interest you? Do you need some ideas?
To help listeners with some ideas, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss their 2016 technology resolutions in this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. They contemplate the usefulness of resolutions in general, examine their 2015 goals and whether they were completed, and make a new set of legal tech resolutions for the upcoming year. Using a system of threes, Dennis and Tom set up general and specific resolutions including online content and engagement, learning to use new tools, digital organization and pruning, and collaboration with other lawyers. Tune in and compare your goals with theirs; maybe you’ll decide to add one more!
In the second half of this podcast, Dennis and Tom recommend previous Kennedy-Mighell Report episodes that new listeners might want to try. Sometimes legal technology discussions don’t stand the test of time, but many of their previous podcasts are still applicable today. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
InfraGard, one of the longest running outreach associations, represents a partnership between the FBI and the private sector. Members include businesses professionals (including many law firm employees), people from academic institutions, and local participants who share their experience and expertise with the FBI to assist in crime prevention. In the recent climate of rampant cyber security issues, many in the private sector are better equipped to fight these cyber threats. So why is it important for lawyers to know about and potentially join InfraGard?
In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview FBI special agent and InfraGard coordinator Kara Sidener about the way InfraGard works and why lawyers and other law firm professionals should be interested in joining this two-way information sharing platform.
The evolution of cybercrime
The Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the private sector
Who joins InfraGard
How and why members are vetted
Benefits for IT professionals trying to secure law firm networks
Staying informed about clients’ intellectual property issues
Proactive programming and cross-sector collaboration
Free resource to provide info on terrorism and cyber threats
Kara Sidener is a special agent with the FBI and is currently serving as the InfraGard Coordinator for the Washington Field Office (WFO). Her 17 years with the FBI have all been in the Washington, DC area, having had assignments at WFO, FBI Headquarters, and the FBI Academy. Kara has experience in a number of areas including counterintelligence and cyber investigations, evidence response, instruction and training, and private sector outreach. Kara was a member of WFO’s Evidence Response Team and a first responder to the Pentagon on 9/11/01.