Florida Bar Podcast host Adriana Linares interviews attorney John Stewart at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. Stewart discusses speaking about PDF manipulation tools at the Wild, Wild Tech: Getting Down and Dirty with Technology conference, a soon-to-be annual tech conference at the Winter Meeting. Stewart and Linares discuss why lawyers should get involved with Bar leadership, useful topics for the Florida Bar Podcast, and the rolling out of the Practice Resource Institute. John Stewart is a practicing attorney and serves on the Board of Governors for the 19th Judicial Circuit, Chairs the Vision 2016 Technology Committee, and is on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Executive Counsel.
Florida Bar Podcast host Adriana Linares and Florida Bar Attorney Renee Thompson interview Michelle Suskauer at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. Suskauer discusses her role as a professional legal analyst, the importance of the Disciplinary Review Committee for the legal profession, and why Florida lawyers should get involved with the Bar to make a difference in the industry. Suskauer has been on the Florida Bar Board of Governors for five years, is Board Liaison to the Criminal Law Section of the Bar, and is a local and national legal analyst.
Lawyers, even solos, are constantly working with experts, opposing counsel, court officials, and colleagues. Dennis and Tom like to keep an eye on new developments and the current state of collaboration tools and technologies, which they consider one of the most important, yet under-appreciated, areas of legal technology. In 2008, they wrote a book together called The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies, which gives suggestions about the bigger collaboration platforms and smaller discrete tools that lawyers can use to work together. In the last seven years, many collaboration tools have changed but a lot of systems have stayed the same. What’s happening in 2015 and what developments do you need to know about and incorporate into your work?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell survey the current landscape for collaboration tools, trends and best practices, and what lawyers should be doing to make better use of these tools. They begin by examining their book and the collaboration tools that have disappeared or morphed into different programs. Kennedy mentions that Sharepoint, Wikis, Instant Messaging, Adobe Acrobat, and Microsoft Office Suite can all be used by attorneys and staff to work together, although Mighell is skeptical that many law firms actually use any of these. Both hosts maintain that lawyers almost exclusively use email for collaboration, although they believe future generations of lawyers will introduce a new perspective on technology use. They finish the first section by mentioning social media and listing other underutilized tools for lawyers who work with others on many cases.
In the second portion of the show, Kennedy and Mighell discuss the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The CES revealed the latest consumer technologies to expect throughout the year. They discuss the best and worst of drones, wearables, or new selfie technologies. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
Ed Walters started as a lawyer in a big law firm in Washington D.C. In the late 1990’s, he was approached by a client asking him to research a relatively new legal issue without using LexisNexis or WestLaw, as they were trying to reduce online legal research costs. His inability to do this set off a chain of events leading him to create the company Fastcase. His story begs the question, are lawyers simply paying too much for online legal research sources? What are some ways particularly solo and small firm attorneys can reduce research overheads in their practice? And when is it necessary to pay for LexisNexis or WestLaw?
In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews Ed Walters about his experience starting Fastcase, how it interacts with the bigger legal research companies and smaller startups, and the right steps for solo practitioners to take in choosing an online research source. Linares and Walters begin by discussing the differences between a free resource like Google Scholar, a mid-range company like Fastcase, and a larger company like LexisNexis. If an attorney has a boutique practice and needs treatises or specialized databases, Walters says, they will need a big online research company. Otherwise, the lawyer might be paying too much. He urges practitioners to check their local bar, state bar, and other associations or organizations for member benefits that often include research and even practice management tools. There are three startup companies that Walters encourages lawyers to research: Casetext, which focuses on crowdsourcing, Ravel Law, which uses data visualization, and Judicata, which uses semantic analysis to find relationships based on meanings. He encourages all lawyers, but especially those in small firms, to research different options and find the one that fits their practice best.
Ed Walters is the CEO and co-founder of Fastcase, an online legal research software company based in Washington D.C. Before founding Fastcase, Ed worked at Covington & Burling where his practice focused on corporate advisory work for software companies and sports leagues, and intellectual property litigation. He has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The University of Chicago Law Review, The Green Bag, and Legal Times, and has spoken extensively on legal publishing around the country. He is an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches The Law of Robots.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.
The ABA TECHSHOW is an annual legal technology conference in Chicago, sponsored by the Law Practice Division of the ABA. The goal of the conference is to educate lawyers, legal professionals, and law firm employees on using technology in their practice. The 2015 conference will be held April 16th through the 18th, and will feature many new and recurring educational topics that are trending in legal technology. Want to find out if this conference will benefit your practice?
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview the Chair of the ABA TECHSHOW Board, Brett Burney, about the 2015 conference, what attendees can expect, and why attendance is useful to almost anyone working in the legal field. The people who should attend, Burney says, are solo and small firm lawyers, government lawyers, members of corporate legal departments, and big firm lawyers. Additionally, law firm employees such as paralegals, legal assistants, CIOs, IT professionals, law firm administrators, office administrators, litigation support professionals, and many others will benefit from the educational value of the ABA TECHSHOW. He talks about this year’s legal technology topics such as cloud computing, a paperless office, digital security, and many others, and how the board selects speakers of quality and relevance. Burney discusses how having vendors and exhibitors at the conference can help users, why a legal professional should attend for the first time, and what’s new and cool for the 2015 conference. The ABA TECHSHOW comes highly recommended by past attendees for legal professionals at any level of tech experience, from novice to expert.
Brett Burney is the Chair of this year’s ABA TECHSHOW Board and is also the Principal of Burney Consultants LLC. He focuses the bulk of his time consulting on e-discovery and litigation support topics. He also works with lawyers who want to integrate Macs, iPhones, and iPads into their practice. Burney is a frequent contributor to Legal Technology News and speaks around the country on litigation support, e-discovery, Mac and iOS-related topics.
Apple products are gaining traction in the legal field, particularly among solo and small firm lawyers. As more software and apps are being created for Apple computers and law firms are working in the cloud, using Macs in your legal practice is becoming a better option for many attorneys. But often, it can be intimidating or seem challenging to make the switch to a new computer. Changing operating systems seems like an unnecessary added task, especially for already busy lawyers, but you might find that an Apple computer better suits your practice.
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Heidi Alexander interviews Jenny Stevens, also known as Mrs. Mac Lawyer, about her switch from a PC law office to one using exclusively Apple products. Stevens was converted by her husband, The Mac Lawyer, when they merged their family law practices. She had the benefit of already having a cloud based office, so she was able to access all of her files and applications in the same way. She was also already using an iPhone so she understood the way that iOS works to a certain degree. Stevens explains that there was not much of a learning curve and she mostly had to adapt to new keyboard shortcuts. Switching from Microsoft Office to Mac applications Pages and Numbers was easy, she explains, and her practice improved when she added other apps such as Dropbox, Keynote, Rocket Matter, and Textexpander. While switching to a Mac is certainly not for everyone, Stevens encourages attorneys who are thinking of making the switch to jump in with both feet. When she didn’t have access to her PC, she learned to use the Mac much faster.
Jenny Stevens co-owns and practices family law at the Stevens Firm in South Carolina with her husband. Before they merged, Stevens worked for an all PC law office in Charleston, South Carolina. She has nicknamed herself Mrs. Mac Lawyer and frequently contributes to The Mac Lawyer, a blog about using Apple products in your legal practice. Jenny is also a frequent speaker at local, state, and national continuing legal education seminars.
In this month’s Asked and Answered podcast, moderator Stephanie Francis Ward talks to Linda Greenhouse and Jonathan Turley about the past, present and future of legal journalism, and how it has influenced courts. Greenhouse reported on the U.S. Supreme Court for the New York Times for four decades, and is now the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law and Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence at Yale Law School. Turley is an attorney, legal scholar and professor at George Washington University Law School and is a legal analyst for several media outlets.
Linda Greenhouse is the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law and Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence at Yale Law School. That follows a 40-year career at the New York Times, where she covered the U.S. Supreme Court. She currently writes a biweekly op-ed column about the Supreme Court for the New York Times website.
Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, focuses his academic work on constitutional matters, legal theory and tort law. He also writes an eponymous blog; is a member of USA Today’s board of contributors; and had done legal analyst work for CBS and NBC.
Every new year brings a new opportunity to “start fresh” and get something done that you might not have accomplished in the previous year. As we look ahead to 2015, we start to think about our legal technology resolutions for the coming year. There are often new technologies for lawyers that did not exist in the previous years and new ways of automating or organizing their lives. What are some specific, measurable, actionable, and realistic legal tech goals that can be made for the coming year?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss their personal legal technology resolutions for 2015, how to get started making your own technology resolutions, and how last year’s resolutions have turned out. The hosts first suggest some general resolutions including turning on Find My iPhone, going paperless, using a password manager, and backing up in 3 different ways. They then talk about their own resolutions. Kennedy aspires to prune down his data intake from things such as podcasts and rss feeds, look into automating as many repetitive tasks as possible, revisit old systems which might be improved by 2015 technologies including the cloud, broadband access, increased storage, or processing power, and to simply try something new. Mighell is looking to learn new Microsoft Office skills in Access, Excel, and Project, start creating more content for his blogs, try a new platform with Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and also automate repetitive tasks using If This Then That and other tools. Both hosts express that it is important for lawyers to increase their technology experience each year and resolutions are a useful way to structure and inspire new learning.
In the second half of the podcast, Kennedy and Mighell review and analyze the legal technology resolutions they set for 2014. Mighell wished to learn about his new Mac and be able to work on multiple platforms and get his certification in privacy. Kennedy aspired to revamp his website, become a successful Evernote user, and take his backup to the next level. Tune in to hear whether they achieved their goals.
There has been a rapid growth in electronically stored information that is potentially useful for e-discovery in litigation. Because more data storage means higher costs, organizations are searching for new ways to store their information efficiently and cost effectively while at the same time not limiting access throughout discovery, a process which can sometimes last for months or years. It is important for litigators and large companies to understand what their options are for data storage and hosting cost flexibility. A process called “nearlining” provides a relatively simple solution to this problem of expensive data storage.
On this episode of the ESI Report, host Michele Lange interviews discovery product director Andrea Gibson and civil litigator Brian Calla about data storage costs, the nearlining process, the formatting of data storage, and other innovations in document review. Gibson explains that data access is not necessarily to all data, but to the appropriate data for any point in time, which can change throughout the life of an investigation, regulatory review, or litigation. The challenge lies in keeping volume of information reduced while maintaining access to what’s important. Nearlining, she says, is a capability by which you can store data that isn’t currently necessary, making the active data footprint smaller and greatly reducing electronic information storage costs. Calla, who often deals with e-discovery, discusses how nearlining works with his clients’ needs. Often, they wish to collect too much data initially. In this case he uses predictive coding to weed out unnecessary data and nearlines it for potential later need. When a project or review is finished, he will nearline all documents that are coded not responsive. Gibson and Calla finish by discussing other data storage innovations they each use to reduce costs including reformatting, predictive coding, and automatic redactions.
Brian Calla is a member at Eckert Seamans in Pittsburgh, PA. He concentrates his practice in general civil litigation with a particular emphasis on e-discovery, mass tort litigation and products liability. Calla serves as an Electronic Discovery Special Masters (EDSM) panel member for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Andrea Gibson is the Director of Product for Discovery Solutions at Kroll Ontrack, specifically working on the ediscovery.com Review product line. She has more than 10 years of direct experience as a litigator and legal consultant.
There are numerous sources in the legal world claiming that lawyers need to work on building and growing their networks in order to gain referrals. But with hundreds of connections, how is a solo lawyer able to build and develop proper relationships with everyone? Maybe lawyers should be thinking about the quality of their connections rather than the quantity. What should a solo or small firm attorney do to build a good referral network?
In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews family law practitioner Lee Rosen about forming strategic partnerships and setting up a basic referral network. Rosen actually rejects both of those phrases and explains that he thinks of an effective referral network as a collection of close friends who provide value to each other in multiple ways. Lawyers should build relationships with around twenty other lawyers and people in different professions who have the opportunity to provide referrals. Also, he says, you need to LIKE these people, because they will be your friends for the rest of your practice. Once you have found the right twenty connections, use things like social media to maintain these relationships. At the end of the podcast, Rosen explains three important takeaways for solo lawyers: be interested in the other people, be deliberate and calculating when you choose connections, and pick up the phone and start calling people today. He believes this form of networking will grow your practice and make you happy.
Lee Rosen has practiced family law for more than 20 years, with four offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He served as the Law Practice Management editor of the ABA Family Advocate for more than a decade and received the ABA James Kean Award for excellence in elawyering. He also served as chair of the Law Practice Management Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. He’s a frequent speaker, often sought out by media as a source of family law insight and commentary and the publisher of DivorceDiscourse.com, a widely popular daily advice blog about law firm marketing, management, and finances.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.