Attorney/Legal Technologist Dan Siegel Named Technical Editor of New LISI Newsletter

Havertown Attorney & Legal Technology Dan Siegel has agreed to serve as Technical Editor and contributor to Leimberg Services’ newest newsletter, focusing on Practice Management. Dan is a practicing attorney, who also operated Integrated Technology Services, LLC, which provides workflow solutions for law firms and small businesses. Dan is the author of a number of best-selling books (The Ultimate Guide to LexisNexis Case Map, Checklists for Lawyers) and through ITS regularly consults with law firms about ways they can leverage technology to improve their practices. Dan also is a nationally recognized speaker and delivers 30+ CLE presentations a year.

Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI) provides Estate Planning, Employee Benefits and Retirement Planning, Business Entities, Asset Protection Planning, Financial Planning and Charitable Planning Newsletters. LIS also provides LawThreads®, Actual Text, State Laws, US Code Searcher, and the Supersearcher tools.

 

 

No wonder people hate computers – and dread tech support

People know that I love technology, and use it every chance I get, but sometimes I run into circumstances when something happens and I understand the frustration. That happened to me recently. Oh, and by the way, I later learned that the problem that the support line couldn’t fix was really my fault because I should have known what the company’s trained (?) support people didn’t seem to know.

Here’s the scoop. We upgraded our office’s online/cloud backup, using Carbonite, the same product we used successfully for years. This upgrade, we were told, would be easy and seamless. Unfortunately not. And complaints received a consistent response of dead air.

First, we learned in October that the server backup we purchased would need its own “space” in the cloud, meaning that our data would be stored twice. Since we hadn’t purchased the space for double the data, we had to do that  – no accommodations were possible. Oh, and they promised a refund once the new backup completed, but within 30 days. That money is gone.

Second, because of the amount of data, the server backup was slow, and kept failing. Repeated calls to support got us nowhere, no one had an answer.

Finally, we learned this week (after finally getting escalated to second and then (wow) third tier support) that we were the reason why the backups weren’t working. That’s a new concept, the customer was wrong.

Why were we wrong? We were rebooting our server, as you are supposed to do, after doing Microsoft updates weekly, but if the backup was still going, it wouldn’t stop or reset and ended up in an endless loop.

I was told that was our fault, even though no one on first or second level support told us this, and there was no documentation for us to know that. And, in my experience, as a reseller of Retrospect (which does primarily local backups) and my experience with Carbonite previously, those products reset if there was a reboot. That apparently isn’t the case with the new fancier server software – but then again if support didn’t know that this was the cause, that didn’t matter, the customer should have.

I realize why our clients like our support and training, because we explain what they need to know, and do what we can to avoid return calls. In the case of Carbonite, their support finally acknowledged that our case should have been escalated far sooner, and they had no answer for why first line support did not know about this apparently obvious type of situation (somehow I doubt we’re the only customer of theirs that does updates and reboots without first consulting the status of Carbonite).

So now we’re waiting to see if the backup completes, having started it after this week’s latest updates and reboot.

In the meantime, we have devoted hours and hours and hours to the situation, and in response to complaints about our wasted time, and the money for the unnecessary extra cloud space we had to purchase, the response was dead air. Lots of dead air.

It’s times like these that I realize why some people hate technology and why they dread calling tech support.

Friday, Sept. 28th – Live CLE in Media: Using Technology to Prepare For Hearings, Depositions & Trial

One of Attorney Dan Siegel’s most popular programs, recent attendees called this a “must” program for all litigators. 

Learn how easy-to-use technology can help you prepare more effectively and more efficiently for depositions, hearings, and trials, with better results in less time. This webinar will demonstrate:

  • The various technologies used by lawyers today vs. the pen-and-paper methods;
  • How to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of cases using litigation software;
  • How to prepare for proceedings with confidence that you have the documents or other evidence needed; and,
  • How to create chronologies that also serve as an outline for opening statements and other trial-related matters.

The program is on Friday, September 28th from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Delaware County Bar Association in Media; registration begins at noon. Registration (including CLE credit) is just $35 for DCBA members, and $45 for non-members.

Click here for more information and to register for the program.

The Allegory of Septa Tokens & Law Office Technology

An old Ziploc bag sits on my desk, worn, a bit dirty, and empty. For over 12 years, the bag housed my Septa tokens. I loved my tokens, my quick way of getting through the turnstiles of the El.

When I heard that Septa was discontinuing tokens, and replacing them with the Key, a new hi-tech substitute for tokens, I continued to buy tokens, hoping they would stay on sale forever. Hoping – despite recognizing the futility of my hopes.

Then came the announcement. Septa stopped selling tokens. And I had to buy a Key card. I dreaded it. Not for any logical reason, it’s just that I loved my tokens – and didn’t want to change.

So I bought the Key card.

My life didn’t end. In fact, I discovered that the Key card was easier than tokens, not that I wanted to admit it. I just kept it in my wallet, and now I don’t have to remember to put tokens in my pocket before going into Center City. All I do is hold the card over the scanner. Voila, I’m through the turnstiles, including the wide one when I’m bringing along my large briefcase.

Even better, I no longer have to stand in line to buy tokens, I just go online or refill it at a kiosk.

The reality: The Key is better than tokens. (I just don’t want to admit it.)

What does this have to do with legal technology? My attachment to tokens wasn’t rational, as I discovered. Neither is the attachment of attorneys to paper, or to reading paper transcripts, or to doing so many things the way we did them years, if not decades ago. I just wanted to believe they were. And I didn’t want to change.

Neither do lawyers. But if they did, they would discover that having a paperless office actually improves their lives, makes them more efficient. And they would learn that using software would actually make them better lawyers. I have worked with numerous lawyers, and every one who has adopted the use of LexisNexis TextMap agrees that it improves their analysis and saves them time. So do lawyers who use other technology solutions. Whether it is Adobe Acrobat, Legal Files or Time Matters case/matter management software, LexisNexis CaseMap, or one of the other products/solutions we use in our office (and help them adopt and learn), lawyers agree.

They agree that once they overcome their fears, most of which are tied to their irrational love of paper (the way they have done things forever), the new way of doing things is better.

I have always encouraged lawyers to consider change, to consider new ways of handling their cases.

Then I looked at my empty token bag. That’s when I realized that my clients and I have more in common than I realized.  I changed, when will they?

When you stick your head in the sand, you get a lousy tasting “sand”wich

The almost overly stale cliché that it is not good to stick your head in the sand applies to so many topics. But for lawyers, or at least a large number of them, mention technology and they want to scream “na na na na na” and ignore you. But more and more, sticking their heads in the sand won’t help lawyers. Lawyers are now bigger targets for cyberattacks, which is the point I highlight in my column in the May 1st issue of The Legal Intelligencer/Pennsylvania Law Weekly. The column, “Law Firms Must Be Proactive to Prevent Cyberattacks,” begins with a quiz, asking whether the readers know what these items are:

  • Back door/trap door
  • Cracks
  • DNS poisoning
  • Eavesdropping
  • Hackers
  • IP spoofing
  • Malware
  • Man-in-the-middle spoofing
  • Network sniffing
  • Password cracking
  • Phishing
  • Ransomware
  • Replay attacks
  • Social engineering
  • Spam
  • Spyware
  • System penetration
  • System tampering
  • TCP/IP hijacking
  • Trojan
  • Tunneling
  • Viruses
  • Website defacement
  • Worms

I bet most of us fail the test, unless we cheat and look on our smartphones.

That’s my point, technology is moving forward, and lawyers and their firms must also do so to avoid becoming the next victims of cyberattacks.

My law firm, the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC, and my consulting firm, Integrated Technology Services, LLC, help lawyers prepare for and to address the practical, legal and ethical issues they face. Even attacks on those smartphones.

But if what I say doesn’t scare you, consider the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has again amended the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, to highlight that lawyers have an ethical duty to preserve confidentiality, which includes (obviously) preventing cyberattacks. Take a look at my article, and you’ll see exactly what lawyers (and all businesses) face. But if you just stick your head in the sand, keep your mouth closed tight, or you are likely to swallow an untasty “sand”wich.

 

Now Available – The Ultimate Guide to LexisNexis CaseMap

The Ultimate Guide to LexisNexis CaseMap is now available for purchase. Authored by Attorney Daniel J. Siegel, the book is the definitive guide to users of CaseMap, the premier litigation analysis software. LexisNexis CaseMap makes analyzing cases easier and allows lawyers to do a better job for their clients – in less time. Click here to buy the book, which is available in .epub or .mobi formats.

With material (including step-by-step instructions and numerous screenshots) for everyone from new users to advanced CaseMap users, the book explains how to use every feature in CaseMap, and also provides Dan Siegel’s unique insights into the program. Many consider Siegel to be the most advanced CaseMap user in the country; he often devises undocumented ways that allow users to get even more results from the software.

If you are interested in learning more about LexisNexis CaseMap, this book will help you:

  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your cases quickly and easily;
  • Learn how to create files for people, organizations and issues, while avoiding duplication;
  • Customize CaseMap so that you can get the most out of your data;
  • Enter data so that you can easily prepare for trial, hearings, depositions, and motions for summary judgment;
  • Import data from a wide range of programs, including Microsoft Outlook;
  • Understand CaseMap’s many Reports and ReportBooks;
  • Learn how to work with CaseMap’s newest features, including Fact Cards;
  • Use the Adobe DocPreviewer to import PDFs and quickly create facts and objects;
  • Use CaseMap’s DocManager; and
  • Learn how to perform advanced searches, plus how to save and update your results instantly.

Sometimes called the “Geek lawyer,” or the “high tech lawyer,” Attorney Dan Siegel is a practicing attorney (at the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC) and the founder of Integrated Technology Services, LLC, a consulting firm that helps law firms and small businesses improve their workflows with technology.

Integrated Technology Services, LLC provides training, consulting and case review services for CaseMap, as well as consulting services for law firms.

Ultimate Guide to Adobe Acrobat DC Is Now Available!

The Ultimate Guide to Adobe Acrobat DC is now available on both the ABA bookstore as well as Amazon! With 285 screenshots and easy to understand, jargon-free, step-by-step instructions, Dan and I have written what we believe is the most comprehensive book available on the software.

As PDFs have become the standard in the legal and business communities for creating, analyzing, storing, and exchanging digital documents, and for filing documents in courts with electronic filing systems, you need our tutorial!

The book will introduce you to the product’s many benefits, including:

  • Sharing PDF files
  • Sending PDF files electronically
  • Redacting and Bates numbering documents
  • Allowing users with the free version of the Adobe Reader program to add comments and suggest revisions
  • Reducing the risk of malpractice claims
  • Inserting notes and comments
  • Storing e-mail
  • Securing documents of all types to prevent the disclosure of confidential information
  • Improving workflow
  • Increasing productivity
  • Reducing the use of paper
  • Improving client results

The Ultimate Guide to Adobe  Acrobat DC discusses and demonstrates the features that law offices and businesses use, and explains what the features are, why they are important, and how to use them.

To order it on Amazon, click here.

Click here to order a copy of the book from the American Bar Association (also available as an e-book).

Coming Soon: The Ultimate Guide to Adobe Acrobat DC

Pamela Myers and Daniel Siegel’s new book, The Ultimate Guide to Adobe Acrobat DC, has gone into production. Published by the American Bar Association, the book is a comprehensive guide for anyone who uses the software. Every chapter contains step-by-step instructions and illustrations showing how to use the program so that users can quickly maximize the power of this software. The book, which contains nearly 300 screenshots, covers virtually every feature, including:

  • Getting to Know the Acrobat Workspace
  • Navigating PDF Documents
  • Working with Toolbars and Task Panes
  • Changing User Preferences
  • Creating and Saving PDFs
  • Converting Web Pages to PDF
  • Creating PDFs from Microsoft Outlook Emails
  • Saving/Exporting PDF Files to Other Formats
  • Arranging and Manipulating PDFs
  • Combining Files
  • Editing and Displaying PDF Content
  • Numbering Pages and Adding Backgrounds
  • Using Headers and Footers, Watermarks and Other Background Features
  • Commenting
  • OCRing (Making Text Searchable) and Searching PDFs
  • Creating, Modifying, and Working With Forms
  • Redacting Text
  • Bates Numbering
  • Adding Security Settings to a PDF
  • Using Electronic and Digital Signatures
  • Using Actions and Custom Commands
  • Using Acrobat’s Accessibility Features 

The book is expected to go on sale in the fall.

In addition, Pam and Dan lecture frequently about how to use Acrobat (in addition to providing on-site training to law firms and business about Acrobat).  Their next two programs (on behalf of the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education) are (1) May 24, 2017 in Woodbridge, New Jersey and (2) June 16, 2017 in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

Click here for information about the May 24th Woodbridge program.

Click here for information about the June 16th Mount Laurel program.

You can learn more about Dan and Pam’s training and other services by clicking here and visiting the Integrated Technology Services website or clicking here and sending an email.

 

 

New Pennsylvania Policy Will Require Litigants to Remove Confidential Information From Filed Documents

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has adopted a new public access policy for court records that will dramatically change how lawyers file and access documents in all courts in the state. Attorney Daniel J. Siegel, President of Integrated Technology Services, LLC, was a member of the working group whose proposal the Court adopted. The policy, which goes into effect on January 8, 2018, will require litigants to remove confidential and sensitive information from documents filed with the courts in civil, criminal and family law cases. Click here to read the policy.

The policy outlines how requests for access are to be handled, establishes a limit on copying fees and delineates what information will be safeguarded. The policy will dramatically impact how attorneys practice, in particular, how they safeguard sensitive information in court filings The policy provides four different ways of safeguarding sensitive information, but will require litigants and parties to redact information, which has not been consistently done to date.

Parties and their attorneys will be responsible for safeguarding information in the documents they file with the courts. Courts may impose appropriate sanctions upon a party or attorney for failing to comply with the new policy. Integrated Technology Services, LLC is intimately familiar with the guidelines and regularly works with law firms to implement policies and procedures that will allow them to comply with the new policy.

The policy is the result of a multi-year review by a working group led by Commonwealth Court Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer and Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Lois E. Murphy. The work group included judges, court administrators, appellate court prothonotaries, county filing office personnel, the Supreme Court’s rules committees, the staff of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, and Attorney Dan Siegel, who represented the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Siegel and his office administrator Pamela A. Myers are the authors of the upcoming ABA book, Adobe Acrobat for Lawyers, which will be of particular relevance to all Pennsylvania attorneys as they prepare for the new requirements.

 

Coming Soon – The CaseMap Book (Second Edition)

We are pleased to announce that the second edition of the CaseMap book by attorney Daniel J. Siegel will be going to press shortly. Two years in the making, this book is a major revision of the first edition, The Lawyer’s Guide to LexisNexis CaseMap, and focuses not only on how to use CaseMap, but also includes numerous tips to get better results. The book covers CaseMap 12, the latest version of the litigation/case analysis program, and will be published by LexisNexis as an e-book.

The manuscript is in LexisNexis’ hands, and includes 155 illustrations/screenshots as well as more than 50 sidebars/productivity tips, all designed to assure that every user can benefit from all the product offers. In fact, the book covers every feature of the software and is designed to be used either as a cover-to-cover read, or as a reference for when you need help using a feature or figuring out how to take CaseMap to a new level. If you want to be placed on the mailing list to be notified when the book is published, click here to send Dan an email, or sign up for his technology consulting firm’s newsletters, which will keep you up to date on CaseMap, the book, and much more.

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