dsiegel

Passwords & Security – It’s Truly Time to Think About Them

Passwords – we all hate having to deal with them. After all, we’re supposed to have different passwords for every website. Plus, they must be complicated. How in the world can we create all of these passwords and still remember them? Instead, it’s easy to just use ABC123 or Password or some other generic phrase. The problem is that those among us with less than stellar motives can easily hack those passwords and access all of our confidential information. If that weren’t enough, now the government is reminding us. I read an advertisement today for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – you know, the agency that reminds us of […]

Plagued by Outlook Crashes After November 10, 2015 Windows Updates?

Are you plagued by Outlook crashing after you installed the various Microsoft updates released on November 10, 2015? If so, there is a solution. You need to uninstall updates 3097877 and 3101746. Then reboot your computer and, hopefully, all is well. These updates wreaked havoc in our office. In fact, in order to fix all of the problems they created, we had to uninstall and reinstall Office 365. While we don’t normally comment on such “mundane” things as Windows Automatic Updates, and focus on improving office workflow, we made an exception, especially since office workflow grinds to a halt when you can’t use Outlook, Word or other Office products.

Yes – You Can Have Readable PDFs

When we work with law firms and courts to help them digitize their files – such as court filings – central to that work is to assure that they use the PDF format and that the PDFs are of a high quality. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize how easy it is to create high quality readable PDFs. When you do so, the PDFs can be OCRed – made into searchable text – that facilitates easy searching, and easy copying and pasting into other documents, like briefs and opinions. Well, there is another benefit to high quality PDFs. They can OCRed and then persons with visual impairments can have the text […]

Pa. Bar Association Ethics Committee Provides Guidance to Lawyers About Social Media

The Pennsylvania Bar Association Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility has released an Ethics Opinion on Social Media, explaining to lawyers what they can and cannot do when posting or responding to information and comments on social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Avvo and others. The Opinion, one of the first in the country to broadly address these issues, explains (1) the issues confronting attorneys who use social media, (2) the ethical obligations of attorneys using social media, and (3) what attorneys and their staff may and may not do when dealing with information that their clients post on social networking websites. I am proud to be one […]

Just Because You Have an IPad Doesn’t Mean You Need to Use It

Technology – such as iPads – can help attorneys be more effective advocates. But like any tool, you need to use it correctly, not just because you have it. Otherwise, the technology can actually weaken your position, and frustrate the judge, jury or arbitrator you are trying to convince. I sat as an arbitrator today in a relatively routine car accident case, involving a side swipe at an intersection – I think. The reason I say “I think” is because the plaintiff’s attorney was so enamored of his iPad that he never asked his client, “Tell the panel, how did the accident occur?” Instead, he fixated on using his iPad […]

Attorney Daniel J. Siegel Lectures About Technology & The Law

Attorney Daniel J. Siegel of Havertown, Pennsylvania, has recently presented a number of programs focusing on the intersection of law and technology. In particular, Siegel is scheduled to present a three hour program, “Android for Lawyers” for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute on Friday, April 25, 2014 in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/1lNl6fb. Siegel is also a course planner for and is speaking at “The Technology Institute,” to be held on June 11, 2014 in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/1eukiGY. Siegel will lecture on “The Paperless Office” and “Mobility, the Cloud, and Ethics” at this program, which is also sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Siegel recently presented three […]

I’ll Take “Advancements in Legal Technology” for $1,000 please, Alex

Recently, there has been some discussion out of IBM about the possibility of using Watson-like technology for legal research, litigation and discovery. While this sounds like a great idea in the abstract, in reality, it remains to be seen whether Watson is capable of such an undertaking. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Watson is a room-sized computer created by IBM and named after its first president, Thomas J. Watson, that is capable of answering queries phrased in natural language. Watson became famous this past February when “he” prevailed on Jeopardy! against two of the biggest winners in the game show’s history. According to IBM fellow […]

Cell Phones are Computers – The Evolution of Technology

For most people, the word “computer” conjures up images of a traditional desktop computer and monitor, or perhaps a laptop or even a netbook. Few, if any, would associate the word with their cellular phone. However, it is undeniable that modern cell phones are, more and more, performing tasks for which we would ordinarily use our computers. We can check our email, surf the web, stream music and videos, and download software, all with a little device that fits in our pocket. Recently, in United States v. Kramer, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 2367 (8th Cir. 2011), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that, under the […]

Legaltech New York

Yesterday, my associates, Molly Gilligan, Diana D’Auria and I, spent the date (actually our annual jaunt) at Legaltech, New York, the large commercial legal technology show (not to be confused with the ABA’s Techshow, where I will be speaking in April). As usual, there were many vendors and we were able to visit with friends from our many partners, including LexisNexis TimeMatters, CaseMap and Concordance, Legal Files case and matter management software, AccessData Summation (I have just become a newly-minted Summation Support Specialist, which replaces my prior certification as a Summation Certified Trainer) and Payne Systems (Metadata Assistant). We also visited with our newest partner, Business Integrity, which markets Contract […]

Websites Can Impact a Law Firm’s Malpractice Insurance Rates

Clients look at websites, other counsel look at websites and – not surprisingly – so do legal malpractice carriers. In fact, they use the sites as a way of verifying that the information contained in a law firm’s applicable for malpractice insurance is accurate and consistent with their marketing statements. According to an article, “The Underwriter Speaks, How Your Professional Liability Insurance Carrier Looks at Law Firm Websites,” published in the January 2011 newsletter from Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, “The website can be a great resource for underwriters to gather data such as lawyer’s bios and avoiding the need to go back to the applicant to obtain the description. […]

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