Random Thoghts

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

27 Inch Monitors Come Down in Price, Improve Productivity

For years, I have written and lectured about the bump-up in productivity that results when you use a large monitor. But, like many people, I’m not a big fan of dual screens, and the price difference between 22/23 inch and larger monitors has been dramatic. But not anymore. I just purchased a 27 inch Samsung monitor for $259.99 at BJ’s, and the display is gorgeous. More importantly, it’s obvious just how much more I can see and how much more productive it makes me (less scrolling up and down and less scrolling side to side) – something I emphasize in my program, How to Do 90 Minutes of Work in […]

History Repeats Itself – Don’t Let it Happen to You

In February 2009, I was contacted by a potential client, who was opening a law office. I recommended that he purchase case management software, Adobe Acrobat Professional and a scanner; he also needed time and billing software. Because he was just starting and wanted to focus on the time and billing software, I explained that the ideal product for him was one I did not support and offered to refer him to another consultant who is an expert on that product. He declined. Instead, at the recommendation of friends, he purchased a time and billing product from that is designed for mid- to large-sized law firms, even though I explained […]

When Tech & Ethics Collide

The latest issue of Lawyers USA has a interesting (albeit brief) summary of an ABA program, Dangerous Curves Ahead: When Legal Ethics and Technology Collide,” presented by Catherine Sanders Reach, Director of the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center. Knowing Catherine, I am sure that the program was interesting and thoguht-provoking. It covered issues, including the Model Rules, Metadata, Email, Social Networking, and Data Security. The topic paralleled a PBI in which I participated, “How Your Computer Can Get You Into Trouble;” it’s also the topic of an article I’m writing for Trial magazine (journal of the American Association for Justice) this fall. Of greatest importance, the article (and Catherine’s program) […]

Windows 7 – Part II – The Good & Atrocious of Customer Service – Dell

Upgrading to Windows 7 can be an adventure if any of your hardware or software has any incompatibility. It’s worse, however, if you order a new computer and it arrives unbeknownst to you with a bad/corrupted installation of Windows 7. Mine did. Windows 7 Ultimate began as Windows 7 “the pits.” So what did I do? I trudged ahead, using repairs, trying to make things work. Nothing helped. Programs didn’t work, and I was at wits end. Yes, I called Dell, and the first tech I spoke to didn’t know anything – and thus began my trek with Dell that has proven unequivocally that the only person in America who works for […]

Legal Tech Thoughts

Today, my associate, Molly Barker Gilligan, Esquire, and I made our annual pilgrimage to Legal Tech, the mammoth legal technology trade show in New York. What a difference year makes. Crowds – last year they were relatively sparse, today the aisles were filled with people. Liveliness – last year the attendees seemed quiet and reluctant to engage the vendors, today, was the opposite. It’s clearly a sign that, at least for some in the legal industry, the times are changing. What also remains a shock is how many e-discovery vendors there are, and how they can all possibly stay in business, and thrive. For us, at Integrated Technology Services, LLC, it was an […]

Legal Technology Blog Returns

After a roughly nine month hiatus, the  Legal Technology Blog has returned, alive and well. A mix of health issues, a heavy workload, and my campaign for re-election as a Commissioner in Haverford Township (I won re-election by 40 votes), left little time for this blog or my Pennsylvania law blog. But with 2010 here, it’s time for the blogs to return. This blog will continue to comment upon new trends in legal technology, tips to be a more efficient attorney (or support person) and other related topics. Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience. Dan Siegel

Ahh, the No Asshole Rule

A few years ago, I reviewed a book, The No Asshole Rule, for The Philadelphia Lawyer, the Philadelphia Bar Association magazine. Written by Robert Sutton, a Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, the premise of the book is that no business should hire, tolerate or perpetuate the employment of “certified assholes,” people who are assholes all the time. In my review, I wrote (regretfully “tongue in cheek”) that “We are simply blessed that there are no assholes in our legal community and certainly none who fit the moniker of a “certified asshole.” Consequently, Sutton’s premise – that businesses are more productive, more profitable and have a better […]

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