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Metadata: the Ethics Trap That Could Get You in Trouble

Most people, including lawyers, are at least broadly aware that whenever a document is created, something exists behind the scenes that tracks information related to the creation, editing, and general handling of the document. That "something" is called metadata, and although it's wonderful for engineers and accountants, it can be hell for attorneys.

Here, we go over some of the basic considerations all attorneys must think about when handling client files.

If you want to understand why a federal district court in Oregon ruled that kids could sue over global warming, you've got to look all the way back to shellfish gathering under Emperor Justinian, among other things. Which is to say, to understand the law and how the law works takes a lot of referencing. And the legal system has developed a host of ways to make sure references are cited and explained, from "The Bluebook" tables, to local rules, to Westlaw Next.

And those systems could be in for an update, if some legal innovators have their way.

The Inevitable Finally Happens: U.S. Senate Ditches BlackBerry

We all knew it was only a matter of time before the once dominant BlackBerry would give way to Samsung and Apple devices on Capitol Hill, and it looks like that day is finally here. The U.S. Senate has stopped handing out BlackBerry devices to its staffers, according to Politico. Apparently the launch of the latest BlackBerry device couldn't staunch the winds of change.

No matter for the company's CEO John Chen, who made a promise that the BlackBerry devices would become profitable again.

Another Lawsuit Against Facebook Over 'Material Support' of Terrorism

Another set of survivors have filed suit against Facebook following revelations that Hamas and other terrorist organizations have been recruiting militants via the social media site. We say "another" because suits like this have happened before -- and they're likely to continue as the theory of the law settles.

Does the desire for society to root out terrorists' communication channels necessarily mean a reduction in our speech liberties? Perhaps we'll found out sooner than we wished.

Humanity (and humanity's spambots) send out over 196 billion emails ever day. Your share is probably a few dozen -- maybe 100 or so if you're unlucky. Email has fast become one of the primary ways we communicate, whether it's about mundane lunch plans or sensitive legal topics.

But for all its ubiquity, email sometimes falls short on security, so short that some professional organizations tell their members to stick to the post when dealing with sensitive or confidential information. Here's what lawyers need to know about email security, from the FindLaw archives.

Tech up or Die: Law Firms Survive Better With Technology

Luddites take note: technology ought not be shunned, but embraced. Becoming comfortable and current with tech is increasingly a determinant in how likely your firm is to survive over the long term.

And it's not even just about how competent your firm actually is, either. Even client perceptions can be crucial.

Quick Tips for Guarding Your eDiscovery

According to seasoned in-house counsel attorneys Scott Herber and David Moncure of VIA and Shell Oil Co., respectively, lawyers can no longer turn a blind eye to highly sophisticated threats to their data management and data. This applies to their highly sensitive e-discovery as well.

Now that we're on high alert after the recent hospital hacks, we thought it was a good idea to start getting attorneys back in their "alert" mode when it came to their international eDiscovery.

Slack, for Simplifying Some Aspects of the Law Office

Since its launch in late 2013, the "email killer" platform Slack has done well for itself. It seems that in the time it takes you to blink, yet another several thousand users have been called over by the social-media/workplace platform's siren call.

But what about lawyers? Should attorneys acquiesce and join the movement? Or do we, as lawyers, have to suspend enthusiasm and consider some of the pros and cons?

Google's Newest Patent Is a Bot-Box on Wheels

No, we're not talking abot Google's self-driving vehicles that are becoming ubiquitous in Silicon Valley. We're talking about the "mobile delivery receptacle," a vehicle specifically designed to accept and deliver packages shuttled to it by the company's hoards of courier-drones.

It's a good thing that Google got this one patented, too. Who knows what the prior art on this concept is.

Is Your Website ADA Compliant? Should It Be?

Does your website feature audio narrations to accompany every image or video to aid the hard-of-hearing? Are they equipped with alternative text that can be read by software aloud for the visually impaired? We doubt it.

The good news is that you're not alone. The bad news is that it could soon be a violation of federal and state law. This arises out of growing worry over the applicability of some sections of the American with Disabilities Act to business websites, a legal issue that had previously sounded too far-fetched to even be concerned about. The question remains -- is your website compliant?