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Does a Lawyer Have a Duty to Replace Hacked Funds?

Lawyers of the digital age already have an array of ethical dilemmas to worry about. But now there's a new ethics question: Do lawyers have a duty to replace hacked funds?

In the opinion of the North Carolina State Bar, the answer is maybe. But in reality, it just gets back to every lawyer's favorite word: "reasonable."

US Charges Hackers Who Targeted JP Morgan

Federal Prosecutors finally unsealed an indictment of criminal charges against three men who orchestrated what has been described as the "largest theft of customer data from a U.S. financial institution in history." The formal indictment does not name the financial institutions directly, but a Reuters report confirms that JP Morgan Chase and ETrade were amongst the targeted companies.

The indictment alleges that three men -- two Israelis and one American -- co-conspired over the course of years to electronically hack, con, and illegally traffic goods profiting in hundreds of millions. In the words of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, "The charged crimes showcase a brave new world of hacking and profit ... This was hacking as a business model." The range and extent of their crimes is too massive to list here.

5 Tips for Hiring a Legal Tech Consultant

Don't fight the technology: master it. Or get someone who is a master to the job for you.

Small firms are depending on technology more and more to help them keep their business running smoothly. We've previously written about considering a social media dashboard to help you manage the social media accounts associated with your firm, so we're squarely in the camp that technology is your friend.

But you're lawyers Many of you might not have the necessary skills to handle a major tech crisis. And even if you did, we hope you're so busy with clients that you can hire a technology consultant instead. Here are a few suggestions for hiring the right consultant for your legal tech needs.

E-Discovery Is Not Getting Easier Anytime Soon

Mercifully, the days of discovery that involved physically transporting bulky folder boxes are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Now, lawyers are opting to keep electronic forms of discoverable evidence on their electronic devices. E-discovery has even been one of the main factors that cause "paperless office" predictors to hold the views they do.

But a new monster has taken its place: the problem of dealing with hoards of mountainous electronic data. Ironically, the shift away from mountainous physical discovery into bite-sized electronic chunks has only encouraged data expansion to include files that even are only remotely related to the case.

Startup Takes Contract Management Into the 21st Century ... for Free

Just when you though you couldn't feel any more obsolete as a practicing attorney, a new startup begins offering a free service that threatens to take away more legal jobs.

These days, even getting work as a "doc reviewer" is the best that many licensed attorneys can hope for. But Silicon Valley's latest legal startup looks poised to strike the final nail in the coffin of the tedious practice of paper contract management.

The eDiscovery market is undergoing a major boom. The growth of the eDiscovery industry, estimated to triple in size before 2022, is being fueled primarily by the growth of massive data collection. From corporate instant messaging, to social media, to the Internet of Things, more and more of our information is being electronically stored and sifted through during litigation.

But, some eDiscovery industry leaders are starting to question the "collect everything" mindset, arguing that excessive data collection and storage is expensive, impractical, and unnecessary.

Digital Searches Now Require Warrants in California

A new law in California ensures that law enforcement can't snoop around your digital data without first obtaining a warrant. The California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) is the final result of months of pressure from Silicon Valley groups, media organization, and privacy advocates.

Law firm "tech support" does a lot more than make sure your Internet is running and software is up to date. In today's firms, technology professionals are an essential part of eDiscovery practice, litigation support, cybersecurity, and -- in the rare firm -- legal innovation.

And these highly-skilled tech workers are in store for a significant raise as more firms realize their worth and demand begins to outstrip supply. It might just be time to give your tech team a raise -- or watch them move elsewhere.

Goodbye Sam Spade, hello digital forensics specialist. Today, when you need to find the "smoking gun" (more often a smoking email or a wiped hard drive), you don't call up your private dick; instead, you meet with your forensics specialist. Digital forensics allows for the investigation and often recovery of materials from digital devices, from personal computers to cell phones to massive servers.

Digital forensics is not the same as eDiscovery. Most eDiscovery looks at active data -- information that is managed and readily available. Digital forensics searches much deeper, allowing the recovery of hidden, damaged or erased information and can reveal significant amounts of information that is otherwise not easily available.

Forget filing your discovery documents away in some basement storage closet or backing them up in piles of external hard drives. Logikcull, the eDiscovery company, is promising that it will reduce discovery archiving to its simplest form: a single drag and drop.

The company is offering one-step, cloud-based data archiving for users of its discovery automation products. That could make archiving as simple as uploading a photo to Facebook and doc review about as complicated as a Google search. And it won't cost you a million dollars either -- Logikcull announced early this August that it's allowing unlimited cloud-based data storage for its customers.