Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

June 2011 Archives

M&A In Practice: New, Faster Attorney Research Service

Thomson Reuters Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) has announced the launch of its M&A In Practice product. This new research service provides attorneys handling mergers and acquisitions with historical documents from thousands of successful and unsuccessful transactions.

The Accelus suite adds this new research database, adding to Accelus global and U.S. transactional resources already available.

The new M&A In Practice service provides a compendium of global deal documents.

Have You Committed e-Discovery Malpractice?

In early June, a lawsuit accused mega-firm McDermott Will and Emery of e-Discovery malpractice, an allegation that stems from the firm's reported failure to supervise off-site staff attorneys, which in turn led to the production of nearly 4,000 privileged documents.

Though there have been few widely publicized cases of e-Discovery malpractice, if you ask LeClairRyan partner Dennis Kiker, it's a lot more common than attorneys would like to think it is.

You may have even committed it yourself.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

It's obviously important for law enforcement officials to do their best to combat Cyber criminals. But is it possible that their efforts actually can cause harm by bringing down innocent Web sites in certain instances?


The FBI seized certain web servers as part of a raid, which caused several websites to go offline, including the sites of publisher Curbed Network, according to The New York Times. The raid apparently occurred late at night at as a hosting facility in Virginia utilized by DigitalOne, a company based in Switzerland. DigitalOne did not have any employees on the premises when the raid happened.

iPad Competition: Will Attorneys Use Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1?

Looks like Apple's iPad tablet may have some real competition - the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, one of the newest Android-based tablet computers out there.

Will attorneys be flocking to this new tablet computer?

It's a tentative "maybe," and like most Apple v. Android battles, it sometimes comes down to what you want out of your tablet - and what you want to use it for.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Generally, when responding to discovery production demands, including the production of electronic information, the responding party in US litigation must pay the freight of its own production, even though requested by the other side.

As parties to litigation are finding out, this can be tremendously expensive. But, a federal court has held recently that electronic discovery expenses can be recovered by the prevailing party, just like standard copying costs.

A future trend? Perhaps.

'TwitterSquatting' Lawsuit: Sarcastic Tweets Upset Copyright Holder

Is Twittersquatting the new cybersquatting?

It might not be, but it's certainly proven to be more than annoying for Coventry First. Coventry First is a leading company in the secondary life insurance market. Essentially, Coventry buys rights to life insurance policies and resells them to investors.

Coventry was understandably not amused when a Twitter user opened up a new account with the username "coventryfirst." The @coventryfirst Twitter account has been posting somewhat morbid tweets cheering for death.

Florida Bar: Shift all Pleadings to Email Format

In Florida, email pleadings may soon be the wave of the future.

Instead of having to deal with a mass amount of paper and complaints heading toward your way via the U.S. Postal Service, Florida attorneys may soon be facing a deluge of e-mail pleadings.

The Florida Bar is proposing that the state change its pleading methods so that attorneys must exchange pleadings with each other via e-mail instead of via paper, reports the AP.

DUI Checkpoint Apps Banned by Apple, not Google

Apple partially ceded to pressure by Senators Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid last week, agreeing to carefully scrutinize and ban future DUI apps from its App Store if found to encourage and enable drunk driving.

This move leaves Google as the only major app provider that has yet to make a move on the apps, which inform users of the exact locations of nearby DUI checkpoints.

Should Google follow suit and ban DUI apps as requested?

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Facebook is about to be subject to a probe by European Union data protection regulators. They will be looking at Facebook's implementation of facial recognition software to propose, without permission, the names of people to be tagged in photos, according to press reports.

These regulators will study the issue to determine whether there have been any data protection violations.

So, what is this all about?

Well, as we know, people can tag the names of others who appear in photos posted on Facebook pages. These can be handy, as viewers get to know who they are looking at in the photos.

Law Firm Can Buy Competitor's Name as Keyword to Market its Website

Though most of the quibbling over the purchase of a rival's name for the purpose of search engine marketing has focused on corporate entities, a recent Wisconsin case focuses on the use of lawyer keywords.

A state judge has dismissed a lawsuit between rival firms Habush Habush & Rottier and Cannon & Dunphy, finding that the latter was within its rights under state invasion of privacy laws when it purchased its rivals' names to market on the internet.

When is an emailed receipt not a "printed receipt," for purposes of the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)?

A unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that, where FACTA limits information to be included on a "printed receipt," an electronically-transmitted email message acknowledging a transaction is not a "printed receipt."

Dmitriy Simonoff sued Expedia, an Internet travel website, for violation of FACTA. The alleged violation was that Expedia included Simonoff's credit card expiration date on an email acknowledging a travel purchase.

Successful law firm internet marketing means developing clients through online contacts.

Why? Because when looking for an attorney, consumers do their homework online first.

Search engine results give you validation as a professional. If potential clients see you from their own Google search, they often see your professionalism as established.

Online contacts come from good law firm website design, and good law firm internet marketing. FindLaw's research indicates online contacts lead to client development.

So how to generate online contacts?

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Is it possible that a Cyber attack against the United States emanating from another country be considered a potential act of war? Yes, according to the Pentagon, The Wall Street Journal reports.

This means that the United States might be enabled to mobilize military force in response to certain Cyber attacks.

This reportedly is part of the Pentagon's first formal Cyber strategy. Unclassified parts of that strategy apparently are to be made public in a month.

White iPhone Lawsuit: Apple Sues NY Teen Who sold White iPhone Kits

Remember that clever New York teenager who was selling the white iPhone kits online - before Apple released the white iPhone? He was hit with a white iPhone lawsuit by Apple.

Fei Lam, 17, got the idea to sell white iPhone conversion kids in 2010, using his own homemade website, (now defunct).

Lam sold white iPhone kits on his website from parts he obtained from a deal he made with Apple supplier Foxconn, reports Network World. The conversion kits ranged from $135 to $279, and netted Lam a cool $130,000 before his legal troubles began to brew.

'Do Not Track' Bill Gathers Steam Amid Web Privacy Concerns

The Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011 may soon give web users an easier path to not being monitored by Internet and wireless companies. The bill comes amid increased attention by lawmakers on creating privacy rules for the Internet.

West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) introduced the legislation prohibiting online tracking, both on the Internet and on mobile phones, reports Reuters. The White House has called for such rules but has not supported a specific mandate that would block companies from tracking users.

Rockefeller's proposal makes "do not track" work like the "do not call" system. Internet browsers will, under Rockefeller's proposal, provide a one-click button. A consumer who wishes not to be tracked online can simply click a button on their browser, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Social Media for Law Firms: Which Way Should Your Firm Go?

Social media for law firms - it's the dawn of a new era in marketing and publicity. With the increase in Web 2.0 traffic, many law firms have begun to acknowledge the importance of maintaining some sort of social media presence.

For law firms, this might mean generating unique content to put on the web. Do you have a LinkedIn profile for your firm? A Twitter account? A blog? Have you heard of How about a Facebook account?

There are so many different ways for law firms to tackle social media. But, one thing is for sure - with so many firms getting on board the social media train, those that don't might get left in the dust.

Addicted to Outlook: Credenza Takes Microsoft Outlook Deeper

Are you addicted to your Outlook Calendar and Inbox? Do you go through withdrawal when you can't connect to Outlook's folders away from the office? Credenza might be the application that you are looking for.

An add-on to the popular e-mail application, Credenza offers a variety of different solutions - file management, time recording, and data encryption, to name a few. Many seem perfect for attorneys.

Utilizing the Credenza application seems to also be great for consolidating applications. So, what are some of the features?