Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

July 2011 Archives

How to Protect Your Voicemail, Office Phones Post News Corp.

By some estimates, nearly 7,000 people fell victim to the News of the World phone hacking scandal, perhaps rightfully inciting a little paranoia amongst those who rely heavily on their voicemail boxes.

But while most out there won't suffer too badly if a rogue message is unleashed, as an attorney, you'd be wrong not to protect your voicemail.

Between messages from clients, experts, and opposing counsel, an attorney's inbox can contain a host of confidential and privileged information, all of which you're ethically bound to protect to the best of your ability.

Luckily, protecting your voicemail doesn't appear to take much ability at all.

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

Not too long ago, Facebook didn't even exist, while phone companies had provided means of communications for many decades. Then Facebook was born as a social networking site for college kids.

In just a handful of years, Facebook has exploded nationally and internally to the tune of 750 million current users. This, not surprisingly, has attracted the attention of the phone companies, who want equal regulatory treatment.

Indeed, a phone company trade group has stated its view that it is unfair for Facebook to provide Internet-based telephone services free from regulation, while telephone companies grapple with serious regulatory requirements.

60 iPhone, iPad Apps in 60 Minutes for Lawyers: Online CLE

Are you flummoxed by the newfangled technology that your iPhone or your iPad brings to the table? Are you unsure about what apps to get that might actually be beneficial to your legal practice (no, Angry Birds does not count)? Maybe you should make a notation to attend the iPhone apps CLE, put on by ALI-ABA.

What will the iPhone/iPad CLE entail?

Apparently, the 60 minute CLE will go over various iPhone applications that might be of most use to attorneys. Judging by the bulk of applications available through the App Store, maybe taking a gander at the program might be worth your while - if you have $195 to spend.

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

We all have heard about how privacy can be compromised in the new high-tech world. But the level to which people can be "undressed" continues to cause amazement.

As recently reported in FindLaw's Legally Weird, for instance, a computer repairman in California was arrested recently on suspicion of installing spyware on laptops that gave him the ability to take and download photographs of women taking off their clothes, showering and other highly private home activities.

This came to the attention of law enforcement authorities when someone reported unusual messages showing up on his daughter's computer.

Top 5 iPhone Apps for Lawyers on the Go

Look around a courthouse, high-rise office building or over-priced martini bar and it seems you can't swing a dead cat without hitting an attorney glued to their smartphones. 

Chances are, you're one of them. Which ultimately leads to the question, what are some top apps for lawyers? Fear not, for Greedy Associates has got you covered.

Video Court Hearings Save Pa. County, Attorneys Time and Money

Though many judges are still squeamish about televising court proceedings, it appears as though they're less likely to balk at the concept of video hearings.

Local courts (and even some federal agencies) nationwide have embraced video conferencing as a means to expedite proceedings, improve inmate security, and overcome witness limitations.

And in Pennsylvania? It's saving the state an estimated $21 million a year.

Lawyers and iPhones: Some 300K US Lawyers Use iPhone

Lawyers and iPhones haven't always had the best relationship.

In fact, there was a point when law firms were hesitant to adopt the new technology, refusing to offer support so that associates could securely access firm e-mail on non-BlackBerry smartphones.

But alas, this has changed, and according to the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Survey Report, 31% of lawyers use an iPhone, with 13% also using an iPad.

That's about 300,000 lawyers nationwide.

Law Firm Apps: Should You Make an App for That?

Up until this point, law firm apps have been distinctly underwhelming, with large firms producing smart phone applications that are little more than a transparent marketing ploy.

What if this doesn't have to be the case? What if there was a way to use smart phone technology to market your law firm and help clients at the same time?

Luckily, there is, and it comes to you from the Scottish firm of MacRoberts.

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

Google's attorneys have seen all manner of lawsuits come across their desks. The search giant gets blamed for a lot of things. Here's another:

Google was sued recently for injuries sustained after a pedestrian was injured by a car after she used Google Maps - she alleged that Google did not adequately warn her of the dangers of automobiles in the area.

Not surprisingly, the judge dismissed the case, holding that Google did not have a duty to warn the pedestrian that crossing the particular street could be dangerous.

Does Your Firm Need a Cloud-Based Litigation Organizer?

Cloud computing seems to be everywhere these days. There's Amazon's cloud service, then Apple's iCloud. And now, for attorneys and law firms, there's a cloud-based litigation organizer trying to create its own niche. Does your firm need conductR?

ConductR is a cloud-based software tool designed with attorneys in mind. They tested and consulted with dozens of firms before releasing the product, according to the company website.

Essentially, conductR is marketing itself as a litigation support management tool. The difference is that unlike more traditional on-site software and hardware, if you use conductR your information will be stored off-site, and the software is based on the software-as-a-service (or SaaS) model.

Google Street View Wiretapping Lawsuit Proceeds

Is Google Street View wiretapping? A Google Wi-Fi lawsuit says so.

A federal judge has recently decided to proceed with a Google wiretapping class-action case, refusing Google's request to dismiss the lawsuits. The lawsuits allege the Internet giant was illegally collecting online data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

The main feature in question is once again Google Street View. Hounded by privacy advocates, many have thought Google Street View is more than a little intrusive, since it snaps up photos of homes and residences without approval. But, this lawsuit isn't about the images that Street View encompasses - it's about the data that the Street View cars allegedly tap into.