I am still amazed at the number of lawyers who fail to adopt current technology in their practices. Whether it is the refusal to use scanners, online filing and signing of documents, or security protocols for data that are free and available, lawyers who delegate such tasks to other persons in the firm are taking a big risk. It is pretty clear that failure to learn and to use the tech tools available can become a malpractice risk; and, even tech savvy users can face the risk if we don't keep up with the advances and new methods available. My biggest peeves are lawyers who don't use two factor authentication at sites for which they enter confidential client data, and the failure to use the freely available research tools online. How are you using tech? Do you know where your clients' data is? Are you backing up your data regularly? Are you using online legal research properly? Do you use document processing tools efficiently? Do you sign efiled documents digitally? Are you using social media to reach clients and colleagues? Are you following your area of specialization online at expert blogs? Are you using a SmartPhone to keep up with emails, texts, and other practice specific data while away from your office?
Two Ways Lawyers Can Deal with Stress and Anxiety | Solo Practice University�.I don't recommend open heart surgery as a strategy for dealing with stress and anxiety. However, dealing with such an event will help anyone (not just lawyers) develop a healthy attitude towards stress and anxiety. I mean, once you have had your chest cut open, and spent 5 hours on a heart lung machine, what exactly could bother you? The two tips in this article for dealing with typical lawyer stress and anxiety are really all related to mind set. We are trained, as lawyers, to deal with serious life events, and serious disagreements among human beings. We are trained to plan for the worst. Sometimes, however, we fail to recognize that the worst doesn't always happen; and, even when it does, there is always a way to deal. Mindfulness, meditation, controlling thinking responses; all these are just code words for living in the present. So, how can I stress about what might happen in a hearing, or a trial, or a nasty client interaction, if I concentrate on how nice it is to be awake and alive and having my first cup of coffee? Become an observer of your life, and the stress and anxiety will seem like someone else's problem. You don't need to wear robes, or burn incense, or chant, or make weird noises. Just sit and concentrate on what if feels like to be alive today. If you want an easy way to train your mind to do this, I recommend Headspace.
Just as an example of the power of document creation with new software, this video explains one of the many functions in the office that Power PDF can perform. Every lawyer will identify with the problem created by dealing with fill in the blank forms. It is very easy to create, fill in, and distribute PDF forms with this essential software. We live our lives online these days, and dealing with PDF forms is an everyday occurrence for most of us. How are you handling forms?
The new version of Nuance's PDF product, Power PDF, contains many improvements; but, it has become an essential part of my practice. Now that EFiling is mandatory in Florida, and ERecording, Electronic Notarization, and electronic client communication has become standard, a competent software system for dealing with PDF files is mandatory. Power PDF is inexpensive and has all the functions required to run a modern law office. I use it all day, every day, and every document I create with my word processor is converted to PDF format. It is hundreds of dollars cheaper than Adobe, and easier to use. If you deal with PDFs in your practice, you need to take a look at this great product. I paid a discounted $69.99 for mine, and discounts are easy to find on the Internet. Check out this short video for a tour:
Technological Foundations of Artificial Intelligence - Law Technology Today. I understand the urge to create conflict in order to tell a story. However, I grow tired of reading predictions that machines will someday replace lawyers. As I have said often, machines and computers and AI, Oh My, will act as augmenters for real lawyers, and real lawyers will continue to offer legal advice, and to represent clients. This argument could have been made with any technological invention. Did the invention of the telephone replace lawyers or legal assistants? Did the fax machine? Of course not. AI and other technology will make it easier to be a lawyer because it will streamline the process of big data analysis. Lawyers will make better decisions because they have better information provided by machines. Machines will never, however, be trusted by clients to act as intermediaries in the legal process. That kind of conflict is, and will always be, restricted to human beings. If we ever start using machines to make our legal decisions for us, I will quit the practice of law. So, writers and authors and purveyors of futurism, please cease and desist with the robot versus human talk. Can't we all just get along? Let's shake hands with our robots. Just make sure you program their grip properly.
Microsoft leak shows why OS backdoors are dangerous. I am certain Microsoft software engineers had the best of intentions when they created BackDoor access to their OS. A BackDoor is a way to access the OS and can be used to install malicious software on a client system, or even to install a new OS. Physical access to the system is required; but, the security risk is still huge. In Microsoft's case, the security keys necessary to open the BackDoor were inadvertently leaked, and it is now too late to eliminate the risk. Called the Golden Key leak, this shows why Government insistence on having BackDoor access to computers for national security reasons is such a risk. How do we balance the Government's need to keep us secure with our right to privacy and security in our computer systems? This balance will be the most serious question of our millennium. Of course, lawyers and the courts and the legal system will play an important role in achieving this balancing of rights.
Palm Beach County Bar Association %u2013 New DCA Ruling: Clerk%u2019s Office No Longer to Accept Paper Filings from Attorneys. Efiling has been mandatory in Florida since 2013. While there are some exceptions (Wills, etc), most documents and pleadings required to be filed in Florida are sent as PDFs or Word documents via the Efiling Portal to any County in the State. Florida has led the Nation in adoption of Efiling, and it has certainly streamlined the FutureLawyer's practice. Now, paper filings are going to be rejected in the future; although some Counties have accepted them notwithstanding the EFiling requirements. Brave new world.