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February 2006
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April 2006

"Swiss Firm H7b1 Celebrates Two Years of European Litigation Technology Pioneering"

Lit support is everywhere!

"H7b1, the Swiss firm innovating litigation technology practice in Europe, announces it celebrated two years of providing European litigation technology services.

"Litigation support technology is a combination of software, techniques and expertise that allows legal professionals from corporations and law firms to manage all information related to a legal matter in specialized electronic document databases.

"Typical legal matters that benefit from litigation support technology include due diligence, arbitration, risk management, litigation and regulatory compliance.

"Originally born in the United States, litigation support technology is now becoming used by European lawyers and risk managers as it provides a reduction in the operational costs of document management, an increase in document review efficiencies, and, most importantly, an increase in collaborative and sustainable approaches in legal matters."


Legal Research Guide: 1st Amendment Law

Another solid research find from The Virtual Chase:

"The University of Minnesota Law School sponsors this site on the First Amendment. It makes available various primary and secondary sources of information, including U.S. Supreme Court opinions, select appellate court opinions, copies of original sources
discussed in classic U.S. Supreme Court decisions, relevant historical documents and public opinion research results.

"Many of the documents are available in PDF format. There is no search feature. Our only concern is the site appears not to have been updated in about 2 years."


"Legal Aid Struggles to Provide Essential Services"

Volunteer time to your local Legal Aid if you can!

"Legal Aid of West Virginia doesn't receive enough support to give as much as it would like.

"The organization, which provides legal services to those who might not otherwise be able to afford such services, must raise money, as well.

[snip]

"Legal Aid's roots in the state go back to the 1950s, when legal service groups began organizing in West Virginia. The organization as it exists today started in 2002. It has 13 offices throughout the state and a staff of about 100 that includes paralegals and social advocates."


'Candygram' Case Delivers Good News for Criminal Defense

Well, this is a fun case....

"Big wins are so rare for criminal defense lawyers in federal court that one good victory can generate a lot of buzz -- sometimes even earning a nickname.

"For attorney Jeffrey M. Lindy, the Feb. 13 decision in United States v. Coles from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was just such a case and has come to be known among the defense bar as 'the Candygram case.'

"Voting 2-1, the 3rd Circuit agreed with Lindy's argument that evidence of drugs found in a hotel room should have been suppressed by the trial judge because the police had 'manufactured' an emergency situation to justify a warrantless search."

Hmm, sounds like current political events....


"Presenting Depositions a Better Way: Electronic Transcripts"

Yeah, electronic formats are almost always better -- find out why in this article from The Connecticut Law Tribune:

"Most lawyers [& paralegals!] are familiar with the standard types of transcripts for depositions. Generally, you can get a full-sized copy, condensed copy (mini), or a copy on diskette. If you prefer to get transcripts electronically, you are probably used to getting the diskette, which is referred to as an ASCII.

"If you are familiar with ASCII, you also are likely aware of its limitations for use with transcripts. Fortunately, there is another available option for electronic transcripts referred to as an e-transcript. Court reporting services such as Brandon Smith and Del Vecchio offer e-transcripts through RealLegal for minimal or no fee. With more widespread availability and little to no cost, it's likely that e-transcripts will take over as the format of choice for deposition transcripts."


"Don't Be a Victim of Keylogging"

Ouch! "Keylogging" is bad!

"It seems like every time you click your mouse these days, there's another computer security threat to worry about. Many of you in larger law firms pay good folks to keep on top of the latest digital dangers. But for the rest of us, self-education is the only option we have to protect ourselves from the latest viruses and spyware.

"Most of us are wary of threats like those, but some people don't do much to protect themselves because they're intimidated by technical topics -- they know how to click the Start button and launch Solitaire, but they don't really want to know what 'TCP/IP' or 'POP3' means.

"The good news is that the threat I'll discuss today is easier to grasp than how a virus works. And the bad news? 'Keylogging' is at least as scary and dangerous."


"Erasing Computer Files Might Create Employee Liability"

Good advice from The National Law Journal:

"Disgruntled employees beware. Erasing files on your company laptop as you leave the firm could trigger expensive civil liability under a federal anti-hacker law, according to a recent 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

"Since 1984, Congress has expanded the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act -- which was originally intended to punish hackers who break into computer networks or send computer viruses -- giving employers new civil remedies.

"Now, in one of a very few appellate interpretations of the anti-hacking law, a 7th Circuit opinion by Judge Richard Posner on March 8 adopts an expansive view of the law holding that permanently erasing files from an individual laptop computer could trigger federal liability. International Airports Centers v. Citrin, No. 05-1522."


"Case Management Software Can Be a Small Firm's Best Friend"

A good article found & submitted to The Estrin Report by Celia C. Elwell, RP:

"Lawyers at small firms, especially solo practitioners, have resisted adopting practice/case management (CMS) software -- even though there's no doubt that it can help firms deliver faster, better and cheaper services to their clients.

"The latest American Bar Association Technology Resource Center survey found that only 17.5 percent of solos have CMS at their shops. The numbers go up as firm size increases: With two to nine lawyers, it 41 percent; with 10-49 lawyers, it bumps up to 46 percent."

Maybe they're afraid of buying the wrong system....


"Freelance Paralegals: A Balancing Act"

Nice article from LawCrossing about freelancing paralegals:

"Because both men and women are expected to work for a living, time for the family is not at all abundant. However, a few individuals in the legal profession are finding ways to make it work. One of those ways is to turn freelance. 'I became a freelance when I had kids,' says Collette Calkins, a freelance paralegal who worked for Tharpe & Howell, a law firm in Los Angeles. 'It has worked out because I can work when I want to and take care of the kids.'

"Despite the flexible hours, freelancing is not for everyone. In fact, one of the most difficult aspects of being a freelance is keeping up with deadlines, because no one is physically present to hold you accountable. 'You have to have self-discipline but, you also need to have a lot of experience behind you. Otherwise, attorneys will not want to hire you,' replied Calkins when asked about the type of quallities one should have before even considering turning freelance. 'Sometimes I get an assignment that is due the next day. If it means staying up all night getting it done, I will do it,' she said. She also added, 'If you love what you are doing, it helps with the motivation and discipline.'"

If this sounds appealing, check out Paralegal Gateway for many helpful links.


Law Firm Help Desk Outsourcing Agreement

Well, I'd never heard of law firm help desks before, but it makes sense:

"Keno Kozie Associates completed the design and implementation of the Gloor Law Group's entire IT infrastructure when the firm announced its formation in early 2006. The new environment includes Interwoven WorkSite document management, Summation iBlaze litigation support and Juris legal accounting as well as other law firm productivity applications. Keno Kozie's Engineering, Training and Help Desk departments will support all applications at the firm."