"Beware the Hidden Costs of Bad Formatting"

Pretty poor reaction to need for increased training given that documents produced by law firms are so important! "When talking to law firms about training, I often hear the following statements: 'It's so easy, you don't need training'; 'If you can't learn it in an hour, it's not worth knowing'; and my favorite, 'We're getting documents out the door.' "Law firms often use arguments like those mentioned above to skimp on training. However, there can be real bottom-line consequences to this kind of thinking. Training your users on proper document formatting can mean the difference between a document that will... Read more →

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"PowerPoint 2007 Takes On the Fear Factor"

Here's where presentation-savvy paralegals [PPT] can save the day (or at least the PowerPoint slides). Still, it's good to hear that "Microsoft Corp.'s upgraded presentation tool adds user-friendliness to increased visual interest." "The very word 'PowerPoint' instills grim fear in the hearts of would-be speakers and dread lethargy in the minds of would-be listeners. No other software application can boast such ominous power over sophisticated professionals. "I've personally witnessed scores of skilled attorneys desperately plead for help in using Microsoft PowerPoint to express their stilted, creative side; and conversely, I've been in the company of many audiences that collectively cringe... Read more →

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"Can Data Have a Life After a Death?"

Of course! Just be sure to utilize some basic, but smart, computer management skills: "Everyone who has worked with a computer, even before the arrival of the Internet, knows the sickening feeling of loss. Without warning, hours of your work suddenly vanish from the screen. You hope (and pray) that perhaps it's been saved in a backup or temp file -- but often it's not. As your internal soundtrack turns up the volume on Don Henley and Glenn Frey, you realize that your carefully crafted project is 'already gone' -- and that it's not the time for a victory song.... Read more →

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"A case of semantics"

I've got two complaints about this news article. One, the problem is with spelling, not semantics. Two, the reporter automatically assigned blame to a legal assistant for the typos: "Court documents can say the most amusing things. What's wrong with this sentence? "'We can only view AT&T's and Cingular's continued attempt to jeopardize NASCAR's relationship with NETEL as tortuous interference with this agreement." [snip] "Enough of being torturous of the poor legal assistant who probably made the typos. In his or her defense, 'Nextel' won't pass word-processor spellcheck in any form. And 'tortious' is such a fine legal term that... Read more →

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"Word 2007 Review: A Ribbon Runs Through It"

Microsoft Word users rejoice! Getting the "biggest boosts to your daily productivity," as this author suggests, makes me want to give Word 2007 a try: "We love it, we hate it -- we can't work a day without it. "I've witnessed more people gnash their teeth over Microsoft Word than probably any other software application. But no matter how many times we cuss at the automatic bulleting/numbering feature, we will continue to use Word to edit documents. [snip] "The Ribbon has become the de facto moniker for the new look of the Office 2007 products, including Word 2007. For years,... Read more →

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"Will Lawyers Flip for Adobe Acrobat 8?"

Oh, I think so! This new version of Acrobat seems to solve some serious problems: "When a major software company offers features that appeal directly to the legal community, it makes me happy. Version 8 of Adobe Acrobat blasted on the scene recently with some tasty ingredients that appeal directly to legal professionals, such as form field recognition, a "true" redaction tool and a Bates numbering wizard. "Obviously, Acrobat users from all walks of life can benefit from the new features, but legal practitioners are sure to gain the most from the improved software." Read more →

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"What's a Little Metadata Mining Between Colleagues?"

So, an organization sends a document to another without deleting the doc's metadata. And then it complains about that data being acessed! "When Florida Bar president-elect Henry Coxe III brought up metadata mining to the Bar's board of governors, some board members conceded they had never heard of the practice. "Coxe himself had only recently become aware that electronic documents could be mined for information about their history when it happened to a partner at this firm. At the board of governors meeting in December, he recounted the first time he became aware of metadata mining and its consequences. "The... Read more →

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"Dirty documents"?!?

Investor's Business Daily just published an article describing how documents -- like those created in Word & Acrobat -- may reveal more information than the authors intended: "'Dirty documents'" have become another surprise glitch of the computer age. "A dirty document is, in fact, most items written in two of the most popular formats there are: Microsoft's Word and Adobe Systems' Acrobat, which includes the PDF format. "Word and Acrobat, as simply one of their normal features, can retain all early versions of any document [PDF link]. So all changes and notes made by document writers could be viewed by... Read more →

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