The Blockchain: A Guide for Legal and Business Professionals

MIAMI, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Holland & Knight announced today that The Blockchain: A Guide for Legal and Business Professionals, authored by three members of the firm's blockchain practice, has just been released by Thomson Reuters. It is the first-ever book on blockchain technology and the law.


Claire Coe (Claire Legal Ltd) and Dr Steven Vaughan (University of Birmingham) research focuses mainly on the shift in the balance of power from law firms to clients and the pressure of firms to deliver “value for money” in a competitive market.

Ransomware infographic

Businesses who store majority of their documents and information as digital copies are at risk from cyberattacks. One of the most popular and harmful cyberattacks is ransomware. It is a malicious software that encrypts the users files, locking them down and making them inaccessible until a ransom is paid.

MS Word tips for lawyers

By default, the numbers on numbered lists are left-aligned in the space allotted for the numbering. However, aligning them to the center or the right (pictured on the right above) is easy, and we’ll show you how. When the numbers are left-aligned, the decimal points are not aligned and any items with two or more digits are closer to the text of the items than the one-digit numbers. We’re going to change the alignment on the numbers in our list to right-aligned
Read more at How to Geek...

20 reasons to blog outside your website

There was a time when everyone knew, and agreed, a law blog did not belong inside a law firm’s website. It was common sense. Today, we’re getting a lot of questions at LexBlog about whether a law firm should put their blogs inside a website. Some of that is caused by website developers and marketing agencies, whose founders and principals have never blogged to build their reputation or relationships, advising law firms to put their blogs inside their website.
Read more at Real Lawyers Have Blogs...

ADSL username and password theft

Unless you have a security-minded techie in your home, chances are that little attention is paid to your ADSL or broadband router security. Despite being the gatekeepers to our home networks, ADSL routers are low-cost devices that typically don’t see much security investment. The average user also does not maintain or update the device through its lifespan, either lacking the time or knowledge on how to do so.
Read more at MyBroadband...

Chatbot DoNotPay inventor tackles issues of the homelless

London-born Stanford student Joshua Browder created DoNotPay initially to help people appeal against fines for unpaid parking tickets. Dubbed “the world’s first robot lawyer”, Browder later programmed it to deal with a wider range of legal issues, such as claiming for delayed flights and trains and payment protection insurance. Now, Browder, 19, wants his chatbot to provide free legal aid to people facing homelessness. He said: “I never could have imagined a parking ticket bot would appeal so much to people. Then I realised: this issue is bigger than a few parking tickets.”
Read more at The Guardian...

Hiring technology consultants for law firms

Technology is essential to today’s legal practice, from your website, to your practice management software, to simple word processing tricks. But you’re a lawyer, not an IT specialist. So when it comes to setting up your firm’s intranet, evaluating cloud computing security, or figuring out what’s wrong with your email, sometimes it’s necessary to bring in a little help. Enter the legal tech consultant. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.
Read more at FindLaw Blog...


It has been brought to the Cape Law Society’s attention that an email titled “The Cape Law Society Past Due Members Invoice” has been disseminated to a number of members. The email contains a link to what appears to be a pdf file (purportedly the outstanding membership fee invoice).

Email productivity for lawyers

Tsunami, blizzard, avalanche, flood, plague. There are many ways to describe the volume of emails that hit your Inbox every day. One aspect of the problem that is created by the flood is managing the clients’ expectations. Intellectually they might appreciate that you have more than one client and are busy but, intuitively, they expect a reply to their emails almost immediately. Here is one way to provide that reply and yet maintain the right to manage your own priorities in a meaningful way.
Read more at Slawtips...

Email security vs employees

The ‘Nigerian Prince’ or ‘419’ email scams we’ve all seen take advantage of the age-old premise: people can be greedy and gullible. Or to put it more positively – people are intrinsically positive about the motives of others and are not on the lookout for scammers and criminals in every email exchange.

productivity in your law firmForget juggling. Most of us feel like we’re endlessly spinning plates, hoping we can keep all the parts and pieces of our lives from crashing to the ground. Then along comes summer, and the promise of a little downtime to relax and refresh — or at least remove a few plates from the stack. Assuming, of course, you can squeeze out any time for yourself.
Read more at AttorneyAtWork...

5 steps law firms should take to protect their sensitive dataIt has become more apparent in recent years that cybercriminals looking to profit from sensitive data are zoning in on law firms and their wealth of client information. Here are five steps to help your firm comply with necessary IT requirements while also making sure to protect sensitive client data and intellectual property from malicious actors.
Read more at IPWatchdog...

recover lost ms word documentYou’ve just closed an Office document and accidentally clicked Don’t Save. Or maybe Word crashed or your laptop lost power before you remembered to save what you were working on. We’ve all felt that pain, but all is not necessarily lost. By default, Office applications automatically save temporary backup copies of your documents as you work and there’s a good chance you can recover them.
Read more at How To Geek...

information security law firmsAs the latest wave of high-profile breaches shows, all the sensitive information law firms handle makes them attractive cyberattack targets. Here's what can happen and what you should do about it.
Read more at Information Week...

david williams werksmansImagine trying to secure 400 endpoints across a network that spans four physical locations across South Africa, carrying highly sensitive data and confidential information. Now imagine the significant negative repercussions for a top legal firm if security is breached.

ransomware esetOver the last 12 months, there has been a 16% increase in ransomare attacks, a Data Breach Investigation Report by Verizon, has revealed. Ransomware is a hot topic because of the organisations being targeted and because of how prevalent it has become. The report revealed that 89% of attacks “involve financial or espionage motivations”, with the former a clear catalyst.

scam alertA new scam targeting businesses is becoming more prevalent. The Modus Operandi is that the scammer will approach a small business that is registered on the Kwazulu-Natal Government database for vendors.

private browsing mode law firmsPeople snicker about private browsing mode, but it isn’t just for pornography. In fact, it’s not even just for browsing privately–it has other uses. This is all thanks to the way private browsing mode works. It gives you a temporary browser session that doesn’t share cookies with your main browser, and the data–including those cookies–is automatically erased when you close the private browsing window.
Read more at HowToGeek...

business fraud in south africaBusiness fraud is the crime that is least talked about because it is not as headline grabbing as armed robberies, and more importantly many businesses do not report this type of crime because they are afraid of reputational damage should it become public knowledge.

MWR infosecurityWe hear about data breaches in the legal sector relatively infrequently, however law firms are in fact regular targets of cyber attack; a lack of publicity does not reflect a lack of hostile activity. While the motivations may not be immediately obvious, they are very real.

block unwanted callsIn recent months I have been plagued by repeated calls from 031 833 2707 to my mobile phone. When I answer, there is no one on the other side and the call almost immediately hangs up, so it is most likely an auto-dialler gone wrong.

change and automate law firmA few years ago a number of industry experts began talking about the transformation of the legal profession, and how commoditisation, competition, and automation would change the way in which law firms work. “Not us,” said the large firms. “It will only affect small and mid-sized firms.” “Not us,” said the small firms. “It will only affect the mid-larger firms.” “This won’t affect me,” said the older practitioners, “since I will be retired in 20 years”.

hack law firmsIt seems that Russian hackers are every bit as prestige-obsessed as second-year law students going through on-campus interviewing. The nearly 50 law firms targeted by cyber-criminal “Oleras” and his (or her) gang are some of Biglaw’s biggest and best names. If you take the nation’s 15 most prestigious law firms, you’ll see 13 of them on the list of targets.
Read more at Above the Law...

file history backupFile History is Windows 10’s main backup tool, originally introduced in Windows 8. Despite the name, File History isn’t just a way to restore previous versions of files–it’s a fully-featured backup tool. After you set up File History, you can just connect an external drive to your computer and Windows will automatically back up your files to it. Leave it connected and Windows will back up automatically on a schedule.
Read more at How To Geek...

analogue dictation tapes law officesHere is why you should upgrade to a digital solution. “Please take a memo.” Ever since that phrase was first uttered, dictation has been an indelible part of the legal landscape. Of course, changes to technology over the years have made the process faster and easier.

Ultimate guide to KPI for professional firmsHow valuable is your organisation? What is your company worth? To most people, these are fairly straightforward financial questions. To find the answer, you would go back to budgets and profits. However, this isn’t the only way to track value. Business KPI management is becoming an increasingly important indicator of a business’ value. There are many KPIs that need to be taken into account for Professional Services organisations.
Read more at SilverSoft...

philips dictation tips from powerhouse dictationMost of the time audio recordings need to be transcribed. However there are times when the audio is of poor quality or badly dictated and this makes it very difficult for the typist to transcribe the document correctly. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your recordings can be easily transcribed with minimal errors and editing:

paperless office tips for law firmsWe published a Paperless Law Office E-Book which includes Paperless Law Office: Essential Systems (and Tools). But during related “paperless office” presentations over the past year, the same question kept popping up: Can you recommend brands of the tools that law firms use? In other words, what’s the best scanner or shredder to get? I’ve gotten lots of feedback and here’s a list of recommended tools from law firms that have gone paperless.
Read more at Legal Productivity...

iphone tipsMashable Tech Correspondent Christina Warren goes through four tips to help you unlock secret shortcuts on your iPhone.
Read more at Mashable...

dragon naturallyspeaking professional for law firmsDocumentation is an essential function in a law office. It needs to be accurate, but does it need to be time consuming and expensive? Increasingly, attorneys and other personnel in law offices are discovering the efficiencies of speech recognition software. What does speech recognition software do?

SilversoftWhat does it mean to practice law in “the new normal”? Simply put, it means lawyers will no longer be able to achieve financial success while operating with sloppy or ineffective business practices. For years, too many law firms have gotten by with marginal or inadequate management practices. Silversoft South Africa offers a White Paper on "The New Normal".
Read more at Silversoft...

billing ideasOver this last weekend I came across this short e-book on eliminating client billing hassles while improving the law firm profits - it is old but has some great "take-aways" which are still very relevant to law firms.

dellYou may personally not have to deal with bureaucracy or red tape, but that doesn’t mean big decisions come easily for any small business. Every corporate initiative, pilot project, new direction or policy change could mean the difference between survival and shutdown. So given how many heaping-full plates you’re already spinning at once, a mobility program might be the furthest thing from your mind.

dragon naturally speaking law firm better recognitionDragon Speech Recognition software can greatly enhance your efficiency and productivity if used correctly. Stephanie Diamond from ‘Dragon NaturallySpeaking for Dummies, 3rd Edition’ has some useful tips to help you use Dragon to its full benefit.

2016 big law firm technology threatsSean La Roque-Doherty posed this question to a handful of legal technology experts who took issue with the question to varying degrees. There is no single technology that threatens to disrupt the industry. Rather, they described emerging threats, processes already underway that will transform the way legal services are delivered and tasks that lie ahead for the industry.
Read more at Bloomberg BNA...

best-of-2015-legal-postsPerhaps I was prescient. Early this year, I predicted (in our fourth most popular post) that efficiency tech, online marketing, and cybersecurity would be hot topics in 2015. And lo and behold, each topic comes up in the ten most-read legal technology stories published by Capterra in 2015.
Read more at Capterra Legal Software Blog...

law-firm-white-papers-2015White papers are a place for deep thinking – deep thinking that is data-driven. Combine that data with innumerable client engagements, from small law firms to large – and from corporate legal departments to legal services bureaus – and we’re able to chronicle insights for the market in neatly packaged white papers. As part of our 2015 roundup series, here’s an at-a-glance listing of many of the white papers we’ve publish this year.
Read more at LexisNexis Business of Law Blog...

Communication geneticsBricks and mortar businesses have long been a thing of the past in markets, and in tomorrow’s world the most prized asset in commerce – knowledge – will be housed in progressive, digital and data driven environments run by people that promote information sharing and who despise the notion of self-imposed isolation within ivory towers.

changing legal industryTechnology has revolutionized all industries. The legal industry is no exception; it is just a stubborn industry that is reluctant to change with the times. In regards to revising the interpretation of a long-standing rule of law, it is wise to be measured and consider radical re-interpretations slowly. In contrast, maintaining a competitive edge and securing sensitive information demands a faster response.
Read more at the Sendan Group...

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