Multi-tasking for paralegals and attorneys

Does this describe you? While you are on a teleconference call you are writing up your quarterly report, checking your email, and texting your friend about where you are meeting for lunch. You would say that you are good at multi-tasking, right? You might want to re-think your strategy. Recent estimates are that you can lose up to 40% of your productivity if you multi-task.
Read more at Psychology Today...sychology Today...

Examining electronically stored information

Many companies and individuals are regularly in the position where they wish to source Electronically Stored Information (ESI) from a third party during litigation. The process may occur through consent or may be in terms of a court order. The applicant should always consider the nature and the volatility of ESI as well as the format in which the data will be collected.

opensource forensic tools

There are a number of excellent opensource forensic tools (OSDF) available online and utilisation of these tools can lead to inexpensive investigations and information gathering in relation to electronically sourced information (ESI)- this will include all data that is stored in electronic format. 

Keyboard Shortcuts

Letters, check. Numbers, check. Basic punctuation, check. You’re off to a good start if you know how to use those things on your computer keyboard. But what about the other keys you never touch for fear of somehow breaking your computer (like those ‘F’ ones)? This article will walk you through what those soon-to-be-known keys do and some shortcuts to make your technological journey quicker and easier than ever.
Read more at The Hearty Soul...

Megan Jackson

As the volume of big data escalates and data storage capacity increases, law firms need to take a proactive approach to data discovery, retention and management. Electronic discovery (eDiscovery) is the process in which electronic data is sought, located, secured and searched with the intent of using it as evidence in a civil or criminal legal case. 

Litigation and social media

Companies and individuals as well as legal representatives  should take note of a recent case heard by the High Court in Bloemfontein Bainsvlei Lodges (Pty) Ltd t/a Bains Game Lodge and Others v Lessing and Another (6215/2016) [2017] ZAFSHC 119 (27 July 2017), which is indicative of the courts attitude towards ill-considered postings.

OpenLaw offer Smart Contracts to lawyers

US and Swiss project, OpenLaw, is launching a new smart contract platform that will allow lawyers to make legally binding and self-executing agreements on the Ethereum blockchain. The OpenLaw system allows lawyers to make use of a searchable database of templates on the platform (see video below) to then create customised contracts for specific transactional uses, e.g. a finance agreement, or a short-term employment contract.
Read more at Artificial Lawyer...

Preserving digital evidence

Whether you elect to have an external or internal team,  having an efficient and quick response in today’s information age is essential. Where twitter, Instagram, Facebook and a number of other social media platforms are utilised to spread news, many of which has been proven to be so-called “Fake news” to instigate disharmony – your brand may be at serious risk.

Windows OS updates

For about 15 years it has been a standard practice among law firms to skip iterations of Desktop Operating Systems—go to Windows 7 from XP, for example, or from Windows 7 to 10. As a result, desktop deployments used to be projects slated for every few years. This model, however, is no longer sustainable. With a new update schedule and a less than forgiving end-of-support timeline, skipping versions will leave firms scrambling to test, pilot, and deploy updated builds in uncomfortably small windows.
Read more at Legal IT Professionals...

ESI - outsource or in-house

It goes without saying, that paper based transactions are declining and communication via email are increasing at a rapid rate. The majority, if not all documents, are created digitally. Taking into account current news headlines, a number of in-house legal teams as well as legal firms will be inundated with enquiries regarding their documentation, including the ESI (Electronically Sourced Information).

Chatbots for law firms

Two years ago, Joshua Browder launched his DoNotPay chatbot as “the world’s first robot lawyer” to help people fight parking tickets.  He later expanded it to provide free legal aid to the homeless, then expanded it again to help refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. and Canada, and earlier this week he announced a massive expansion into another 1,000 legal areas.Today, Browder took it a step further, opening up his platform so that anyone can create a legal bot for free, with no technical knowledge.
Read more at Law Sites Blog...

Paperless with DocFusion

How do we transform our business by applying digital technologies with minimal impact on our current processes and budget? What constitutes a successful digital transformation journey? Let’s see if we can answer some of these questions, but we will do so while answering a more specific question: How do we digitally transform our paper and resource intensive business into a well-oiled, automated paperless office?

Outsourcing digital forensics

Many large corporates have internal legal counsel, who then work in tandem with their preferred external legal representatives. However, with the advent of information technology, and the increased requirements of specialised knowledge of the IT world, it is becoming very apparent that in-house counsel require a multi skilled team approach to all litigation related matters:

Drive Practice Cloud Solution

Cloud computing, very different to hosting, has enormous benefits for businesses.  Law firms large and small will stand to benefit the most from this innovative technology. Many legal practice management solutions are now being offered as “cloud” solutions.  Effectively these vendors “cloud offering” is to provide their solutions hosted on a server in a datacenter for each of their clients. Cloud computing and hosting are similar, in that cloud computing also uses computers hosted in a datacenter, but there is a fundamental difference between hosting and cloud computing.
Read more at Drive Revenue...

Social media investigations

It is estimated that the internet contributes to over $2.2 trillion in annual retail sales. Negotiations are conducted over continents via email, major contracts are concluded, electronic service of notices are accepted by courts as proper service etc. (This includes service by social media such as facebook).

6 search tips for google

Google is the go-to destination when you need to find something on the web—the verb "to google" even made it into the dictionary. But while everyone's heard of the popular search engine, very few know how to make the most of it. Behind the unassuming Google interface, you'll find a host of useful tricks to help you zero in on what exactly you want to find. Looking for an obscure recipe or rare photo? Read on to start using Google like an expert.
Read more at Popular Science...

Installing Windows 10 by USB

With its range of office and networking capabilities, Windows 10 has a lot of advantages for members of the legal profession in South Africa. When you're putting together the ideal PC, either for personal use or for your firm, money is sometimes a consideration.

Biometric access will need improved security

The past few years have seen an increasing trend in the implementation of biometric clocking systems to monitor and control employees' access to the workplace.

Understanding technology is important for lawyers

Serious money can be saved if you don’t listen to a vendor peddling snake oil at a conference, or an IT consultant whose prime concern may not be your wallet/purse. When you learn about technology, you at least know the right questions to ask. You may not know enough to make the decisions and you may still need guidance, but you may know enough to be a “BS filter.” And once you smell that bull, you’ll know you’re talking to the wrong person. That is very useful in and of itself.
Read more at Law Practice Today...

Wannacry Ransomware

Businesses are still dealing with the fallout from a cyberattack that hit 200,000 victims in 150 countries, with many organizations and individuals wondering if they are at risk. WannaCry affected an exploit in the Windows XP operating system on PCs, and Microsoft shortly sent out a fix for the security flaw. But authorities such as the U.K.'s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), warned over the weekend that as the working week begins, further cases of ransomware could come to light.
Read more at the CNBC News site...

MS Word 365 tips

Microsoft Word remains an enterprise productivity mainstay, with more than 90% of businesses providing Office to their workers.1 "Yet despite that popularity and familiarity, many quirks and tricks in Word go neglected and unused—tricks that could save us time and frustration if we could just remember them." Here are 10 popular TechRepublic articles with tips for becoming a Microsoft Word power user and gaining the most productivity from the program.
Read more at Tech Republic...

Ransomware on the increase

Vienna - Threats to our cyber security are constantly evolving and are becoming ever more sophisticated as our homes and cities become smarter and internet technology winds itself through every area of our lives. And as our technological world grows, so too, do the threats against us with year-on-year figures for cybercrime constantly increasing. There were about 476 million attacks globally in 2016, compared to 224 million in 2015. In the first quarter of 2017 there were 2,26 billion cyber threats.
Read more at Fin24...

AJS advises on regular backups

There have been some recent unfortunate events that have resulted in some serious consequences as a direct outcome of not having proper backups in place. Not having backups can bring your business to a standstill. This can result in severe financial losses and, in worst case scenarios even closure of business.

lawyer says crime syndicates have got into banks and mobile operators

Attorney Johan Victor said crime syndicates have infiltrated banks and mobile operators in South Africa, and are assisting in SIM-swap and online banking fraud. Victor is representing a group of people who have lost millions due to Internet banking fraud.
Read more at MyBroadband...

Shared workspaces

For hundreds of years, bricks and mortar offices have been the corner stone of legal practices – they have dominated how clients interact for the provision of legal services. The Uber effect is now here and some firms are reducing stress on overheads, harnessing the online word and starting to use “virtual offices” complemented by websites, apps and cloud computing.
Read more at Lawyers Weekly...

Recording a video for evidence

Smartphone videos dominated the headlines over the course of March 2017, most notably in an altercation at a Spur restaurant in Johannesburg and a viral video of a traffic officer swatting a phone out of a filming motorist’s hand. This begs the question, when are you allowed to legally video tape and audibly record someone in South Africa?
Read more at MyBroadband...

Bitcoin explained

As interest and coverage continues to rise on the topic of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, there is an increasing number of investors that are completely dubious to the “under-the-hood” mechanics of the technology. While a ‘complex’ understanding is typically left for the software-engineers and experts alike, a dumb-downed version can easily explain all the intricate complexities of Bitcoins; that is, without leaving much room for questions or concerns on the legitimacy of the rising cryptocurrency market. That is what this article will concentrate on. Explaining Bitcoin a bit further from the usual “it’s a ledger… kept by everyone!” notion.
Read more at Column St Medium site...

Big data analytics

Data analytics can easily be harnessed to give clients a sense for what their costs are under certain assumptions – and that’s very useful for an attorney in selling their services. Imagine being able to tell a prospective client, Mr. Smith – given the type of case we are dealing with, if this case goes all the way to trial, based on historical data, we can be 95% confident legal fees will cost between $73,000 and $77,000.
Read more at Above the Law...

Alison team

South African people are taking to the internet in greater numbers than ever before to gain workplace skills, according to new figures released by Alison. The organization, which is one of South Africa’s largest free e-learning providers, revealed that a small majority (57%) of its users in 2016 were female, and that the site is most popular in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Legal tools for law firms

For the roughly 900,000 attorneys serving in firms of ten attorneys or fewer, legal technology is the great equalizer. With the right technology, firms can run more efficiently, satisfy clients better, research cases faster, stay on top of tasks, and maintain an output that keeps them competitive with larger firms. But there exists an incredible amount of software to choose fromso below, we’ve outlined the legal technology solutions that will keep your law firm running like a well-oiled legal machine, wherever and however you work.
Read more at Medium.Com...

Robots in Law by Joanna Goodman

This notion of AI as something about which you have no choice is perhaps the true theme of this book, which surveys the rising use of AI in law and offers predictions on where it might lead the legal industry. While the prospect of robots in law is threatening to many lawyers, one clear takeaway from this book is that those lawyers who most readily accept the reality of AI and incorporate it into their practices are the lawyers who will be most successful in years to come.
Read more at Above the Law...

Speechlive

Hicks Oakley Chessell Williams sets standards for balancing the workload between two offices and location-independent working. The law firm Hicks Oakley Chessell Williams, located in Melbourne, have provided high quality legal services to their clients since 1983. The company has two offices, one in the well-known Central Business District of Melbourne and one outside the city in Mount Waverley.

Pierre Aurel, Strategic Project Manager, e4

That innovation is important and necessary for survival goes without saying. While there is no universal solution for organisations looking to improve their ability to generate, develop, and disseminate new ideas, some strategies are superior to others.

Lawyers embracing technology

Ken Day* – Let’s face facts – many lawyers ‘of a certain age’ are just happy where they are with their tech skills.  They are close to being Luddite in their aversion to new technology.  But being tech savvy is more important than ever in the hyper competitive legal world. As the world changes – and boy has it changed! – the need to adopt more tech savvy skills has not only changed with it, but has become a necessity.
Read more at Law Fuel...

Mobile trends for lawyers in 2017

Since smartphones were first rolled out, iPhones have always been the smartphone of choice for the majority of lawyers and that trend continues in 2017 with 73% of lawyers using iPhones, 23% using Android phones, 3% using Blackberrys, and 2% preferring Windows Mobile. When it comes to tablets, iPads are the most popular with attorneys at 84%. Android is next at 10%, followed by Windows Mobile at 5%, and Windows Surface at 1%.
Read more at Above the Law...

Leaving your law firm

So the time has come for you to depart your law firm. Maybe your book of business has outgrown the firm. Maybe the firm has charted a course that doesn’t include you. Maybe you just need a change. Whatever the reason, departing a law firm partnership can be a surprisingly challenging — and potentially perilous — exercise if you are not prepared.
Read more at Attorneys at Work...

law firm hosted telephony

Making the transition to a Hosted system is a step businesses in every sector will need to consider in the near future. While the many benefits of hosted telephony are becoming vastly more understood, any upgrade to your firm’s infrastructure needs to be carefully weighed up. So, what makes hosted telephony such an attractive option for modern businesses, and how well do these advantages translate to the specific needs of your law firm?
Read more at Legal IT Professionals...

Secure law firm websites using ssl

SSL certificates are becoming more important and Google has made their commitment to the secure web very clear. Eventually they may not even rank non secure websites. But now that it’s been over 2 years since Google’s first SSL announcement I was curious to get an idea of how many law firms are using SSL Certificates.
Read more at Juris Digital...

data breach litigation

Mossack Fonseca. Before April 2016, most of us had never even heard of a Panamanian law firm by that name. But, after one of the largest and certainly most high-profile cyberattacks, the firm and its mountain of records evidencing shell companies, straw transactions and offshore accounts — documents that have come to be known as the “Panama Papers” — have become synonymous with one of the hottest topics in the legal industry: cybersecurity.
Read more at the Fox Rothschild website...

Conveyancer and client duped

A couple who sold their property failed to get the £98,000 proceeds because they and their solicitor were duped by a fraudster who intercepted their emails. The fraudster managed to generate fake emails posing as both parties – solicitors Powell & Co of Sutton Coldfield and their clients Max and Davinder Deluca. In doing so the fraudster managed to reassure the Delucas that the transaction had successfully completed by pretending to be their conveyancer Powell & Co. They defrauded the real bona fide conveyancers at Powell & Co by posing at the Delucas.
Read more at Mortgage Finance Gazette...

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