Lawyers often must handle emotionally taxing matters. Sexual assault and/or child sexual abuse litigation are challenging for the lawyer because the subject matter is often the trauma the client has suffered. Trauma-Informed legal advocacy by Texas lawyer Cornelia Brandfield-Harvey draws on her years of experience in this area to share some wisdom.

Her advice is thoughtful and compassionate. Any lawyer who works with individual clients would be well served to read this post. It might assist you in identifying someone as a trauma victim who might not clearly present themselves as one.

The ABA 2020 Legal Technology Survey Report is out and the ABA has published the statistics related to Technology Basics and Security.

Sharon Nelson, President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., breaks down the results in her post Cybersecurity Stats are in for the ABA’s 2020 Legal Technology Survey Report.

Sharon Nelson
   Sharon Nelson

The responses indicate there are still improvements that  can be made with some powerful security tools not in widespread use by law firms. Some examples include two-factor authentication (used by 39% of respondents), intrusion prevention (29%), intrusion detection (29%) and remote device management and wiping (28%). Many law firms do not have cyber insurance. The report and Sharon’s post contain valuable information. Your law firm may not be using all the available tools now, but you certainly want to understand what tools are available.

 

To be honest, one of the last things I’d ever want to write a law practice technology tip about is Jeffery Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell’s deposition. But after a federal court recently released a redacted copy of her 2016 depositions, the cyber sleuths went to work.

Lawyers, if you ever relied redaction of a deposition to protect a client’s confidential information, you had best read Slate magazine’s We Cracked the Redactions in the Ghislaine Maxwell Deposition.

First of all, it turns out the deposition index can become a virtual Rosetta Stone to unlocking some redactions within the deposition.

Here’s one now-obvious example.

The redacted word in the index begins with letter c and it falls alphabetically between clients and color. It also looks like it is a seven-letter word.

But before doing searches for most commonly used seven-letter words beginning with C and L, one can use the index to check every time it appears to see if human intelligence can figure it out from context with the first two letters C and L.

But then you find on page 135 one entry has not been properly redacted and you can discover the important person’s name. The index now allows you to decode this redaction every tine it is used.

Slate demonstrates more entertaining ways to reveal redactions in this article.

I imagine we will see some Motions to Exclude Index from Release based on this document deconstruction. Without the index, the single redaction error wouldn’t “unlock” all of the other redactions of the same word..

Hat tip to Professor Gabe Teninbaum’s Lawtomatic Newsletter, Issue #109. If you are interested in his “content about legal innovation, technology, and the changing business of law,” you can subscribe here.

Do you find you don’t print many photos even though later you would like to have more prints? You may be great at determining which photos to use as exhibits in court, but not so good a picking which family gathering picture or nature scene to print. For $6.99 a month, Google Photos will use artificial intelligence to automatically select your 10 best photos and mail the prints to you. It should be entertaining to see what AL selects as your top ten each month.

For more information on this new service read For $6.99 a month, Google will send you prints of your 10 best photos, as picked by AI on The Verge.

Lawyers can benefit from automated document drafting of routine documents. The challenge is investing the time and money to automate document this process. OBA members have another option: OBA Intellidrafts. This subscription offering includes about 175 forms/templates, including the computation for Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines. We wanted something like the old OBA Formbook, but automated. These templates are intelligent, providing drafting guidance and commentary in context as you use them.

OBA Practice Management Advisor Julie Bays and OBA Intellidrafts creator (and Oklahoma attorney) Gabe Bass put together this video demonstration.

Free trial for OBA members. Sign up using your credit card. If you cancel within less than 30 days your card will not be charged. This is a subscription service from the Oklahoma Bar Association available to Oklahoma-licensed lawyers only.

 

I know an Oklahoma lawyer who doesn’t understand why so many lawyers use high-powered computers. He and his staff use Chromebooks. That just wouldn’t work for me. I’m a heavy multitasker that uses speech recognition and other resource hogging tools.

But for law firms who need to send staff to work from home, it is a wise and security conscious decision to send them home with a law firm laptop rather than having them use a home computer and if finances are tight, Chromebooks are very inexpensive. But before you make that decision, you need to understand what Chromebooks are and what they are not.

Therefore unless you are very familiar with Chromebooks, your attention is directed to 5 Pros and Cons of Using a Chromebook.

More lawyers and law firms are placing PDF files online for clients and potential clients to read or download. The conventional wisdom has always been to avoid placing too much information in PDF files on your website because Google and other search engines wouldn’t index them well or at all, so you wouldn’t get “credited” for your online content. It turns out that is not so true now and there are many ways to make your PDFs posted online much more SEO friendly. As more law firms place more PDF’s online this is good information.

Check out 13 Tips to Make Your PDFs SEO Friendly from Search Engine Journal.

As videoconferencing exploded in 2020, Zoom went from something most lawyers had never heard of to something many used every day. Zoom became a verb and, after months of a changed business environment with many videoconferences, many people now complain of Zoom fatigue.

While there are many video conferencing tools, Zoom zoomed to prominence for two reasons: 1) It was very easy to operate and 2) the free version was very useful.

But there is big money in business videoconferencing and we are going to see quite a battle between Zoom and Teams (at least on the small business level.) It is always good to understand the features that you may want in a business tool, so check out 6 Microsoft Teams features Zoom doesn’t have.

Lawyers are often concerned about the ethics rules requirements of understanding “the risks and benefits of relevant technology.”

But you do have to competently protect your clients’ digital information and you would be wise to protect your own digital information, particularly your online financial accounts. One of the major steps in protecting digital information is using multi-factor authentication for the online services you use. Fool is a strong word. But read this great column by these two legal tech experts to see why they used it. What Kind of Fool Am I (That Doesn’t Use MFA)? by Sharon D. Nelson, Esq. and John W. Simek