Archive for May, 2009

Main Blog is on Live Spaces

May 28, 2009

A Tech Lawyer to be

I haven’t yet decided which site to host my blog on.  WordPress is certainly more powerful, but appears to require more coding to get it going.  I am using spaces for now, but wanted to reserve the name in case I change.  Until there is another update, please go here

A Tech Lawyer to be

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Compliance and Recommendations on Social Networking Sites | Compliance Building

May 27, 2009

So the last post, led me to this post about the dangers of social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, especially when it comes to recommendations.  I’d bet the average person didn’t know that in several jurisdictions, attorneys are prohibited from using testimonials in advertising.  So is a referral on LinkedIn a testimonial?  Would you want to be the lawyer brought before your bar’s discipline committee while the point is argued?  It raises interesting questions about not only about how do these rules interact with where technology is going, but how does someone find a quality attorney to represent them.  What sources are available to rate attorneys and help you separate the good from the bad?

This journey into the world of technology and law is certainly raising more questions than it is answering.  Well we have three years of school ahead of us, while we figure it all out.

 Compliance and Recommendations on Social Networking Sites | Compliance Building

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Effect of Blogging and commenting on Legal Proceedings

May 27, 2009

Ok, this article contains a detailed look with multiple citations about cases and bar association rules that limit or control what an attorney can say or post in a blog or online forum.  The outcome of trials have been questioned and bloggers deposed to determine their level of interaction with juries.  It raises the question of a juror blogging and then interacting with commenter’s of the blog and whether or not that is a violation of the rules regarding extrinsic communications.

I believe this is an area that will be quite controversial over the next several years as the law adapts to the new technologies available.  The definitions of journalism are changing and the real time nature of communication via the internet and wireless mobile devices change the impact in a dramatic fashion.  I would encourage anyone interested in these issues to hit the link and read the article.

I was also impressed with the quality of writing in this article and the links to the reference cases, it was easy to follow and become more educated on the subject.  The article in itself serves to show the power of technology and the ease in which information can be disseminated.   I have also added one of the referenced blogs Protect Speech to my blog list.

Legal Technology – How Blogging Affects Legal Proceedings

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Surprised

May 26, 2009

I am surprised there are not more digital resources available to Law Students. I would think all textbooks/casebooks should also be available digitally, in a searchable format.  The format should also allow highlighting and annotating.  I have read accounts of students going as far as taking digital photographs, converting those to PDF files, running OCR to make them searchable and the either using Adobe Acrobat Professional for annotating or importing them in Microsoft One Note.  In the next few months before my first year of Law School, I intend to explore these possibilities and share them with my readers.  I will then continue to update my experiences as the school year progresses.

 

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Purpose of this blog

May 26, 2009

I will be a first year law student this August, embarking on my third career.  I started out as a consultant in the technology field, specializing in the architecture of collaboration solutions. When the tech bubble burst in 2002, I moved into Real Estate and Development, acquiring both a General Contractor’s license and a Real Estate Salesperson’s license.  I have always had a fascination with the legal profession and I plan to leverage my life experience to aid me in the practice of law.

     
In this blog I will be exploring topics about the use of technology in education and specifically as a law student, technology in general, the use of technology in the practice of law, the impact of technology on our laws, and how our laws impact technology.

This is the beginning of a journey, I welcome your comments and will do my best to respond.  I can also be followed on twitter http://twitter.com/atechlawyer

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Getting Started

May 26, 2009

Hopefully, people will enjoy my blog as a place where I share links to interesting stories and my thoughts on them as well.  Law School takes up most of my time, so some posts may be short on commenting and mainly just provide a link to something I found interesting.

The Trial Practice Tips Weblog: Keeping Up with Tech for Lawyers: Some Resources

May 26, 2009

Here is a blog post by a lawyer, Evan Schaeffer, in St. Louis.  He shares a list of websites with information on technology for Lawyers.

The Trial Practice Tips Weblog: Keeping Up with Tech for Lawyers: Some Resources

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Employee Gets $17.5 Million dollar verdict against Employer for theft of Personal PC

May 26, 2009

An employer, in taking what he believed to be his, learned an important lesson.  If you want to control the data your employees are using you should own and provide the computer that data is stored on.  It is also important to have written agreements that govern terms of employment, confidentiality of data and competitive reuse of a company’s data.

In the case of Trealoff v. Forest River Inc, Dallen Trealoff was hired to be an RV Salesperson by a company called Forest River Inc to start up their sales network.  The company did not provide Trealoff with a computer so he used his own.  Trealoff claims he had taken the job with lower compensation with he understanding that he we would be compensated at a later time.  When that compensation was not forthcoming, Trealoff started to look for a new job. Subsequently he was terminated, but before that happened the company president Peter Liegl took Trealoff’s notebook computer and not only deleted work related information but the employee’s personal financial data as well.

I think another lesson to be learned is that portable devices need to be password secured, which might have prevented the destruction of the data, in the event that the notebook had still been recovered.

For more details I have linked the blog post where I found this information below.

Employer Gets Whacked For $17.5 M For Stealing Employee’s PC : Employee Rights Post

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Netbook vs. Notebook – What’s right for you?

May 24, 2009

Just sharing this article that might help students trying to decide how much “horsepower” they need in their mobile computer.  It gives a good comparison of netbooks vs. notebooks. Personally, I am trying to reduce the number of computers I am using.  If one machine can meet all needs that would be great, but I think we are still not there yet.  For me the biggest challenge is video editing.  I am interested to see how the forthcoming Nehalem  mobile processors will change the game, but the likelihood have a having an under five pound notebook with discrete graphics is low.

I think I will using a notebook (possibly a tablet) for mobile and most purposes and then having a desktop as a family machine that is also used for video editing. I am concerned about the limited processing power of the netbooks, but if budget is your primary concern and you are aware of their limitation, it might be the right choice for you.

Living with a netbook: The performance penalty | Laptops and Desktops | ZDNet.com

 

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Unmasking Plaintiffs in Google Case

May 24, 2009

This post “ Unmasking Plaintiffs in (Firepond) Google Case “on law.com shows that all is not always as it seems.  When I first heard this story, I thought that it was a legitimate complaint to be concerned that someone searching on Google for your company name would be served up information/links on your competitors.  This can potentially be confusing for the searcher, who may not realize they are clicking on a competitor of the company/product they were searching for.

Then you find out that the people behind the suit have a history of acquiring patents, allegedly for the sole purpose of suing other people for patent infringement. Does that make the claim/suit any less valid? What impact does this have on innovation and the products available in the marketplace?  Is it protecting innovation or stifling it.  I think the next few years will be significant in the world of patent law, especially in the technology field and we will see changes in how patents are granted and what it takes to have an existing patent invalidated.

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