In this edition of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway present their favorite tech toys for the holidays. Nelson and Calloway have each picked out their choice of new electronics for themselves or loved ones. These new gadgets range in practicality from the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 to a bacon scented alarm clock and they range in price from a $20 Bluetooth Shower Speakerphone/Radio to a glass yacht that you can’t afford if you care how much it costs. Other products include a tablet, an Apple integrated flash drive, a cheap drone, noise-cancelling headphones, a flux capacitor USB port for your car, rhumbas for your grill and driveway, and even a Yeti cup. Tune in for inspiration and awe on the direction technology is heading. Who knows, you might hear about a new tech toy you have to have!
Hosted by two leaders in the cybersecurity and digital forensics industries, Sharon D. Nelson, Esq. and John W. Simek, Digital Detectives is for listeners who are interested in digital forensics, e-discovery, and information security issues. Nelson and Simek invite digital forensic and computer security experts to enlighten listeners on the latest e-discovery technology, cyber threats and security policies and measure to keep data secure.
The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology, hosted by attorneys Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway, provides listeners with tips and tools for career success, as well as cutting-edge technology news. Nelson and Calloway invite noted authors, speakers, and legal technologists to discuss topics at the intersection of law and technology.
On this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview cybersecurity expert David Bodenheimer about the effects of cyber attacks, whether they are likely to proliferate, the connection between the private sector and government defense, and the legal risks to contractors and bystanders. Bodenheimer first explains how economic cyber crimes are different than cyber war, and gives some examples like the US cyber security threat in 2009, the 2007 cyberattacks on Estonia, and Stuxnet, a computer worm that destroyed many control systems in Iranian nuclear plants. He explains that there is a global cyber race and, in a few years, no self-respecting military will be without cyber attack capabilities. Unfortunately, there are no international treaties or laws that directly govern cyber weapons and war. Bodenheimer also discusses US laws that federal agencies and contractors could face to account for damages. These could include the DHS SAFETY Act, Public Law 85-804, and various legislative proposals, but there is no clean fit.
In this episode of The Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek discuss the evolution of technology and case discovery, how predictive coding works and is priced, and examples of cases that have involved predictive coding. Simek first explains the importance of culling, or filtering out unimportant data sets through DeNISTing, deduping, or filtering by dates. He then explains predictive coding in its simplicity: to feed a computer program information based on discovery attorneys have already done until the computer can accurately predict which information is important. Simek and Nelson then go on to examine the prices vendors charge for the predictive coding process and in which cases it might be profitable for the law firm or client. There is a steep, expensive learning curve involved; many mid-sized law firms probably will not profit and even very large cases only save an average of 15% using predictive coding. However, Nelson explains, predictive coding is the future of discovery, so it is important for lawyers to pay attention to when the benefits outweigh the costs.
On this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview attorney and iPhone J.D. blog writer Jeff Richardson about the new Apple products and services, what he recommends for lawyers, and predictions for the future of technology. Richardson starts by describing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, differences from previous iPhones, and size and storage recommendations for lawyers using a smartphone in their practice. He gives some suggestions for essential accessories including a case, external battery, additional cables, and bluetooth headphones. Richardson then describes new iOS 8 features such as predictive text and interactive notifications, how the Apple Watch will change the future of wearable technology, and what Apple Pay means for consumers and vendors. Although Apple is always coming out with new products, it is a particularly exciting time for lawyers and technology.
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Microsoft expert and technologist Ben Schorr about the Office 365 services and products as they pertain to use in a law firm. Schorr answers some of the often asked questions concerning the difference between Office 365 and Office Suite 2013, cloud based information storage, collaboration and sharing, and the way that Microsoft’s pricing differs from other software providers. He wraps up the interview by explaining the differences between SharePoint and Matter Center for document management and advises lawyers and legal professionals to do online research and work with a Microsoft partner before deciding on products for a firm. There are many options to pick and choose from for a firm of any size, from solo to big law.
In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview ESI preservation expert James Kurz about how Rule 37(e) works and what the consequences are for the future of ESI preservation. Kurz explains that the rule, which only deals with ESI, proposes a three part test before considering spoliation issues: the ESI should have been preserved in the anticipation or conduct of litigation and is lost, the ESI was lost because the party failed to take reasonable steps to preserve the information, and the missing information cannot be restored or replaced with additional discovery. If this test is passed, the federal court may then impose remedies, or if intention is proved, order more serious sanctions. He explains that Rule 37(e) will make a more homogenous legal process for e-discovery, and will solve some of the controversy surrounding the costs of ESI preservation and e-discovery for businesses. Although the rule faces the Judicial Court, Supreme Court, and then Congress, Kurz believes it will go through and be effective in December 2015.
Wearable technology like the smartwatch is the next in a long line of new technological advancements that are embraced by some, but viewed skeptically by most lawyers. Judges already discourage smart phones in court and many clients worry about a decrease in information security. But if used properly, a smartwatch can actually increase the productivity, availability, and even safety of any lawyer’s practice with fewer disruptions. What are the best practices for using wearable technology to benefit your practice?
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview legal technology expert Richard Georges about wearable technology, how smartwatches enhances his ability to be productive, and what lawyers need to consider when adopting this new technology. Having a smartwatch, Georges explains, actually decreases court disruptions and car distractions while making him accessible to clients at all times. Most of the issues concerning data security are due to human error rather than technology. As long as lawyers learn how to properly embrace wearable technology, he says, it can improve any practice from big law to a solo firm. The risks are not greater, they are simply different.
Despite all the attention that e-discovery has received over the last decade, it is still a relatively new part of the litigation process. For those lawyers who were never exposed to e-discovery in law school or their formative years, the systems and products involving data collection and analysis can be overwhelming and complex. How much do lawyers need to know about information governance, data collection, data analysis, managed document review, and electronically stored information (ESI)? Alternately, for those data collection practitioners who are already intricately involved in the culling and analysis, how is the technology and process changing?
In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview e-discovery solutions expert Aaron Lawlor about what is involved with ESI and data collection, current trends in data analysis, and future advances in technology and process. Lawlor urges every litigator to become experienced with the state and federal rules involving e-discovery in order to better serve their clients. He explains the process of research and documentation of key players in the case, and then collecting, analyzing, and refining any relevant information before presenting to the counsel. In order to facilitate this process, lawyers and data collectors narrow the data set early by a process of visualizing connections and communication mapping. It is important, Lawlor says, for every lawyer to become familiar with e-discovery and data collection, since it is an increasingly important source of information.
Every law firm can run into incidents of employee misconduct, data breaches, and intellectual property theft. In the age of modern technology, data breaches, insider trading, and other security problems require extensive technological forensics. Partners and firm owners, as well as lawyers working within the firm, need to understand why a digital investigation is needed, what steps should be taken within an investigation, and who should be involved. Having this knowledge can save the firm thousands of dollars while uncovering the truth.
In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview ediscovery and compliance attorney Patrick Oot about how attorneys should be prepared on technology issues when they start to investigate criminal and civil matters. Everyone leaves technology footprints, Oot explains. Whether dealing with an internal investigation or with client data, the most important asset is unbiased, comprehensive, and well documented research. When hiring a digital investigator, the firm should always find an outside expert who is experienced with data breaches, understands how data moves through the system, and can manage proper narrative to the regulators. Properly conducting a digital investigation can make the difference in the credibility and success of a law firm.
When a law firm breaks up or a lawyer leaves to start a new practice, there are always clients, contingency arrangements, and hourly cases to split up. It is important to know what ethical steps a lawyer or law firm should take when parting ways. If the firm splits up, who has the rights to the name, brand, clients, or even client files? How can both parties ethically allocate unfinished business, accounts receivable, or unsettled contingency prearrangements? An ethical and professional split is inevitably beneficial for the future of the law firm and the lawyer.
On this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon D. Nelson and Jim Calloway ask legal ethics expert Tom Spahn about the proper way to professionally deal with the various situations that arise when a law firm splits up. He explains that lawyers and their firms should remain civil and open to negotiation before the lawyer has left. Firms have run into trouble while trying to penalize leaving employees on an individual basis. He discusses the ethically proper way to deal with unfinished business doctrines, document retention programs, and fiduciary duties to clients. Due to technology, there are new issues to consider including digital files or property ownership of domain names. Overall, however, Spahn emphasizes that every partner has a continuing duty to make sure every client is adequately served.