This is what I am looking at right now as I am writing this post. It is the Pacific Ocean at Ocean Shores, Washington. I am here with my wife who has is attending multi-day business conference.
Because I have a paperless practice, I can work while she is attending the conference. This means that, while here, I have, among other things, prepared motions, worked on discovery, worked out issues relating to a protective order, and issued citations to discover assets.
If I did not have access to all of my documents, I would not have been able to much of what I have been able to accomplish. This is especially true when it comes to the protective order issue. Because I have access to all of the documents in all of my cases, however, this means that I was able to do anything here that I could have done in my office (except print mailing labels for the documents that I had to mail out).
In fact, the citations to discover assets were one of the cooler things that I have done. I was on Google Reader and saw in my RSS feed that a company I had a judgment against was participating in a social networking deal. I recognized this as a potential source to collect my judgment. I was able to log into the clerk’s site to obtain the forms I needed. I prepared the forms and filed them electronically. Once the citations were issued, I then emailed them to my process server for service.
Because of efiling (thank you DuPage County), I was able to take care of all of this, despite the distance between myself and the courthouse.
I know that there are attorneys who look at disdain at my use of a laptop and smartphone to stay connected when I am out of the office. I have been asked before whether these make me feel tied down and like I can’t get away. I explain that they do just the opposite. If I sat at my office desk for 60 hours a week, then I would not want to be connected when I am out of the office.
However, I much prefer to not be chained to my desk. With my laptop and smartphone, I can practice from anywhere, whether my office or a beach in Washington. This means that, instead of staying at home and forgoing a trip with my wife, I can accompany my wife and still get work done while I am gone. The way I look at it, my devices and connectivity free me to practice law the way that I want.
This does not mean, however, that I am always connected. I don’t think that this is healthy either. If I am on vacation, I minimize my work in order to enjoy my vacation. However, when I am with my wife on a business trip, I need to find something to do while she is doing her work. From my perspective, I think it’s best that I do some work and make some money.
I think I am going to go take a walk on the beach before I do some more work.