What You Need to Know: Cloud Storage, Document Assembly, and Ethics

Anyone who knows me, know that I am a huge proponent of a paperless office and the use of cloud storage. As such, I am thrilled to be participating in a presentation called: What You Need to Know: Cloud Storage, Document Assembly, and Ethics. This seminar is being presented by the Standing Committee on Legal Technology from Illinois State Bar Association.

The program is on September 24, 2015, from 1 to 5:15 CT, and you can attend live at the Chicago Regional Office, or attend via a live webcast. You need not be an ISBA member to attend (although the registration fee is higher for non-members). My sessions is described as:

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.  Your Paperless Office*
Paper…files filled with paper…cabinets filled with files….all of these things takes up space around the office and makes it difficult to find what you need when you need it. This informative presentation explains what “going paperless” means and shows you how to get started – from choosing the proper electronic file format to knowing which type of equipment and software you need.

There will also be sessions on Cloud Storage for Lawyers, Document Assembly, and The Ethics of Cloud Technology and Electronic Files.

Just about everyone can benefit from this program and I urge you to attend. Click here to register.


I’m Going to Oklahoma!

If you saw my Twitter Feed earlier this week, you probably guessed the news that I was not yet ready to share: I have been invited to speak at the 2014 Oklahoma Solo & Small Firm Conference. Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled at this opportunity and am looking forward to my first visit to Oklahoma.

OK Solo and Small Firm ConferenceThe conference is June 19-21, 2014 at the Hard Rock Casino Resort in Tulsa.

I will be participating in four sessions.

On June 20, I will be participating in:

  • 60 Tips in 60 Minutes, with Jim Calloway and Jeff Taylor.
  • How I Leverage Technology to Improve My Solo Practice. Plenary Session.

On June 21, I will be participating in:

  • Remote Communications: Practicing from a Coffee Shop or other Remote Location
  • What’s Hot and What’s Not in Management & Technology, with Jeffrey Taylor, Jim Callowayand Jody Nathan.

The Legal Practice Landscape

On Friday, June 15 ,2012, I will be part of a panel speaking about The Legal Practice Landscape: Thriving in a Climate of Change.

This is a CLE sponsored by the ISBA at its annual meeting. However, you need not attend the annual meeting if you just want to attend the CLE.

During the program the other panelists and I will share information you need to know about current and future changes affecting the practice of law as well as some tips on how to prepare for and adapt to those changes. We will facilitate discussions among attendees and offer our insights on some of these topics: the shifting paradigm of the practice of law; the information tsunami and how to use it to your benefit; generational preferences and practices; technological changes and positive ways to embrace them; and what it means to you; social media – pluses and minuses; and business trends impacting the legal profession.

You can find further information about the presentation here.

If you need professionalism credit, please note that this presentation has been approved for 3 hours of professionalism credit.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Reducing Paper in Your Office

I know I have mentioned this before, but I wanted to make sure that I mentioned it again.

On Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at Noon, I will be presenting, with Catherine Sanders Reach, on the topic of Strategies to Reduce Paper in the Office.

Chicago Bar AssociationIf you have thought about learning to reduce the paper in your office, then this presentation is designed for you.

I have seen Catherine present several times and she always does a great job. I am thrilled to be able to present with her on this topic.

This is a topic that is close to my heart. It is my firm belief going paperless is the one single thing that you can do to most improve the efficiency in your office.

Upcoming CLE Presentations

I have several CLE presentations that are occurring in the next couple of months. If you want to get some CLE credits or just learn something, I would recommend each of the following programs (and not just because I am speaking at them).

General Practice Update 2012: Suburban Regional Event, sponsored by the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm section of the ISBA. February 9, 2012.

The title of my presentation is Update on Effective and Ethical Law Office Technology.

Legal Trends for Non-Techies: Topics, Trends, and Tips to Help your Practice, sponsored by the Standing Committee on Legal Technology of the ISBA. March 2, 2012.

I will be speaking on two topics. The first is Can You Really Run a Practice from a Table? It is described as: Whether you’re in the courtroom, in a meeting, or in transit … learn how tablets such as Apple’s iPad and Android tablets can complement your practice, including accessing email and documents, connecting with clients/staff/colleagues, accessing your office systems remotely, and more … no matter where you are!

I will be co-presenting with Deirdre A. Fox and Nerino Petro.

The second session would be 60 Tech Tips in 60 Minutes. It is described as: This fast-paced session offers dozens of practice tips and tricks for getting things done better, faster, and cheaper. Topics include everything from gadgets, to software/hardware, the Web, practice management, and more!

I will be co-presenting with Nerino Petro and Aaron Brooks.

Strategies to Reduce Paper in the Office, sponsored by the Practice Management Department of the Chicago Bar Association. March 20, 2012, 12 PM to 1:30 PM.

This session is described as: Reducing paper in your office is not just about “going green”. Reducing the reliance on paper will increase productivity, improve response times, and assist with business continuity efforts. We will explore the tools and methods you will need to digitize your office, backing up your systems, and discuss when you still might need to keep some things in print. By harnessing software, hardware, and better workflows you can provide enhanced client service and enjoy greater mobility.

I will be presenting with Catherine Sanders Reach.

ABA TechshowABA Techshow, March 29-31, 2012

My presentation will be on March 30, 2012 at 2:15 to 3:15. My presentation is titled Cloud Tools for Solos and Firms: What’s Out There? The description is With so many cloud options to choose from, you’ll need this session to get a realistic overview of the viable tools for your law practice.  The presenters will cover cloud services for every aspect of law practice, whether you are a solo or practice in a larger firm.  Explore cloud-based practice management, time tracking and accounting, document management, and several other law office productivity tools.

I will be co-presenting with Chad Burton and Nerino Petro.

Maybe Blago’s Attorneys Should Have Attended an ISBA CLE

At Law and Conversation, Helen Gunnarsson is reporting about the motion recently filed by attorneys for Rod Blagojevich. The motion, which seeks to subpoena the President, was supposed to contain redacted information. The information, of course, was not actually redacted, and, instead, was simply covered by black boxes. As Helen notes, both the Tribune and the Sun Times are reporting that this error was caused by a “computer glitch.”

This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. A “computer glitch” does not cause this problem. The problem is caused because someone did not redact the document properly. There are ways in which a document can be properly redacted, and ways in which it is not properly redacted. Having a document that is improperly redacted is no more a computer glitch than having a document that is properly redacted.

As Helen mentioned in her post, Nerino Petro and I spoke on this issue at the ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference last fall. Additionally, Helen recently wrote about this topic in the ISBA Bar Journal. Further, both Nerino & I reprised our presentation just last week in Chicago. Further, one need not look far to notice the large number of news stories that talk about redaction done wrong.

This is not a complicated task. Further, it is not one that you can ignore. Before the Northern District of Illinois allows you to sign in to the CM/ECF system, it requires you to check a box stating “I understand that, if I file, I must comply with the redaction rules. I have read this notice.”

Clearly this check box does not prevent someone from filing an improperly redacted document. However, it should make attorneys question the fact of whether they have properly redacted the document they are about to upload to the ECF system.


I am glad that someone in the mainstream media has finally pointed out that this was not caused by a computer glitch. As Eric Zorn states:

Not to get too fussy, but the computers used in this caper all seem to have performed perfectly. The “glitch,” discovered yesterday at almost the same time by competing reporters, was in the brain of the person on the Blagojevich defense team . . . .

Thanks Eric for pointing this out.

Legal Technology for Non-Techies

On April 16, 2010, from 1 to 5:15 pm I will be one of the speakers at a CLE on Legal Technology for Non-Techies. The CLE is through the Illinois State Bar Association and is sponsored by the Standing Committee on Legal Technology and the Senior Lawyers Section. The topics covered include using practice management software, Creating a paperless environment, managing metadata and redaction, and paperless communication with clients.

If you practice in federal court, the information relating to redaction should be especially relevant to you. In the Northern District of Illinois, when you log into the CM/ECF system, you are greeted with the following:

Redaction Notice Northern District Illinois

If you don’t understand how to properly redact your documents, you run the risk of running afoul of these rules. If you are not sure about your redaction knowledge, I urge you to attend our presentation.

Upcoming Events

Just a note to let people know where I will be speaking in the near future.

Tomorrow, October 8, 2009, I will be speaking on Setting up your Practice: Equipment and Systems for the ISBA at a CLE on the Business Side of the Criminal Law Practice. Tomorrow’s CLE is at the Chicago Regional Office of the ISBA. A week later, I am doing the same presentation in Bloomington.

Later in the month, the ISBA is presenting the 5th Annual Solo and Small Firm Conference. There I will be presenting on Technology and Services that Every Lawyer Needs to Run the Office and The Hidden Danger: How Failing to Understand Metadata and Redaction in Electronic Documents can Ruin your Day.

I encourage you to attend the Solo Small Firm. I have been there every and have enjoyed it every time. You still have time to register. Just click here.

Thinking of Hanging Out Your Own Shingle? Please Join Us.

I am honored to have been asked to present for the Illinois State Bar Association at a seminar called Hanging Out Your Shingle (Without Hanging Yourself). The program will be presented at the Northern Illinois Conference Center at 8500 East State St., Rockford, Illinois on Friday, March 27, 2009.

I will be speaking on setting up your operations, with a concentration on computers and other equipment. My program is described as:

Establishing a 21st century law practice raises a variety of technology issues that every private practitioner must consider in their efforts to provide efficient and competent legal services. In this segment, the speaker will provide tips on acquiring office equipment, purchasing a computer system, filing electronically, conducting a mobile practice, and handling phone calls 24/7.

I gave a similar presentation last June and enjoyed myself. I am looking forward to this one as well.

The program is geared for new solo or small firm lawyers and, in addition to my subject, will also cover topics such as Getting and keeping good clients; Treating your law firm like a business; Setting up your office space; and Billing, fees, and collections.

If you are a new solo or small firm attorney, I urge you to check out the program and join us on March 27 for a great program.

A Great CLE Idea

I love what the people at Mentor CLE are doing. They make their presentations available for free on the Internet. If you want credit for them you simply pay $19.95 per hour.

Recently they added their newest product, a daily three minute audio report on recent developments in the law. You can choose to receive the daily reports via email or cell phone. Alternatively, you can simply listen to them on your computer.

The email I received announcing this service stated:

A convenient new type of MCLE course is now available for Illinois lawyers.

The MentorCLE Daily Briefing is a three-minute audio report on recent developments in the law – delivered to your computer or cell phone each day.

By listening to the reports, you earn one hour of Illinois approved MCLE credit each month, which adds up to 24 hours each two-year reporting period. If you can’t listen some days, you can always go back and listen later. We even offer a weekend wrap-up of all of the week’s reports, for those attorneys who would prefer to listen once a week rather than daily.

I think the model that Mentor CLE has adopted is great. It allows you to listen to presentations for educational purposes and/or credit purposes. The new feature with the daily briefing is simply an additional benefit that will allow you to fulfill much of your CLE requirements both easily and inexpensively.
I would like to see the service offer the both the daily updates and the video presentations as downloads to be viewed or listened to on a portable device. Additionally, the daily updates would be perfect for delivery as a podcast via RSS.

Regardless, if you are an Illinois attorney, I urge you to check out the offerings from Mentor CLE.