Legal Technology Like It’s 1999

LOC from 1999Since the death of Prince you have probably heard the phrase “Party like it’s 1999” recently. I thought I’d spend a few minutes talking about the old days from someone who was actually doing law office technology consulting back in 1999.

 

In those days you could pretty much keep on top of all legal tech developments with a subscription to Law Office Computing and by reading Burgess Allison’s Technology Update column in Law Practice magazine. Burge retired that column after 18 years and those laugh out loud moments reading Law Practice magazine were far fewer. It was a sad day when Law Office Computing folded, but Law Practice Magazine is in great shape, better than ever.

 

Above is the cover of Law Office Computing magazine from June/July 1999. Isn’t it interesting that some of the issues covered then are still much discussed topics today? On the cover you see “Unlocking the Power of Document Assembly.” My friend Marc Lauritsen co-authored this article with Alan Soudakof. The article outlined a 12-step program for successful document automation. HotDocs was used for most of the examples and HotDocs is still a huge player today, although I see many law firms opt for less expensive, but extremely powerful solutions like TheFormTool and Pathagorus. Many practice management solutions include document assembly today. For example Smokeball started out as document assembly and has now evolved to include practice management.

 

The most stunning thing about this issue was the Editor-in-Chief’s column where he bemoaned the death of his trusty notebook and admitted to his readers that he had only backed it up once–when he bought the backup tape a couple of years before. I can’t imagine any tech expert making that admission today, but somewhere some lawyer is reading this column on a computer that also has not been backed up for a very long time. Why not do that today or better yet subscribe to an automated backup service?

 

The Technodebate column in this issue was Word vs WordPerfect and the hottest news item was that the ABA had just released an ethics opinion saying that unencrypted email, in most circumstances was appropriate for client communication because there was “a reasonable expectation of privacy.” That opinion still stands today, but I’d strongly suggest you look at Texas Center for Legal Ethics Opinion 648 for a more Twenty-First Century view. This is one area where you should not be partying like it is 1999.

 

This issue also covers one of the most significant legal tech failures I recall. The vast majority of law firms were using Timeslips for time and billing, but with the release of Timeslips 9.0, those users went from happy users to angry users. Despite almost monthly service pack releases, the problems seemed unending. One lawyer was quoted in the story saying “I will never get back the time [I lost.]” Some law firms still use Timeslips today, version 9.0 sent many law firms off looking for other solutions and they never came back.

 

Of course there was an article on stabilizing Windows 95/98 and a lot of coverage on litigation support technology. The popular Circuit Court column, written by Dan Coolidge, Bruce Dorner and the late Ross Kodner was on Giving Exciting Electronic Presentations. Dan was getting used to PowerPoint 97, but Ross still preferred Corel Presentations, part of the WordPerfect Suite. But you needed a lot of other types od software to accomplish what is all included in PowerPoint today.

 

I rarely do #TBT (Throwback Thursday) posts on any of my social media, but locating a pristine cost of a 1999 Law Office Computing magazine in my archives reminds me how much better and easier-to-use our tech tools are today, while also recognizing that the legal profession still faces some of the same challenges–along with many new ones. Few would have even understood the term electronic discovery back in 1999.

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Legal Technology Like It’s 1999

Band Aid Planning

Plastic bandageBand-Aid Planning is the title of a post on SlawTips by my friend and colleague Barney (Bjorn) Christianson. (Slaw is the well-known Canadian online legal magazine for those of you who might be wondering about that.) I enjoyed Barney’s observations on doing strategic planning when you don’t have time to plan. I also appreciated that he mentioned my advice about planning and provided a link and a strong suggestion to read my column The Power of Planning. Since that column was published back in 2004, I thought some of you might have missed it or might need to read it again. So I decided to do this quick post encouraging you to read Barney’s article and perhaps take his suggestion to read my “Golden Oldie.” Planning is both essential and often hard to find time to accomplish. Sometimes a band-aid approach is the best you can do at the moment.

Band Aid Planning

Oklahoma Interstate Drug Lawyer Trailer

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Oklahoma Interstate Drug Lawyer connects you to experienced Oklahoma lawyers that can defend you against your drug-related charges. Our listed Oklahoma attorneys will meet your expectations as they are knowledgeable and experienced in drug related charges like:

 
 

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Drug Traffic Stops

 

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Drug Possession Charges

 

Interstate drug trafficking charges

 
 

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Oklahoma Interstate Drug Lawyer Trailer

Lawyers, What’s Your Sign?

Lawyers, what is your sign? No, I’m not referring to your astrological sign but rather the signage for your business. Because of my many years working with lawyers, I pay attention to law offices. Lawyers Whats Your SignWhether traveling across Oklahoma or in other states, I sometimes notice lawyers have TERRIBLE signage. Terrible signage is a problem akin to the problem of having a poor receptionist. The issue with poor signage or a poor receptionist is that it creates a bad first impression. Even if you are a solo practitioner practicing in a small town, have had the same location for years and “everyone knows you,” you should be concerned about the first impression you are projecting to the people who just moved into town last week and don’t know you. Similarly, that kid who just turned 18, who suddenly needs a lawyer and has never paid attention to lawyers before, doesn’t know you. Even people who know you very well will get a nice little reminder when they see your law firm’s name every day as they drive by a well-designed and maintained sign. Peeling paint on your signage gives the impression of someone who doesn’t pay attention to detail or is perhaps not successful.

 

Paying a professional to upgrade your signage with new colors and different lettering will grab attention. Maybe it will even remind someone that they have been meaning to make an appointment with a lawyer. Is your law firm’s phone number on your signage and visible from the street? Whether this is a good idea might depend on your style of practice. But the idea of what should be on your signage certainly merits consideration and a business decision instead of just doing things the way they have always been done.

Lawyers, What’s Your Sign?

Why you should Hire the most effective Oklahoma Drug Attorney

Why you should Hire the most effective Oklahoma Drug Attorney

Do you think you’re a victim of illegal highway traffic stop? Over the past decades, the amount of people arrested in traffic stops for drug trafficking has tremendously increased. While traffic stops are legal in Oklahoma, law enforcement officers take advantage of the situation to test for drugs using unethical tactics. This will give you facing serious penalties or time in prison from what was an initially harmless traffic stop.

 
 
 
 

The severity of the drug crime penalties can make it essential to hire the most effective Oklahoma drug attorney. You shouldn’t try to look even if you think that you could be able to prove how the police used unethical techniques to arrest you. The reason being the legal system is designed in a fashion that even if you have a great IQ and great mind, representing yourself inside a competent manner is practically impossible.

 
 
 
 

You’ll be aware that despite a lot of the interstate traffic stops being similar, there isn’t any case that is much like another. Competent lawyers from oklahomainterstatedruglawyer.com are highly experienced and can find the special areas of your case which make them unique. The superior lawyers would then utilize special aspects of your case to make a custom-made defense strategy that would perform most optimally for one’s situation.

 
 
 

A group of top lawyers from Oklahoma interstate drug lawyers along with putting forward the best defense for you’ll also get treatment with all the prosecutor to negotiate an agreement that might lessen your potential sentence or eliminate some charges. Furthermore, even if you are found guilty, the most effective drug lawyer will also make a good sentencing program according to your needs. By way of example, as opposed to planning to prison for 8 months, the lawyer can suggest a plan that will enable you to only spend four months in jail and spend the opposite 4 months inside a rehabilitation center.

Why you should Hire the most effective Oklahoma Drug Attorney

Pearls of Legal Technology Wisdom for Solo and Small Firms

Those fine folks from AttorneyatWork asked me to offer some reflections on my thoughts after ABA TECHSHOW. Since I had already written one such piece for the Oklahoma Bar Journal (soon AttorneyatWork Logo to be published- watch this blog or the bar journal), I had to decline of course happily accepted, not exactly knowing what I was going to write. But ABA TECHSHOW is always an inspiration, especially for someone like me in the legal technology field. So I collected my thoughts and the result was Pearls of Legal Technology Wisdom for Solo and Small Firms. I’m quite pleased with this and thank AttorneyatWork for the opportunity. I am pleased to call Merrilyn, Joan, Mark and Joy my friends. They are the brains behind this great resource that has the simple and challenging mission of publishing one great law practice tip per work day. I trust someone will receive some value from my contribution today and if someone is encouraged to attend ABA TECHSHOW 2017, that will be even better.

Pearls of Legal Technology Wisdom for Solo and Small Firms