Best New Apps for Lawyers – November 2014

Have you finished digesting your Thanksgiving turkey? Did you get everything you were supposed to get on Black Friday? Have you nursed those wounds from the stampede? Good! It’s December now, so it’s time to take a look back at the best apps for lawyers from this past month.

These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – November 2014:

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12 Awesomely Funny Gifts for Lawyers (with Issues!) Vol. 2

gifts for lawyers 2

12 Awesomely Funny Gifts for Lawyers (with Issues!) – Vol. 1
12 Awesomely Funny Gifts for Lawyers (with Issues!) – Vol. 2 (You’re here)
12 Awesomely Funny Gifts for Lawyers (with Issues!) – Vol. 3

We approach that most American of two-day holidays: Thanksgiving/Black Friday. Nowhere else in the world is there such a display of unbridled overeating followed immediately by aggressive, sometimes violent, capitalism!

Once again, you might be searching high and low for the perfect gift for your attorney spouse (or parent, or friend, or whatever). Trust me when I tell you, this is NOT the place to find the perfect gift. On the other hand, if, like last year, you’re looking for something interesting and entertaining at the same time, you’re in the right place. (For additional gift ideas, check out Volume 1!)

Here is my list of 12 Awesomely Funny Gifts for Lawyers (with Issues!) Vol. 2: (more…)

Review: Ravel Law – Legal Research for the 21st Century

ravel lawEver been frustrated by legal research? Ha, just kidding.

If you’ve ever performed legal research, you know that there is no “perfect” system. If you’re like me, you’ve identified about 100 things that you’d like to be able to do with legal research, but can’t (at least without a massive learning curve or 20 click-throughs). Moreover, you just KNOW that the system of typing in keyword searches and sifting through the results is hugely inefficient.

If you’re not familiar with the interesting tech developments going on at Stanford University’s School of Law, you should really check it out. One of those projects recently spun out on its own: Ravel Law. Ravel Law describes itself as “a new legal search, analytics, and visualization platform” for legal research. Using visualization tools unlike anything offered by the traditional legal research tools, Ravel Law wants to change the way you do research.

Recently, I had the opportunity to take Ravel Law for a test toast. (more…)

New Threats to Attorney-Client Privilege (Part 2)

Part 2 of a 2-part series (see Part 1 here)

attorney-client privilegeWhy does your client tell you their story? What reason do they have to be completely honest?

If you’re an attorney, you say it’s because the attorney needs the whole story to adequately represent the client. But if you’re on the other side of the deal, you probably only feel 100% comfortable being completely honest because of the attorney-client privilege. You believe that what you tell your attorney is secret, confidential, protected.

What happens when your client’s belief in your ability to keep a secret erodes? What happens when your belief in your own ability to keep a secret erodes? What happens when our society itself has to reexamine the nature of privacy?

Without the belief that certain actions are private – whether by their nature or due to efforts like encryption – trust is elusive. Our clients may not trust us enough to speak candidly. Worse, we might start to fear our own ability to keep information secret, and instruct our clients to keep information to themselves.

Well, thanks to some of our country’s fine wireless carriers, we have two new reasons to question that whole “privacy” thing: (more…)

New Threats to Attorney-Client Privilege (Part 1)

Part 1 of a 2-part series (See Part 2 here)

Why does your attorney-client privilegeclient tell you their story? What reason do they have to be completely honest?

If you’re an attorney, you say it’s because the attorney needs the whole story to adequately represent the client. But if you’re on the other side of the deal, you probably only feel 100% comfortable being completely honest because of the attorney-client privilege. You believe that what you tell your attorney is secret, confidential, protected.

What happens when your client’s belief in your ability to keep a secret erodes? What happens when your belief in your own ability to keep a secret erodes? What happens when our society itself has to reexamine the nature of privacy?

Without the belief that certain actions are private – whether by their nature or due to efforts like encryption – trust is elusive. Our clients may not trust us enough to speak candidly. Worse, we might start to fear our own ability to keep information secret, and instruct our clients to keep information to themselves.

Well, thanks to some of our country’s fine wireless carriers, we have two new reasons to question that whole “privacy” thing: (more…)

Is Your Social Media Evidence Admissible?

social media evidenceYou found it. The perfect evidence. You didn’t know how you were going to do it, but you spent hours sifting through your opponent’s social media profiles and discovered the perfect post. It calls their credibility into question. It makes them look bad (racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc.). It throws their entire case into question.

You print out the documents, have them all organized and ready to go. You sit smugly at your table while your opponent testifies, his attorney walking step by step through the case. Your time comes, and with evidence in hand, you rise. You set him up perfectly, question after question.

Then you hit him with the question: “didn’t you post to your Facebook page about …”

His reply: “Wasn’t me.” What do you do now? (more…)

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