In a topic that’s quite close to my heart after having recently finished an upgrade of my firm’s website, Google recently announced (well, two of their tech guys told a whole bunch of reporters, which is basically an announcement today, right?) that companies that don’t fix glaring problems with their mobile sites will see their rankings in search results demoted! According to one study, mobile internet users account for a staggering 20% of all web traffic, and it is estimated that 45% of all mobile internet traffic is “goal-oriented,” with a massive 73% of mobile searches resulting in follow-up action, it is INCREDIBLY important that companies have an efficient, user-friendly mobile version of their website. Helpfully, Google has identified some of the types of problems that most frequently cause delays and problems for mobile users: Faulty Redirects. If you have a separate URL for your mobile site, MAKE SURE that all of your mobile links are connected to the appropriate page. HELPFUL EXAMPLE: All of the links on the regular website link directly to the mobile home page instead of the specific mobile page they should be linking to. If you have a mobile page, redirect smartphone users to the mobile page instead of using a 404 page (“file not found”) Make sure the mobile page is in a mobile-friendly format! (This seems like a no-brainer, but it would be silly to be demoted on Google just because you didn’t check!) Unplayable videos. If you use video on your site, and want mobile users to be able to access the site smoothly, make sure it’s a format they can... read more

Better for Lawyers: iPhone vs. Android

Well, I had to get to a product review sooner or later (in order to finally make my blog useful to someone other than myself), so here is my first: which mobile OS is better for lawyers, Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android OS? Disclosure: I’m an Apple guy; I have the iPhone 5 (and two prior models), I have an iPad 2, and a Macbook. I acknowledge my loyalty to Apple, so in order to provide a more unbiased review, I give you the opinions of others! An analysis in Law Technology News compared iOS and Android based on the following criteria: 1) available apps, 2) screen size, 3) interface (connection to other device), 4) text and data entry, 5) file attachments, 6) security, and 7) copying files. The outcome was a landslide for Android. The iOS was only superior to Android for security, and the systems were rated as “even” in terms of available apps. However, I was unable to find any other reviewer that was willing to give either system a clear win. Most reviews fell back on that all-too-familiar adage within the legal profession: “It depends.” My research did turn up a few surprises, though. The biggest surprise was that the iOS’s advantage in security is likely worth more than the weight it was given by LTN. In fact, some experts suggest that Security should actually be the most important factpr for lawyers… Andrea Linares, in her ihearttech legal technology blog, recommended users purchase an iPhone based on some frightening statistics on security vulnerabilities in the Android OS, including a study showing that 79% of new... read more

The “Competent” Lawyer

There has been no shortage of opinion in the blogosphere about recent amendments to the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Although several amendments impacting an attorney’s use of technology were made, the amendment getting the most attention reads as follows (new language adopted August 2012 is underlined): “Maintaining Competence: To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.” Ok, so what does it mean? Some have suggested that the amendment institutes some new requirement that lawyers become experts in technology in order to maintain their licenses (for example here and here). While not the worst idea in the world, the non-tech savvy among us can relax; no such requirement exists. First, contrary to what an awful lot of people who have written articles about this new amendment, the ABA does not set the rules for lawyers. Lawyers are licensed by state, not by the ABA. Ethics rules are determined by each individual state, and enforced through that state’s bar. That’s why they’re called “Model Rules.” You would be AMAZED how many non-lawyers (and a disturbing number of actual lawyers) writing about technology have overlooked that piece of information. Second, the rule is “legalese” at its best – nonspecific and open to an infinite number of interpretations. How does one measure and identify the correct “benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” Any trial lawyer will quickly... read more

Welcome to The Cyber Advocate!

“We have arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.” – Carl Sagan

The legal profession has been turned upside down by new tools and technology, and lawyers are now being introduced to a concept foreign to them: those who do not adapt will not survive.

Welcome to The Cyber Advocate, your survival guide!


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