Saturday, March 24, 2007

Thanks Dan!

As stated in a previous post, the reason I attended this year's ABA Techshow was because Dan Pinnington invited me. Dan, here is a big thanks to you for bringing me to this fabulous and inspiring event! I met as many like-minded lawyers and technogeeks in one place as I had for the last 10 years.

It was the perfect spot to meet fellow bloggers like:
Tom Mighell at Inter-Alia
Adriana Linares at IHeartTech
Nerino Petro at compujurist
Bob Kraft at PISSD
A.J. Levy at out-of-the-box lawyering

Dan also had the knindness to invite me at the speaker lunch after the conference where I met, around a hot dog, with other speakers and like-minded people. I knew Dan was a hard working meticulous guy but seeing all the prays he got from the speakers, board members, ABA Techshow staff, etc., I was even prouder to be canadian (funny to say for a Quebecer!!!) and to know him! ;-)

I really appreciated how he had the delicacy of thanking everyone single person who helped him and make of this event a total success: staff, board members (for whom he had chosen a descriptive and funny book). However, what I was most moved by was the time he took to thank his wife without whom the event would have been impossible! I thank her as well on behalf of myslef and the thousands of attendees!

Then, Dan passed the whip on to Tom Mighell, ABA Techshow 2008. Best of luck Tom: you'll do great!!

Dan, I have to say I particularly appreciated your speech on how you got involved in the Techshow by being invited in 2001 by Mark (here is a picture of them taken by Adriana Linares at IHeartTech), then as a speaker the following year, as a board member 2 years later and now, as the chairman! Let's look ahead to 2013... ;-p

Thanks again Dan! It is an honour to know you! You're AWESOME!!

60 Sites in 60 Minutes

The sisterhood, an all-women panel (Sharon Nelson, Debbie Foster and Nancy Duhon) offered us the last (but not least) session: the world-renowned: 60 Sites in 60 Minutes.

Obviously, I won't be able to take notes about everything because of typing speed issues...

Addition 2007-04-06: "60 Sites in 60 Minutes" are now available on the ABA Techshow website.

Disclaimer: "The first 3 rows are splash zones..." Ouppss! I am in row 2!

So here it is (the best of the 60 best): pictures database no need for explanation self explanatory lawfirm marketing, compensation, finance
Acrobat for legal professionnals: indeed a useful site that's in my feeds! useful to find about plug-ins and offers a good forum the US version of, ie Supreme court stuff
microsoft forms !!!! upcoming consert near you with mp3 samples similar to
the free information society enter a word and hear how it is said a meacrwaler of how to say "toilet" everywhere in the world We have in Canada to track dollar bills listen to complete concert
ask the magic eight ball who flyes direct to where I am going? free images database where you should sit in which plane: I use it on every trip!
Office nickname generator of who you want everyday tips one day one deal, a must!! hilarious! and useful!!
apology note generator photographs of the intersections of integer latitude and longitude degree lines 50 things to do before you die the top video downloads of the moment allows different greatings from different people by recognizing the phone number go to the smackshow to buy at a discount and win a smack chicken! watch a cheese age...
warning signs generator
create a customized magazine from your digital photographs

Have (as much) fun (as I did)!! ;-)

Metadata and Ethics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Once again, an amazing presentation by David Hricik, joined by Todd Flaming from Schopf & Weiss.

Prof. Hricik gave the classic examples of where to find metadata in Office (Word>file>properties) and how to reveal track changes. A bit basic but I am always amazed by people reaction when they see that. I often image how to would react if they were aware of advanced softwares that offer even more!

It seems there is a "hidden text" feature in MSWord where the information regarding the table of content is embedded. The problem is when you use word count because it counts these hidden words... Imagine having your brief refused because there are to many words! I suspect there must be a way not to count the hidden data (to be verified).

Lawyers duties
1) Duty of care to avoid disclosure of confiential information
2) Is it ethical to look at the Metadata?

-MSWord and Word Perfect offer patches not to save metadata. Here is Word's.
-Scrubbers. I use the free Doc Scrubber

3) Duty upon receipt: Can you look?
NY: notify, dishonest to look
Florida: Notify, dishonest?
DC:? About to follow NY
Virginia: ? About to follow NY

ABA: No notification, dishonesty is irrelevant because everyone ought to know about metadata
Maryland: No notification, didn't address dishonesty

Prof. Hricik disagree with the ABA's opinion. Todd Flaming agree and disclosed to everyone that he will look at metadata of every opposing party. Me to!!

Todd Flaming

Brillant Starwars introduction about metadata with backgroung voice-beatbox music: Perfect!

An interactive overview of the new FRCP followed with Luke Courtstalker, Adobaka and his partners...

"Beware of the dark side of metadata, Luke!"

An attendee raised the fact there might be issues with scrubbing metadata:
-malpractice/personal liability suit
-solicitor-client privilege
I didn't understand the point... Anyone, help?

A brilliant impersonation to make it clearer!!

Dangerous Curves Ahead: The Crossroads of Ethics and Technology

David Hricik who has an interesting personal website and William Freivogel who wrote an online guide on conflict of interests delivered an eye-opening session on "Whoops" that IT creates with respect to conflict of interest.

Let say a client sends an email to a lawyer by taking his email on the firm's or bar's website... and send confidential information...

David Hricik

Basic rule:
Where a party, in good faith, discloses confidences to a lawyer, the lawyer may not be adverse to that party in a matter where the info was relevant, unless agreed otherwise.

Solutions out there (without any opinion on ther validity):
1) Route emails to a non-lawyer (no sure it will not conflict the firm) According to William Freivogel, it could be a lawyer behind a China wall.
2) No email on website (obvious downsides...)
3) Terms of use
4) Click wrap

Predictability problems:
Case law examples
1) Woman contact lawyer for an interview and signed an agreement that says "nothing is confidential unless we represent you". During the interview, confidential information ar given. The court held that, notwithstanding the agreement, the client being unsophisticated, the firm was disqualified.

2) Client takes lawyer's email on the bar website. She sends an email saying "I had a few drinks and crashed into another car". Unformtunately, the lawyer was representing the opposing counsel... The majority held that no confidentiality was owed because imposing a duty would result in unmanageable conflicts.

Examples of terms of uses
"The content of any Internet e-mail sent to Jones Day or any of its lawyers at the e-mail addresses set forth in this Web site will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential."
- Jones Day

"We do not represent you just because you send an email"
The opposing counsel sends a subpoena requesting the information

Not enough to let the client sending an email know information will not be held in confidence. You have to make it clear that the information won't be held confidential.

"We do not hold emails confidential"
Is it ethical if you then represent the person?

(to be added: cf. website presentaion when posted)

William Freivogel
Rule 1: The keyboard is your enemy
You have no control over your email
-local drives
-hard copy
-Home office
-Client hardware
-Opponent hardware

If attorney-client privilege is lost, than any email is producable to the opposing party.

Rule 2: Keep it oral
-No lenghty voice mails
-Jasmine Networks, Inc. v. Marvell Semiconductor' Inc., 117 Cal. App. 4th 794 (Cal. App. 2004), rev granted, depublished, 94 P.3d 475 (Cal. 2004): the supreme Court is reviewing the case at the present time.

Rule 3: encryption?
-client do not like it
-No confidentiality issues under ethics rules if you send unecrypted emails (ABA ethics Op. 99-413 (1999))
-No waiver of privilge if unecrypted (18 USCA 2517(4))
-Practically no liability issues
Ex. Partner shared with a newspaper a document that was filled under seal.
-Compare regualr land-line telephone: it would be possible to scramble the signal...

An atendee explained that in Pennsivania it is mandatory, according to an ethic opinion from the bar, to inform the client of the risks inherent to the use of email if they are not encrypted.

Basically, I found that Freigovel is excellent in conflict issues but is not up to par when it comes to IT issues relating to IT. However, Prof. Hricik was outstanding on both topic. I'll stay for his next presentation on "Metadata and Ethics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly".

Interesting quote:
"Email is the cockroach of the 21st century"

Friday, March 23, 2007

Paperless Office: Slaying the Paper Dragon

The paperless (or perhaps less-paper) lawyer that I am had to attend this presentation by Nancy Duhon, from DTC and Bruce Olson from the Olson Law Group.

Why go paperless?
Staff satisfaction
Increased productivity (1-2 h per day)
Integrate with clients more effectively

Overview quotes:
Voice recognition is part of paperless lawyering
Training, training, etc. (as usual with IT)
You need a good scanner and an OCR software
At least 150-300 B&W DPI (dots per inch)
Speed problems with colour scanning
If necessary, you can still print!
Instead of highlighing 3 copies of the same documents, highlight once in pdf and print 3 copies

Paperjams (we had a live example on the first page scanned!!)
Scanning numerous pages as one page
Scanning does not mean editing, it is only a picture, unless you OCR and even then, you can't edit as smoothly as on native files.
Not 100% accurate but getting better everyday.
Buy a better document management system than the default Windows Explorer because, shortly, you will need advanced search features and a more robust (and quicker) search engine.

I would add get a fax to email software, you will limit scanning

Good introduction/pros and cons of paperless lawyering

Talking to Yourself: Your Voice is Your Assistant

After sharing dinner discussing about blogging yesterday with Jim Calloway, I attend his presentation with Laura Calloway on Voice Recognition.

As he first stated: for anyone who has tried speech recognition before the summer of 2006, you never tried VR! I have to agree that before that I had tried it but had reached unsatisfactory results. Since Dragon Naturally speaking 9 is put on the market, it is a new story! I use it everyday and could not work without it!

It seems Vista has an included VR software. My experience (and Laura's) with XP'S VR was bad: I had to dictate all words apart...

Overview quotes:
It is less tiring than typing.
Even the best typist can't type as fast as he speaks.
A VR software is like a new employee: take the time to teach it how you work.
Aptitude with thechnology is a plus (I would add that it is not required though).

Laura started with 512Mb of RAM but was only using Word when dictating.
I think you need at least 1Gb (preferrably 2) of RAM, especially if you use many apps at once. I normally have Hummingbird DM, Outlook, Word, IE, Adobe, PC Client VOIP,etc. opened all at once.

If I may add the best tip you've ever received: backup your profile!! I once spent about 2 months teaching Dragon to perfection and, don't ask me how, I lost my profile with all my customized dictionnary... (It seems that this tip was given by Laura when I left the room for a conference call)

Unfortunately, I missed about 15 minutes of this excellent presentation to take a phone call.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

60 Technology Tips in 60 Minutes

One of the main conference at the Techshow given by Tom Mighell, Natalie Kelly, Rick Ferguson (one of the rare canadian) and Vedia Jones-Richardson.

Here are the topics that were discussed:

Paste special
Resend/recall email
If you can't read an attachment, save it to your desktop and open it...

Tablet PCs: you need it!
You will print less because it be read as a book.
You will burn less paper because you'll take handwritten notes.
Your assitant won't have to retype what you wrote with your doctor handwritting.

Case/Practice management systems: you deserve it!
Advanced serach engine

BaseCamp (FREE) for project management
Web 2.0 app that would be "good as a "poor person" Extranet": what a brillant idea!

Feeder (not flat bed), OCR capabilities, visual enhancement

Keep stronger passwords
The more digits the better especially if you had

Roboform Free for 30 password, 30$ unlimited

Digital dictation
Create a sound file that can be retyped by your assistant.
I am wondering why you would do that if you can dictate directly to your computer with softwares like Dragon Naturallky speaking.

Daily backups
Test restores for reliability
Have a disaster recovery plan
Offsite: eVault or DataTrust. However, with third party, what happen if you don't pay your bill, what is there turn around time., etc.? Ask questions befor

Back up online?
Mozy (not for work)
Will they be there in a few years? That is the problem with Web2.0 websites!

Homemade backup: buy a 300 Gb hard drive to backup, it will cost 100$ instead of 1000$ to restore data after head crash.

Thumbs drive open office, firefox, skype, etc. all on your thumb drive! Leave no trace behind!

Take Control of Sent Items 24,95$
It save all outbound emails at the right place

The voice of the future!

Manage deleted email
No comment!

Use Time and Billing Sotware
Don't type them in Word! Integrate all your software and databases

Giveaway of the Day Get a free software everyday or pay for it the next day!

Keep your registry clean
Back up before! JV16 Powertools

The solution to be efficient and use technologies correctly and to thre max capacities
Go slow with learning new techniques and software

Image editing (Photoshop is too expensive)

Slow computers? CTRL-ALT-DEL but you don't know all process?
database of process:

Last best tip: make an IT friend!!

What a blast! Once again! Info overflow!

The Virtual Shingle: Providing Legal Services on the Web

A session I was really waiting for in order to prepare my futur carreer as a virtual lawyer (!!!): "Providing Legal Services on the Web" by Greg Siskind at Visalaw and Blair Janis.

This is a conference for eLawyers and wannabes (like me).

I was not aware of the ABA eLawyering Task Force and the website seems to be filled with valuable information. I'll post about my review later on.

Here are the overview quotes:

Lawyering verbs (interview, investigate, plead, etc.) are now virtual (online interviews, dealrooms, extranets, ecourtroom, etc.).

People don't hire lawyers because of fees, hourly rates, fear of prolonging disputes, etc. The Internet can be a good medicine to these issues since it is inexpensive.

80% of the time spent by lawyers is spent on things other people could be doing.

Most law firm websites are glorified Yellow pages.

If you are not a large law firm and don't have a lot of money, go to your local university IT department and ask a student to do it!

The good thing about blogs is the speed.

Slideshare is a useful tool to post slide shows on your blog. Here is an example with the presentation (to which I couldn't attend this morning) by Greg.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the presentation :-( (which went over the 4:15pm scheduled time) to meet with vendors in the Exhibit Hall...

"When I'll be older, I'll be an eLawyer!"
- Dominic J@@r

Keynote Address: Judge Shira A. Scheindlin

So instead of having lunch with Justice Sheindlin, I went into Ballroom VI to listen to what she had to say about E-discovery with everyone else.

For the record, the Honorable Shira A. Scheindlin is a judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She rendered the opinions in the well-known Zubualke.

She is THE authority on E-discovery in the USA and was joined by John Jessen of Electronic Evidence Discovery Inc.

The presentation was an introduction to the amended federal rules of civil procedures. Basically, she reviewed the amendments regarding e-discovery and commented on their application.

Overview quotes:

As she stated: "we now care about e-discovery but sooner or later, we will have to discuss about e-evidence. We will have to deal with authentificationof of the e-docs, to assert the integrity of these documents, etc."

"Should documents be managed when they are created instead of dealing with them after the fact? No doubt!!" I would add that a company who decides not to invest in documents/records management, should not be allowed to plead that retrieving, preserving, etc. the e-docs creates an undue burden.

"Nothing is perfect and parties are not entitled to perfect discovery or perfect trials."

Trust me, it was worth it! The dinner is for another day...

Finding a Needle in the Haystack: Internet Legal Research

The second presentation I attended was "internet legal research" by the editor of a blog I love, Inter Alia, Tom Mighell, and Gary Price from and Ressource Shelf.

They started by asking who knows RSS and who use them to search the web: about 15 people knew and only 4 were using RSS to search the web. They referred us to Wikipedia for a definition RSS.

Tom explained the relationship between Blogs and RSS, more particularly by discussing the name given for the feeds, for obvious publicity and hits count purposes. They give examples such as the NY Times.

What happens when the article is taken offline two weeks later? You loose the hyperlink? For the NY times, you can use the NY link generator. Wow! I wish there were such generators for our canadian newspapers!!

A hint from the pro: Make your RSS as big as possible. However, on Gary's blog, you have to browse down to it. I took mine off... Should I review my position, ie people who would be interested in my blog know how to create an RSS? It seems since, according to the 2005-2006 numbers, only 10% of Internet users use RSS.

The problem for people using it is: information overload. You bet, have a look at my bloglines feeds... I have to note that these are my public feeds: I have as many that are private! The question than becomes, how to choose the feeds you read!

Here is an Article by Dennis Kennedy and Tom intitled "RSS Resources You Can Use: Automated Web Surfing for Lawyers" where you have a mine of info on RSS uses.

What about the definition of RSS for Oprah's fans? "Ready for Some Stories"

Gary directed us toward a new trend (I have been enjoying for a while from Google): Homeage personalisation. You can also use and

Tom's favorite RSS reader is Google reader. Mine is Bloglines.

How to subscribe to an RSS feed? I won't detail. I am sure if you ask on, you'll get a quick answer! A good sale speech from Gary re the later site: when you run a search you can subscribe to the RSS with one click!! They might change the name to Damn, this domain name already exists. Sorry Gary!

Tailoring RSS to deal with the feeds overload:

How to customize the RSS? Here is one way. to get news from all over the world with preexisting RSS feeds. Want to know everything (or almost) about

You can now create feeds for what ever you want. Thanks to Feedgit! The down side of these tools? They only look at the first results of the major search engines... If you really want "all", buy website watcher.

If you are not an RSS freak, go the email way. Tools like Feedblitz take RSS feeds and transform the RSS in an email delivered to you every time.

You are still at the newspaper level? Simplyheadlines creates newspaper from your feeds!

You want to take your favorites everywhere with you? Post them to the web!
By the way, here are mine (without the private ones...).
My Yahoo offers the same features
The benefit seems to be that the pages you link to are archived. Interesting! Will I move from (own by yahoo anyway)
You can also pay to download I asked which features Gary was paying for and he answered to have access to his bookmarks on all his computers (I can do the same for free with and an automatic refresh of the pages (that might be worth it!).

How to create a page of different information instead of saving numerous favorites or, worst, saving the pages in folders or, even more time consuming, copy-pasting the info you want in a document? Once again, Google offers a notebook. Zoho offer a notebook but you have to cut&paste... However, you have more features on Zoho's (add pictures, spreadsheets, etc.)

Remote storage

You want to have a peak inside books: Amazon search inside the book (the "concordance" feature is amazing!!) and Google book search.

Here is a list of funny/interesting sites:
Flight stats
Local traffic
httrack: archive any website

Wow!! So many new tools to try!! Thanks guys: a terrific presentation! I felt like in my RSS feeds: so much information! You've sustained me for the year! So you in 2008!

Google Docs, Wikis and other Web Tools -- Collaborating with Clients and Colleagues

Rick Klau and Steve Nipper of the Invent Blog started the day with "Google Docs, Wikis and other Web Tools -- Collaborating with Clients and Colleagues". It was an eye-opener on different collaboration tools.

Much time was spent on the majors: Skype, Googledocs,, etc. You can have access to all the websites referred to during this conference right here.

I also use these excellent tools and still stresses about the impact they will have on E-discovery. A guy asked exactly that question and the answer he got was roughly: "According to you, how would react Google if they received a subpoena as a third party?" I can't agree more that they couldn't care less! I remember hearing someone from saying they were receiving tons of subpoena to which they never give suit...

I would have liked to here about the unknown stuff as well as about the impacts of these tools on privilege and privacy.

Nevertherless, Kudoz guys, a good warm-up for the day!

On my way to the ABA Techshow

The 2h30 flight was scheduled for 2:30 pm. I was heading for a dinner with Justice Shira Sheidlin, the Zubulake judge and Key note speaker at the Techshow, and Dan Pinnington, the Techshow’s chairman (thanks for the invitation!).

After boarding the plane, 1:30 late, we were taxied from the gate to the de-icing parking where we were told we didn’t have permission to fly to Chicago because there was a thunderstorm. United Express offered us a complimentary soft drink…

Around 5, they once again confirmed we still had no permission. Again at 6, 6:30 (where the offered a complimentary soft drink) and 7. A full hour later, we were told that would had permission to leave at 8:30. We were once again offered a free drink and after sitting for 6 hours on the tarmac, I asked for a beer: 5$! Can’t it be free after such a long waiting period? I am starving and there is not even a pack of crackers available on that damn flight!

Anyway, I missed the dinner (and the opportunity), arrived in Chicago around 11pm, walk for about an hour through the huge airport (I am glad I only had carry-on items!), looked for a cab and realised there was a line of about 500 people doing the same thing. An hour later, I was in cab for the 25 minutes ride to the Hyatt (there was no place at the Sheraton). Finally, I went to bed at 2 am EST. I was happy that Chicago is Central, because I had an extra hour of sleep!

On my way to the Techshow…

Monday, March 12, 2007

Débat sur l'accessibilité à la justice

Auriez-vous des questions à poser aux représentants des différents partis concernant le système judiciaire:

A) accessibilité
B) investissement
C) législation
D) etc.

C'est une bonne opportunité pour avoir une réponse à nos questions quotidiennes et peut-être, insidieusement, de faire évoluer les choses ou, au moins, le débat!

Ces questions seront posées par Yves Boisvert, de La Presse, à Me Jean Nobert, candidat de l'Action démocratique du Québec dans Louis-Hébert, Me Pierre Moreau, candidat du Parti libéral du Québec dans Marguerite d'Youville et Me Daniel Turp, candidat du Parti québécois dans Mercier, dans le cadre d’un débat organisé par l’AJBM qui aura lieu jeudi le 15 mars 2007 de 12h30 à 14h00, au Club St-James. Pour plus de détails, veuillez vous rendre sur le site web et pour vous inscrire, cliquez ici.

Notez que je dois fournir les questions aujourdhui à 16h au plus tard.

Pour vous inspirer, voici certaines des questions (technologiques...) que j’ai suggérées:

1) Est-ce normal que les pv soient encore rédigés manuellement et retranscris manuellement au propre?
2) Ne serait-ce pas rentable (monétairement et temporellement) de faire comme plusieurs tribunaux fédéraux et d’offrir la possibilité de produire les procédures, pièces, etc. électroniquement (cd, dvd ou courriel)?
3) Est-ce raisonnable d’exiger des parties qu’elles impriment en au moins 3 copies toutes les pièces dont elles entendent se servir au procès alors que les originaux de celles-ci sont en format électroniques?
4) La cour du Québec, comme la cour Supérieure, ne devrait-elle pas pouvoir modifier elle-même ses règles de pratique afin d’augmenter son efficacité? Le cas échéant, ferez-vous les amendements législatifs nécessaires?
5) Sur la base du principe de proportionnalité, les entreprises faisant plus de x$ de profit/année ne devraient-elles pas être incitées/contraintes d’utiliser l’arbitrage ou de payer pour le temps-juge?
6) Ne devrait-on pas, comme en Ontario, contraindre les parties à participer à une conférence de règlement à l’amiable?
7) Hormis le fait que le gouvernement est une des parties les plus actives du système judiciaire, comme demandeur ou défendeur, ne devrait-on pas, dans l’intérêt des justiciables, modifier la loi afin que le perdant acquittent les honoraires extrajudiciaires de la partie adverse?
8) Pensez-vous modifier le tarif des avocats qui est tout à fait caduque et désuet depuis plusieurs années déjà?

Merci de votre collaboration!

Au plaisir de vous y voir!