Category Archives: Uncategorized

Nov 24
2014
3:18 PM

New legal mobile apps from recent law grads

From the Boston Globe:

Young lawyers seek to shake up legal profession with mobile apps

William Palin is a 32-year-old lawyer who passed the bar exam in 2013. But it didn’t take him long to wonder why, when the rest of the world is increasingly conducting business on cellphones and tablets, the legal profession is so tied to paper, desktop computers, and e-mailed Microsoft Word documents.

So as a child of the digital age, he decided to act, joining a growing group of young, tech-savvy lawyers dedicated to developing technology to deliver legal services more efficiently.

Palin taught himself how to write code for mobile applications. He built two apps to speed up how lawyers work with each other and their clients. And in December he’s launching a Boston-Cambridge branch of a nationwide group called Legal Hackers, young lawyers focused on creating and adopting technological tools.

While many attorneys see mobile technology as a way to better serve existing clients and recruit new ones, the partners at major law firms play a big role in how aggressively the law business will adapt. And those established practitioners may be leery of adopting some new technologies for fear that will lead to breaches of confidentiality.

Legal Hackers hopes to bridge that generational divide — and the group seems to be making progress. In August, at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting, one panel was titled “Cracking the Code: Everything You Wanted to Know About Coding, Open Data & More But Were Afraid to Ask.”

Read more.

[JML]

Nov 19
2014
12:04 PM

WTF™

The makers of Winterfresh® gum (Wrigley) and Mentos® (Perfetti) are at odds over Perfetti’s registration of trademarks “WTF” and “WHAT THE FRESH”. Check out Above the Law‘s humorous take on the “hub(ba)bub(ba)” and read Wrigley’s full opposition here. It got me wondering what other WTF-related trademark applications are out there and the results did not disappoint:

Do your own trademark searching here: tmsearch.uspto.gov/

[JML]

Nov 13
2014
5:21 PM

Dramatic events at the State Bar of California

Executive Director Joseph Dunn was fired and executive oversight of the State Bar is now in the hands of State Bar President Craig Holden and Deputy Executive Director Robert Hawley on an interim basis (Recorder article).

Today, Sen. Dunn (ret.) filed a whistleblower lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that his firing came just days after Dunn contributed to an anonymous complaint of “serious ethical breaches, prosecutorial lapses, and fiscal improprieties by State Bar President Craig Holden, [Board of Trustees] members, and Chief Trial Counsel… ” Read the complaint on BloombergLaw (log-in required).

Read preliminary news coverage here.

[JML]

Nov 7
2014
11:01 AM

6th Circuit decision on same-sex marriage sets up a circuit-split

gaymarriage

The 6th Circuit upheld a ban on same-sex marriage in a 2-1 decision (PDF) on Thursday. The decision conflicts with cases decided in the  4th, 7th, 9th, and 10th Circuit courts. Experts (here and here) suggest that an appeal filed in the next 6 weeks has a chance of getting onto the Supreme Court’s calendar for this term. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested back in September that a conflicting decision by the 6th Circuit would create some “urgency in the court taking the case.”

[JML]

Oct 31
2014
5:44 PM

Extended Daylight Saving Time Means More Candy

trick-treat-kids
Photo courtesy of Getty Images/The Image Bank

Not long ago, daylight saving time ended before Halloween. President George W. Bush changed that when he signed into law the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Business Insider reports that before the law went into effect in 2007, kids had fewer daylight hours to trick-or-treat:

The law was the result of intense lobbying. In “Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time“, author Michael Downing describes how the retail industry makes hundreds of millions of dollars off DST each year and is largely the reason we still change our clocks.

So enjoy a couple more evenings with sunlight and some extra tasty treats.

[MK]

Oct 29
2014
12:54 PM

“Scary” Search Tactics of the FBI

lv3
Photo courtesy of madlyinlovewithlife at flickr.com

In USA v. Phua et al, Docket No. 2:14-cr-00249 (D. Nev. Jul 29, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada will decide whether federal agents can disrupt service (in this case, internet service) to a property and then pose as technicians there to help in order to gain entry. FBI agents did just that in June 2014 to covertly search a Caesar’s Palace villa due to suspicions that high-stakes poker player Paul Phua and others were running an illegal gambling operation. National Public Radio reports that the FBI did not have sufficient evidence for a search warrant, so they attempted to obtain it under the guise of being helpful repairmen.

Defense attorney Thomas Goldstein argues that not only was the entry illegal, but the FBI knew it and tried to cover it up, leaving crucial information out of their request for a search warrant after the initial entry. George Washington University law professor Stephen Saltzburg states, “The theory behind this search is scary. It means the government can cut off your service, intentionally, and then pretend to be a repair person, and then while they’re there, they spend extra time searching your house. It is scary beyond belief.” To learn more, view the docket at bloomberglaw.com.

[MK]

Oct 27
2014
12:54 PM

Metadata: What you don’t know can hurt you!

MetadataLRC Legal Tech Talk Series Episode 5: Metadata
Courts and state bars across the country are weighing in on an attorney’s professional responsibility to understand and appropriately handle metadata in e-discovery and professional communications. Come find out what you need to know about metadata, the professional ethics involved, and how to avoid transmitting privileged metadata:
Thurs., Oct. 30, 2014
12–12:50pm in WH 2A
Food provided! [JML]

Oct 24
2014
8:36 AM

Read Like a First-Grader

1st grdr

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on a new movement — slow reading. Advocates say returning to the focused reading habits of the days before cell phones and computers improves comprehension. Just 30 minutes of uninterrupted reading in a quiet place can lead to better concentration, reduced stress levels, and improved listening skills.

Next time you need a break from law school, grab a magazine or that novel you have been meaning to read since last year. Choose a quiet place and turn off your phone and computer. The time you spend away from the screen and your studies will lead to greater success in the long-run.

[MK]

Oct 20
2014
11:02 AM

Celebrate Pro Bono

PB_1

For the past five years, the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service has launched an annual week dedicated to celebrating pro bono services. The aim is to put a national spotlight on the need for services and providers by encouraging and supporting local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services. Additionally, the celebration highlights the difference that pro bono lawyers make to the justice system and people’s lives.

Interested in providing pro bono assistance to San Diegans in need? Enroll in one of the USD Legal Clinics, contact the San Diego County Bar Association, or visit the ABA National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide

[MK]

Oct 15
2014
1:27 PM

How to Get the Most from Legal Blogs (or Blawgs)

blog

Keeping up with legal news and trends is important, but knowing how and where to get the information while making the best use of your time can be daunting. Blogs are a great way to keep current, and the LRC is here to help guide you toward those that are most useful.

Join us for a Legal Tech Talk on blawgs on Thursday, October 16 at 12pm in WH 2B. We will provide pizza and scintillating conversation. Perhaps, you will be inspired to write a blog of your own.

[MK]