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Tech Tips Forum Introduction Locked Topic 0 M. Shaw Welcome to's First ForumAs the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 noted in its Report to the House of Delegates in May 2012: Technology affects nearly every aspect of legal work, including how we store confidential information, communicate with clients, conduct discovery, engage in research, and market legal services. Even more fundamentally, technology has transformed the delivery of legal services by changing where and how those services are delivered (e.g., in an office, over the Internet or through virtual law offices), and it is having a related impact on the cost of, and the public’s access to, these services. This forum, presented by the VBA Law Practice Management Division, offers a marketplace of ideas where peers exchange observations and suggestions for optimizing technology in the practice of law.
by M. Shaw
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
From Email Message to Calendar Appointment Locked Topic 0 R. Hill Tip: Drag and Drop Your Appointments For those of us who try to manage our calendars on the computer – either in addition to or in lieu of the trusty hard copy datebook – Microsoft Outlook has a “drag-and-drop” feature that allows a user to quickly convert an email message into a calendar appointment. First, use the mouse or trackpad to select the relevant incoming message, then click and hold the left mouse button. Next, while continuing to hold down the left mouse button, drag the email message to the “Calendar” icon in the lower left corner of the screen: Finally, release the left mouse button, and an appointment window will appear, containing information from the relevant email message:
by R. Hill
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Backing Up Your Life Locked Topic 0 J. Carpenter When Did You Last Back Up Personal Data? I have a house full of electronic devices. Between my wife and three children, we have four tablets, two laptops, a desktop, two phones, three video game systems and numerous other devices that connect to our Internet. While a lot of the data that we save on these devices is just for fun and entertainment, some of it is very important. A case in point occurred a couple of months ago when my wife’s laptop crashed. We thought the occurrence was a mere nuisance until we realized that all of our family pictures were saved on the machine and we had not done a full backup in over a year. Panicked, I sought help and we were luckily able to image the data and save it. This event served as a catalyst for a full re-examination of our backup options and habits. It may sound odd, but as an employee of a large corporation, I don’t have to personally worry about backing up my files or computer. The same would certainly be true for most firms. The problem comes when “out of sight, out of mind” bleeds from professional to personal life and we find ourselves unprepared for the inevitable disaster. Our first course of action was to find an external hard drive on which we could keep all of our important electronic documents, photos, and videos. There are a large number of devices available at very reasonable prices, especially considering the value of what we are storing. CNET has an excellent comparison and review center available at In addition to price, buyers should consider how much storage they need, what types of files they are storing, what accessibility is useful (we chose a hard drive that we can access from our cell phones), and what options are available (such as scheduled backup). If buyers want to be especially cautious, the safest plan is to buy two devices -- one for your home and one that you store at a friend’s house or other off-site location. The external hard drive secured what was most important to us, but we had a lot of other data to address. For example, much more important to my children than their baby pictures are their video game accomplishments and saves. Most game systems provide a cloud storage option, usually as part of a subscription service. A little investigation into these services can provide piece of mind to the most eager zombie hunters. The same is true for tablet manufacturers such as Apple and Amazon. Of course this is just one storage philosophy. Alternatively, a user could jump headfirst into a full cloud storage solution, but that is a Tech Tip for another day. Whichever strategy you chose to employ, don’t be left panicked when a 6-year-old accidentally kicks over your computer and crashes (literally) the hard drive.
by J. Carpenter
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
5 Tips for Dropbox Locked Topic 0 W. Poynter Go Beyond Mere Document Storage Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage providers, partially because of its very simple, appealing interface, and seamless integration into Windows. It is powerful too: A file can almost instantly be transferred to any computer anywhere in the world. But Dropbox has many more capabilities than that. Here are five tips for using Dropbox beyond mere document storage. Offline Access: If you “star” or “Favorite” files in Dropbox, you can access those files on your mobile device even when you are offline. Dropbox as “My Documents”: You can use Dropbox as your “My Documents” folder. Just click on “Properties,” then “Move,” and type in the location of a Dropbox folder that you want to use as the “My Documents” folder. Website Backup: You can back up your website to Dropbox using WordPress or Backup Box, by pointing either app toward the Dropbox folder that you wish to use to store the backup website files. Sync iTunes: Move all your music files into a Dropbox folder and point iTunes toward that location by holding down the Shift key while you launch iTunes. If you set this up on multiple computers, Dropbox will keep them all synced. Previous Versions and Deleted Files: You can restore files for up to 30 days. Simply click on “Show deleted files,” right-click on the files you wish to restore and click “Restore.”
by W. Poynter
Friday, October 31, 2014
Proposed Amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(d) Locked Topic 0 M. Zinsner The Times They Are A Changin' The extra three days provided by Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(d) to respond after service by electronic means may soon be a fond memory, thanks to the Civil Rules Advisory Committee. Since early 2001, when Rule 5(b)(2) was amended to provide for service by electronic means, electronic service was included in the modes of service allowing three added days to act after being served. Concerns of delayed transmission and incompatible systems for opening attachments are no longer paramount; advances in technology ensure that electronic service accomplishes simultaneous receipt and, as Bob Dylan wrote in his song, "The Times They Are A Changin’." Amended Rule 6(d), proposed for publication and public hearings in January 2015, will remove service by electronic means from the modes of service that allow three added days to act after being served. The Civil Rules Advisory Committee notes that diminution of technology concerns is not the only reason for eliminating the gift of three days. Many rules have been amended to ease the task of computing time by adopting the 7-, 14-, 21-, and 28-day time periods to allow “day-of-the-week” instead of business day counting and complications that arise when the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, and legal holiday. Civil litigators are not the only practitioners to lose the indulgence of three added days. Parallel proposals are included in the reports for the Appellate, Bankruptcy, and Criminal Rules. The Rules can be viewed at
by M. Zinsner
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
A Simple Evidence Presentation App Locked Topic 0 M. Shaw Trial Pad for the Luddite Trial Lawyer By Stephen Horvath Trial Pad is a simple evidence presentation program for the iPad that allows for the presentation of exhibits and/or transcripts to a jury. This $90 app is especially helpful in a document-intensive case. Its advantage is its simplicity in use and in giving control over the presentation of the documents to the trial attorney. Documents can be loaded in the Trial Pad program via one of the free document transfer services such as Dropbox. What I do is first set up the exhibit in a pdf format on my desktop. I create subfolders for the plaintiff’s and defendant’s exhibits and number each exhibit and in some cases label them with a short description. I also make sure I have pdf versions of all the deposition transcripts, and transfer all the exhibits and transcripts to my Dropbox program. Once the documents are in the Trial Pad case folder, the case folder is opened, and these folders can be modified and moved. For particular witnesses, separate folders are created for their direct or cross-examination by simply making copies of the exhibit and moving the copy into a particular witness’s folder. Likewise, separate folders can be created for opening statements and closing arguments. To use a document at trial, click on the document, and then on the bottom of the screen you can select the output on or off. If the output is off, the jury and opposing side will see nothing. With output on you have the option to show a blank screen, freeze what you have prepared, or present the document. Once the document has been called up to the screen, the two-finger pinch technique can be used to enlarge or shrink the document or move it on the screen. At the top of the Trial Pad page there are annotation tools. These allow you to highlight the document, use a laser pointed star, which allows you to use your finger to point to a particular portion of the document, or use the call out feature, which instantly allows a portion of a specific document to be enlarged and viewed by the jury. The marker feature allows you to underline, highlight, or draw on the document. Finally, the redact feature can be used to make sure that portions that should not be shown are redacted out of the document. One advantage of using the Trial Pad program is with use of deposition transcripts during cross-examination of a witness. Some courts will allow an attorney to actually not only impeach a witness by reading the testimony, but also by showing the jury the prior testimony. In a recent trial, I had an expert witness who flipped on the issue of his knowledge of the standard of care for a healthcare provider. During voir dire, I showed the witness his testimony, highlighted it, used the call out feature, and expanded it, all the while asking about his prior testimony. The jury did not just simply hear the prior testimony, but was able to read the prior testimony. The effect was devastating. The next day plaintiff’s counsel dropped the claims against my client. Stephen Horvath is a principal with Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath, & Judkins, P.C., in Fairfax, where he focuses his practice on civil litigation, including complex litigation in federal and state courts throughout Virginia and the District of Columbia.
by M. Shaw
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Virginia Decoded Locked Topic 1 T. Warren Another great feature of Virginia Decoded is that you can use the left and right arrows on the keyboard to view the previous and next sections of the Virginia Code. This makes reading through a large portion of the Code MUCH easier!
by A. Stockment
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Custom Search Engines Locked Topic 0 A. Stockment Speed Your Online Research With Special Bookmarks If you’re like me, you regularly do research on the Internet, ranging from in-depth research on Lexis or Westlaw, to pulling statutes from Virginia’s Legislative Information System (LIS) or Virginia Decoded, to searching other online databases and sites. Modern web browsers allow users to create custom “search engines” (or special bookmarks that function like search engines) that can be used to quickly perform searches on specific websites. Once configured, the user can search the specific website by typing the selected keyword into the browser’s address bar, followed by a space, and then the search term. For example, I have configured a custom search engine for the Virginia LIS website so that I can type va 13.1-782 into my browser’s address bar to immediately retrieve that statute. Examples Here are some examples that you might find useful. (Directions to set up these examples or to create your own custom search engines are provided below.) LIS: Virginia Code Description: This will retrieve the specified statute from Virginia’s Legislative Information System (LIS) website. You can access the Table of Contents by typing TOC instead of a statute number. Keyword: va URL: LIS: Virginia Code (beta) Description: This will retrieve the specified statute from the new beta version of Virginia’s Legislative Information System (LIS) website. You can access the Table of Contents by typing TOC instead of a statute number. Keyword: vabeta URL: Virginia Decoded ( Description: This will retrieve the specified statute from the Virginia Decoded website. To learn more about the Virginia Decoded website, see Vaden Warren’s Sept. 18, 2014, Tech Tip. Keyword: vacode URL: LIS: Virginia Administrative Code Description: This will retrieve the specified section of the Virginia Administrative Code from Virginia’s Legislative Information System (LIS) website. You can access the Table of Contents by typing TOC instead of a section number. Keyword: vac URL: Lexis VA Code Description: This will retrieve the specified statute from Lexis. Keyword: valn URL: Lexis Citation Search Description: This will perform a search in Lexis using the specified search string. Keyword: ln URL: Wayback Machine (Internet Archive) Description: This will search the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine for the specified website. For example, use archive to see historic versions of The Virginia Bar Association’s website. Keyword: archive URL:*/%s TSDR - Serial No. Search Description: This will retrieve the specified trademark application (by serial number) from the USPTO database. Keyword: tsdr URL: Google Scholar Description: This will perform a search in Google Scholar for the specified search string. Keyword: scholar URL: How To Install Custom Search Engines To create or install a custom search engine, you will need to supply three pieces of information: (1) a name for the search engine (it can be whatever you want), (2) a keyword or shortcut to reference the search engine, and (3) the URL used to perform the search. Directions For Google Chrome (Not a Chrome user? See Mozilla Firefox directions) To install a custom search engine in the Google Chrome web browser:Click on the menu button and select Settings Then click Manage search engines… When the following dialog appears, scroll to the bottom: Enter the search engine name, keyword, and URL into the fields shown below and click Done To use the newly created custom search engine:Place your cursor in the address bar by clicking with your mouse or pressing [Ctrl] + [L] Type the keyword selected for the search engine followed by a space Then type your search terms and press [Enter] Directions For Mozilla Firefox To install a custom search engine in the Mozilla Firefox web browser:Click on the bookmark button and select Show All BookmarksWhen the Library window opens, right click on Bookmarks Menu and select New Bookmark…Type the name for your custom search bookmark, enter the URL into the Location field, and type your desired keyword into the Keyword field: Then click Add Then close the Library window To use the newly created custom search engine:Place your cursor in the address bar by clicking with your mouse or pressing [Ctrl] + [L] Type the keyword selected for the search engine followed by a space Then type your search terms and press [Enter]   Creating Your Own Custom Search Engines When using a custom search engine, the text that you type into the address bar will replace the %s placeholder in the search URL. For example, the URL used to create the Virginia LIS custom search engine mentioned above is:, and when I type va 13.1-782 in the address bar, my custom search engine converts that to: Thus, you can often “reverse engineer” the appropriate custom search URL by performing a search on a website, and then copying that URL and replacing your search string with %s.
by A. Stockment
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Electronic Signatures Locked Topic 0 N. Vanderslice Law Firm and Client Use of Electronic Signatures A growing area of interest for law firms and their clients involves the use of electronic signatures to form contracts, such as engagement, non-disclosure, or Web site “terms of use” agreements. Federal legislation defines “electronic signature” broadly, as does common law, to include any “electronic sound, symbol or process” that signifies a person’s intent to sign a document.  Like digital storage, electronic signature software has the potential to dramatically streamline operations and reduce waste. Care must be taken, however, when using electronic signatures, to avoid compromising, deleting, or destroying sensitive data or documents and to avoid violating government regulations. Likewise, the parties must employ safeguards that will prevent e-signers from engaging in identity fraud. There are many types of electronic signatures, and even more companies offering them. Most commercial websites are content with a typed name, address, credit card number and one click on a confirmation button. Some entities, including the IRS, require a PIN (personal identification number) or password that, when used, constitutes an electronic signature. Some clients prefer to use a tablet that is attached to a computer. The consumer signs the tablet with a special pen, or stylus, and the software’s cryptography "locks" the signature onto the document. Less frequently, firms are using voice signature software, which allows the signer to speak into a microphone (such as the one contained in every cellular phone) to say, “I, John Smith, sign this document.” Finally, with improvements in videoconferencing, particularly important signature ceremonies are being videotaped, allowing both an extra level of security and a chance for tech-savvy firms to impress their clients with video technology. With respect to electronic signature laws, attorneys should be aware of at least the following legislation: Virginia’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), Va. Code §§ 59.1-479, et seq., and the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), 15 U.S.C. § 7001, et seq. Under Virginia’s version of the UETA, no record or signature may be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form, nor may a contract be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation. Beware: In Virginia, as in most states, certain documents must be signed in hard copy form. Specifically, wills, codicils, testamentary trusts, negotiable instruments, bank deposits and collections, funds transfers, bulk transfers, warehouse receipts, bills of lading, investment securities, and secured transactions, and certain other documents are excluded from the UETA.
by N. Vanderslice
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
iPhones and Personal Hotspots Locked Topic 0 M. Shaw Use Your iPhone as a Mobile Hotspot By Anne McCray Public Wi-Fi not available or too slow? Why not use your iPhone as a mobile hotspot? Your mobile phone can provide a wireless network that you and anyone you share the password with can use. When using the personal hotspot, the iPhone functions like a wireless router allowing Internet access to your computer, tablet, or other devices. The Wi-Fi network name is your device name and the connection uses WPA2 encryption. The iPhone 4 or later can share a connection using Wi-Fi, USB, or Bluetooth. Keep in mind that the personal mobile hotspot uses your monthly data from the data plan for the device. Video streaming and other uses that require a lot of bandwidth can quickly push your data plan to the limit. Make sure you know how to check your data use so that you do not go over the limit and incur extra charges. To set up the mobile hotspot, first contact your mobile provider for details regarding cost and to activate the service. For some providers the functionality is automatically available depending upon your plan. Open Settings and choose Personal Hotspot Activate by tapping the toggle switch, change the default password by tapping the Wi-Fi Password button to enter a new password, and click Done. Connect another device with Wi-Fi, such as an iPad, by selecting the Settings button, choose Wi-Fi, under “Choose A Network…” look for the name of your iPhone and touch to select. Enter the password you used when you set up the hotspot above. When the device is connected there will be a chain icon in the upper left corner of the screen. Connect a PC laptop with Wi-Fi by clicking Start, Control Panel, and under Network and Internet choose Connect to a network. Choose your iPhone from the list of available networks. Enter the password you used when you set up the hotspot above. Anne McCray is the co-chair of McGuireWoods’ electronic discovery practice group in Richmond. She has significant experience in guiding clients through the complex field of e-discovery, and focuses her practice on complex commercial matters, including securities litigation and arbitration. She also handles contract disputes and business torts, and has extensive experience in document production and discovery.
by M. Shaw
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Social Media Spoliation Consideration Locked Topic 0 G. Walker Social Media Spoliation Consideration Social media content is evidence, and as such Rule 3.4(a) of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct applies to prohibit lawyers from unlawfully altering or destroying social media posts or from assisting others in doing so. Recently, a Virginia court sanctioned a plaintiff and his attorney for deleting a Facebook profile and pages that contained photographs that undercut a widowed husband’s claim for damages stemming from the wrongful death of his wife in an automobile accident. See Allied Concrete Co. v. Lester, 285 Va. 295, 302, 736 S.E.2d 699, 702 (2013). In Allied Concrete, during discovery, defendants discovered a photograph of plaintiff holding a beer can while wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “I <3 hot moms” that it planned to use to attack the credibility of one of the plaintiff’s claims. Subsequently, the plaintiff deleted 16 photographs on his Facebook page, and then deleted his Facebook page, and then lied that he ever had a Facebook page, though his counsel denied having instructed him to delete the postings. However, subsequent testimony revealed that the plaintiff’s attorney had instructed his paralegal to tell the plaintiff to “clean up” his Facebook entries because “we do not want blowups of this stuff at trial.” After conducting a hearing, the trial court found that plaintiff’s counsel had created a scheme to take down the plaintiff’s Facebook page in an effort to hide certain content. Ultimately, the court sanctioned plaintiff’s counsel $542,000, and the plaintiff $180,000 to cover the defendant’s fees and costs in addressing and defending against the misconduct. This case serves as an important reminder of the significant role that social media can play in litigation.
by G. Walker
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Help with Exhibits Locked Topic 0 O. Oshinowo Let Microsoft Word Number Your Exhibits After spending hours drafting a brief or other document, it’s often a chore to go back through the document to make sure that your exhibit numbers/letters match and that none is duplicated. Microsoft Word can actually help you eliminate this task from your list of things to do by automatically updating exhibit numbers/letters as you work on a document. By following these easy steps, you can save time and effort you might otherwise spend on numbering or renumbering your exhibits: Go to the “References” tab in Word and select “Insert Caption.” Select “Exhibit” from the options under “Label.” If Exhibit isn’t an option, you can create a new label with the “New Label” button. Click “Numbering” to designate what type of numbering you want (i.e., A, B, C or 1, 2, 3). Every time you want to insert a new exhibit, click the “Insert Caption” button, and it will automatically number the exhibit based on where you are in the document and update all of the other exhibit numbers. If you have issues with the font style, type Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S, which will take you to the “Styles” menu. Click the drop down arrow beside “Caption” and select “Modify,” and then you can change to the font of your choosing.
by O. Oshinowo
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Facebook Web Tracking Locked Topic 0 S. Nelson Caution: Facebook Will Track Your Web Activity Outside of Facebook ZDNet reported in June on another change in Facebook's privacy and advertising policies which is sure to infuriate users and cause security risks for lawyers. The change allows Facebook to track users outside of Facebook in contravention of previous assurances that it "does not track users across the web." Facebook confirmed this and said it will begin tracking its users' browsing and activities on websites and apps outside Facebook, starting (lucky us, in America) within a few weeks. Facebook said it will begin to disregard its users' choice of using their in-browser "Do Not Track" setting. Soon, anyone who clicks "ask websites not to track me" in Safari (or any other browser) will be completely ignored by Facebook. Facebook's announcement said that users can easily opt-out of this tracking -- but the opt-out process is on an external website (the Digital Advertising Alliance), it must be done for each browser, and the opt-out must be re-done every time a user clears out their browser's cookies. Are you KIDDING? And where is the Federal Trade Commission in all this? It appears to have approved the change, making its "regulation" of Facebook an utter farce. Lawyers, beware of any online activity that might compromise client data!
by S. Nelson
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Beware the "Black Box" Locked Topic 0 J. Carpenter Vehicle Telematics Broadly defined, vehicle telematics is the integrated use of telecommunication devices and information-gathering systems within vehicles. Common examples in everyday use include satellite or GPS navigation, adaptive cruise control, and emergency warning systems in automobiles. These types of tools are also commonly used by companies that manage large vehicle fleets. (Read more about Telematics in Wikipedia.) Many auto insurance companies now offer discounts based on driving behavior, such as distance driven, time of day driven, and speed. The data inputs are either measured with vehicle telematics devices installed into the car’s diagnostic port or through the car’s onboard driver assist system (such as OnStar or SYNC). My insurance company recently offered a substantial discount based on number of miles driven each month. The conversation with the sales agent went something like this: Me: “How much can I save?” Salesman: “Huge amounts of money.” Me: “What does it measure?” Salesman: “We only collect miles traveled.” Me: “That sounds easy. How much can I save again?” Upon receiving the device package, however, I was reminded of the ancient lawyer lesson to read the fine print. Regardless of the data utilized for discount purposes, these devices typically collect additional information (especially those that have GPS). Make sure to understand precisely what is collected and also how the information may be used. Pay particular attention to policy provisions involving disclosure to third parties and use in claim handling. In the end, the savings was not enough even for a frugal person like me to voluntarily submit to the data collection. Two additional points are worthy of consideration. First, the use of these devices is becoming more common for both commercial and personal use and therefore the collected data will become a more frequent part of litigation. Second, there are great benefits to collecting this information if you are the one doing the monitoring, such as the parent of a teenager. I am sure I will be reconsidering my position on this subject in about seven years when my oldest starts to drive!
by J. Carpenter
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
How Do You Manage Critical Documents? Locked Topic 0 M. Quinan Managing Critical Documents Does Not Always Require Cutting-Edge Technology Advances in data processing and document storage technology over the past few years have greatly complicated the litigation process, which has resulted in substantially increased litigation costs. In order to deal with new types of voluminous electronic documents and information, new “e-discovery” requirements and practices have been implemented, and third-party contractors are making a good living just managing the logistics of the discovery process in big cases. At a recent seminar on e-discovery in regulatory proceedings, it was noted that public utility lawyers have been dealing with complicated, voluminous electronic data in rate cases, for example, for decades, and until recently the old-fashioned discovery rules and tools served them just fine. In some circumstances the simple tried and true methods can still be just as effective and less expensive. The management of critical documents – the ones that will end up being important trial exhibits – provides a good example. In almost every case, lawyers will start identifying critical documents as soon as a file is opened. We need a tool that will help us segregate the most important documents from the merely relevant ones, and that will give us easy access on a repeated basis, as well as a platform for careful consideration and review. Fortunately, such a tool exists. It’s called a three-ring binder. Or if you want to get fancy about it, you can put your critical documents in a simple electronic folder on your desktop. The point is that just because technology will now permit us to find a needle in a haystack, that does not mean that we should start storing our needles in haystacks. That’s what pincushions are for.
by M. Quinan
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Dual Monitors Locked Topic 0 R. Hill Seeing Double Can Be a Good Thing Splitting your computer’s display between two monitors is easily accomplished and can pay tremendous dividends in terms of efficiency and pace of work. With a dual display configuration, an attorney can simultaneously work within two or more applications, without having to toggle back and forth on a single screen using alt+tab. For instance, one monitor might display a draft brief in Word, while the other screen displays FastCase, LEXIS or WestLaw search results, facilitating the rapid transposition of block quotes. Or one screen might display a videoconference live feed, while the second screen shows the attorney’s e-mail inbox, making it much easier to multitask. Setting up the second monitor is a two-step process. First, connect the second monitor’s input cable to either a serial port on the back of the computer, or a USB port, using a serial-to-USB adaptor as shown. Next, configure the computer’s display settings to extend the display across two screens. Both Windows 7 and Mac OS X have online guides that walk users through this process. The setup takes about five minutes, and once you are seeing in stereo, you won’t want to go back to tunnel vision!
by R. Hill
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Client Confidences, Summer Hires and Social Media Locked Topic 0 M. Zinsner Tread Carefully: Client Confidences, Summer Hires, and Social Media Do Not Mix With the arrival of summer and onset of vacation season, many law firms (and clients of law firms) hire summer associates, temporary administrative staff, and college interns. It is imperative to remind temporary hires of the confidentiality that attaches to law firm matters and client business.​ Here are some tips to pass along to temporary summer staff: Do not talk to others, including family members and friends, about matters you have learned of in your work for the law firm or other client business and confidences.Many of you use cell phones, BlackBerrys, iPhones, the Internet and other tools of technology. You must not use these tools or devices to communicate with anyone about matters you have learned of in your employment. You may not communicate with anyone about work matters or client confidences on your cell phone, through email, BlackBerry, iPhone, text messaging or on Twitter, Tumbler, Vine, through any blog or website, through any Internet chat room, or by way or any other social networking websites, including Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn and YouTube. You may not take photographs of yourself or others in the office or photograph anything else in the office environment and you are strictly prohibited from publication of any photographs of you, the office environment, or any information in the office on any Internet or social media site. You may tell people you are an employee, but do not tell them anything else.Do not share anything you have read or learned of with any news media or reporters or provide any information to any radio or television or written media organizations about your work for the law firm or client business matters and confidences.
by M. Zinsner
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
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