Saturday, May 24, 2014

E-Filing Ramping up in Kentuckiana

While federal courts have been filing documents electronically for years, neither Kentucky or Indiana state courts have implemented the technology - yet.

On Thursday, the Indiana Supreme Court announced that e-filing is coming soon.

This follows a pilot project in Frankfort to allow some civil cases to be e-filed in a Kentucky state court.

It appears both states are on track to implement the technology by the end of next year. Fees have not been announced, although Kentucky attorneys are already paying to use the new CourtNet 2.0 system. Most Indiana state court dockets can be viewed online for free at mycase.in.gov.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Podcast with a Purpose: Let's Start a Law Firm

Two of my attorney colleagues in Louisville have started a podcast that should be helpful not only to lawyers, but also those that are looking to start a new business.

Thanks to Ben Carter, who practices consumer law, and Annie O'Connell, who practices criminal defense.

Check it out here: http://bencarterlaw.com/letsstartalawfirm/

Friday, August 2, 2013

Android for Lawyers - The Droid Lawyer

Thanks to The Droid Lawyer for the mention on his Weekly News Round-Up regarding the recently-released Google Nexus 7 tablet.

Check out his recent post on Google's Chromecast for Lawyers, and be sure to stay current with his blog which is one of the best for attorneys (and, for that matter, anyone) using Android devices.

Follow Jeffrey Taylor on Twitter (@jeffrey_taylor) or on Google +.




Wednesday, July 31, 2013

R.I.P. Ross - Legal Technology World Loses a Titan

Just after his 52nd birthday, Ross Kodner suffered a fatal heart attack yesterday.

Mr. Kodner was arguably the father of legal technology, having founded MicroLaw over two (2) decades ago, essentially before there was an intersection between law and technology.

He was an excellent CLE presenter and will be sorely missed in the legal tech community on a national and international scale.

Be sure to browse some of the excellent tribute articles and blog posts that are circulating.



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Straight Off the Staples Shelf: The New Google Nexus 7 Tablet - An Attorney's Review

Google held a breakfast event this past Wednesday morning.  While these events do not have the fanfare of product announcements from Apple, some important products were introduced.

One such product was Chromecast, which is a potential Apple TV competitor.  Many attorneys have began using the iPhone / iPad / Apple TV combo to present videos and presentations at trial, mediation, and the like.  Google's new product will not be an immediate replacement for that setup as its initial focus is entertainment-based (YouTube, etc.), but its price at $35 and huge consumer demand so far make it a product to keep an eye on.

The more expected product announcement was the new Google Nexus 7 tablet.



Last year, I experimented with the first version of the Nexus 7 tablet (which is made by Asus).  I was impressed with the slim form factor compared to the regular-sized iPad, which can be a bit unwieldy to use in certain settings, such as extended reading of e-books or deposition PDFs.

However, I was still a heavy drinker of the Apple kool aid, and probably did not give the Android operating system (OS) a fair chance.  The selection of apps in the Google Play Store (and particularly the lack of legal-related software) and my resistance to learning the more intricate user interface led me back to my mobile Apple devices.

Earlier this year, I transitioned from the iPhone 5 to the HTC One.  One of my law partners, aware of my long-standing addiction to my MacBook Air and other Apple products, mentioned that Steve Jobs must be turning over in his grave if loyal customers such as myself were willing to venture into this uncharted territory.

After attending the ABA Techshow in Chicago during the spring, the primary reason for the switch was the larger screen size on the Droid devices that the majority of the crowd seemed to be using.

I have no regrets.  The larger screen makes a huge difference on a day-to-day basis running from court to client meetings, and you cannot truly appreciate the flexibility of the Android OS until you take some time to experiment.  When I pick up my wife's iPhone now, my eyes squint and I feel restricted.

One minor frustration with the phone is the inconsistent update schedule in the Android world.  When Apple puts out a new version of iOS, then most (if not all) devices are privy to the new software at the same time.  My HTC One is still running Android 4.1.2, which is almost a year old.  And although Google (and HTC) have released new versions since then, the wonderful AT&T controls when (and if) I will receive updates.

Enter one of the benefits of purchasing "official" Google Nexus products.  The new Nexus tablet is the first device to come preloaded with Android 4.3, which is a minor update to the Jelly Bean version of Google's mobile operating system (OS).

One of the best new features of 4.3 (which is still lacking from iOS) is the ability to set up multi-user profiles on the tablet.  My wife and I can each have separate spaces, including our own personal homescreens and apps.

Another potential use in our law office is the ability for clients to use the tablet for intake questions.  We can now manage access and show content to create an experience that is appropriate for potential or existing clients.

This version of the tablet is slimmer and lighter, and even more delightful to hold than last year's version.

The 7" screen puts my iPad 2 to shame.  Google touts the new screen as the world's highest-resolution 7" tablet, which is a major upgrade over the previous version of the tablet that could not display 1080p HD.

I am also able to listen to deposition videos more comfortably, as the tablet features dual stereo speakers and surround sound by the inventors of the MP3 file that seem more powerful than before.

The new tablet features 2GB of RAM and features a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.  It is snappy and efficient, and swiping from screen to screen or app to app is a joy.  One complaint I have heard from past Android users is that the system can be buggy and get bogged down over time, but that has not been my experience thus far with either the HTC One or the new Nexus 7.

The 16GB version I purchased does not have built-in LTE, although a 32GB version will.  This is where I plan to pay back AT&T for some of my other frustrations, by simply using my HTC One as a hotspot and sharing my data plan amongst all of my mobile devices.

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The best part of this story for me may be that not only did I never expect to write a review of this product this early (Google officially lists the ship date as 2 days from now on July 30), but I did not expect to own this product at all.

Browsing the local Staples store I noticed a demo unit that had just been placed on the shelf. Fortunately (for me) my wife was in the store next door, and one thing led to another.  They had 2 units left in the store, and I was able to convince the manager to apply the $30 Staples tablet coupon to the new device.  (Although the fine print of the coupon applies to "all" tablets and does not seem to exclude the new Nexus 7, Staples corporate is directing local stores to not apply the coupon given its official release date after the expiration of the coupon and, presumably, the initial sellout of the device).

The coupon expires today, so click here for more info, and good luck if you go with the new Nexus 7.






Friday, July 19, 2013

The Case Against Public Wi-Fi

Attorneys and clients alike have confidential information stored in an electronic format (either on laptops, smartphones, tablets, or similar devices) that can easily come in contact with a public Internet hotspot, such as those at airports or restaurants.

A recent article in PC World solidified my view that public WiFi should be avoided due to the risks of confidential information being compromised over public networks.

The writer in the story planted himself at a local coffee shop with his laptop and a rooted (i.e. modified) Android mobile device.  He quickly observed that anything from instant messages to emails to login information (including user names and passwords) could be accessed by simply connecting to a hotspot and surfing the web.

The mistaken belief that many users have is that if the network requires a password (generally by using WPA or WPA2 security), that the problem above is avoided.  While this is a superior connection which encrypts information unlike truly open connections that do not require any type of authentication, anyone else with the password (which is common at hotels, cafes, and other public areas) can intercept information traveling over the network and confidential data can still be compromised.

There are even more powerful tools available to detect network traffic, such as the Pineapple, which I witnessed a demonstration of at the ABA TechShow this year in Chicago.  Portable devices in the audience (primarily Apple products) would automatically connect to the device and volunteer information without the user knowing.

Always assume that when you log on to a public hotspot, that others are listening.  Consider upping your cell data plan and adding tethering (for an example, see here) to your devices so that you can use your phone or tablet to allow your notebook to talk on your provider's network, whether it's AT&T, Verizon, etc. instead of using public Internet hotspots.


Full story (which includes tips on how to use public Wi-Fi if necessary, including virtual private networks (VPNs) to secure confidential and business data): http://www.pcworld.com/article/2043095/heres-what-an-eavesdropper-sees-when-you-use-an-unsecured-wi-fi-hotspot.html

About Me

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Licensed to practice law in all state courts in Kentucky and Indiana, and federal courts in Kentucky and southern Indiana.  

Offices in downtown Louisville and East End.  

Experience in Jefferson, Oldham, Bullitt, Nelson, Shelby, Spencer, and other counties in Kentucky; Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Washington, Jefferson, and Scott counties in Indiana. 

Practiced focused on helping individuals and families through some of their most difficult times.  Experience and skill in family law and domestic litigation, including divorce, custody, child support, maintenance (alimony), domestic violence (EPO / DVO) and complex property division cases.  

Estate planning and probate practice, which includes prenuptial agreements, wills, trusts, power of attorneys, and living wills (health care surrogate).  

Consumer bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) cases.

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