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    Archive for April, 2008
    Courthouse Library Survey…
    Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

    ♫ Tell her about it
    Tell her all your crazy dreams
    Let her know you need her
    Let her know how much she means… ♫

    Words and music by Billy Joel.

    As they taught us in typing class, now is the time for all good boys and girls to come to the aid of the party. Or in this case, the BC Courthouse Library Society.

    They are undertaking a redevelopment of their website. And in the process of so doing, they wish to hear from lawyers on the potential redesign of their website and the services that they could be providing to you.

    The survey is short and only takes about 3 minutes or so. But what is interesting is that this particular survey is open-ended and designed to bring in as much original thought as possible into not only on what they are doing, but what they could be doing with their website.

    Think about it. This is the chance to have a voice in designing how you interact with the BC Courthouse Library. Wikis? Blogs? Collaborative spaces? RSS feeds that deliver content tailored to recent developments in your area of practice or interest? The ability to create secure web spaces to collaborate and organize research in developing areas of the law? The ability to be a part of a virtual community of lawyers who exchange ideas on certain areas of the law that are of interest to them? Consider the ability to hold on-line discussion groups around emerging topics….or incorporate knowledge management concepts into their website. What is the best way to facilitate professional development right across the Province, using virtual tools and techniques and how can the Library Society lead that change?

    Literally the only limits to the possibilities are the imaginations of the lawyers out there!

    I totally applaud the BC Courthouse Library Society, their Board of Directors and Management Team for taking this approach to their future. Johanne Blenkin is to be commended for her vision and foresight.

    Oh, the survey can be found at: http://www.bccls.bc.ca/cms/index.cfm?group_id=86472.

    And take a moment and tell Johanne and her staff how much we need her and how much she and her staff mean to us!

    Posted in Adding Value, Issues facing Law Firms, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Technology, Trends | Permalink | 1 Comment »
    Time and Task Prioritization…
    Monday, April 28th, 2008

    And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon,
    Little boy blue and the man in the moon,
    When you coming home, dad?
    I don’t know when…
    We’ll get together then,
    You know we’ll have a good time then…♫

    Writer and vocalist, Harry Chapin.

    Ah, Monday morning! A fresh start on the week. Good thing that you took that file home to work on over the weekend – just imagine how busy the schedule would have been like otherwise! Let’s see – have to prepare for that big discovery this week. But the phone starts to ring and your secretary brings in the mail and despite good intentions, you are soon lost in the activities of the day. By Tuesday evening, the discovery has been pushed to the back burner of your mind by other pressing demands. On Friday afternoon you remember that the discovery is set for Monday and you still hadn’t prepared your notes. Stuffing the file into your briefcase you have a pang of guilt recalling that you had promised to take your daughter skiing this weekend. Oh well, she will learn that business comes first…

    Despite the best security systems and locks on our office doors, time bandits sneak into our lives and steal away our most precious asset. These time bandits learn that certain of us are more vulnerable than others to this capital offense (truly capital, for it robs away our lives). Fortunately there are codes to live by that will stop this crime from occurring.

    • Get a head start by taking 10 minutes before you leave the office today and write out your “must do” objectives and priorities for tomorrow. This allows you to come in and hit your desk running with a clear understanding of your objectives for the day.
    • Handle a piece of paper once and only once. Having picked up a letter, memo or fax, dictate a reply, write instructions for filing or draft a response WITHOUT letting go and putting the paper back down on your desk. Or, stand at your desk until you have finished going thru your mail. The very act of standing forces you to make decisions and take action rather than procrastinating. Better yet, walk to the scanner and scan the letter so that you can file it into your electronic file and get it off your desk.
    • Avoid time-wasting activities, both for you and your secretary. Don’t dictate a letter if a telephone call will do. Use e-mail rather than faxes or letters. If you must write a letter, have standard letters prepared for common situations that take just a moment to be modified, rather than re-creating the wheel. Start a knowledge bank in SharePoint or other collaborative technology.
    • Stuart McLean of Morningside once interviewed John Goddard[1] who, at age 15, sat down and wrote out a list of the things that he wanted to do before he died. When he stopped there were 127 items on his list. In his mid-sixties, he had checked off 108 items, and was working on the remainder. Now, sit back and write out your life’s goals. Then imagine that you are looking back on your life and its important moments. How many of these moments were spent working late or on weekends? Consciously take time in your life to schedule in your important goals, and not just those of your clients. Don’t take work home – you are allowing work to take command of your entire life.

    • Take a moment during the day and sit down with your secretary and discuss the files in your practice. Try to remove or reduce any bottlenecks that may be slowing the flow. Listen to their suggestions to make things easier for all concerned.
    • Recall that activities can be divided into five categories (Bliss): Important and Urgent, Important but not Urgent, Urgent but not Important, Busy Work and Waste of Time. Important and Urgent matters get solved. Urgent but not Important activities clamour for attention, but don’t deserve the time they get. Busy Work and Waste of Time are just that – the sooner you forget these, the better. It is the Important but not Urgent activities that deserve attention, but usually get lost in the shuffle. Create a “to-do someday” list and review that list regularly. After all, on this list you will probably find such things as going on that trip to Europe with your spouse, or taking up fly-fishing or windsurfing or writing that book. This is the stuff that memories are made of…
    • Get an integrated practice management and legal accounting system for your desktop computer such as Amicus Attorney or Time Matters + PCLaw, LawStream, ProLaw and others, and start using them. These programs assist you in creating To-Do lists, creating lists of clients and telephone numbers (so you are looking in only one place for address information), in tracking calls and will create an electronic calendar and *so much more*.
    • When you do dictate a letter, file a pleading, delegate a task and automatically create a follow-up entry to check if a response has been produced. This keeps the simmer on and prevents matters from going cold. Moreover, you will develop a reputation in the office for being on top of things.
    • Delegate, delegate, delegate. Use the office staff to your best advantage. Refer out files that do not capture your full energy and enthusiasm. Have others do as much on a file as they legally and ethically can. Free up your time and energy for important tasks and files.
    • Someone once said that life was a series of interruptions interrupted by interruptions. Take time to concentrate. Block off times to work on matters, close your door, put your phone on “do not disturb” and put your shoulder to the wheel. When the allotted time is over, take your calls, and deal with matters knowing that you have used your time effectively.
    • Give yourself a reward for completing a task on your “to-do” list. Get up, take a short walk, grab a coffee, or even just give yourself a mental “way to go” prize. Recall that you attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.
    • The most important time-saving tool is liberal use of the word “No”. If you refuse to allow others to take control of your time, you will have kept the time saved for your own use.

    Since we all do not know just how much time we have left, each of us can benefit from using our time to best advantage. Hopefully that includes those good times spent watching our little ones take their first bicycle ride or snowplow turn.



    [1] McLean, Stuart, The Morningside World of Stuart McLean, Penguin, 1990.

     (this post is based on a column originally published in PracticeTalk in the Canadian Bar Association – BC Branch’s newsletter BarTalk)

     

    Posted in Adding Value, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, personal focus and renewal, Technology, Trends | Permalink | 3 Comments »
    Metadata and Lawyers…
    Thursday, April 24th, 2008

    ♫ Cause everybody wants to hide their secrets away
    And that’s okay…♫

    Words and Music by Good Charlotte (Joel Madden · Benji Madden · Billy Martin · Paul Thomas · Dean Butterworth, Aaron Escolopio · Chris Wilson)

    If you have emailed a Word, Excel or even WordPerfect document to a lawyer or notary on the opposite side, you have most likely sent them confidential information that is buried in the document. The reason is that electronic documents contain information about the document and changes that were made to it (such as changing the contract terms or settlement amount). This data is hidden in the document, but it can be read by those savvy enough to find it, and is called metadata.

    Fortunately, Adobe Acrobat version 8 features metadata removal. Adobe Acrobat Professional version 8 contains the ‘Examine Document’ feature that allows you to go thru a document and determine if there is any metadata therein and allows you to take action accordingly.

    For lawyers for whom metadata is a particular concern, WordPerfect offers the ability to Save Without Metadata feature – allowing you to avoid any ethical difficulties by removing confidential information that can be captured into an electronic file and viewed by others. WordPerfect Office X4 – the latest office suite from Corel – offers the ability to strip away metadata using the built-in tool or to save the document to PDF format.

    Payne Consulting offers the Metadata Assistant that removes metadata from Word/Excel/PowerPoint (97 and higher) files. It integrates with Outlook 2000 and higher, GroupWise and Lotus Notes as well as with many document management systems. Payne’s Metadata Assistant also cleans and converts files into PDF format for additional protection.

    If you are using Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft offers a free metadata removal tool that is described as follows:
    “With this add-in you can permanently remove hidden data and collaboration data, such as change tracking and comments, from Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint files.”

    You can download this tool from:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=144E54ED-D43E-42CA-BC7B-5446D34E5360&displaylang=en (*or just Google Microsoft Hidden Data Removal Tool*)

    Microsoft Office 2007 has a built-in feature to remove metadata.

    These tools will allow you to send out your documents, secure that your secrets have been safely hidden away and that’s okay!

    Posted in Issues facing Law Firms, Technology, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    Who is Reaching Out to You?
    Monday, April 21st, 2008

    ♫ Come on, come on, come on, come on
    Now touch me, baby
    Cant you see that I am not afraid? ♫

    Words and music by Robby Krieger, recorded by The Doors.

    If you maintain a web site or a blog, you want to know who is linking to your site. If you have a blog, you can use Technorati to see how many blogs are referencing your blog and to create a list of those links. But it is difficult to see the linking in a graphical manner.

    Hello Touchgraph! This website allows you to explore the relationships between websites or blogs. You type in the URL of your web site or blog (or any other web site or blog in which you are interested), and you obtain a graphical view of the links to that site or blog.

    It is a wonderful way of viewing who is reaching out to touch you…!

    Posted in Technology, Trends | Permalink | 2 Comments »
    Paradoxes and Twisted Paths…
    Monday, April 21st, 2008

    ♫ The long and winding road
    that leads to your door
    Will never disappear
    I’ve seen that road before
    It always leads me here
    leads me to your door… ♫

    Words and music: Lennon and McCartney, recorded by The Beatles.

    At some point in the day you pause and look around you. You came into the law to change the world – or you were drawn to the challenge of a new, exciting and meaningful career. You were deeply concerned with social issues and were looking for a way to make an impact. You saw the law as a way to achieve an intellectually satisfying living. Now you find you are dissatisfied, frustrated by the routine and repetitive tasks of day to day lawyering. All too often, success is measured in terms of financial returns – which these days are far too small. The passion that drew you to the law has been replaced by a deeply held cynicism. Enjoyment is sought thru mind-numbing liquid or alternate means. What happened?

    Fortunately if we still have a vestige of our fervour left, then all is not lost. How do we rekindle the enthusiasm, the zeal and the anticipation of our early days in the law? Here is a selection of suggestions to revive our minds and spirit:

    Get energized: Lawyers have a high energy level, yet we tie ourselves down to a desk. Sports, dance, art – all these and other areas offer the ability to tap into and redirect our energy into new and positive directions. First paradox: Burning energy outside of the office invigorates you and increases the energy potential in the office. Get involved.

    Validate: Since law practice is really just one file followed by another, we tend to lose track of the high points along the way. Open a file and keep it at your desk – and keep it populated with examples of your outstanding work. If possible, display examples of your successes on your walls (newspaper reports, thank you letters (with consent), sport photos, race bibs, musical certificates – and other objective indicia of success).

    Show your talents: What are your ideals? Often there are groups that are crying for professional support and help (historical societies, community groups or arts groups, community colleges). Seek out these associations and become an advocate for their causes, a teacher or a member.

    Go for it: Lawyers are oftentimes characterized by high emotional sensitivity (which we hide behind a hippopotamus hide), high levels of self-criticism and poor peer relations (we can’t admit any human failings). We hold ourselves to standards of perfectionism that hold us back from trying new things – things that we cannot instantly master. Recognize that new projects only require effort, enjoyment and enthusiasm! Remember to:

    “Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on earth.” (author unknown)

    Embrace Complexity: Lawyers thrive on complexity and can be bored by the work at hand. Here is the first paradox: Spending time rekindling your passion in life and its positive outlets can generate more energy for you and will result in an affirmative reworking of yourself.

    Help Others: Second paradox: Lawyers have a high altruistic need to contribute, to help out and to make a difference. It has often been said that you cannot help someone else without first helping yourself in the process.

    Create calm: What is your workspace like? Is it filled with ringing telephones, office noise and constant interruptions? Create an “island of calm” around you. Turn down the ringer on the phone. Stop all interruptions for a minimum of 1 hour a day. Close your door. Try music playing in the background. Try concentrating only on one task at a time.

    Seek out others: Lawyers like challenging, successful people. Hunt for these types of people and associate with them. Find a lawyer who is passionate and actively involved in their out-of-the-law interests and take them to lunch. Find a running partner. Build a positive social group. Create the environment of people around you that you need.

    Rediscover the child within: Third paradox: Helping the needs of children can result in great benefits for the adults. Lawyers can be great role models to the younger generation and in turn, can learn a great deal from the younger set.

    Help your partners: Lawyers are very empathic to others. Fourth paradox: Helping your partners achieve greater satisfaction in their lives can result in greater satisfaction in your own life.

    Read: Go and get biographies of exceptional individuals. Often you can see how these people faced difficulties, adversity and setbacks – and oftentimes became successes by simply being the only ones still left in the game. Outlast your setbacks.

    (this post is based on a column originally published in PracticeTalk in the Canadian Bar Association – BC Branch’s newsletter BarTalk)

     

    Posted in Law Firm Strategy | Permalink | No Comments »
    Fraud and Spear-Phishing Attempts…
    Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

    ♫Don’t take the bait,
    Don’t seal the deal,
    Don’t buy the hype..♫

    Words and Music by The Neighborhoods

    The New Jersey Law Journal has posted an article online:

    Businesses Hit With E-Mail Blast of Virus-Carrying Pseudo-Subpoenas by Mary Pat Gallagher on Wednesday, April 16, 2008. That article reports that thousands of executives received e-mails on Monday April 14, 2008 purporting to be US federal court subpoenas but which appear to be part of a “phishing” scam to capture sensitive data.

    This is another example of a phishing attempt by impersonating a law-related entity, in this case the U.S. District Court. The fake subpoenas bear the seal of the court and docket numbers from real cases, though apparently closed ones, without party names. Mary Gallagher reports that they command an appearance on May 7 before a grand jury in a particular room at the U.S. courthouse in San Diego.

    They identify the originating e-mail address as “subpoena@uscourts.com” and contain a link with an instruction to “download the entire document on this matter … and print it for you record.”

    “As is typical with these phishing attempts, those who click on the link infect their own computers, and those networked to them, with a virus aimed at gathering passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers and similar information. Matt Richard, of VeriSign’s iDefense Labs, a cybersecurity group, estimates that 1,800 recipients have clicked on the link.”

    The phishing emails bear the name of “O’Mevely & Meyers,” a fictitious law firm. But there is a real firm of “O’Melveny & Myers LLP” in LA and the phishing email incorporates the real firm’s address. The name is close enough that O’Melveny has posted a notice on its Web site stating it is not the source of the subpoenas.

    Aiside from the usual spelling and grammatical errors, the most significant tip-off was that “federal courts will never send you a subpoena by e-mail,” stated Scott Christie, a former assistant U.S. attorney who once headed up the New Jersey office’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section.

    Gallagher quotes Christie as stating that lawyers should be warning their clients, and because unexpected future variants are likely, people should “review their e-mail messages carefully and if there are misspellings or other indicia of impropriety or fraud, immediately contact their attorney.”
    http://www.law.com/jsp/nj/PubArticleNJ.jsp?id=1208256438672

    It will only be a matter of time before these attempts spread to other jurisdictions and other courts. Lawyers should be notifying their clients of the proper method for informing them as to real court notices and subpoenas. If they do receive such a notice directly, they should be informed to contact their lawyers prior to clicking on any suspect ‘notice’ sent to them directly to avoid taking the bait of the spear phishers.

    Posted in Firm Governance, Fraud and theft, Issues facing Law Firms, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Technology, Trends | Permalink | 1 Comment »
    The Evolution of Leadership…
    Saturday, April 12th, 2008

    ♫ It’s good for all my people
    it’s good for all my people
    it’s good for all my people
    and it’s good enough for me
    Gimmie that old time religion…♫

    Words and music anonymous, first published by Charles D. Tillman.

    Think of a lawyer and an image of a solo warrior heading off to battle springs to mind. Unfortunately, like most stereotypes, it is increasingly out of touch with reality. Law firms have discovered that to survive and thrive in modern society, they have to reach back to the old-time concept of teams and leaders. Firms have discovered that groups led by effective leaders possessing so-called ‘soft’ skills: coaching, counselling, mentoring, tutoring, and motivating – are much more effective than just groups of lawyers and staff working together. A group of people is not a team. A team comes together for a shared goal or task, such as handling a particular client, a file or area of law. What are the benefits to firms and clients from building teams? First, teams outperform groups, team members support each other’s growth and learning, teams maximize the use of human and other resources, there is continuous improvement and knowledge sharing amongst the team members and the output of a team is synergistic – greater than the sum of the individual parts. Furthermore, teams are willing to push work down, allowing firms to not only mentor and grow juniors, they provide head-room for senior counsel to tackle higher-value work and allow a firm to transition to alternate billing methods – having work competently performed at the lowest cost to the firm while maximizing profitability.

    So how do you evolve from individuals to groups to teams? Here are some suggestions put forward by Donald Clark and others in this area:

    Build the team: The first duty of a leader is to ensure that the foundations for team development have been put into place. This is based on the work by Herzberg on Hygiene and Motivational factors. Any issues lying within the following topics that affect the team must be resolved to the satisfaction of the members in order to take them to the next level: Working conditions, Policies and administrative practices, Salary and Benefits, Supervision, Status, Job security, Fellow workers, Personal life. For example, including someone who for one reason or another will not fit within the dynamics of the team will only frustrate the other members and prevent the team from moving forward. This last factor is so important that elite military teams themselves select their future members from potential recruits.

    Communicate the vision: What is the goal to which you are striving? Let the team members know how each of them plays a role in reaching that goal.

    Be Passionate!: One of the greatest motivators is seeing a leader’s passion to accomplish the goals of the team. Conversely, a lack of passion sends a message that “this doesn’t really matter all that much”. Get behind your team and radiate energy!

    Enable others to act: Give your team members the tools and the space to get the job done. Then get out of the way – micromanagement is not a leadership style. Trust your members to do what is right.

    Get Dirty!: You are encouraging the team members to reach beyond their current abilities into new and unknown territory. Leaders are willing to be the first to try something and show that not getting it right the first time is just fine. Stretch and pull others along with you.

    Encourage: There are three distinct styles of leadership: Authoritarian, Participative and Delegative. Note that each of these styles is used in different situations and with different people. The Authoritarian tells people what they want done and how. Typically this is used in crises situations when time is short and the team members are already well motivated. The Participative leader involves people in the decision-making process, reserving the right to make the final decision. Typically this style is used where the leader does not possess all the information to make the right decision. The Delegative leader sets the priorities and allows the team members to decide what has to be done and how to do it. The delegative leader remains ultimately responsible for the work of the team and is comfortable with the decision-making ability of the team.

    Radiate Values: In facing a decision, there are usually at least two options: doing something right and doing the right thing. You can take the short-term expedient decision or you can take the high road, realizing that this route sows seeds that bear fruit over a longer time frame. As a leader, the decision that you take will say volumes about your values to your team.

    Be in Character: Great leaders possess common character traits. The US Army has enumerated 23 Traits of Character. Check this list and reflect how many apply to you and to the leaders in your firm: Confidence, Courage, Integrity, Decisiveness, Justice, Endurance, Tact, Initiative, Coolness, Maturity, Improvement, Will, Assertiveness, Candour, Sense of humour, Competence, Commitment, Creativity, Self-discipline, Humility, Flexibility, Empathy/Compassion. As clothes make the man, then character traits make the leader.

    Law firms are catching that old time religion and transforming their firms into well-oiled teams. After all, it is good for all their people!

    (this post is based on a column originally published in PracticeTalk in the Canadian Bar Association – BC Branch’s newsletter BarTalk)

    Posted in Adding Value, Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    An Idea Whose Time has Come!~
    Friday, April 11th, 2008

    A change would do you good
    A change would do you good..♫

    Words and music by Sheryl Crow, J. Trott and B. MacLeod.

    My friend and fellow blogger Jim Calloway picked up on my blog post Do You Want to Know a Secret?…on whole-disk encryption for lawyer’s laptops, flash drives and portable devices in his blog post entitled: Security Issues of Carrying Digital Documents. Now Jim has a philosophy of not allowing comments on his blog, so I will take the liberty of replying to his post here!

    Jim asks why we haven’t seen more secure laptops out in the market. I think the answer to Jim’s question is that they are just starting to appear.

    In Information Security Magazine’s web site they have a news item from January 3, 2008 entitled:
    Hardware-based encryption gains most innovation of ’07. In that article it states:

    ‘Hardware-based encryption is just making its way into the mobile device market, but it’s coming on fast. Earlier this year, Seagate announced the Momentus 5400 FDE 2 hard drive, at first available only through clone laptop company ASI, but now available on select Dell models. Intel has announced its chip-based hardware encryption, code-named Danbury, will ship with vPro processors in the second half of 2008.

    “By end of 2008, we’ll see a fair amount of variety of offerings,” said Jon Oltsik, senior information security analyst for the Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group. “By mid-2009, there will be more widespread combinations. By the end of next year, if you are replacing laptops, you’ll have several options–not just from Dell. It will be pretty much universal.”‘

    SO the short answer to Jim’s question is – it’s a’coming! And I would say – it’s about time! A change towards greater laptop and portable device data encryption will do us all good!

    Posted in Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Technology, Trends | Permalink | 1 Comment »
    The Security Walls Came Crashing Down…
    Friday, April 11th, 2008

    ♫ And the walls came down,
    All the way to hell.
    Never saw them when they’re standing,
    Never saw them when they fell…♫

    Words and music by The Traveling Wilburys (George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan).

    On March 27th, Security.IT.World web site reported on CanSecWest Security Conference’s PWN 2 OWN hacking contest. The contest offered three operating systems that a hacker could attack: Vista, Linux and Mac. Day One didn’t see anyone able to hack into the systems when contestants were only able to attempt hacks via a network. On day Two, when the rules were changed to allow hackers to use web sites and emails to host their attacks, the MacBook Air with its Mac operating system went down first – in under 2 minutes. The hacker, Charlie Miller, earned himself $10,000 as well as the MacBook for his efforts.

    While this should put terror in the heart of anyone trying to protect their office systems from attacks, the beneficial side to these contests is that the vulnerabilities that they expose are reported (privately) to the developers of the software who can then patch them without the vulnerability becoming known.

    In a sense, allowing these attacks to occur in this organized fashion should help prevent the security walls from coming crashing down and our systems going all the way to hell as a result…

    Posted in Issues facing Law Firms, Technology, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    Do You Want to Know a Secret?…
    Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

    ♫ Listen, do you want to know a secret
    Do you promise not to tell, woh, oh, oh
    Closer, let me whisper in your ear…♫

    Words and music by Lennon-McCartney

    In my Practice Tips column for March, 2008 in the Benchers Bulletin, the newsletter of The Law Society of British Columbia, I wrote on “Electronic devices – encryption and client confidentiality issues” for lawyers. In that article I discussed the distressingly regular occurrence of a lawyer’s computer being stolen or ‘lost’. I recommended that lawyers start installing and using whole disk encryption (either software or hardware) technologies to ensure that there is an additional level of security between the client confidential information on that computer and any unauthorized person who tries to access that information.

    Accordingly, it was gratifying to see that InfoWorld in an article posted April 7, 2008 entitled: Are Extra Laptop Features Worth It? stated:

    “Our verdict: For any industry in which security is paramount or even legally obligated (the medical, legal, and governmental fields, for starters), the additional cost of hardware encryption is minuscule when weighed against the technology’s ease of use and its role in avoidance of liability.”

    In my opinion, all lawyers should be looking at whole-disk encryption for their portable devices (laptops, flash drives etc) and should be considering it for their office networks as well (there have been instances when desktop computers have been stolen – even in broad daylight – from lawyer’s offices).

    Contemplate, if you will, having to tell your clients that a computer containing their personal information has been stolen and that they should consider steps to guard against identity theft and the compromising of their personal information. This conversation is *so* much easier when you can also tell them that the entire disk in question has been encrypted using a state-of-the-art system and is very unlikely to be hacked. As they say in those TV ads, the cost of encryption – minuscule; the sense of relief – *priceless*.

    And the clients can rest assured that there isn’t someone out there saying “psst….do you want to know a secret?”..

    Posted in Law Firm Strategy | Permalink | 1 Comment »