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Casemaker Quick Tip – Folder

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Like its predecessor CasemakerLegal, Casemaker4 also allows you to store documents you find over the course of your research. Using the Folders feature, you can access your documents from anywhere you have access to the internet—saving hard drive space and paper. 

First, create a new folder.

You can create a folder at any time by clicking on the folder link in the upper right or the Folder menu option under the My Account menu. In addition, if you are on the document you wish to save, you can click the Save to Folder icon and type a name for your folder into the New Folder field and click the + button. 

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You can save to your folder at any time.

Just click the Save To Folder icon from the Document Toolbar, choose your folder, and click Save. If you prefer to drag and drop simply click the Folder icon, and this time choose the folder you would like to use and click ok. This allows the icon to represent the folder you have chosen. Next click and drag the title of the document to the grey toolbar area. Your chosen folder name will appear, and you can drop the document title on top of it. 

To view the contents of a folder, click the Folders link in the Features toolbar or the Folders option under My Account.

Once there, on the left of your screen is a listing of all of your folders. Clicking your folder will display its contents in the central area of the page. Once the folder is open you have the opportunity to move, rename, or delete the entire folder using the options menu at the top of the folders list. On the right you can use the corresponding check boxes to move an individual document to a different folder, or to add it to the print queue, print directly, download, email, or remove. If you have accidentally deleted a document, or folder, that you need, you also have access to a Trash file to recover the information. 

 

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  Casemaker4  CasemakerLegal  folders  how to save documents in Casemaker4  view my folder contents in Casemaker4 

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Quick Tip: Staying Safe Online This Holiday Shopping Season

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, December 3, 2019
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With the holiday shopping in full swing, it is a good time to discuss tips for shopping safely online. According TechCrunch, U.S. consumers already spent $50.1 billion dollars shopping online in the month of November alone. This is surely bound to increase with the holiday shopping season and cyber deals occurring during this first week of December.  You know what else is also bound to increase? Online scams. So knowing how to spot phishing emails, scam deals, and fake advertisements will help protect you during this busiest shopping time of the year. 

 

  • Use credit cards, not debit cards, to shop online. Credit cards come with more protection against fraud and faulty products.
  • Avoid clicking on shopping links from social media and chat apps. Instead, if you see a deal go to the retailer’s site directly to find the item, rather than clicking on the link. These links could lead to fake or malicious websites, or even better yet cause a virus to be downloaded on your device.
  • If you see an offer that is too good to be true, that’s because it probably isn’t.  Be sure to research unknown retailers making these offers to ensure they are legitimate.

 

For more tips on staying safe while shopping online visit:

National Security Alliance – Shopping Online

Techlicious Blog – 11 Online Shopping Safety Tips

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  holiday shopping  online scams  online shopping  phishing  safety online 

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Microsoft Word Quick Tip: Default Settings—Ignore Uppercase

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Did you know that one of the default proof reading settings in Microsoft Word is to ignore words in uppercase? Leaving this checked in your settings will cause Word to ignore anything in uppercase such as headings and titles when running a spelling and grammar check.

To change this default setting, while you have a Word document open:

  1. Go to File>Options>Proofing.
  2. From there, uncheck this option
  3. Click OK to save the new setting.

 

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  default settings  grammar check  ignore uppercase  Microsoft Word  spell check 

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LPM Quick Tip: Schedule Time for Continued Learning

Posted By Danielle M. Atchison, Tuesday, November 12, 2019
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As immigration law is changing wildly based on policy memos issued every other day, it is hard to keep up. With a small firm, a lot of business and changing policy, it has been exceedingly important to schedule time to digest, analyze and implement all the policy changes in ongoing case work. The quick LPM tip here is to make time to stay abreast of the changing legal landscape in your area of law. It is not a money-generating activity, but it keeps you sharp for your clients. Being deeply knowledgeable in your field also helps if you’re asked to speak or write on a topic, clearly demonstrating to the public that you are the expert.  

 

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Atchison 

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Casemaker4 Quick Tip — Alerts

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, November 5, 2019

This past summer Casemaker launched a redesign of their legal research system. The new platform design is known as Casemaker4. Currently, upon log-in to your member benefit, the system defaults to the prior version, Casemaker Legal. This, however, will eventually change. As a result, now is a good time to start getting familiar with the new platform. If you want to explore Casemaker4, simply click the “Click here to try the new Casemaker4” icon, which is found on the right side of your screen under the KBA logo.

 

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A new feature to become familiar within Casemaker4 is Alerts. Alerts provide you with notification of changes to search results, cases, statutes, rules and more – be it a change to the document itself, such as an updated statute, a new case citing the case or statute, new negative treatment of a case, or even new search results for a search query. You can set up alerts in multiple ways. If you are viewing a statute or case, you can use the “Add Alert” icon in the Document Toolbar. Similarly, if you wish to set up an alert for a search you can use the same icon on the page of search results.  

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In addition to creating or adding alerts from the search and document pages, you can also create an alert from the Alerts page itself. After clicking the Create Alert button you have the opportunity to choose if you are creating a search or document alert type, as well as provide the description and specifications for your alert.


The Alerts tab will also provide you with a notification if there is new information or an update for an alert since your last log in. You can then use the toggles on the left of the alerts page to select what you are viewing. The pencil and paper icon next to the toggles for your alerts will allow you to make any changes you wish to make.


You can also choose to receive email notifications for updates from your alerts, in addition to the Casemaker notifications.

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Tags:  alerts  Author: Danielle M. Hall  Casemaker  Casemaker4  legal research  new platform design  search query 

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Data Backup Quick Tip—Simple as 3–2–1

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, October 29, 2019
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With Cybersecurity Awareness Month coming to a close, now is a good time to look at your data backup processes to determine if you are in the best position should you ever suffer a breach, security incident, or even a systems problem such as a hard drive or server failure.

A common approach to data backup is to follow the 3-2-1 rule. This time-honored strategy means having at least three copies of your data, two of which are local but on different mediums, and at least one copy offsite. To learn more about backing up your data, visit the KBA member benefit partner ALPS for a 5 part series ondata backup featured on the ALPS blog.

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Tags:  ALPS  Author: Danielle M. Hall  cybersecurity  data backup  KBA member benefits 

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Use Quick Parts to Increase Your Microsoft Word and Outlook Efficiency

Posted By Tammy King, Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Do you use Microsoft Outlook and Word and find yourself repeatedly copying and pasting the same boilerplate language from email to email or brief to brief? If you have sentences or whole paragraphs that you regularly use, consider adding them to your Quick Parts gallery. Quick Parts allows you to quickly and easily insert saved language into Outlook messages or Word documents.

 

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Step One – Save Boilerplate Text to the Quick Parts Gallery

  • The next time you have a draft email or document on your screen and you see text that you use regularly, click on the “Insert” tab on the toolbar. Note: if you are using an Outlook reading pane, you will have to expand the message by clicking on “Pop Out”.
  • Highlight the block of text with your mouse and click on “Quick Parts” on the toolbar.  Depending on your version of Word, Quick Parts may be identified only by an icon in the “Text” portion of the toolbar.
  • Click “Save Selection to Quick Parts Gallery” to create your new building block of text.  Select a Name for the text building block (e.g., Summary Judgment Standard of Review).  In addition to naming the text building block, you can also assign it to a particular category for easy organization of your building blocks.

Step Two – Insert Previously Saved Language Into Your Next Email or Document

  • When you are ready to reuse previously saved language, click on the “Insert” tab on the toolbar.  Note: if you are using an Outlook reading pane, you will have to expand the message by clicking on “Pop Out”.
  • Click on “Quick Parts” on the toolbar.
  • Click on the building block you want to add, and the text will be automatically inserted into your email or document.

It’s as easy as that! In no time, you’ll have a gallery of text building blocks created that you can reuse in future documents or messages. 

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Tags:  Author: Tammy King  Insert Saved Text  Microsoft Word  Outlook  Quick Parts  Save Text to Quick Parts Gallery 

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Keeping Your Eyes on the Road: Hovering Over a Link BEFORE You Click

Posted By Jacob E. Peterson, Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

As you can see from clicking on the link below, whenever you encounter a link in an email, Google search, or anywhere else, the link does not necessarily have to lead where it says it’s taking you: 

            winningestcollegefootballprogram2009-2019.com

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Because links can be disguised, there is always a potential they could lead to virus or malware infections. Thankfully, the risks posed by links can be significantly reduced by hovering over a link before you click. Most programs that allow for the use of links have the capability to show where the link is going.

As an example, when moving a cursor over a link without clicking (i.e., hovering) in Firefox—a web browser—the link location shows up in the bottom left-hand corner: 

Or, when hovering over a link in Microsoft Outlook, it shows up as shown below:

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If the address shown when you hover seems odd or is overly long and complicated, rethink whether you really want to click. You can also consider other ways to get the information you want, like doing a Google search for the content on your own or calling the purported sender to verify that the link is taking you where you are supposed to go.

The next time you click on a link, keep your eyes on the road and be sure to hover over the link so that you can see where you’re going.

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Tags:  Author: Jacob E. Peterson  before you click  computer links  Firefox  malware  Outlook  virus 

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Now is the Time to Look at Your Cybersecurity Policies and Plans

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

In honor of October being Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I suggest now is a good time to look at your cybersecurity policies and plans to see if they need updating. It is recommended that you update your policies and plans on a yearly basis, especially if you have made any changes or upgrades to your systems or bought any new products that may need to be addressed. Since we are approaching the end of 2019, what better time to review your policies and plans than during Cybersecurity Awareness Month. If you don’t have a plan or policies in place, now is a good time to create them.

There are great resources available that can help you create a plan for prevention, detection and response. For instance, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have readily available resources on their website including their Cybersecurity Framework – based upon existing standards, guidelines and practices—for reducing cyber risks.

Another great resource specifically for law firms are the resources available from the ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. You can find items such as a third-party vendor cybersecurity checklist, podcasts and articles related to law firm cybersecurity policies, and much more.  I also encourage you to read ABA Opinion 483, which discusses a lawyer’s obligation after an electronic data breach, and ABA Opinion 477R, which discusses securing communication of protected client information.

If you are a government lawyer and are looking for resources on cybersecurity, I highly suggest you look at the International City/County Management Association’s website. They have a whole section devoted to cybersecurity resources in relation to local governments.

Stay tuned for more cybersecurity tips coming throughout this month on the blog.

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  Cybersecurity  Cybersecurity Awareness Month 

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Protected Activity—Discussing Wages, Benefits and Working Conditions

Posted By John R. Dietrick, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Many companies at one point or another have experienced the negative impacts of “water cooler talk” on staff morale and productivity. To alleviate the effects of employees discussing their wages, many companies enforce a policy prohibiting discussion of wages. However, if you are a private sector employer in America, a policy prohibiting discussion of wages is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which provides employees the right to discuss the “terms and conditions of employment” with one another, including their wages, benefits, etc. This right applies in both union and non-union settings, as well as on social media platforms.

Per the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB):

In its decision in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017), the Board reassessed the standard for when the mere maintenance of a work rule violates Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA. The Board then established a new standard that focused on the balance between the rule’s negative impact on employees’ ability to exercise their Section 7 rights and the rule’s connection to employers’ rights to maintain discipline and productivity in the workplace.

With respect to confidentiality rules specifically regarding wages, benefits or working conditions, the Board held that these rules are generally unlawful because they could prohibit or limit NLRA-protected conduct, and the adverse impact on the rights guaranteed by the NLRA outweighs any justifications associated with the rule.

In summary, most discussion of wages and benefits will likely be protected and concerted. There are few legitimate interests in banning employees from discussing wages or working conditions that are sufficient to overcome Section 7 rights.

Per the Texas Workforce Commission:

“Employees discussing their own information are protected, as are employees discussing the pay and benefits of others if they obtained that information through ordinary conversations with others”, the Commission noted. “However, if in order to get the pay and benefits information they discuss with others they access offices or files known to be off-limits to them, or cause others to break access restrictions and give them confidential information, and the company has clearly taken steps to restrict the information and uphold its confidentiality, then they may well find themselves unprotected by the NLRA.”

What can an employer do to avoid the downfalls of these problematic conversations? Prohibiting employees from discussing compensation generally remains unlawful. The best way to alleviate these problems is to maintain a strong culture of equitable and transparent compensation practices. Encourage employees to approach management or the Human Resources (HR) Department with questions or observations about salaries and/or working conditions. HR can assist employees with understanding salary ranges and job potential, provide resources and training for management, and develop and maintain a grievance procedure for the company to ensure employees are heard. If appropriate, an employer may consider conducting an Employee Engagement Survey to monitor the company’s culture, employee engagement and the overall perception of compensation and benefits.

 

Sources:

Memorandum GC18-04, Office of the General Counsel, National Labor Relations Board (June 6, 2018)

           Unfair Labor Practices: Can an employer in a nonunion facility prohibit employees from discussing their salaries? (September 27, 2017). Retrieved June 4, 2019, from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/prohibitdiscussingsalaries.aspx

Tags:  Author: John R. Dietrick  benefits  wages  working conditions 

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LPM Quick Tip: Support Staff

Posted By Danielle M. Atchison, Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Giving legal staff the credit they are due is important. It is easy for us lawyers to dive into our casework and client communications without realizing all the work our support staff handles in the background. We are trained to see legal issues and resolve problems. Most of the time, though, we are not trained on how to manage people. A quick tip for ensuring your staff knows you’re grateful is to put their birthdays and big life events on your outlook calendars alongside your client deadlines. By doing this, you are scheduling time for the humanity that keeps your office running.

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Atchison  managing staff  outlook calendars  support staff 

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Privacy Starts with Your Browser: Firefox's New Privacy Features

Posted By Jacob E. Peterson, Monday, September 16, 2019
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2019

Many websites install files on your computer—commonly referred to as “cookies”—that provide a number of potentially useful functions: keeping track of online purchases, remembering entries in website fields, and authenticating purchases. While browsing, your computer can also gather more malicious cookies and programs that can use your computer’s hardware without your knowledge or build a profile about your activity across websites, among other things. Mozilla’s Firefox browser has recently incorporated a robust set of tools to help manage the cookies your computer picks up. 

Simply install Firefox at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/, then click on the three-lined, hamburger logo in the top right-hand corner.

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Then, click on content-blocking, as shown below. 

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You can select from the “standard” or “strict” options, which block trackers based upon whether a regular or “private” browser window is open, or you can customize your options based upon the types of content you wish to block. 

While those options are great, they may cause some websites to not function properly. If a website does not seem to be working, simply click on the circle “i” logo next to the URL at the top of the browser window, and select “Turn off Blocking for This Site.”

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Tags:  Author: Jacob E. Peterson  computer security  cookies  Firefox  privacy 

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Mandatory Technology CLE—Yes or No?

Posted By Larry N. Zimmerman, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Florida and North Carolina now require lawyers to complete mandatory technology CLE each reporting period. Florida requires three hours per three-year reporting period and North Carolina requires one hour per year. More states are expected to join over the coming years, and the idea is even circulating in Kansas.

There is no debate that technology plays a significant role in the practice of law. Further, there is no reasonable debate that technological competence is important to advancing and protecting client interests and firm profitability and longevity. There is, however, some rational debate over whether mandating one or more CLE hours will serve to increase technological competence. Following are some arguments culled from that debate:

Proponent—Mandatory Technology CLE

The Rules Require Competence

In 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court adopted changes to the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct which incorporated clarified and expanded duties of lawyers to develop and maintain technological competence. The broadest of these changes is in Comment 8 to Rule 1.1 requiring lawyers to “…keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology….”

Because the Rules require technological competence, mandating technology CLE would be a logical next step. Just as mandatory ethics CLE exposes lawyers to cases, hypotheticals, and opinions they might not willingly investigate on their own, mandatory technology CLE would help drag the Luddites into the digital era and expose them to coursework they might not choose voluntarily. Mandating ethics CLE is, in fact, something we have done before.

Competence Helps Clients

There is legitimate concern about the prevalence of self-represented litigants and unassisted parties in our legal system. Those individuals are usually overwhelmed and often make decisions that impair the full realization of their rights. Additionally, other actors in the legal system—and tax-payers, more broadly—often have to underwrite those individuals’ on-the-job learning of the law.

This self-represented issue is often linked to the costs of legal representation. One theory asserts that technological competence helps lawyers cut the cost of providing legal services and, therefore, reduces the lawyers’ costs to clients. If this theory is correct, then technological competence from lawyers would be one low-cost means of addressing the self-represented party issue.

Technology Helps Lawyers

There is growing understanding that lawyers are not the healthiest people. The pressures of the profession, dogged competition, and the financial demands of practice combine to expose lawyers to a range of professional dangers including burnout, depression, substance abuse and even suicide. The hopeful suggest that technological competence can help.

If a lawyer is required to attend technology CLE, two potential benefits are suggested: first, the overall fear of technology may be mitigated. Lawyers forced into a CLE may see that technology is not the dark art they feared and find their existing legal skills make them well-suited to understanding technology. Second, learning even a few technology tricks and skills here and there may be enough to take a burden off and provide a lawyer with some much need breathing room.

Opponent—Mandatory Technology CLE

Tail Wags the Dog

The technological competence requirement is a small subset of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct. (Technological competence is also a small subset of another small subset of the Rules—law practice management.)It is problematic from a substantive and a messaging perspective to place one small subset of the Rules on an equal compliance footing with the Rules themselves.

Technological competence may certainly arise as a component of issues of confidentiality, safekeeping, diligence, or communication, but technology is merely a backdrop to those primary duties. Keeping technological competence closely integrated with the Rules focuses the attention where it belongs—on the duty itself and not on some app or service only tangentially relevant to the Rule.

Because technological competence is a subset of the Rules, we can have technology CLE for ethics credit already. Some examples which could be taught now:

  • training on encryption to protect data transmitted in email, on removable drives, and on laptops or phones (Rules 1.6 and 1.15);
  • email training on creating folders, configuring rules, and implementing notifications to address client and court communications (Rules 1.4 and 1.3); and
  • training in accounting software to maintain trust and operating accounts (Rule 1.15).

The opportunities for actual technology training specifically targeted to primary duties under the existing ethics rules is possible now. Additionally, technology training can be approved under the Law Practice Management programming category already in place.

Placebo

A one-hour CLE credit requirement for technology training underestimates the difficulty of obtaining technological competence. I once took formal classroom training in Microsoft Word. It was an all-day course for Level 1 proficiency that barely scratched the surface of what I would need to configure and use Word for the office. (And some of my knowledge “expired” with the next-released version of Word.)

Suggesting that just one hour of CLE training per year in technology will put a dent in either client access to legal services or in lawyer well-being is grossly over-optimistic. It is more likely that mandated technology training would be used to show that the profession is doing something serious without being serious at all about doing something.

The discussion about mandatory technology training is refreshing because it evidences a growing understanding that technological competence is important for overall legal competence—too important to address unmoored from our broader duties.

Originally published in the July/August 2019 Journal of the Kansas Bar Association.

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Tags:  8807  Author: Larry N. Zimmerman  competence  technology  training  Vol. 88 

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Quick Tip: Searching Internet Archives with the Wayback Machine

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of information found on the Internet. The information is collected by a process called web crawling, which is similar to how search engines, like Google, collect data for searching. The Wayback Machine was first launched in 2001 by non-profit organization, the Internet Archive.

The service allows users to see archived versions of web pages across time. In fact, the Wayback Machine has catalogued more than 370 billion web pages according to a recent article on Lifewire. If it is a password protected website or includes information populated by databases, then the information cannot be collected by the crawlers and will not be found on the service. If the website is publicly available, however, chances are high that is has been archived by the Wayback Machine.

I recently ran a search of the Kansas Judicial Branch website. You can see in the screenshot what the website looked like on February 29, 2000.

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  internet archives  Kansas Judicial Branch website  Wayback Machine 

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What to Do When It's Time to Hire a New Attorney

Posted By Tammy King, Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Is it time for your firm to add talent and hire a new attorney? NALP and the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Section have an excellent resource designed to help you in navigating this time-consuming and potentially expensive process. It takes time and money to train new hires and to acclimate the new attorney to your firm’s atmosphere, procedures and practices. All employers want to hire smart in order to see a return on their investment, and this resource will aid you in making smart, meaningful hiring decisions. 

Advice includes: how to identify an applicant pool, how to make the offer, tips for salary and benefits negotiations, and an all-important hiring checklist.

Click the link to download What To Do When It’s Time to Hire a New Attorney

 

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Tags:  Author: Tammy King  hiring checklist  hiring new attorney  negotiations  new hires 

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