US Law: Commercial vs. Recreational Use of Drones

In a post last Fall, I demonstrated the capabilities of my inexpensive drone and suggested that an imaginative attorney could find lots of ways to use such a drone in a law practice. I did not, however, address the legalities of using private drones for commercial purposes.  For now, it is an open question whether the commercial use of drones … Read More

The Lawyer’s Tool Box– Litigation Task Based Budget Excel Spreadsheet (downloadable)

Cost-conscious clients demand that their litigation firms prepare and yes adhere to budgets, implement Legal Process Management (“LPM”) systems, and generally be more intentional in developing an efficient litigation plan. A basic part of that process is creating a litigation budget. In the old days you might get away with giving a ball park, seat of the pants, life of … Read More

The Lawyer’s Toolbox: MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the iPad

In late March of 2014, Microsoft released its long awaited Word, Excel and PowerPoint Apps for the iPad. OneNote had already been released several months before. I have been using all of them since the introduction and have generally been impressed. The Windows 8 versions of this same software, with the exception of OneNote, are not touch screen optimized. The iPad … Read More

ABA: Lawyers Can Access Juror Public Social Media Posts but Contact Not Permitted

In a new ethics opinion (Formal Opinion 466 ), the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professionalism opines that lawyers may access public information that jurors or potential jurors put on the Internet about themselves, but they may not communicate directly with the jurors, such as asking to “friend” them on Facebook or “connect” with them on Linked In.  The … Read More

First Steps in Case of Suspected Data Breach

Okay, the breaking glass part is for dramatic effect and is optional.  However, once the specter  of a data breach rears its ugly head, your company should  immediately retain experienced breach counsel before it hires cyber security and forensics firms to access the scope of the breach.  Why?  Because if the law firm truly directs and manages the internal investigation … Read More

Don’t be that Luddite Lawyer

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word Luddite describes “one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest [for fear of losing their jobs]; broadly: one who is opposed to especially techno­logical change.” Being an out of the closet technophile, I frequently en­counter self-described “luddite law­yers” who brag about their lack of … Read More

Toys for the Hytech Lawyer—Your Personal Drone- Really! (Video)

For my 51st birthday, my wife and kids gave me a “hytech toy” that I now highly recommend tothose of  my tech savvy colleagues with some kid still left in them.  The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Power Edition is an iPhone/iPad controlled quad-copter that is incredibly easy (and fun!) to fly and transmits HD video/photographs to your iPhone/iPad via Wi-Fi (the drone … Read More

The Hytech Lawyer Mourns the Loss of Steve Morrison

Steve Morrison was my teacher, mentor, law partner and friend.  Steve died yesterday morning at only 64 years of age.  It’s been less than 24 hours since we learned the news, but my law firm, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, already misses him terribly.  You see, Steve Morrison was never ordinary- no ordinary lawyer, no ordinary person, no ordinary partner, … Read More

Cloud Computing Basics for Lawyers (Niki Black Interview)

I recently had the privilege to interview one of the pioneers of the legal blogosphere, Niki Black.  Niki is Director of Business Development at MyCase, a cloud based law practice managment system.  She is combination cloud computing guru and legal technology cheerleader.  In this recorded slide show, Niki gives a basic overview of “the cloud” including ethics issues, security precautions, and advantages for lawyers. … Read More

Presenting Witnesses at Trial or Hearing using Skype, Facetime, iPad, etc.

  In the relentless drive to reduce litigation costs, it is becoming more and more common for witnesses to testify at trials and hearings via two-way video/audio feed as opposed to travelling long distances to testify in person.  At the same time, the technical challenges and costs of live video feeds have fallen drastically– to the point that they are hardly a consideration.   I have … Read More