The Florida Bar Podcast

Welcome to the Official Florida Bar Podcast. This monthly series is brought to you by the Florida Bar’s Practice Resource Institute and will feature esteemed leaders in law discussing new and innovative topics. Its purpose is to help members of the Florida Bar as well as attorneys from other states run better practices and provide better legal services to their clients.
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The Florida Bar Podcast


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Sep 30, 2016

Some small law firms and solo practitioners feel that their practice and available revenue is too small to invest resources into cyber security protections. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Jonathon Israel and Christine Bilbrey talk with Shook, Hardy & Bacon partner Al Saikali about helping lawyers assess their security risk and why cyber security is important even for the smallest firms.

Aug 5, 2016

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Renee Thompson and John Stewart talk with The Florida Bar Board of Governors Eighth Judicial Circuit representative Carl Schwait about the legislative amendments recently made to rule 4-7.22. Carl explains that the relationship of lawyers to clients and their procurement is much more guided through the internet today than it has been ever before. This shift in how the public seeks out legal services has brought a whole new group of for-profit companies and corporations into the legal marketplace whose chief aim is to match lawyers and clients. The Florida Bar declared a few issues that these changes now present to rule 4-7.22 and The Florida Supreme Court did not agree with some of these stated issues requesting that the bar go back and reevaluate the rule. Carl explains that their goal was to prevent for-profit matching services from arguing with the board of governors over whether they were a directory, a lawyer referral service, or some other entity and that most of these organizations didn’t want to be classified as lawyer referral services at all. The bar wanted to do away with all naming conventions and solidify the classification of these companies as qualifying providers so that every entity or person who was in the business of matching attorneys and clients would all fall within their rules. He emphasizes that The Florida Bar does not oversee qualifying providers and that their rules are to the lawyers who participate in this matching program in order to better protect the public. Carl closes the interview with an analysis of how these changes impact voluntary bar lawyer referral services, why the malpractice insurance requirement was removed, and how The Florida Bar might proceed if The Florida Supreme Court asked for oral arguments on these rules.

Carl Schwait is a North Central Florida mediator, businessperson, educator, Florida Bar leader and former public servant. Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and named to Florida’s Super Lawyers® for the last nine years, he has been a member of The Bar for over 39 years.

Jun 30, 2016

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares interviews Practice Panther Vice President of Accounts Mor Assouline, Clio Director of Sales Engineering & Strategic Solutions Joshua Tanzola, Rocket Matter CEO and Founding Partner Larry Port, and MyCase Senior Customer Success Manager Marielle Levy about cloud-based practice management programs. The interview begins with a group analysis of topics that customers most frequently ask questions about, such as security and data migration, and how each respective company handles these inquiries. Josh explains what change management means in regards to practice management programs and Mor gives examples of why cloud security is safer than traditional file keeping methods. Larry discusses the importance of client portals and how difficult it can be to transfer client data from old systems and Marielle stresses the importance of two factor authentication. The interview closes with a group review of client accounting needs and how each company's software addresses them.

Mor Assouline is the vice president of accounts for Practice Panther. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the Florida International University College of Business Administration.

Joshua Tanzola is the director of sales engineering & strategic solutions for Clio. He received his Bachelor of Arts in business from The University of British Columbia.

Larry Port, CEO of Rocket Matter, is also a speaker and award winning writer at the crossroads of the legal profession and cutting edge technology. He frequently discusses marketing, design and efficiency, and quality techniques in the software industry that can be leveraged by lawyers and legal professionals. 

Marielle Levy is the senior customer success manager for MyCase. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Jun 21, 2016

At the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention, Renee Thompson interviews Jonathon Israel, Rod Bruce, Eddie Lebranda, and Christine Bilbrey from The Florida Bar’s Practice Resource Institute (PRI). The PRI is a free online resource for Bar members providing assistance in firm management, trust accounting, job acquisition and hiring, technology, and the details needed to start or close a law practice. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, director Jonathon Israel walks us through useful tools and resources the PRI offers, including technology CLEs and administrative forms. Practice management advisors Christine Bilbrey and Rod Bruce discuss how easily Florida lawyers can get assistance and answer some of the most commonly asked questions. Eddie Lebranda, an advisor for the career center, tells us about new opportunities the PRI offers including resume formatting, online career fairs, and more! Tune in to hear about how the PRI can help you.

Jonathon Israel is the director of the Practice Resource Institute, the practice management assistance service for The Florida Bar’s membership.

Rod Bruce is a practice management advisor for The Florida Bar PRI. He has a background of almost 20 years as a legal administrator and a paralegal.

Eddie Lebranda supports the career center. He consults and advises employers on how to best promote open positions and assists with job seekers navigating the PRI’s website.

Christine Bilbrey is a practice management advisor for The Florida Bar PRI. Previously she was a law firm administrator in Pensacola, Florida.

Jun 9, 2016

Many lawyers are noticing a rapid shift in client expectations as the number of millennials seeking legal services expands. What options are there for law firms that embrace new technology and want to provide a more effortless customer experience?

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares talks with Clio co-founder and CEO Jack Newton about his organization and the benefits that the cloud can bring to the practice of law. Jack opens the interview by giving a brief history of how Clio was founded. Using client feedback, Clio added software features aimed at helping lawyers increase their workflow and grow their firms. Jack reveals that Florida has their highest user density in the United States and explains how customer growth led to the company eventually providing advice (through e-books, white papers, and talks) to their clients on best practices and how attorneys can embrace the cloud. He also covers his top reasons legal professionals should use the cloud, including increasing the ease of managing a caseload and issuing bills to consumers that are payable online. Additionally, he addresses ethical concerns attorneys have regarding using these services to store confidential data and privileged client information.

Jack discusses the impetus behind the creation of the Clio Cloud Conference and their mission to provide the best of legal education and industry thought leaders who are improving the practice of law. He closes the interview with an analysis of law firm data security concerns and how cloud services solve those issues via protected client portals.

Jack Newton is the founder of Clio, one of the pioneers of cloud-based practice management. Jack has spearheaded efforts to educate the legal community on the security-, ethics- and privacy-related issues surrounding cloud computing, and has become a nationally recognized writer and speaker on these topics.

Jack has recently joined the board of the International Legal Technology Standards Organization (ILTSO), where he will help the organization craft standards for law office technology. He also co-founded and is acting president of the Legal Cloud Computing Association (LCCA), a consortium of leading cloud computing providers with a mandate to help accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in the legal industry.

May 31, 2016

During the Great Recession many law schools saw their admissions decline sharply and many lawyers found themselves without employment. In some areas of the country these effects are still felt and present challenges for young attorneys looking to provide services for indigent or lower income clients. What options are there for under or unemployed lawyers who wish to help this demographic?

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares speaks with Open Legal Services co-founders Shantelle Argyle and Daniel Spencer about starting their nonprofit law firm. Dan starts the interview by mentioning that Shantelle came up with the idea, and that similar concepts had been attempted in the past, but an exclusively client funded firm had never been done before. They both recall that the catalyst for the idea was their unhappiness at their jobs at the time and that they were not practicing law. Shantelle describes their realization that the middle class was not able to access needed legal services and that there was a large untapped client market. She then goes into detail about how they established the nonprofit, their marketing approach, how they set their fees, and how they created the scale with which they determine which clients to accept. Dan also explains that although the company has never been profit driven it is critical for any new firm to meticulously monitor their cash flow. They both end the interview with a discussion of the technology they use to help manage the firm, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness available for attorneys working in the nonprofit sector, and the grand opening of their third office location.

Shantelle Argyle is the co-founder and executive director of Open Legal Services. She received her bachelor of science from Utah Valley University and her juris doctorate from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.

Daniel Spencer is the co-founder and supervising attorney of Open Legal Services. He received his juris doctorate from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney School of Law.

May 12, 2016

Forty nine cents of each dollar spent on electronic discovery is wasted as a result of lawyers not understanding how to properly scope a preservation effort or use forms of production and collection that are both defensible and reasonable. How do lawyers stay abreast with new technology that might become a possible source of evidence and where do they get that information? Why do solo lawyers and small firms need to know about electronic discovery?

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast host, Adriana Linares chats with Computer Forensic Examiner Craig Ball about electronic evidence, e-discovery, and how important it is for litigators to understand this data acquisition process. Craig explains why small firms and solo lawyers should be interested in e-discovery, if they want access to electronic evidence, and why printing physical copies of documents for storage is no longer practical. He also talks about the denial that many lawyers have regarding their need to understand and use new tech and provides resources online where lawyers can go to become more informed about e-discovery. Craig discusses why law firms should insist upon certain electronic competencies from their lawyers, like understanding the appropriate means by which to do reasonable searches of electronically stored information, and why he thinks the bar associations have not done enough to stress the importance of such knowledge. He then closes the interview with an analysis of emerging tools designed specifically to assist small firms and solo practitioners with e-discovery and provides specific software options that can help lawyers with the collection and preservation of evidence.

Craig Ball is a trial lawyer and computer forensic examiner who focuses his practice on serving as court-appointed special master and consultant in computer forensics and electronic discovery. He is a founder of the Georgetown University Law Center E-Discovery Training Academy and serves on the academy’s faculty. Craig received his J.D. from, and teaches Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence at, the University of Texas School of Law.

May 6, 2016

With the legal industry’s increased efforts to integrate new technology into the profession, it has never been more important for law firms to protect themselves and their data. However, what happens when a breach does occur and privileged information is compromised? More specifically, what is a breach notification and what procedures are Florida law firms required to follow immediately after the incident?

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares sits down with Orange County Bar Association Technology Committee Chair Daniel Whitehouse to discuss data breach notification procedures and what constitutes personally identifiable information. Daniel breaks down what Florida statutes consider a data breach (basically an unauthorized party accessing restricted data) and gives a few examples of situations within a law firm where this definition applies. He then provides an in-depth explanation as to what types of data fall under personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers, medical records, and email addresses, and discusses what Florida’s data breach notification law is. Daniel takes time to explain what the Florida attorney general’s office will require from law firms that experience such a breach and analyzes what ethical obligations legal professionals have to their clients and the prevention of future unauthorized access. He closes the interview with tips on how law firms can encrypt their data and proactive changes companies can implement to increase their security policies.

Daniel Whitehouse holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), both from Webster University. He interned for The Honorable Susan C. Bucklew of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and attended Stetson University College of Law where he graduated Co-Valedictorian. Daniel is currently the chair of the Orange County Bar Association Technology Committee.

Feb 24, 2016

Law firms are considered by many hackers to be soft targets with a wealth of valuable information. Data from social security numbers, credit cards, and client confidences is enough to make the criminal mind salivate with malicious intent. Between 31-45% and 10-20% of firms have been infected by spyware or experienced security breaches respectively. But what can a private practitioner or law firm do to prevent these trespasses on their networks?

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares welcomes cyber security expert Sherri Davidoff to discuss the dangers to data that exist for law firms today. To begin their dialog, they define what ransomware is and tell us why so many firms give in to its extortion.

Tune in to learn what practitioners can do to counteract or mitigate some of the risks. Spam filters, employee training, role-based access controls, and anti-virus software are among many countermeasures available for even small firms. In addition, lawyers may want to consider network monitoring, cloud-based software platforms, and comprehensive backup and retrieval systems. The key to successfully implementing the latter is to test your IT firm’s ability to restore lost files.

Sherri Davidoff is a nationally-recognized cyber security expert who is a founder and Senior Security Consultant at LMG Security. She has over a decade of experience as an information security professional, specializing in penetration testing, forensics, social engineering testing, and web application assessments. Davidoff is an instructor at Black Hat and co-author of "Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers Through Cyberspace". She is a GIAC-certified forensic examiner (GCFA) and penetration tester (GPEN), and holds her degree in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT.

Discussed on This Episode:

  • Ransomware

  • Cryptowall

  • Role based access controls

  • Email traps

  • Anti-virus software

Dec 21, 2015

Have you been hearing about how lawyers are working remote and have a “mobile office” but don’t know what that means? Are you thinking about starting your own mobile practice and need some tips? Do you have a law firm that could benefit from more mobile systems and tools? Well, you’re in luck! Today on The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares and Larry Port, founder and CEO of Rocket Matter, discuss remote access, cloud-based services, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, online collaboration, and what is needed to start a mobile law office.

Topics include:

  • What it means to be “in the cloud”
  • Cloud and server security
  • Practice management programs
  • Mobile phone systems and PVX software
  • Note taking, collaboration, and communication tools
  • Technology trial and error
  • iPad apps, Microsoft Surface devices, and using Apple computers
  • Looking first for lawyer specific products
Nov 17, 2015

Most solo and small firm practitioners have heard of cloud-based management systems such as Clio, Rocket Matter, and NetDocuments. These and many more are also a part of The Florida Bar member benefits. But for lawyers who aren’t currently using any of these technologies, it can be difficult to understand why they are important. How can lawyers actually save time and money by learning to use case management, practice management, and document management softwares?

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares interviews technology consultant Allan Mackenzie about the differences between the document, case, litigation, and practice management systems, how they improve the efficiency and accuracy of time, billing, calendar, contact management, document assembly, tasks, and to-do lists for firms of all sizes. All of these software options and more information can be found on The Florida Bar website’s member benefits page.

Sep 30, 2015

Adriana Linares and Renee Thompson interview Michelle Francis, the Education, Compliance, and Accreditation Manager at The Florida Bar, who handles CLE accreditations and ensures lawyer completion of minimum requirements. Francis discusses why lawyers should look into board certification, answers CLE questions frequently asked by Florida lawyers, and offers some useful advice about alternative ways to obtain CLE credits.

Sep 16, 2015

Adriana Linares and Renee Thompson interview Katherine Hurst Miller, president-elect of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, about online course developments, why YLD member engagement is growing, interactions with affiliate groups, and how young lawyers can get involved. Tune in to hear about the health and wellness programs coming up in the next year and how your local or specialty bar can apply for YLD grants.

Sep 1, 2015

Adriana Linares and Renee Thompson speak with law firm coach Nora Bergman about how lawyers can organize time and use mindfulness to get more work done in less time. Tune in to hear about creating focus time, planning your week, training your brain for effectiveness, and actually implementing tips!

Aug 26, 2015

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares and co-host Renee Thompson interview President-Elect Bill Schifino at the 2015 Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference about overreaching themes in the bar’s five-year future plan and the nature of bar succession. Tune in to hear Schifino’s thoughts about his term as president, what’s on the horizon for the legal profession, and themes such as judicial branch independence, lawyers’ public image, access to justice, enhanced member benefits, and diversity within bar leadership and the profession as a whole.

Bill Schifino is a commercial litigator and managing partner of Burr & Forman in Tampa, Florida. He was elected president of the Florida Bar in 2015, and will serve as president starting in 2016. Schifino has been on the bar’s board of governors since 2008.

Jul 23, 2015

The 2015 Annual Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference recently took place in Manalapan, Florida. During the event, Adriana Linares and co-host Renee Thompson sat down with the new Florida Bar President, Ray Abadin, to discuss lawyers, technology, global legal services, reciprocity, and efficiency.

Jun 17, 2015

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares interviews Adria Quintela, Florida Bar director of lawyer regulation, and Michelle Suskauer, chairperson of the Disciplinary Review Committee, about trends in the way the Florida Supreme Court is treating disciplinary actions, the top issues causing lawyers to receive complaints, and the proper course of action within the grievance process. Adria discusses how the largest problems come from a lack of client-lawyer communication. Most complaints could be avoided by picking up the phone or sending an email. Michelle discusses the Supreme Court’s decreased tolerance for unprofessional behavior and how it might relate to technology, social media, and far-reaching media attention.

Apr 28, 2015

In 2013, the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers (FCCC) launched a statewide e-filing portal for civil, criminal, and Florida Supreme Court cases. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares interviews Carolyn Weber, program manager for the design and implementation of the portal, and Tom Hall, lawyer and consultant to the FCCC. Together, they discuss the major issues lawyers have with the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal and tips on document requirements. Listen to the end to learn about removing metadata properly or potentially revealing attorney-client privilege information.

Apr 16, 2015

Many lawyers who are part of the Florida Bar do not realize what the Practice Resource Institute (PRI) has to offer. The PRI is an online resource for lawyers who need help with office technology, finance and accounting, marketing, management, or who need assistance with all aspects of starting a new practice. Much of the content is free to the public and there are additional services available to members. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares interviews Jonathon Israel, director of The Florida Bar Practice Resource Institute. Israel discusses how the PRI has developed to offer a myriad of new opportunities available to any lawyer (not just Florida Bar members). He describes the structure of the site and the types of information, resources, and tools you should expect from visiting the PRI website or becoming a member. In the future, Israel explains, the PRI will respond to member feedback to include more video and audio content, social media interaction, and aggregation.

Mar 25, 2015

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares and John Stewart interview lawyer and chair of the Bar Admissions Committee Lance Scriven about the pros and cons of Admission on Motion, the Uniform Bar Examination, and non-lawyer legal professional licensing. Scriven discusses the practitioner benefits of crossing borders and practicing law and points out that there are many instances in which this is already being done. The obvious negative in these programs involves lawyers who are worried about even more competition in a state which is already saturated with attorneys. Stewart points out that many services that these alternative solutions provide are filling a currently existing hole in the market of moderate or low income people and small business owners. Admission on Motion, the UBE, and non-lawyer licensing are strong alternatives to the competition being created by online legal services which already exist to fill this void. Florida is watching the action of major states like New York or California on these issues, Scriven says. Tune in to hear more about these controversial and important decisions facing Florida lawyers.

Mar 12, 2015

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares interviews Florida attorney John Stewart, chair of the Florida Bar's Vision 2016 Technology Committee, about how the subcommittee is helping lawyers cope with and embrace new legal technology. Stewart explains that he was previously wary of legal service technology, but his opinions changed after talking to Mark Britton from Avvo, Cheryl Niro from the ABA, Ed Walters from Fastcase, and other experts. The Technology Committee, he says, is already helping lawyers work alongside new technology through the Practice Resource Institute and an e-etiquette guide. His plans for the future include looking at the proliferation of online legal service providers and finding ways for Florida lawyers to compete or collaborate.

Feb 25, 2015

The State of Florida takes access to public records very seriously, but it also prioritizes the privacy of its citizens. Through sustained efforts and the use of technology, Florida is finding ways to meet both objectives while decreasing the associated costs. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, co-hosts Adriana Linares and Rene Thompson interview Judge Robert Hilliard from the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Together, they discuss how the State of Florida is implementing technology to lower costs, increase public access, and improve the performance of both judges and attorneys. Tune in to hear how judges are utilizing a new paperless docket system and lawyers are taking advantage of technology to present their cases in court.

Jan 28, 2015

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares interviews Florida Bar President Greg Coleman about the Practice Resource Institute (PRI), member benefits focused on solo and small firms, and the Clio Cloud Conference happening during the Annual Florida Bar Convention in June 2015.

Jan 28, 2015

Florida Bar Podcast host Adriana Linares interviews Peter Sweeney, Deputy City Attorney of Palm Bay, Florida, at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. As the chairman of the Member Benefits Committee of the Florida Bar, Sweeney discusses adding technological tools like Clio and Rocket Matter to member benefits and the vetting process of these tools. Also a member of the The Unlicensed Practice of Law (UPL) Committee, he examines the problem of people needing legal aid and how to adequately meet these needs within the confines of the law. In addition to being Deputy City Attorney, Peter Sweeney is board certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar.

Jan 28, 2015

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews electronic evidence expert Craig Ball at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. Ball discusses the limitations of electronic search tools and how lawyers need to move past the delusion of the right keywords yielding perfect results. He summarizes his 2015 Solo and Small Firm Conference presentation about the proper use of PowerPoint presentations, a field in which lawyers still struggle. A certified trial lawyer, Craig Ball limits his practice to serving as a court-appointed special master and consultant in computer forensics and electronic discovery.

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