Chances are, you’re at least vaguely familiar with the term “virtual lawyer”, but what is a virtual lawyer and what does it mean to move your practice online? In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jonathon Israel talk to Richard Granat about what a virtual law practice looks like, the major drivers in the switch to online services, and the learning requirements of making your own practice a virtual one. To clarify, technology should be used in conjunction with a traditional practice rather than lawyers simply disappearing behind a screen. According to Richard, legal professionals should establish their business model and find the online resources to meet their particular needs rather than simply diving into technology.
Richard Granat is a lawyer and a recognized expert on the delivery of legal services over the internet. He has served as Co-Director of the Center for Law Practice Technology, Florida Coastal School of Law.
Ediscovery is an industry that is constantly shifting and evolving as technology changes. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jonathon Israel talk to electronic discovery expert William Hamilton about using ediscovery and how the legal industry is adapting to growing technology. Their discussion includes the different ediscovery products available, sanctions, interactions with social media, and resources you can use to keep up with all aspects of ediscovery.
William Hamilton is an electronic discovery expert. He is currently the executive director of the UF Law E-Discovery Project and International Center for Automated Information Retrieval.
What if there was a way to practice law and only spend five dollars a day running your business? Would you believe it? In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jonathon Israel talk to Rick Georges, a solo practitioner practicing in St. Petersburg, Florida, about how he uses technology to run his business effectively and cheaply. Some of his methods are as simple as using software to take care of administrative tasks, like switching to online banking. In their discussion, they also talk about security measures that those using technology need to take, like encrypting emails and protecting accounts with two-factor identification.
Rick Georges is a solo practitioner, practicing in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is active in the St. Petersburg Bar Association, Florida Bar, and American Bar Association, and presents seminars and programs on the use of computers in the practice of law.
If you want a consultation with attorney Andrew LeGrand, you can set up a date, time, and cover the cost without ever talking to him. Andrew, founder of Spera Law Group, is a master at technology shortcuts and, in this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, he shares with hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jonathon Israel the apps he uses to save him time. From phone answering services to shareable calendars, law professionals can use these sources to save them time and money.
Andrew Legrand is the founder of Spera Law Group, LLC, a cloud and paperless law firm in New Orleans, Louisiana. He helps small business owners create and protect successful companies.
Noory Bechor was doing business law for a big law firm in Israel when he came to the realization that lawyers’ process is far too inefficient. So he came up with LawGeex, a cloud-based artificial intelligence program that uses machine learning to help revolutionize the legal world. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Noory joins hosts Christine Bilbrey and Jonathon Israel to discuss how LawGeex works and how this and other artificial intelligence will continue to make lawyers more efficient, without replacing their jobs. Tune in for a clear explanation of the way machine learning works and how it replaces simple, repetitious tasks like drafting contracts.
Noory Bechor is the CEO and founder of LawGeeks. As a former commercial lawyer, he combines his years of experience with his entrepreneurial spirit to help other lawyers #lovelegalagain, making their work easy, efficient, and even more impactful.
The practice of law is a profession that is constantly evolving and one that requires continued training and education to stay on the cutting edge of legal trends. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Jonathon Israel and Christine Bilbrey talk with Third Judicial Circuit in North Central Florida General Magistrate Jennifer Kuyrkendall about the upcoming Florida Bar Tech Show and why office managers, paralegals, law students, and lawyers should attend.
Jennifer Kuyrkendall is the General Magistrate for the Third Judicial Circuit in North Central Florida. She also sits on the Executive Council of the Solo & Small Firm Section where she currently serves as secretary and chair of The Florida Bar Tech Show: Riding the Technology Wave.
As technology becomes more integrated into the daily tasks of lawyers around the world, new and innovative ways to improve the practice of law will continue to emerge. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Jonathon Israel and Christine Bilbrey talk with eFileMadeEasy President Dario Diaz about the history of e-filing, Metadata, and tips to help attorneys improve their e-filing process.
Dario Diaz is the owner and managing partner of the law office of Dario Diaz PA in Tampa, FL. In 2014 Dario was named to The Florida Bar Technology Committee and now stands as the vice-chair on that committee. He is also the president of Legal Automation Systems Inc. which created eFileMadeEasy.
The Practice Resource Institute is the law office and law practice management service of The Florida Bar. For assistance, contact the Bar’s Practice Resource Institute to speak with a practice management advisor. PRI can be reached from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, via phone at 866-730-2020, email at email@example.com, or live chat via the PRI website at http://pri.floridabar.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Role based access controls
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.