I was asking for it. Last month, I suggested that the reason I didn’t include new Windows Phone apps in my list was that I didn’t know any lawyers who used them. The first response from a lawyer with a Windows Phone came within about 15 minutes of publishing my post. So, here you go, my first post including new apps from all three major smartphone operating systems. In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t care at all about Blackberry OS users.
My first post-USA defeat in the World Cup (you guys were awesome, proud to be an American Outlaw!) list of new apps is here. These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – June 2014:
Imagine a world in which one of the two certainties of modern life – taxes (the other is death… you know the quote) – was simple, easy, and most amazingly, fast. (Now try reading that last sentence with the music for John Lennon’s Imagine playing in your head… now try not hearing that music. Sorry.)
Think about it – most of the information you include in your taxes is already in your previous year’s version. Of the information that’s not, most of it has already been submitted to the IRS and state revenue agencies by the respective banks, lending institutions, medical institutions and other large corporate entities that process information considerably faster than you do. Want proof? Most of those valuable “Forms” that get sent to you containing information on your health savings account or your student loan interest statements have already been received, and approved by, the IRS.
So why isn’t there a free, online way to file your taxes that can be completed in a couple of minutes?
Social media is, at its most basic level, a tool for communication. Sure, it’s a great way for your firm to market your services locally. It’s also a great way for some 23 year-old to completely screw up their own personal injury case by posting inappropriate pictures shortly before trial. But at it’s core, it’s about communication.
However, it’s a communication tool that archives, stores, indexes, and is searchable. That’s right, it’s your communication history. I can find out quite a lot about you by checking out your social media accounts. Quite a lot of information that may be useful, say, if you were to be on my list of potential jurors for a major case. The ethical rules have been particularly slow to keep up with this facet of social media. However, in Part 5 of my presentation on the Ethics of Social Media, I discuss some ways to keep yourself within ethical bounds while performing your due diligence. More…
Social media is where we go to tell people about what’s going on in our lives, particularly for millenials and Gen-Xers. It stands to reason, then, that social media is one of the first places attorneys should look during discovery. In the abstract, failing to request social media in discovery is really poor litigation strategy at best, legal malpractice at worst.
Practically speaking, actually obtaining all relevant information from an opposing party’s social media will rarely be worthwhile, and in general, doesn’t work. More…
Well, as May rolls into June, 2014 keeps marching along! It also means it’s time for me to release my list of best new apps for lawyers, for both Android and iOS (I would consider posting new apps for the Windows phone, but first need to actually hear of an attorney actually using that platform).
So, without further ado, here are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – May 2014:
Knowing how to use social media is important not only to improve your ability to market your firm. Social media is ubiquitous in our society – everyone uses it in some form or another. Messages, pictures, videos… discoverable, frequently relevant information.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that in order to competently perform our jobs as litigators, we have to know how to request, and produce, social media information in discovery. In part 4 of my presentation, The Ethics of Social Media, I discuss ways to conduct discovery involving social media. More…