The Common Scold

The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!

Mobile Lawyering: Not Yet in Sync

Smartphones,jpgOur colleagues at ALM Legal Intelligence have just released a new survey report, "Productivity in the Legal Profession: The Impact of Mobile Technology," based on an online survey of 266 U.S. lawyers, 87% with 11+ years experience, 84% in law firms, 16% in law departments. Of firm respondents, 36% were managing partners.

The results show a spike in use of mobile technology by lawyers, but suggest that law firms, clients, and judges haven't yet figured out how to support or exploit these new technologies. (See also, "Resistance is Futile" our cover story on LTN's Feb. 2011 issue.)

Key findings include:

• Almost 90% of respondents say they use a smartphone for work-related tasks, 40 percent use tablets (read: iPads).

• Calling IT: Lawyers need more tech support to improve productivity. "Law firms and law departments are not helping attorneys make more sophisticated use of their mobile devices. Much technical support is ad hoc or nonexistent," states the report. Almost 40% of smartphone users and 54% of tablet users are flying solo, "without any official support from their law firm or law department," the report observes.

Read more here.

Image: Clipart.com

December 9, 2011 in Mobile Tools , Surveys, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Don't Buy that iPad Yet!

One of the time-honored traditions of LegalTech New York is the unofficial competition among vendors for the most memorable tchotcke of the year. I can only imagine the conversations of legal technology marketing teams as they try to "outwit, outplay, and outlast" their competitors on the exhibit hall battlefield by offering a giveaway or drawing that becomes the talk of the Hilton.

We got some sneak previews via a highly unscientific poll (two quick Twitter posts and an e-mail query) prompted by JoAnna Forshee's note telling us about RealPractice's offering of free head shots by Joshua Zuckerman Photography (booth #501).

LTNMagazine To absolutely no one's surprise, Apple products dominate the LTNY drawings. (Be sure to pick up a copy of the February Law Technology News, and check out our cover story, "Resistance is Futile," about how law firms are finally caving to lawyer demands to use iPads and other "consumer" technology.)

Vendors are offering an iPad (IKON/Ricoh #2014, Aderant #202, MyCase #2406, iConect #1510, Autonomy #110); an Apple Macbook Air (Guidance Software, #220; Digital Reef, #1404); and an iPod nano (Autonomy #110) to entice you to their booths. Already own everything Apple creates? Stop by Wave Software's booth #331 and you'll get a free iPad/iPhone/iPod screen cleaner.

Prefer Kindles? Check out RainMaker Software #130; AlphaLit, #512; or Wave Software #331.

Other freebies (via giveaways or drawings) include:

• "Neat, sturdy foam gliders in celebration of our AirMail2 launch," Doc Solid #315.
• Footballs, eLitigation Solutions,#2105.
• 18 holes of golf at a course of your choice: D4, #1402.
• Bose QuietComfort Headphones, Nexidia, #2221.
• Stuffed monkeys, Business Intelligence Associates, #1301.
• Pez (Star Wars, Toy Story, Disney Fairies, Marvel Heroes, and Homer Simpson), Cole Valley Software, #210.
• Gumballs -- and an Xbox 360 with Kinect, a Flip MinoHD, and a Kindle. Kroll Ontrack #216.
• "Blinky" items (they light up), Edge Legal Marketing -- Monday night cocktail party.

Finally, if you are willing to walk around with a CaseCentral promotional button, you might be picked to win a $100 bill. "Everyone loves Ben Franklin," explains Chris Beahn, director of product marketing for CaseCentral, #307.


January 28, 2011 in LTNY 2011, Mobile Tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Here Comes Verizon (Whooppeee!)

Iphoneverizon Because I've been immersed up to my eyeballs in deadlines for the soon-to-be-unveiled revamped and redesigned Law Technology News magazine, I haven't had a moment to post. But I was very happy to FINALLY hear that Verizon will soon sell iPhones. I've been coveting iPhones for years (my entire family, including my 83-year-old mom has one) but ALM is a Verizon customer — and I don't want a fifth phone number, so I have resisted. However, once I got my iPad late last year, my tech lust kicked into high gear! 

So I turn the mic over to my colleague, LTN's news editor Brendan McKenna, who's got the exciting news:

Verizon announced Tuesday that it will begin selling the iPhone 4 on Feb. 3 for current customers and on Feb. 10 for new Verizon subscribers. The price for the device appears to match that of rival AT&T — $199 for a 16 GB iPhone, $299 for the 32 GB version.

There are differences between iPhones sold at the two companies. For one, at Verizon, the phone will run on the CDMA network vs. AT&T's GSM network. The CDMA network doesn't allow access to the data plan during calls. The significance of that missing capability may be lost on some folks; the most common gripes with AT&T seem to be about call quality and browsing speed. It's also curious that the phone is not LTE — which stands for Long Term Evolution, as in the effort to develop a 4G network standard — considering the December announcement that LTE phones were coming to Verizon in 2011.

Another potentially significant difference, according to commentators during the Verizon launch announcement, is the antenna design. Jason Chen of Gizmodo.com wondered if the infamous iPhone antenna problem would be resolved in the Verizon version, and asked, "Verizon employees, or anyone with the phone this week, please try the death grip ASAP and let us know." We will have to wait and see.

Interestingly, the Verizon version of iPhone can serve as a portable wi-fi hotspot, as well, and can link up to five devices. This means it also comes with built-in Verizon apps, a state of affairs some users may find unfortunate.

Data plans and other details have not yet been announced, but one thing is certain — the bitter battle for cell phone supremacy continues between AT&T and Verizon, and time will tell who the victor is for Apple's affections -- and customers. And what will happen to phones operating on Google's Android operating system: Will they be overshadowed by the Verizon iPhone or will they continue to thrive?

More iPhone Verizon coverage:

Will the iPhone Crush Verizon's Network? - Gizmodo.com

Verizon Will Offer the iPhone Next Month - The New York Times

Will Verizon's iPhone end up ruling the market at the expense of Google's Android operating system? The idea that Android acquired some market share only because Apple limited the sale of iPhone to AT&T is an interesting, but evidence seems to suggest that Android will continue its upward trajectory. For example, Google and Android were everywhere at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

One paragraph, from ars technica story, really caught my eye:

Android's maturity as a smartphone operating system and relatively ubiquitous availability on comparable hardware from a wide range of manufacturers is starting to make it difficult to produce truly distinctive Android handsets. Hardware makers will have to start looking for new angles and new areas where they can innovate around the platform in order to continue differentiating their Android-based phones.

What the article seems to suggest is that Android itself is fueling competition among the dozens of manufacturers of phones that run that operating system. It's not just about the phones anymore, but rather, how the handsets can be manipulated to maximize Android. It has become an industry in its own right — no doubt this will continue to fuel app growth, and the more competition means that Apple could one day be left behind on the cutting-edge technology front.

January 12, 2011 in Conventions, Meetings, Live Programs, Mobile Tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

One Thing iPads Cannot Do

My colleague Anthony Paonita forwards this advice about how not to use new iPads. There are some functions that print newspapers simply do better than any other media, warns Newsday about its new iPad app.

Sorry for the temporary blackout of the video. Apparently, Apple whined about it to YouTube. Here's another version.

September 10, 2010 in Distractions :), Mobile Tools , Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Apple - iPad (straight shot)_USEI'm still watching the delivery carts in ALM's hallways, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Apple iPad. I keep irritating our IT folks with my daily nagging -- they told me today it's taking about two weeks for orders to get processed.

While I count the days, our colleagues over at The Careerist blog note that London-based Eversheds has signed a deal to provide its lawyers with iPads. The firm has launched a two-month pilot program with about 50 senior professionals, and will decide on whether to stock them for all lawyers after the beta testing.

Morrison & Foerster is among the first law firms to have created an iPhone app, The Lawyer reminds us. You can check out "MoFo2Go" in Law Technology News' April issue.

Update: 7/26: It arrived! Can't wait to dive into its magic on my trip to California this week!

July 12, 2010 in Mobile Tools , Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Nook_front view_USE In our July issue of Law Technology News, we revived our "Compare & Contrast" feature, which takes a look at similar products and their features, to help you determine the best product for your needs.

We re-inaugurate the column with a look at e-readers, which -- with the introduction of the Apple iPad -- have gained more attention in the last few months. News editor Dan Howley and editorial assistant Heather Schultz compare the iPad (which obviously is more than an e-reader, but is being touted for that capacity) with offerings from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony.

Check it out. You might be surprised to see which e-reader won the verdict for best option.

July 8, 2010 in Mobile Tools , News & Analysis, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Thomson Reuters has been busy fine-tuning and tweaking WestlawNext -- the latest upgrade to its flagship research network that was introduced at LegalTech New York. A few weeks ago, at the company's Eagan, Minn., campus, I was briefed on the latest developments from Brian Quinn, senior director of new products, and Gretchen DeSutter of TR's communications team.

Ipad Among the refinements added this spring: enhanced topical search and topical category pages and new search templates. On May 25, TR debuted WestlawNext Mobile. It mirrors the interface of the main product, Quinn explained, and can be used with any device that has a web browser. It helps legal professionals access and navigate their research folders, search using WestSearch, and read documents or notes on mobile devices.>

And yes, yes, yes, there's an iPad version that supports touchscreen search term navigation. Unfortunately, there's no link right now that provides information to non-subscribers about the integration. But subscribers can get more info once they log in.

June 9, 2010 in Mobile Tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

About ALM  |  About Law.com  |  Customer Support  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions