Category Archives: Books & eBooks

Shameless Plug Alert: The California Guide to Growing & Managing A Law Office

Grolo2 Cover - Cropped
I heard rumors that people who preordered the book were starting to receive their copies and now it's official.  The book is out.  Obviously, you should buy several copies for members of the entire family as holiday gifts.  After all, what better time to share the knowledge than on, say, Memorial Day weekend?

But I'm not pushing…not…pushing…

e-Discovery California: Upcoming Presentation: CalBar Solo Summit


Just a reminder that Friday, June 22nd, 2012 from 9:45 – 10:45 am, I'll be presenting Program 16: They See You When You're Sleeping: Attorney Privacy Confidentiality & Security for one hour of specialty ethics MCLE credit at the State Bar of California Solo & Small Firm Summit, which is being held this year at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach.  Here's a brief synopsis:

A preview of the soon-to-be-published book, “Growing and Maintaining Your Law Office”. Attendees will learn about ethical obligations to protect attorney-client privacy, confidentiality and security — both personally and via the smart-phones, computers & software they use daily.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sneak Peek! Growing and Maintaining Your Law Office

MP900444369I mentioned a few months ago that I’d hunkered down in the ‘bunker’ to write for the upcoming new State Bar of California publication, Growing and Maintaining Your Law Office (or as we like to call it, Grolo).  We’ve entered the pre-promotion stage, which means that a few of the sub-chapters have been authorized for limited publication.  In my old book-publishing days, we might have referred to them as galleys, but they’re not quite in their final form.

In any event, the Law Practice Management & Technology Section has just published one of my sub-chapters, “Using Technology to Coordinate Lawyer & Staff“.  Now, I can’t give you access to the complete excerpt, because our members pay to receive our publications, but if you’d like a little taste of what you’ll see in the book, here you go!

I’ll also be discussing more of my contributions at the 2012 California Solo and Small Firm Summit, scheduled for June 21 – 23 in Long Beach.  I’ll be presenting program 16, “They See You When You’re Sleeping: Attorney Privacy, Confidentiality & Security“, Friday, June 22nd from 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Hope to see you there!

e-Discovery LOL: Perry’s New Book: “F’ed Up!”

Rick Perry Fed Up

What?  There's no apostrophe?  Oh…

I don't know why that title popped into my head while I was watching last night's Republican debate, but it did.  Actually, it gives me the opportunity to let you know that I'll be collaborating with some of my colleagues to write a book for the State Bar of California that is expected to be published next June.  I'm a bit shy on details at the moment, but I'll let you know as soon as I know.  I've bitten off a fairly large chunk of the project, so it looks like I'll be busy writing soon.

#SCOTUS Grants Cert in #Cheney v. #Bush, #Powell, #Rice, #Rumsfeld, #Tenet, et al. (2011)

Word came down this morning that the Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to review Cheney v. Bush, et al. I can’t say I’m surprised; but I wonder how they’re ever going to to discern the truth, based upon all of the conflicting testimony.

An old Jewish proverb:  Put two Jews in a room and you'll get three opinions…


Word came down this morning that the Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to review Cheney v. Bush, et al.  I can't say I'm surprised; but I wonder how they're ever going to discern the facts, based upon all of the conflicting testimony.

To briefly review (for those who may be unfamiliar with the details), in August 2011, Cheney testified to a series of events that took place In His Time.  He placed himself at the center of both terms of the Bush (hereinafter referred to as "W") administration. 

Colin Powell, the Secretary of State in W's first term, filed suit in response.  Deposition being held on Face the Nation, Powell contradicted Cheney's testimony and in fact, testified to an entirely different series of events, likening Cheney's account to that of a 'supermarket tabloid'.

This was just the beginning. 

Cheney, apparently unaware of – or unwilling to – abide by the Decision Points testified to by W himself in 2010, also contradicted the former President's account.

In tears, Condoleezza Rice came into my office and told me that I had been right; then made known her intention to join on the side of Powell.  Aside from stating that there was No Higher Honor than serving in W's administration, she's remained mum up to this point.

Her deposition is scheduled for November.

Sources also predict Tenet will enter the fray.  Reached this past weekend At the Center of the Storm [Irene], he said it was a Slam Dunk that a cross-complaint against Cheney was imminent

Rumsfeld was queried about his intentions.  He responded, "I know that I know what I'm going to do, but I don't yet know all that I could know, and on advice of counsel, I'll wait until all unknowns are known before you'll, ah, know."

The moral of this story?  These are some of the most powerful individuals in the world, yet even they can't agree on a critical series of events.  Of course, some of this is by design and clearly self-serving – and some is not – but that's the point, isn't it?

Welcome to the wonderful world of litigation…

Dave Likes PCP, Larry!

Duty of Due care – Duty of Loyalty – Preserve trust property

Commingling – Personal Performance – Legal defense

MP900448452 When you’re studying for the California bar exam and you need to remember about 2,000 pages of law (give or take – when I took the exam in 2007, they’d added California Civil Procedure and Evidence to the federal, modern and common-law rules, as well as Agency & Partnership to Corporations) you create mnemonic after mnemonic; anything that’ll spur instant – and hopefully, total – recall so you can quickly apply the elements (which in the example above, are trustee duties & obligations).

[Just be grateful I didn’t provide my mnemonic for exceptions to a search warrant!  Actually, now that I think of it, maybe some of my readers are law students…I should link to all of my self-made study guides one of these days…]

Anyway, this post is about memory and its primary importance to what we do.  My thoughts on the subject were piqued when I happened to see an interview with the author of “Moonwalking with Einstein – The Art and Science of Remembering Everything”, and I remembered all of the effort that went into memorizing all of that material.

One of the deposition ‘tricks’ that some attorneys employ is to ask the same question over and over, hoping to receive conflicting answers – which may then be used at trial to impeach a witness (of course, an attorney with excellent memory will be tracking this and should be jumping in with “Objection: Asked and Answered.”, to avoid this pitfall, but when a depo stretches out over several days or weeks…).

In our realm, the central theme we return to over & over is the sheer volume of data involved, sometimes millions upon millions of pages.  Technology may be able to keep track of the contents of all of that data for the purposes of comparison for search, concept search or even the newest kid on the block, predictive coding, but what it can’t do is remember the way we humans do it.

In other words, the technology may be able to sniff out a documents’ relevance to another document, but it can’t understand the relevance of the relevance.  Does this make sense?  What I’m saying is, technology understands like-kind information and its relationship to other like-kind information, but only a human can go the next step – understanding why the item is relevant to the issue at hand over and above the pattern the technology recognizes.

Think about – in our new eDiscovery age – the amount of memory it takes to read – and truly comprehend – documents, many times on a subject you have no experience with, then apply them over a case that may go on for years, then be reading a new document or hearing new testimony and suddenly think, “I recall seeing contradictory information in a document I read a year ago…now where did I file that sucker?!”

Take that, Watson!!!