Category Archives: Education

eDiscovery California: CA State Bar Ann’l Mtg

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Trial is over…verdict came in yesterday.  I got my life back – for about 3 minutes…

Next on the docket?  If you're attending the California State Bar Annual Meeting in Monterey at the end of the week, yours truly is on a panel presenting CLE (continuing legal education) program #54, entitled "e-Discovery Translating — Lawyers from Mars; Techies
from Venus: Beginning e-Discovery
" from 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon Friday, September 24th.

You may recognize the title.  It comes from an article I featured this past May, written by my good friend and colleague on the LPMT Executive Committee, Robert Brownstone, for California Lawyer magazine, who will moderate the panel.  Another colleague from the Committee, Cynthia Mascio, is joining us as well.  It's going to be a lot of fun – and educational for you, we hope.

See you there!

e-Evidence Insights: ABC’s Primetime Crime: Inside the Interrogation Room

MP900448352 Many people have absolutely no idea what would happen to them if they were arrested.  In fact, it would shock them if they knew what the police are allowed to do versus what they think the police are prohibited from doing.

Television has conditioned the average person to think like this:

  1. The police 'invite' me down to the station for a chat
  2. I speak to them without an attorney present
  3. I go home

Or, maybe something like this:

  1. They arrest me
  2. They read me my Miranda rights
  3. I ask for an attorney

If only it were that simple.  If you have any interest in seeing an example of how things really might work, watch this 41-minute video from ABC's Primetime Crime (or read the article if you prefer).  I found it to be an excellent – and accurate – portrayal of interrogation tactics.

Hey – I'm not asking you for a lot of heavy lifting at the start of the Labor Day weekend!  Besides, forewarned is forearmed.  Please be safe – and if you're traveling, don't put this post into practice by getting snagged for a DUI.

LegalTech WC 2010: Where the Bodies are Buried

LegalTech_2010

Although I didn't get to spend as much time at LegalTech this year as I would have liked, I wanted to give you a brief overview of my impressions.  I spent approximately five hours there Thursday afternoon, and that leads me to some advice I'd like to give.  This is the 2nd year in a row where I was only able to attend the final day and I can tell you that there is much more 'action' on the 1st day.  My mental note to myself – and to you – is, if you can only make a single day, make it day one.  Things really get quiet in the final afternoon and a lot of vendors start breaking down their booths early.

This spilled over into the educational tracks.  I poked my head into a couple of sessions and they were very sparsely attended.  I think a lot of attendees are planning their exit to LAX by that point.

A lot of the usual faces were there, but some weren't – a sign of the economic times. Every year, I make a point of visiting a lot of vendor booths to take their temperature about the current state of affairs.  Opinions were very mixed.  Some report that business is picking up, others not so much.

I also attended what turned out to be a surprising and very enjoyable lunchtime session titled, "Forensics: The Truth Behind the Fiction".  Ok, I admit I didn't research the conference guide too heavily, but this is LegalTech, so I assumed they were speaking about data forensics, especially since the moderator was Craig Ball (one of the top forensic technologists in the field).  Nope.  Three top-notch panelists (a UCLA Pathologist, a Kern County Criminalist and a Sacramento County Coroner) discussed "the C.S.I. effect", breaking down for us in great detail how all of the new forensic TV programs have influenced public perception about how evidence is collected and analyzed.

If your work brings you anywhere near juries, as mine does, this session was instrumental in helping someone like me have a better idea of how the general public thinks we do our jobs; which, I might add, is far removed from reality.

The final word:  I always get something beneficial out of the conference and this year was no exception.  The guide says next year's conference will be held June 15th & 16th, 2011.  Mark your calendars!

Tips & Tricks: Passing the Bar Board Game

Passingthebar_lawyergame_barprep_attorney

For most law candidates, the next administration of the bar exam is about a month from now.  Those of us who have already had the pleasure of preparing for the exam would probably say that tedium is one of the worst parts of it.  There's a lot of repetition involved. 

I'm not without sympathy, so when I happened upon this bar prep board game, aptly named "Passing the Bar", I thought I'd pass it along.  It's a fun way to focus on MBE questions, especially if you already have a study group together.  I checked out some of the questions and they do pass muster, in my opinion.

Caveat:  For those who intend to turn this into a drinking game, you're on your own!

Lost, L&O, 24 and LegalTech West Coast


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What do these four shows have in common? 

Rumor has it they're all done after this season. 

I'll be attending at least one day of LegalTech this year (most likely Thursday, June 24th), but there's talk going around that this may be the final year for the West Coast version.

Why?  The usual suspects; economy, turnout, budgets.

I can't confirm this, but I thought I'd pass it along for those who are sitting on the fence about attending this year's West Coast event.  It might be your last opportunity.

If it turns out to be true, your future choices will be the East Coast event or Virtual LegalTech.

Tips & Tricks: BarMax: California Exam Prep for iPhone/iTouch

IPhoneBarMax The next presentation of the California Bar Exam begins Tuesday, February 23rd.  In sympathy with all law students who will be sitting for the exam, I happened across this nifty BarMax: California Edition application for the iPhone.  It incorporates essays, MBEs, performance tests and flash cards all into one.

Most California students use BARBRI to prepare for the Bar exam, but I didn't, save for their excellent  PMBR MBE books.  They bring new meaning to the term "Red State/Blue State", which, by the time I'd spent two months studying, referred more to my state of mind from one minute to the next than the color of the book covers.  I also used Finz for MBEs and in my opinion, they're even harder than PMBR Blue (the book cover is orange; as in "A Clockwork…").

Let's put it this way; if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, an extra $1,000 available and excellent eyesight, this certainly could be a viable option.  When I took the exam in Ontario (that's California, not Canada), every nook and cranny in every hotel I visited was filled with students and their laptops/flashcards/books, cramming for the next session.  It'd be a lot easier to use an iPhone or other device.

I do find it amusing that the California Edition was developed by "Harvard lawyers".  No matter…just meet Buffy & Skip on the veraaaandaaah or in the yaaaaaahd for a cocktail – and don't forget your argyle…

(I was doing ok until I mentioned argyle, wasn't I?  Overkill, I think…)

ArgyleBreechPinkBack

Tips & Tricks: CLE Mobile for iPhone

J0442867 This one is for lawyers.  There's a new free application, CLE Mobile, that allows attorneys to get their continuing legal education credits on an iPhone (and an iPod Touch).  In order to use it, you must set up an account at West LegalEdcenter.  Note, the app is free, but you must purchase the CLE programs.

I have an iPod Touch.  I also have an account at West LegalEdcenter.  Furthermore, the press release says I can get a free ethics CLE program if I download the app.  I happen to be one-hour short of my ethics CLE requirements.

Hmmm…are you thinking what I'm thinking?