One of the most intriguing new features in Word 2010 is its automatic retention of temporary copies of files that users close without saving, either accidentally or deliberately.
Word 2010 creates these temporary backups, as do the new versions of Excel and PowerPoint, if you have had a document (whether saved or unsaved) open on your screen long enough for the AutoRecover utility to kick in, typically ten minutes. When you close an autosaved document, you’ll be prompted to save the document, to cancel the “close” operation and resume editing, or to close without saving. If you choose the “Don’t Save” option, Word will save a temporary copy of the document anyway—just in case you change your mind later on.
Legal discovery, or ediscovery, has become a normal business process in most organizations. Perhaps not as frequently used as a sales force automation tool, but at times perhaps more important. With increasingly demanding rules for legal discovery and production, there is a critical need for what is becoming a near constant proactive review of the information held within the enterprise. Given the exploding amount of information and the growing number of sources where business information can reside, the legal discovery business process is now much more than a “sideline” activity that can be run from some small scale appliance under the desk of a legal professional.
I’ve been running Microsoft’s Office 2010 on my home PC for about a month now and have to say I’m impressed. Well as impressed as you can be with an email client, a word processor and a spreadsheet application!
I thought I’d share in a few blog posts some of the really nice features of Outlook 2010 that I think will be useful for lawyers. For the first post I want to take a look at a couple of nice ways in which Outlook 2010 helps you organise and find email.
Make it Great. Yes, that’s the vanilla marketing tagline Microsoft came up with for promoting Office 2010. This begs the question that’s on legal IT’s collective mind these days: is 2010 actually great, or is it chaos and misery stuffed into a shrink-wrapped box?
On May 12, 2010, Microsoft announced worldwide availability of Office 2010, so the product is officially out of the gate…and running? The issue is: will it run well, will it be in the running for your firm, or will it run you over? Microsoft dominates the legal market and is part of the woodwork of most law firms by now, so many sites are likely to be impacted by this new release, for better or for worse.
Social Networking continues to grow and although there is a lot of trivia being discussed, there are also some serious business discussions and related business information being passed around. We should not ignore this information as it may be useful to our business and I don’t believe the phenomenon (if that is what it is) of Social Networking will go away. If anything, we will see more people joining in the discussions and more products and innovative ways of communicating coming out of it, so if you don’t engage early then you may be in danger of missing out on any opportunities that evolve.
I want to give credit where credit is due, so I apologize for the length of my initial setup. I’ve been talking recently with some of my peers in preparation for a panel discussion at the annual International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) education conference in August. The session is entitled “The CIO in 2020: The Business-Savvy Strategist” and will be ably handled by Marsha Stein, Peter Westerveld, Todd Corham and David Rigali (and myself if my situation permits). Then Matthew Stern asked the question in the LinkedIn group CIOs.com: Chief Information Officer Network “How do you describe what a CIO does?” As part of that discussion, Sudhir Wadhwa, posted his blog chart of what makes a “complete” CIO.
I don’t agree with the all Sudhir’s items (or where he placed them) but I thought it was an interesting way to lay it out. I’ve written him that I think there are also a few key missing sections to his “complete” CIO. After thinking about it some a bit, in addition to the five he outlined, I think there should be three others: Business, Clients and Organization.
On Thursday myself and a couple of colleagues attended a breakfast briefing from BigHand at Gordons law firm in Leeds, accompanied by plenty of bacon butties from the Roast! It was one of a number of briefings that they are doing throughout the UK on the back of their recent acquisition of nFlow.
As well realising that it’s not just Herbies that have hot meeting rooms, there was information on the nFlow acquisition. But for the most part we were shown demos of some of the new features being planned for future versions of the BigHand software (I think most were for v3.4). Below are some of the key functions that stood out for me (I was making notes on my touch screen Windows Phone whilst trying to keep up with the demos, so if you’re interested in a specific feature I’d double check my understanding with BigHand!)
The rapid evolution of legal technology over the last 10 years has forced partners and executives at law firms of all sizes to address organizational efficiency challenges. Tough decisions to insure stability, reputation, and sustainability both internally and in the industry abroad need to be taken. The Help Desk within Legal IT departments has long been the target of scrutiny during difficult financial periods, and in a recent informal survey, 25% of the AmLaw 200 Firms stated they have outsourced Help Desk functions. Some firms have outsourced their overnight and weekend shifts, while others have outsourced their whole support group. Besides considering the present and future financial impact of utilizing external resources for these functions, law firms also have to weigh any potential long-term effects it may have on the IT department.
Microsoft Office 2010 was only released a little over a month ago, but for me it seems to have been around for quite a while because of work I have been doing with the pre-release and beta versions. Over the past number of months we have been working with law firms regarding strategies for taking advantage of the new features of both Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010.
While Office 2010 introduces many important enhancements and new features (here is one view of the top new features for law firms), a firm obviously cannot take advantage of these features if they are tied to an older version of Office through a collection of legacy templates, customizations, and third-party add-ins and integrations.
In a typical matter, attorneys tend to focus on the analysis and review stage of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). But if much of the collected data in the review platform is unnecessary, insufficient, spoiled, or irrelevant then reviewers have just bought themselves a load of eDiscovery trouble. This is why attorneys need the earlier EDRM stages (information management, identification, collection and preservation) to work and to work well: so that only highly relevant and fully auditable data is sent to the formal review.
Law firms print paper, in fact they print LOTS of paper! I recently heard of a secretary printing off 6-8 inches of paper for the file (you know you’re printing a lot when your margin of error is 2 inches!!). I am therefore pretty sure that the cost of printing is rather significant cost for law firms.
So why on earth do it? There are two main reasons I’ve come across:
1) Keeping a good and proper file
“All the emails and documents must be printed for a paper file, it’s been like that for years and it isn’t changing on my watch.”
Come on, there isn’t any reason to do this. It’s not a regulatory requirement to keep a paper file, a good and proper file yes, but that file can be electronic. The only reason I could understand is maybe in a small firm, one that doesn’t have a document management system (DMS) to organise the electronic file. But why are lawyers in medium and large firms still doing this?
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