YouTube is a growing forum for lawyers who want to market themselves on the web or post educational videos about legal topics. A recent article from law.com overviews a few steps needed to get started and succeed: create a YouTube channel, remember your mobile viewers when creating content, and promote your videos everywhere on your social media sites. Many companies have posted information for lawyers who want to create their own content, but the Lawyer Video Marketing Educational Series (Parts 1-5) is pretty good. Click here for Part 1. YouTube also has a great site called the Creator Hub with suggestions for tools and best practices.
Infographics are a hot topic right now, and lawyers can use them effectively to communicate detailed information visually. According to law.com, an infographic is a picture or graphic that combines text with images to create a document that more easily conveys complex information. When I think of ways lawyers can use infographics, I envision catchy posters you can turn into trial exhibits or flyers you can post on your web sites The applications are endless. The foregoing article compares infographics to the types of pictures you can sometimes see on Pinterest and offers one lawyer's Pinterest site as a good example of how to use infographics to promote your practice or showcase legal information. If you are interested in creating your own infographics, click here to read about some of the best free tools. There are also free templates available for those who want to use ppt and do not want to start from scratch.
Google recently announced that it would allow it's users social networking activity to show up in ads all over the internet. If you don't want your name, comments or photos plastered all over the internet, there is a way to opt-out. The New York Times' Claire Cain Miller writes in her Bits Blog "The opt-out box, found at the Google Plus settings page for shared endorsements, does use the language of opting in: “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.” To clear things up: People who do not want their profile information and comments used in ads must uncheck the box next to that phrase. The box is, by default, checked for Google Plus users." Read her whole article here.
We might be cutting our own throats here, but it finally happened. The first bookless library has opened up in Texas. BiblioTech houses no physical books, instead it's catalog consists of 10,000 e-books. Julianne Pepitone writes in her CNNMoney column "BiblioTech opened its doors Sept. 14 on the south side of San Antonio, a mostly Hispanic neighborhood where 40% of households don't have a computer and half lack broadband Internet service. Although the library houses no printed books -- and members can even skip the visit by checking out its e-books online -- BiblioTech's staff says the library's physical presence is still key to its success." Check out her article here.
According to a press release from the Ohio State Bar Association, the OSBA is now offering members free access to Casecheck+ (a negative citation service) as part of Casemaker. This service was previously offered as a premium service with an additional cost for members. If you are not aware, Casemaker is the OSBA's online product that offers members 24x7 access to cases, statutes, jury instructions and other legal materials. OSBA President Jonathan Hollingsworth has issued a video message about the launch which is worth watching. By this initiative, the OSBA is definitely giving Lexis, which provides Shepard's, and Westlaw, which provides KeyCite, some food for thought.
According to a news release from the U.S. Courts, "The federal courts may be open during the government shutdown, but it’s far from “business as usual.” According to a Department of Justice memo(pdf), U.S. Attorneys across the country have been directed to “curtail or postpone” civil litigation “to the extent that this can be done without compromising . . . the safety of human life or the protection of property.” Criminal litigation will continue without interruption....The difficulties aren’t exclusively DOJ’s. Employees throughout the federal government have been furloughed and are prohibited from working during a shutdown. If they are involved in Federal court civil litigation, they are seeking stays until they’re able to work again."
According to a press release by from the Ohio Secretary of State's office, the SOS now allows the most frequently used business forms to be filed online. As of today, the SOS Business Services forms page indicates that the following forms can be filed electronically once a filer registers:
Continued Existence of Nonprofit Corporation
Biennial Reports for LLCs, LLPs and Professional Associations
Articles of Incorporation for a Domestic LLC
Renewals for Trade Names and Fictitious Names).
According to the SOS, these forms comprise 50% of all the business filings its office receives. Interestingly, in this digital world in which we live, the SOS "will continue to make paper forms available for those who prefer to file business forms using the traditional method."
The Clerk of Court for Cuyahoga County is on the verge of going live with a brand-new e-filing system. According to an Order (First Amended Temporary Administrative Order) issued by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas CourtAdministrative Judge Nancy Fuerst, voluntary e-filing in selected civil cases will start on October 14th-just 6 days from now. That includes cases involving: professional torts (filing codes 1311, 1312, 1313, 1315, 1316, 1317), product liability (1330), other torts (1310, 1314, 1350), workers compensation (1550, 1531), the commercial docket (1386, 1387), administrative appeals (1540, 1551) and other civil (1382, 1384, 1388, 1391, 1501, 1502, 1503). Beginning on November 12th, e-filing will be mandatory for foreclosure cases (filing codes 1460, 1465, 1466, 1467, 1470, 1480, 1481). Although criminal e-filing is coming, it will be addressed by a separate administrative order.
According to the Order, filers must remove all personal and private information from documents they file, including, but not limited to, SSN's, financial account numbers, names of minor children, information protected by law from disclosure, and other PIN information like driver's license numbers. All documents except proposed orders that must be filed in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), are required to be filed in PDF format, and no document can exceed 20MB. Although documents can be submitted electronically 24x7, they will only be "deemed filed...24 hours a day, five days a week." The Clerk will accept paper filings until e-filing becomes mandatory. Even then, pro se litigants will still be able to file paper documents or use a computer terminal at the court to register and e-file. The Court promises that training will be provided for attorneys who are going to be using the new system. Lawyers and other filers will also have to register with the Court and sign an Electronic Filing System's User Agreement, which should hopefully become available soon. Once users are registered, the Clerk will send out electronic notifications of notices, orders, and other documents. The Judge's Order, with more specifics on e-filing, can be found here. In addition, click here for the Court's e-filing announcement.
Protecting yourself from cyber criminals is now more important then ever. You might not find your sensitive documents released on Wikileaks, but even the smallest cyber attack can do major damage. An article at PCTECHGUIDE.COM says that "A company is only as safe as its computer network and, though it’s hard to admit, many businesses are frightfully unprotected when it comes to possible hackers, viruses, and other nasty internet elements". A few of the tips they supply are protecting your firewall and passwords. Click here to read this excellent article.