Technology and legal practice

2 July 2019
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5G: Big deal or not really

So, 5G is almost upon us. Apparently, it is going to bring us driverless cars, world peace and self-folding washing. Or something like that.But what is 5G and is it really such a big deal?Put simply, 5G is an umbrella term for ‘5th generation’ cellular transmission technologies that use much ... More about 5G: Big deal or not really.

2 July 2019
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Is software eating the law? The world according to Simmonds Stewart

The technology industry is fond of the idiom “software is eating the world”. It paints a picture of technology crashing into every industry, requiring incumbent players to adopt cutting edge technologies or risk getting cast aside by smaller, tech-enabled alternatives.Simmonds Stewart partners Victoria Stewart and Andrew Simmonds have been using ... More about Is software eating the law? The world according to Simmonds Stewart.

1 November 2018
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Working smarter to reduce the cost and burden of the discovery process

Today’s increasing data volumes and the subsequent cost of managing this data require us to work smarter and make better use of technology.Technology Assisted Review (TAR) is a proven method to effectively get through large volumes of information. It is considerably faster, cheaper and more accurate than any human review ... More about Working smarter to reduce the cost and burden of the discovery process.

30 January 2018
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Digital signing for WebForms

The days of lawyers working predominantly in their own patch are mostly a thing of the past, with large amounts of work now being done online.One of the big challenges though is getting a legitimate signature which cannot be fraudulently replicated.Could the hand and pen become redundant?ADLS Inc has possibly ... More about Digital signing for WebForms.

30 January 2018
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Just the fax, ma'am

It seems remarkable that we’re still talking about fax machines in 2017, but I have received a surprising number of questions from readers about making facsimile communication more reliable.This conversation is usually the same each time. It basically involves me recommending that the only way to make fax communication reliable ... More about Just the fax, ma'am.

30 November 2017
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Useful apps for lawyers

GrammarlyGrammarly is a document spell-checking system that’s more cutting-edge than Microsoft Word’s built-in version - with the red and green squiggly lines that can’t always explain why you’re wrong, but insists that you are.We’ve covered Grammarly before; while you type, the website will flag any common mistakes and suggest corrections, ... More about Useful apps for lawyers.

29 November 2017
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What to do if you’re hacked

Unfortunately, when it comes to protecting us from ourselves, technology often lags behind the bad guys.We finally seem to have defeated spam and email viruses, but it took long enough. I still receive hundreds of spam messages a day, but my spam filter is good enough to catch almost all ... More about What to do if you’re hacked.

23 November 2017
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Three apps of interest to lawyers

Google KeepGoogle Keep is a notes and lists application created by, you guessed it, Google.The app is a lot like Evernote in its set up, but you have a little more wiggle room for organising the layout yourself; like using colour coding.It is designed to allow easy collaboration with colleagues ... More about Three apps of interest to lawyers.

16 November 2017
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Four handy apps

Our Family WizardThis is a shared application to help manage divorce and custody issues. The application, which is used in 38 countries, provides the ability to access all child custody calendars, parenting time and visitation schedules, events and messaging from your device.OFW also provides a similar application for lawyers, OFW ... More about Four handy apps.

31 October 2017
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Fixing Corporate IT

Last month we looked at why corporate IT is so awful. This month we’ll look at how it can be fixed.In most large organisations IT is viewed as a costly inhibitor to the business, rather than the driver for productivity, innovation and growth that it should be.It doesn’t have to ... More about Fixing Corporate IT.

4 October 2017
By

What’s wrong with corporate IT?

Photo by Anthony Grieveson CC-By-NCI was recently asked by a reader:“What’s wrong with corporate IT? Our firm invests heavily in technology and this used to give us a competitive advantage, but now I have faster internet and better devices at home than I do in the office. Things seem the ... More about What’s wrong with corporate IT?.

2 August 2017
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Watch out for those scam apps

In March 2017, it was reported that Google’s application market, Play Store, had 2.8 million mobile apps available for download. The Apple App Store is catching up, with 2.2 million apps available; followed by Windows, Amazon and Blackberry’s stores, respectively.At Apple’s last annual developer’s conference, the tech company announced it ... More about Watch out for those scam apps.

8 June 2017
By

Lexvoco's MyDay app for lawyers

Lexvoco is a versatile legal service provider which includes creating digital technology apps that can help in-house legal teams achieve day to day objectives more efficiently.The international company was showcasing its app ‘MyDay’ at the In-House Lawyers Association New Zealand conference, held in Rotorua.Lexvoco general manager, Stephen Mullins is a ... More about Lexvoco's MyDay app for lawyers.

30 May 2017
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Bitcoin at a glance

Most of us have heard of Bitcoin and know that it’s some kind of digital currency, but for many of us that’s as far as our knowledge of it goes. The Law Foundation’s ILAPP project is examining the regulation of digital currencies such as Bitcoin (see issues 898 and 903 ... More about Bitcoin at a glance.

30 May 2017
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Five questions with Spark’s Rod Morris on digital disruption in the legal profession

Rod Morris, Assistant General Counsel at Spark New Zealand, leads a team of senior lawyers who provide legal services to Spark’s technology and network businesses. He was the opening speaker at LawFest, the annual innovation and technology in law conference which was held in Auckland on 17 May. He outlines ... More about Five questions with Spark’s Rod Morris on digital disruption in the legal profession.

2 May 2017
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Actionstep — product review

Actionstep is a cloud-based practice management system developed and marketed by Actionstep here in New Zealand. It runs primarily through a web browser.I wanted to review this product because I am passionate about the potential for cloud-based products like Actionstep to help make law practices more efficient. I have heard ... More about Actionstep — product review.

2 May 2017
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Practice management systems at a glance

Practice management software is designed to streamline lawyers’ workflow, help them keep on top of tasks and stop them getting buried under a pile of paperwork. Different systems offer different services, but components can include centralised databases to manage client records and case files, help with document management and assembly, ... More about Practice management systems at a glance.

13 April 2017
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Three more handy apps for lawyers

MyCaseThis is free and available for Android and iPhone.MyCase is an all-in-one management application that is “designed for the modern law firm”. And it can help lawyers organise their contacts, calendars, cases, documents, time tracking, and billing in one application.The app also has an integrated client portal so everyone can ... More about Three more handy apps for lawyers.

30 March 2017
By

Bots and the legal profession

The use of technology in the workplace to perform transactional tasks is something that many in New Zealand legal profession are slowly starting to embrace.Addressing the elephant in the room: While some legal technology can perform tasks a lawyer can do, an app or advice-giving-bot-lawyer is not a replacement for ... More about Bots and the legal profession.

29 March 2017
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Legal professionals’ attitudes to innovation and technology are shifting

Services in nearly all sectors have evolved to meet consumer demand except one – legal services. The legal sector is one of the few that hasn’t adopted a new agile service delivery and payment approach. Think Uber, Xero and AirBnB in taxis, accounting and accommodation respectively. Services that we traditionally ... More about Legal professionals’ attitudes to innovation and technology are shifting.

28 March 2017
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Common sense IT security

In the March column I looked at how hard it is to get good tech security advice, which is why many firms bury their heads in the sand, either entrusting their IT security to someone else, or simply doing nothing and hoping for the best.Don’t despair. With a bit of ... More about Common sense IT security.

2 February 2017
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Four helpful apps for lawyers

SwiftKey is a third party keyboard application.It is available for both Android and iPhone as an alternative to a phone’s default keyboard.The keyboard’s swiping function - when the user slides their finger continuously across the keyboard - allows for a more fluid motion with faster input. This function was designed ... More about Four helpful apps for lawyers.

31 January 2017
By

The Cloud

Ironically, what we know as the cloud, the shared pool of resources online, is not very cloud-like. It comprises hundreds of tonnes of computers in data centres around the world. If you look up at a cloud like that above you then you’d better run.The cloud is a concept rather ... More about The Cloud.

26 January 2017
By

e-Discovery Software: The basics

The discovery process can be time-consuming and tedious.Having to sort out relevant information, catalogue it, number it, then print out multiple copies ... only to then lose page 10 of a 30-page email thread which requires you to sift through your files at 8pm to find the right page and ... More about e-Discovery Software: The basics.

22 June 2015
By

Open and transparent billing

Are your current billing practices potentially misleading?Examples of potentially misleading practices include:conflating an "agency fee" or other firm charges with a disbursement such as a LINZ fee when there is no agent;charging an additional fee (such as an agency fee) whether or not recorded as a disbursement when there has ... More about Open and transparent billing.

1 November 2010
By OnGuard

OnGuard and Baldwins

OnGuard – Baldwins case study Background Founded 114 years ago, patent attorney and associated law firm, Baldwins, has built an extensive history servicing clients in New Zealand and throughout the world. Firmly established as a leader in its field, Baldwins has helped businesses achieve and maintain their commercial advantage in ... More about OnGuard and Baldwins.

27 October 2010
By Secured Signing

Secured Signing signatures

Secured Signing is a legally binding and innovative Cloud Computing (SaaS) service that allows Legal firms of all sizes and their clients and business associates to sign contracts, shareholder consents, director resolutions, reports, minutes and other forms of documentation securely online. Secured Signing Ltd., an Albany based company has recently ... More about Secured Signing signatures.

27 October 2010
By NZLS

A Memory Tree death notices

Death notices published in New Zealand daily newspapers are being gathered, stored and made available to subscribers by a local company. The company, A Memory Tree, says it collects information on 99% of deaths listed in New Zealand. Lawyers can subscribe to a service to receive emails notifying them of ... More about A Memory Tree death notices.

27 October 2010
By NZLS

SafeKiwi Real Estate Trust

An alternative to the traditional real estate office in-house trust account is now being offered by Mike Pero, founder of Mike Pero Mortgages. SafeKiwi Real Estate Trust is an online web-based application that holds the customer’s deposit or funds outside the office and under the custody of the Public Trust. ... More about SafeKiwi Real Estate Trust.