Thank you for visiting the Family Law Lawyer Tech & Practice blog. My name is John Harding. I am a family law lawyer practicing in Northern California. Long ago I realized that I could practice law more effectively and more efficiently (i.e., better and easier) by availing myself of the technological tools that are out there. I also learned that a successful law practice requires successful marketing. Hardware and software working together make me a better lawyer, and make my life easier. Marketing helps to bring in the business necessary for professional survival. By this blog I hope to share the tips, tricks, and technology that I have learned about so that others may benefit!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Our Family Wizard

I am a huge fan of the website, app an co-parenting tools from Our Family Wizard. I recommend OFW to anyone and everyone who will listen. Recently my OFW account rep, Matthew Havrevold, stopped by the office to catch up. As I am want to you, I exploited the opportunity and asked Matt to send me some content for the blog. Of course, he was happy to comply!  Here is what Matt would like to to consider:

Since 2001, the OurFamilyWizard® web and mobile applications have helped co-parents to reduce conflict and attain more accurate and organized communication records. The platform was expressly designed to get co-parents to communicate clearly without being sidetracked by conflict. It does so by providing a variety of features for organizing information while making it all accessible from one central location. While some co-parent communication tools only facilitate messaging, the OurFamilyWizard® website offers a full suite of tools to help parents create parenting schedules, log expenses, send reimbursements, and share important family information.  
Family courts in all 50 states and across Canada recognize the benefits to parents using these tools and consistently order their use in contested cases. More than just benefitting parents, the OurFamilyWizard® toolset also makes it easy for professionals to work with clients. OFW® Professional Access provides a way to oversee parent activity and access court-ready reports at no cost. All entries are recorded indefinitely, and every message is time stamped when sent and first read. Unlike email or text messages, there is no risk of losing parent activity or questioning whether something was received. Counsel can quickly access client information straight from a computer or iPad using the free OFW® app built for professionals. 
With both web and mobile access to these tools, parents and professionals can access and share information at home, at the office, or on the go. This makes it easier to handle family-related matters in real time. For instance, a parent doesn't have to wait to get home from the pediatrician's office to share details about the appointment. While waiting for the appointment to wrap up, a parent can use the OFW® mobile app to quickly upload a photo of the receipt to request reimbursement from the other parent. The other parent can access that request, view the receipt, then transfer the funds to the other parent via OFWpay™ in just the click of a button. For professionals using OFW®, there is no longer a need for clients to forward loads of emails to their attorneys and other professionals. When all client communication is accessible in one central location, a professional can find the important details they need to help their client without wasting time weeding through frivolous correspondence.
The website's features are built for parents to intuitively convey information without the need for back and forth messaging. Even so, the OFW® message board provides a space for parents to send secure messages while also providing feedback to parents about the tone of the message. Developed to go against eight levels of connotative feeling, Tonemeter™ will analyze a new message while a parent composes it and flag any emotionally charged phrases it detects. This gives the parent a chance to reframe the tone of their message before sending.   

While other web-based tools only offer a messaging feature for parents and no access to professionals, the OurFamilyWizard® features not only improve clarity between co-parents but also makes it easier for counsel to work with clients effectively. An OurFamilyWizard® subscription gives a parent complete access to all these tools plus mobile apps and detailed reports. Discounted or free subscriptions are offered to those who quality. Additionally, OFW® Professional Access is always free and includes access to link with clients, create new families, create clear reports, iPad app access, and more. 

If you are not utilizing OFW in your practice, or failing to recommend it to your clients, you are really shorting your practice. Check it out. Give Matt a call and request more information. You will be impressed.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law

#ourfamilywizard #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Friday, December 30, 2016

Lawyers Must Know Technology

As we head into 2017 you must acknowledge technology is not an option in your law practice. It is also not optional that you know technology as a practicing lawyer. Think about it for a minute... How can you create an effective discovery plan in your divorces cases if you don't know about online banking and online finance programs like Quickbooks? How can you effectively adjudicate all the issues n your case if you don't know how to find all the facts? How can you cost effectively deliver legal services if you are not computer savvy? How are you going to communicate with your clients if you don't use email?

If you think you don't need to know technology, then you don't know about practicing law. nowadays. Technology wisdom is no longer on the horizon. It is under our feet, on our desks, in our heads. It has been here since yesterday, and you need to embrace it and know it now!

If you don't believe me, then pay attention to the state bars. They are compelling you to know technology. The State Bar of Florida has amended its CLE rules so that they now require three hours per cycle of technology training. Given how pervasive tech it is in our world, it is only a matter of time before all state bars with have similar rules.

Also pay attention to your malpractice carriers. Those risk management brochures they send you are now filled with warnings compelling us to learn about and implement technology. Malpractice applications now include technology questions.

In your divorce practice do you request data from the opposing parties computer? Are you researching social media use by the opposing party? Do your requests for job search logs include data from job websites? No. Why not? Here is my suggestion for your list of 2017 resolutions:  Start thinking about, using, and investigating technology in your practice. It is not just about word processing anymore...

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#technology #CLE #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Hytech Lawyer

The Hytech Lawyer
is a nice blog published by Columbia, South Carolina trial lawyer Bill Latham. According to Bill the blog/website is:
Generally focused on technology and its implications for  the practice of law.   The subject matter of the blog runs the gamut from cutting edge law practice technology, to the impact of technology on the legal profession.  Finally, we address data security, data breach and privacy issues.   In a nutshell– the intersection of law and technology.
Take a look. You will find hardware and software review, tips fore making better use of software, Bill's thoughts on legal tech, and excellent articles on data security.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law

#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Friday, October 28, 2016

The New Mac Book Pro

I carry an iPad Pro for most of my mobile work. It gives me internet access, and I can download client files and take them to court with me. The Apple Pen also also lets me to take notes. However, when I anticipate a need for heavy duty computing, or when I know that I will be needing Windows software programs, I go with my 15 inch Mac Book Pro.

My Mac is my favorite computing platform. The retina display gives a large, clear, crisp view. There is no shortage of horsepower. I have Parallels installed on it so that I can run Windows programs (like DissoMaster). It just plains works!

Well, for all you Mac fans the big day is here. For the first time in four years Apple has put the Mac Book through a major redesign. It is now thinner, lighter and more powerful. It has a bigger touchpad. The screen is redesigned. The speakers are redesigned. The battery life is longer. There is now a small touch pad screen above th keyboard, that replaces function keys. This is a major upgrade and it looks like a great machine. TechCruch.com has a nice preview.

Of course, you get what you pay for. And the superior Apple product comes with the usual exhorbinant Apple price tag. The 15" version starts at $2399!

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Apple #macbookpro #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A High Tech Hotel Desk

I am sure many of you road warriors can commiserate with my blah when it comes to working from a hotel room. The physical space is usually nice enough. Alas it's not home, and it's not the office... It is never just right. It is what it is though, and we must make do with what we've got.

I found myself in an East Coast hotel room recently, desperately needing to get some work done. The hotel I was staying in was an absolutely beautiful historic building just restored to the tune of about $60,000,000. What was interesting was that my room had no desk in it. That was going to be a challenge when I went about setting up my mobile office.

What to do? What to do? As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of all invention. After some MacGyver like thinking I came up with a solution, and I am now thrilled to introduce to you the high tech, height adjustable, folding road warrior inspired Iron Desk:

The Iron Desk
Tell me that isn't cutting edge.  Stable. Comfortable. And you can iron your shirts while getting your law work done.  The Iron Desk is available at a hotel near you!

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#irondesk #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Stand-Up Desks Are Now Smart Desks

I started to write about stand-up desks more than five years ago. I have been using a stand-up desk for around ten years. Here is my original. Just some laminate boards bolted to the wall.

The Uplift motorized

My how things have changed. It has been almost two years since I last wrote about stand-up desks. Their popularity continues to increase. I was recently in the chambers of a judge who was using a Varidesk!  Stand-ups have also become pretty high tech. Now they are not even called stand up desks. They are Smart Desks.  

Last week while visiting a colleague at his office I saw that he had changed his main workspace to an Uplift height adjustable desk. The lift level is adjustable on the Uplift, and it is motorized, which is pretty cool. Many other manufacturers also have motorized lifts, and desk that you can hand crank up and down.

Harman Kardon on the Evodesk
There are plenty of new choices in this growing area of office furniture. Evodesk lets you build your own, and you can even add a Harman Kardon sound system!

Autonomous is selling basic desk starting at $250.

Smartdesks have become a major industry! They are design pieces. They are incredibly high tech. Take a look at some of the stuff you can get:





Then again, for your old school folks there is still my grand Amish built stand-up desk.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#standupdesk #smartdesk #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Interesting Stats on Referrals to the Blog

I was checking out the stats for the viewers that are coming to this blog.  I learned some interesting stuff.

44% of the visitors to this blog click through from Google. Not so surprising.

17% are clicking through from my Facebook posts. That is surprising in two way. It shows me that people are actually paying attention to my Facebook posts, and that Facebook is a legitimate generator of traffic for my blog. Good news for Facebook.

Zero traffic from Yahoo and Zero traffic from Bing. That surprised me, and really reinforced to me that Google really is the Dominant search engine.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers