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!

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

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Live Chat on your Website

Over at Legal Productivity Michael Miceli has an article addressing the idea of including a live chat feature on your website. According to Michael:
Unlike calling in to your office or submitting a contact form on your home page, live chat offers the ability to interact in real time with a prospect. They’re happy because they’re in the hunt for your services, they want instant acknowledgement and you’re interested in booking that consultation appointment. When it comes to lead generation, there’s no time like the present to take action and engage. 
. . .
For those visitors that do not engage, live chat has been shown to reduce your bounce rate (rate of exit directly from the page) and it also helps boost the number of visitors who return to your site for another visit. A good rule of thumb is to engage someone who has been idle on a particular web page, for at least 15 seconds, with a pop-up chat window. These are often accompanied by audible sounds that alert the visitor as well.

I don't disagree with him. He provides more compelling reasons in support of live chat:

By getting the basic information of the visitor, the person fielding your firm’s chat inquires will be able to schedule a consultation, or at least take their information for a follow up call. Assuming your firm is organized and methodical in following up with leads, live chat will likely help boost your monthly total. How much? A study by Forrester Research indicated live chat increases website conversion by 20%.

These are all salient points. I take exception to none of them. I suppose it isn't any more burdensome than the current default of having a staffer screen new business phone calls? Still, questions arise. At what price do we family law lawyers chase new business? If we are engaging in advice chat, the chat portal will have to be staffed by a lawyer. Does a ten second chat create a privileged attorney-client relationship? How does one perform a conflict of interest check? What is the operating cost of having a lawyer man the chat portal? What is the operating cost of having a staffer man the chat portal? Does the solo lawyer want chat messages popping up at random times throughout the day? For chat to meet its purpose, it must be live and instantaneous. You won't be able to hit do not disturb like you do with your phone.

I love the idea of live chat. If I am a large national or regional family law firm sure I could see the value of chat. For a one or two person shop I question the cost/benefit ratio. I would love to receive some comments from folks that have actually implemented live chat. Write in!

Please click here to read Mr. Miceli's original article.

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

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Footnotes, footnotes, where to put your footnotes?

Have you ever put citations in the footnotes of a brief, rather than in the main body? I have. I thought it made the document easier to read, and easier to look at. I even thought it made it a bit easier for the judge to find the footnotes.  Lest you think me crazy, uber legal writer Bryan Garner is also a proponent of citations in footnotes.

Mr. Garner and I would appear to be in the minority. Above the Law has a great footnote story. Allow me to liberally quote from ATL:

Via the Twitter feed of Ross Guberman, a leading expert on legal writing, comes this benchslap from Judge James K. Bredar (D. Md.):
Before addressing the merits of Defendant’s motion to dismiss, the Court cautions both parties to observe certain rules as to the format of motion papers. First, the parties’ motion papers employed a method of citation of authorities that is not only incompatible with the rules but also a hindrance to the Court’s consideration of the parties’ respective arguments. For documents filed in this Court, the Local Rules neither permit nor require the citation of authorities in footnotes, as opposed to incorporating them into the text of documents. See The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation R. B1.1, at 3 (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds., 20th ed. 2015) (“In non-academic legal documents, such as briefs and opinions, citations generally appear within the text of the document immediately following the propositions they support. Footnotes should only be used in non-academic legal documents when permitted or required by local court rules.”). Second, the former rule requiring attachment to motion papers of unpublished case opinions has been omitted from recent iterations of the Local Rules. A citation to either Westlaw or LEXIS suffices for unpublished opinions. Counsel should familiarize themselves with these rules. Future noncompliant filings will be stricken without prior notice.
Ouch! Who says the Bluebook is dead?
The survey in the ATL story would also indicate that most of us expect our footnotes in the body of the text. Only 31% of the survey respondents support cites in the footnotes.

Please click here for an as usual awesome story from Above the Law!
Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

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Friday, August 19, 2016

I have written a lot about the less paper law office. It is a great topic, that is always evolving. With so much of our technology moving to the cloud, the topic is due for an update.

Sam Glover over at Lawyerist.com has posted a very insightful article, will all the latest and greatest

thought provoking ideas for going paper-less.  Of course he writes about scanners, and laptops, and cloud products. He also writes about work flow, and those ideas are very, very helpful. I couldn't write the article better myself so I am enthusiastically directing traffic to Sam's piece. Please click here for a great read.

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

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Lawyers, Old Lawyers. We all Need Technology.

Jeff Bennion is a San Diego trial lawyer. He has contributed a great article to Above The Law advising young lawyers on the need to embrace technology.  While written to new lawyers, Jeff's advice is relevant to all of us at the bar. Ediscovery, trial presentations, practice management are all driven by technology these days. It is not the next wave, it is the now wave and we all have to know it. Jeff's offers some great tips on how to sherten your learning curve.

Please click here to take a look at Jeff's article, and for some good advice.

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

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

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Here Comes Stanford!

I was surfing the net the other day, well . . . because that's what I do, when I came across something that I found very intriguing. The Legal Design Lab is a project at Stanford University. The Legal Design Lab (formerly the Program for Legal Technology & Design) was founded in fall 2013 to bring designers, lawyers and technologists together to advance legal innovation and access to justice. The folks there run workshops and teach classes on how legal design and technology can be applied to specific problems in the world of law. They create concept designs for new legal products and services, and build them out with agile, design-driven teams. The development projects at LDL are also research-driven, to create results about what works in legal innovation. Their ultimate goal is to build a stronger community around innovation in legal services, and to do this they’ve adopted a core open-source ethic.

How about this for an idea: The Court Messaging Project is an open-source initiative to build an out-of-the-box tool for any court or legal services group to send automated messages to their clients.  The overarching goal of the project is to make the court system more navigable and to improve people’s sense of procedural justice — that legal system is fair, comprehensible, and user-friendly.

Or this: Navocado is small team of lawyers, developers, and designers abuilding a new set of interactive, user-friendly guides & tools to navigate the complexities of the legal system. They will connect legal experts with lay people, helping them communicate about what legal options are open and how to pursue them.  This will help lay people navigate and resolve legal problems, either with a trained advocate or on their own. Instead of long documents saved in PDFs, they are creating guides to legal processes that are interactive, tech-enabled, and user-friendly.

That is all very cool stuff. If you are at all familiar with Stanford University you already appreciate that they do some pretty cool stuff there. The Stanford Prison Experiment, the Internet, Google, Cisco Systems, Yahoo, Trader Joe's, Netflix, Hewlett Packard, Snapchat, Andrew Luck all have ties to Stanford.

I am pretty excited that those big Stanford brains are working on making the legal system better. There is going to be some cool stuff coming out of Palo Alto for us lawyerists.

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

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