Monday, November 28, 2011

California Family Law Book Review

Most of the library in our firm is now in electronic format. We only have a couple of actual paper products left. One that is still on the wood shelf is California Family Law Basics, published by the Harriett Buhai Center For Family Law. This is a great, huge, practice based publication. It includes:
  • Comprehensive step by step, line by line comment and instructions for family law forms and procedures
  • Based on experience with thousands of actual cases over 29 years of family law practice
  • Over 1,000 pages, 25 chapters, loose leaf binding, updated annually
  • Extensive sample forms, declarations and pleadings
  • Includes forms, step by step instructions and filled out samples for:
  • Petitions, Response, OSCs judgments, Judicial Council attachments, Motions, Default Requests, UCCJEA, Wage Assignments, Restraining Orders, Pension Joinder, Income and Expense Declarations and much more
Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit The Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law. Please click here for more information or to order the book.
The Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law was founded in 1982 and is a co-sponsored project of Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (BWL), the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA). In 1981 due to federal funding cutbacks, the largest legal aid program in LA closed its family law program. Envisioning the impact this action would have on poor women and children, WLALA, under the leadership of Patsy Ostroy, approached BWL, under the leadership of Mablean Ephriam, and invited them to form a joint project offering assistance for low-income persons in Los Angeles County. The “Family Law Project” was born and opened its doors in late 1982 at a location on Central Avenue in South Los Angeles. A fundamental tenet of the Project was self-help; teaching low-income persons to prepare their family law cases and represent themselves in court, with much of the help provided by volunteers. Now common place, at the time it was a revolutionary concept in family law. In 1984 The Family Law Project was re-named the “Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law”. During that time the LA County Bar determined to join the two other pioneering bar associations as a sponsor, resulting from the efforts of Susan Stockel, an early Buhai Board member. In 1985 WLALA and BWL achieved national recognition as recipients of an award from the National Conference of Womens’ Bar Associations for their work establishing the Center, in an historic ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now an icon in family law, the Center is truly the product of untold numbers of persons; its founders, boards, staffs, volunteers, donors and others, working together to successfully create a living and still growing institution dedicated to helping those without means and power. To watch a video of the Center’s history through the words of its earliest supporters, please click here.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bates Numbering Made Easy Acrobat 9

Bates numbering (or "Bates stamping") is an invaluable tool for lawyers. Numerical indexing of discovery documents helps keep track of volumes of documents. Bates numbering of deposition documents helps witness and examiner get on the same page, and makes for a clear record. Bates numbering on trial exhibits makes for easy identification on the record.

Adobe Acrobat has a Bates stamping tool that automates the otherwise laborious task on numbering. However, the actual process of running the tool can be challenging. To the rescue is New Orleans attorney Ernie Svenson. At his PDF For Lawyers Blog Ernie post his Bates Stamping Guide. The guide is specific to Acrobat 9, which is still the most prevalent version on the street. I suspect it won't be long before Ernie has a similar guide for Acrobat X.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

QR Codes Are Good Marketing

Here you see three QR Codes that I utilize in my marketing program. These codes are like the scanner labels that grocery stores use to ring items up at the check stand. With reader software installed on your smart phone, you scan these codes. Depending on how the QR Code is written that scan can open the browser on your smart phone and take you to a specified website; it can bring up a text message on your device; or it can dial a phone number for you; it can open a graphic or photo. . . .

QR Codes are popping up everywhere. They appear in print magazines, in newspapers, on bill boards, on ad panels on subways and buses. If you can see it, it is likely there is a QR Code there to see. I like the technology because it shortcuts the process of getting people to your website, or to see your message. That they have taken the time to click on the code indicates that they are already engaged, and increases the likelihood that they will absorb the content that the code takes them to.

Have some fun, click on my Codes, and see what happens! In my law firm we include these codes on our letterhead, in our blog posts, in our email, etc. Next we will likely have one printed on our business cards (if we can find room on our cards, which are already jammed with content).

Here is a list of QR Code readers. You can also type "QR Code" into the App Store on iTunes for more.

If you would like to create your own QR Codes, here are some free sites for you:

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Mac Lawyers Here's Something For You

Mac Lawyers gathered in Orlando last week for MILOFest, conference for attorneys interested in Macs, iPhones, iPads and anything else bearing an Apple logo. offers a report on the event that includes her summaries of five particularly noteworthy presentations. Please click here for her report.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kindle Fire versus iPad: The Battle Is On!

The new Kindle Fire is gaining momentum as it takes on the iPad. Now from there are 7 reasons to pick the KF over the iPhone:

1. Price
2. Flash enabled
3. USB drive
4. PC format document viewer
5. Prime video
6. Amazon integration
7. Size

Of all of these I especially agree with Flash onboard and Amazon integration. How many websites can I not view on my iPad because they are Flash driven. Also, Apple lost lots of points in my book when it forced Amazon to remove the ability to buy ebooks directly from its app (as a power play to force consumers to buy ebooks directly from Apple).

This is turning out to be a great buying battle!

Click here for the original article.

Please visit for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Friday, November 11, 2011

AAML Evidence Bootcamp Webinar

As part of its continuing legal education slate the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers will be presenting its Evidence Bootcamp Webinar on December 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM Eastern; 11:00 AM Central; 10:00 AM Mountain; 9:00 AM Pacific. This 90 minute program will provide great training for associates, and will also be the perfect refresher course for seasoned professionals.

The panel includes Anita Ventrelli, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP, Chicago, Illinois and John F. Nichols, Sr., Nichols Law, Houston, Texas. The program moderator is John Harding, Harding & Associates, Pleasanton, California.

More information, including registration, CLICK HERE.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Watch Out iPad, The Kindle Is On Fire!

Holiday shoppers may be swinging over to the Kindle Fire rather than the iPad. From an article on the Boy Genius Report (summarizing a survey be Retrevo) we learn some surprising stats. For example, 12% of those surveyed said they plan to purchase an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet this holiday shopping season, while 10% said they would purchase an iPad. Among those polled who already owned a tablet model of some kind, 27% said they would upgrade to a Kindle Fire and 20% said they planned to purchase an iPad.

Seems like the low cost Fire is intriguing tech shoppers? If anyone out there has a Fire, I would welcome your comments about it. Please click here for the original article.

Please visit for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law, and California family law.

Monday, November 7, 2011

8 Ways You Can Save Time With Mindmaps

For those of you who have attended any of the programs where I have spoken on legal technology, you know that I am a HUGE fan of mindmapping. This software technology is an infinitely powerful tool. At the Mindmaping Software Blog Chuck Frey has posted an article that shows you no less than eight ways that mindmapping can make more time for you.

1. Reach clarity faster on key issues
2. Organize and implement projects
3. Problem solving
4. Meeting management
5. Business writing
6. Executive dashboard
7. Decision making
8. Improve collaboration
9. Ad hoc research

Please click here to read Chuck's original article.

Please visit for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Friday, November 4, 2011

How Clients Make Hiring Decisions

Familiarity, motivation, and trust. These are the three qualities that a prospective client must possess before he or she will hire you. So says legal marketing expert Dave Lorenzo on his Rainmaker Lawyer blog.

1. You must be visible. Writing articles, public speaking, appearing in the media, networking. These activities get you known in your community.

2. There must be a sense of urgency. Potential clients have to be inspired to hire you, either by the time sensitivity of their matter, or by your limited window of availability.

3. Expertise. The prospect must believe you are an expert at what you do. Closely tied to visibility, expertise can be demonstrated through website bios, war stories, referrals from other clients.

Lorenzo also argues that price has very little to do with the decision to hire. If you can establish visibility, urgency, and expertise, most potential clients will look past price.

Please click here to read Dave's original article.

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Solo nets Supreme Court win!

I know this has nothing to do with technology, but I think it is pretty cool. Andrew Simpson is a sole practitioner in the U.S. Virgin Is...