Thursday, April 26, 2012

Google Drive On The Horizon

Google is set to launch its new Google Drive product. From what I can tell it is going to be a cloud based file storage and collaboration tool similar to Dropbox and Box.  What intrigues me about Drive is its favorite apps feature.  According to Google you will be able to "create, open and share files from a variety of apps directly in Google Drive." And you will be able to "open over 30 file types right in your browser—including HD video, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop—even if you don’t have the program installed on your computer."  Does that mean I can open and edit a PowerPoint on my iPad?  Read pdf's without a viewer app?  Read and write Word docs\?  The inference would be yes.  And that would be a nice gadget enhancer!

The exact release date is not out.  You can log in to your Google account and request that a notice be sent when it is available.  Sounds positive.  We will have to keep an eye on it.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Paddling Through A River of *$x@

Nothing is going to change tonight. Nothing I say is going to make any difference at all. You’re going to wake up in the same river of shit tomorrow morning that you’re in today.
So starts a blog post from Lee Rosen regarding initial consultations in family law.  Actually Lee is quoting from comedian Lewis Black, but the passage, and the balance of Lee's thoughts are germane to what we do, and how we should do it.

The initial consultation with a potential family law client is our opportunity to sell ourselves, and land a paying client.  Of course we need to be empathetic, and encouraging.  At the same time we have to help the person appreciate the situation he or she is in, help the person to frame realistic expectations, and appreciate the extent to which we can help.  The tendency is to over promise; only to leave the client frustrated and distressed when we under deliver.

During the initial consultation Lee suggests:
Tell them up front that you can’t make them less miserable. Explain that you can only resolve the legal issues. Tell them it’s up to them to make themselves happy. We don’t offer that service.
Don’t stop there. Talk about the money too. You know they’re going to be upset about the cost of the services. Deal with it now.

Explain that they’re going to spend far more money than they’d like. Tell them that you didn’t create this mess, and fixing it is going to be ridiculously expensive. Feel free to explain that their lives won’t be any better when this is over: they’ll still be miserable if that’s the choice they make. You can explain that happy people make their lives happy and that you don’t have anything to do with it.

Will they run from your office screaming? Will they hire someone else who lies to them?
No, in my experience they appreciate the honesty. They’re happy that you’re shooting straight with them. They’re more likely to hire you, not less.
I found this blog post to be right on.  And I agree with Lee completely.  Honest interaction and assessment make the relationship much more realistic and workable for lawyer and client.

Please click here to read the entire post.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

PowerPoint Presentations On The iPad

I speak at continuing legal education programs enough to be dangerous. It is a lot of fun. Get's me out of the office. Allows me to visit fun places. Forces me to refresh myself on the pertinent topic. Makes it easy to meet new colleagues, and provides great marketing benefits for me, my practice, and my law firm.

The world's default support app for public speaking is Microsoft's PowerPoint. When I am presenting a program solo, I usually prepare my accompanying slide show with Apple's Keynote app on my iPad. However, when I am collaborating with other speakers, or am part of a panel where Keynote is not acceptable, the PowerPoint juggernaut is called in to play.

I bought an iPad to get away from the bulk and instability of a Windows based notebook. Unfortunately, if you want to use PowerPoint without any glitches, the iPad was a problem. There was no way to seemlessly run PowerPoint presentations on the iPad. UNTIL NOW. I have started using an app called SlideShark. You create a free SlideShark account. You install the free SlideShark app on your iPad. You upload your PowerPoint presentation to your SlideShark account, and then download it to your iPad. Then you connect your iPad to your projector, and run your PowerPoint presentation from the SlideShark app. Works Perfectly! No formatting errors. No missing graphics. No incompatible fonts.

Keep in mind, all SlideShark does is play your PowerPoint. You cannot edit the slides, or add or delete slides. SlideShark is a dumb slave app, but one that does what it is designed to do! It is the best app I have found for running PowerPoints on the iPad.

For more information, please click here to visit the SlideShark website.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

60 Apps In 60 Minutes

Apps, apps, apps. We got apps!

Josh Barrett has posted his latest 60 apps list from the 60 Apps In 60 Minutes presentation that he gave at the ABA Techshow last week. Some of them, like Westlaw Next and fastcase, we have talked about previously on this blog. Others are new to me. The list is always fun reading, and all the picks benefit from Josh's tech acumen. Please click here to view his latest list.

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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...