Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to all of our Friends!

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

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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fax Machines Are The New Dinosaurs

In 1991 fax machines were a big deal. Unbox the hardware. Throw in a roll of thermal paper. Plug in to the phone line. Then Shazam we were sending and receiving actual copies of documents. The technology was awesome and it took off! Fax numbers became de rigueur on letterhead and pleading captions. Fax machines became as indispensable as typewriters, telephones, and computers. A new industry was born so that we could fax pleadings straight to the court, or to a commercial service so that, for a fee, the docs could be filed at the courthouse.

Guess what?  Time has passed. Technology has improved. Typewriters are dead (we don't even have a typewriter in our building). By this post I now pronounce the fax machine is dead! Get over it. Anything you can do with a fax machine you can do better with email. The new way to go is .pdf. Adobe's portable document format is now the global standard for digitizing everything, especially documents. Scan it, save it, send it, receive it. Copy machines now save copies in pdf format. Word processors export/save in pdf format. Scanners convert to pdf. Everything is pdf. It is the new king.

We don't have an actual fax machine in our office anymore. Our last fax machine went the way of the typewriter and the Dodo Bird years ago. We still have a fax number, but it is connected to an efax account. When a fax comes in it is date and time stamped, converted to pdf format, and emailed to a designated email address. That fax number is rarely used to receive documents because fax volumes have gone way down. We utilize even less, i.e. rarely, to send docs. Why would we want to use it when we can do the same stuff better with email? The only reason we bother with the small cost of the efax account is so that we can send docs to the dinosaur law firms and courts that haven't come into the 21st Century and converted to modern technology.

Emailing pdfs allows direct delivery to the exact recipient, rather than a machine sitting next to the coffee maker. Receiving pdfs has the benefit of eliminating the need to run to the copy machine or scanner with your fax. You simply save the pdf to your electronic folder. If you still are paper based, you print it out and stick it in the file.

Don't forget in California, where I practice, service by fax is not recognized as official service for notice purposes. You can try, but there is no statute supporting the argument. Nasty lawyers still try to exploit fax machines in the worst way as a tool for after hours service. We just turn the efax service off and eliminate the opportunity for &$$hole behavior by some of our less esteemed colleagues. Sure email is on 24/7 but I don't read office emails away from the office so there is no problem for me.

In fact, I am so convinced that faxing is dead we no longer list our fax number on our pleadings, and are starting to eliminate it from our letterhead and other contact information. If people want to send us a fax, they need to make special arrangements.

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

#fax #faxmachine #pdf #Adobe #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A New Kind of Standup Desk

I have long been a proponent of stand-up desks.  I have written about them previously here and here. My stand-up desk at the office is a splendid custom built job.  Very rich and very fancy!

My custom made office stand-up desk

I also do a lot of work from home. That work has always been down sitting down at a regular desk. I have been waiting for something to come along that would give me a stand-up/sit-down option at home rather than having a regular sit down-desk and a stand-up desk like I have at the office. The first product that caught my eye was the Varidesk.

Varidesk Pro

Not bad, but not quite right. A bit bulky and clunky for me. I wasn't crazy about the look, and I felt it would eat up too much of my home office desk's surface area.

Next I came across the Kangaroo from Ergo Desktop.

Ergo Kangaroo

Again, not bad. Not as clunky as the Varidesk. Plus Kangaroo makes a Mac specific product - an obvious selling point given that I use a Mac at home. However, I still wasn't sure...

Then I got turned on to Ergotron. They have a slew of desktop products. I found plenty of glowing reviews for their WorkFit-A Sit-Stand Workstations.

The PC version of the WorkFit-A

For us Mac users Ergotron includes a design specifically for the Mac. I made the jump and bought it ($580 from the Apple Store, which includes free shipping). 2 days later it was delivered. After 30 minutes with the included tool kit it was installed, and I am loving it! Come into my home office and take a look.

My WFA in the down/desktop position

View from behind my desk

Swiveled for use in the sit-down position

Fully extended stand-up position. Trust me it is way up in the air.

Check out how the Mac stand becomes a built in part of the screen deck!

Stand-up position, swiveled so I can look out the window!

The WFA takes up desktop surface space, but not as imposingly as other products. I chose to mount mine on the corner of my desk. That is not mandatory. You can mount yours anywhere you want. The stand-up aspect of the WorkFit-A is where it really stands out. This is a high tech piece of equipment. The height adjusts. The swivel adjusts. The angle of the keyboard deck adjusts. The whole thing turns left and right. The Mac stand gets hidden in/becomes an integrated part of the main deck.

The WFA is well engineered, and well built. That arm that you see goes a long way. In the down position it reached across my 30" deep desk. It also goes way up. I am 6'5" and the WFA gets the center of my screen all the way up to me eye level. When I put hand pressure on the keyboard deck the whole assembly stays put. Yet, it turns, swivels, raises, and lowers easily.  A real marvel.

THIS THING ROCKS. I may never go back to the office! If you are looking for a stand-up add-on for your desk, the WFA is it!

Understand, what you are doing with the WFA is hooking your computer to the end of a big, strong metal stick.  It is plenty secure. But there can be a bit of wobble at the end of that stick. Unavoidable, but for me not a problem after the two minutes it took to get used to.

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

#standupdesk #ergotron #Workfit-A #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Value of Social Media

Besides being fun for me, this blog has a very definite business purpose. It is a marketing tool intended to advertise my family law practice. It is a social media tool. Now I can give you more first hand proof that social media channels, including blogs like this, work.

My friend (and often quoted practice management expert) Lee Rosen is huge into social media. Just for twitter he has more than 17,000 followers. A couple of days ago he mentioned this Family Law Lawyer Tech & Practice blog in a twitter post he sent out. Here is Lee's tweet:
Does not look like much, does it? But boy did it work! With one click of his mouse Lee advertised this blog to more than 17,000 people! Then, BOOM, 120 people clicked on the tweet and visited this blog.  That's 120 strangers learning about me. That is great traffic! It has continued for two days now, and more than 200 people have clicked through.  Just as exciting, a high percentage of those visitors then clicked through to the website for Harding & Associates Family Law! That's the magic of social media folks.  I didn't even do anything and I got to introduce myself and my law practice to hundreds of new people. People who can hire me, people who can refer to me, people who can think about me.

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

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

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...