Georgetown University. Litigation Technology and Project Management

Homework Assignment #9

SOCIAL MEDIA AND LAWYERING
There are three parts to this week’s homework…
PART 1
Find three examples of a lawyer or law firm using social media effectively – that is – it provides a service or information that could lead to someone seeking out this lawyer or their firm as a client. These could be blog posts, twitter tweets, podcasts, Facebook pages, etc. If you can link them, put the link into the homework wiki with a short explanation of why you think they are effective use of social media.

http://www.facebook.com/fenwick
Includes a focus on philanthropy and shows humanity behind the firm. It has a good blend of legal news and updates, while promoting the firm.
http://www.facebook.com/wilsonsonsini
Uses events to promote firm-hosted roundtables and seminars and using the firms Documents app to include a repository of legal updates & publications directly within Facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/divorcecollaborative
Owner/attorney Stephen McDonough often stops by to add comments of his own, engage with visitors in replies. Provides a good integration of blog, custom designed to replicate original look and feel within Facebook

Homework Assignment #8
UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW IN THE 21ST CENTURY
  1. Find the definition for unauthorized practice of law for your jurisdiction and at least one other state.

Rule 5.5—Unauthorized Practice of Law
This Rule governed the practice of law in the District of Columbia from January 1, 1991, through January 31, 2007. As of February 1, 2007, the Amended Rules took effect.
A lawyer shall not:

(a) Practice law in a jurisdiction where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction; or

(b) Assist a person who is not a member of the bar in the performance of activity that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.

Virginia - No non-lawyer shall engage in the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Virginia or in any manner hold himself out as authorized or qualified to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia except as may be authorized by rule or statute.
Generally, the relation of attorney and client exists, and one is deemed to be practicing law whenever he furnishes to another advice or service under circumstances, which imply his possession and use of legal knowledge or skill.
  1. Put links to these into your homework wiki page.
http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/ethics/legal_ethics/rules_of_professional_conduct/former_rules/Rule_five/rule05_05.cfm
http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/unauthorized-practice-rules/practice-of-law-in-the-commonwealth-of-virginia/
  1. Find three news articles or blog posts on the web describing actual cases of unauthorized practice of law (and read them). Put links into the homework wiki. Look especially for situations where the unauthorized practice of law involved an online activity like a website, social network or email.
http://lawyerist.com/unauthorized-practice-law-bright-line/
http://www.rivkinradler.com/publications.cfm?id=314
http://www.massrealestatelawblog.com/tag/massachusetts-unauthorized-practice-of-law/

Homework Assignment #6
CONTRACT STANDARDIZATION
Find (at least) two EULAs from any website that has user contributed content (i.e. social networking sites, comments, upload pictures, etc.)
Find the clause(s) that talk about ownership/license/rights of the user-submitted content.
Copy the clauses (NOT the entire EULA) into the homework wiki and answer the following questions

1. Linked In
http://www.linkedin.com

 License and warranty for your submissions to LinkedIn.

You own the information you provide LinkedIn under this Agreement, and may request its deletion at any time, unless you have shared information or content with others and they have not deleted it, or it was copied or stored by other users. Additionally, you grant LinkedIn a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, unlimited, assignable, sublicenseable, fully paid up and royalty-free right to us to copy, prepare derivative works of, improve, distribute, publish, remove, retain, add, process, analyze, use and commercialize, in any way now known or in the future discovered, any information you provide, directly or indirectly to LinkedIn, including, but not limited to, any user generated content, ideas, concepts, techniques or data to the services, you submit to LinkedIn, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or to any third parties. Any information you submit to us is at your own risk of loss as noted in Sections 2 and 3 of this Agreement.
By providing information to us, you represent and warrant that you are entitled to submit the information and that the information is accurate, not confidential, and not in violation of any contractual restrictions or other third party rights. It is your responsibility to keep your LinkedIn profile information accurate and updated.

2. Plaxo/Simply Hired
http://www.plaxo.com/

User Submissions

Some of the material appearing on the Comcast Web Services will be provided by users. Comcast does not claim ownership of any material that users submit or post on the Comcast Web Services. You agree that you are solely responsible for (and that Comcast has no responsibility to you or to any third party for) any material that you create, transmit, or display while using the Comcast Web Services, and for the consequences of your actions (including any loss or damage which Comcast may suffer) by doing so. Further, you agree that, with respect to any communication you submit to us for posting on the Comcast Web Services, you will not: (i) include any content that violates a third party's copyright or other proprietary or privacy rights; (ii) publish falsehoods or misrepresentations portrayed as fact; (iii) include any advertising or solicitations; or (iv) submit any material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise clearly inappropriate.
If you post any content to the Comcast Web Services, you hereby grant Comcast and its licensees a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform, modify, sublicense, and distribute the content, on or in connection with the Comcast Web Services or the promotion of the Comcast Web Services, and incorporate it in other works, in whole or in part, in any manner. You represent and warrant that you own the content or otherwise have sufficient rights in it to grant to Comcast the license set forth in this section without infringing or violating the rights of any third party. If you remove content that you have posted to the Comcast Web Services or terminate your Comcast Web Services account, this license will automatically expire, with a few limited exceptions. Comcast may retain, but will not actively use, copies of your data that were archived in the normal course of Comcast's database backups. In addition, copies of content that you have shared with other users of the Comcast Web Services may be retained by Comcast and associated with those other users' accounts in order to provide them with the Comcast Web Services. Comcast does not assert any ownership over content that you post to the Comcast Web Services; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all content you post to the Comcast Web Services and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with the content.
The Comcast Web Services may also contain links to community forums, bulletin boards, chat rooms, and blogs about the various Comcast Web Services. Children under the age of 13 should not post in any of the forums, boards, chat rooms, blogs, other editorial sections of the Comcast Web Services. Participants in these forums, bulletin boards, chat rooms, and blogs are solely responsible for all content that they post there. Comcast retains the right, but not the obligation, to correct any errors or omissions in any of this content, as it may determine in its sole discretion. Comcast further reserve the right to delete or remove any content from the forums or blogs without prior notice or liability. You agree that your participation in these forums, bulletin boards, chat rooms, and blogs will at all times conform with the policy available here: http://www.comcast.net/blog/comment-policy.
Comcast reserves the right, but does not assume any obligation, to review any user submission prior to its display on the Comcast Web Services using automated tools or manual processes. Comcast may refuse to display or remove any user submission from the Comcast Web Services for any reason in our sole discretion. However, we will typically only do so when we become aware that the material in question is harmful, clearly illegal, or likely to be considered highly offensive or objectionable to a large segment of our users.

2. Are there similar components between the two (or more) clauses? How are they the same?How are they different?

Similarities: The companies do not claim ownership of the information you provide. By posting, you grant the companies rights and license to use, reproduce, publicly display, and distribute content in promotion of web services.
Differences: Plaxo does not want any information posted on their website that violates third party copyrights, proprietary, or privacy rights. Children under 13 should not post in any forums, boards, chat rooms, and blogs on Plaxo. Plaxo retains the right but not obligation to correct errors or omissions in any content. You can request deletion of information from LinkedIn.

3. Write a standard clause that uses the similar elements from the EULAs you analyzed. For areas that are dis-similar, include both options in parentheses.

You own the information you provide under this Agreement, and may request its deletion at any time. Additionally, you grant nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, unlimited, assignable, sublicenseable, fully paid up and royalty-free right to us to copy, prepare derivative works of, improve, distribute, publish, remove, retain, add, process, analyze, use and commercialize, in any way now known or in the future discovered, any information you provide, directly or indirectly, including, but not limited to, any user generated content, ideas, concepts, techniques or data to the services, you submit, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or to any third parties. Any information you submit to us is at your own risk of loss. By providing information to us, you represent and warrant that you are entitled to submit the information and that the information is accurate, not confidential, and not in violation of any contractual restrictions or other third party rights. Our Services may also contain links to community forums, bulletin boards, chat rooms, and blogs about the various services. Children under the age of 13 should not post in any of the forums, boards, chat rooms, blogs, and other editorial sections. We retain the right, but not the obligation, to correct any errors or omissions in any of this content, as it may determine in its sole discretion.

Homework Assignment #5
Free Legal Research

California
Codes:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html
Statutes:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/statute.html

Homework Assignment #4
Unbundling Legal Services/Limited Scope Representation

1. Define two (2) discrete tasks that could be "unbundled" from different areas of law practice.
  • Document Review
  • Preparing exhibits

2. Define a task that lends itself to being converted into a "digital application?" such as a website, smart phone app or downloadable program.
  • Document assembly

3. List some of the risks (at least three) involved in "unbundling legal services?"
  • Attempting to provide unbundled legal services in an area of the law in which a firm is not experienced
  • Client understanding the extent of representation. A prospective unbundled client may not understand the difference between full-service representation and unbundled services
  • Commoditization of the law

4. Think of a "digital application" that could automate a legal task, AND bundled with legal advice to be sold for a fixed fee? (re-bundling concept). Describe it in your homework.
  • A document assembly program such as ProDoc that uses a digital application for the creation of customized automated pleadings, motions, and orders.

Homework Assignment #3
TECHNOLOGY AND THE COURTS

1. Does the court support efiling? If yes, what is the best URL?
  • L.A. County – Yes. https://ww2.lasuperiorcourt.org/eFiling/eFilingNotice.aspx
  • Supreme Court of California – Yes. For CIVIL cases, submitting an electronic copy of the brief will satisfy the requirements for service on the Supreme Court under rule 8.212(c)(2). Not included are motions, applications, appendices under rule 8.124, or other documents. Briefs or documents submitted electronically are not a substitute for, but in addition to, the required paper filings, which constitute the official Court record. http://www.courts.ca.gov/9262.htm
  • The United States District Court Central District of California supports Case Management and Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF). All Civil and Criminal cases are designated for electronic filing except for those outlined in the General Order. http://support.cacd.uscourts.gov/

2. Does the court support efiling for self-representing litigants?
  • L.A. County – Yes. Small Claim.
  • Supreme Court of California –No
  • United States District Court Central District of California - Yes. Pro Se Litigants, or people without lawyers, are now eligible to receive a CM/ECF login and password, which will enable them to receive notification by e-mail when documents are filed in their case.

3. Does the court website have an online docket or calendar? (If yes, include a link)

4. Does the court website have any forms that can be used online or downloaded? (If yes, provide a link)

Homework Assignment #2

DOCUMENT AUTOMATION SYSTEMS
PART 1
FIVE benefits/advantages to Document Automation.
1. Saves Time
2. Improves Accuracy
3. System Integration
4. Stays Competitive
5. Enrichment
FIVE pitfalls/problems/barriers to Document Automation.
1. Need for more customized work
2. Errors
3. Need to be technologically savvy
4. Safety of client data at risk
5. Lawyers are not adequately trained

PART 2
February 19, 2012

To: Perry Partner
From: A. Mapson
Re: Document Automation

As requested, I have reviewed two document automation websites. The first was Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) term sheet generator. It is a tool that will generate a venture financing term sheet based on responses to an online questionnaire. It also has an informational component, with basic tutorials and annotations on financing terms. The second was Goodwin Founder’s Workbench, which focuses on start-ups, emerging companies and the entrepreneurial community by providing access to critical forms, memoranda, best practices and other resources to enable capital efficient company formation.

The WSGR would provide numerous benefits to the firm to include faster turnaround time, more consistent documents, and lower legal fees. I know at the firm, attorney responsiveness and fast turnaround times are critical along with quality and consistency. The use of WSGR document assembly technology will help to ensure quality and consistency in the document preparation process and allow staff to learn on the job based on a detailed tutorial feature that provides guidance on key deal terms and drafting points.

While there are many benefits to Goodwin Founder’s Workbench, its main focus is on providing forms, memoranda, and best practices for start-ups, and emerging companies for formation. Since we are an established firm, I do not believe they would be the best choice for the company at this time. But, if we decide to develop a new division or specialty practice, they would be a top choice to solicit for document automation work.

I believe document automation would be a good resource for the firm to further explore at this time and based on my research of two document automation companies, WSGR would be the best fit based on the firms needs at this time.

Regards,

A. Mapson

Homework #1

THE VIRTUAL LAW OFFICE
PART 1
Your assignment is to create two lists:
Five good things about running a virtual law practice. What are the advantages over an entirely office-bound practice. What are the efficiencies gained, money made or saved, etc.
  • Capability of tapping into a broader market of consumers seeking legal services
  • Serving as an amenity for existing clients of a traditional law practice
  • Added security of hosted backups and other cost-effective benefits of using software as a service
  • Reduced malpractice risks through the use of technology to automate checks
  • Ability to streamline administrative features of a law practice to permit the lawyer to focus on the actual "practice" of law.

Five things that could go wrong running a virtual law practice. What are the mistakes you can make, problems you could encounter, issues raised, etc.
  • Security of the technology, including third-party control and storage of law office data
  • Retention and return of law office data
  • Confidentiality
  • Competency of providing unbundled legal services
  • Unauthorized practice of law in other jurisdictions.

PART 2
Search the web and find at least three definitions for “Virtual Law Practice”, “Digital Law Practice” and/or “eLawyering”. Copy/paste the definitions into your homework wiki with a link back to the place you found.

Virtual Law Practice – delivering legal services online professionally and securely with a web-based virtual office.
http://virtuallawpractice.org/

Digital Law Practice - a digital law office is defined as a law office where much of the critical information is kept on office computer systems and where it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to conduct daily business without access to the computer system.
www.okbar.org/cle/AMTracks07/Transactional/Calloway.pdf

eLawyering - eLawyering is doing legal work - not just marketing - over the Web.
http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=EP024500

eLawyering - "the utilization of the Internet and e-mail networks for the delivery of legal services".
http://apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/blt/2003-01-02/walsh.html