Law and Software

Mr. Protocol

[May, 2013] Filed under: software

Remember Sun Microsystems? I’ll always have fond memories. But not for Solaris, graphics workstations, Java and all the other wonderful work done at Garcia Ave, and then at SunQuentin by the bridge. The fondness comes from the Mr Protocol column in the old Sun Expert magazine. You can find a sample here . more…

BSEOIMA Mucho. Flatlining for Immigration Reform.

[April, 2013] Filed under: Immigration Law,law,software

Que tengo miedo perderte, perderte despues.

Here it is. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, complete with hyperlinks and hoverlinks.

Wednesday, the Gang of Eight Senate Bill S744 “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” was published. A PDF, 800+ pages long, full of all the cross-references that make the immigration statute so hard to study, and the reason for my flatlining back in December to produce the Law and Software Online Edition of the Immigration and Nationality Act. And I don’t have much time for hiding content in a dense and awkward format that few will read. Enter the Law and Software Edition of the Immigration Reform Bill –  BSEOIMA Mucho. more…

Immigration Reform Bill in HTML

[April, 2013] Filed under: Immigration Law,law,software

The Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act Senate Bill, otherwise known as the Gang of Eight Bipartisan Senate Bill is hard to read in the traditional PDF Senate Bill format. So I have adapted the HTML I use for my online version of the Immigration and Nationality Act to put up an HTML version of the immigration reform bill. It’s a draft. The PDF was only released on Wednesday.

pwned by your user interface?

[March, 2013] Filed under: complexity,Migration,software

I am on a “dormant” mail-alias for software migration. Software migration is a polite way of referring to the process of ripping out an old API from your software application, and replacing it with something more modern. Like when you flip a house for resale and give it a new kitchen and a fresh coat of paint. This nightmare process pwns you when your user interface toolkit (like Motif) finally bites the dust. You either throw away your software and start again, or migrate to another toolkit (like Qt)  that is likely heading the same way – but your competitors are all using the “new” one, so it must be ok. more…

Mediation Confidentiality in California

[March, 2013] Filed under: Ethics,law,mediation

The statutory rules for mediation confidentiality in California are in Sections 1115-1128 of the California Evidence Code. And they have been clarified in a few recent California Supreme Court decisions. Cassel v. Superior Court in 2011 is a must read. Also Foxgate Homeowners Assn. v. Bramalea (2001).

But where does the mediator fit in these rules? The answer is murky, and leads to another question. Whatever it says in the CEC, what might happen to confidentiality if a case ends up in Federal court. more…

live blogging the N-400 and the naturalization process

[March, 2013] Filed under: Immigration Law,law,live blogging

I am one of a small number of people who got to swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution as a legal document, and not as part of an oath of allegiance to the United States. I was an officer of the court in a country that is my home, but I was not a citizen. Theoretically, I could have defended a client’s right to vote, even though I had no such right. But I crossed the five year wait line. And applied for citizenship. This post is a live blog of the application process. 98 days from application to oath ceremony. And even though I help many through the process nowadays as a community immigration lawyer, your first time is a fond memory that stays with you…  Lets wind the clock back to Day 1… more…

Word and PDF hyperlinks tame Clio

[March, 2013] Filed under: law,Legal Technology,software

I never liked database apps. And Software as a Service doesn’t thrill me much either. I just don’t want to hunt around someone else’s interface in order to get to my data. No matter how pretty the interface is. Sorry to be obnoxious. I want information at my fingertips when I want it.

But you can tame these beasts. At least, you can tame Clio. more…

Confidential Messaging – send me a CM

[March, 2013] Filed under: Ethics,law,Legal Technology,software

Everywhere I turn as I set up my practice there’s software that needs writing. Maybe that’s because legal tech is mostly designed for lawyers, not by them. I can’t believe those “contact me” or “send me an email” boxes on attorney websites. They scream malpractice.

I had some fun with CM this week. Confidential Messaging. Like Instant Messaging except a) it isn’t instant, and b) it is confidential.

And I mean “really confidential” – as in, “if I weren’t a lawyer building this for attorney/client privileged conversations, I’d probably be on a no-fly list by now” more…

Dworkin passes. Judge Hercules invents a search engine.

[February, 2013] Filed under: law,software

Ronnie Dworkin died on Valentine’s Day. I found out through a link in The Browser to a delightful blog post by Randy Barnett. I once sat next to Randy on a bus in Nashville.  I never met Ronnie, but I took John Oakley’s Jurisprudence class, and got to meet Judge Hercules. Judge Hercules is Ronnie Dworkin’s smarter brother.

I wonder when Google died. Judge Hercules doesn’t know, but he thinks we need a search engine with integrity to give us the right answers. And then it won’t matter. more…

A Little Attorney-Client Privilege in the Cloud

[February, 2013] Filed under: Ethics,law,Legal Technology,software

Recently I posted about how to keep confidential files encrypted in the cloud storage you may be using with an online practice management system. The screenshots below are unrecognizable but are from me using Clio. This is just a quick note about the other side. I’ll blog it in more detail when I get a moment.

Attorney-Client Privilege is the #1 issue facing lawyers who wants to use super-convenient cloud solutions to get away from having to run their own office computer infrastructure. Apart from documents, the big problem is that day-to-day data in a cloud based practice management system may occasionally be very sensitive. What if your client is undocumented? Adding their name to an online data record may be malpractice. It is certainly not wise. more…

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