Law and Software

Immigration Reform Bill in HTML

[April, 2013] By Andy Bartlett. 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] By Andy Bartlett. 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] By Andy Bartlett. 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] By Andy Bartlett. 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] By Andy Bartlett. 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] By Andy Bartlett. 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] By Andy Bartlett. 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] By Andy Bartlett. 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…

Encrypted Cloud Storage for Lawyers

[January, 2013] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: Ethics,law,Legal Technology,software

Do your clients tell you secrets? Mine do. That makes my business different. Clients don’t have to get me to sign an NDA. I am a walking, talking, living, breathing NDA. The license to be an attorney and practice law is a very nice thing to have. The right to be a Keeper of Secrets is priceless.

So when I hear of lawyers discovering the wonders of Evernote (which is wonderful) or cloud storage (which is free) or Software as a Service (which is better than aspirin), I wonder if they practice law on the same planet as me. more…

Flatlining and the Immigration and Nationality Act

[January, 2013] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: Immigration Law,law,software

I took a break recently from working through the ILRC Immigration Law practice guides, so I could flatline. The result is a new online edition of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The work was done in 17 days, with time off for good behavior during the holidays. more…

« Previous Page