Law and Software

Filling XFA PDF Forms using PDFBox

[March, 2014] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: Legal Technology,software

This is an initial post about mods to PDFBox to allow XFA form filling on modern AES encrypted PDF forms, so that they still load into Acrobat Reader, and do not get the dreaded message informing you that the document has been modified and the Reader (form filling) extensions no longer work.

I imagine that PDF toolkits have a very limited audience. So this first post isn’t about the changes to PDFBox. Well, maybe just a little. It’s more about why this matters. And we’ll also cover XFA, form filling in Acrobat, and IText. 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…

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…