Ralph Losey Says Firms Should Get Out of Lit Support Business

Over the weekend Ralph posted a video on his blog, and had some rather strong opinions about what his firm is doing, and what firms should be doing in general.

I no longer have to supervise a litigation support department. Instead I manage a relationship with a vendor. It is much more pleasant, believe me. When not working on projects and serving clients, I focus my internal e-discovery firm management time on the training and education of my firm’s lawyers and paralegals. IMO this is the way it should be. Law firms should stick to their core competency, practicing law and teaching law, and should not try to run little vendor corps in their midst.

Now I don’t work in a law firm, and haven’t for a couple of years now, so I’m not the best person to comment on what Ralph has to say here. The one thing I will say, is this. Ralph’s experience with his firm and the lawyers therein, should not be taken as representative of what other firms would experience. After all, simply by having Ralph as the partner in charge of eDiscovery, they alter the reality of their situation in a way that no other firm could.

So for those of you who do work in firms or work for vendors who work directly with firms. what do you have to say about this? Should law firms focus on their core competency and get away from having in house litigation support? What about other areas, IT, Marketing, HR, etc.? Should those all be outsourced too?

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

The auto post from Diigo seems to be on the fritz today, so I’m adding this weeks links by hand. I apologize for the lack of further formatting. ;-)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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The Problem with Total Surveillance

20140529-201524-72924452.jpgI was talking with someone a few weeks ago and the NSA and how the government is snooping on email and social media and all those sorts of things. He mentioned that he finds that most times he bring things like that up, it’s met by the all too common refrain “If you don’t have anything to hide, then what’s the problem?”

Let me tell you what the problem is. Context.

Look, I truthfully don’t have anything to hide. I’m not doing anything illegal, I’m not sleeping around, I’m not hiding money anywhere, I’m not living in fear of the government finding out some deep, dark secret that is going to get me in trouble. What I am afraid of is someone from the government seeing a random email, text message, chat, etc. and taking it out of context. Because then I have to go defend myself from their innuendo.

Let me give you a perfect example. I have a Gmail address. I was lucky enough to get on the gmail train early and I have my name @gmail.com. Unfortunately, I have a pretty common name, and lots of people with that name either forget to type more than just the name @gmail when signing up for things, or go ahead and do that so that they don’t have to deal with the emails. Lots of other folks, when sending email to the Mike they know, manage to only type the name @gmail too. Continue reading

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Social Media Responsibility and Suicide Contagion

In the wake of Robin Williams death earlier this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how different people reacted, what they said on social media and this Freakonomics podcast about suicide.

The question I keep coming back to is this. If there is a demonstrable increase in the number of suicides after one well-publicized suicide, and that increase can be tied back to how that suicide is portrayed in the media, what kind of responsibility do we have when it comes to social media? Should we all be keeping the standards put together by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for safe reporting?

Truthfully, I don’t see why we shouldn’t be. You don’t know how many people are going to see something you put out there on Twitter or Facebook. I wrote a few things on my child abuse survivor site, that I know were only seen by maybe a few hundred people, but how many of them could be on the verge of being suicidal themselves? I simply have no way of knowing, and I hate to think that something I said about Williams death made suicide seem glamorous or like a good idea. But what if one of those posts had gove viral, and was seen by millions of people? Could I deal with the fact that, like the Academy, I was potentially sending the exact wrong message about suicide to millions of people?

The tweet was a sweet message, but it was also the last thing anyone with suicidal tendencies needs to see. What responsibility do I have to the people who follow me on social media? After all, I’m not a professional journalist, why should I pay attention to media ethics and stuff like that, I’m just a guy posting on a blog? Technology, and social media have made journalists of all of us. I may not have the audience of the New York Times, and I don’t have a codified code of ethics, but surely I have some responsibility to the small audience that I do have. In a situation like this, I think we’d all do well to stop and consider what we are saying about suicide, and who we are saying it to.

You never know who’s reading, and where their head might be.

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We’re not Anti-Social, Quite the Opposite In Fact

We’re still social, technology just changes how we socialize

Amen! I still hear from lots of people about how those people on Facebook or Twitter just walk around looking at their phones all day, the world has become so unsocial and unfriendly.


A couple of weeks back I got to spend some time back in Ohio for a long weekend. I spent over 20 years of my life living there, and some of the people that I still consider my closest friends live there. For the first time in 2, or more, years I got to actually be with those close friends and enjoy their company. No, social media could never replace that, but I don’t live there anymore, and I don’t get the chance to interact in person nearly as often as I would like.

But, you know what made the in-person interaction even better? The fact that over those 2 years, I haven’t lost touch with them mostly thanks to social media! It’s all that new-fangled technology that allows those relationships to continue to flourish and remain tight. When I finally did get to see these folks, we just picked up right where we left off, because over the last two years, we’ve been able to share what’s happening on Facebook, see photos on Instagram, text, and share all sorts of things with each other. We haven’t drifted apart the way we would have had this been 10-15 years ago. I freaking love that!

So yeah, when I’m traveling for work, or even during this time when I’m in transition to Oregon while my wife is already there, and I’m eating dinner out, I’m looking at my phone most of the time. Because that’s where my friends are when they can’t be at dinner with me. How does interacting with my friends using the tech available to me make me anything but social? What am I missing out on other than listening in on other people’s conversations at dinner?

Although, the little girl who was at the pizza place the other night telling her grandfather all about the movie The Tooth Fairy, who apparently does not posses an “inside voice”, was quite entertaining, I must say. Her mom didn’t seem to find it as entertaining, she turned bright red when she realized that half the place was now listening to her daughter… ;-)

See, I didn’t miss out as that was happening around me, I saw it, enjoyed it, and continued to check out what my friends were up to, wherever they were at that moment. I was multitasking socially! Now excuse me, I’ve been teaching today and I need to catch up with what’s happening in my friends lives.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Google Finds a Predator

Cross posted from the Child Abuse Survivor site

The tech world is alive with news that Google has helped locate and charge a predator based on scanning their email for child pornography images.

Obviously, this is a case of a stupid criminal, if you’re going to share illegal images, using a cloud service provider that already admits to scanning email contents for keywords as part of their advertising plan probably isn’t the most private place to do it.

On the other hand, it is also a sign of the times. Letting third party companies hold your data on their servers puts some legal obligations on them to prevent you from putting certain kinds of data on the service. Simply put, once you attached a known CP image to an email it was stored on Google’s server. Google could be charged with possession by simply leaving it there, negligence for not knowing it was there, and possibly even more if they allowed this person to keep sharing it with their service. So, they kind of have to scan their own servers for known images. Once found, that information has to be turned over to the authorities, which is as it should be. Anyone who works with technology, especially other people’s technology, would be required to do the same.

As someone who is very interested in making sure child pornographers are caught and charged, I like the fact that cloud services are attracting them. Rather than shut down services that allow people to trade images on the internet for fear of letting a few of them do something illegal, I’d rather have this type of thing going on, where they use the technology, but the technology helps the authorities find them too.


This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Why Net Neutrality Matters

TechDirt has a good example that should show you what is at stake with net neutrality rules.

For about $12, Sprint will soon let subscribers buy a wireless plan that only connects to Facebook.

For that same price, they could choose instead to connect only with Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest—or for $10 more, enjoy unlimited use of all four. Another $5 gets them unlimited streaming of a music app of their choice.

Think about how this plays out. If you run a website, in order for mobile users to actually be able to reach your site, you’re going to have to negotiate with the mobile carriers to get your site carried so that users can access it. It’s no longer enough to spend money on hosting and building a site, now you have to also pay the carriers. So long to independent voices on the web.

If this type of scenario sounds familiar, it’s basically what we see with cable tv now. All those conflicts that saw you lose a network for a few days or weeks here and there? Now imagine going through these negotiations for every single website? Yeah, no one wants that, except the ISPs who aren’t happy charging you for internet access, they also want to charge the internet for access to you, one website at a time.