Below is my interpretation/notes/transcription of the recent LawTalk Network podcast:
The Kennedy-Mighell Report – Lawyers and SmartPhones
Dennis and Tom discuss “smart” phones, including the iPhone and BlackBerry and a mention here or there of the Palm Pre…
Please note: Anything in black was actually stated or is my paraphrasing of what was said. My comments are interjected throughout and are distinguished by brackets and colored maroon.
Dennis back from Maui and “swamped”. Talked to Tom – who’s swamped too. [Maybe they need to set up a call with me!? lol]
It's nice to see they've cut down the length of these podcasts - this one being just a little shy of 25 minutes. Ideal length is no more than 20 minutes, IMO.
I see rather than incorporating Adrianna into their podcast, LegalTalkNetwork has placed Adrianna on a podcast with the Chair of next year's ABATechShow, Debbie Foster. I have yet to review that podcast but intend to. :) (Adrianna always makes me laugh and Debbie was the ONLY person at ABATechShow 2009 I did not get to meet face to face...)
The introduction music comes on too loud. It's startling (not in a good way).
The conversation is really limited to the devices and tech personally used by the speakers.]
Dennis: BB – never has a tech before been taken to by attorneys than the BB. [uhhh you must have forgetten about Corel WordPerfect and word processors...]
There are 4 generations of legal tech.
Attorneys have a number of options but historically lawyers are attracted to BBs. They can’t let go of them. [That's not just attorneys and yes, it's only BB owners who act like twitchy addicts.]
Tom: Why attorneys use BB is because connection – it’s e-mail. BB is the superior e-mail client – handles it better and I may get argument and I think the BB is best at e-mail. Connected 24/7. Lawyers who want to be connected that much. [Careful, being connected gets addictive. Like anything else, it can control you or you can control it. Set boundries. FYI, my least recommended personal mobile device is a BB because it turns otherwise polite, normal human beings into crazed, e-mail addicts - you don't see iPhone or Treo users acting that way do you?!]
2009 ABA Survey: 64% of attorneys use BB. Healthy chunk. iPhone increase: 5% last year to 14% this year. iPhone making inroads on BB
Dennis: you’ve recently gone to iphone – can you point out features why?
Few reasons iPhone superior with BB:
1. Applications. iPhone has largest and best featured of the smartphone manufacturers.
2. Good robust internet browser. Google Android now good. iPhone easier and friendly than a BB browser.
Downsides to iPhone make it not as good addressed in the last release:
1. Search. Now you can.
2. Cut and paste. Now can be done.
This brings it up to competitive with BB.
#1 difference – are you a tactile keyboard user or a virtual keyboard. It does take getting used to. Big consideration.
Dennis: used BB off/on since early days. I use iPod Touch – similar. Like the bigger touch screen; really useful in a lot of ways for broader purpose for phones – which is phones turning into the third screen or mobile platform [You heard it here first - smartphone = "personal mobile device".]
E-mail is why attorneys like smart phones. There are problems with e-mail as communication tool – we talk about it in our book too. As we use phones for everything, that’s where you start to see why some other phones become more attractive than a BB – or BB Storm with touch screen. [Just as all tech, e-mail should be used judiciously.]
BB domination in the legal profession. That will be difficult move to make. There is a lot of BB lock in because firms do standardize – its so hard to do something else. All captured in these two year service contracts – make change even slower.
Tom: There are firms who will say I’m sorry we don’t support BB even though turning on Exchange server to work with BB is actually very easy. Other issues difficult to choose carrier – device or carrier? I don’t like service enough to have to have it if I find phone on other service to move. Happy to move. Lots of lawyers on multiple user plans and can’t just change over more readily.
Dennis – it is more important to make sure you have good coverage. [I agree. Pick carrier then device. Hold device if at all possible before purchasing. Be certain you have 30 days to return any new device.]
Easier to stick to where I am, so more inclined to go into BB Storm.
Tom: Where I want to see things to go – applications are the determining factor. Expect to see lots more legal based applications.
Dennis: As we move to mobile platform apps more important. [Palm has tons of apps... www.handango.com. Pre is new OS so third parties need time to catch up to new code. You can do lots with Centro, Treos and Palm OS devices - watch movies, use as modem, etc. all long before iPhone a gleam in Apple's eye...]
Dennis: Apps where you focus attention and where interesting things happen. Still believe it will stay a BB world and changes will happen slowly because of institutional issues and contracts; share of iphone use will keep up.
1. I need secure and confidential e-mail for client communications – what do I use?
Tom: Briefly, rules do not require encryption in most states. Things may be shifting. Look at encryption – lots available, favorite is pgp (free); hushmail is another example; zigscorp specializing in this for a while – even encrypt your Gmail.
What I want to say is you need to think what you’re going to use before – many require your clients to have this program – so have client buy in before you make investment in specific product. If you do business with international clients – many other countries have different laws, including encryption of e-mail. Do research before hand so you can use that software outside of the country.
Dennis: Re: ABA Rule that says lawyers don’t need to encrypt e-mail – we should be pioneers and I think we’ve abdicated this. Encryption not that easy to implement. It takes two to tango. Requires initial set up and cooperation by more than one person. Public keys/private keys – sometimes hard to figure out or part of third party e-mail system. Just not as easy as you would imagine it would be. I think you do need to start looking at ways to do what you can. Gmail just made itself so you could use SSL when using – worthwhile step to do more of what you can do … suspect moving toward some type of encrypted e-mail. [DO NOT USE GOOGLE GMAIL FOR CONFIDENTIAL CLIENT WORK PRODUCT COMMUNICATIONS. There, I said it. Can you hear me now?!? No, I'm not an attorney - I'm the chick that makes attorneys look good! Gmail can hurt anyone, not just attorneys. Don't use it for anything mission critical.]
Tom: …suspect you are right.
Dennis: One more thought on iPhone – made comment on 4 generations on legal tech at the start of this and would like to close loop.
1st Generation Tech = Staff focused
2nd Generation Tech = IT department focused
3rd Generation Tech = lawyer focused
4th Generation will be client focused – that’s a story for another day.
iPhone became part of that battle ground between 2nd and 3rd generation; individual attorneys wanting to have certain tools, while IT wants to keep business as usual… this will be an interesting battle and how it plays out as we move from 2nd into 3rd generation. IT will win but over 3 to 5 years may see transition.
Tom: first with solo/small firms because no constraints.
Dennis: Windows Vista – not a huge number of attorneys on Vista but still, me – I have a tremendous number of programs open at any time – move between them – could click or use Alt + Tab to go in between; however, in Vista if you hit Windows key + tab it gives you a 3D, flipping way to move around – not small icons, larger screens. Helpful way to move between programs.
Tom: Facebook went to personalized vanity url this week. As of last week you can log on and claim your own vanity url – do not violate any copyright – if using FaceBook for marketing (I think LinkedIn better) but if using – do claim it so you have something to give to clients and potential clients to easily access your FaceBook page.
Show wiki: http://www.tkmreport.com
[All in all another fine show of two lawyers speaking about the tech in their world.]