Legal News and Upcoming Events

Is Mandatory Malpractice Coverage Coming to Washington?

Mandatory malpractice coverage is well known by Oregon lawyers and may be coming soon to members of the Washington bar (WSBA).

In July, the WSBA Mandatory Malpractice Insurance Task Force presented a tentative recommendation to the Board of Governors (BOG) to mandate malpractice insurance for Washington-licensed lawyers. The task force expects to present a final report to the BOG in four short months.

Next steps include:

  1. Considering feedback from the Board of Governors;
  2. Ramping up information efforts among WSBA members, and obtaining and considering additional comments received;
  3. Detailing the recommended malpractice insurance mandate, including the specific
    required coverage minimums;
  4. Identifying in detail the recommended exemptions from the professional liability
    insurance requirement; and
  5. Drafting a proposed Court Rule for the Board of Governor’s consideration

Members may submit comments to insurancetaskforce@wsba.org. The task force continues to meet monthly through the end of the year. Read the interim report here.

Free Access to PACER

This past week, the ABA Journal reported a potential end to PACER fees:

A new bill before the U.S House of Representatives would prohibit the federal courts from charging for public documents. The Electronic Court Records Reform Act would require that documents downloaded from the PACER database be free. Currently, the repository for federal court documents charges up to 10 cents a page.

The article notes that PACER has become a reliable money-maker for federal courts, pulling in $150 million in fees in 2015 alone.

Of further interest to federal court practitioners, the proposed bill would require documents to be posted to PACER within five days of being filed in federal court in a manner that allows for easy searching and linking from external websites.

Additionally, it would require consolidation of the Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system, allowing for one-stop shopping when searching for federal court cases. Presently, each court operates its own separate CM/ECF system.

Free Data Breach CLEs in Bend and Medford

The Professional Liability Fund is offering two free data breach CLES in October:

These CLEs will explain data breach, what you can do to protect your client’s information, your ethical duties, and what to do if a breach occurs. For more information, follow the links above. Register for the Bend CLE by emailing DeAnna Shields at deannas@osbplf.org. Register for the Medford CLE by emailing Eric B. Mitton at eric.mitton@cityofmedford.org.

All Rights Reserved – 2018 – Beverly Michaelis

eCourt Notices: Forwarding is Up to You – Oregon eCourt Week

Transitioning to Oregon eCourt requires many adjustments – as evidenced by this week’s posts. Among the most significant: how law offices will process court notices for various events, including hearing dates, trial dates, or entry of judgments.

eCourt Notices are Delivered Only to the Filing Attorney

Unlike PACER, where filers can specify multiple e-mail addresses to receive electronic court notices, the Oregon system restricts delivery to the filing attorney. Notices are sent to the filing attorney’s official e-mail address on file with the Oregon State Bar. Alternate e-mail addresses, including generic docketing accounts like docketing@abclawfirm.com are not permitted. Because notices are delivered to the filing attorney only, staff members or other attorneys in the office are not included in the Oregon eCourt notice system.

eService Accommodates as Many Parties as Needed

Unlike the notice system, there is no limit to the number of parties or lawyers that can be included in eService. Consent to eService is on a case by case basis. When you e-file into a case you are consenting to eService on that case. Parties and attorneys are responsible for adding themselves as a service contact in the eService system and updating their information as necessary. The system does not pull contact information from the Oregon State Bar database as it does for delivery of eNotices.

Registering Multiple Users Permitted

Law firms may register as many individual Oregon eCourt users as they desire. If a firm has 10 litigators and 5 staff who file in Oregon eCourt, all 15 may be added to the system. A firm account must be created first. Individual users may self-register only if permitted by the Firm Administrator. See the user guides available here.

How to Share eCourt Notices with Staff or Other Attorneys

If you want to share eCourt notices with staff or other attorneys in the firm, you will need to create auto-forward rules. This is easily done if you are using a desktop e-mail program like Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Apple Mail, or Thunderbird.

If you are using Web-based mail, it may or may not be possible. Auto-forwarding of eCourt notices requires the ability to selectively filter messages by sender. In this case, the goal is to forward messages sent from the court @ojd.state.or.us and from the Tyler Technologies File and Serve system @tylerhost.net.

Gmail permits forwarding of messages using filters (as do all the e-mail programs listed above). Yahoo! mail users can elect to forward all Yahoo! mail to another address, but they cannot selectively filter messages from specific senders. Filtering in Yahoo! is limited to moving messages from one folder to another.

Click on any of the following links to set up filtered auto-forwarding:

As an example, here are step-by-step instructions for creating a rule in Outlook 2010 to mark all messages from @ojd.state.or.us as important and auto forward copies to specific people (staff or other lawyers).  Repeat the steps described in this document to create a second rule for messages received from @tylerhost.net. eCourt notices are sent from both domains.

How to Create a Safety Net if you are a Solo Practitioner

If you are solo practitioner with no support staff, you may want to auto-forward eCourt notices to a secondary e-mail address as a backup. (Gmail can filter e-mail and send alerts to your phone.) Remember, you can also login to Oregon eCourt and look at court dates and case information online. eFiling data can be exported to Microsoft Excel.

Don’t Miss a Court Notice – Achieve Inbox Zero

If you achieve “Inbox Zero” you are far less likely to miss a court notice. Use Dee Crocker’s DAFT approach to keep your Inbox empty [Defer, Act, File, or Toss]:

Defer
If you don’t have time to reply or act on an e-mail, create a task from the message and schedule it for a later time.

Act
If you can respond to an e-mail in less than five minutes, do so.

File
File messages that don’t require a response when they arrive. Move messages to appropriate folders in your Inbox or better yet save them directly to the client’s folder on your computer or network. You can download electronic filing assistants to make this process easier.

Toss
Toss (trash) unneeded messages immediately.

Keep Other Best Practices in Mind

For complete guidelines on how to handle client e-mail see these articles:

Be particularly careful about junk mail or spam filters that may catch eCourt notices and learn about common eCourt mistakes. See Zero Tolerance for e-Filing Error: Avoid Committing Malpractice, with a Few Clicks of Your Mouse. Consider ordering the free PLF CLE, “Survival Tips for Organizing Your E-Mail and Practicing in eCourt,” available on the PLF Web site.

All Rights Reserved [2014] Beverly Michaelis

 

 

The Best of – 60 Tips in 60 Minutes / 60 Sites in 60 Minutes

60 Tips/60 Sites is by far the most popular presentation at the 2014 ABATECHSHOW (SRO this year).  From our base in Oregon where Sheila Blackford and I held down the fort, I used Tweet Archivist to capture and curate the best of the best. (Plus a few other random tweets.)

  • RT @catherinereach: Better Pacer with @Inforuptcy and @PacerProCEO – @NextChapterBK
  • Need to reduce the file size? Try (Compress PDF – free online PDF compression service) – @catherinereach
  • Google Backup Options #ABATechShow @nerinopetro@bburney – via @DonPhilbin
  • If you press 4 during an incoming Google Voice call you can send it to VM and listen to it in real time! Via @j0eybagodonuts
  • Librarians developed engine to search the Deep (Dark) Web INFOMINE – via @DonPhilbin
  • @nerinopetro discussing video conferencing with Zoom.US May be a good alternative to GoToMeeting – @larryport
  • Boomerang for gmail allows you to write emails now and schedule to send them later. Nice! 60 Tips by @markrosch at #ABATECHSHOW – @rajuip
  • @nerinopetro likes the (VoiP/hosted) phone service vitality. #ABATECHSHOW pay as you go. Via @JLE_JD
  • Have your passwords been exposed? Check have I been pwned? – via @catherinereach
  • @nerinopetro says use disconnect.me to show who is tracking you – via @JLE_JD
  • Diane Ebersole says use Quick Parts. [The Quick Part Gallery in Word is a gallery where you can create, store, and find reusable pieces of content, including AutoText, document properties such as title and author, and fields.] #ABATECHSHOW > She’s absolutely right – via @JLE_JD RT @bschorr
  • I had no idea those Mophie external battery packs were that worthwhile – via @j0eybagodonuts
  • @bburney suggests #duckduckgo which doesn’t track you [anonymous way to search the Web] – via @JLE_JD
  • @bburney also likes about.me [About.me makes it easy for people to learn about you and find your content. Create a free page in minutes with no coding required] – via @JLE_JD
  • Diane Ebersole likes text expanders [much of the text we type is repetitive; with text expanders the computer does the work for you] – via @JLE_JD
  • @nerinopetro suggests #trello [Trello is the fastest, easiest way to organize anything, from your day-to-day work, to a favorite side project, to your greatest life plans] – via @JLE_JD@bburney uses an add in for word called puretext some crazy short cut in mac also [Have you ever copied some text from a web page or a document and then wanted to paste it as simple text into another application without getting all the formatting from the original source? PureText makes this simple by adding a new Windows hot-key (default is WINDOWS+V) that allows you to paste text to any application without formatting] – via @JLE_JD
  • Sv600 contactless scanner [from Fujitsu] made @nerinopetro happy – via @JLE_JD
  • Great keyboard shortcut via @macsinlaw: In Word, select text and use Shift + F3 to cycle through capitalization options – via @j0eybagodonuts
  • Great productivity tool RT @JLE_JD: @nerinopetro likes the pomodoro technique for getting done – via @rocketmatter
  • Diane says use site: to limit search to domains or sites for google. I use this a lot – via @JLE_JD
  • 5 GREAT Google Searching Tips via @alcona67 Diane Ebersole – via @miunger http://t.co/Q1xKML6FGT
  • @nerinopetro making backups of backups with IFTTT … But, who will watch the watchmen?!? – via @rajuip
  • @nerinopetro says airserver is cool. I agree. For ipad sharing – via @JLE_JD
  • Google apps has added a research tool so you can search without leaving app @bburney – via @JLE_JD
  • @nerinopetro says use spike in msword [A Clipboard feature available in Word that lets you copy multiple selections of content to the Clipboard and then paste them as a group to a new location. It’s easy to use and allows for a bit more flexibility when the need arises] – @JLE_JD
  • A great tip from @markevans on site to fix awkward and convoluted writing [Hemingway App] – @AndrewLarmand
  • If you need to encrypt a network, Simek recommends SafeGuard by Sophos – via @kmontenegro
  • How about this for 60 sites: Turns browser tab into a convenient [quick-edit] notepad – via @tim_baran
  • Have you tried @insightlyapp for task mgmt @chadeburton? – via @antigonepeyton
  • @bschorr reviewing @Yammer – a secure tool for group conversations & collaboration within organizations – via @lucasboling
  • ChargeKey & ChargeCard are great for small, portable chargers per @themaclawyer – via @mrsmaclawyer

A complete 60 sites list is now available here.

But Hold On, There’s More…

Over the next few days, I will share 13 additional posts curated from the 2014 ABATECHSHOW.  So hang on to your seats, ladies and gentlemen!

  • Cool TECHSHOW Apps
  • Once You Go Mac, You Never Go Back
  • Quickie Tips and Tricks for iPhone and iPad
  • Getting the Most Out of Evernote
  • It’s Social Media, Not Anti-Social Media
  • Practically Perfect Presentations (Or: How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint)
  • You’re Sold on the Cloud – Now What?
  • Cyber Security: Horrifying Stats and Tips for Dropbox Users
  • Making Money: Maximizing the Business Side of Practicing Law
  • Still Pondering Paperless?
  • Crowdsourcing Legal Research with Casetext and Mootus
  • Legal Tech by the Numbers

[All Rights Reserved – Beverly Michaelis 2014]