TechTips: DSL and Digital Document Presentation Ideas

In the legal world, technology is not usually the area where attorneys feel very comfortable. Technology can often be an extremely frustrating roadblock, or it can help you be a more effective lawyer. Learn more about two issues that often arise for attorneys: how to deal with a DSL connection that's not working and where to begin with document presentation software.

DSL and Virus Solutions

Dear IT Guy, about 3 weeks ago, all three of the computers on my home network slowed down to a crawl. I called my DSL provider and they said the DSL line was connected at a good speed. My network is set up with a firewall that has eight switch ports which has a wireless access point built in. Could the problem be in the wireless setup? I am a paralegal who does a lot of legal research from home. Please help.

Dear Periled Paralegal, most likely your problem is virus related. Many viruses can bring down a LAN by sending out a flood of packets over the network. This is known as "SYN flooding." I suspect you have acquired a virus, and my suggestion is to update your virus protection as soon as possible.

Two recent viruses use ports 445 and 137 to send out unmanageable levels of packet traffic. You could also block this virus packet activity from going out to the Internet by closing these outgoing ports on your Firewall, which hopefully will cease once you rid yourself of the virus(es). A good free virus scanning product that would allow you to do a quick scan is House Call by Trend Micro.

Document Presentation Software

Dear IT Guy, as an attorney in a small three counsel office, I have recently been in two depositions where the opposing attorney used a projecting program to bring up documents. I have been impressed with this ability to organize, project and present information professionally. I've looked at a few programs and I have experience with PowerPoint, but thought I would write to see if you have any thoughts about this type of software.

My experience is with two products. The first is a fairly comprehensive product from FTI Consulting called TrialMaxTM, which can be shared over a network to collaborate on building the case into a searchable repository of documents and media that can be taken into trial and depositions for professional presentation. Similar to most other systems, you will need all of your items imported in a digital format.

This will require you to be very well-organized. The presentation tools are plentiful and can easily be grasped in a short tutorial. One of the most useful features due out in the next TrialMaxTM version is the ability to display to a projector while working on the next item for display on the monitor. This is already a feature that makes the Visionary 7 product quite strong. With comparable tools and the ability to manage and display imported data, Visionary Legal Technologies offers a solid product.

Technology changes quickly. For a more up to date discussion on this topic, please visit the Legal Software section at FindLaw’s Technologist blog.