The world of Legal Technology has had its share of ups and downs in 2006, with companies spying on their boards, the treasury department spying on money transfers, and the government spying on, well, everyone! With all the spying going on, data security was certainly on everyone's mind in 2006, and several key stories arose out of the inability of companies and government agencies to protect their customer and employee data. The new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure also added to the mix with new requirements for companies and other potential litigants to keep in mind as they generate gigabytes and gigabytes of information every day.
We've assembled some of the top issues in the networking and storage sphere that ran in the Legal Technology Center over the course of the past year, and we offer them up so that you can relive the highs and lows that were 2006.
- Adobe's Document Center Offers Hosted Security Solutions for Legal Professionals
Adobe has made a point of reaching out to legal professionals and other knowledge workers with its recent release of Acrobat 8. Now the company is offering a new, hosted document service that also aims to provide useful features for professionals who need to control access to important electronic documents.
- Boardroom Hijinks May Lead to Serious Liability
Two days ago, on September 12, Hewlett-Packard's ("HP") non-executive Chair, Patricia Dunn, resigned -- amid news stories claiming she used subterfuge to gain access to the phone records of board members and journalists, in an effort to root out a suspected boardroom snitch.
- 9th Circuit Defends Digital Research Expenses
In a decision handed down on August 30 (Trs. of the Constr. Indus. & Laborers Health & Welfare Trust v. Redland Ins. Co.), a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals awarded litigation expenses for computer-based legal research to plaintiffs in the case. This decision puts the 9th Circuit and others in conflict with the 8th Circuit, which could result in an eventual review of the issue by the U.S. Supreme Court.
- California Bill Requires Wireless Warnings
California residents might not be able to access their neighbor's wireless network for much longer. A bill that passed the California State Assembly on August 29 will require wireless manufacturers to give consumers instructions on how to secure their wireless networks.
- Business Lessons from AOL's Search Data Mishap
Recently, America Online voluntarily released three months of search queries by nearly 700,000 AOL users for educational and research purposes. For a short time, this data, consisting of queries, identification numbers, time of query and click URLs, was posted on a public portion of AOL's site. It has since been reposted, analyzed, and discussed on many Internet sites.
- The Legality of Web "Blacklists"
The controversial website LitiPages.com has created a list of patients who have filed medical malpractice cases, and of those patients' attorneys. Litipages.com encourages physicians to avoid treating listed patients - at least when it comes to "elective" procedures. It also encourages patients who've lost their cases to sue their attorneys.
- A Fourteen-Year-Old Girl's Suit Against MySpace
A fourteen-year-old girl has just sued MySpace, a popular social networking site where people can meet in cyberspace and exchange profiles. Allegedly, nineteen-year-old Texan Pete Solis lied in his profile about being a high school senior on a football team to gain a minor's trust. The girl alleges that after she had contact with Solis on the site, he asked for her cellphone number, she gave it to him, they met up in person, and he sexually assaulted her.
- The Stored Communication Act: New Considerations for Webmasters
CIOs, webmasters and managers responsible for establishing and administering policies for websites, intranets and extranets should take note of a recent federal decision regarding the Stored Communications Act. The details of your online use policies could mean the difference between protection or exclusion from this federal law.