Category Archives: Technology

The ADA and the Internet

Most employers and business owners are generally aware of the requirements set forth by the ADA to accommodate accessibility to buildings and facilities by individuals with disabilities. These guidelines may impact the type of material used or the design of entrances, doorways and the like. However, how many business owners understand that these regulations also govern the Internet? The advancement of technology continues to make it easier for consumers to purchase goods and services without venturing outside. While websites allow companies to market to more consumers, the use of Internet services also expose employers and business owners to liability of the site isn't compliant with the ADA. The Southern District of Florida addressed this issue in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.

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Liability for Inadvertent Metadata Disclosure

In the modern practice of law, attorneys are expected to be familiar with discovery of electronically stored information. Often this involves the production of files in their native format, which preserves metadata such as the document author, dates of creation and alterations, and where the document was stored. Production of electronic information thus facilitates document review, but also could lead to the disclosure of information that is beyond the scope of permissible discovery.

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The Ethical Obligation of Technological Competence

Competence is essential to a successful practice. Competence requires that professionals develop the skill set and knowledge base to meet their clients’ needs and keep up with changes in their practice area. In the modern age, remaining competent also entails that professionals understand and incorporate new technology into their practice. Utilizing new technologies helps to expand professional capabilities, promotes efficiency, and enables professionals to remain competitive. But keeping up to date with technology is not simply good advice for professionals who want to get ahead – it may also be an ethical obligation.

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Too Reliant Upon Technology?

Recent technological advances have rapidly changed the way professionals operate. Professionals are no longer tied to their offices, have myriad resources at their fingertips to research new issues and handle new tasks, and are able to reach new clients through social media. In general, these advances allow professionals to work more efficiently, increase their output, and broaden their professional footprint. However, professionals must tread cautiously when they employ technologies that do not merely assist with professional services, but actually supplant the professional’s role.

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Photographs at Depositions?

Depositions generally involve a series of questions and answers between the deponent and counsel. At times, however, counsel may want to use the deposition as an opportunity to have the witness demonstrate a task or record physical characteristics of a witness. Conveniently, nearly all attorneys now carry a camera in their pocket, in the form of their mobile device. When capturing images or video during depositions, counsel must be careful not to violate a right to privacy, or cast them in an offensive manner.

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Pitfalls of E-Signatures

Many professionals are transitioning from paper to electronic files. As a result, professionals tend to rely more heavily on electronic signatures. However, professionals must be cautious that e-signature technology does not violate any requirement to maintain traditional signatures with official filings.

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Wearable Tech: This Season’s Hottest Litigation Accessory?

We appear to be in the midst of a new fitness renaissance. Trendy fitness programs such as CrossFit, Zumba and SoulCycle dominate social media mentions, while many others stick with tried and true exercise favorites such as running, swimming, biking, yoga, or a gym membership. Workouts and personal records are celebrated on people’s blogs, Facebook pages, and Instagram accounts. The apparent surge in fitness enthusiasm has brought with it a flood of new products designed to take advantage of the market; perhaps none more ubiquitous than wearable fitness trackers, such as those made by FitBit, Nike, Garmin and Samsung. These devices – which can track an astounding array of data, from heart rate to blood sugar to steps taken in a day – are an excellent resource for any fitness enthusiast, or anyone looking to create a healthier lifestyle. However, the demand for wearable tech designed to track our vital information may also prove crucially important to the manner in which we collect information to be used in litigation.

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Lamar Odom & HIPAA: A Kardashian Takeaway for Employers

Reality television fans and others were saddened recently when news of a Kardashian family member’s overdose hit the news. Lamar Odom, sometime beau of Khloe Kardashian, was hospitalized after the incident, and his privacy was reportedly violated when staffers at the medical center where he was treated took pictures of him. The staffers were immediately fired due to this conduct. Lamar’s plight contains a teachable lesson for those employers who must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of personal health information (PHI).

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Ethics on the Cloud

Recent developments in cloud-based computing have enabled professionals to perform an increasing amount of work remotely. Because professionals are no longer tied to the office, they are able to work more efficiently and better serve their clients. However, the use of third-party technology companies to store confidential client data raises several ethics concerns regarding the professional-client relationship.

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Tech Talk : Conflicts of Interest in Patent Law

Conflicts of interest are always a potential pitfall in the realm of attorney malpractice. The issue becomes even more complicated when tech-based clients enter the scene. What happens when two tech clients who are not directly adverse, but instead are potential competitors, both approach you for assistance?

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