A Washington State Bar ethics opinion considered whether it was ethical for Washington lawyers to practice law from a virtual law office. In Opinion 201601, the Committee on Professional Ethics (CPE) offered a well-reasoned opinion in favor of allowing lawyers the mobility and convenience of practicing law from a virtual law firm.
The CPE noted at the outset of their opinion that mobile lawyers with virtual law practices were a sign of the changing times: “Increasing costs of doing business, including the costs associated with physical office space, have motivated lawyers to rethink how they deliver legal services. Many lawyers are choosing to do some or all of their work remotely, from home or other remote locations. Advances in the reliability and accessibility of on-line resources, cloud computing, and email services have allowed the development of the virtual law office, in which the lawyer does not maintain a physical office at all. Although this modern business model may appear radically different from the traditional brick and mortar law office model, the underlying principles of an ethical law practice remain the same.”
The CPE also outlined the steps that lawyers must take in order to properly vet their software provider if they are planning to store confidential client data online. As explained in the opinion, factors to be considered include the following:
Lawyers have a duty of general technology competence
Lawyers must thoroughly vet cloud computing vendors to ensure data is stored securely
Lawyers must ensure that there are sufficient data backup procedures in place
The agreement with the vendor should ensure that lawyers area able to retrieve law firm data in a readable format and that it includes breach notification clauses
Because technology can change quickly, lawyers have a continuing duty to monitor and review the adequacy of the vendor’s security procedures.
Importantly, the Committee acknowledged that in 2017, due to technology advancements, including secure online client portals, email is not necessarily the best way for lawyers to communicate with clients, regardless of whether the law firm has a virtual office or a brick and mortar office. Like the American Bar Association (in Formal Opinion 11-459) and the Texas Bar (in Ethics Opinion 648), the Committee warned against using email in some cases: “Lawyers in virtual practices may be more likely to communicate with clients by email. As discussed in WSBA Advisory Opinion 2175 (2008), lawyers may communicate with clients by email. However, if the lawyer believes there is a significant risk that a third party will access the communications, such as when the client is using an employer-provided email account, the lawyer has an obligation to advise the clients of the risks of such communication.”
In other words, regardless of whether your law firm’s practice is a virtual one or not, if you are still communicating with clients using unencrypted email, you may want to re-think that choice. Instead, consider implementing a more secure and ethical alternative by using a client portal (which is often built-in to law practice management software) for confidential communications. Doing so will ensure that your law firm is ethically compliant and that confidential client information remains secure.
The National Indian Law Library (NILL), in partnership with the University of Colorado Law School Indian Law Clinic, is pleased to introduce the new Tribal Courts Bulletin. This new bulletin will feature selected tribal court opinions of value to Indian law practitioners, educators, and students. The Tribal Courts Bulletin will complement the state and federal case bulletins published by NILL since 2001.
To date, the NILL Indian Law Bulletins have focused primarily on federal and state law relating to Native Americans. By adding some of the most important current tribal court opinions, NILL strives to offer a more complete Indian law update service.
“The American Indian Law Clinic is excited to collaborate with NILL for the Indian Law Bulletin, in the spirit of our longstanding relationship with the Native American Rights Fund. Tribal jurisprudence is a vital component of Indian law for lawyers, judges, and students alike, and this bulletin will ensure access to these important legal resources.”
– Carla Fredericks, Director of Colorado Law School’s American Indian Law Clinic and Program
In recent days, many people have shown an interest in making sure that the Wayback Machine (also known as the Internet Archive) has copies of the web pages they care about most. These saved pages can be cited, shared, linked to – and they will continue to exist even after the original page changes or is removed from the web.
There are several ways to save pages and whole sites so that they appear in the Wayback Machine. Here are 6 of them.
Save Page Now
Put a URL into the form, press the button, and the Wayback Machine saves the page. You will instantly have a permanent URL for your page.
At the moment, there are a few exceptions for this method – some sites prohibit crawling, a few have SSL (security) settings that make it break – but this method will work for most pages. The feature saves the page you enter including the images and CSS. It does not save any of the outlinks and cannot be used to initiate a crawl of an entire web site. Wayback Machine will not keep your IP address either, so your submission will remain anonymous.
Install the Wayback Machine Chrome extension in your browser. Go to a page you want to archive, click the icon in your toolbar, and select Save Page Now. Wayback Machine will save the page and give you a permanent URL.
The same provisos from “Save Page Now” apply – there are some pages where it will not work and it only saves one page at a time. One bonus feature to installing the extension versus using the “Save Page Now” feature is that as you surf around and run into a missing page, Wayback Machine will alert you if they have a saved copy.
Wayback Machine also has a Firefox add-on; it will have a “Save Page Now” functionality soon. Wayback Machine is working on a Safari extension as well.
Archive Team is an entirely volunteer driven group who are interested in saving Internet history. Many of the sites and pages they save end up in the Wayback Machine. Visit the Archive Team site to learn more about how to volunteer with them.
Sign up for an Archive-It Account
Archive-It is a subscription service provided by Internet Archive that allows you to run your own crawling projects without any technical expertise. Tell the Internet Archive what to crawl and how often to crawl it, and the Internet Archive will execute the crawl and put the results in the Wayback Machine.
Archive-It is a paid subscription service with technical and web archivist support. This option is most appropriate for organizations that have a mandate to save certain types or categories of web content on a regular basis. If your institution is a current Archive-It partner, contact them for how you can contribute.
End of Term Archive
Every time the US government administration changes, Internet Archive works with partners to make a copy of government-related sites and web presences. The Internet Archive calls it the End of Term Archive. You can help the Internet Archive discover new government sites by using the Nomination Tool to suggest pages or sites. These nominations are added to the crawl and end up in the Wayback Machine.
The Internet Archive has been saving web pages for 20 years. Use one of the methods above to make sure that the Internet Archive has the pages you care about.
The CIA recently announced that its CREST tool is now available online. CREST is an electronic database of records that have been declassified under the CIA’s 25 year program. While the CREST tool only contains a subset of the declassified records, researchers were previously required to visit the National Archives in Maryland to search the database, so the online tool greatly increases the availability of these records.
Almost every day, the news reports alarming statistics on opioid use. In 2015, 229 individuals died from heroin and prescription overdoses in King County alone. The current opioid epidemic is straining the budgets of law enforcement and courts across the country. Now the city of Everett, Washington has come up with a new strategy.
On January 19, Everett filed suit against Purdue Pharma in the Snohomish County Superior Court. While there has been much litigation against drug manufacturers for deceptive marketing practices, this suit is different. It seeks to explicitly hold Purdue accountable for the economic strain the opioid problem has caused in Everett. In the complaint, the city of Everett alleges that Purdue failed to stop their product from being funneled onto the black market, willfully ignoring “suspicious doctors and pharmacies.” The complaint goes on to argue, ” Everett has incurred and will continue to incur sizable costs in dealing with the OxyContin (and consequent heroin) abuse, addiction, and crime caused by Purdue, including the expenditure of substantial sums to address the social and economic impacts of the opioid epidemic in Everett. For example, Everett has spent, and will need to continue to spend, significant money on law enforcement, prosecution, emergency medical services, prisons and jails, probation, and public works. Other departments of Everett, including the municipal courts, fire department, and parks department, have also been forced to devote substantial time, money, and resources to the harms caused by Purdue. Everett has also suffered lost economic opportunity as a result of Purdue’s wrongdoing.” The lawsuit came after a 2016 Los Angeles Times investigation reported that Purdue had evidence of illegal trafficking but failed to act.
But will it work? Most law professors weighing in are skeptical, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out. If the court rules for Everett, we could see a flurry of such suits across the country as cash-strapped municipalities struggle to cover costs.
Read the original version of this article here. Learn more about this lawsuit here.
When you pop open your browser and prepare to do a web search, do you use Google?
There is no argument about Google being a reliable and popular search engine. But if you are interested in one that suits your specific interest, search type, or desire to help others, then check out these awesome seven alternatives.
How Do Search Engines Work?To many people, Google IS the internet. It’s arguably the most important invention since the Internet itself. And while search engines have changed a lot since, the underlying principles are still the same.Read More
For Privacy Concerns
If you are looking for a search engine that cares about your privacy, one of these two options might be just what you need.
When it comes to keeping your personal information safe, DuckDuckGo flies to the top of the search engine list. As their policy states, they do not collect or share your personal details, store your search history, or track you, even when you are using private browsing mode.
Like Google, DuckDuckGo offers categories at the top to narrow down your search, like web, images, or videos. And depending on your search term, those may change from products to recipes to news. The search engine also contains a couple of filters that you can apply.
What you will notice about DuckDuckGo when you first search is that the results page is not paginated. So rather than scrolling a short way and clicking to move to the next page of results, you will see them all on one page with a Load More option. Alternatively, you can jump to specific sections of results that are displayed at the top.
So depending on your search results display preference in relation to your privacy concerns, DuckDuckGo is certainly worth a try.
StartPage by Ixquick is another great choice if privacy is your concern. This search engine protects your privacy by not recording your IP address, has a high SSL encryption score, and has received seals and certifications in the privacy industry.
Since the search results you receive from StartPage come from Google Search, the basic differences are appearance and settings.
With StartPage your filtering options are displayed on the left for timeframe. Your settings can be accessed from the three-line icon on the top right. You can adjust settings for language, theme, search features, results appearance, and privacy.
If you really want to stick with the results you get from Google, but still want to go the more private route with your searches, check out StartPage by Ixquick.
Google does have a nice way to locate multimedia options within search results by clicking that category at the top. But, if you prefer a more concentrated search for images, videos, and sound effects, then look at these specific search type options.
Owned by Google, YouTube is a huge resource for videos of all kinds. But Vimeo has its place in that market too. So you do not have to limit yourself when searching for that instructional, informative, or simply hilarious video clip.
Vimeo offers an easy-to-use interface with a handy sorting feature. You can also narrow down your results with filters for category, upload date, duration, price, and license. And like Google’s YouTube, you can follow other users, like and comment on videos, and save your favorites.
The most noticeable difference between YouTube and Vimeo is the number of results you will receive for your search. YouTube still leads the way, but just remember that Vimeo is a solid option as well.
You can also meet your video search needs with interesting search engines like:
blinkx — Search for videos by keywords and also content (conceptual search).
Bing Video — Search includes YouTube, Yahoo, Vimeo and other video hosting sites.
AOL Video — A powerful search engine which uses its own player for the videos in the results.
When it comes to searching for images, whether for business or pleasure, an important search feature is filtering. Yahoo’s image search does very well in this aspect. To begin, your results will show you many image options from Flickr and the web.
You can then filter your image results by color and size, which is convenient. In addition, you can choose a media type such as photo, GIF, portrait, and clip art and even pick a license option, making it perfect for commercial use.
For finding sound effects for your company or personal use, FindSounds is a terrific search engine. You can filter your results before you even begin your search using the convenient checkboxes and drop-down boxes. Pick your file format, number of channels, minimum resolution, and minimum sample rate.
From animals to vehicles and everything in between, you can easily search by category in addition to entering a search term. And when your results display, you will see just enough details surrounding the sound effect. Then choose between playing the clip or finding similar ones.
Finding sound effects using Google is always an option, but with FindSounds you have a specific sound bite engine for speeding up your search.
If you are not picky when it comes to your search engine choice and simply use Google for convenience, then try an option that helps you give back. These two engines might just make you feel good with every search.
When you use Ecosia for your searches, you can take pride in helping the environment. The company donates at least 80 percent of their monthly profits to plant trees in locations like Peru and Madagascar. Due to Ecosia, over six million trees have been planted as of this writing.
When you use Ecosia for your search engine, you will see a counter at the top showing how many trees you have helped to plant. The company uses their ads to generate the revenue. However, even if you do not click an ad, you are still assisting the company by increasing their user base.
Lilo is another search engine that uses its revenue to assist causes. The company supports environmental, social, health, and educational projects with 50 percent of their advertising revenue. And to take Lilo one step further, the search engine does not collect your personal information or allow for ad-tracking.
Every time you perform a search with Lilo, you earn a drop of water that equals one point and corresponds to the money you are generating. Plus, you can decide which projects you would like to help.
If you like the idea of giving back and would love to assist various projects with a simple search, give Lilo a try.
Will You Keep Using Google or Move On?
Whether it is for privacy, specific searches, or helping charitable causes, there are certainly reasons that these options are better than Google in their missions.
Each February, Americans honor both people and significant events in African-American history during Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month.
Among the myriad reasons Black History Month is important is the under-representation of people of color in standard history classes. For instance, the recently released biographical drama Hidden Figures depicts the story of three female African-American mathematicians who worked at NASA and were integral in getting American astronauts into space. Their names are nowhere near as widely discussed as John Glenn or Neil Armstrong, though their contributions to the space program were arguably as important.
Last year, this HeinOnline blog post discussed key figures in African-American legal history. Since that post was published, the topic of race relations continues to permeate headlines and American culture generally. Consider these 2016 Gallup poll numbers:
53% of adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very good or somewhat good.
46% of adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very bad or somewhat bad.
55% of white adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very good or somewhat good.
44% of white adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very bad or somewhat bad.
49% of black adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very good or somewhat good.
50% of black adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very bad or somewhat bad.
These numbers show that, while Americans are divided fairly evenly on this issue, more Black Americans believe race relations are very bad or somewhat bad than do their white counterparts. It is also important to note that the percentage of both white and black Americans who believe relations between whites and blacks to be very bad was higher in 2015 and 2016 compared with 2013. This chart also shows a decrease in the percentage of both whites and blacks who say relations are very good or somewhat good during this same time period:
These differences may not be significant enough to indicate a long-term downward trend, so future polls will be important in determining this information.
A search in HeinOnline for “race relations” AND “United States” AND “blacks and whites” produces more than 2,200 results from the Law Journal Library and nearly 800 results from U.S. Congressional Documents. Sort the journal results by Volume Date (Newest First) to find material from 2016 back to 1909, which indicates that this topic has been the subject of legal scholarship for more than 100 years.
Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law
In October of 2016, HeinOnline released a new database called Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law. This collection brings together, for the first time, all essential legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. Case coverage extends into the 20th century because long after slavery was ended, there were still court cases based on issues emanating from slavery.
This database was made available at no charge for anyone with an interest in the topic. There were many reasons for the decision to make this a free database, among those being the current racial climate in the United States and the desire to promote educational tools which may potentially help facilitate an open and positive dialogue on this important and sensitive subject.
Books and pamphlets contained within the database have been indexed and categorized for convenient browsing and searching. For example, a search for the phrase “fugitive slave laws” produces more than 200 results. The facets in the left viewing pane enable researchers to refine results by document type, topic, position on slavery, jurisdiction, and more:
Note that terms matching the search phrase are highlighted in yellow within the search result text snippets. Options to print, download, email, or save documents in a MyHein personal research account are available on the right side of each result.
The University of Minnesota library recently launched Umbra Search African American History, a search interface that provides access to over 400,000 digitized materials that document African American history. These are freely available resources that are in the digital collections of more than a thousand partner libraries, archives, museums and other institutions located across the United States. The materials include music, oral histories, photographs, maps, handwritten letters, and more. Director of the project Cecily Marcus says:
“No library is able to digitize all of its holdings, but by bringing together materials from all over the country, Umbra Search allows students and scholars to tell stories that have never been told before. Umbra Search partners have amazing collections, and now those materials can sit side by side with related content from a library on the other side of the country.”
Legal Voice has updated the Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights and Resources for 2016 into 2017. The Handbook is a quick-reference guide covering legal rights, health care, housing, etc. The Handbook answers common questions about the issues seniors are likely to face. The Handbook may also be helpful to the family and caregivers of seniors.
You can find a digital copy of this resource available for free at www.legalvoice.org/handbook. You can also order a copy for $20 from Legal Voice.
You may also view a copy of this resource in the library, available at RES KF 390.A4 H36 (ask for it at the front information desk).
If you were convicted of a felony in a Washington State court, your right to vote is restored automatically once you are no longer under the authority of DOC (in prison or on community custody). If you have questions about your status with DOC, call at (800) 430-9674.
If you were convicted of a felony in another state or in federal court, your right to vote is restored automatically as long as you are not currently incarcerated for that felony.
You do not lose the right to vote for a misdemeanor conviction or a conviction in juvenile court.
You do not need a certificate of discharge (COD) to have your voting rights restored.