Articles: eDiscovery and Social Media, 10 Tips for Getting Started with Open Source

Back in April, I had a couple articles published in two different publications.

Social Media and E-Discovery

Truth be told, I had forgotten about this article. I was reminded of it when I got a phone call from a lawyer in Texas. He had read the article and was looking for help in understanding social media for one of his cases.

Published in the April issue of the Texas Bar Journal, its main point is that lawyers need to understand how social media networks operate as social media will increasingly play a role in eDiscovery. Lawyers don’t need to spend hours tweeting or posting to Facebook, but they do need to understand how to setup an account, how posting to Twitter is different from posting to Facebook, LinkedIN, FourSquare or other networks and how the privacy settings vary from network to network. Knowing what is considered private v. public, and how a user has setup his or her account, is increasingly important. The courts have taken notice, so it is important for lawyers to do the same.

Social media isn’t a fad, and it’s time to start looking at it from a more case-specific perspective than the common marketing perspective.

10 Tips for Getting Starting with Open Source Software

Just in time for #abatechshow, in the March/April issue of Law Practice Magazine, I co-authored this article with Dennis Kennedy. Dennis and I have co-authored open source articles before, and this time, we thought it’d be helpful to provide a guide, or stepping stones, to open source. Take-aways, if you will, to coincide with Dennis and Rodney Dowell’s open source presentation at ABA TECHSHOW (PDF).

There are numerous options for open source software, it can sometimes be hard to figure out where to start. So we offered these tips:

  1. Get Familiar with the Philosophy and the Licenses
  2. Know Thyself
  3. Be Savvy about Support
  4. Make Reasonable Comparisons to Commercial Software
  5. Start Small
  6. Go to SourceForge
  7. Utilize Utilities
  8. Do Your Due Diligence
  9. Stay in Charted Territory
  10. Consider Contributing to the Community

It’s really awesome to see open source gain traction in the legal professional as a useful, practical tool instead of a form of intellectual property. And it’s fun to see lawyers realize they don’t need to fully switch to open source but can pick and choose and find the right combination for their offices. Be interesting to see what ABA TECHSHOW has in store for 2012.


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