Pennsylvania CLE Board Adds Technology Ethics Category

In October 2014, the Pennsylvania CLE Board Website added a new category for lawyer CLE programs called Ethics–Technology (new ETH10). Attorney Shannon Brown requested the additional category in light of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s changes to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct effective November…

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Attorney Brown Receives Cybersecurity Technical Certification

Attorney Shannon Brown passed the new, performance-based, CompTIA Security+™ certification exam on September 16, 2014. CompTIA Security+™ certification provides an industry-recognized method to objectively demonstrate technical skills in computer security, data security, or cybersecurity. The new cybersecurity certification is believed to be a first for an attorney in Pennsylvania. The…

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Cybersecurity Basics for Pennsylvania Law Firms

Most Pennsylvania law firms either misunderstand cybersecurity [computer and network security] or significantly underestimate the threat of data breaches at law firms. Successful “hacks” can result in the loss of client confidential data or even losses of escrow funds. Considering the November 2013 updates to the…

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Recent Interviews by Kiplinger, PBS NewsHour, and California Lawyer

Several national publications recently interviewed Attorney Shannon Brown about emerging technology-law topics such as drone aircraft and cloud computing. Kiplinger and PBS NewsHour interviewed Attorney Shannon Brown about drone aircraft and UAVs. Drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned aircraft) pose a number of risks to communities and individuals from…

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Pennsylvania’s New, Technology-related, Ethics Rule Changes for Lawyers

Fifteen pages of changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct (Rules) went into effect in November 2013. The changes primarily reflect the increased roles of technologies in law practice—both as important lawyering tools and as material to legal matters. Put simply, the Rule changes make express that every attorney…

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Attorney Brown Interviewed for Article on Cloud Computing

California Lawyer Magazine interviewed Attorney Shannon Brown for a forthcoming article on cloud computing issues facing lawyers and focusing on Software as a Service (SaaS) options. Cloud computing vendors heavily promote SaaS options to lawyers. The article will help lawyers to understand sometimes complex…

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Completes Information Security and Neural Networks Courses

Attorney Brown recently completed two online, non-credit courses—Information Security and Risk Management in Context offered by the University of Washington and Neural Networks for Machine Learning offered by the University of Toronto.

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Invited to Present at a National, Legal-Technology-Ethics Program

Attorney Shannon Brown was invited to present on emerging technology-ethics issues for a nationally broadcast ethics program. The program, entitled Legal Ethics and Technology: Complying With Changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, will explore topics such as the ABA 20/20 Commission Model Rule updates related to technology, cloud computing, and encryption.

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Head in “the Clouds” … And Don’t Know It?

Pennsylvania Lawyers Must First Assess Whether the Lawyer Is “In the Cloud” Before Complying with a Lawyer’s “Reasonable Efforts” Ethics Obligation When Using the Cloud

Is your firm using Gmail, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Hotmail, Windows LIVE!, GoogleDocs,

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Decrypting Encryption for Pennsylvania Lawyers: Understanding Encryption Basics Before Considering Cloud Computing

Pennsylvania Lawyers Should Understand the Basics of Common Encryption Algorithms Before Engaging in Cloud Computing

You are considering cloud computing. The cloud provider ad reads:
Your cloud data is protected with military-grade, 256 bit, AES encryption.
“Wow!,” you think. Military grade. Sounds impressive. That must be good [enough]. But ….

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Attorney Brown Continuing Education

In October, Attorney Brown returns to class by taking three, technology-related, non-credit courses:

Introduction to Machine Learning,
Introduction to Databases, and
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.

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Data Backup Basics for Pennsylvania Lawyers

With the recent massive flooding, a hurricane, and an earthquake in Pennsylvania, lawyers may be re-evaluating data backup plans (you DO have a current, data backup plan). This article provides basic information for creating backups for solo or small law firms.

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Navigating the Fog of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing may raise ethical questions. It also requires technical competence. Are you ready?
Published as: Shannon Brown, Navigating the Fog of Cloud Computing, The Pennsylvania Lawyer 18–22 (Sept./Oct. 2011).

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Cloud Computing for Lawyers: Understanding the Difference Between Private and Public Clouds

Not All Clouds Are Alike—Cloud Computing Architectures May Influence Lawyer Duties and Obligations
Cloud computing may pose challenges for the Pennsylvania legal community just as cloud computing poses challenges for any highly regulated profession. “Normal” businesses might be able to jump into cloud computing. For lawyers, however, cloud computing must be carefully analyzed within the context of a lawyers special, regulated duties—especially competence and confidentiality. General purpose cloud computing “solutions” might not recognize or understand the special challenges that lawyers face—and the lawyer, not the cloud computing vendor, pays the penalty for failing to fulfill the duties.

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Navigating the Fog of Cloud Computing: An Unofficial Supplement to The Pennsylvania Lawyer Article

Attorney Brown compiled some of his most recent articles and blog posts related to cloud computing. If you read the recent article, “Navigating the Fog of Cloud Computing” in The Pennsylvania Lawyer, these articles might also be of interest for lawyers.

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Hiatus Explained—Technology & Ethics CLE Pending

For the past few weeks, Attorney Brown took a brief hiatus from blogging and website articles to prepare for a forthcoming Legal Ethics & Technology CLE. Attorney Brown is scheduled to deliver the CLE at the Lancaster Bar Association on September 9, 2011. The CLE will address (as time permits) emerging issues for lawyers related to technology

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Layered Cloud Basics: Awareness of Cascading Issues from Sub-clouding

Layered Clouds for Lawyers: Cascading Issues May Arise When Your Cloud Provider Sources (Sub-clouds) from Another Cloud Provider
As cloud computing continues to pose new challenges for the legal community, an additional complexity, potentially missed by many lawyers, may arise when Cloud Provider A sources (or sub-clouds) services from another cloud provider—Cloud Provider B. Issues with Cloud Provider B may cascade upwards and affect Cloud Provider A (and Cloud Provider A’s subscribers).

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Attorney Brown Attends Sessions of “Cloud Computing: Securely Moving From the Fringes to the Mainstream”

On June 22, 2011, Attorney Brown attended sessions of the online seminar entitled “Cloud Computing: Securely Moving From the Fringes to the Mainstream.” Sessions addressed the technical and business challenges arising from cloud computing

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Attorney Brown Attends VirtualLegalTech

On June 16, 2011, Attorney Brown attended VirtualLegalTech.VirtualLegalTech provides CLE programs on emerging technology issues and updates on technology issues related to law.

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Cloud Nines: Understanding Accessibility Versus Availability in Cloud Computing for Lawyers

Cloud computing, by definition, relies on networks as well as servers, software, and related items. The lawyer, thus, should understand the important distinction between cloud provider promises of service availability (uptime) and network accessibility when considering the use of cloud computing.

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Cloud Computing Article Published in At Issue

At Issue published my article entitled Cloud Computing 101 for Lawyers. The article discusses the basics of cloud computing for lawyers. The topics include defining cloud computing, explaining the common Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) options, and identifying cloud computing issues specific to lawyers.

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Cloud Computing: Who Holds the Encryption Keys? [And Why It May Matter to Lawyers]

General cloud-provider statements simply indicating that the cloud-based data is encrypted might not be adequate protection for a lawyer’s data. The lawyer should also know 1) when the data is encrypted and 2) who holds the encryption key(s). (See my prior article entitled Storing Files in the Cloud: Storage-as-a-Service for Lawyers—Encryption.)

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Storing Files in the Cloud: Storage-as-a-Service for Lawyers—Encryption

For attorneys, special considerations may be appropriate before implementing a STaaS solution especially if storing client data in the cloud. What might an attorney consider before using a Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) such as DropBox, SpiderOak, IronMountain, JungleDisk, or MozyPro? Salient factors may include 1) encryption, 2) functionality, and 3) long-term accessibility. This article addresses encryption.

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Avoiding Being “Bit”ten: Bandwidth Issues With Cloud Computing Backups

As attorneys consider using cloud computing for file backup, the time required to restore files after a disaster may [unpleasantly] surprise a law firm. Backups in cloud storage may take days to download depending on the speed of the internet connection and the amount of data. Anticipating the potential download times, and creating a plan, may help a law firm to avoid unexpected problems should a disaster occur. (And confirms that off-site cloud storage should be combined with local backups to minimize down-time and law firm disruption in the event of a catastrophic data loss.)

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Study Offers Insights into Law Practice Technology

The 2010 Case, Matter, and Practice Management System Software Study provides interesting insights into law practice technologies. The 312 page report widely addresses technology use in law practice. However, three areas particularly intrigue: cloud computing use, OpenOffice word processor use, and overall technology evaluation.

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