May 2010 Archives


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Dropbox is software that links all of your computers together via a single folder. It’s an easy way to back up and sync files between computers.

The Dropbox Desktop Application is software that watches a folder on your desktop computer and syncs any changes to the web and to your other computers.

The Dropbox Website allows you to access your files on any computer from a web browser. You can also use the Dropbox website to share your files or folders with others.

The Dropbox mobile website and Dropbox for mobile devices allow you to connect to your Dropbox from your pocket, so you can take your files with you wherever you go.

Transferring data between computers usually requires uploading via web forms, connecting to network drives, carrying around thumb drives, or sending emails with attachments to yourself and others. Dropbox makes all of these methods obsolete.

The free download provides 2 GB of usable space. Additional space is available for $9.99 (50GB) and $19.99 (100GB) per month.

Windows, Mac and Linux compatible.

All files stored on Dropbox servers are encrypted (AES-256) and are inaccessible without your account password. Public files are only viewable by people who have a link to the file(s). Public folders are not browsable or searchable

Legal Clips-School Law

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Legal Clips

Legal Clips, a service of the National School Boards Association Office of General Counsel has a new home. You may now subscribe to Legal Clips in a variety of ways:

1. Simply visit the new Legal Clips website:
2. Subscribe to the new Legal Clips RSS feed:
3. Subscribe to their new e-newsletter. (Legal Clips is switching to a new e-newsletter service next week. New subscriptions have been suspended until then. Check back in June!)

This free service provides thousands of subscribers with weekly updates on important and interesting school law issues, as well as helpful resources. Anyone may subscribe. Your input is both welcome and encouraged. They hope this new website will become an interactive community generating vibrant and meaningful discussions on school law issues. You can post comments on the new website, or simply follow them on Twitter @legalclips.

GroupEsq Beta-Group Buying Power for Attorneys

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GroupESQ - Group Buying Power For Attorneys. Find great deals for attorneys offered by companies that want to sell to large groups of attorneys.

GroupESQ groups individual lawyer purchases to get a volume discount. The website went live last Tuesday, its CEO, Steven Choi, tells the ABA Journal. Six days later, six deals were offered by vendors ranging from a CLE provider to an alternative dispute resolution service to a litigation support company.

The the GroupESQ service is offered by legal social networking site LawLink, Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites reports. “Anyone who has ever shopped at a warehouse discount store knows that buying in bulk can save you money,” the LawSites story says. “A new website extends that concept to lawyers.”

Kennedy-Mighell Report: Outsourcing Your Office Suite

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Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk about the merits of
moving your productivity applications to the cloud, and whether Google Docs
is the right tool, in the latest episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report.
Titled "Outsourcing Your Office Suite", They discuss whether online office
suites might play a bigger role in the future of law firm technology. Give
it a listen.

Statement of IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman on the Filing Deadline for Small Charities

Now that the May 17 filing deadline has passed, it appears that many small tax-exempt organizations have not filed the required information return in time. These organizations are vital to communities across the United States, and I understand their concerns about possibly losing their tax-exempt status.

The IRS has conducted an unprecedented outreach effort in the tax-exempt sector on the 2006 law’s new filing requirements, but many of these smaller organizations are just now learning of the May 17 deadline. I want to reassure these small organizations that the IRS will do what it can to help them avoid losing their tax-exempt status.

The IRS will be providing additional guidance in the near future on how it will help these organizations maintain their important tax-exempt status — even if they missed the May 17 deadline. The guidance will offer relief to these small organizations and provide them with the opportunity to keep their critical tax-exempt status intact.

So I urge these organizations to go ahead and file â€” even though the May 17 deadline has passed.

Filing a tax return for the small organizations is easier than you’d think. It just takes a few minutes to fill out the electronic notice Form 990-N (e-Postcard). This is available for small tax-exempt organizations with annual receipts of $25,000 or less.

Related Information:

For access to the e-Postcard and further details, see Annual Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Exempt Organizations, Form 990-N (e-Postcard).


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: May 18, 2010

Solo/Small Firm Resource Center

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As a solo/small firm attorney it can feel like it is you against the world - but the NYSBA Web site offers a robust collection of resources to help you level the playing field.

You might be a David in a world of Goliaths but the Solo/Small Firm Resource Center will surely be more than just a pebble in your slingshot.

Among the resources available are:

Checklist for Purchase of Professional Liability Insurance (PDF)

Sample Intake Sheet (PDF)

Statements of Client's Rights and Responsibilities

Sample E-Mail Policy (PDF)

Sample Engagement Letters

Sample Non-Engagement Letter (PDF)

Sample Termination Letter (PDF)

In addition, there are free downloads of computer help guides, business continuity plans, and chapters of Carolyn Elefant's Solo By Choice. Don't miss opportunities to connect electronically with others in your practice setting, comprehensive legal links, marketing tips and more.


Courtesy of Gary Munneke, Chair, Law Practice Management Committee, NYSBA T-News

Review: Travels with my iPad

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Deborah Ausburn <>

Well, I am finally back home after my 10-day trip with my iPad, and thought I would report to the group. There are some things I missed not having, but overall, losing the weight of the laptop in my briefcase outweighed all of that.

I left home two weekends ago, and decided to go cold turkey and leave my laptop at home. I did bring my wireless keyboard, just in case, and I bought a $2 business card stand at Office Depot that works fine to hold the iPad. I haven't decided what sort of permanent set-up I want, so decided to go cheap on this trip. Also, I packed the keyboard & stand in my rolling bag, so I don't count them as weight in my briefcase.

I also had to bring my iPod, since I didn't get my music library transferred to my work computer (which I am using to the sync the iPad) before I left. Or, as my paralegal said, "Debbie, you are taking a iPhone, an iPad, AND an iPod? Isn't there a support group somewhere for that addiction?"

Going through TSA was a breeze (comparatively speaking) as I was able to leave the iPad in my briefcase. I am glad that I waited for the 3G model, because the $30 AT&T charge was less than the cumulative total of WiFi at the 3 airports and 3 hotels I was in during this trip. I did notice that the AT&T TOS require me to go back and cancel my subscription before the end of the 30 days, or it will automatically renew.

In transit, I thoroughly enjoyed using the iPad to answer emails and review documents. It was much easier to pull out of my briefcase and use than my laptop. Many times, I have found myself reaching for a magazine than dealing with the hassle of setting up my laptop, particularly on airplanes. The iPad, on the other hand, was extremely easy. The keyboard (see discussion below) is limited, but I still was more productive than I have been recently with my laptop.

Early in the week, I got a call from one of my partners, who had been talking to me for a couple of weeks about a pending dispute. Well, as soon as I got out of town, of course, everything started heating up & I had to draft a complaint & motion for TRO for him to file. He's not a litigator, so I needed to draft everything, and email it to him and my paralegal for filing. Pages worked fine, although it's so stripped-down that I cannot recommend it for much beyond basic text. It couldn't handle our firm stationery, for example, and screwed up the automatic numbering in the go-by complaint that I pulled off the cloud. But, it did the job that I needed in a pinch.

Fortunately, I make it a habit to keep documents on my MobileMe iDisk, and was able to use the iDisk app to pull down the contract & other documents at issue. The iDisk app is not yet optimized for iPad, but the iPhone 2x is not too terrible. Most important, it worked, in conjunction with GoodReader. I used GoodReader a lot to pull down documents from my iDisk that I needed to review, both on that and other cases.

iAnnotate was useless for documents that I had forgotten (or didn't know) to sync before I left. I was able to open stuff from my DropBox in iAnnotate, but only GoodReader could pull directly from my iDisk. I also like GoodReader's ability to create folders to organize the PDFs.

Docs to Go was not helpful, mainly because of its inability to pull stuff from my iDisk. I could email something from my iDisk to myself, and then pull it into Docs to Go or Pages, but Docs to Go just isn't yet flexible enough on the iPad to make is useful. Pages works better, at least so far.

Neither Pages nor Docs to Go can handle the new docx format reliably. A couple of times, I had to get my paralegal to convert something to PDF & email it to me so I could review it. If I had needed to revise it, I guess I would have had to get her to drop it back a version to the doc format. That docx problem was a real pain.

In the seminar at the end of the week, I discovered the iPad version of OmniGraffle. We were doing some mind-mapping, and were supposed to be using their proprietary Windows-only software. Of course, since I didn't have my laptop, I didn't have the software. But, with OmniGraffle, I was able to do essentially the same thing and keep up with the class. Eventually, I will have to buy their software, if I want to continue to use the protocol, but for now OmniGraffle will fill the void while I decide if I want to invest more $$ in the proprietary technique.

And, let me say again, I am glad that I had my keyboard with me. The iPad keyboard works fine, but it's impossible to work on it as fast as a full-size keyboard. Also, I need the keyboard flat, but the screen upright, in order to be fully efficient. When I was in transit (ie., airplane & Amtrak), the iPad keyboard was fine. When I was stationary, however, in hotels and conference rooms, the keyboard/biz card stand was essential.

I will be watching the reviews on the clamshell case, and scrutinizing the weight. The main advantage of carrying my keyboard & biz card stand is that I don't have to put those in my briefcase. A clamshell, on the other hand, would neutralize much of the weight advantage that I like. So I may end up with the McAlly case & separate keyboard.

I also experienced the same thing that several of you have mentioned -- being approached by strangers wanting to look at the iPad. It's a better ice-breaker than walking a cute puppy.

All in all, I'm happy with my iPad. I'm much more productive on transit, simply because it's so easy to pull out and use. If I had a brief to write while on the road, I would bring my laptop. But for everything else, my iPad has done all I needed it to do.


Debbie Ausburn
Attorney at Law, Atlanta, GA

P.S.: The iPad also salvaged the very end of my trip. Somewhere between standing up to get off the airplane and stopping in the airport restroom, my iPhone fell out of my pocket. While the very nice maintenance person checked the plane for me, I used the iPad to activate the "find my iPhone" feature. It showed up as not on the network, and the maintenance guy didn't see it on the plane, so I never was able to find the phone. But I triggered a "wipe all data," in case it ever was activated. I then turned my attention to communicating with my husband (a) that I had gotten an earlier flight, and (b) where I would be waiting. Using the App Store on my iPad, I found TextPlus, a free app that allowed me to text him with all the details he needed to know. I guess I could have done that if I had had only my laptop, but it certainly was far easier with the iPad.

Sent from my iPad

Skype: Screen Sharing

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Screen sharing - share your desktop using Skype

Share your desktop with friends – for free.

Sometimes trying to explain what you are seeing on your screen to someone on a call just doesn’t work. With screen sharing you can easily show exactly what you are looking at by simply calling your Skype contact and sharing all or part of your desktop.

How screen sharing works:

To share your screen simply call a contact and in the conversations window click Share > Share Your Screen in the IM toolbar (in Windows) or Share > Share Screen (on a Mac). You can even select if you want to share your full screen or just a part of it.

The person you are sharing your screen with can see your screen in full screen mode. And best of all, you can continue talking via Skype whilst you share your screen.

You’ll need the latest versions of Skype for Windows and Skype for Mac OS X to use screen sharing.

MASHABLE: Skype Group Video Calling Now Available for PCs

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Skype Group Video Calling Now Available for PCs

Skype group video calling is here. The company has just released a new version of their desktop software that supports five-way video calls.

At launch, this beta version of Skype is free to download and use for PC users. Later in the year the company will release a Mac-friendly version. Once the kinks are all worked out — and the company admits that there will be bugs — Skype will also release the official updated version.

Hat Tip to Mashable--
For more technology coverage, follow Mashable Tech on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

Google Scholar Adds E-mail Alerts

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The email alerts feature looks like an excellent addition to Google Scholar.

Click the "Legal Opinions..." radio button) for one of the best free sources online for searching case law.

See: Netforlawyers: Google Scholar Adds E-mail Alerts

Starting a Nonprofit Organization in New York

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Starting a Nonprofit Organization in New York - New York Small Business Law
Nonprofits are businesses that made it their mission to give away all of their profits to a particular cause, rather than enrich the owners of the business.

Starting a nonprofit organization is in many ways like starting any other small business in New York. But there are additional steps required in order to get the desired status of "tax exempt" from the IRS,which means that the organization does not have to pay taxes on any of its income.

Here are some good links to get you started:

The Things you Gotta do to Start a Nonprofit Organization, by the Nonprofit Coordinating Commitee of NewYork;

Exemption Requirements by the IRS; and

A step by step Application Process by the IRS.

Another practical post from Imke Ratschko's New York Small Business Law

Follow Atty. Ratschko on Twitter.

NETFLIX: Kavanagh Q.C. and Rumpole

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Netflix: Search Results

John Thaw trades his detective badge for a barrister's powdered wig in this British courtroom drama series. The courtroom scenes are expertly written and the locations in British Courtrooms are fascinating; i.e., not just the "old Bailey"; but also, provincial criminal courts, Family Court, Admiralty court; a military tribunal, and a Church of England court for a defrocking hearing.

If you are not yet enjoying Netflix, this is your chance. I wasn't interested in the movies; but the vintage US TV shows and British mystery and legal shows are great alternatives to the latest reality trash.

Our old friend Horace Rumpole is here, with all of his episodes, which can be be watched in chronological order.

The Master List of New Windows 7 Shortcuts

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The Master List of New Windows 7 Shortcuts - Windows - Lifehacker

Windows 7 adds loads of great shortcuts for switching between apps, moving windows around your screen, moving them to another monitor altogether, and much more. Here's Lifehacker's quick-reference master list of the best new Windows 7 shortcuts.

Duke Law hosts conference on litigation in federal courts, May 10-11

Duke Law School will host a unique conference on civil litigation in federal courts May 10-11. Sponsored and organized by the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, the conference will bring together more than 180 federal judges, practitioners, and academics to undertake a comprehensive examination of issues of access, fairness, cost, and delay in the civil litigation process.

The 2010 Civil Litigation Conference will feature new data from several empirical studies on current litigation practice and proposals for improving civil litigation in the federal trial courts. In particular, data on actual litigation costs incurred by law firms and major corporations will be available for careful analysis.

“Much of the data to be presented at the conference has not been available before,” said Judge John G. Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a Civil Rules Committee member and conference organizer. “This will be important new information on what is actually happening in different practice areas.” Among the topics to be discussed are the cost of litigation and recent Supreme Court decisions that have focused attention on pleading standards and discovery.

“This conference hopes to build on the legacy of the 1976 Roscoe Pound Conference and all it contributed to the reform of the administration and delivery of justice in the federal system, as well as on the 1997 Boston College of Law Conference on Discovery,” said Judge Mark Kravitz of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, chair of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

Proceedings will be streamed live at and at Conference registration is closed.

Suit Over Legal Aid Advances in New York

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Suit Challenging New York’s Public Defense System Can Proceed -

Published: May 6, 2010

New York’s highest court ruled Thursday that a broad class-action suit challenging the state’s system of providing public defenders can move forward because there are enough signs that the system is failing poor people.

The 4-to-3 ruling by the State Court of Appeals came in a closely watched suit that civil liberties lawyers said could be a model for similar challenges across the country. It also set the stage for a sweeping battle in the courts and perhaps the Legislature.

Written by the state’s chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, the ruling said the suit, which had been bitterly opposed by the state, could proceed because it posed fundamental questions about the fairness of the criminal justice system.

The Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association cordially invites you to attend a Court Session of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Admissions Ceremony and Reception. For all those who are not yet admitted to the Second Circuit, the FCBA invites you to apply for admission and participate in the Admissions Ceremony.

On Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 10:00 a.m., the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will convene a Court session in the James T. Foley United States Courthouse in Albany, New York. Following the Court’s Session, at approximately 11:15 a.m., there will be an Admission Ceremony to admit attorneys to the bar of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. FCBA President Bartle Gorman will move for admission of all applicants who have been approved for admission by the Court.

The guest speaker will be E. Stewart Jones. A reception for all newly admitted attorneys and their guests will immediately follow the Admission Ceremony.

Admission applications can be obtained from the Court’s Internet site, or by contacting the Clerk of Court, Catherine O’Hagen Wolfe at 212-857-8500.

Interested attorneys should forward completed admission applications to John M. Domurad, Chief Deputy of the Northern District of New York, 445 Broadway, Room 509, Albany, New York (518-257-1800) no later than Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

Committee on Lawyers in Transition

2010 Career Development Series - Session Three

Opening Your Own Firm:
The Things They Never Told You and What You Forgot To Ask

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
(Eastern Time)

Many great programs and books are available on the basic requirements for starting a solo or small law practice. Still, all experienced solo or small firm lawyers have lists of questions they wish they had asked, or things they never realized were important, until several years after opening their firms.

A panel of solo and small firm lawyers who successfully opened and maintain their practices will share what they learned "the hard way" with tips that will help smooth the way to getting your practice off to a good start.

Register online

The program is free to all attorneys, but pre-registration is required. Materials will be forwarded to all registrants, along with the web access code and link to view the program. The program will be broadcast live from Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP, Office of Committee Chair, Lauren J. Wachtler, Esq. If you are in the New York City area, and would like to attend the live session in person, use the online registration link.

If you are unable to participate in the LIVE webcast, the recorded archive will be available online and posted at the Committee's website at

Opera 10.52

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Many people may know about the merits of the Opera browser, but this new release may offer long-time users and neophytes additional cause for pause. Beyond the usual features people have come to expect (i.e. tabbed browsing, mouse-over previews), Opera offers a new range of desktop widgets, file sharing utilities, and full-text searching from the address field. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.3 and newer, Windows 2000 or newer, and Linux. [KMG]

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010.

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