One of my favorite blogs is iPhone J.D. It’s the place to turn to for all things Apple, related to the use of the iPhone and iPad by lawyers. Their recent blog post, “Apple Releases iOS 6.1″ covers every change in the update, with clear screen shots and explanations. It’s everything you want to know, and more, clearly written.
On Friday, May 11, 2012, I’ll be presenting two seminars for the members of the Lebanon County Bar Association. I’m really looking forward to presenting their first live CLE, as well as doing it in such an historical venue. From 11:00 am to noon I’ll be presenting “Records Management” and from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm I’ll be presenting “Disaster Prevention and Recovery”. Both are fast-paced and enjoyable seminars which qualify for 1.0 ethics credit each.
Right now registration numbers are moderate, so I’m hoping that if you’ve wanted to hear one of these seminars before but couldn’t make it when I appeared in your county, you’ll take advantage of close proximity and head over to Lebanon County.
The location is the award-winning historic Inn 422, which is a victorian-era-estate bed and breakfast. The inn-keepers have recorded the history on the Inn’s web site, and it is fascinating. Here’s a hint: it involves one of the wealthiest families in colonial-era America, a past president, forbidden love, and a suicide. Intrigued? I am too, but I hope not to have any encounters with the alleged ghost.
The pictures of the Inn indicate I’m in for a real feast for the eyes.
Hope to see you there!
My partner, Jennifer Ellis, has just posted instructions on her blog about how to get rid of your Google web search and YouTube histories before the March 1, 2012 account consolidation deadline. You can read about it here.
Me and my partner, Jennifer Ellis, just returned from presenting numerous seminars at The Paralegal Institute and The Law Practice Management and Development Institute, both of which were held at the beautiful Lancaster Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. I presented, among others, a session on Word for Paralegals, and Word for Attorneys, respectively, at each institute. I ran into a frustrating and embarassing problem when demonstrating Outline Numbering in Word. I promised those who attended I would get to the bottom of the problem and post the resolution on my blog. I am making good on that promise with this post.
While still at the conference, I contacted our Microsoft trainer, Judith Kraft, to see if she had a solution. Judy’s suggestion was worth noting, however it was not the cause of the problem I experienced at the conference. I had already detected that a Microsoft Word default setting was, ahem, wrong, and fixed it. But it’s likely that you haven’t, so you will want to check this first, before you attempt to follow my instructions.
It seems that by default the automatic numbered lists check box might not be checked in the Autocorrect section. To get there: Click the Office button / select Word Options in bottom right / Proofing / Autocorrect / make sure that “autoformat as you type” is checked. If not, click in the box to turn it on. The default is NOT turned on in the 2007 and 2010 versions out of the box.
Ok, but as I said, that isn’t what was causing the pesky problem during the demonstration. Then I remembered that when I last suffered a similar embarassment, it was demonstrating the exact same feature in Word 2003. And I further recalled having the problem as far back as Word 2000, when I first encountered it.
The resolution at the time was to accept the fact that the one outline numbering format/style which seemed to be the most popular and appropriate with/for attorneys was in fact the only one which was buggy. It just doesn’t work. Could it be that all these years later, the problem had not yet been fixed? Inplausible. Impossible. Yet, unbelievably, absolutely true!!
Since every outline style is completely customizable — one of the reasons for the demonstration — I decided to prove the hypothesis by using a different style, and making it look like the other one. In doing so, I also discovered yet another shortcut which you will find makes it even better and easier to do this. Here are the steps I performed:
- From the HOME tab, click on the Multi-level List Icon (the main icon, not the pull-down arrow next to it).
- When the menu opens, I noted that “None” was selected. I immediately scrolled down to the bottom section of the dialog box and selected “Define New Multilevel List”.
- I clicked on Level 1 to modify in the top-left box.
- I went to “Number style for this Level” and clicked on the down arrow, and selected “I, II, III” for roman numerals.
- I went into “Enter formatting for number box” immediately above. I removed the right parentheses and replaced it with a period. [Remember, you format this the way you want. Just because I choose to put in or take out a parentheses or period, doesn’t mean you have to do the same. You format each level how you want.]
- I clicked on “Font” immediately to the right. I picked the font I normally use for default, since it’s pretty likely it will match whatever document I use it in. While you are in there, you should notice whether your font color says “No Color” and if so, change it to “Automatic”. [If you want your numbers to stand out, you can pick whatever other color you want.] I also chose to make the numbering Bold. I also noticed that all of the “Effects” were shaded. Just to make sure there were no errors, I purposely checked, and then unchecked each, so no special effects would be inadvertently applied. [Remember, if you do this right, you won’t have to do it again, so take the time to do it right.]
- You’ll note that if you use the up and down arrows, by default the increments will change in 6 pt increments. But you can just select (click and drag over) the number and type in anything you want. If you’re using 10 pt for your font, then putting a 10 pt space after your paragraph will give you the equivalent of one blank line. If you’re using a 12 pt font, then you’ll want to space 12 pt after the paragraph for the proportionate blank line. And so forth.
- When you correctly include the extra space within the paragraph, you’ll discover that when you move things around you won’t wind up with blank paragraphs (your extra blank lines) getting numbered in error, and having to turn numbering on and off manually. Again, your current technique may look like it’s working, but it’s actually putting errors in your document side-stream which can eventually cause it to corrupt. By building the space into the paragraph, Word intelligently selects the paragraph with the extra space, and moves them together without causing numbering errors.
[Note: some of you may not know about intelligent selection. If you put your mouse in the gutter to the left of any paragraph you want to select – you’ll see an arrow instead of the blinking cursor -- and double-click, Word will intelligently select the paragraph in entirety, including any spacing before or after, and including what looks like multiple paragraphs thanks to soft returns.]
SAVE YOUR DOCUMENT. Even if you’ve tested the outline with total gibberish for text, it doesn’t matter. As long as you’ve got all nine levels on there and looking as you want, and the spacing between paragraphs just as you want, give it a name and save it. Why? My next post will tell you how to make a style out of the outline in this document, so you never have to do this again. Ever. You’ll only have to turn on the style, and it will be perfect every time. So stay tuned!
I know it’s a dangerous world for computing “out there,” but it might be a lot worse than I thought. Computer security has long been a topic of concern for me. You may want to review some past posts including:
Improving Computing Security with Stronger Passwords
Disposable Email Addresses
Who Uses iPad? Has AT&T’s Security Breach Left Them Vulnerable?
Another Attorney Trust Account Hit By Online Fraud
A Dangerous New Worm Affecting Apple iPhone and iPod
Online Banking and the Next Generation of Trojans
Malicious Web Sites Increasing Your Security Risk Exposure
Another Huge Security Breach
How to Avoid Dangerous Web Sites
More on Socially Engineered Viruses
Safeguarding Confidential Information
Trojan Infects 260,00 Android Devices
and many more, which can all be found under the Security category of this blog. These are just a sampling of the posts which have appeared on this topic regularly, all the way back to 2005, when the blog got started.
My June issue of ABA Journal Law News Now — yes, I am behind in my reading — contained a link to a news article entitled “Hackers Breached 90% of US Companies Surveyed in Past 12 Months” which immediately compelled me to click on the link. It’s a very short story, which you can easily read for yourself, but the bottom line is that 90 percent of 583 U.S. companies surveyed said their companies’ computers were breached at least once by hackers within the past year. Some reported two or more breaches.
The article concludes, as do I, that it’s really not a question of IF your firm will experience a data breach at some point, but rather WHEN your firm will experience the breach. This is no different than the line that many of my colleagues and I use when talking about the need for complete computer backup every single day — it’s not a question of IF your hard drive will fail or a document will become corrupted, it’s a question of WHEN. It’s an eventuality you can’t afford to ignore or avoid preparing for and safeguarding against.
Lawyers are bound by ethical rules to safeguard client property, which includes confidential documents and other information. Just because your firm has anti-virus software and a firewall, and backs up faithfully every night, doesn’t mean your worries are over. There was a time when that would have been a sufficient standard to meet to protect yourself from possible disciplinary action, or a malpractice suit, in the event of a data breach. But the standard has continued to move upward as the threat level has escalated.
Let me pose a few questions, and you can judge how well you’re able to answer them.
- Does everyone in the firm need to use a password to log onto their computer?
- Are computers left on at the end of the day — say for remote logon, or just because someone forgot — set up to use a screen saver and a screen saver password?
- Are laptops equipped with boot passwords?
- Are Smartphones in use by the firm’s lawyers set up with passwords?
- Did a professional install your firm’s internet router, and confirm they changed the manufacturer’s default password upon installation?
- Does your firm have a written internet and computer-use policy?
- Does your firm regularly remind employees and owners about the dangers of opening unexpected attachments or clicking on links to unknown sites?
- Do any of the firm’s attorneys use a home computer to do work they take back and forth on flash drive or disk, or to dial in remotely and work, when that computer is also “shared” with other family members? (If you answered yes to this one, and any of those family members is a teenager, please don’t let me know, as I will experience immediate palpitations!)
- Has your firm ever hired a computer forensic expert to perform a relatively inexpensive remote test of your network and website’s security?
I could ask further questions, but let’s face it, you have to get back to work, and now I’ve probably added a little more to your long to-do list. If you need help to make sure you’ve taken all the reasonable steps necessary to fulfill your ethical responsibilities, then get it. Remember, it’s not a question of IF, it’s a question of WHEN, unless your firm is one of the few in that lucky 10% safety zone. Want to bet your license on it? I didn’t think so.