7 types of tech tools to help lawyers set up virtual offices–ABA Journal

Nicole Black:
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Over the past year or so, I’ve written about nearly all the tools you need to run your law firm remotely right here in this very column. What follows is a summary of my past articles that cover the different tools or software you’ll need to remotely handle various law firm functions. Each article described below: 1) includes a description of the tool or software, 2) addresses any relevant ethical issues, and 3) provides a run down if the most popular options in that category along with the pricing scheme and other relevant information.
 
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From Zoom University to the Zoom Party – The New York Times

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Teenagers have jokingly referred to themselves as “Zoomers” online for years; now the name is literal. Overnight, Zoom has become a primary social platform for millions of people, a lot of them high school and college students, as those institutions move to online learning.

Zoom Video Communications is a videoconferencing company in San Jose, Calif., that has been thrust into the spotlight over the past week. On Monday morning, its iOS app became the top free download in Apple’s App Store.

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Zoom operates a “freemium” business model: Groups of up to 100 people can use it for 40 minutes at a time at no charge, but must pay $14.99 per month or more for extra features, like bigger groups and administrative controls.

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https://zoom.us

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The NYC ICE Office Has Pretty Much Stopped Releasing People | New York Civil Liberties Union

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The data show that starting in 2017, ICE’s New York Field Office all but eliminated bond or release for people awaiting immigration hearings. From 2013 to June 2017, approximately 47 percent of those deemed to be low risk by the government were granted release. From June 2017 to September 2019, that figure plummeted to three percent.

The sharp drop in release rates is even more dramatic given the spike in arrests made by ICE and the expansion of arrests to include those without criminal histories under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy. During the administration’s first year in office alone, ICE arrests of people in New York with no criminal history who resided in the United States for ten or more years increased by 334 percent.

Last week, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Bronx Defenders filed a lawsuit exposing this devastating new policy, and challenging the practice of keeping almost everyone behind bars.

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Important Notice from Office of Court Administration Regarding Court Proceedings – New York State Bar Association

By NYSBA Staff
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Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks issued the following memo today:

As part of our ongoing efforts to reduce courthouse traffic to combat spread of the corona virus and protect the health and safety of our workforce, and consistent with recent action by Governor Cuomo to limit large public gatherings through the State, the Chief Judge and I are announcing the following measures relating to court proceedings:

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Should You Clean Your Phone to Combat Coronavirus? Definitely… Maybe. – WSJ

By 
Joanna Stern
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On Monday, I reported that Apple updated its website to remove its blanket ban on all cleaning supplies. It now gives the OK to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox disinfecting wipe on the surface of all Apple products. Google also confirmed that it’s OK to use isopropyl alcohol or Clorox wipes to clean its Pixel devices.

After publication of this column, Samsung updated its cleaning guidance to include alcohol-based cleaners. It now advises Galaxy owners to dampen a cloth with a disinfectant or alcohol-based solution and wipe gently. It says not to apply liquid directly onto your phone.

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String of court rulings indicates ICE is holding detainees illegally – The Buffalo News

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The increase in court cases is the result, at least in part, of a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision that found detained immigrants do not have a statutory right to bond hearings. The court left open the question of whether detainees have a constitutional right to an independent court review.

One of the consequences of the increase in petitions from Batavia is an overall increase in habeas corpus cases being filed here.

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ETHICS OPINION 1182 – New York State Bar Association

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Opinion 1182 (01/23/2020)

Topic:  Disposition of Wills
Digest:  A lawyer may not dispose of wills even when the testators’ locations and/or circumstances are unknown.  A lawyer must safeguard the wills indefinitely unless the law provides an alternative.
Rules:  1.15©
 
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A Giant Departs the Federal Bench: Reflections on the Retirement of the Hon. Jack B. Weinstein | Jeffrey Morris | Verdict

Jeffrey B. Morris is a Professor of Law at Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg School of Law, and the author of Leadership on the Federal Bench: The Craft and Activism of Jack Weinstein (Oxford University Press 2011).

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The news was, broadly speaking, inevitable. It nonetheless arrived with a jolt: One of America’s most distinguished jurists, Jack B. Weinstein, recently announced his retirement after 52 years as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Still mentally at the top of his game, Weinstein, 98 years old, finally has found it too great a burden physically to continue on the bench.
In a career as practitioner, professor, and judge, Weinstein has been a central figure in the fields of civil procedure, evidence, and New York State civil practice. He was the principal author of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules almost 60 years ago and then co-authored the principal treatise on the CPLR with Harold Korn and Arthur R. Miller. He played a major role in the creation of the Federal Rules of Evidence, also following that with a major treatise co-authored with Professor Margaret Berger. Before he came to the bench and during his judicial career, Weinstein wrote several hundred articles in a wide variety of legal fields and served on dozens of committees and boards. As a judge, he produced thousands of opinions.
 
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Floodplain Management – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

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Celebrate Flood Awareness Week

March 8 – 14 is Flood Awareness Week in New York. Floods are the most common and expensive natural disasters. To help New Yorkers be more prepared for the next flooding event, DEC’s Division of Water will highlight topics related to flooding in DEC Facebook posts and Instagram stories every day next week. Topics will include flood insurance, floodplain development permits, and DEC’s role in the National Flood Insurance Program. To learn more about floodplain management, check out DEC’s Facebook and Instagram posts during Flood Awareness Week and/or visit DEC’s Floodplain Management webpage.

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Bag Waste Reduction Law – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

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On March 1, 2020, a new bag waste reduction law took effect in New York State – where over 23 billion plastic bags are typically used each year. Plastic bag usage affects both our communities and environment. Plastic bags can be seen stuck in trees, as litter in our neighborhoods, and floating in our waterways. From the significant recycling and disposal issues they pose to the harm they can do to wildlife, the negative impacts of plastic bags are easily seen.

As a consumer, you can help and #BYOBagNY – Bring Your Own Bag. Keep reusable bags in your car, or clip folding reusable bags onto your commuting bag or purse so you always have them handy. If you store them near the door or coat closet, you’ll be more likely to remember them on the way out. Remember that every time you use a reusable bag, you are doing your part to prevent litter and waste. Using reusable bags makes sense and is the right thing to do. You can also remind your family, friends, and neighbors to bring their reusable bags whenever they shop.

The Bag Waste Reduction Law applies to more than just grocery stores. Whether you’re going to the grocery store, clothes shopping, or to a home improvement store, make sure to bring your reusable bags.

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More about Bag Waste Reduction Law:

  • Bag Waste Reduction Law: Information for Manufacturers and Retailers – Frequently asked questions about the Plastic Bag Ban (Article 27, Title 28 New York State Bag Waste Reduction Act). The law takes effect March 1, 2020 and prohibits the distribution of plastic carryout bags by certain retailers in New York state.
  • Plastic Bag and Film Plastics Recycling for Consumers – Consumers will be able to recycle plastic carryout bags at certain retail stores and most grocery stores.
  • Plastic Bag and Film Plastics Recycling for Retailers – The law, as adopted, requires stores with 10,000 square feet or more of retail space and chains which operate five or more stores with greater than 5,000 square feet of retail space, and which provide plastic carryout bags to its customers as a result of a product sale
  • NYS Plastic Bag Task Force – a thorough analysis of the impacts of single-use plastic bags and provides several options for legislation that could help develop a statewide solution to the problem
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