Something New: My Shared Reading Room – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog

Jim Calloway:

I read a lot of online content related to law office management and technology. Some I save for later use and some I share. I follow some really great experts on Twitter who recommend great content and I retweet a lot of it. (Of course you should be following me on Twitter.)

At least once a month, I discard an idea that
was suggested to me by something I read that could have inspired a good blog post or article. I just don’t have unlimited time.

So it occurred to me that I could easily share some of the most interesting things I have read with others. So that is the point of the OBA MAP Reading Room. Every month, I’ll provide links without commentary to several articles I found of interest the previous month. That doesn’t mean they were published that month. it just signifies when I found them.

So here is the MAP Reading Room for August 2015. This is still a concept in progress, but hopefully it will be useful to  you.

The main index for the Reading Room is here, available for you to bookmark if you wish. We have links for each of the prior months this year. (And, yes, I am working on September now.) We hope this type of curated content makes sense for you. The collection will be a bit random and may include some of my own content.

Read entire Calloway article.

For Sole Practitioners, the Future’s Not What It Used to Be

For Sole Practitioners, the Future’s Not What It Used to Be

by Stephen P. Gallagher and Leonard E. Sienko, Jr. 

(NYSBA Journal, Oct. 2015)

The nitty-gritty – and the joys – of a solo practice in the new (and changing) world order.

ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs)

New IRS Resource helps Employers Understand the Health Care Law

The following article can be posted on your websites and used in other communication vehicles to help employers get the facts about the new IRS web page for applicable large employers.

The new ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers page on features information and resources for employers of all sizes on how the health care law may affect them if they fit the definition of an applicable large employer.

The web page includes the following sections:

  • What’s Trending for ALEs,
  • How to Determine if You are an ALE,
  • Resources for Applicable Large Employers, and
  • Outreach Materials.

Visitors to the new page will find links to:

  • Detailed information about tax provisions including information reporting requirements for employers,
  • Questions and answers, and
  • Forms, instructions, publications, health care tax tips, flyers and videos.

Although the vast majority of employers will not be affected, you should determine if you are an applicable large employer.  If you averaged at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, during 2014, you are most likely an ALE for 2015.  If you have fewer than 50 full-time employees, you may be considered an applicable large employer if you share a common ownership with other employers. As an applicable large employer, you should be taking steps now to prepare for the coming filing season. 

In 2016, applicable large employers must file an annual information return – and provide a statement to each full-time employee – reporting whether they offered health insurance, and if so, what insurance they offered their employees. 

If you will file 250 or more information returns for 2015, you must file the returns electronically through the ACA Information Reports system.  You should review draft Publication 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns, now for information on the communication procedures, transmission formats, business rules and validation procedures for returns that you must transmit in 2016.

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Shake-Up In Legal Research: Fastcase Acquires Loislaw From Wolters-Kluwer – Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites

The legal research company Fastcase has acquired one of its prime competitors among middle-market legal research providers, Loislaw. Fastcase has purchased Loislaw from Wolters Kluwer, which had acquired it in 2000 for $95 million.

LoisLaw subscribers began receiving notices over the weekend informing them of the news. The letter stated that WK will sunset the Loislaw product effective Nov. 30, and that “we are collaborating with Fastcase so they can offer comparable subscription plans on the Fastcase platform, including Loislaw treatise libraries, at the same or lower prices as your current Loislaw subscription.”

Bob Ambrogi has all the details here.

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Judicial Conference Updates Rules for Judicial Conduct Proceedings, Strategic Plan | United States Courts

For Research, Lawyers Turn First to Free Sources, ABA Survey Says – Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites

Lawyers spend an average of 20 percent of their work time conducting legal research, and when they start a research project, they generally turn first to free online research services before using fee-based services or research materials in print or on CD-ROM.

However, with respect to online research exclusively (excluding books and CD-ROMs), lawyers are more likely to start a research project using a fee-based service than a free one. Thirty-eight percent of lawyers say they go first to a fee-based resource, while 37 percent say they start with a general search engine such as Google or Bing. Fourteen percent say they start with a bar-sponsored research service such as Fastcase or Casemaker.

These are among the findings reported in the 2015 edition of the annual Legal Technology Survey Report, compiled by the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center. These findings are from Volume 5 of the report, covering online research.

As always, Bob has much more detail, if you click through to his complete post.

Bing Translator

Bing Translator

Microsoft’s online Bing translator is free, easy, and getting better all the time. The service translates between 57 languages, including two varieties of Klingon (for the truly obsessed Trekkies out there), Yucatec Maya, and the more commonly used languages like Spanish, French, Russian, English, or Portuguese. To translate simply copy and paste a text into the left hand box. For instance, pasting the French phrase “Cette dame paie pour tout” into the text box returns the English translation “This lady pays for everything.” One might also like to have that phrase in Arabic, Russian, or Hmong Daw, and all of this can be accomplished simply by changing the target language in the text box on the right. While debates have long continued on whether Bing Translator or Google Translates works better, most experts agree that the two are more or less equivalent. Readers might like to try both and simply see which one they like better. [CNH]

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2015.

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