Customize Chrome Start Pages

If you are using Google’s Chrome browser for the desktop (and why wouldn’t you?) did you know you can have it open to whatever page – or pages – you want? If you like to see your Gmail when opening the browser in the morning or headlines from Crain’s or the weather for the day you can set Chrome to open one or many pages to get you going. Or, perhaps you would like to continue where you left off from the previous browsing session? Read on to learn how!

By default the Chrome start page (the page Chrome shows you when you launch the browser) shows the Google search bar and thumbnails of the websites you most frequently visit. However, you can change that to open any page or pages that you want.

Click to Expand

Open Pages on Start in Chrome

 

To set the browser to open a specific page or pages when you launch you will need to be signed into Chrome. Then in the top right corner click on the Chrome menu (three horizontal lines stacked on each other). Click Settings – On Startup – Open a specific page or set of pages. Then click “Set pages” and enter the web address of the page(s) you want to see when you open Chrome. Then click “OK”.

 

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Continue Where You Left Off in Chrome

If you would like to see the last tabs you had open before you closed the browser click on the Chrome menu in the top right and then click “Settings”. Under “On Startup” select “Continue” where you left off.  If you allow cookies to be saved you will still be logged into any websites you were visiting before. If you do NOT want to be automatically signed into these pages in “Settings” go to “Show Advanced Settings” and under “Privacy” click “Content Settings”. Under the “Cookies” section choose “keep local data only until you quit your browser” and then click “Done”. When you close your browser you will be logged out of all the sites you were logged into. This is a good security measure, especially if you share you computer.

In addition to the start page, Google’s Chrome also has a Home page you can enable and customize. This is located next to the left of the address bar. In “Settings” go to “Appearance” and check “Show Home button” and below that click “Change” to choose your homepage.

Finally, the Bookmarks Bar in Chrome will link you directly to your favorite sites. When adding bookmarks click on the star icon in the address bar then choose “Bookmarks Bar” from the drop-down menu. You can add folders (and subfolders) to the bookmarks bar too! If you want to add a bookmark or folder of bookmarks just go to the Bookmark Manager (CTRL + Shift + O in Windows; CMMD + Shift + 0 in Mac) and drag and drop the icon or folder into Bookmarks Bar.  Be aware you have limited space in the Bookmarks Bar so choose wisely. If you can’t see the Bookmarks Bar go into “Settings” and under “Appearance” choose “Always show the bookmarks bar”.

Bookmarks Bar in Chrome

Bookmarks Bar in Chrome

Trust Accounting Questions and Answers with the Experts

At the CBA’s recent 2 hour CLE program “Everything You Need To Know About Trust Accounting” (now available to watch on demand) we had so many questions for our panelists that they didn’t have time to answer them all. However, our intrepid experts – Dan Cotter, David Holterman and Mary Andreoni – took the time to respond to some of the attendee’s questions below. Please note: The responses expressed here are solely those of the individual panelists. They are provided as only general input and should not be considered advisory opinions regarding any specific factual scenarios.

Q: If you work as a  Guardian Ad Litem & receive money before you perform your duties, does that money need to be in an IOLTA account since you really don’t represent a client?

A: [Mary Andreoni] If the “GAL” does not represent a client,  ILRPC 1.15 is not triggered and the  money in question does not go into an IOLTA  account.

Q: Scenario: – Lawyer/Lawfirm is holding Settlement proceeds in IOLTA account. – Client can’t be located despite reasonable efforts made. – There is a clear, signed, contingent fee agreement setting forth lawyer’s percentage of fee to be earned for services rendered. Question: Can a lawyer/lawfirm take its portion of the proceeds pursuant to the signed fee agreement and leave the remainder of client’s proceeds in the IOLTA account?

A: [Mary Andreoni] No.  The law firm can withdraw its fees if the client specifically authorized the law firm to withdraw its contingent fee from the settlement proceeds before the client disappeared. See, In re Walner, 519 N.E.2d at 908, and ISBA Opinion Nos. 95-11 (Jan. 1996) and 88-4 (Feb. 1989).  Without the client’s authority to the settlement distributions, the law firm must maintain the settlement proceeds in the IOLTA account until authority is obtained from either the client or elsewhere (e.g., court).  See ISBA Op. 02-02 (Nov. 2002).

Q: Do you need to maintain an IOLTA account for ARDC purposes (it’s part of annual registration) if you are not holding client funds?

A: [Mary Andreoni] No.  Supreme Court Rule 756(d) requires all Illinois lawyers to disclose whether they or their law firm maintained a trust account during the preceding year and to disclose whether the trust account was an IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Account) trust account, as defined in ILRPC 1.15(f) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. If a lawyer did not maintain a trust account, the lawyer is required to disclose why no trust account was maintained.

A: [David Holterman] I agree.  Rule 1.15 and its specific requirements to hold funds in an IOLTA or other client trust account are “triggered” when a lawyer comes to possess funds of a client or third person in connection with a representation. (See paragraph a.)

Q: How would you handle an emergency matter (e.g., an Order of Protection) where the client retains you and asks you to file a case (for which the client must incur costs) on the same day, before the retainer check is able to clear?

A: [Mary Andreoni]  The lawyer may pay the expense on behalf of the client, which is permitted under ILRPC 1.8(e)(1), and deposit the client’s check into the lawyer’s business account as reimbursement for the lawyer’s advance.

A: [David Holterman] If the check is only for court costs and/or a flat fee charged by the lawyer, I agree it can be deposited in the lawyer’s business account. If the client’s check includes any additional amounts – e.g. for a security retainer – then the check should be deposited in the IOLTA account with the appropriate amounts withdrawn by the lawyer for reimbursement.

Q: Is it permissible to state in one’s Client Engagement Letter that the attorney may withdraw funds from the security retainer account as the work is performed, and then send a statement at the end of the month? Must a statement actually be sent each time a withdrawal is to be made to give the client an opportunity to say “NO” even if it’s agreed up front that the lawyer may withdraw funds as and when earned?

 A: [Dan Cotter] Yes, it is permissible.  While a statement is not required by the rules, it is best practices to stay in communications with the client.  One of the biggest reasons for complaints against attorneys is lack of communication.  The invoice or notice of work done for withdrawal is an opportunity to communicate with the client and keep the client informed of where the case or matter is at.

 Q: Can the client advance a retainer for tax benefit (deductability)?

 A: [Mary Andreoni] No. The client’s desire to minimize the client’s tax obligations is not an appropriate use of an advance payment retainer. Advances covered by ILRPC 1.15 are funds received by a lawyer in connection with the payment of legal fees and expenses of the representation.  An advance payment retainer must meet the requirements of ILRCP 1.5(c).  The requirements of Rule 1.15(c) must be read in conjunction with the Dowling case.  As such, an advance payment retainer must be used sparingly and only where it is in the client’s interest as it relates to the client’s responsibility to pay the lawyer’s fees and expenses.

A: [David Holterman] In addition to Dowling, Comments [3A] – [3D] to Rule 1.15 are useful for understanding the requirements of paragraph (c).

 Q: What does a sole practitioner do about succession/access to Iolta funds after incapacity or death?

A: [Catherine Sanders Reach] There is guidance from the IARDC for succession planning and your IOLTA funds in The Basic Steps to Ethically Closing a Law Practice, from the Michigan Bar Association’s guide “Planning Ahead: A Guide to Protecting Your Clients’ Interests in the Event of Your Disability or Death” and in the Chicago Bar Association CLE program “Succession Planning to Cover Bumps in the Road 

Q: If you charge a fixed fee but the fee does not include a government fee and the client pays it separately and provides it to the attorney so that it can be included with the file that the attorney will mail to the government institution, does the government fee have to go in an IOLTA account?

 A: [Dan Cotter] I don’t believe so.  If the check is made payable to the government, then the fees do not appear from this scenario to be entrusted to the attorney as fiduciary.

A: [David Holterman] I agree that a separate check made payable to the government entity can be passed on to the entity. If it is a separate check payable to the attorney, then it should be processed through the IOLTA account.

Q: If I represent a client who resides or works in another state, and I hold funds for him/her in a trust account, am I subject to trust accounting rules of the client’s home state? Do the rules of one state or the other govern in the event of a conflict?

 A: [Mary Andreoni] You should follow the rules of the jurisdictions in which you open the trust account.  To the extent there are any inconsistencies between the rules of one state and the lawyer’s licensing jurisdiction, those inconsistencies should be resolved by reference to ILRPC 8.5(b).

 A: [David Holterman] Under the framework of Rule 1.15, the client trust account requirement follows the lawyer, not the client. Paragraph a states that funds should be deposited in a client trust account “maintained at an eligible financial institution in the state where the lawyer’s office is situated, or elsewhere with the informed consent of the client.” If the client trust account is maintained in the client’s state, the lawyer must follow the trust account/IOLTA requirements of that state.

Thanks to our panelists for being so generous with their time and knowledge!

Use Ctrl+F to Search Data with Ease

If you’re confused about what CTRL+F is, you are not alone – according to Dan Russell, a search anthropologist at Google, 90% of people do not know how to properly use CTRL+F to locate a word in a document or on a webpage. This tool will save you time and the embarrassment of missing a keyword or phrase that should’ve been replaced. Whether you are using your browser or your word processor, CTRL+F will speed your work up immensely.

Ctrl+ F works wherever you are: web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) word processing programs (Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc.), or  PDFs viewers like Acrobat Reader. Pressing the keyboard keys “CTRL” (“Command” on a Mac) and “F” at the same time will help you find any specific phrase, clause, or word you are looking for by typing them into a box that appears on your screen. The “find” box may appear in different locations on the screen depending on which program you are using – but it will always appear.

In A Web Browser

When searching through an online document or a webpage for specific mention of a word, phrase, or number, CTRL+F can save a lot of time. Simply press the keys CTRL and F and enter the desired term, phrase, number, word, or clause into the Find box that appears. In Internet Explorer your search term will be highlighted and each time you select “Find Next” the search will move through the document highlighting the usage of the designated word, number, or phrase.

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For instance, say you need to find the contact information for a specific judge in the Criminal Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, but you only know that his first name is John. Go to the court’s website listing of judges in this division, and then you can use CTRL+F to accelerate your search. Enter “John” in the search bar and press <Enter>. The search will bring you directly to any mention of “John” on the page. Pressing <Enter> again will bring you to the next entry of “John” on the page if there is one.

In Microsoft Word

When working in Microsoft Word, CTRL+F opens the Navigation pane and you can search for a word, phrase or number. You will see all of the instances of your search term appear in the Navigation pane with the word in bold and can quickly jump to that portion of the document. Take it one step further and use the Navigation pane to find a word or phrase – and then replace it! From the Navigation pane click on the “carat” (arrow) to open a toolbar with more options, including Replace.

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For example, the client’s total damages have increased and a complaint must be updated before filing suit. Rather than locating each time the initial damages are mentioned within the complaint by scrolling through the document, you can quickly make the corrections by using CTRL+F. Just key CTRL+F,  type in the original dollar amount, click on the carat to show Options and click on Replace. The original amount will appear in “Find What”. You can then add the updated amount in the “Replace With” field. If you want to replace any incident of the number, phrase, or word in the “Find What” field, select “Replace All.”

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There may be cases where you do not want to “Replace All” but only “Replace” some. For example, a brief cites Wickard v. Filburn in several locations, however sometimes the citation is not as appropriate as that of say, Horne v. Dept. of Agriculture.

“Replace All” would not work in this example because the initial phrase of “Wickard v. Filburn” would still apply in many of its uses. Instead, select “Replace” and let the find feature bring you through the entire document. When you find items you would like to replace, select “Replace” again; when you find items you want to leave as is, select “Find Next” and move on.

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Conclusion

Once you get comfortable using CTRL+F in your searches and writing, you’ll wonder what took you so long to learn this important skill.

Set an Out-of-Office Reply for Better Client Communication

Thanks to modern technology client communication is easier than ever before. It is also a good reason to set realistic communication boundaries with your clients.  If you plan to be out of the office, whether for an extended period at court, at a retreat, or on vacation, you can set reasonable client expectations with help from your out-of-office reply. You can do this in both Microsoft Outlook and Gmail.

To set an out-of-office reply in Microsoft Outlook 2013, click the “File” tab.

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You will be brought to the “Info” section by default. On this screen, click “Automatic Replies (Out of Office).”

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The “Automatic Replies” box will now appear. Check “Send Automatic Replies,” and specify a set time and date range by selecting the “Only send during this time range” check box. The Automatic Reply will run only until the date you set and you will not have to remember to turn the feature off. Then set the “Start time,” and then set the “End time.”

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In the “Inside my organization” tab, type the message that you want to send within your organization (those who share your domain). In the “Outside my organization” tab, type the message that you want to send outside your organization. You can make it the same message if you prefer by copying and pasting.

Click OK.

If you did not select a date range for your message to expire, you will have to go back into File à Info à Automatic Replies (Out of Office) and check the “Do not send automatic replies” option when you return.

 

For Gmail the process is a bit different. Sign in to Gmail, and click the gear icon in the upper-right corner. A drop-down menu will appear. Select Settings.

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On the “General” tab, scroll down to “Vacation responder” and select “Vacation responder on.”

Enter the start day and the last day so that it expires. Unfortunately Gmail does not allow you to specify a time. Enter your subject and body of your message.

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If you’ve enabled a personalized signature in your settings, Gmail will automatically append it to the bottom of your vacation response.

Click Save Changes.

While the vacation responder is enabled, you’ll see a yellow banner across the top of any Gmail page, displaying the subject of your vacation response. To stop Gmail from automatically sending the response, click “End Now” within the banner. You can edit the reply by selecting “Vacation Settings” in that same banner.

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Out-of-office messages aren’t just for vacations. You can use out-of-office messages to establish working hour boundaries, or simply as an auto-reply to send any information to any in-bound email messages. Also, keep the message brief. There is no reason to provide more detail other than the dates you are away, whether you will be checking email during that time, and an alternate contact at the firm if available. It’s nice to be able to unplug for a little while, and this way your clients don’t feel in the dark.

Never Miss a Message with Outlook Search Folders

One of the biggest problems with email is that not everything that comes to your inbox is of equal importance. Email from certain clients needs to be addressed right away; messages from co-counsel need to be referred to repeatedly, yet all of this correspondence gets buried under a barrage of e-newsletters and less important correspondence. Outlook “Search Folders” solves this problem. With Outlook “Search Folders,” specified emails are always available no matter where the emails are located (folders, inbox, sent mail). Microsoft by default creates generic search folders such as “Unread mail” and “mail flagged for follow up”. Users can customized more search folders by following instructions to create “Mail from and to specific people,” or “Mail from specific people”. However, the most powerful and useful search folders are likely to be custom search folders. Here’s how to create them:

 

In Mail, click “Search Folders.”

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Click New Search Folder, and a new window will appear. From the “Select a Search Folder” list, you can select several default options, like “Unread mail,” “Mail from and to specific people,” “Mail from specific people” and “Mail sent directly to me.” To create a Custom Search Folder scroll towards the bottom and select ” Create a custom search folder” and then select the “Choose” button.

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In the window that appears, type a name for your custom Search Folder, and click Criteria, and then select the options that you want.

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The Messages tab contains criteria on the message content or properties, such as sender, keywords, or recipients.

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The More Choices tab contains criteria on other message conditions, such as importance, flags, attachments, or categorization.

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Enter in your specific criteria, and then press “OK.” You’ll see the new Search Folder listed below “Search Folders,” but you can drag it under “Inbox” or add it to “Favorites” by right clicking and choosing “Show in Favorites” in the menu so that the search folder is always at the top of your screen.

Tech Tip: Create A Table Of Contents From PDF Bookmarks

Bookmarks in a PDF are very helpful for readers to navigate to different sections of a document. They also lets the document creator highlight areas for readers to “jump” to without having to page through the document. Whether you are using Adobe Acrobat or Nuance Power Converter Pro, the process to create bookmarks is nearly identical. You can add bookmarks manually  by selecting text in the document and press keys <ctrl+b> to add that text as a bookmark, or you can also have either program recognize Microsoft Word’s Styles and automatically add headers and subheaders as bookmarks. Microsoft Word Styles can also be used to generate a table of contents in the originating Word document and in the PDF version of the original document. However, there are many times where the source documents have no table of contents or several documents are combined into a single PDF.  Lawyers may want to also generate a hyperlinked and printable table of contents, and Nuance’s PowerPDF Advanced will easily create a hyperlinked table of contents from the PDF bookmarks you create.

Once you have created your bookmarks in Nuance PowerPDF Advanced, with the bookmarks view opened  click on the wrench icon in the Bookmarks tools menu.  Toward the bottom of the options that appear click to  create a “Table of Contents”. Use the settings to choose how it looks and how many levels deep to display. Once those decisions have been made click “ok” and then decided where you want the Table of Contents to be (first page, after the cover page, etc.). Voila a hyperlinked, automatically generated paginated table of contents will be inserted into your document.  Once you have created the TOC you have options to update it, or export it as a separate document in PDF.

Click to expand

Create Table of Contents from Bookmarks

 

Enter a Medical ID on your iPhone for Emergencies

Many ER patients arrive at the hospital without anyway for medical staff to know who they are or how to reach their emergency contact. The iPhone solves this problem with their “Medical ID” feature. When an emergency worker finds your phone, they can see your name, date of birth, medical conditions, blood type, and emergency contact, even when your phone is locked by pressing the “Emergency” button on the keypad. You can set up the Medical ID in the “Health” app that comes installed on your phone. Look for the icon with the little heart:

1 app icon

Once inside the Health app, you will see the dashboard, which features statistics on your activity throughout the day. Look toward the bottom right, and you will see the Medical ID section. Tap that.

2 health dashboard

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In the top right, press Edit so that you can enter in your health information:

3 edit highlight

Click to enlarge

You have the option to enter your name; your birthday; any medical conditions, notes, allergies, or medications; an emergency contact; your blood type; organ donor status; plus height and weight.

Be sure to keep the “Show When Locked” toggled to green. Click “Done” when finished.

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Now that you have entered in your information, you can see what an emergency worker will see if your phone is locked. Lock your phone and then unlock it again to be brought to the screen where you enter your passcode. Press “Emergency.”

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This will bring up the “Emergency call” screen. Note Medical ID in the bottom left corner.

6 medical ID

When you press it, all the information you entered will be displayed. Your loved ones and hospital staff will thank you.

Ensure Extra Security on Your iPhone – Replace Your 4 Digit Pin

For most users of the iPhone, the simple 4-digit pin is sufficient security as it encrypts your device, but it is easily hackable as there are only 10,000 possible combinations. In fact, according to Popular Science, “If you needed any more incentive to beef up your iPhone’s password, here’s one: security researchers at MDSec have tracked down a device called an “IP Box” that can brute force the phone’s 4-digit security code and gain access to its data.” When Apple releases iOS 9 this month, all phones running it will require 6 digits, but even with those extra digits are not strong enough. As an attorney, you need to go beyond basic security to ensure attorney-client privilege. That’s where the complex passcode comes in. Passcodes can feature letters and are unlimited in length. Pick a combination of upper and lower cases, as well as numbers and make sure it’s at least 8 characters in length. You can test the strength of your passcode at https://howsecureismypassword.net/.

To turn off your old pin and set your new passcode, go to Settings on your iPhone, which looks like this gear icon:

settings icon

From that menu, scroll down till you see Touch ID & Passcode:

touch id

From that menu, scroll down till you see Require Passcode, and make sure that is set to “Immediately.” Below that, you will see the switch for Simple Passcode. Toggle it to off. If you have a 4 digit pin set up, you’ll be asked to enter it:

simple passcode off

Type in your new complex passcode, and press next. You’ll be asked to type in your complex passcode one more time:

change passcode screenshot

 

Et Voila! You now have made your iPhone more secure.

 

Customize Chrome Start Pages

If you are using Google’s Chrome browser for the desktop (and why wouldn’t you?) did you know you can have it open to whatever page – or pages – you want? If you like to see your Gmail when opening the browser in the morning or headlines from Crain’s … [Read more]

Trust Accounting Questions and Answers with the Experts

At the CBA's recent 2 hour CLE program "Everything You Need To Know About Trust Accounting" (now available to watch on demand) we had so many questions for our panelists that they didn't have time to answer them all. However, our intrepid experts - … [Read more]

Use Ctrl+F to Search Data with Ease

If you’re confused about what CTRL+F is, you are not alone – according to Dan Russell, a search anthropologist at Google, 90% of people do not know how to properly use CTRL+F to locate a word in a document or on a webpage. This tool will save you … [Read more]

Set an Out-of-Office Reply for Better Client Communication

Thanks to modern technology client communication is easier than ever before. It is also a good reason to set realistic communication boundaries with your clients.  If you plan to be out of the office, whether for an extended period at court, at a … [Read more]

Never Miss a Message with Outlook Search Folders

One of the biggest problems with email is that not everything that comes to your inbox is of equal importance. Email from certain clients needs to be addressed right away; messages from co-counsel need to be referred to repeatedly, yet all of this … [Read more]

Tech Tip: Create A Table Of Contents From PDF Bookmarks

Bookmarks in a PDF are very helpful for readers to navigate to different sections of a document. They also lets the document creator highlight areas for readers to “jump” to without having to page through the document. Whether you are using Adobe … [Read more]

Enter a Medical ID on your iPhone for Emergencies

Many ER patients arrive at the hospital without anyway for medical staff to know who they are or how to reach their emergency contact. The iPhone solves this problem with their “Medical ID” feature. When an emergency worker finds your phone, they can … [Read more]

Ensure Extra Security on Your iPhone – Replace Your 4 Digit Pin

For most users of the iPhone, the simple 4-digit pin is sufficient security as it encrypts your device, but it is easily hackable as there are only 10,000 possible combinations. In fact, according to Popular Science, "If you needed any more incentive … [Read more]

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