Whether we like it or not, we live in a world rife with Deep Fakes, CGI, and AI.
How do we ensure the integrity of sworn testimony into the future?
The National Court Reporters Association has created a position statement on the dangers of using AI in legal proceedings.

At this time of social distancing and unprecedented changes to businesses around the globe, we are asking how you’re doing. How are you adjusting your law practice? Many attorneys we talk to say they are now running a remote law firm. Whether staffing at the office is staggered or the office is closed, there are still clients in need of services. As court reporters, we often work from home so we’re offering our best resources to you.

Remote Law Firm

Current Tools – Can they be used to run a remote law firm?

You still have the tools used pre-COVID-19 at your disposal though you may need to rethink how you’re using them.

  • Clients can access their secure portal.
  • CRMs are available to track clients and cases.
  • Cloud services like Box are still available.
  • Phones can be forwarded so you don’t have to use your cell phone number for client calls.
  • WealthCounsel and other industry-specific software likely have greater capabilities than what you’ve used previously.

Most importantly, everyone in your office is still available. A small group can go to the office for signings. A legal assistant can research technology for video calls and using CRMs and software to a fuller capacity. Think about what needs to change and how to adapt to what you already use for today’s circumstance.

Rethinking operations as a Remote Law Firm

Even the most basic of operations, like having a weekly team meeting or initial consultations, require adjustments from in-person to phone or video. We recommend video conferencing services like Zoom, GoToMeeting, or WebEx which offer the security required for attorneys and their teams.

Think collaboratively on team calls. Ask each person to share three things they worked on or completed since the last meeting as well as something personal. Maybe someone needs help finding a particular item at the store or they need tips for homeschooling. Someone else may offer a positive thought or tip for getting through quarantine. It makes people feel wanted and appreciated and may make running a remote law firm be less daunting of a task.

Another consideration is how to communicate with clients during this time. In Arizona, law firms are considered an essential business but many have opted to work remotely to limit exposure to COVID-19. Depending on the size of the firm or client list, some attorneys are sending mass messages through their email and blind copying (bcc) all clients or a group of clients. Others are using social media messaging and/or email newsletters to communicate:

  • Hours of operation
  • Whether the team is working remotely, in the office, or something in between
  • Ways to reach attorneys and paralegals
  • How to schedule appointments (via call, website, email, social media, etc.)
  • Where to check the status of an existing case

If you are keeping even a small team at the office or are a small practice, communicate to clients and prospective clients what you are doing to clean the office.

Keep it simple for your team and your clients and don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to rethinking operations.

Setting up space at home for working in a remote law firm.

One of the biggest challenges we have heard from attorneys is finding space at home for confidential client conversations. This is especially challenging now because the entire family is working or schooling from home. If you can manage to have a dedicated workspace in your home, we find that works best. If not, then at the least, set boundaries. Communicate to your family when it is your work time, where you will be working, and that during that time you are not available.

Overall, the message for anyone running a remote law firm is to communicate. Whether with clients, staff, or family, make sure everyone is in the loop as much as they need to be. We all want to feel wanted and appreciated, especially now. Remember you have the resources and people in place or readily available to make this work, at least for the short-term.

We wish you the best. Stay safe and healthy.

In need of a deposition? Herder & Associates is currently scheduling remote depositions. Call 480-481-0649 today.

Social Media Ideas For Legal Professionals

It’s no longer a viable option for legal professionals in Phoenix, Arizona to avoid social media or even blogging. If your firm isn’t interacting online and doesn’t have an online presence, and the attorney down the street does, you are missing an opportunity to market your firm and your services in a way, and in a place, in which your potential clients gather. Social media ideas for legal professionals begins with understanding professional standards so you can align you firm with best practices.

As with any profession, there are specific business practices to which the firm must adhere. That is nowhere as true as in the legal profession. An attorney or court reporter must never share information that could be construed as legal advice or legal opinion online. Likewise, divulging sensitive information must be carefully considered, if not altogether avoided.

Here are our best practice tips and social media ideas for legal professionals

Posting articles and information from credible sources on your social media pages and your blog as you’re building your brand and making connections will help improve your credibility and provide content for search engines to better understand who you are and what you do.

Being online, having a website and being active on social media is an ideal way to build your brand. Brand building keeps you front of mind for the time when a reader needs to reach out to you for a legal matter. Brand building doesn’t mean constantly selling to your followers but becoming a thought leader in your industry.

Be selective.

Don’t friend or add everyone you know. Be selective. Set your privacy settings to the highest levels so that your personal information isn’t being shared with the public. If you have a personal page, be cautious about what you share and what you say.

Never share advice.

You never want to share what can be construed as a legal opinion or advice. Never talk about an ongoing case unless it’s already been covered by a major news source or is already public information.

Be ethical.

This should go without saying, but it is important to keep in mind that ethics matter online as well as in the courtroom or your office. Anything you say can, and probably will, be used against you.

If you’ve decided to put your law firm on social media and to start blogging for your Phoenix, Arizona firm, one of our final suggestions is to be consistent. If you add social media and marketing to your overall marketing strategy, be consistent and complete all of your social media profiles fully.

Social Media Tips for Legal Professionals

Where do you go when you want a referral for an electrician, accountant, or attorney? Most people take out their smartphones and head to social media sites like Facebook and ask their friends for recommendations. That?s great but if you?re a lawyer, paralegal, or court reporter, how do you connect with your community? You might think because of the confidentiality of your work that you need to stay away from social. We politely disagree and offer our social media tips for legal professionals that include having a consistent presence and new website content.

Why are you using social media?

Your friends might be using social media for ranting about their boss but we caution you (and them) to be more focused in your online efforts. Even on a private page someone can screenshot what you?ve written and send it to someone else that you may not want to see it.

If you?ve been involved with a divorce or family law case especially, you can appreciate the enormity and seriousness of what can happen when you use social media certain ways. What used to be he said she said is now exhibits of text messages and social screenshots. It also happens to businesses who fail to use social the way we think it should be.

Who is your target client?

I often hear that legal professionals, and others, have no time to manage social media and I ask why. They tell me how they have to create content for multiple social media sites, message contacts, and manage comments. My next question is to find out who their target client is.

Once you?ve identified your target or ideal client, focus marketing efforts, including social media, on the sites where they are spending time. If they?re 30+ year old professionals, consider Facebook and LinkedIn and avoid Instagram and Pinterest as the latter are for the younger crowd.

What do you post on Facebook, LinkedIn, and blog?

On first glance it may appear you can post the same on your Facebook business page and LinkedIn profile updates but I caution you using this strategy. The reason is that the audiences are different.

  • Facebook is family-centric, a place where people go for recommendations, so you want an engaging presence. Mix news with facts and ask questions.
  • LinkedIn is where you connect with other legal professionals or find people to hire for your team – court reporters, legal assistants, paralegals, attorneys.

LinkedIn also has a publishing feature which is beneficial to establish you as the expert in your area of law. In addition, I encourage you to blog consistently (2 times a month minimum) on your own website because Google loves new content. Keep in mind users, whether on LinkedIn or your blog, are attracted to catchy headlines and content. The more you can entertain while telling a relatable story, the better to connect with your audience.

The next time someone is looking for a recommendation for a legal professional, we want your firm to be the one that is mentioned! Have fun and let us know how you?re using social media tips for legal professionals.

Whatever you need, whenever you need it.

Your customer doesn?t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) June 23, 2017

AZ?s Herder & Associates Delivering New Educational Deposition Program

Herder & Associates, a prominent AZ court reporting firm, is now offering presentations that help highlight the role of court reporters and how to conduct depositions effectively. Titled “So You Think You’ve Heard it All? Everything you need to know to take a Deposition,” company owner Marty Herder relies on his years of experience as a court reporter to provide information about best practices in the field.

These free presentations are used to assist law firms in teaching young associates the do’s and don’ts of taking a deposition. Think you’ve heard it all? Think again. Marty Herder, President of Herder & Associates, brings 37 years of experience in over 5000 proceedings to your team, sharing nuances and tips that are unique to the deposition arena. Mr. Herder is a Past President of the Arizona Court Reporters Association, Court Reporting Program Advisory Board Member – Gateway Community College, Official Reporter for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Former Arizona Delegate -National Committee of State Associations (NCSA), mentor and guest speaker.

Depositions are often a crucial component of preparing for a case, but small mistakes made by attorneys and firms can prove problematic later in the case.

?All too often,? Herder says, ?A law firm can start off on the right foot for a deposition following a proven path for success. Having worked with hundreds of depositions, I?ve had the privilege to see what makes for a smooth and effective process.?

The topics covered in the presentation include:

How to be effective when the other side is aggressive
Rules and procedure lawyers should know
Common traps lawyers fall into
Frequently made mistakes during the depo process
How to conduct witness prep for maximum effectiveness
Controlling your environment during the depo
Setting goals for each deposition and meeting them

In addition to basics of procedure, these presentations also outline tips for success based on Herder?s personal experience working with many cases. For law firms looking for a great adjunct presentation to supplement any in-house CE programs, seasoned veteran Marty Herder provides an innovative and beneficial program to help law firms get the most out of their deposition process.

Herder & Associates is a full-service court reporting firm based on Phoenix. The company has earned a reputation as a local leader and been a popular choice for attorneys who need reliable and experienced court reporting help. To learn more about services offered by the firm, visit courtreportersaz.com