The Cactus Quarterly Newsletter - 2Q Print

Past President's Report

Having just returned from our annual conference in Denver I want to start my farewell message with a big THANK YOU to the Arizona Chapter. Serving as Chapter President has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my professional career. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to serve, nor could I be more proud of what we as a Chapter have accomplished.

When I first became associated with the Valley of the Sun Chapter four years ago, I had no idea of the journey ahead. I remember thinking I had something to give back, but felt that my educational needs were better served at the Association level. Fast forward to the Arizona Chapter of today and my thoughts have changed profoundly. I am so excited about the programming that we have developed over the past few years. The two Leadership Workshops and HR Diversity & Inclusion series were passion projects and I am thrilled to see these continue. Other notable accomplishments this past year include:

 Rebranding as the Arizona Chapter

  • Adding the Finance/Operations series, in addition to the HR, Diversity & Inclusion lunches

  • Welcoming new members from Tucson

  • Offering online access to all educational content

  • Sending 26 members to the Regional Legal Management Conference we hosted here in Phoenix

  • Raising close to $11,000 for Guide Dogs for the Blind

  • Offering 2 Leadership Workshops

  • Launching our Ambassador program

  • Introducing the Education Conference and BP Symposium

  • Developing a new Chapter website

  • Hosting a Board Retreat and Past Presidents Dinner, and

  • Growing our membership to 120 strong!

Wow, we’ve done a lot and hopefully each of you has benefitted in some way from these initiatives. Of course such an aggressive agenda could not be accomplished without the hard work and dedication of our Board and Committee Chairs including:

Gina Sanfillippo

Julie Skelton

Sharon Williams

Dana Marinaro

Sonji Le Blanc

Chris Proctor

Teri Adam

Mary Ellen Winters

Margaret Logan

Chris Phillips

Jennifer Goodman

Valerie Cochlin

Teresie Zmyslinski

Jackie McAferty

Lisa Kelly

Bobbi Jo Claywell

Carrie Valenzuela

Chris Cotanch

I am proud to have served with each one of these individuals and am most appreciative of their hard work and dedication during our term.

So as I stated earlier, I had no idea of what lay ahead when I first joined the Board. Although I have benefitted from each of the educational opportunities provided to me (including Chapter lunches, workshops and numerous conference scholarships), I was totally unprepared for that which would most challenge me to be better. Only over time did I realize that true growth comes from working with others towards a common vision, pushing through adversity in a positive way and surrounding ones-self with engaged individuals that are willing to commit the ideals of the ALA. I am fortunate to have three such individuals in my life, Gina Sanfillippo, Julie Skelton and Judy Hissong.   Three of the strongest women I know, these ladies believed in me, kept me grounded, called me on my mistakes and challenged me to be better. They also shared my passion to be part of an organization that strives to be the undisputed leader for the business of law, the ALA. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to develop as a leader.

So as I step back in my Chapter role, I challenge each of you to ELEVATE your performance by taking advantage of all the wonderful opportunities the ALA has to offer. Attend or view educational sessions, network with fellow members and BPs and ENGAGE. The opportunities and rewards are truly amazing for those that choose to get involved at any level of the organization. I also encourage you to find those individuals who will push you to do your best. Surrounding yourself with a close community of peers that will dare you to be better is one of the best ways I know to grow as a leader.   Once again, thank you for the honor of serving as your president!  

 “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” - Walt Disney

Marsha Kendall
Past President, Arizona Chapter

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President's Report

“Oh the Places You’ll Go”  is an inspirational book by Dr. Seuss encouraging us to get out there and try doing great things.  I love that book! It is one my sister gave me at my high school graduation and a mentor later gave me again when I took on my first management position.  It tells us we will sometimes fail but to get back up again and learn from it.  That is what this Chapter is about to me.  The Chapter gives us the encouragement and the tools to get out there and take on the world.

Here I am, moving on to a new Board of the Arizona ALA.  It seems like yesterday I took on Past President Marsha Kendall’s position as HR at Gammage & Burnham.  Her advice to me was that I should join the Association.  She outlined all of the benefits being a Chapter Member brought her from education to networking.  I cannot thank her enough for that advice.  Before I knew it I was Community Connection Chair.  From there I just buckled up and rolled up the Board.  Here I am about to have the privilege and responsibility of serving the Chapter as President.  I am excited to see what great things those of you who have joined the Board will bring to the table.  Working as a team we can achieve great things.  I am so thankful for all of you who I have had an opportunity to work with these past few years and the friendships that have come out of it. 

We made many changes in this past year.  We became a statewide chapter by merging with the Tucson Chapter.  We created two new specialty series education formats to enable our Chapter Members to achieve or keep their CLM.  With the help of Total Networks our education is available live via Facebook helping us to serve our Chapter Members who cannot attend them live (THANK YOU TOTAL NETWORKS)!  We revamped our Business Partner package to enable a better relationship with our partners.  We changed our annual Expo format to a Symposium and rebuilt our website to make it easier for members of the Board to do their job and Chapter Members to stay informed.  These changes were all done based on feedback from you – our Chapter Members and Business Partners, the most important pieces of the Chapter.

We accomplished great things this year through our Chapter changes.  We achieved the President’s Award of Excellence this year and our first ever Idea Award for Gina Sanfillippo’s hard work on the Student Intern Program.  We increased our membership and strengthened our Business Partner Program.  We did a great job representing our Chapter as host of the Regional Legal Management Conference and our Community Connection event was a huge success - landing us a spot on the website for Guide Dogs for the Blind. 

Where do you want to go this year?  How can we serve you?  Step on out there, see what’s new, bring your ideas.  Try something different.  It’s a big world out there so let’s get out there and grow a little.  Oh the places “WE” can go. 

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and humbled to follow in my predecessor’s shoes.  Thank you to the ALA and the Arizona Chapter for allowing me to serve you!

Sharon Williams
President, Arizona Chapter

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Letter from the Editor

The ALA Arizona Chapter Leadership Workshop was held March 15, 2017 at the Wells Fargo Conference Center. It was an all day event and it was free to chapter members. Judy of Nesso Strategies presented. Prior to the event, participants had the opportunity to take a totalsdi self-assessment. The sdi assessment allowed us to see how we value and use our strengths and helped us to increase our interpersonal effectiveness.

Have you ever asked yourself “why are they (staff or attorney) doing that?” Hasta la pregunta es necia! (translation, even the question is ornery J) Of course we’ve been in a situation where it was difficult to see the reason behind some actions. When we interact with others, they can’t see our motives and reasons (and we can’t see theirs); only the behavior is seen. It is helpful to communicate motives. The workshop gave us the opportunity to learn about our own motives and behavior and strategies to deal with others behaviors and how to influence in an effective way.

As an example, ambitious behavior may stem from:

  1. A desire to help friends
  2. To exceed performance standards and win
  3. To help others learn to succeed
  4. So others will see me as a valuable contributor

If you understand the motivation behind the behavior, and you want to influence the behavior, you’ll deal with it in a way that will help them see what is in it for them.

As a member of the ALA, the educational resources are one of the things I most appreciate about the ALA. This workshop is an example of a resource given to us to help us in our pursuit of excellence. Take full advantage of the good resources we have as members of the ALA. The time taken to attend the educational events is an investment for you and your firm. I am including a quote regarding the value of membership from the ALA website:

ALA connects legal management professionals to powerful resources, helps benchmark your organization against others and gain competitive intelligence.”

Use those resources!

Jackie McAferty
Newsletter Editor, Arizona Chapter

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Want to Elevate your Career?

Want to Elevate your Career - Get a Mentor!

Successful legal management professional careers are not built by one person’s effort. If you’re relying on yourself or the advice of others who don’t have relevant experience, you likely will not be able to navigate your way through a variety of problems without tripping and falling. Instead, find a good mentor and rely on their experience and wisdom to help guide you through a career they’ve already navigated. Membership in ALA is an excellent way to find such a person. The networking and connections made as an engaged member will very likely lead to the introduction of your perfect mentor or mentors.

Mentors can shape your career in a variety of ways: 1) Honest Feedback – Mentors unlike coworkers, friends or family don’t have a vested interest in sparing your feelings. If you need a wake-up call, your mentor will be there to give it to you. With honest feedback available, you’ll learn quickly how to avoid future career mistakes and navigate hurdles along the way. 2) Experience – a good mentor will have experience you don’t have. Think of a good mentor like a good navigation system, they can help you navigate new-to-you roads so you’re less likely to stumble. 3) Solid connection – when you have a solid relationship with your mentor both of you will grow. In order to have a good mentor you need to be a good mentee. This means that you provide some kind of value to their career through further career connections, opportunities or a skill set that they’re trying to learn. 4) Gained respect – select mentors that are visible and widely respected. Their credibility and respect are likely to rub off on you. Mentors can provide sound advice on everything from approaches to delicate salary negotiations to dealing with difficult people.

The bottom line is mentors can save you potentially costly mistakes and pitfalls throughout your career. Avoiding wasted time and effort, as well as elevating your career through savvy insights and how to suggestions can help you reach the next level of your legal management professional career.

Author:  Katie J. Bryant, CLM

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Member Spotlight

Annual Conference & Expo 2017

What an honor and privilege it was to attend this year’s ALA Annual Conference & Expo! I want to thank ALA Arizona Chapter for giving its members the opportunity to submit entries to win a scholarship to attend the conference in Denver. Had I not been selected as one of this year’s scholarship winners, I would not have had the ability to attend. This was definitely an exciting event for me to attend!

The 2017 ALA National Conference in Denver, CO included education sessions on numerous topics along with several breakout sessions in smaller rooms. Most of the education sessions were practical workshops focused on an array of topics that included working with your office staff. “How to Tell When Someone is Lying” was a very popular session with conference attendees. Speaker, Traci Brown was not only an expert on helping identify the body and voice shifts that occur when most people are lying, but she was entertaining during the delivery of this topic.

By attending many of the education sessions, I was able to learn not only from the presenters, but from other attendees while having the opportunity to network and develop friendships. Developing these relationships made it fun. I met and shared experiences with people from Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Brazil. All the while I didn’t realize I was improving my own skills and knowledge about our profession. Having been to this conference, it has renewed my passion for my role, given me more tools that will allow me to support my office and has elevated my career and confidence. And yes, I can’t wait for next year’s National Conference!

I encourage everyone to take advantage of these conferences and plan to attend. It is an investment, but it’s an investment in your future.  I am truly thankful for the opportunity to attend and am forever grateful to the AZ ALA.

Stephennie S. Stuart
Legal Operations Manager, U-Haul International, Inc.

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Membership News

In an effort to increase chapter membership throughout the state of Arizona, the Membership Committee is launching an outreach campaign with the help of our new business partner, FlexPrint. Andy Smalley from Flexprint graciously extended an offer to provide and mail 500 postcards to our target group and our current members. Matt Lissy from Laser Options is working with Andy to get this mailing out.

The Chapter Board and Membership Committee worked together to gather testimonials of the ALA benefits and experience. These postcards will be created to encourage current members to invite non-members to our Annual Chapter Social and Membership Drive. Be on the lookout for a postcard coming your way!

Being a member of the Arizona ALA Chapter has allowed me to elevate my career through excellent education opportunities offered to its members.

Stephennie S. Stuart | U-Haul International Legal Department

The AZ ALA is FUN!  I love the social functions held throughout the year .  What a great way to mingle with fellow legal professionals in a purely social environment.

Julie Skelton, Bauman Loewe Witt & Maxwell, PLLC

The Arizona ALA HChapter has some excellent resources in its business partners to help find solutions for administrative problems.

Jo Ann Keckonen, PHR, DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, P.C.

Why did you join the ALA? Share the benefits of our outstanding resources and networking opportunities with other legal professionals.

The Arizona ALA Chapter asks that you invite a non-member to our Chapter Social and Membership Drive on Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 5:00pm-8:00pm at El Chorro, 5550 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253. Come join the fun!

Author: Teri Adams

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Social Networking

On Thursday, February 16th, the ALA Arizona Chapter held their business partner appreciation event at the Little Woody in Arcadia. The venue was back by popular demand and we were not disappointed! This year, we were keen to look out for the neon owl eyes on the side of the building in order to find the location with ease. Success is a journey, not a destination!

The venue’s lodge-like setting was a perfect backdrop for members and business partners to mingle in a relaxed and fun setting. Guests enjoyed delicious drinks and appetizers, including charcuterie, sandwiches, and their yummy homemade pretzels, and bacon wrapped jalapenos. The impressive selection of whiskey and scotch was a bonus. The charm and character of the Little Woody made for delightful evening with our business partners. Thank you to everyone “hoo” attended!

Sonji Le Blanc
President-Elect, Arizona Chapter

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Total Networks

6 Tips For Keeping Your Social Media Accounts Safe

Donald Trump has, perhaps, one of the most infamous Twitter accounts in the world. Even before his election, he was known for constant tweeting that would often make its way onto the evening news. According to the Daily Herald, a hacker specifically reached out to Trump with advice on how he could keep others at bay, and maintain his social media account's security. If the advice is good enough for the president, then it should bear consideration for your social media accounts as well.

Tip #1: Require Personal Information For Resetting Passwords

One of the most common tricks for gaining access to your social media accounts is for someone else, pretending to be you, to request a password reset. This allows someone else to steal your identity, and lock you out of your own account by choosing a password you don't know. A simple barrier is to make sure only someone with access to your personal information can successfully reset your password. Knowing answers to personal security questions would then be essential in order for someone else to swoop in and kick you out of the driver's seat.

Tip #2: Verify Your Login Requests

Two-factor authentication is an effective security strategy to protect your accounts. Two-factor authentication simply means there are two things you have to do to sign in, instead of just one. The first authentication is your password. The most common second thing needed to sign in is a security code obtained on your mobile phone. So unless a hacker has your phone, they can't log into your account. This adds another step, but it isn't an unnecessary step if your primary concern is security.

Tip #3: Use An Email Account That Doesn't Have Your Name On It

The most common email addresses we use are based on our names. is probably the most common formula for email out there. The problem is that email address is easy to guess. Once someone has your email address, all they have to do is crack your password. While most of us think our passwords are secure, they probably aren't. Without a second layer of security, such as a verification code texted to you, figuring out your email address is half the hacker's job.

Tip #4: Use a Difficult Password

Remembering long, convoluted passwords is a pain. It's the main reason so many of us will pick something simple, or tell our devices to remember our passwords for us. However, your password is literally your first line of defense against unwanted intrusion. That's why you should pick something that's hard to guess and uses a lot of different symbols and characters. It might take an extra few seconds to type that password in, but what are those few seconds measured against the security of your account? Consider a password manager to track different complex passwords for each site.

Tip #5: Don't Use Open Wi-Fi

It's tempting, especially when you're out and about, to use the free Wi-Fi that's made available. Whether you're catching a burger for lunch, or having coffee with friends, chances are good there's a hot spot tempting you with the ability to browse, and post, without using up any of your mobile data. When you dip into a public network, though, you leave behind all the security provided by a network you know and trust. Anyone could be on an open network doing anything. Always use protection, as they taught you in health class. It's better to browse less, but to do it safely, than it is to throw yourself and your devices into an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

Tip #6: Be Careful About The Information You Make Public

You know those teenagers who will post pictures of their brand new credit cards, proud of the fact that they now have credit? Then, just because someone told them to, they post a picture of the reverse side of the card, providing their security code along with their number? How dumb is that? It is just the most blatant example of how what you put on social media matters. Everything from your email address, to your middle name, to where you live, is another piece of information that's out there for others to use to assume your identity. If you're on social media for business, that's just fine, but remember not to get too personal. If the information isn't something you would tell directly to a hacker, then you probably shouldn't post it. It might come back to haunt you.

To Contact This Business Partner:

Dave & Stephanie Kinsey
Total Networks
4201 N. 24th St, Suite 230
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(2nd Floor of the State Bar of Arizona Building)


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Arizona Office Technologies

ALA Members,

Law firms have distinct technology needs and face unique challenges. Arizona Office Technologies has perfected a legal workflow strategy that includes more than just hardware and services, and is backed by a team of professionals that understands and works with firm administrator’s daily environments.

At AOT, our Legal Account Managers can work with firm administrators to tailor a unique solution for every firm, whether it is a local or national solution(s). Through our AOT 360 assessment, we create a solution(s) that will include a review of your current technology environment, and identify under/over utilized devices and redundant assets. We will provide you with the total cost of ownership through an in-depth review of both direct and indirect costs associated with technology devices and information workflow assets usage, as well as ongoing maintenance. We include sustainability as a goal during the assessment process. We will help to lower energy Consumption; reduce paper waste and proper disposal of retired technology.

With AOT as your technology partner, you will appreciate such benefits as:

  • Reliable equipment and service provider for Manage print services and Copiers

  • Streamlined billing process

  • High-level print security to comply with privacy needs and regulations

  • Collaborative software and hardware options that allow your team to work together simultaneously from separate remote locations

  • Mobile web integration with apps to track billable hours and ensure that you’re never out of touch with clients and projects

  • Workflow solutions to optimize efficiency with customized databases, document management solutions, and superior quality imaging capabilities

  • Document management to digitally store and easily and affordably organize documents


AOT offers our Clients our “Print Releaf” Program. This program connects you to a network of reforestation projects and reduces your firm’s environmental impact by automatically planting trees where the planet needs them most. The program will track and measure paper consumption and for every 8,333 pages printed your firms will plant a tree in a location of your choosing such as Brazil, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Burkina Fiasco.

Please take the time to review the hyperlinks and our website. Reach out to Andrew Belew and schedule an appointment today to review your firm’s goals and objectives over the next five years. Whether there are plans of acquiring partners/other firms or if the firm plans on downsizing, I have a solution for you.

Thank you,

Andrew Belew
Legal Major Account Executive
Arizona Office Technologies
4320 E. Cotton Center Blvd., #100
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Direct: 602-346-3043
Mobile: 480-518-5590

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eSentire - Cybersecurity Law & Strategy

Reprinted from the June 2016 issue of Cybersecurity Law & Strategy with permission.

For years, various government authorities and security experts warned the legal industry about the proverbial cyber target painted on their chest. And while a cornucopian crop of headlines bloomed about data breaches, most concentrated on major retailers or recognizable brands. Given nebulous reporting legislations, the data breaches at law firms remained below the press horizon. But you can only dodge so many bullets until one hits the industry square in the chest. Recently, the legal industry found itself in the spotlight as story after story about data stolen from law firms surfaced. And the media frenzy culminated when Mossack Fonseca became the poster child for hacked law firms, earning the moniker of the Panama Papers.

If the multi-law firm hack story was the first shot over the bow, then the Panama Papers leak will become a torpedo. With a record-setting data heist and enviable client list of who’s-who in government, business and entertainment, the Panama Papers leak struck a chord and unequivocally confirmed that legal wasn’t just a target — it is the target. And it is a bellwether for an industry in a fugue, unable to conceive that their firms held anything of value; certainly not anything worth stealing. Well, it turns out that boring old shell companies and tax filings had a value.

Law Firms Are Full of Sensitive Data

It doesn’t matter the size of your firm. Large or small, your firm houses a treasure trove of sensitive data. From personally identifiable information (PII) to M&A transaction details to contracts and plans, every piece is desirable in the eyes of cybercriminals. Sure, larger firms have long felt that they’re not as vulnerable to attack. They’ve been confident in the technological defenses they’ve established to protect their sensitive data, and until recently they haven’t felt the need to question the efficacy of that technology.

Small-to mid-sized law firms are at even greater risk. Unlike their larger peers, smaller firms simply don’t have the budget and resources to allocate to internal IT management and technology investments. In many cases, these bootstrapped firms are lucky to simply have the most basic technology in place, such as anti- virus systems or firewalls. For these reasons, they’re perceived as an easy mark through the eyes of attackers, and widely recognized as a conduit to larger targets.

Hackers Focus on People, Not Technology

In addition to evolving risk vectors, the nature of attacks themselves has shifted. Attackers no longer fear technology because they know they can evade it. Recent successful breach events amplify that reality.

Today’s popular attacks focus on something far more malleable than technology. They focus on people and their innate human nature. We all get busy. Dreadfully so. And it’s when we’re busy that we become careless, particularly when it comes to our e-mail inbox. This is when we’re most vulnerable to the epidemic that is e-mail spoofing.

Spoof e-mails have undergone a transformation. Once riddled with spelling errors and inaccuracies, malicious content today is cleverly veiled in glossy, seemingly legitimate corporate branding. The correct names are usually in the correct places, and the contents of the e-mail always appears to be reasonable and typical of interoffice or vendor communications. As a result, phishing and Business Email Compromise (BEC) are now big business for cybercriminals. The Ponemon Institute reported that large companies now spend an average of $3.7 million a year dealing with phishing attacks. See, “2015 Cost of Breach Data Study.” All firms have become a desirable target for phishing and BEC attacks.

Legislation and Guidance

Staggering breach cases are driving a larger conversation. At a micro level, cybersecurity is quickly becoming a paramount issue for firms, whether large or small. At the macro level, industry, national and governance discussions are turning their sights to the legal industry. The U.S. government’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) passed last December and the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 officially ushered the government’s resolve to guard the pillars of the U.S. economy from cyber threats and attacks. At a governance level, the industry is scrambling to ramp frameworks and measurements with industry peers like the SEC, who since 2014 have worked to establish regulatory compliance measures through a formal examination process and comprehensive frameworks.

The ABA, recognizing increased pressure from national compliance efforts and imminent threats from an unseen army of cyber attackers has worked to architect a set of cybersecurity guidelines, as outlined in its 2014 Cybersecurity Handbook. The handbook has quickly become an indispensable tool for firms that don’t know where to start. It outlines several pillars of regulatory focus, including: gaining an understanding of what assets and sensitive data the firm has; who the regulators are; which threats are targeting the firm; what protection firms have in place to guard against attacks; what risks exist; and, whether firms can demonstrate cybersecurity claims.

Essentially, cybersecurity management can be divided into two clear buckets: the first focuses on policies and planning, while the second centers on the day-to-day mechanics of cybersecurity and what kinds of frontline defenses firms have in place to block or mitigate attacks.

Often, even tackling these questions can be a daunting task for firms, particularly those that don’t have an in-house team to answer them. Commissioning a full, independent security assessment is a good place to start. Security assessments are an effective way to assess your current security posture and identify gaps in your processes, programs and technologies. An independent security assessment not only helps firms build and augment their cybersecurity programs, but it also helps prepare a response for clients who will request an audit report detailing your firm’s posture. A security assessment provides the clear direction you need to build your program, policies and defense inventory. An assessment also benchmarks your firm against that of your peers, examining the kinds of threats targeting you, and security considerations that fit your organization based on those benchmarks.

The ABA’s Tech Report, released late last year, revealed that on average, less than half of responding firms have firm technology or security policies in place. With the number of vulnerable attack surfaces in any given firm, security policies are an essential first step when it comes to defending the firm. Just as critical are framework documents like NIST, which fuses practices, guidelines and standards to protect critical infrastructure. The framework helps to prioritize and manage cybersecurity risk, and presents a sturdy platform to further policy and program development.

Security Areas to Address

Within data and network protection there are several vectors that should be addressed: security models, network assets, policies and procedures, data encryption, remote banking/transfers and mobile device management. The Tech Report found that 62% of respondents reported that their firm had not experienced a breach. But with so many threat surfaces, it’s unknown how many of those respondents suffered a breach and didn’t detect it. The Panama Breach case is a prime example; the firm claims that its mammoth data leak was a result of a year-old, undetected breach. One may assume that a firm like Mossack Fonseca would have fairly robust security in place, particularly given its top-tier client base.

While the root cause of the breach hasn’t been reported, it has been speculated that the breach was the result of a sophisticated cyber-attack, one that cleverly evaded whatever perimeter defenses Mossack Fonseca had in place.


While the fate of Mossack Fonseca remains to be seen, lesser breaches have caused firms to shut their doors entirely. Universally, attorneys are fundamentally obligated to protect their clients’ confidentiality. By extension, firms are required to ensure that the technology they use in no way subjects client information to an undue risk of disclosure. Pair this with the breach cases impacting firms, and suddenly firms face greater pressure, more scrutiny and evolving regulatory implications. Clients are taking data protection into their own hands, running due diligence that requires that firms demonstrate the mechanisms they’ve build to protect sensitive data.

The legal industry was founded and is fueled by professionals driven by curiosity and the desire to ask “why.” Cybersecurity has gone from simply being IT’s problem, to becoming everyone’s problem. If your firm doesn’t currently have cybersecurity initiatives underway, start the conversation. Ask the questions. Turn to your governance resources such as the ABA and leverage the tools they’ve created to drive momentum in your firm. Collaborate with peers through intelligence sharing forums like the Legal Services Information Sharing & Analysis Organization (LS-ISAO), which was founded to facilitate threat sharing amongst firms. The cybersecurity terrain is ever evolving. Consider this: Today’s fastest growing and most successful threats originate from a human culprit. You need human-driven defenses to stop them; technology simply won’t cut it.

To Contact This Business Partner:

Shane Sharpe
Sr. Territory Manager
eSentire Inc.
Active Threat Protection
Tel: 519-651-2200
Cell: 519-503-1635


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DocsCorp - Document Comparison Software

How does your document comparison software compare?

By Dean Sappey

Document comparison software has become part and parcel of any good law firm’s application tool kit. Small, barely noticeable changes between contracts can seriously harm your firm – both professionally and financially – so it is essential they do not go unseen. Other practices like mergers and acquisitions call for document comparison on a near daily basis, but performing this task manually is tedious and error-prone.

While any level of document comparison software delivers better results than a side-by-side comparison would, not all comparison methods are the same. Below, I review the three main document comparison methods to see how they stack up against one another.

Microsoft Word compare

Microsoft Word offers a basic document comparison feature at no extra cost. Though the price point makes it a tempting option, it is important to note that many firms have tried and failed with this method due to unreliable or misleading results. This method also lacks a redline output capability, meaning variations can only be displayed as static Track Changes. Additionally, without a third-party add-on purchased for an additional cost, this method offers no integration with your document management system (DMS).

Convert, compare, and review

This three-step method is used by some of the leading document comparison software providers despite the number of limitations involved.

First, the document is converted to RTF and flattened to remove dynamic content, such as field codes and cross references. The results document is created in a proprietary file format and can only be opened in a review application – meaning you cannot edit, modify, or reject the outlined changes. Although the document can be exported into Microsoft Word, all custom styles and formatting will be lost.

Native comparison

The native comparison method compares documents in their original file type – meaning no conversion is required. This feature is what sets native comparison apart from its competitors, as it enables dynamic content to be retained, prevents a loss of fidelity, and retains all original styles from the modified document.

compareDocs, our document comparison software, is the market innovator for the native comparison method and currently the only application employing this method.

compareDocs makes a copy of the modified document and marks it up as either a redline or Track Changes document. With compareDocs, all Microsoft Word features remain active for continued editing, including automatic list numbering, Table of Contents, field codes, and cross references. Full support for Track Changes in a Live Document means you can save time by accepting or rejecting changes within the results document. Importantly, it guarantees accurate and reliable results without the need for document conversion or proprietary file formats.

To Contact This Business Partner:

Bob Moore
Director of Sales, Western US and Canada
4039 N. Mississippi Avenue, Suite 301
Portland, OR 97227
Tel: 877-236-2726


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Thompson Reuters - Selecting a Paperless Approach

Selecting a Paperless Approach

Countless methods exist to ease your office’s evolution to paperless. The ideal approach largely depends upon your office’s preferred definition of paperless. Once your office has defined its goals and identified the potential benefits, the structure for your transition can be established. A few possible tactics are below.

“Paper-Lite” Approach

If the majority of your office is resistant to the paperless transition, consider a “paper-lite” process instead. Even if your office is not embracing a fully paperless conversion, you can still achieve an office with considerably less paper. Setting a realistic and achievable goal is key. With expectations clearly defined you can avoid disheartening attempts or failures in moving to a fully paperless office.

“If the majority of your office is resistant to the paperless transition, consider a “paper-lite” process instead.”

Phased Approach

Progression to paperless may be achieved through a phased route. This approach requires establishing steps that will enable you to set a reasonable pace towards achieving a paperless office. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Establish a schedule to back-up and test digital files;

  • Scan beginning at intake, but also scanning more recent files that are still open into a digital format;

  • Digitize signatures and letterhead;

  • Develop a matter centric system with electronic matter files and consistent naming structure; and

Encourage filing of inbound emails either by setting a deletion time period for untouched emails or removing “file” > “save as” options.

Task- or Practice-Area Oriented Approach

Certain tasks or practice areas within the office may be easier to translate to a paperless process. For example, strictly focusing on client intake and file opening tasks will allow your office to begin with files that are still open.

Specific practice areas within the office may be more conducive to “going paperless.” If so, it makes sense to focus on these areas first. To identify which areas, you’ll need to consider both the workflow of the practice area and the personalities of its members. When evaluating practice area candidates, consider beginning with a practice group that is:

  • Composed of individuals based in a single location;

  • Smaller in size;

  • A strong leader in terms of technology adoption; or

  • Undergoing renovations. 

Click here to learn more about Thomson Reuters tools for your paperless initiative.

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Konica Minolta - Technology Enables Successful Legal Professionals

For legal professionals there is an acute need to understand and adapt to the changing face of legal technology. Utilizing enabling technology to efficiently practice law can mean many things. Technology can be an efficiency enabler or run amuck within the legal practice. After all, what you really want from technology is efficiency that leads to more clients and more billable hours!

Much of the time this enabling technology will be first used by support staff.  Paralegals and Legal secretaries help to create an environment where attorneys are more prepared during deposition, trial and other legal functions. Technology should alleviate their schedule of repetitive tasks like: searching for documents, properly filing and separating documents, delivering them to multiple locations, redaction and highlighting. If these tasks were automated, your human resources and capital could be put to better, more cost effective use.

Along with automating tasks it is becoming increasingly necessary to be more strategic with the positions and responsibilities of non-legal roles in the firm. The days of a dedicated receptionist are already being eliminated. Supplementing roles with technologies like ALICE or THE RECEPTIONIST FOR iPad keep your firm looking and acting sleek while better allocating job tasks. These are just some of the technologies helping to empower your organization to shift resources into more critical areas of the practice without leaving clients neglected.

As a legal professional the business world looks to you for answers and expertise. Are you able to provide the most concise and responsive council? How efficient you become in this ever competitive economy can translate directly into increased budget and revenue. Are you adapting?

To Contact This Business Partner:

Amanda Miller
Major Account Executive, Legal Specialist
Konica Minolta Business Solutions
4415 E. Cotton Center Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Tel: 602-798-7303 


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ALA Website and ALA Idea Award Information

ALA IDEA Awards recognizes new practices that deliver great value and transformational impact through innovative achievement.  See more information at:

The ALA website is a good resource for information.  See for the Antitrust Guide and information on the Sherman Antitrust Act, which is one of the most significant laws affecting professional associations. The article outlines the four main areas of antitrust concern for professional associations:  price fixing, membership, standardization and certification, and industry self-regulation.

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