Monday, January 14, 2013

Making Divorce and Family Law Less Stressful With... (drum roll) Technology!



Ok, we all know 'em. The lawyer who is  uncaring, uninspired, unresponsive, and unaccountable.They are really good at talking about what they can do for you in words that are too complicated for the non-lawyer to understand. They are so arrogant they believe they can manage your case all on their own without the help of computers, scanners, and the like. That stuff only causes problems right? Aren't you worried about security issues when you put documents in that "cloud" thing? Sound familiar? 

We know that technology is here to stay. Family Law attorney's have seen technology infiltrate the court rooms and their practice. We use Facebook posts as evidence that Mom can pay child support (after all she just purchased expensive jewelry and posted photo's of each piece online) or to undermine Dad's credibility (Wait, you don't drink alcohol anymore? Aren't those pictures of you at Fred's wedding with a Beer in hand? Yet, for the most part, our profession is so technologically antiquated, we are likened to the dark ages. It's not only important for your attorney to understand how technology is relevant to your Family Law court case (or how it might be used against you), but it helps for your lawyer to understand how technology can help you in this difficult time.

How can technology make your Divorce less stressful? 
  • At Levine Law Group, we use mycase as our practice management software. It allows our client's to stay connected to their attorney, paralegal and office staff. They can "message" us within a secure framework that cannot be hacked. Client's can view their court dates, upload documents, review filed pleadings, share records, pay their bill / review invoices, track correspondence, find court dates, schedule appointments etc. This technology also allows client's to be kept in the loop at all times.
  • Video chats can save travel and add convenience for clients who cannot come to the office during normal business hours.
  • Some clients  live on the internet. For those, we often suggest websites that may be helpful for communication and/or organization. For example, sites like My Turn, Your Turn and Our Family Wizard are co-parenting tools that help organize parents who share children. The can schedule changes to visitation, share documents, etc.
  • Many of us offer free webinars which give tips on how to lower the cost of your divorce, become a more active participant and learn more on how relevant law may affect the outcome of your case. 
  • Dropbox is a great tool for organizing documents, sharing  documents or photographs with your lawyer, forensic accountant or child custody expert. One party will create a folder that they "share" with the others. This way you only have to upload documents one time and you can be sure that everyone who needs them has access to them!
  • Many clients have told us that something as simple as providing them with free wifi in the office is helpful. If we are meeting and their memory is jogged regarding a certain email, photo or document -- they can easily pull it up on their smart phone, computer or tablet. 
  • Signing documents - Paperless! "Hurry up and Wait" is sure a term we use often in court. Nothing to do one moment, and three reply declarations due the next. I've introduced some of my clients to a (free) Ipad application that allows them to sign declarations from vacation, the coffee shop, their daughters swim class etc. With one step they can sign and email to me and then a quick fax/file and we are on our way!
We at Levine Law Group believe it is important to balance "old school" ways (such as telephone calls, paper files and face to face contact) with new and advanced technology to ensure our office is run efficiently, we are up on all of the latest developments in the law, we are educated on trial management software, e-discovery and/or other courtroom technology and perhaps most important -- to try and help client's manage their stress levels. Although the conservative and sometimes antiquated legal industry has been slow to embrace technology, we're certain it is here to stay and quite frankly -- are pretty excited about it!


5 comments:

  1. Helpful information, thanks for sharing such a great post!

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  2. I wonder if the family law lawyers in Calgary use this. My cousin recently went through some family law related nastiness so I hope so.

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  3. With technology continuing to improve, the possibilities of employing computers into law enforcement seems infinite, however I would say the most significant use a the computer in law enforcement is using computer to access shared databases. Undoubtedly, technology is proving its worth in the field of law.

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  4. Erin Levine is a caring and competent attorney. I have worked with her on several cases as a co-parenting expert. I am consistently impressed and wish she had been around when I got divorced!

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  5. Thank you for sharing the information.

    While dealing in any family matters it is important for a family lawyer to have knowledge of latest technology which will help them to easily handle the case.

    There are number of firms who are now a days, using the technology in solving the family matters and I recently, came across a site on internet named as simon family law who is providing the service of family law in different cases like custody, time sharing, relocation, abuse and the main thing is divorce at Palm Beach County.

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