OVERVIEW•Technology can significantly enhance your mediationpractice in terms of facilitating autonomy, accessing remoteclients and increasing the efficiency of your practice.•That said, proper risk management procedures must be putin place to ensure the security of your practice and to protectconfidential client information.•This presentation will outline the various technology optionsavailable to mediators as well as the risks and pitfalls to beaware of.
TOPICS TO BECOVERED1. Why does a mediator need to be concerned with technology?2. What technology is out there that I should know about?3. What are the opportunities and risks of the new technologies?
WHY FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY?•Mediators, in addition to keeping current with mediationtheory and practice, must also keep up to date with newdevelopments in business and technology in order toeffectively compete in an evolving and competitivemarketplace•Risk management in the context of new technology is oftendiscussed in reactive terms, for example ensuring thepreservation of confidential and client information• There is also a pro-active professional responsibility inregards to technology, specifically a duty to keep abreast ofinnovation to ensure that you are delivering the most costeffective, timely and high quality mediation services possible
WHERE DOES INNOVATIONCOME FROM?•An idea is not a single thing. Rather, new ideais a network on the most elemental level – anew network of neurons firing in synch witheach other inside your brain. A newconfiguration that has never formed before.•How do you get your brain in theseenvironments where these new networks willform? Specifically, what is the space ofcreativity?•Slow hunch, important ideas take a long timeto evolve•Borrow other people’s hunches, combinethem with our hunches and create somethingnew•Chance favours the connected mind•In the pursuit of excellence and newideas, consider trying new technologies andtools that expose you to lots of differentideas, perspectives and backgrounds
THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE•Independent of concerns of profitability andeffective business management, it is alsoimportant to note that innovations intechnology are not peripheral to individualthought and practice• Rather, commentators have harkened back toMarshal McLuhan’s aphorism that “themedium is the message” and noted thatchanges in the structure and delivery ofinformation are also changing the human mind•We are drowning in information, leaving apermanent digital imprint, more digitally inter-connected, but possibly more personally alonethan ever before•Consider the impact of new technology uponyou as a mediator and also upon your clients
BASICS: HIRE AN ITPROFESSIONAL & GET IT RIGHT•Computers (desktop, laptops, netbooks)•Computer Operating Systems (Windows & Mac)•Monitors•Computer Peripherals (mouse, keyboard, external storage)•Printers (stand alone, networked, multifunctional)•Scanners (low & high volume)•Servers (solo, small firm, virtual, peer-to-peer)•Server Operating Systems (Windows & Mac)•Networking Hardware (switchers, routers, firewalls, wireless)•Smartphones
CLOUD COMPUTING•Cloud computing is subject to considerable hype, and manyauthors have commented as to its scope and meaning. Itincludes a wide range of applications people use in daily life.•Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous,convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool ofconfigurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers,storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidlyprovisioned and released with minimal management effort orservice provider interaction.
TYPES OF CLOUD COMPUTING•Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS): software that is deployedover the Internet, available to the end user as and when wanted.Hence, it’s also known as “software on demand”. Payment caneither be as per usage, on a subscription model or even free ifadvertisement is part of the equation.(Gmail, Clio, RocketMatter, Dropbox, Evernote)•Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS): is a combination of adevelopment platform and a solution stack, delivered as aservice on demand. (for software developers)•Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): delivers computerinfrastructure – typically a platform virtualization environment –as a service. This includes servers, software, data-center spaceand network equipment, available in a single bundle and billedas per usage in a utility computing model. (Rackspace, i-Worx)
UNIFIED MESSAGING &TELECOMMUNICATIONS•Google Voice•Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
ONLINE ODR•Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) taps into technology (principally thecommunication abilities of the Internet) to help resolve disputes betweenparties.•ODR was born by the combination of ADR and Information andCommunication Technologies. In ADR, there are three parties: the plaintiff,the defendant and the third neutral party (a mediator or arbitrator forexample). ODR differs from this three party system by introducingcomputers and software – an independent fourth party that can help managethe dispute. At the highest and most sophisticated levels of ODR, thetechnology applies mathematical models and algorithms based on grouptheory to resolve the dispute.•There are many other implementations of ODR systems, that range fromsimple blind-bidding systems (one variable, two parties) where the systemdoes not reveal what each person is willing to accept unless a settlement isreached (the software compares each party’s position and declares asettlement once the positions become sufficiently close), to assistednegotiation, to adjudicative methods and others.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN BC•Distance Mediation project sponsored by MediateBC forfamily law cases (Cisco WebEx)•BC Ministry of Attorney General and Mediate BC for lowvalue civil disputes • Brings people together with technologies that bridge a distance in order to help solve real problems
INTERNET SECURITY•mediators need to understand basic Internet security in order toresponsibly communicate with clients and collaborate with othersonline (for e.g., how a hacker accesses unsecured data from a publichotspot and how to safely work on a wireless network)•Know best practices for securing hardware and mobile devices aswell as safe practices for using web-based or cloud computingapplications to protect clients’ confidential information•Things to know: encryption, secure socket layer (SSL) andhttps, wireless networks, remote access to firm computers, mobiledevice security, security of cloud-based services, VPNs, securityrisks on public computers and networks, the most common onlinesecurity breaches and computer vulnerabilities, enabling encryptionhardware and software firewalls, password protections and disposingof hardware when upgrading
INTERNET SECURITYFURTHER READINGLegal Technology Resource Centre. Resources on WirelessNetworking and Security. American Bar Association, Web.Securing Your Clients’ Data While on the Road, David Ries andReid Trautzhttp://apps.americanbar.org/lpm/lpt/articles/tch10081.shtmlCyberspace Under Siege: Law firms are likely targets for attacksseeking to steal information off computer systems, Ed Finkelhttp://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/cyberspace_under_siege/
SAAS: PROTECTINGCLIENT DATA ONLINE•mediators must ensure that client information is protected in thehands of the technology provider or hosting company the firmchooses•Companies providing practice management technology will hostapplication data either in their own servers or will have arelationship (usually a lease) with a third party provider that ownsthe data centre where it houses the data on its servers•If the provider offers geo-redundancy, then the data will behoused in two different data centres in different geographiclocations
SAAS: PROTECTINGCLIENT DATA ONLINECONT•Research the technology provider and understand the terms ofservice agreement•Understand the relationship and review any agreement coveringdata access and confidentiality that may exist between the serviceprovider and the hosting company•Understand: data return and retention policies, transferring data andcompatibility issues for restoring data, backups, export features andoffline versions of the software, third party hosting, server locationsand geo-redundancy, international laws that may apply if the servicesare located in another country, response time of the provider andtech support, confidentiality of law office data (including who hasaccess, procedures for government and civil search and seizureactions, procedures for potential breach of confidentiality) and theprovider’s industry reputation and infrastructure to support growth
SAAS: PROTECTINGCLIENT DATA ONLINEFURTHER READING•Black, Nicole, Cloud Computing for Lawyers, ABA/LPM, January2012•Law Society of British Columbia, Report of the Cloud ComputingWorking Group, July 15, 2011
SOCIAL NETWORKINGRISKS•Drawing the line between personal and professional networking inonline social environments is difficult because the applications werecreated with the purpose of sharing with as many people as possible•User error: imprudent posts, breaching client confidentiality,“friending” a judge•At each step, the user must consider who has access to and controlof the account info he or she is providing to the social mediaapplication•Applications change privacy and account options and the user willneed to monitor his or her settings regularly, as well as the contentposted•Be wary of third party applications; may be third party applicationsrunning on social networking websites that request access to userinformation and contact databases
SOCIAL NETWORINGFURTHER READINGNicole Black and Carolyn Elefant, Social Media for Lawyers: TheNext Frontier, American Bar Association, 2010Steve Bennett, Ethics of Lawyer Social Networking, 73 Alb. L.Rev. 113 (2009)Adrian Dayton, Social Media for mediators: Twitter Edition, ArkGroup, 2009