Please Vote For My Presentation

I've submitted a proposal for a talk at PointOneLaw, an event that occurs in Chicago right before the start of ABA Techshow. All I need is your vote!

Here's a decription of my presentation:

Game, Set & Match: Serving Clients Better in the 21st Century

Tennis lessons for lawyers. Tennis techniques and technological advancements have dramatically changed tennis over the last decade, but the game itself remains the same. The legal field is no different. Like tennis, success comes with practical experience. First, master the basics. Then, use new technologies to better serve your clients and gain a competitive edge in the 21st century and beyond.

My blog, lawtechTalk, re-invented

green tick graphicImage via Wikipedia

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm now regularly publishing new posts over at my lawtechTalk blog. My goal is to aggregate my legal technology posts all in one place, in addition to adding new legal technology posts.

In addition to cross-posting my Daily Record articles, Legal iPad posts,and Small Firm Innovation posts, I'll also post regular round ups of legal technology posts from other blogs and plan to feature a different legal cloud computing vendor every week or so. 

So head on over, check it out and subscribe to the lawtechTalk feed or sighn up to receive email updates here.

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Law Made Fun Through Harry Potter's Adventures

Karen bookLast week I mentioned that my co-author, Carolyn Elefant (with whom I co-author Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier), recently updated and revamped her well known primer for solo attorneys, "Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You've Always Wanted to Be."

This week, I'd like to highlight a new book written by my other co-author, Karen Morris (with whom I co-author Criminal Law in New York). Karen recently published a new book, "Law Made Fun Through Harry Potter's Adventures" along with her co-author Bradley Carroll. 

Here's a brief description of the book:

If you love wizards, witches, and Hogwarts, and if you are curious about the law, this book is for you. It explores the intersection of Harry Potter's adventures and the law of our society.

You may have read all the books in the series, repeatedly seen all the movies, and yet never realized that the story includes many, many legal issues. Or you may have identified legal matters in the books but never knew if they were true-to-life.

This book will expand your horizons by introducing you to the law using Harry's world and his adventures as the guide.

I love the concept of this book! If you're a lawyer (or lawyer-wanna-be) who loves Harry Potter or you've got a child who is interested in Harry Potter (and who isn't?) who is also considering whether to be a lawyer, this would be a great present for the holidays. You can buy it here.


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6 year blog anniversary

Cover of "A Long Strange Trip"Cover of A Long Strange Trip

Wow. I just realized that yesterday was my 6 year blog anniversary. My very first post was a round up of posts about then-Judge Alito.

 What a long strange trip it's been! But what a fun ride! Thanks to everyone for your support and friendship. That's what's made it all worthwhile!

Also, congrats to 2 other bloggers celebrating blog anniversaries: my technology law blogger colleague, Bob Ambrogi (9 years blogging and arguably the original technology law blogger) and my fellow New York law blogger, Eric Turkewitz (5 years).

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Dear Verizon--Thanks for Nothing

Verizon: Paying Politicians to Rule the Air (g...Image by watchingfrogsboil via Flickr

Dear Verizon,

Just a quick note to thank you for crediting my Mifi account in the amount of $267 and for terminating the 2-year extension of my Verizon contract. I am especially appreciative that you did this for me given that I never actually authorized the purchase of a Blackberry (a Blackberry, of all things--the horror!) using my Verizon account.

It would have been nice if you were able to provide me with more information about the fraudulent activity on my account aside from "We think it was an inside job." Whatever that means. And, from the standpoint of the person who was the subject of said fraud, it was disconcerting, to say the least, when your fraud representative informed me that it would be 2-3 months until the "fraud team" would be able to advise me as to the specifics of this fraud, on the off chance that they were actually able to figure out how it occurred. 

Unfortunately, "all we know right now is that it occurred via our website" isn't very reassuring and provides me with no direction in terms of how to go about preserving my identity in the interim. Did someone provide my date of birth? My social security number? My Verizon account password? My mother's maiden name? Where was the person located who authorized this purchase? What was the person's name? Or did an employee simply access my account via your system and authorize the purchase internally? 

It makes a difference, you know. And, apparently, you guys don't have a clue.

So, thanks for nothing.

Oh and while I'm at it, thanks for failing to adequately train your employees regarding how individual Verizon accounts work. 

Once I learned of the fraud, I requested that the ability to make purchases using my account be turned off. I was advised: 1) by Customer Service rep #1 that I would have to talk to the credit department 2) by Customer Service rep #2 that she turned it off, and then a few days later 3) by a Fraud Services rep that it wasn't turned off and if I chose to turn it off, I would have to pay my monthly Mifi bill in in CASH at a Verizon store.

So, as it stands, despite my wishes to the contrary, equipment purchases can still be made using my account, which was recently fradulently accessed for that very purpose.

FYI, I was advised that my Mifi account contract expires next month. Guess what I'm going to do once it expires? 

Thanks again Verizon. You guys rock!


Niki Black



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My Latest Venture: GigaOM Analyst

Image representing GigaOm as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Over the past two years, in addition to my other projects and obligations, I've been very busy writing two different books. First, there was "Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier," a book I co-authored with Carolyn Elefant, which was published by the American Bar Association in June of 2010. The second book, "Cloud Computing for Lawyers," is about to go to press and is expected to be published by the ABA within the next month.

As the publication date for my most recent book drew closer, my thoughts were drawn to the possibilities of my next major project. I had two different book concepts in mind and was considering submitting a proposal or two and seeing what came of it.

Instead, a new and exciting opportunity unexpectedly presented itself: becoming an analyst for GigaOM.

For years now, the GigaOM blog has been one of my favorites. It provides interesting, relevant content with a focus on emerging technologies, including cloud computing, mobile computing, social media, Web 2.0 collaborative tools, green technology and more. GigaOM's focus squares perfectly with my passion for emerging technologies and for that reason, I've always enjoyed GigaOM's content. I read the blog on a daily basis and frequently share links to GigaOM blogs posts with my followers.

So when I was offered the chance to become a GigaOM Pro analyst, I simply couldn't pass it up.

For those unfamiliar, GigaOM  is a cutting edge startup that recently raised another $6 million in funding, for a grand total of $14 million.

GigaOM Pro is at the heart of the company's growth plan, as described in this MediaBeat article:

“We believe that the growth of GigaOm is going to be driven by our research platform and GigaOm Pro,” (Om Malik) said. “That does not minimize the importance of our online audience. What we write about on the blog is what brings people to read GigaOm on a daily basis.”

GigaOm now claims more than 4 million unique monthly visitors across its sites, a number that’s growing 30 percent annually. According to Walborsky, the company doubled its revenue in 2010, thanks largely to GigaOm Pro. It’s on-track to double that revenue yet again this year, and to become cash-flow positive by the end of 2011.

So, what exactly is GigaOM Pro? Well, as described at its website:

GigaOM Pro was created to address the gap that exists in real-time expert industry analysis on emerging technology markets.

All too often, insider analyst research and commentary is costly, inaccessible or ineffective to the entrepreneurs, investors and innovators who need timely insights most. We’re changing this by making high-quality expert reports, data and commentary easy to access and highly interactive for our community in key emerging technology areas...

Every GigaOM Pro subscription includes instant access to hundreds of pieces of original content, including research reports, daily and weekly updates, expert columns, and must read links.

As an analyst, I'll be one of the people creating that content and will also participate in occasional webinars and GigaOM conferences. Needless to say, I'm very excited about this new opportunity. Of course I won't abandon any of my regular projects and will continue to write and speak about technology and the legal field. That will always be my primary focus. But, for now, I'll shelve my book ideas and see what comes of this newfound adventure. Tune in tomorrow and see...

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What's for dinner?

At the Farmers' MarketImage by NatalieMaynor via Flickr

My Twitter followers and Facebook friends regularly ask me what I'm eating and tell me what's on their menu. So, for my culinary friends, if you're wondering what on my menu for the next few days, head on over to my Epicurean Esquire blog and read this post, where I tell you all about my latest culinary undertaking.

Long story short, I'm sold on Lyn-Genet Recitas' "Plan" and the hubby and I are embarking on the 3-day cleanse tomorrow, even though I've never dieted before, have never done a cleanse and am in the best shape I've been in since I was 20.

So head on over and read all about it. And, if you're not interested, carry on...;)

(I know this might sound like an infomercial. I promise I get nothing from discussing this. I'm simply sold on the concept and thought others might be interested as well.)

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Where I'll be, where I've been and what I've said

green checkmarkImage via Wikipedia

First off, I was honored to be included in the inaugural Fastcase 50, a list dedicated to the "law's smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders." Thanks so much to the whoever nominated me and to the Fastcase selection committee. I'm truly humbled to have been included on this list in the wonderful company of so many smart, creative innovators!

Also, I already have a few speaking engagement set for September. If you're able to make it to one of them, please stop by and say "hi":

And, in case you missed it,over the last few months, I had the honor to speak at a number of really interesting conferences:

Finally, this summer, I was quoted in a number of articles. The articles included some very useful information, so check them out:


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Cloud computing for lawyers, tips for solos, a book signing and more

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If you're running short on reading material, here are links to a few of my recent posts elsewhere.

First up, at the Xemplar, a website featuring innovative solos and small firm attorneys:

Next up, my posts at the Small Firm Innovation Blog:

Also, I'll be speaking on social media for lawyers at the ABA's Annual Meeting in Toronto on August 4th at 3:45. Also, my co-author Carolyn Elefant and I will hold a book signing for our book, Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, on August 5th at noon at the Law Practice Management Section Exhibit (Booth #205) at the ABA EXPO in the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front Street West).

If you're attending the annual meeting, let me know--I'd love to connect! And hope to see you at the book signing!

Finally, this Friday, July 22nd, I'm speaking about social media for lawyers for the Erie County Bar Association. You can sign up for the CLE here. If you're in Buffalo, NY, I hope to see you there!


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Check it out--DroidLaw

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If you own an Android phone, check out Sui Generis' newest sponsor, DroidLaw.

As I explained in this recent Daily Record article, Droid Apps for Lawyers, DroidLaw is a free app that includes the full texts of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Evidence, Appellate Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Bankruptcy Procedure. Each set of rules is provided in a format that permits searching, bookmarking, copying, sharing and note taking. Other databases, including individual state's laws and United Supreme Court opinions, are available for an additional fee.

DroidLaw is now compatible with Android tablets as well. If you have an Android device, it's an app worth exploring.