November 13, 2019

Recently a had quite a bit of trouble at work, writing a web page to a PDF.  Each of the three major browers, IE; Chrome; and FireFox, generated a PDF that displayed the addresses of any text or objects that were hyperlinked to on the web page.   Using Acrobat to create PDFs of the web pages (see the option under File . . . Create . . . PDF from web page) allowed settings to be made which removed the displayed links but the text of the web page was still cut-off at the right hand margin.

An add-in for Chrome, 'Save as PDF', solved the problem and generated clean PDFs with no cut-off text or hyperlink overlays.  

November 12, 2019

The bookmarklet posted here, can be extremely useful when you want to manipulate the appearance of web pages.   Drag the formhacker bookmarklet button to the toolbar of your web browser and when it's clicked, no matter what web page you're visiting you'll be able to automatically check off all check boxes; select each radial button; edit any text; or find and replace any terms on the page.

 You can also easily display passwords. 

November 11, 2019

If you want to search through metadata fields in a Relativity workspace, note that you may get different results searching with a keyword index than you will get with a dtSearch index. 

If a search for an entry in the metadata doesn't pop up in the available dtSearch index:

Trying switching to the keyword index, and you may get better results. 

While the fixed length text fields used for the keyword index may vary, a keyword index is automatically populated, and the selected fields will be indexed.  However, if you search for multiple terms that exist in different fields, no results will be returned. 

November 10, 2019

Last month, TrialWorks, which hosts the electronic records for thousands of law firms in America, fell victim to a ransomware attack. As a result, lawyers have already had to request extensions on filing deadlines.

The data breach may have been caused by a disruption to Outlook service.
The incident highlights the hazards of relying on cloud based records.

TrialWorks allows firms to retain ownership of data. Its Uptime Practice not only allows for the hosting of data, but also software. Microsoft Office; Exchange; and SQL server are included. Law firms need not have servers on their premises. In order to function well, 512 KBs per second per user are required.

TrialWorks’ case management software is among the most widely used in the legal industry, but its recent troubles highlight broader vulnerabilities in the legal world.  

November 9, 2019

Today, Judge Philip R. Lammens issued a decision, Nationwide Life Ins. Co. v. Betzer, No: 5:18-cv-39, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194165 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 8, 2019), granting the Plaintiff's motion for sanctions for the spoliation of evidence and issuing an adverse inference instruction. 

In this case concerning a dispute about annuity contracts, a forensic examination showed that the Defendants' computer contained relevant documents that should have been produced pursuant to a document request.  The examination showed that documents had been accessed shortly before a document production by the Defendants in the case, and that deletion software had been run on some of their computers and the drives had been defragmented pursuant to user commands - not as part of an automatic process.  Using proximity searches for key witness names, the examiner was able to find hundreds of relevant hits in fragments of files that had either just been deleted or from those that had been erased.   

The Court found that the Defendants were able to reasonably foresee that litigation would arise when the data was deleted and considered that fact that "the deliberate and systematic use of commercial deletion software suggests Defendants were both technically sophisticated and were aware that their actions would erase material from their computers." as a factor in showing there was an obligation to preserve under Rule 37(e).   Id. at *26.  The forensic examination showed that the most of the relevant information had been lost and could not be replaced through data restoration or additional discovery.   In finding that the Defendants acted in bad faith and with the intent to deprive that resulted in prejudice to the Plaintiff, Judge Lammens pointed out that, "Marcy Betzer's forensic expert opined that 25% of potentially relevant information was lost from Smith's computer and 97% of potentially relevant information (equating to more than 2,000 files) was lost from Robinson's computer".   Id. at *33.   

The Court ordered that the jury be given an instruction that the evidence lost from the computers was unfavorable to the Defendants, and also awarded costs and fees related to the failure to produce the documents, and well as the sanctions motion itself. 

November 8, 2019

Tonight's tip concerns visual basic code I crafted on the basis of the macro posted here by Chris Newman which is designed to remove all animation on all slides of a PowerPoint presentation.   The vba code posted below will change all of the animation set for all shapes on all slides to the simple 'Appear' effect.   Simply enter Visual Basic by pressing ALT + F11, and then enter the code in a new module. 

On the line beginning, "sld.TimeLine.MainSequence.Item(x).EffectType =", you can enter whatever animation effect you choose.  When you begin to enter text at the end of this line, Visual Basic will display the available animation effects. 

Sub ChangeAllAnimations()
'PURPOSE: Remove All PowerPoint Animations From Slides
Dim sld As Slide
Dim x As Long
Dim Counter As Long
'Loop Through Each Slide in ActivePresentation
  For Each sld In ActivePresentation.Slides
    'Loop through each animation on slide
      For x = sld.TimeLine.MainSequence.count To 1 Step -1
        'Change Each Animation
          sld.TimeLine.MainSequence.Item(x).EffectType = msoAnimEffectAppear
        'Maintain Change Stat
          Counter = Counter + 1
      Next x
  Next sld
'Completion Notification
MsgBox Counter & " Animation(s) were changed in your PowerPoint presentation!"
End Sub

November 6, 2019

You can increase the maximum size of an attachment or attachments that can be sent in an Outlook email message by changing a setting in Registry Editor.  By default, Outlook will not allow you to send an email greater than 20 MB.   

In the menu under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Preferences 

With this folder selected, go to Edit . . . New . . . DWORD (32-bit) Value and name the new file as 'MaximumAttachmentSize'. 

Double-click this new field, so you can edit it.  With decimal selected, enter a limit in KB - so 100,000 for 100 MB. 

November 6, 2019

If you have data in a column in Excel, and you just want to pull the information from the right of a particular string in a cell, try this formula:


In this example, A2 is the cell you're pulling from, and Street is the delimiter string.

Thanks to Kamaraj for the idea posted here

November 4, 2019

If you need a utility to help detect which devices are on a wifi network avoid the free download Glasswire, and instead try MyLanViewer

I tested them both out tonight.  Glasswire was unable to detect iPhones and an iPad on my home wifi network and did not show the name of these devices and a laptop on the network - plus it simply has a very generic look.

MyLanViewer found and named the smartphones and tablet, as well as Google Home - but not Alexa for some reason.

November 4, 2019

The word from court reporters is that these days they use CaseViewNet, more than LiveNote or any other program, to provide a real-time feed to attorneys at depositions.  The software can be downloaded for free here.  A version exists for both Windows and iPads.  With internet access a real-time feed can be received anywhere.  

The reporter's feed can be connected in one of three ways:

1. In the connection wizard, select 'Direct (Serial)' if you are using a serial cable.  You will be prompted to set a COM port and a baud rate.  The COM ports in use are listed in Windows device manager.  The most common baud rate is 2400.

2. An internet connection can be accessed with a six character session code.  The reporter will also need to provide you with a password so you can successfully log in. 

3. If you are on the same network as the court reporter, you can connect via the Network option.  A password will still be required.   

If you are using Lexis TextMap, CaseView should already be installed. 

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Sean O'Shea has more than 15 years of experience in the litigation support field with major law firms in New York and San Francisco.   He is an ACEDS Certified eDiscovery Specialist and a Relativity Certified Administrator.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the owner and do not reflect the views or opinions of the owner’s employer.


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