Mike McBride of the Life of a One-man It Department nicely sums up the problems lawyers create for their clients by (1) not understanding the technology they use and (2) not checking with their clients about technology preferences and problems.
Interestingly, he blames law firm IT people rather than lawyers. My guess is that the IT department at the firm he deals with has made several efforts to educate lawyers about this very issue, probably with light attendance by the lawyers.
The money quote:
“Can you please train the lawyers and legal assistants that you work for to actually attach a document when they’re sending it to an outside entity, like the one I work for? I’m really tired of getting yelled at by my users because they can’t open the attachments when all that really got sent to them was a link to the document as it exists in your document management system. Obviously, from here, that link is useless.”
The lesson here for clients is that you need to raise these technology issues with your lawyers when they happen. Law firms will address these issues when they are pointed out to them. Don’t assume that lawyers are aware of these issues or are doing these things only to irritate you. Your best approach is to talk with your lawyers about the programs, formats and other technology preferences that you have.
I have long suggested that IT directors of clients talk with IT directors of their law firms on a regular basis to address these types of issues and share best practices.