Tips for Paralegals and Litigation Support Professionals

Sean O’Shea: Tips for Paralegals and Litigation Support Professionals – March 2021

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3/1/2021: Excel DSUM formula
Excel’s DSUM formula is a useful alternative to VLOOKUP. It will read the column headings of an array of data, and return the sum based on criteria entered in a separate set of cells.  

3/2/2021: Autoruns
A free utility from Microsoft will show you what programs are set to run automatically upon startup.

3/3/2021: Is your text message a SMS message?
SMS messages are sent via cellular networks. OTT (over the top) messages are sent via the internet.

3/4/2021: Don’t get hijacked by ACE (or RCE)
Arbitrary code execution (ACE) is a form of cyber attack which allows the attacker to execute code in software or on hardware.  Remote code execution (RCE) is an exploit that allows the code to be executed on a network.

3/5/2021: Exchange server exploit detected
The Hafnium exploit works by gaining access to an Exchange server using stolen passwords and then using a web shell to control the server remotely.

3/6/2021: Failure to Meet Discovery Deadlines is Lack of Due Diligence, Not Lack of Sophistication
“At the hearing, Plaintiffs’ counsel pleaded inexperience with the complexities of ESI discovery and a need to coordinate with counsel for the other counterclaim defendants. Neither is an excuse. At every step, the Court invited Plaintiffs to set the pace . . .  Plaintiffs cannot justify their habitual failure to live up to their own estimates of the time needed to meet their discovery obligations as a lack of sophistication. It shows, instead, an unjustified lack of diligence.”  Lunsford v. JBL Communications, LLC, No. 19 CVS 3973, 2021 NCBC LEXIS 17, at *17-18 (N.C. Super. Mar. 3, 2021)

3/7/2021: Project Management Overview
Click above to see a rough outline of the content of the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

3/8/2021: Rootkit removal
Your computer can become infected with rootkit software – malicious software that will enable access to restricted areas of a computer or the legitimate software installed on it.  If you want to supplement the search your anti-virus software performs for rootkit, you can download the free Sophos Rootkit Removal tool.

3/9/2021: Nymity Privacy Management Accountability Framework

Nymity Privacy Management Accountability Framework

3/10/2021: APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules
APEC has a Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system which confirms that countries have complied with the data privacy laws of the member countries. 

3/11/2021: Data Protection Impact Assessments
Article 35 of the General Data Protection Regulation requires that an impact assessment be prepared for data processing which poses a high risk to personal data 

3/12/2021: Field Missing from Add Condition List: Searching on Related fields in Relativity
Note that some fields in Relativity are related fields.  When running a search in Relativity these fields will be listed under the parent field.  To run a search on one of the related fields, go ahead and select the parent field.  A new window will then open which will allow you to set conditions for the related fields. 

3/13/2021: How to see if you have a hard disk or a SSD
You can use the disk defragmenter tool in Windows to check the media type of the PC and all connected drives.

3/14/2021: Mirror Image on Zoom
The default settings in Zoom will show your video stream with the image reversed.  Flip it if you want to display hard copy demonstratives. 

3/15/2021: Object to, Admit, and Authenticate Evidence on the Move
Quickly go through the steps needed to get evidence in or out using the Federal Evidence Applied app.

3/16/2021: Red X Marks No Spot in the Cloud
After copying data to a new location in Windows 10, you may have noticed that some files have a X in a red circle next to them in a ‘Status’ column.   This is a sign that the files have not been backed up to a OneDrive cloud account, or another application like DropBox.

3/17/2021: PXE Black Screen
If you get a black screen reading, “Start PXE over IPv6.”, disconnect all external devices and drives, and restart.

3/18/2021: FACTA – Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act
FACTA is a federal law that requires that credit reporting agencies must block any information used in a credit report within 4 days of receiving proof that the information was compromised as the result of identity theft. 

3/19/2021: E.D. Tex.: Definition of Encrypted Digital Information Transmission for Claim Construction Chart
The Court defined ‘encrypted digital information transmission’ as, “all-digital information that has been encrypted and moved between at least two devices”, not a transmission which merely includes digital information.

3/20/2021: FTC Disposal Rule
The FTC requires a business to be proactive in confirming that agents who use consumer data the business has collected comply with the Disposal Rule.  

3/21/2021: GLBA Safeguards Rule
Under the GLBA Safeguards Rule, a financial services company can be fined up to $100,000 for disclosing nonpublic personal information (NPI).

3/22/2021: Bivariate Scatter Plots
If the name is not familiar, it’s likely that you will nonetheless recognize this type of graph.   Bivariate scatter plots track the pattern of relations between two variables.   Each point placed on the plot is assigned a value on the X axis and on the Y axis.

Bivariate Scatter Plots

3/23/2021: Keeping Objects Centered in PowerPoint
Don’t miss a simple little trick in PowerPoint that you can use when re-sizing objects.   Normally when you click and drag the corners of an object to enlarge or decrease it, its center will shift.  If you hold down the CTRL key, the center of the shape will remain at a fixed point on the slide.

3/24/2021: Rotating the Ruler in PowerPoint
To rotate the Ruler used for drawing lines in PowerPoint use the scroll wheel on your mouse.

3/25/2021: GPS and CSLI Data
A GPS system will use signals from four satellites to triangulate the position of a mobile phone.  Cell site location information systems use signals from cell phone towers.

3/26/2021: Relativity Legal Hold
Relativity uses an interesting term, “escalation cadence”, to refer to how unresponsive custodians are to be reminded of their obligation to comply with a hold.  I hadn’t heard this term before, but it’s obvious how it is important to get this right.   These should be tailored for individual custodians, and individual projects. 

3/27/2021: CALEA – The Act that lets the FBI Listen In
The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), Pub. L. No. 103-414, 108 Stat. 4279 (1994) (codified at 47 USC §§ 1001-1010), was passed to facilitate wiretaps by law enforcement agencies by requiring telecommunications companies to develop systems that included built-in functions to conduct covert surveillance on telephone lines.

3/28/2021: Nevada Senate Bill No. 538
Passed in 2017, Nevada Senate Bill No. 538 requires internet sites that collect personal data to notify Nevada residents of the measures they will take to ensure that this information is securely kept private.  Businesses for which online sales do not constitute the primary source of income, and which have fewer than 20,000 visitors in a year, do not have to comply with the provisions of the law.

3/29/2021: California Adopts Duty of Technological Competency
This month California did what most states have done, and adopted Comment 8 to the ABA’s Model Rule 1.1.  Rule 1.1 concerns the duty to provide competent representation to a client, and Comment 8 states that an attorney, “must keep abreast of all changes in law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”

3/30/2021: Search for words that show opposing parties at their worst
Search a production for profane words in documents in which individuals express their strongest feelings about important issues.

3/31/2021: Westlaw’s Drafting Assistant
Thomson Reuters has an add-in for Word that will automatically extract all of the citations in a brief, and allow you to jump to each instance of a particular citation in full or short form.

Sean O'Shea on Email
Sean O'Shea
Litigation Paralegal
Sean O’Shea began working as a litigation support analyst at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP in 1998, near the dawn of the electronic discovery era. From assisting clients with the implementation of information governance policies, to conducting electronic presentations for attorneys at trials, he has been involved in all aspects of litigation support work. Sean is a Relativity Certified Administrator and an ACEDS Certified E-Discovery Specialist. He’s currently employed as a litigation paralegal in New York City, and continues to advise attorneys on legal technology. Look for a new tip on each night on

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