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The press release claimed that “Ninety-nine percent of lawyers who responded to the 1999 Legal Technology Survey Report access the Internet from their law firms or corporate law departments” but that sentence wasn’t quite accurate. According to the report, itself, 99.73 of the 373 lawyers and others who responded to the question “Does anyone in your firm/department have FULL Internet/WWW access?” answered “yes”. When the question was changed to ask what percentage of the “employee category” of “lawyers” had full access to the Internet/WWW, the answer from the 369 respondents changed to 91.38 percent. (We couldn’t figure out how these figures compared to the 28 respondents who claimed that 29.71 percent of lawyers in their firm or legal department had access to external e-mail but not full Internet/WWW access.) The survey, taken in June through September, 1999, covered only 550 of the 800 responses originally solicited through ABA Journaladvertising and law technology mail lists, supplemented by a selection of some 2150 ABA members with e-mail added to the respondent list, with 1469 “deliverable”. Overall, however, the survey ended with only 403 usable responses, with the number responding in some particular categories — lawyer, paralegal, librarian, solo attorney, attorney in small law firm, attorney in large law firm, and so forth) being in single digits. As the survey respondents are either self-selected or selected from a likely not necessarily representative group — ABA members with known e-mail addresses — we assume that the survey overstates the use of technology in the law office, in general. In addition, we wonder about many of the specifics. Do some 20 percent of law firms really use Apple Macintosh computers? Do 29 percent of the 56 percent of the lawyers or firms who send confidential or privileged communications or documents over the Internet really encrypt the information? We’d like to think that the answers to both questions are a resounding “yes”, but we’re skeptical that either answer is anywhere near accurate, and we couldn’t find a followup asking what type of encryption is used. We think that encryption is important, but we just don’t see a lot of it. We would have liked to see some comparison with prior surveys, but the report didn’t include any. But the report made interesting reading, anyhow. Notwithstanding our reservations about the detail, we’ll be using the report for guidance as what is of interest to lawyers who are using computers in their practice, as we select topics for these columns. IMPROVED EUDORA According to the ABA Survey, 7.17 percent of the 279 responding to the questions “Which electronic mail program is used most widely in your firm/department?” Considering that 59.10 percent reported using Microsoft Outlook, the excellent Personal Information Manager / e-mail program that comes included with Microsoft’s Office Suite, seven percent isn’t a bad number. (Actually, as only 39.30 percent report Microsoft Word as the most widely used word processing program, we suspect that a lot of those Outlook users are really using Outlook Express, the program that comes bundled with Microsoft Windows 98 and is available, out of the box, on most IBM PC-compatible computers sold these days.) We have liked and used Eudora for years, although it doesn’t do the name and address book and calendar work that Outlook does. Version 5.0 has just hit the Web, and we like some of this version’s new features enough to go to the bother of installing and using it. We downloaded the six Megabyte Eudora 5.0 file, and installed it on our hard disk. (The company also has a 4.6 Megabyte version for the Apple Macintosh, but we didn’t test that.) The program installed automatically, in our case picking up the back e-mail and address book information that we had used with our older version. This version of Eudora, as the last, can be licensed for use in three different ways: Eudora Light is an excellent, basic e-mail program, that does not have many of the bells and whistles of full Eudora. Full Eudora, including the usual spell checker, multiple personalities and some new features is available either as a $50 program, or can be used, free of charge, in an advertising supported mode. In advertising supported mode, the user completes a short profile, sends it to Qualcomm, and the developer sends small advertising boxes. We have not found the advertising obtrusive, but others might prefer to pay the $50. Of course, it is conceivable that Qualcomm could be using the advertising mode to gather and sell information about the user; anyone worried about potential privacy breach probably should buy the program. ESP We won’t bother with the litany of features brought over from Version 4.3, previously reviewed in these columns. It is enough to say that Version 4.3 was full featured e-mail, better, in our opinion, than Outlook Express, the e-mail program that comes with Microsoft Internet Explorer, or the e-mail program that comes with Netscape Communicator. The most intriguing new feature with Version 5.0, is ESP, Eudora Sharing Protocol. The user designates a specific folder on the hard drive for document sharing with a particular group. (A “document”, of course, is not limited to word processing, but can be any sort of computer data file, including spreadsheet, power point, music or photographs.) The user then designates the group by e-mail address, and sets a wide variety of options, including a required password if desired, designating how the group is to work. (ESP works well in default mode; options can wait until you need them.) Once the ESP group is set, the user places files to be shared with the group in the local computer’s folder designated for that ESP group. Eudora then sends the files to the other members of the ESP group, placing the files in the folder designated on the hard drives of each of the recipients. A recipient, who can be given permissions to read, to read or write and so forth) can launch the appropriate software and load the file. If that recipient can and does change a document, that changed document can be automatically sent to all of the other members of the ESP group. ESP is a simple form of peer-to-peer document sharing. Lawyers on LANs with various types of collaborative software, wishing to share documents with other LAN users, won’t need it and won’t use it. Lawyers wishing to share documents with lawyers in other firms or other clients, can set up an ESP group for a specific case or transaction. (Of course, every person in the ESP group must be using Eudora 5.0). We’ve previously reviewed both free and fee-based Web sites that offer relatively large amounts of disk space and file sharing capability. But if other members of your group are willing to load Eudora, we think you’ll find 5.0′s ESP feature useful. OTHER NEW FEATURES We liked 5.0′s much enhanced address book, which includes the ability to store a lot more information than previously. Eudora won’t replace your Personal Information Manager, but the enhanced address book is a start. We don’t know how we’ll use 5.0′s new statistics feature, that categorizes the number of e-mail messages received and sent each day, each week, each year, and presents a pretty graphic display of the data. (Are we really projected to receive 27,857 e-mail messages based upon last week’s usage?) And we can live without “mood watch”, a feature that monitors the word patterns in an incoming or outgoing e-mail message and displays an ice cube, or an image displaying one, two or three flames, depending on the level of the discourse. (If you sometimes “flame” when you don’t really intend to do so, the feature might be of some use.) We didn’t test new features that synchronizes e-mail with Palm e-mail. Altogether, Version 5.0 is a useful and inexpensive upgrade of a useful and inexpensive program. If you use e-mail so much that you feel you live at the P.O., at least download it and give it a try. SUMMARY The ABA’s newly released 1999 Technology Survey has a lot of flaws, but makes interesting reading, nonetheless. The new 5.0 release of Qualcomm’s Eudora is an inexpensive, easy to use e-mail program with a better address book and a new file sharing capability. DETAILS 1999 Legal Technology Survey Report. Product Code 2680025. 400 pages. Paper bound. Price: $249 for ABA members and $399 for nonmembers. American Bar Association, Legal Technology Resource Center 750 N. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, Il 60611 Phone: (800) 285-2221 Eudora, Version 5.0. Price: $50.00 in paid mode. Free in advertising supported mode. Requires IBM PC or compatible running Microsoft Windows 95/98/2000 or NT 4.0, POP3 or IMAP4 mail account. Version for Apple Macintosh (not tested), requires Power PC, Operating System 8.1 or later. QUALCOMM Incorporated 5775 Morehouse Drive San Diego, CA 92121 Phone (800) 2328-3672 or (858) 587 1121 Fax: (858) 658-2100 Web: www.eudora.com E-mail: [email protected]

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