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Ten Technology Tips by John Cord

John Cord joined Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, after he graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in May 2003. He concentrates his practice on assisting victims of birth trauma and other serious injuries of medical negligence. He is licensed to practice in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Mr. Cord is a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and is the chair of MTLA’s New Lawyer Section.

Introduction It’s easy to fall behind the times in terms

of technology. Keeping up with the Jone- ses can be confusing, time-consuming and expensive. Every generation of kids grows up with the latest technology and is more comfortable using improvements. I’ve always considered myself relatively tech-savvy, but even I’m getting behind the eight-ball. My last game system was the Nintendo 64 from 1996 (Has it been so long?). I’ve never even touched an iPod,

while my 20-year-old brother has gone through all of Apple’s variations. But no matter how far behind the times

you are, there are plenty of opportunities to catch up and to stay competitive. You may have to ask your children, nieces and nephews to demonstrate the complexities of web design, but, as a matter of prin- ciple, you should be able to set the time on your own VCR. Here are ten technology tips (many are

free!) to make you more efficient in your legal work:

Tip No. 1: Make Your E-mail System Work For You

Whether you use Outlook, Netscape,

Yahoo, or G-mail, there are plenty of options available to make life easier. It is to your advantage to learn the bells and whistles of each program. For purposes of illustration, this article will refer to Microsoft Outlook 2003, one of the more common e-mail systems used in businesses.

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A) Sort: You can sort e-mail in a num- ber of ways that are convenient. In Outlook, click on the gray column headings above the message list to sort by common features such as the sender, and date received (or, click the “Arrange by” button on the “View” drop-down menu). Additionally, you can segregate the messages you’ve responded to from the ones you haven’t, or you can organize according to the priority you have assigned to messages.

B) Search: If you can’t find an e-mail by sorting based on the sender or date received, try a search (in Outlook, this is done through the “Find” button on the “Tools” drop-down menu). Type a word that is some- what unique to the message you are looking for, specify which folder you want to search, and you should come up with a list of messages that pertain to your subject.

C) Rules: Perhaps the most overlooked feature of e-mail systems are rules. These sound complicated, but they are in fact very intuitive, and vital to streamlining your overloaded in- box. You can use rules as a second line of defense from spam (i.e., send all e-mail messages with “Cialis” or “Viagra” in the subject line or mes- sage body to the junk e-mail folder – although this might not be a good idea if you are a pharmaceutical at-

36 Trial Reporter Summer 2006

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