SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 10

MONTGOMERY B AR .O R G
By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
This article appeared over 20 years ago in the Nov./Dec. 1999 issue
of SIDEBAR Magazine
T
he end of the year is fast approaching and I am
determined to avoid a column on Y2K or the millennium.
Too much has been written on these topics. But I can't
deny the urge to look to the past and future use of technology in
the law.
The year is 1985, the Chicago Bears are the most feared team
in the NFL and go on to win the Super Bowl. My secretary is
transcribing my tape on her IBM Selectronic II, the new electric
typewriter that has correction tape built-in, an interchangeable
metal ball (each with different type face), automatic return and
other features that replaces the old manual style typewriter. Why,
there is not even a carriage return. What will they think of next? I
go down the hall to word processing where one of the secretaries
transcribes my property settlement agreement. The thirty-five-page
document will take several hours to prepare on the huge machines.
The documents are stored on large disks, no permanent memory
in these word processors. While I wait for the draft to proof read,
I go to the library to research my brief that is due in a week. The
new Lexis service has just been installed and since I completed my
two hours of training, another partner expects me to teach him
10 SIDEBAR
how to use it. This technology didn't exist when we graduated law
school in the early seventies. The one terminal is being used, so I
turn to the microfilm archive of law review articles to start.
When I get back to my office, I proof my correspondence,
make corrections by hand and give them back to my secretary
who will try to white out some mistakes but will have to retype
most of them before mailing. I tell my secretary to have one of
the letters hand-delivered by our messenger. The office manager
has delivered the monthly billing printout. Our firm has sixty-five
lawyers and we have five secretaries in the billing department to
input the billing data on the large mainframe computers. I make
the corrections and return the three-inch thick stack of paper
(continuous perforated sheets) to billing. I'll get the corrected bills
in a couple of days. On my way back to my office, I pick up the
stack of pick message slips and begin to return phone calls.
The personal computer did not exist twenty years ago. Today,
new technology has improved our productivity. Now, lawyers
and secretaries each have computers that are more powerful than
a room full of mainframes and they are networked and share
resources. I can dictate to my digital transcription system and
make corrections directly on my computer before any documents
are printed. A finished document looks as if came from a printing
press (remember those little dots?). The turnaround time is
http://montgomerybar.org

SIDEBAR Summer 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Summer 2021

SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 1
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 2
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 3
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 4
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 5
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 6
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 7
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 8
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 9
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 10
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 11
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 12
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 13
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 14
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 15
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 16
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 17
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 18
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 19
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 20
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 21
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SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 24
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummerFall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2019-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARFall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2018-19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARFall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/LRSINSIGHT
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2017-18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2017
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