Tech Tip: Still Running Windows XP? Uh, Oh! You’ll Have to Change That Soon
While Windows XP is still a usable operating system, it won’t be for long. Microsoft announced it will stop supporting Windows XP on April 8. This means no technical support or security upgrades, leaving those who still use it susceptible to security threats.
Microsoft has supported Windows XP for almost 12 years, but lawyers must now consider alternatives, especially given the lawyer’s duty to protect confidential information.
What to do? Upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 (or 8.1), or consider buying a new computer.
“If your computer is more than two years old, you will be best served by purchasing a new computer and operating system,” says Nerino Petro, State Bar practice management advisor. The cost of new computers has significantly dropped in recent years, he says.
In addition, many of your programs may not run under Windows 7 or 8, so check the compatibility of your business apps, such as timing or billing programs. You will also need to update your anti-virus and other security programs, Petro advises.
By the Numbers: 0.85%
The percentage of annual state tax revenue used to fund the state court system, according to Director of State Courts John Voelker.
The 2013-15 state budget, which now has a projected $912 million surplus, requires the court system to pay back $11.8 million to the state general fund by July 2015 – the largest cut ever to the court system.
The state court system also relies on county tax dollars and court-imposed and court-collected fee revenue to fund the system. These sources are also weakening as a result of tax levy caps and a steady decline in fee collections.
Out There: The Right to Bear … Gun-shaped Pop-Tarts?
Oklahoma is serious about the Second Amendment right to bear arms, even if those arms are Pop-Tarts® shaped like guns.
That’s right, the Oklahoma Legislature recently introduced the Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act, which says a school district or teacher cannot “punish, humiliate, intimidate, be condescending to, or bully a student,” for “brandishing a pastry or other food which is partially consumed in such a way that the remnant resembles a weapon.”
The bill responds to the suspension of a 7-year-old boy for chewing his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun and pointing it at other students. The bill also prohibits punishment for using a finger, hand, or pencil to simulate a weapon; possessing a toy weapon; vocalizing imaginary munitions; or wearing clothing that supports Second Amendment rights.
Quotable: “The inviting party shall be responsible for the reservation of a table at a mutually agreeable restaurant, a task which should certainly have been completed long before the execution of this contract, but probably has not.”
– An excerpt from a “Memorandum of Understanding” between two loved ones covering the terms and conditions of a romantic Valentine’s Day date. Did you make your reservation?
From the Archives: Rosenberry: The Founder of Modern Administrative Law
February marks the birthday of Marvin Rosenberry, Wisconsin’s longest-serving chief justice (1929-1950).
Rosenberry was born in 1868 and spent much of his career as a corporate lawyer in Wausau. He was a political opponent of Gov. Robert LaFollette. During the Progressive Era, he came to see that government regulation could benefit corporations as well as individuals.
After his appointment to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1916, Rosenberry urged his colleagues to abandon the 19th-century doctrine that administrative agencies were merely investigators and fact-finders, and to treat them as the policy-makers that they really were. In 1928, he persuaded the court to adopt that view, making it the first court in the nation to do so.
Rosenberry went on to become one of the founders of modern administrative law. He died in 1958 after a long and productive life.
Source: Jay Ranney, Madison lawyer and legal historian
Good Ideas: Neighboring Iowa May Ditch Bar Exam
Iowa may become the second state, besides Wisconsin, to allow graduates from in-state law schools to skip the bar exam as a condition of practicing law in Iowa. Graduates of law schools in Iowa would still have to pass an ethics exam and take courses focused on Iowa law and procedure. Students who graduate from law school outside Iowa would still be required to take the bar exam.
A committee for the Iowa State Bar Association developed the proposal as a way to cut costs for law school graduates and keep them in-state. Currently, many graduates pay for expensive bar exam prep courses and cannot work as lawyers until their bar exam results are in, which takes several months, according to the Des Moines Register. The Iowa Supreme Court will consider the proposal this summer.
Wisconsin is currently the only state with a diploma privilege, which allows graduates of the state’s two law schools to bypass a bar exam as a condition of practicing law in the state.