Law Technology News
November 1999
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Y2K Update

Bank Imposters Can Prey on Your Clients

Lindsay T. Thompson, a Seattle solo practitioner (and member of the Washington State Bar Board of Governors) forwards a recent Y2K advisory from The Commerce Bank of Washington, reminding customers that Y2K may generate more than just computer glitches.

"Concerns about possible Year 2000 computer problems present opportunities to defraud customers of banks, thrifts and credit unions," cautions the bank. The advisory suggests it's a good idea to warn your clients to be on the lookout for individuals posing as representatives of credit card issuers, who call cardholders requesting confidential information such as account numbers.

For example, some scam artists tell customers that their cards won't work after 1/01/00 unless they attach a new magnetic strip to their cards. Other cons: individuals who call customers and ask them to transfer money from existing accounts to "special Year 2000 safe accounts."

Key Web sites:

Y2K Seminar

Y2K Legal Issues: Where Do We Stand on the Eve of the New Millennium? will be held Dec. 2-3 at the Wyndham Washington Hotel, in Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education), the program addresses such issues as defendants, breach of warranty, professional liability claims and defendants, securities disclosure claims, and insurance, reports ALI-ABA, based in Philadelphia.

Planning chairs are Richard P. Swanson, and Dean A. Morehous Jr., both of Thelen Reid & Priest. Audiocassettes of the program will be available, it notes.

For more information ENTER no. 319 after Clicking Here.

Firecracker or Bomb?

Y2K may prove to be more like a firecracker than an atomic bomb, but few lawyers will be hurt from over-reacting, predicts Terry Carter, writing in the American Bar Association's ABA Journal. "They'll just go back to doing what they were doing two years ago before this all got going," says Mark Kaufmann, leader of the Y2K practice group at Chicago-based Sidley & Austin. "Lawyers are capable of moving in and out of hot practice areas," Kaufman told Carter.

Meanwhile, the Association of Legal Administrators' Legal Management magazine reports on a recent survey conducted by The Affiliates, which found that 86 percent of surveyed lawyers said their office was "very prepared" for the turn of the century and any internal issues that could arise. "The sensitivity of confidential case files stored electronically has placed internal Y2K compliance among the highest priorities in today's law offices," explained Kathleen Call, executive director of The Affiliates.

MS Y2K Hoax

If you received an e-mail message warning that your Windows 95/98/NT operating system will fail on 01/01/00 unless you take certain action, Microsoft assures you that it's just a hoax.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has set up a Web site for Y2K information and software updates.

Y2K: The Novel

Austin's R.J. Pineiro, a computer engineer working on microprocessors at Advance Micro Devices, is the author of Y2K, one of the latest novels to hit airport book store shelves.

Published by TOR of New York, it is a fast-paced, if sometimes a little too violent, international murder mystery with a plot that revolves around technology, international politics and espionage. It's the second millennium-themed novel from Pineiro, who also wrote 01-01-00.

Y2K Lockdowns

About half of the 96 companies responding to a recent survey said they will impose a Year 2000 freeze on installing new systems or enhancing old ones. The survey, conducted by Cutter Consortium of Arlington, Mass., said the rationale was to keep corporate computer environments Y2K-complaint by not introducing changes to existing software code or hardware, reports Computerworld.

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