Law firms that utilize Microsoft SQL Server 2008 must prepare now for end of support on July 9, 2019.  SQL server is the backend of popular case management software such as Lexis Nexis Timematters and PCLaw, Aderant Total Office and others.  See announcement by Microsoft:  Announcement regarding SQL Server 2008 end of support.

That means that known security holes will no longer be updated by Microsoft free of charge and networks that contain Microsoft SQL 2008 servers will be vulnerable to hacking, malware and viruses if not updated.  Two options for upgrading are  Microsoft Azure SQL Database service or Microsoft SQL Server 2017 software. (SQL Server 2019 has not been publicly released as of this writing).   Azure Database is a fully managed relational cloud database service on the Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Both options improve security by instituting encryption by default, both at rest and in transit, what Microsoft calls “Always Encrypted”.  For more information on this feature see:  Always Encrypted. 

Planning and preparation are key to a smooth transition.  This should include an evaluation of front end applications, such as case management software, to ensure compatibility with the latest platforms.

Federal Courts may require your firm to submit PDF files in a PDF/A compliant format.  PDF/A is type of PDF file that contains all the elements of the document ‘embedded’ in the document versus having links to content in the document.  This is important for long term archiving and subsequently preferred by the courts.

Here are two ways to convert PDF files to PDF/A compliant:
1.  Print PDFs to the PDF printer driver;  Choose, [File][Print] in the PDF and choose the PDF printer driver as the printer to create the output.  This is fast and simple, but the markups and other features like digital signatures, embedded content and encryption will be removed from the file.  This is usually OK for legal professionals submitting files to the courts.
2.  Using Adobe Professional, creating PDF/A files requires a few extra steps, but this method preserves the markups and other features.  Choose PDF/A-1b for Federal Court Filings:

Do not hesitate to email or call me to review PDF/A

Thanks,

Peter Rabbino

Mobile: (954) 937-4528

peterr@legalcomputer.com

www.legalcomputer.com

Legal Computer Consultants (LCC)provides comprehensive technology solutions exclusively for South Florida attorneys and their staff.