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General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division

A service of the ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division


American Bar Association - Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice

MAY 2009


  • i365 Gives Family Law Firm Peace of Mind
  • It can be a challenge for small firms, which often lack internal IT expertise, to implement easy-to-use, reliable, and secure data protection systems. Just ask Jennifer Mello and Traci Pickering, the founding partners in Mello & Pickering, LLP in San Jose, California.

    “We had no clue about how to back up data—about safety, who can access it, where it’s going to go, or how secure it’s going to be,” says Jennifer Mello. “We did know, however, that if something should happen and we lost the work product on a case, we’d be looking at huge liability.”

    Fortunately, the firm connected with their new “IT guy” James Geraci, an expert whose specialty is helping law firms. He strongly recommended the EVault SaaS Small Business Edition from i365, A Seagate Company. In addition, as members of the American Bar Association, Mello & Pickering qualified for preferred discount pricing from i365 through the ABA Member Advantage program.

    Mello and Traci Pickering opened the doors to their family law practice in February 2007, after working together in another firm for five years. In the early days, the practice used a disk-based backup system that relied on a single-purpose, in-house data appliance. It made a local backup to an internal hard drive, then transmitted a copy to a remote location.

    This turned out to be “a trial-by-error system,” says Pickering. “We weren’t getting backup reports, and we had no way to know if things were going wrong. We weren’t getting the comfort level we felt we needed.”

    Mello and Pickering sought a new solution that would:

    • Ensure privacy and security of client information
    • Be easy to use
    • Fully encrypt their backup data
    • Comply with statutes regarding data security and retention
    • Deliver automated alerts if problems occurred
    • Provide knowledgeable and responsive customer service

    The i365 EVault system Geraci recommended features flexible end-to-end encryption that locks data before it leaves a source computer. The information remains encrypted during transmission and while in a remote electronic vault, and only the account holder has the key to decrypt it.

    The EVault SaaS Small Business Edition has simplified Mello & Pickering’s backups and restored peace of mind. This was reinforced for them the first—and so far, only—time they’ve had an issue.

    Pickering recalls, “We got an email saying there was a problem and that we hadn’t been backed up in the previous 24 hours. The i365 support person was able to take remote control of our system and fix the problem by the end of the day. This was huge compared to our old system, where it was a nightmare trying to get hold of support.”

    Adds Mello, “We love the i365 email notices, and I now know that if I’m not getting an email, all is good. It’s also easy for us log in and confirm that our firm and client data is protected.”

    Pickering sums up: “All of our time is devoted to working for our clients. The last thing we need to be worrying about is whether our system is backing up. With i365, that worry and stress is completely gone.”

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