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Monday, February 5, 2001

Lawyer honored for e-zine

By Patricia Breakey
Delhi News Bureau

A Hancock lawyer with a flair for computers and the Internet has been named contributing editor of the state Bar Association's electronic magazine.

Leonard E. Sienko Jr. helped launch the first issue of E-Brief in October.

"I was one of the original contributing editors," Sienko said. "When they had the idea for the magazine site, they knew I was already doing something similar locally."

Sienko is the webmaster for the Delaware County Bar Association and has designed and maintains a World Wide Web page for the county Bar Association.

"When they needed someone to edit the E-Brief, they knew who to ask," Sienko said with a laugh.

A former Delaware County Bar Association president, Sienko has been engaged in the general practice of law from his office in Hancock for almost 23 years. He is a charter member of the state bar's Electronic Communications Task Force.

Sienko is well-known in local bar circles for his use of the Internet for legal research. The Sienko Law Office was the first law office in Delaware County to have an online presence with its own home page.

"I have had a computer in my office since 1986," Sienko said. "But back in 1982 I had an old PT210. I would do database searches and check case sites. The printer used strange, shiny paper.

"I would show up in court with the most current cases on this odd shiny paper," Sienko continued. "One day the judge asked me what was on the shiny paper."

Stephen P. Gallagher, director of the NYSBA Law Office Economics Management Committee, said Sienko is one of the more knowledgeable lawyers when it comes to computer know-how.

"Usually attorneys think one way and computer experts think another way," Gallagher said. "But Leonard has mastered both ways of thinking.

"He has done a great job with the electronic magazine," Gallagher continued. "I wish I had 10 more Leonards out there."

E-Brief provides lawyers with short summaries of the best sites and services available to them on the Internet.

Gallagher said the magazine uses a marketing company that gathers all the e-mail submitted. He said the editors and subscribers send in tips, ideas, favorite law cases and breaking news stories, which include live links to sites where there is more information on the subject.

"I send in little blurbs, which are short summaries about Internet sites, with a link to the site," Sienko said.

"I have been a sole practitioner for nearly 23 years, so I know how little time there is for additional reading. The electronic magazine format is ideal for the busy general practitioner."

Gallagher said after all the blurbs are submitted, he and Sienko take a look at what they have and then decide what to use in the monthly edition.

"Leonard is such a neat person. He really knows how to go out into the Internet and find whatever he needs," Gallagher said. "We are really getting some great feedback about the magazine."

In 1997, Sienko received the "Mouse That Roared Award" in recognition of his outstanding leadership and commitment to the State Bar Internet Initiative, for assisting in developing the State Bar's Internet site and services.

Sienko said the state bar website at http://www.nysba.org now contains more than 1,000 pages of legal information and links for association members and the public.

If you have some good news you'd like to share, please call Managing Editor Cary Brunswick at 432-1000 or (800) 721-1000; e-mail him at cary@thedailystar.com; fax him at 432-5707; or write to him at P.O. Box 250, Oneonta, N.Y. 13820.

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