The Common Scold

The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!



How they did it: Here's the second report on our winners of the 2004 LTN Law Firm Awards.

Kidwellcolorjpg_1_1 The judges selected Brent Kidwell, a partner at Jenner & Block for LTN’s 2004 "Champion of Technology" award. Kidwell, who practices from the firm’s Chicago office, serves as the firm’s chief knowledge counsel. He is a member of the litigation, intellectual property and technology law practice groups.

Kidwell concentrates his practice on Internet, cyberspace and IT legal issues, reports the firm, and serves clients in the IT industry. He is responsible for the firm’s technology and KM programs.

Kidwell focuses on applied technology within the firm, including the development of client extranets. He also oversees the firm’s "aggressive use of state-of-the-art technology in complex litigation matters, particularly those involving electronic data discovery and other complex discovery or data-mining challenges."

Said the judges: "Brent Kidwell was nominated based on his remarkable success in melding the expertise of the firm’s technicians with its lawyers’ practices so as to create a uniquely efficient "Client Driven Applied Technology" – all executed within a 12-month period."

"Prior to this approach, the firm’s technology services department provided "technology" and the lawyers practiced law."

The firm’s reconstituted technology activities were drawn from the its technology plan — that was tied to the firm’s overall business plan and mission. Kidwell’s goal was to coordinate both technology and management efforts, with the objective of bringing together the firm’s technology and practice of law to create a synergy to enhance client service.

Kidwell, says the firm, lead a "rapid change" program to create a "sea-change in thinking" at the firm. He was charged with changing "a large law firm’s long-standing culture on short order," no small task.

The resulting KM project included six components: kmSearch, kmDocket, kmDocs, kmTime, JennerNet, and Interaction — and also included the development of an Applied Technology Group.

Here’s a quick look at three of his efforts:

*KmSearch: "Kidwell and his team developed, from scratch, with the assistance of an external developer, a full-text search tool," reports the firm. The web-based tool helps users search essentially any indexed repository at the firm, from SQL databases to word processing documents.

* JennerNet has been used to everything from kmNews flashes, to ethics updates, says the firm, and even to store associate evaluations, the firm advises.

* The Applied Discovery Group, with five staff analysts, helps the firm integrate technology into practice-specific activities; facilitiated knowledge collection and sharing within and between practice groups; manage the firm's intranets and extranets; plan EDD and retain and manage EDD vendors; and provide after-hours/emergency tech support.

Congrats to Kidwell and his team!

February 17, 2005 | Permalink


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