Gonzalez Succeeds Jurcyzk as Global CIO @ SNRD
As rumors had predicted, Sally Gonzalez will join SNR Denton as its global CIO on August 1. In her capacity as a senior director at HBR Consulting (née Hildebrant Baker Robbins, and Baker Robbins & Co.), she has been serving as the firm's interim CIO, after the May 1 departure of Andrew Jurczyk. Both are members of Law Technology News' Editorial Advisory Board.
Read the full story here.
Image: Sally Gonzalez
Thomson Reuters Divests Hildebrandt Baker Robbins
More details later today, but Thomson Reuters is expected to announce later today that it is spinning off Hildebrandt Baker Robbins -- which will become Hildebrandt Baker Robbins LLC. The new entity is expected to focus on its sourcing practice, infrastructure work, and corporate legal -- keeping about 60 people. Engage will join Elite, and the Hildebrandt Institute and Peer Monitor with remain in the TR fold, within the Business of Law Group. Brad Hildebrandt is expected to also stay with TR.
About 20-30 HBR staff will lose their jobs.
Update 2:32 p.m.: Here is the official statement from Thomson Reuters:
"Thomson Reuters has announced plans to spin off its Hildebrandt Baker Robbins consulting firm as an independent business. The new firm will be called HBR Consulting, and will be headed by a team of current practice group leaders including Chris Petrini-Poli, one of the firm’s senior executives. HBR Consulting will focus on law firm operations and technology consulting. Its staff includes many former Hildebrandt Baker Robbins consultants who helped position the firm as an industry leader and are renowned for their experience and legal market expertise.
Thomson Reuters also announced that it has formed a legal market research and business analytics unit comprised of certain assets of the former Hildebrandt Baker Robbins. It will include: Peer Monitor, which analyzes and reports on a number of key law firm financial and operational performance factors, and Hildebrandt Institute, which provides law firm leaders with business-critical information, roundtables, and education programming to help them navigate market challenges and compete more effectively. Engage, a software-based tool that helps law firms budget, estimate and manage alternative fee-based legal work, will be aligned with Elite. Brad Hildebrandt, Hildebrandt Baker Robbins founder and a prominent authority on law firm strategy and operations, will continue with Thomson Reuters, supporting senior Thomson Reuters executives and law firm managing partners in an advisory role."
Update 6/20: Here is the link to the full story on Law Technology News website.
Image: HBR Consulting
War of Words
Not surprisingly, as a journalist and lawyer, I feel very strongly about the right to free speech. Nothing makes that position stronger than seeing what happens when dictators and governments try to suppress those rights, as we continue to see in China, Iran, Libya, and so many other places across the globe — and sometimes, even at home.
But exercising this fundamental human right is not without pain — as when members of the Westboro Baptist Church spew venom in the name of God when they demonstrate at the funerals of soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. These "churchgoers" celebrate the deaths of young men and women as revenge for the United States' tolerance of gays and lesbians.
Yesterday (March 2), the U.S. Supreme Court, by an 8-1 vote, ruled in favor of the Topeka-based "church." Said Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court: "Speech is powerful. It can stir peple to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker."
In February, 2008, Claire Duffett, then news editor of Law Technology News, wrote a fascinating story about the underlying trial, for our "Technology on Trial" series. In "War of Words," she chronicled how the legal team for Albert Synder, who buried his only son, was able to turn Westboro's own videos of their demonstrations into powerful testimony for the plaintiffs in Albert Snyder v. Fred W. Phelps, Sr. et al., Civil No. RDB-06-1389, which went to trial on October 22, 2007 in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland Northern Division, before Judge Richard Bennett.
The plaintiffs won the first round of the litigation: "The jury deliberated for one day, returning on Oct. 31 to declare the church liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. It awarded $2.9 million, with an additional $8 million in punitive damages," but participants recognized that the victory might not stand up.
Duffett concluded her article with this prescient statement: "If overturned, the plaintiffs could take solace in a famed 1919 dissent by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: "We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe."
Another Exit from Fios
CEO John Hesse, president and CEO of Oregon-based Fios, abruptly left the company Wednesday (Feb. 16) after a "personal disagreement" with its board of directors. The board of directors immediately added CEO to the title of its chair William Lyons.
Fios' senior director of marketing Donna Peterson is framing the departure with a positive spin: "This is an orderly transition, continuing Fios’ positive momentum coming out of 2010, which was a banner year for processing volume and repeat customer business."
Hesse, who previously served as CFO and COO, replaced Chris Junker in May, 2010, who had joined Fios from Autonomy, in September 2009 and resigned "due to undisclosed personal reasons (but remained on the board). (Junker had replaced CEO Gerald Massey "as part of a formal succession plan.) Other 2009 departures included consultants Prashant Dubey, Sam Panarella, and Cynthia Bateman (now director of evidence and discovery management, forensic technology services at KPMG) when the short-lived consulting unit was shuttered — and sales/marketer Jeanette Sieplan, and PR chief Deborah Caldwell.
Lyons, right, previously served as chair and CEO of AXS-One, Inc. (an electronic archiving and retrieval company that was acquired by Unify in 2009), and according to his bio, "has a an extensive background in management, sales and marketing, operations, research and development, and mergers and acquisitions. He has successfully taken several companies public," which no doubt will fuel the long-brewing speculation that Fios (like so many e-discovery companies) may be looking to be purchased.
One industry veteran, who asked not to be identified, reads the latest executive suite move as "continued efforts to sell the company. Gerald Massey made no bones that was what he was doing but never got a deal done. I always thought Hesse was interim until they found someone else and looks like this is it," he said.
Observes consultant George Socha, who has been tracking vendors for several years, "An interesting thing about Fios has been that since shortly after they opened their doors in 1999, every six months or so stories have circulated about their impending demise. And still, here they are, alive and, they tell me, in a stronger financial position than ever."
No press release is yet available.
Update: We had a chance to question Lyons about the transition. Here's the Q&A conducted 2/22/11:
1. There’s been a lot of turnover in the top spot at Fios over the last few years. Why?
While there have been a number of transitions, the changes at the top spot have been orderly and measured, though of course, not pre-planned. Gerald Massey was Fios’ CEO for more than 6 years before he requested a change. The board instated John Hesse, then CFO, to the interim position until we named Chris Junker as CEO in September 2009. For personal reasons, Chris resigned so he could spend more time in Chicago. However, Junker has remained on our board, which has insured a smooth transition, with no loss of momentum. Similarly, when we promoted John Hesse from CFO and COO to CEO in April 2010, I was named chair. Therefore, when John Hesse left to pursue other interests, Fios had in me an experienced high-tech CEO (20 years as CEO) already completely up-to-speed on Fios’ strategy, supportive of its goals/plans and very familiar with the senior team.
2. What do you hope to accomplish in your tenure as CEO?
I hope to continue the momentum we are experiencing coming out of the economic downturn. We had a record year in 2010 for data processing volume and percentage of repeat customers. And 2011 is off to a very strong start. In addition, Fios has a well-known brand in e-discovery earned through our successful engagements with major companies and law firms since 1999. It is my goal to aggressively drive our strategy, which leverages Fios’ know-how with technology to facilitate our clients’ underlying e-discovery processes to ultimately give Fios an edge in this very competitive market.
3. Is Fios, like many e-discovery companies, looking to be purchased in the near future? Will investigating those options be a priority for you during your tenure?
No and no. We are with George Socha: acknowledge the reality vs the rumor. Stories have circulated that Fios is on the verge of acquisition/merger/demise since 1999, and yet, we are here and still going strong. Note that we carry no debt and maintain a strong cash position. While I do think there will be consolidation in the e-discovery space, I believe market share will be won by the companies with innovative solutions and innovative pricing, packaging and partners — these are my priorities. We intend to be one of the winning companies.
4. What are Fios’ key goals for 2011 — and beyond?
Our goal is to gain market share through continued focus on client satisfaction, execution of our plan, leveraging our brand and technology innovation. This of course means we are measuring and expecting improved revenues, profits and products, as well as industry-leading customer satisfaction. This should enable us to be an e-discovery leader for years to come.
Andreozzi is New Chair of Bloomberg Law
Bloomberg Law has wooed two former LexisNexis leaders to help push its competing legal research system. Lou Andreozzi (right) the former CEO of LexisNexis North American, has joined as its chair, Larry Thompson as chief operating officer.
Thompson, who will be responsible for day-to-day operations, is a former senior vice president at LexisNexis. He most recently was senior partner with The Sterling Group 925.
Bloomberg Law provides real-time legal research system, competing directly with both LexisNexis and with Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
In a Tuesday afternoon interview with Law Technology News, Andreozzi said that Bloomberg Law "will offer something that law firms have been asking for, for a long time: fixed pricing -- extremely attractive -- and predictable pricing."
How much? The company has not yet decided on exactly what that pricing will be. "That will be one of the first things we will work out," he said. All databases will be included, he promised.
The service will exploit's Bloomberg's existing news services, and will be multimedia, with a user-friendly interface, said Andreozzi. "We are positioning it so that law firms will get what they need on a daily basis."
When asked about Thomson Reuters, which also marries legal information with news services, he acknowledged that "Thomson Reuters is a very formitable competitor," and noted that law firms may well purchase Bloomberg Law to complement their existing Thomson Reuters and/or LexisNexis existing services.
He also acknowledged that the company "still has a way to go with some of the legal content," citing blogger Robert Ambrogi's analogy of a luxury yacht that still needs "some compartments filled in."
(Ambrogi's assessment in February: "My overall impression of Bloomberg Law was of a luxury yacht only partially constructed. It looks impressive and many parts of it are fitted out with top-of-the-line features. But as you wander around its decks, many doorways open to unfinished, empty rooms. It is seaworthy, one assumes, but still has a lengthy punch list.")
Andreozzi spent more than 10 years at LexisNexis. As CEO of North American Legal Markets, he was involved with the Lexis online service, Shepard’s, Matthew Bender, Martindale-Hubbell and lawyers.com, says Bloomberg Law. Prior to his CEO post, he served as the company's general counsel. Andreozzi will remain CEO of IQNavigator.
Constantin Cotzias, who oversaw the launch of Bloomberg Law, will join the senior leadership team in Bloomberg Europe, where he will head government and regulatory affairs and government business development and strategy in Europe, the company reports.
Robert Ambrogi, "Three's a Crowd," LTN 2/2010
Robert Ambrogi, "Is It A Contender," November, 2009.
Fios' Mack Moves to ZyLab
Mary Mack, considered by many to be the "face" of Fios, has defected to join ZyLab as its enterprise technology counsel. She starts her new post on November 7, based in California, after a decade with the Oregon e-discovery provider as its corporate technology counsel. In addition to working with Fios' clients, she wrote the influential blog, Sound Evidence, and was a frequent speaker on the legal technology circuit.
At the new gig, she will collaborate directly with legal counsel and IT teams from ZyLab's corporate, government, and law firm customers. She will also "continue to share her perspectives and experience through speaking engagements and blog contributions," reports Johannes Scholtes, ZyLab's chair and chief strategy officer.
Mack told LTN that as much as she enjoyed her job, she was getting a bit "restless," and wanted to devote more time to pro bono activities. "When I saw your post about ZyLab being part of the team that won the award for its work convicting war criminals, my radar went up." The rest, as they say, is history. Mack says she'll miss her colleagues and clients, "but, after 10 years working for the same company (that is 70 years in e-discovery time), it is time for a change."
Fios' CEO John Hesse bid his colleague a fond farewell: "Today we don't say good-bye, but we do wish our friend Mary Mack only the best as she explores new challenges in life. For 10 years, she has been a key contributor to our company's development and to the electronic discovery industry at large. When e-discovery was the 'wild, wild West,' there was Mary, advocating for smart and consistent practices that leveraged the best technical innovations of the time."
More: EDD Update.
Sticks & Stones
A New York court has rejected a suit alleging online harassment, holding that the state's laws "do not recognize cyber or internet bullying as a cognizable tort action." Finkel v. Dauber was decided in July, in the Supreme Court of Nassau County; plaintiff Denise Finkel was allegedly the subject of "extremely unpleasant" Facebook messages.
In the New York Law Journal, Stephen Kramarsky, a member of Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky, analyzes the case and recent efforts to create legislation to protect teens in the light of recent suicides related to bullying.
"Much of the public discourse in online communities and social media -- whether private blogs, websites like Facebook or MySpace or services like Twitter -- consists of button pushing and trash-talk, good natured or otherwise. Context, in such situations, can be extremely important and broad legislation, while satisfying in the wake of tragedies ... is not always the best solution," says Kramarsky.
In the absence of a contextual analysis -- present in New York's defamation law, but missing from many of the proposed and existing cyber-bullying laws -- this kind of communication, familiar to anyone who has ever been in a 'flame war,' could become a crime," he says. "As a policy matter, it is best to avoid criminalizing what may be a "social norm" in a given context simply because legislators are disconnected from that context. The rules of discourse on Facebook are not the same as those on the Senate floor."
But, he concludes, "some regulation of electronic bullying and harassment is arguably in order -- even if it is only an update of existing law to include electronic communications -- but in any such regulation discretion must be the watchword. As the Finkel court correctly notes, in this area 'context is key."
Darwin Watch: DTI Acquires Daticon EED
Document Technologies Inc. has acquired Daticon EED, a Seattle-area e-discovery company. The company will now be known as "EED, a DTI company," based in Atlanta.
Effective immediately, it will act as the operating unit supporting current Daticon EED clients. John Davenport Jr., currently president and CEO of DTI, will continue in that role. The terms of the deal "are not, and will not be disclosed," said publicist Amy Juers, of Edge Legal Marketing.
DTI says it now has annual revenue of more than $130 million, including $70 million-plus from discovery services. It operates six large data centers in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Norwich, Conn. The former EDD Daticon offices in Kirkland, Wash. will be used as a regional technology center.
The acquisition dissolves the "Daticon" moniker, marking the end of a rather turbulent past. Founded in 1993, Daticon was previously based in Connecticut. It was bought in 2006 by Xiotech Corp., of Eden Prairie, Minn., after filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (Xiotech bought only the assets, not the liabilities of the company, according to news reports.)
In 2000, a majority interest in Daticon was purchased by Daniel Gordon, who was later convicted for embezzling $43 million from Merrill Lynch, including money used to purchase the interest.
The EED in the name refers to the company previously known as Electronic Evidence Discovery Inc., founded in 1987 by John Jessen. "I am confident DTI will leverage this history to continue advancing the combined leadership position in the discovery service industry," he said today.
KROLL ACQUIRED BY ALTEGRITY
Altegrity today announced plans to acquire Kroll from Marsh & McLennan Companies, in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.13 billion the companies announced. Kroll offers a range of security and technology services, including investigations, financial advice and intelligence, and more.
Altegrity is owned by Providence Equity Partners, a global private equity firm. The transaction is expected to close by September, assuming the usual approvals. Altegrity's CEO Mike Cherkasky served as president/CEO of Kroll from 2001-2004. MMC turned to Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz for legal counsel; Debevoise & Plimpton aided Altegrity and Providence.
Among Kroll's entities is Kroll Ontrack, which offers a range of services, software, and consulting to help legal, corporate, and governmental entities (and consumers) deal with data, including data recovery services. Kroll Ontrack has a high profile in the e-discovery community; it ranked as a top 5 overall services provider in the final Socha/Gelbmann e-discovery survey in 2008. In the same survey, it ranked in the 11-15 category for its software.
On EDD Update, Craig Ball, Law Technology News' e-discovery columnist, notes that MMC bought Kroll in the summer of 2004 for $1.9 billion. "Wonder if some of Kroll's investigative skills will be tasked to find out what happened to that $770 million in value lost to shell-shocked shareholders like me?" But, says Ball, "It's likely a good move for Kroll -- always a poor fit at Marsh and a minor contributor to revenues -- and a homecoming of sorts [for] Cherkasky."
"The new owners are probably a better conduit for the government investigation work that's an important part of Kroll's book of businesses," says Ball. But he caveats that it "will be interesting to see what conflicts emerge between Kroll's (and Ontrack's) Wall Street and AmLaw 100 work, and the work for Uncle Sam."
"Altegrity's acquisition of Kroll is one more example of the continuing mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships [within e-discovery]," say George Socha and Thomas Gelbmann. "Kroll Ontrack is certainly one of the largest and most well established providers of EDD services and software, so this sale is something we will be following with interest.The impact of this acquisition on Ontrack's direction will be interesting to track but could take a year or more to manifest itself."
Calls to our usual sources at Minn.-based Kroll Ontrack were deferred to Kroll's new headquarters. Kroll CEO Ben Allen told LTN that the sale definitely helps Kroll, and especially Kroll Ontrack, because (as Ball suggests) it will be a much bigger fish in the pond. As part of MMC, "Kroll was about 10%," but as part of Altegrity, it will be about "40% to 45%" of the company. Allen rebuffed any concerns about conflicts, saying the companies already had processes and procedures in place that work well.
As for the difference between the 2004 and 2009 sales prices, Allen deferred to MMC for comment. But he noted that Kroll had already sold off three significant entities, a drug screening business, a government services business, and a corporate advisory and restructuring group, since 2008.
Press Release here.
All lawyers must be able to fashion a successful legal hold, argues Craig Ball in his May "Ball in Your Court" column in Law Technology News. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin's recent "terrifying 88-page opinion" in Pension Committee gives no quarter, he says.
"The failure to issue a written litigation hold constitutes gross negligence because that failure is likely to result in the destruction of relevant information," she writes. So what's a lawyer to do? Ball comes to the rescue with tips on creating a workable legal hold.
And there's more news: Ralph Losey, on EDD Update, notes that Scheindlin added another correction to her opinion on May 28. The fix will help folks breath a little easier, he says, as she changes language from "likely constitutes negligence" to "could" -- and "all employees" is modified to "those with any involvement."
Speaking of legal holds, in "Gone, Not Forgotten" Jones Day's Marc Fulkert reminds us that exiting employees may leave behind a trail of electronic data. He offers suggestions for policies that will protect organizations, including prohibiting personnel from using personal computers or e-mail when working -- and to be sure that those folks don't walk away with company computers!
HERE COMES TROUBLE
Three days of briefings with Twin Cities legal technology teams have increased my perception that compliance is looming large over our industry. I suspect, once it settles in, that it will make e-discovery look easy.
Tuesday's lead story on the Star Tribune's business page was how Piper Jaffray & Co., a 115-year old Minneapolis-based investment bank, had just agreed to cough up a $700K fine for failing to retain e-mails required by securities laws and regulations; and for failing to inform regulators that they had discovered the problem while investigating an ex-employee, reports Dan Browning.
"You might think [the bank] would have known better," writes Browning. It already paid a $1.65 million fine in 2002 for failing to preserve e-mails.
The story prompted Minnesota consultant George Socha to check in to remind us about The Information Management Reference Model that is under development from his EDRM gang. Its mission: "to provide a common, practical, flexible framework to help organizations develop and implement effective and actionable information management programs,"
On a much lighter note, the same issue of the Strib featured a hilarious review by Jon Bream, a frequent contributor to Law Technology News, of the band Nickelback, which he says is veering very close to Spinal Tap. Bream says frontman Chad Kroeger "dropped enough F-bombs to upset your grandmother, made enough pot references to give you the munchies, and babbled on longer than the president's State of the Union."
HERE COME THE LAWYERS
Interesting post by Anna Maria Virzi on ClickZ, "BP Oil Spill Fuels Legal Marketing Machines," about how enterprising lawyers are using web tools to market their services to businesses and individuals affected by the Gulf Coast mess. And how BP itself is using the same tactics to try to salvage its image.
BP is also using paid search for reputation management, "directing people to www.bp.com/gulfofmexicoresponse to learn about the company's response to the oil spill," writes Virzi, who analyzes and compares some of the web advertising that various firms are using to establish their expertise and rustworthiness, and dodge any "carpetbagger" labels.
Hat tip: Bill Pollak.
OFFICE, SHAREPOINT 2010
I turn the mic over to my colleague Sean Doherty, technology editor of Law.com:
Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 was released to business customers today.
The two products aim to "redefine" productivity, according to Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft Business Division. With more than 8 million people already using 2010, today's announcement was no surprise. And neither are many of the new features to the 2010 products, as they have been tested by firms like Clifford Chance and Katten Muchin Roseman, and reviewed by consultant John Waters.
Brian Zeve, managing director of Microsoft’s Professional Services Industry unit, penned "The Top 10 Capabilities in Microsoft Office 2010 for Law Firms." Zeve's top ten points highlight new innovative tools like MailTips that, among other things, notify users when they are about to send an e-mail to a group or an individual outside the organization.
The new Office Backstage view replaces the traditional file menu and the Ribbon now appears on all Office applications, which makes it easy for law offices to include standard templates, notes Zeve.
JUSTICE STEVENS DISCUSSION
I turn the mic over to my colleague Sean Doherty, technology editor of Law.com:
Justice Stevens Announces Retirement: Normally, that's not a news topic that would make the Law Technology News Daily Alert. But in the spirit of Web 2.0 and internet journalism, The National Law Journal has mounted a blog on the topic, Speaking of Stevens: A Forum on the Justice, His Legacy, and the Future of the Court.
NLJ has invited more than a dozen high court experts to weigh in with their thoughts of Justice John Paul Stevens and his legacy, as well as the future of the Supreme Court. Join M. Edward Whelan III, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center; Sonja West, professor at the ;University of Georgia School of Law; Lucas "Scot" Powe Jr., professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law; Andrew Pincus, partner at Mayer Brown; Carter Phillips, managing partner in the D.C. office of Sidley Austin; and more.
iJUMP 4 iPAD
ALM CEO Bill Pollak already has a 3G version on order (I'm going to wait until the prices go down a bit, besides, I never buy version 1.0 of any product -- just call me paranoid).
Pollak notes that the blawgosphere is already "aTwitter" -- check out Tablet Legal by Josh Barrett, a Portland, Ore., business attorney.
LTN's news editor, Dan Howley, found ilawpad, a blog by Cincinnati attorney Jim Schimanski that discusses how lawyers can use Apple's latest must-have device.
The Legal iPad, a blog by Nicole Black, is collecting a list of lawyers using iPads, along with a list of relevant Twitter posts. BTW: Black and Carolyn Elefant (former co-author of Law.com's Legal Blog Watch) have co-authored an American Bar Association book, Social Media for Lawyers: The New Frontier, which will be available soon.
GLADWELL TO SPEAK AT LEGALTECH NEW YORK
Breaking News! Very, very exciting news from senior conference producer Judy Kelly of our LegalTech New York team today about the upcoming keynote programs.
Celebrated author Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, blink!, and the new What the Dog Saw) will join Dr. Lisa Sanders, The New York Times' amazing medical columnist, will join Thomson Reuters chief strategy officer David Craig, and vice president of West Government Services, Steve Rubley, for a panel discussion on Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The title: "The New Convergence of Intelligence, Intuition, and Information."
Gladwell and Sanders are two of my favorite authors, I can't wait to hear them. (And if you haven't bought it already, be sure to get the audio version of What the Dog Saw -- Gladwell is one of the best storytellers alive. (Not every author can effectively read aloud his or her own works).
And the opening day keynote is also intriguing: Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, former director general of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Commission, will join Peter Warwick, president and CEO of Thomson Reuters Legal. They will explore "the dynamics of emerging nations, technology, infrastructure, and the role of international institutions in supportin the rule of law in an era of increasing regional instability."
For registration information, please visit Legal Tech.
Photo credit: Brook Williams, from Gladwell.com.
BRCo & HILDEBRANDT MERGE
With last week's announcement that David Baker, left, (a longtime member of LTN's Editorial Advisory Board) was retiring from Baker Robbins & Co., I wasn't surprised to hear yesterday that Thomson Reuters' Hildebrandt International and BRCo would merge. (TR also announced plans to lay off 240 employees in its legal businesses, according to The Wall Street Journal.)
Our colleague Zack Lowe reports in the development in yesterday's Am Law Daily:
The merger has been in the works since TR acquired BRCo in 2007, Bradford Hildebrandt said.
"He will continue to play a prominent role at the combined company while yielding day-to-day supervision to Baker CEO Brad Robbins and Hildebrandt managing director Jim Jones."
" 'It just makes enormous sense," Hildebrandt says. The two companies have been working together anyway, since a big part of helping firms become more efficient involves streamlining their tech systems,' he adds."
" 'Most firms are just not equipped with the technology to deal with changing business models the way they are going to be forced to,' Jones says. 'When you are billing all of your time on an hourly basis, the accounting system is pretty simple. But if a significant portion of your business--not a majority, but a significant portion — is based on flat fees and other alternative arrangements, the technology gets much more complicated,' " Lowe writes.
Read Lowe's complete report here.
Doors Are Open! Our first Virtual LegalTech has launched.
The Exhibit Hall opened this morning at 9 a.m. Starting at 10 a.m., a new program started every hour. My program airs at 3 p.m., "IT Leadership in Turbulent Times," with Morrison & Foerster's James McKenna, and Nixon Peabody's John Roman Jr. John and I (and possibly James) will be available live for chats at 4:15 p.m. EST today (in the Lounge)!
You can catch the programs "live" today, until 5 p.m., when the doors close -- but only for about an hour. Later tonight, the site reopens, with all panels available as downloadable archives.
All the features will be up and running, including a Resource Center (TheEdgeRoom) -- the digital library, where you will find brochures, fact sheets, literature, product info, podcasts, etc. You can roam the "virtual booths" at the and even chat with folks in the Networking Lounge.
P.S. Our apologies to John Roman for adding an "and" to Nixon Peabody in our LTN Daily Alert today! We caught it JUST after the "send" button had been hit. Mea culpa! I feel like a contestant on Jeopardy who couldn't click the buzzer on time!
GOOGLE SCHOLAR POSTS CASES
The Blawgosphere was abuzz early today with news
that Google "has quietly added state and federal case law and patent
search to its Google Scholar search service," as well as a "How Cited"
citator service. The quote's from Et Seq., the Harvard law School
(See also, TaxProf Blog and
3 Geeks and a Law Blog,
The Google database includes more than 80 years of federal case law, and 50+
years of state case law. Users can search full-text of the state and
fed opinions, which are hyperlinked, so you can navigate from one
opinion to the next. Long-time legal tech guru Rick Klau (left) participated in
the effort. He was an early employee of FeedBurner, which was acquired
by Google in June, 2007, and has been with Google ever since. Klau is now a project manager on the Blogger team at Google. Klau has always been at the head of the cyber-pack. In law school,
he founded a law review that published exclusively online. "Fifteen years later, to have the oppportunity to be part of a team that worked
to empower citizens to find and understand the laws that govern them —
well, that's a thrill," says Klau. "Google's mission is to organize the
world's information, and make it accessible and useful. This feels like
an important step forward on delivering that mission." We purchased a collection of opinions from a third party provider and hosted it on Google Scholar. In addition, we include opinions are from publicly available collections such as Public.Resource.Org, the Cornell Legal Information Institute and Justia," says Klau.
Check out the Official Google Blog for the announcement: http://googleblog.blogspot.com. Both LexisNexis and Thomson Reuter seemed blase about the news. LN's statement: "Free case law is not new to the Internet and is included on some of our own sites like lexisONE, LexisWeb and lawyers.com. However, our legal customers generally require more than raw, unfiltered content to inform their business decisions. They look to LexisNexis to find needles in the ever-growing information haystack, not the haystack itself.
Not only do we provide the most complete portfolio of public and proprietary legal content, but LexisNexis enables legal professionals to conduct their research more efficiently, effectively, and with the assurance of accuracy. The LexisNexis legal research service provides critical analysis and commentary such as Mathew Bender, citation analysis like Shepard’s, deep online linkages built over time to relevant content, and unique functionality such as pinpoint searching by topic or by complex legal phrases. Our goal is to deliver relevant, reliable results that enable our customers to make informed decisions faster." Says Thomson Reuter: "Google has shared with us their plans to
expand Google Scholar to include the search of publicly available
caselaw and some legal journals. We believe that government-authored
information should be accessible to the public, and Google joins
existing sites such as FindLaw, the Legal Information Institute at
Cornell University Law School and scores of others as sites that offer
this information free of charge. Our customers rely on us for very specialized information and legal
insight, and use Westlaw to find exactly the right answer on very
specific points of law." Hat tip to Ross Fishman, of Fishman Marketing. Click to enlarge photo. Update: Among the reaction to the news:
The Google database includes more than 80 years of federal case law, and 50+ years of state case law. Users can search full-text of the state and fed opinions, which are hyperlinked, so you can navigate from one opinion to the next.
Long-time legal tech guru Rick Klau (left) participated in the effort. He was an early employee of FeedBurner, which was acquired by Google in June, 2007, and has been with Google ever since. Klau is now a project manager on the Blogger team at Google.
Klau has always been at the head of the cyber-pack. In law school, he founded a law review that published exclusively online.
"Fifteen years later, to have the oppportunity to be part of a team that worked to empower citizens to find and understand the laws that govern them — well, that's a thrill," says Klau. "Google's mission is to organize the world's information, and make it accessible and useful. This feels like an important step forward on delivering that mission."
We purchased a collection of opinions from a third party provider and hosted it on Google Scholar. In addition, we include opinions are from publicly available collections such as Public.Resource.Org, the Cornell Legal Information Institute and Justia," says Klau.
Check out the Official Google Blog for the announcement: http://googleblog.blogspot.com.
Both LexisNexis and Thomson Reuter seemed blase about the news.
"Free case law is not new to the Internet and is included on some of our own sites like lexisONE, LexisWeb and lawyers.com. However, our legal customers generally require more than raw, unfiltered content to inform their business decisions. They look to LexisNexis to find needles in the ever-growing information haystack, not the haystack itself.
Not only do we provide the most complete portfolio of public and proprietary legal content, but LexisNexis enables legal professionals to conduct their research more efficiently, effectively, and with the assurance of accuracy. The LexisNexis legal research service provides critical analysis and commentary such as Mathew Bender, citation analysis like Shepard’s, deep online linkages built over time to relevant content, and unique functionality such as pinpoint searching by topic or by complex legal phrases.
Our goal is to deliver relevant, reliable results that enable our customers to make informed decisions faster."
Says Thomson Reuter: "Google has shared with us their plans to expand Google Scholar to include the search of publicly available caselaw and some legal journals. We believe that government-authored information should be accessible to the public, and Google joins existing sites such as FindLaw, the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School and scores of others as sites that offer this information free of charge.
Our customers rely on us for very specialized information and legal insight, and use Westlaw to find exactly the right answer on very specific points of law."
Hat tip to Ross Fishman, of Fishman Marketing.
Click to enlarge photo.
Update: Among the reaction to the news:Twitter: @davidcurle: Pity the lawyers of the world who are about to be WebMD'd by clients who think they know the law b/c they read it on Google.
Ashby Jones at the Wall Street Journal picked up the post: http://tinyurl.com/tcs9183.
MANAGEMENT SHIFT AT FIOS
Apparently, there's been a big shift in the exec offices at Fios. I'll find out more details tomorrow when I meet with their team, but John Hesse (right) is now listed on their website as the "interim CEO" replacing Gerald Massey.
LTN board member Tom O'Connor (director of the Gulf Coast Legal Tech Center) tipped us that last Friday Prashant Dubey (SVP Consulting), Sam Panarella (VP Consulting) and Jeanette Siepian (SVP Sales & Marketing) were all let go. Dubey and Panarell's LinkedIn pages show the departures, Siepian's still states Fios employment.Massey's says he's still on the board of directors, but no longer lists CEO title.
Fios' Debbie Caldwell just confirmed the departures:
"Gerald is no longer CEO, he left in May. He initiated the change as part of a succession plan, with discussions beginning last fall. Gerald maintained, and still does, full confidence by the board. He continues to be involved with Fios, both as a member of the board of directors and a shareholder. John Hesse, the company’s CFO, is the interim CEO
Additional changes: Fios has made organizational changes within the company to better align our resources to take advantage of the rapidly changing e-discovery market. To better address market needs, Fios has combined its sales and professional services divisions and is also expanding its product teams."
BUMMER: CLEAR FOLDS
I thought something was amiss when the Clear lane was closed at JFK Terminal 7 Saturday --with a sign saying the station was closed Sat/Sundays. Then tonight, and we got the letter. As of 11 pm Pacific time tonight, it's kaput. We just got a cryptic e-mail:
"At 11:00 p.m. PST today, Clear will cease operations. Clear's parent company, Verified Identity Pass, Inc. has been unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations.
After today, Clear lanes will be unavailable."
Founded by my former boss, Steve Brill, Clear was absolutely terrific. Great customer service. Will post more when I find out more.
Website simply repeats it:
Clear Lanes Are No Longer Available.
At 11:00 p.m. PST on June 22, 2009, Clear will cease operations. Clear’s parent company, Verified Identity Pass, Inc. has been unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations.
Wired Epicenter report: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/vip-airport-screening-company-closes-lanes/
Image courtesy of daggle.
6/23 update from middle seat http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2009/06/23/clear-update-what-happens-to-your-personal-data/
Interested in following the Bernie Madoff mess? Catch up on Twitter: @amlawdaily or @Madoff_watch, or at The American Lawyer website.
J. CRAIG WILLIAMS JOINS SEDGWICK
One of our favorite people, the suave and sophisticated J. Craig Williams, has joined Sedgwick! Williams joins as a partner based in the firms Orange County office, along with Joseph McFaul, who joins as special counsel.
Both were formerly members of WLF | The Williams Lindberg Law Firm, a boutique firm based in Newport Beach, Calif.
Craig not only is a member of the LTN edit board, but is co-podcaster with our Bob Ambrogi, on LegalTalkNetwork's Lawyer2Lawyer, and is one of my podcasting mentors. Plus he actually was willing to be seen in public with me at Angels Stadium when the Yanks played the Angels last year. (I was, of course, in full Pinstripes, always fun at away games). That is courage, my friends. That's him (right) at the little celebration we held for him at LegalTech West Coast, for the release of his delightful book, How to Get Sued.
Congrats Craig and Joseph. Full release here.
LAW TECHNOLOGY NEWS DAILY ALERThere. The first edition includes a link to a hot story about Guidance Software, which is being grilled about absent memos -- did the
E-Discovery company bumble its own internal digital search?
Check out the story here.
MICROSOFT DEBUTS WINDOWS PHONE
BARCELONA, Spain — Feb. 16, 2009 — Today at Mobile World Congress 2009, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer along with key mobile partners, HTC, LG and Orange, unveiled new Windows phones featuring new user-friendly software and services. The next generation of Windows phones will be based on Windows Mobile 6.5 and feature a new user interface and a richer browsing experience. In addition, Windows phones will feature two new services: My Phone, to sync text messages, photos, video, contacts and more to the Web; and Windows Marketplace for Mobile, a new marketplace that will provide direct-to-phone mobile applications and can be accessed from both the phone and the Web.
WHAT LIES BENEATH
Ball warns us to be sure we have considered how to protect our firms and clients should a vendor evaporate.
BLACKBERRYS & PDAS SAVE LAWYERS
Bob Ambrogi writes on Legal Blog Watch about three members of our community who survived the horrific attacks in Mumbai, aided by their BlackBerrys and international cell phones. Check it out here.
Here's a harrowing excerpt:
For Australian lawyer David Jacobs, trapped in a room on the 16th floor of the Oberoi/Trident Hotel, his BlackBerry proved to be his salvation, according to the Sunday Mail. Hiding in a closet, the 58-year-old Baker & McKenzie lawyer exchanged a stream of e-mails with his family in Sydney and two U.S. security experts.
"I don't know if I'm going toget out of this and I love you and I love the kids, and we've had a great life together," he wrote in one e-mail to his wife. Throughout the ordeal, he received advice from security experts on escape options and what to do if taken hostage.
GE SUES ITS FORMER ATTY
Our colleague Sue Reisinger of Corporate Counsel has this story out today:
Here's the first graf:
General Electric Co. has now seen two in-house lawyers end up in court -- as its opponents. In June, GE sued a one-time staff attorney, claiming that she took privileged company tax documents and gave them to two government agencies and
a reporter. The materials apparently described an alleged tax fraud scheme by a GE division in Brazil. In a separate case last year, the general counsel of one of the company's U.S. subsidiaries brought a gender discrimination class action against GE.