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!

MAILBAG #050109

Email Catchin' up with the inbox:

• Andy Adkins, of the Univ. of Florida (Gainsville) found this amazing update of Captain Sully's seaplane adventure: Download Hudson. It's even better than the ones I previously posted.

• Barkley Court Reporters check in to tell us  that -- as of March -- it has planted 10,000 trees on behalf of clients, as part of its "Green" program that encourages litigators to put transcripts in online repositories include of printing them on paper. Pat Barkley wrote about the program in LTN's Green Law column in July, 2007. 

• Brooke Keyser of RainMaker also checks in with a progress report, about the "Pay it Forward" challenge issued by James Hammond. (We wrote about it last month.) To date, RainMaker has awarded $127,850 in economic assistance funds, of the $1 million it has pledged, she says, and saw a 273% increase in traffic to its website. More than 1,000 firms expressed interest in the program, she says. The first firm to participate is Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman, says RainMaker. 

• Angelique Schaffer of Thomson Reuters reminds me to post this video from the WestBlog produced at this winter's LegalTech New York, (#LTNY) with yours truly pontificating on all things legal tech.

Blogosphere Updates:

• John Grisely reports that that he is building up the resource section of his blog, Mesothelioma Questions. 

• Andreana Pentaris wants you to konw about a new website, LawFirms.com. It devotes articles and resources to a vareity of legal topics, running from criminal defense to bankruptcy, and also has a blog, Legal Research Guides.

• Danielle Walker reports that  E-Lessoned Learned ( eLLblog) has been revamped.

• A.J. Levy -- who  writes the Out of the Box Lawyering blog forwards this post about some creative uses for Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software. He also alerts us to a new blog targeting lawyers who use iPhones.

May 1, 2009 in Diversity, EDD: E-Discovery, Good Works, Green Law, LTNY09, People, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Xmas Craig Ball, LTN's "Ball in Your Court" columnist, says today is "the day after Christmas," and the news of Onsite3's bankruptcy and acquisition probably won't be the last Darwin news in the next weeks.

Check it out here.

February 5, 2009 in Darwin Watch, LTNY09 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Hudson_jet_scene_systemsScene Systems, of Manhattan Beach,Calif., offered a compelling demo at its booth at #LegalTech New York: The company displayed  ts accident reconstruction finese with a video recreation of the miraculous #USAir Flight 1549 Hudson river landing in January.

Picture left:  Steve Breeze, director of production, in the booth. 

Photo by Russ Curtis.  

Here's the video, from YouTube:

February 5, 2009 in LTNY09 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Idea So... I finally got a few hours sleep, and I'm beginning to process the incredible conversations and discussions I've had over the last four days at LegalTech New York!  And as ideas and trends begin to marinate, I'm thinking about the article(s)
 I may write as a result of all of your tremendous insight.

But I'd like even more POVs -- so I'm opening up my questions to everybody.


ID Please: 1. If you are on the record, ID yourself by name, title, company & city.
2. If you are not for attribution, ID yourself by job category (eg, partner, assoc, IT director, EDD vendor, paralegal, etc), description of employer if it won't reveal your ID (eg, mid-sized EDD vendor; small law firm, etc), and city or region. 

Short but Sweet:  Be pithy!!!! Don't send me huge long essays -- try to limit comments to 3 paragraphs -- i know each question could generate a book, but i need to process a lot of ideas quickly. :)  We'll save the longer conversations for times & places where alcohol is served. 

Eligibility:  Everybody -- including vendors -- is eligible, but please NO SHILLING OF PRODUCTS.

Deadline: Tuesday, Feb 10, noon EST. 

Send to: commonscold@incisivemedia.com

Reward: BEST RESPONSE gets a $25 iTunes card! 
Questions: (answer any you wish) (You can also change ID with each Q, just be really clear)

1. What was the biggest surprise to you about LTNY?
2. At the risk of invoking scheudenfreude, do you see anything POSITIVE about all the layoffs in law firms and vendors?
3. Some folks who have been laid off have been quite bold about it, and telling absolutely everybody they see. I suspect this is an excellent tactic. In the past, the probably natural tendency would be to dive under the covers, but does the fact that there have been such extensive layoffs remove any (or most?) stigma about being on "the list:
4. What advice would you give folks who have been laid off
5. Is it true that despite the layoffs, EDD staffing is still the #1 concern for vendors and firms alike. (IE finding the right folks)
6.  Some folks told me this week that the very best candidates, who might in the past have been shopping their resumes, are too afraid to take employment risks right now and not budging from current positions.
7. With the economy tanking and Obama sworn in, do you expect "Clean Tech" and "Green law" practices to be a growth area?
8. Are you using "e-learning" modules to prepare your organizations for  major technology deployment, and then after the installation, to continue training -- in order to keep your costs down? Is it working?
9. Is your firm  taking advantage of the economy to "force" or "encourage" lawyers to finally take time to train on technology to provide "Better/Faster/Cheaper" services?
10. Are you "cross-training" -- eg, learning new skills to improve your marketability (esp for EDD support staff -- if u r a paralegal, r u learning tech? and vice versa. Is everybody banging on the CFO's door and asking to learn about finance?
11. EDD vendors: are you finding new work coming from firm liquidations and mergers, rather than just EDD?
12. Are any suppt staff folks or associates enrolling in MBA programs?
13. Has anybody said, "I've had enough. Life is short. I want a complete career shift?"
14. Who thinks INCREASING travel rather than cutting back is a good idea, and why?
15. Do you think absolutely everybody is stalling major tech installations?
16. What Darwin surprises do you think may happen in the next year? Anybody want to predict which 5 firms will end up dramatically better than they were on Jan 1 '09, and why?
17. Has Social Networking (Twitter/LinkedIn, MH Connected, Facebook etc) hit critical mass -- and become a real business tool? Do you use it effectively? Real-life examples?
18. What is your pet peeve about technology?
19. What do you love about technology.
20. If you were in control of your IT department, what would be the first 5 things you would do.
21. What are the pros/cons of allowing your users to download upgrades to existing software -- (such as Windows or iTunes updates) - or allow plug-and-play to install printers, etc.) How do you protect against viruses, etc.? How do you balance Help Desk priorities  -- and user convenience -- against security risks?
22. Is anybody besides me addicted to the new Planet Green cable channel from Discovery? (Hey, I have to watch something in the off-season :)
23. What did you learn from LTNY that would be helpful to attendees at LT West Coast in June?
24. What I have I not asked you that I should have -- and no, it's not "what is the best solution?" :)

February 5, 2009 in LTNY09 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Gene_Landoe_CTS_LTN_awards_09 At the end of day 2, I'm completely on fumes --  will post much more over the next few days. However, I wanted to share this picture of Gene Landoe, which Russ Curtis shot last night during our LTN Awards Dinner at Carmine's in Times Sq.  Gene has announced his retirement after a long happy career at CT, and we will all miss him and wish him the very best for the next chapter in his illustrious life!

P.S. If anybody knows how to turn off the automatic border on images/photos in Typepad, please email me. It's driving me nuts. monica.bay@incisivemedia.com

February 3, 2009 in LTNY09, People | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

LTNY 09: READY, SET.....

Sunday wasn't just for the SuperBowl, (congrats Pittsburgh), it was also the traditional set-up Sunday for LegalTech New York, as everyone begins to descend on the Hilton for our three-day event! Russ Curtis had his camera out as folks began to set up booths and gather at 53rd & 6th:


Here's our LTNY czar Henry Dicker, with LexisNexis' Jane Kimpan as they got ready for Monday's opening curtain.

and then

and then

and then

to the right, the Greg Lutz and Michelle DeLucia of Inference Data:Legal_Tech_Sunday_setup_06

and then

and then

and then there's the aerial view:


and then

and then

and then

and then

and then

and then

and then

(Can you tell i was having trouble with typepad loading up these photos?)

And then finally: I guess Huron really couldn't resist: (sigh)


The exhibit hall opens this morning at 10 am -- and I'll be at the Incisive Media booth right in front of the main door, doing a live video-blog. I'll be asking everybody to tell me "What I Hate About Technology -- and expect the vendors to do about it!"

Come air your pet peeve! And please tell the vendors you don't want no steeeeenking "solutions" -- but you do want to know exactly what their products and services do, so that you can help create "better, faster, cheaper" legal services for your customers!

Wanna know what I think about "solution?" Check this out from YouTube! 

(It's a question that will be posed to the panelists at the LTNY 09 Town Hall meeting, today, at 12:45 to 2 p.m., at the West Grand Ballroom!

February 2, 2009 in LTNY09 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Edbkf Our annual Editors' Breakfast will be held Tuesday (Feb. 3) at 8 a.m., in the Petit Trianon Room on the 3rd floor of the Hilton NY. It's free and open to all vendors and attendees of LTNY.

As usual, we will offer gourmet conversation and pedestrian danish, coffee & tea (in interests of full disclosure, the picture to the left is NOT representative of our fare).

However, we will have a first-class crop of Incisive Media's northeastern-based  editors who produce our magazines, webinars, blogs, etc. 

And immediately following the Editors session, at 9 a.m., in the same room, we invite bloggers to come for nourishment and good conversation and networking. 

Registration info for LTNY09 can be found at www.legaltechshow.com.

Cya! #LTNY

January 29, 2009 in LTNY09 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Bird We've decided to add a Twitter panel to LTNY, and what a panel it is:

  "What is Twitter and How Can I Use It?"  Monday, Feb. 2, from 3 to 4 p.m., in the 3rd floor Hilton West Ballroom (same one being used for the general sessions).

Among the questions we'll address:
* At the end of the day is Twitter the “ultimate time waster” or a “great tool”?
* From 'huh?" to "a ha!" - one lawyer's journey into the Twitterverse.  -- alternative title "How I learned to stop worrying and love to Tweet!"  
* Time to Tweet?  How to use Twitter without losing time to Twitter.
* Lawyers, Twitter and Client Development *How lawyers are using Twitter for sharing and camaraderie among each other.

Matthew Homann, Founder, LexThink  Twitter: /matthomann
Kevin O’Keefe, Chief Executive Officer,Lex Blog,  LexTweet.com,
T: /kevinokeefe
Chris Winfield, President, 10e20, T: /chriswinfield

Special guest Robert J. Ambrogi, (T: /bobambrogi) author of LTN's Web Watch column, and co-author of Legal Blog Watch and Lawyer2Lawyer podcast, will handle the introductions, and will "live Tweet" from the event!

Moderator: Monica Bay:  T: /commonscold, /eddupdate, /lawtechnews

Not signed up yet for LTNY09? Register here.  T: /legaltechshow

In the meantime, if you wanna do some homework, check out:

• "Tweet 16:" by Ambrogi, from LTN:  

•  Lawyer2Lawyer's "The Pros and Cons of Twitter," here.  (Ambrogi/J.Craig Williams, with guests Kevin O'Keefe and Scott Greenfield.)

• Crowell's Jeffrey Brandt suggests this article from Computerworld.  ("CIOs who Twitter.)

• From Stephen Nipper: 


January 19, 2009 in Conventions, Meetings, Live Programs, LTNY09, Social Networking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Hatetech Anthony Paonita, editor-in-chief of Corporate Counsel magazine, and I are organizing a panel for LegalTech New York that should be a flat-out blast. We've got a GREAT crew of speakers, and a great topic: "What I Hate About Technology - and what i expect my outside counsel, co-counsel, vendors and staff to do about it!"

It will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 3 -- from 3:30- 5 pm -- and will also be taped for my Law Technology Now podcast series. Come hear about their pet peeves and  their wish lists. Whether you are outside counsel, a vendor, or also in GC offices, you're bound to hear pragmatic, real-world information that can help you help your organization -- and your own career.
Scheduled speakers include  Alexander Arato of CA, Ted Banks, formerly of Kraft Foods,  David Cambia, of Aon Corp., Janine Dascenzo, associate general counsel of GE, and Kim Townsan, of United Technologies Corp.

And the wonderful Ted Banks wrote an article in our January issue of Law Technology News, which should go up online by the 2nd (if not before)

I'm so looking forward to this program!

So what's YOUR pet peeve about tech? Dive into the comments and let's compare notes.

1/28 Update: I'm thrilled to announce that our program will be proudly sponsored by CommVault,  which offers e-discovery services.

December 28, 2008 in LTNY09, Webinars, Podcasts, Programs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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