Many thanks to Christy Burke, (left) president of New York City-based PR and marketing firm Burke & Company, for inviting me to participate in her series of essays about/from industry leaders that has been running in Burke's "Legal Technology Observer" blog. Burke's blog is part of the Legal IT Professionals website run by Rob Ameerun, who is based in the Netherlands. It takes an international focus on legal IT news, information, and commentary, and targets the usual suspects in IT, as well paralegals, knowledge management folks, and, says Burke, "lawyers interested in the technology that facilitates their work."
Burke's series of guest observers — some write, some are interviewed — includes Randi Mayes, executive director of the International Legal Technology Association; attorney/consultant Robert Ambrogi (LTN's "Web Watch" columnist and Lawyer2Lawyer podcaster on the Legal Talk Network); attorney/consultant/special master Craig Ball (LTN's e-discovery columnist); LTN board member Jeffrey Brandt, editor of the PinHawk Law Technology Daily Digest; and many other luminaries, including Mary Abraham, Ron Friedmann, Kevin O'Keefe, Sharon Nelson and John Simek. Next week, Burke, will post a "time capsule PDF containing all the posts" that will be available for free download.
Meanwhile, speaking of the Legal Talk Network, Lu Ann Reeb and the gang have created a "Featured Lawyers" section its website, with mini-podcasts and profiles of the attorneys who host podcasts. Already produced: Tom Mighell, Dennis Kennedy, Jared Correia, Marsha Kazarosian, and moi; others will be added in the near future.
Image: Christy Burke
Kristin Currey Joins DTI
DTI (née Document Technologies Inc.) -- which offers discovery services, facilities management, and knowledge process outsourcing -- has named Kristin Currey as its new director of business development, West region -- part of DTI's national sales team.
Reached in Los Angeles, where she is based, Currey said her "primary duties are to bring marketing to in-house, corporate counsel to help them manage and control costs around e-discovery and litigation management.
Asked what is the biggest problem facing e-discovery, Currey answered quickly. "It's not regulated -- you can have people running businesses out of their garage. There are no standards," she said. As for potential answers to that problem, she suggests that vendors and providers should have to go through standards testing.
Read the full story here.
Inclusion Initiative Sets $139 Million Goal
Emery Harlan, board chair of the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms (and firm chair at Gonzalez Saggio Harlin) reports that members of NAMWOLF's "Inclusion Initiative" have announced a new goal of spending more than $139 million this year on legal services provided by outside firms owned by minorities and women.
II participants include large departments at 25 large U.S. corporations, including AT&T, Coca Cola, Pacific Gas & Electric, and others.
Susan Blount, senior vice president and general counsel at Prudential, notes that "women are 50 percent of law school graduates, but they have a higher rate of attrition and failure to make partner than their male counterparts.The situation if even more profound for African American and other minority attorneys."
Members of the Inclusion Initiative work closely with NAMWOLF to identify best practices to maximize relationships with high quality minority‐ and women‐owned law firms, says Harlan.
"If the Inclusion Initiative companies meet the 2012 goal, we will have spent in excess of a quarter of a billion dollars on MWBE law firms in just three short years," said Richard Meade, Prudential's vice president and chief legal officers for international businesses. NAMWOLF, based in Milwaukee, is composed of more than 100 MWBE law firms in 33 states.
See Corporate Counsel article here.
Images: GSH, Prudential.
Litera Goes on a Shopping Spree
The latest CIO to catch the very contagious "time to move" bug is Sean Scott (left), who Monday will join Litera (based in McLeansville, N.C.) from Womble, Carlyle, (Greensboro, N.C.) Same commute time, different direction! Litera also added three other execs, and announced plans to launch three new products.
Read the story here.
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
Some long-overdue dives into the in-box:
• Nigel Murray, managing director of Huron Legal continues to raise money for Help for Heroes‚ he has generated more than £15,000 over the last three years via his annual bike ride. This year's ride, in May, covered 375 miles in five days, across the former battlefields of northeastern France. "No mean feat for a man of a certain age whose posterior is more used to a comfortable seat at a desk, in an aeroplane or in a restaurant, and who can often be found with a beer, a cigarette or both in his hands," says London-based Murray. To find out more about Murray's adventures, email him here.
• Aleida Lanza wants you to know about Pulsepoint, an app developed by Richard price, chief of the San Ramon Valley (Calif.) Fire Department. The free app uses your smart phone to alert you if someone in your vicinity needs CPR, and then geo-tags the nearest AED device. "It is meant to minimize the seconds where someone who needs CPR can get immediate life saving assistance from a nearby Good Samaritan, while the fire department is dispatched," says Lanza, project manager at Infinite Personal Possiblities. "Essentially it is an app that enables the community to put their CPR training next to people who need it."
Users can elect the types of notices you get, and can post photos of fires or car accidents so the fire department has a preview of the scene, she says. "It’s everything a civic application should be. It also protects privacy and doesn’t violate HIPPA. Politicians have no excuse to keep us from helping each other," she says.
• A shout-out to Martha & Tom Collins, on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. Tom, the founder of Juris (sold to LexisNexis a few years back), is enjoying his retirement writing mystery thrillers. May you write more than Grisham, Patterson, Turow, Hoag, and the rest of the gang!
Second Act: Graham Smith & William Bice
In LTN's April cover story, we profile two entrepreneurs who accomplished the dream of 99% of legal technology vendors: to create a product and/or company that caught the eye of one of the industry giants, and to see it for a lot of money. In most cases, the principals cash the check and head for exotic locations.
But at LegalTech 2012, two men who hit the jackpot decided they weren't done with our community. William Bice, founder of ProLaw practices management software, and Graham Smith, founder of LiveNote litigation support software, came back for "act two" after selling to Thomson Reuters' [prior entities]. Both launched new web-based products that compete with their original offerings -- Bice's LiquidPractice (and a second product, Exemplify, that is a document creation and comparison tool for transaction lawyers), and Smith's Opus Magnum, with integrates with other EDD software and helps uses develop their cases after they have processed their data collections.
Will they triumph twice? Check it out here.
Jurczyk & Anderson Headed to Seyfarth Shaw
Andrew Jurczyk, a 15-year veteran of SNR Denton, will join Chicago's Seyfarth Shaw as that firm's new CIO on May 1. Eric Anderson, SNR's director of global infrastructure technologies and services will join Jurczyk to serve as Seyfarth's IT director. Both will be based in Seyfarth's headquarters.
Read more here.
Image: Monica Bay
Marketing & IT: A Profitable Marriage
Cooperation and collaboration were key themes of a Friday [March 16] panel at the Legal Marketing Association's annual conference, held this year in Dallas. The panelists on "Marketing & IT? You Can't Have One Without the Other" explored how to create a partnership between the two law firm units that too often treat each other as adversaries.
The lively panel included two pairs of CIO/marketers who literally work across the street from each other in Cleveland: CIO Sam Shipley and director of marketing Alexis Dankovich (far right), of Ulmer & Berne; and CIO Karen Anzuini (middle) and senior marketing communications manager Julie Gurney (far left), of Benesch. I served as moderator of the panel, which drew about 100 attendees on the final day of the annual marketing conference.
Benesch has seven offices and 180 attorneys; Ulmer the same number of attorneys and four offices.
The proximity of the Cleveland offices was obviously a significant help for panel presentation; the four speakers obviously did their homework (and rehearsals) far better than most panelists at most conferences -- and the result was a smoothly integrated and highly interactive presentation.
They engaged the audience with a clever introduction comparing how marketing and IT "hear" proposed projects -- such as when marketing says it wants to do "blast" emails and client alerts, IT immediately assumes the entire firm's email will be blacklisted by every recipient; or when marketing wants to upgrade the firm's branding, IT panics over all the changes that will have to be made to templates, letterheads, etc.
The key to success, said the panelists, is to define and focus on the goals of the firm's "internal clients." Focus on the opportunities, and don't fight over who is going to get credit for the project. By collaborating, marketing and IT can identify and prioritize projects, to help them "grow into business" and enhance the firm's client engagements.
This approach, the panel suggested, also helps both the marketers and IT staff to be perceived as valuable contributors helping the firm reach its goals.
Among the takeaway:
* IT and marketing should review their budgets together before submitting to upper management, especial big budget items.
* Establish quarterly meetings between IT and marketing.
* Agree to project plans and timing.
* IT should turn to marketing as early adopters of new technology; they can help evangelize the initiative within the firm.
* Involve IT early in project planning, when defining objectives and scope.
Among projects that will benefit from IT/marketing collaboration:
* Developing applications for mobile devices
* Practice Group business development tools
* Business intelligence
* Legal project management.
* Using QR codes (that users directly to websites) to distribute information at conferences, etc.
The Benesch team discussed how it developed "Apportunity," a recruiting app, after being inspired when Anzuini was handed an iPad to choose her wine at a restaurant.The app uses push notifications to alert job seekers when new Benesch jobs are posted.
Shipley discussed how Ulmer created an add-on to its Cole Valley Software ContactEase client relationship management system, to help the firm increase the speed of its "realization" (accounts receiveable). When an attorney is on the phone with a client, his or her computer screen will instantly show the AR balance and past due amount, allowing the lawyer to remind the client to send a check. Read more about this project in our expanded story on the Law Technology News website, here.
Images: Monica Bay
Doug Caddell to Leave Foley
"After 13 years at Foley it's time to take some time off and seek new challenges," said Caddell, an active contributor to Law Technology News and long-time member of its Editorial Advisory Board. "Most CIO's make a change after about six years, so 13 years is a long time. We have a great team at Foley and the firm will go forward without losing a beat."
Caddell has been at the forefront of the trend at large firms to change their policies about supporting a variety of mobile devices, such as iPhone and iPads. Foley has adopted an "technology allowance" policy for its lawyers and executives, and he has pushed his industry colleagues to say "Yes" rather than an automatic "no" to change. See "Yes, Please" in the current LTN.
Caddell was the 2004 winner of the Law Technology News IT Director of the Year Award. The firm has been honored seven of the past 10 years by CIO magazine as one of the CIO-10, and was the only law firm to win its Enterprise Value Award in the management services industry.
Foley's website home page is pretty kewl, too.
Image: Monica Bay
Sherlockian Andrew Peck
U.S. Magistrate Andrew Peck is featured in today's Wall Street Journal, in an article about the pending five-day celebration of Sherlock Holmes' "suspected" birthday on Jan. 6 (about 500 folks are expected to participate). Peck is a member of the invitation-only "Baker Street Irregulars, who gather in New York to discuss all things Conan Doyle. Check out Jo Piazza's story here (subscription required) or on page A-17 of the paper version.
Update: Peck — winner of the 2011 LTN Innovation Award for IT Champion of the Year — will be the keynote speaker at the Association of Litigation Support Professionals’ annual conference, March 12 & 13, at the Sheraton New Orleans.
Among the offerings are panels on forensics, litigation holds, mobile devices, career planning, certification, trial presentations, and more.
Further information: www.alsponline.org
Photo: Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal.
David Pogue, The New York Times' popular technology columnist, was the keynote speaker at this fall's Courtroom Technology Conference in California, discussing disruptive personal technology. But did you know he has legal roots? Check it out here.
Image: courtesy of David Pogue
SNR Denton (née Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and Denton Wilde Sapte) has hired the vivacious Sally King as its new global chief operating officer. King, formerly a leader of ALM's Counsel Connect (the predecessor to Law.com), most recently served as COO for the Americas region at Clifford Chance. Her resume also includes Cooley, General Electric, and Verizon.
She's guaranteed to stay in Virgin Airlines' Gold level because she's going to split her time between the firm's London, New York, and Washington, D.C., offices, as well as spend time at the firm's other 45 offices in 32 countries. Probably helps that she is a dual citizen of the U.S. and U.K.
King will lead operations and implement, direct, and manage firmwide "best practices," support structures, and resources as the two firms integrate into the new entity, explain co-CEOs Elliott Portnoy and Howard Morris.
"I'm really excited to be at SNR Denton so early in its combination, it is an opportunity for me to help build one-firm approach to our operations, to implement global best practices, and to build best-in-class support functions in all facets of SNR Denton's operations," King told Law Technology News today.
Says CIO Andrew Jurczyk, a member of the LTN Editorial Advisory Board, "I've recently had the pleasure of meeting with Sally and am looking forward to working with her to help define our new global technology services and systems. Sally is an excellent addition to our leadership team."
The U.S.-based Sonnenschein and U.K.-based Denton merged last month.
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.
I've been suggesting for a while now that compliance issues will overshadow electronic discovery, sooner rather than later. After all, both successful compliance and EDD management have at their core strong document management systems, including document retention policies.
Nixon Peabody just announced that it has expanded the role of litigation partner Jonathan Sablone, who founded the firm's e-discovery group in 2004. Sablone now also leads the firm's information law group.
Sablone succeeds Jonathan Redgrave, who has formed a self-named boutique to continue practicing in the area of information law, the firm says. The two firms will continue to collaborate and serve mutual clients, says Nixon Peabody. The firm also has a litigation technology group that provides consulting and technology services to client, including data collection, processing, forensics, and project management.
"Through Mr. Sablone's efforts, the firm has developed an integated approach that standardizes the electronic discovery process across all of the firm's offices and litigation practice groups," notes Fred Kelly, chair of NP's litigation department. "Mr. Sablone works closely with the client's in-house counsel and IT professionals, providing guidance in litigation preparedness, evidence preservation and electronic data collection, review, and production," he notes.
All these areas of expertise will become increasingly important for firms and their clients as e-discovery matures and stabilizes, and as compliance demands gather steam — especially in the wake of increased focus on regulations affecting the financial, health, insurance, and automotive industries. Don't be surprised if you see more "information law" practice areas emerging in firms over the next year.
(Link to the NP press release will be up shortly).
SAD NEWS: EUGENE ANDERSON
Anderson founded the firm in 1969, and was dubbed by BusinessWeek as "the dean of policyholder's attorneys," because he pioneered influential approaches to insurance coverage litigation on behalf of policyholders, says the firm. He was also was heavily involved in pro bono activities, and mentored "dozens of the nation's leading policyholder's attorneys," says the firm.
Babs Deacon, now director of consulting with Integreon, worked with him for four years. "Gene was an amazing lawyer, a pioneer in Insurance coverage law but also in legal automation. He realized that if his firm was going up against the same insurance firms, case after case, he should gather as much information about them as possible," she recalls. "He started a process, 20 years ago, to index and scan all insurance policies, expert witness testimony, etc." He created a special group at the firm to handle the tasks, and even stored insurance company ads from magazines, she recalls.
She recalls one particular trial: Anderson Kill represented a company that owned a used tire dump that had burned down, and St. Paul Insurance had refused to pay on the policy. So the team went into the database and found an advertisement that St. Paul had run -- that featured a tire dump, and extolled the virtues of its great coverage.
"The Anderson Kill team showed the ad to the jury. Victory!"
Andrew Adkins III, who for 13 years has been the director of the Legal Technology Institute, as part of the University of Florida's Levin College of Law, has decided to leave the school and return to private practice.
Adkins, a longtime member of LTN's Editorial Advisory Board, has merged the institute into his own company, Adkins Consulting Group. The new entity will retain the Legal Technology Institute name.
Adkins is a frequent contributor to LTN, his most recent article, "Taming Chaos," was the cover story of our March issue, addressing small law firms' resistance to practice management software. "I expect to keep contributing to LTN's various venues, from print to video," said Adkins, who also serves as a judge for LTN's juried annual awards.
Adkins served as co-chair of ALM's LegalTech conferences from 2000-2007, and was chair of the American Bar Association's Techshow from 2000-2001. He frequently conducts a popular case/matter/practice management survey, and is the author of the ABA's "The Lawyer's Guide to Practice Management Software Systems."
What will he miss about his affiliation with the Gators? "Mostly, the people I work with here, from the faculty, to the tech team, to the support staff," he says. But he'll be just 20 minutes away, and expects to be on the campus a couple times a month. He's looking forward to his new commute: about 20 seconds, to his home office.
If there's a rhythm to life, it seems that May is a time of change. I've always thought that January, in the choke hold of winter, was an odd time to start a new year. May seems more appropriate, with its often perfect, humidity-free weather, sparkling skies, and the sweet smells of emerging fruit on trees.
So perhaps it's not surprising that career shifts (and other graduations) often occur in May and June, with so much beauty and hope flowering around us. Among those who have decided to shift gears is the delightful Sherry Lalonde, CIO of Cooley.
"I am packing it in, up and out -- and will be retiring mid-June," said Lalonde in a note last week. She says it will be "a very difficult thing to step out into a world of days with no meetings, no heaps of e-mail, no half-empty cups of cold coffee, and no passionate suggestions from iPad-toting tweeting ... millennials.
She will so be missed. Congratulations on your retirement, Sherry!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day, and I hope you can carve out some quiet time for yourself!
Photo courtesy of Cooley.
HONORING MARTIN LUTHER KING
Here are a few links to frame the day:
Have a restful and inspiring day, and let's all find the opportunity to do one unexpected act of kindness on today.
DAVID BAKER EXITS BAKER ROBBINS & CO
When not rooting for the Chicago White Sox (or attending CWS Fantasy Camp), David served the legal technology sector for more than 30 years. He's heading to the Univ. of Wisconsin to work on "best practice development for small and mid-sized farm operations management," a project funded by the USDA's Risk Management Agency.
The Power of One: In late June, my boss Aric Press and I were comparing notes about what Yankee games we planned to attend, and he mentioned that he would be going to the stadium on July 4, with his college friend Michael Goldsmith. Aric is the polar opposite of me, as low-keyed and understated as I can be, well, "excitable." He mentioned that his friend had ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and that they were planning to enjoy the game together, that it probably would be Michael's last, and that they were going to participate in a program about ALS.
I had a scheduling conflict that kept me at home on July 4. If I had realized what Aric was up to, I would have cancelled my plans and headed to the Bronx. Instead, I was half-watching it on TV, when all of a sudden, I hear Aric's voice — and I look up and there he is on the Jumbotron being interviewed about Goldsmith.
Last November, Goldsmith wrote a guest column in Newsweek, calling on Major League Baseball to do more about ALS. They did — and on the 70th anniversary of Gehrig's famous "I am the luckiest man in the world" speech, 15 stadiums held fundraising events called "4◆ ALS Awareness." In New York, the Yankees donated $25,000, and portions of the Gerhig speech were recited by Yankee leaders, who wore a #4 patch (Gerhig's long-retired number). Goldsmith, a law professor based in Utah, stood at home plate with his son, and threw out the first pitch of the game to Mark Teixeira.
Son Austen Goldsmith was quoted in The New York Times: "Being on the field with my father was the single greatest moment of my life. I think he was holding on for that."
Goldsmith told Times that he "exhorted law students to take a proactive 'can do' approach to the law and life in general," and tried to practice what he preached. "The success of this effort demonstrates yet again how 'the power of one' can make a difference."
Goldsmith lost his battle yesterday. He was 58. Indeed, he proved the power of one man.
Peace be with you, Michael Goldsmith.
Photo: The New York Times.
LTN AWARDS: VOTING OPEN
Vote! Yes, it’s that time again — for you to tell us which vendors should receive our 2009 LTN Vendor Awards! The online ballot is survey style, and will take just a few minutes to complete! Deadline: November 15. (You will need your account number, from your mailing label — e-mail Kerry Kyle firstname.lastname@example.org if you can’t find it.) Click here to vote.
We are also accepting nominations for our juried LTN Awards, which honor law firms, law departments, and consultants. Categories include: IT Director of the Year, IT Champion of the Year, Consultant of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Most Innovative Use of Technology in a Law Firm, a Law Department, a Trial, and Pro Bono Project.
This year, for the first time, we will be present the LTN Lifetime Achievement Award — I will be making the selection of that individual. Candidates must be 55+, and I welcome nominees. There are no restrictions: it can be a lawyer, a paralegal, a vendor, a CIO — anyone in our wonderful legal technology community is eligible.
As is our tradition, the remainder of the juried awards will be selected by three distinguished members of our LTN Editorial Advisory Board: Andrew Adkins III, of the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law; Fredric Lederer, of the William & Mary School of Law; and David Whelan, of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Deadline: November 13. Click here for nomination forms.
COLORADO EDD SUMMIT
Jeffrey Staal, litigation support manager of Denver's Davis Graham & Stubbs, checks in to let you know that the Colorado Association of Litigation Support Professionals will host its third annual E-Discovery Summit on October 30 at the Grand Hyatt Denver.
The event will feature Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck, (right) who is featured in Law Technology News' October "Up Close" will address the creation of a search protocol.
Other speakers include Beth Niepokuj of Plunkett Cooney, Marcy Heronimus of Sherman & Howard, David Garrett of Stroz Friedberg, Elleanor Chin of Davis, Wright & Tremaine, and Timothy Gordon of Holland & Hart. A cocktail reception ends the day. For more information, contact Staal.
KUDOS TO KODNER
Ross Kodner, a frequent contributor to Law Technology News, and even more frequent speaker across the country at small firm and solo programs, will be honored this month by the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Bar Association.
Kodner will receive the first annual John Lederer Solo and Small Firm Service Award at the Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm conference (Oct. 29-31.)
“The WSSF Conference leadership felt this award was needed to recognize those individuals, groups or organizations which have focused on improving the lives and practices of solo and small firm attorneys in Wisconsin,” says Nancy Trueblood, Wauwatosa, Solo and Small Firm Committee chair. "The award will be presented annually to an individual, group, or organization exemplifying the leadership, spirit, and dedication of attorney John Lederer, who saw it as his mission to help solo and small firm lawyers master the skills and technology needed to build their practices. Lederer passed away in March of 2009," the group reports.
“Ross deserves to be the first recipient of this award due to his numerous, tireless volunteer efforts over the years on behalf of solo and small firm attorneys,” says Trueblood. “Whether he is speaking at a conference or seminar, blogging or answering questions on State Bar electronic lists, his advice and guidance has been invaluable to Wisconsin solo and small firm practitioners.”
Read Kodner's most recent LTN article, "Increase Your Wingspan" (about installing dual monitors for your computer, here.
Congratulations, Ross. A very well-deserved accolade!
Jon Bream is in town, the first East Coast stop on the tour for his latest book, Neil Diamond is Forever. His timing is impeccable -- he's in NYC just in time to join me tonight for game 1 of the playoffs. It's especially sweet, because -- after one of the most amazing games ever played (for me, topped only by the Aaron Boone 2003 ALDS game) -- the Yankees are facing the Twins.
Bream has been the music critic at the Mpls. Star-Tribune for more than 30 years -- the longest tenure of any daily newspaper music critic other than Joel Selvin at the SF Chron, (and technically, Selvin has retired .) Bream also contributes to Law Technology News (his next article, "Greening Greene Espel" will appear in our November issue).
JB and I go back to our cub days at the Minnesota Daily, where he hired me to be the first "girl" to cover rock and roll at the 43,000-circ newspaper. It was heady times -- our editor was Paul Brainerd, who went on to found Aldus Pagemaker, coin the term "desktop publishing," and become a close friend-of-Bill (not Clinton).
Late last night, JB taped a segment for the Joey Reynolds show on WOR710 radio. Before he headed over to the studio, we watched the tiebreaker game at the Mudville 9 Saloon, a funky, friendly sports bar. The cordial staff warmly welcomed us all the way through the 12th inning walk-off climax. (Not many NYC restaurants would let you occupy a table for 3-1/2 hours over a $40 dinner!) It was a blast, and a suitable substitute for being in the Dome -- with enthusiastic constituents of both Twins and Tigers camps.
Bream's last tome was a coffee table extravaganza, Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin, and his first was Prince: Inside the Purple Reign. The 160-page Diamond book is a feast for the singer's fans, and chronicles his career from early struggles to sold-out arenas. Jon draws heavily from his many interviews with Diamond since 1976, and the books is crammed full of photos of memorabilia, such as concert programs, posters, backstage passes, etc.
Red Sox fans may be surprised to learn that "Sweet Caroline," the anthem of Fenway 8th innings, "was inspired by a photo of 11-year-old Caroline Kennedy." It has become the singer's most covered song, Bream says -- with Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Ray Coniff and Waylon Jennings among those who have recorded the very annoying ditty. (Go Yankees).
More on Bream's book tour:
Pastemagazine.com article by C. Lee.
BC (Blog Critics) review by J. Gardner.
SAD NEWS: CRAIG JOHNSON
The firm’s executive committee and senior management will appoint an interim committee to take over Johnson’s responsibilities until a new chief executive is named, reports VLP.
In 1993, Johnson co-founded Venture Law Group, whose client roster included Yahoo!, Hotmail, and WebTV. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Johnson began his law career at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He is also known as the co-founder of Garage Technology Ventures and Financial Engines, as well as numerous other high tech companies in Silicon Valley. Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Yale and worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia.
Obituary from The Recorder.
Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck, who serves on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, has been quite active in drafting e-discovery rulings, such as March's William A. Gross Construction Associates, Inc. v. American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Co. and Anti-Monopoly, Inc. v. Hasbro, Inc. -- both establishing important guidance for the creation keywords for searching electronically stored information. (See here, here, and here.)
But did you know that Peck also has written a reference book on all things Sherlock Holmes? Or that he drives to work (unusual for a Manhattanite). And you probably won't be surprised to see that he and I share the same favorite website. After all, he lives in New York City!
MUSICAL CHAIRS IN THE EXECUTIVE SUITES
George May (right) has left Thomson Reuters, where he was vice president and general manager of West Solutions, to become vice president, product strategy, at Kroll Ontrack. At West, his duties ranged from expanding online services overseas, and managing the development of publishing and product systems, he says.
May is not the only longtime employee to have a change of address. Connie Moser, the superb marketing diva at Thomson Elite, was recently recruited by Mark Goldin, left, who had served as senior vice president and chief technology officer at Thomson Elite, to join American LegalNet as its director of marketing. Goldin was LegalNet's new CTO, but after only five months in that chair, he hopped over to the CTO's chair at DestinationRx this month.
For the latest news when the music stops, check out Law Technology News' monthly People column.
Our former ALM colleagues, Edward Adams and Molly McDonough, have just completed a two-week road trip -- one component of the ABA Journal's "Legal Rebels: Remaking the Profession" project. Adams is now the editor and publisher of the ABAJ; McDonough is the online assistant managing editor. They were joined on the tour by reporter Rachel Zahorsky and video dude John McQuiston.
The idea of the project was to identify lawyers who have changed the practice of law, and to report using just about every conceivable type of media: video, audio podcasts, wikis, photo slideshows, flicker, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. They even offered a "song of the day" during transit.
Taking full advantage of sponsor product placement (Hertz provided the SUV, Sprint the phones and Starwood the crashpads), the journey started in Boston and ended up in Washington, D.C.
They conducted daily interviews with a wide range of lawyers, including "Free Talker" Frank Aquila, and "Gossip at Law" David Lat (who was profiled, and then conducted a very strange interview of Steven Brill, the founder of American Lawyer Media).
Hats off to the ABAJ team for an ambitious adventure that demonstrates the strengths (and some of the weaknesses) of the exciting and sometimes overwhelming new technologies we are all grappling to understand and use.
Monty Lunn has answered the siren call of New Orleans, and moved back. He most recently was a director at Huron Consulting Group. We'll letcha know when he gets settled in with new contact info.
* Connie Moser, formerly of Elite, has joined another Elite-ite, Mark Goldin at American LegalNet. Goldin's the new CTO, Moser's the new marketing director She'll be at ILTA so you can reconnect with her there, or reach her here.
*Angelique Schaffer checks in from Thomson Reuters to advise us that Legal Current has replaced Westblog. Check it out!
* Herbert Roitblat of Oratec forwards this encouraging article chastizing local governments for their version of "solution-speak." Note the list of 200 no-no words, including "beaconicity," "holistic governance," and "incentivising."
* Better late than never: This slipped thru my inbox cracks, so it's a bit old now, but still interesting: Katherine Petusek, of the National Association of Women Lawyers and its foundation, are conducting a fourth annual survey on retention and promotion of women in the largest 200 U.S. firms. Contact Cheryl Oblander here for an update. Copies of past surveys can be viewed here.
*Finally, a treat courtesy of SheFanJane (Jane Heller). A fun YouTube that you can embedding where appropriate. (BTW, she just featured an excerpt of my book review of her terrific new book, Confessions of a She-Fan) on her book's website (scroll down below "advanced praise.") Full review here. And I've also started posting my book reviews on Amazon (username Monica Bay. We'll use it to close out this edition of TCS:
Catchin' up w/ the in-box:
* Ipro Tech had to write a big check ($246,470) to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft, and Symantec software, but CEO Jim King says his organization takes the full blame.
"As part of the settlement agreement, IPRO Tech Inc. agreed to delete all unlicensed copies of software on its computers, purchase any licenses necessary to become compliant, and commit to implementing stronger software asset management practices," reported the Business Software Alliance.
"IPRO continued to use subscription software after the license term expired," said King. "The good news, this was not intentional. We fully supported the audit process and we support the goals of the BSA. Upon discovery of our licensing oversights we worked with the BSA to immediately correct the deficiencies."
* Keith Rowand has started a company, Rowand Software -- and is offering document comparison and near de-duplication software. He's also offering computer programming. 411 here.
* Kelvin Chin checks in to report that he's packing up his L.A. bags and heading east again -- to Raleigh, N.C., where he has been named sales director at Womble Carlyle. (That's the firm with the bulldog mascot).
* Also changing business cards: Mark Goldin is the new chief tech officers at Los Angeles-based American LegalNet. He joins from Elite.
* David Cowen says his 2Q09 survey on lit support work shows hours have spiked. Check it out here.
* Deborah Novachick of Strategic Automation Consulting as returned from Nigeria, where she taught classes in operations management at Pan-African University Lagos School of Business, which hosted a “Management Development Program for Legal Practitioners.” The project was started by Joy Harrison-Abiola, who is a legal administrator in Nigeria, and a member of the Association of Legal Administrators. "Four of the faculty members of the ALA's Essential Competencies for Legal Administrators programs went over to Nigeria," she says. "We and the others on the faculty have donated months of our time." E-mail her here for more info.
PECK & WAXSE HOLD COURT AT ROUND TABLE
Fascinating dinner last night with the Fios (see below) gang, to kick off LegalTech West Coast. Mary Mack and Debbie Caldwell were among the orchestrators of the evening, which featured two prominent U.S. Magistrate Judges who you have been reading a lot about (in Craig Ball's EDD column): Andrew Peck, (far left) of the Southern District of NY, and David Waxse (left) , of the District of Kansas. It was a sneak preview, of sorts, of tomorrow's keynote address at LegalTech West Coast.
Mary Mack moderated the eat-and-talk roundtable discussion, which drew about 25 lawyers and one summer associate for an off-the-record discussion of recent discovery trends. Peck recently caused a lot of heat with his Gross case ruling, a "wake up call to the bar" chastising attorneys about sloppy searches and failure to truly cooperate with opposing counsel (See Ball's June column), Waxse authored the key Williams v. Spring/United Management Co. case in 2006.(See ABA Journal's "These Cases Rock").
The two men interact well together and quickly drew the audience into the discussion, which covered a lot of territory running from ethics to how EDD requests are sometimes used to bully the other side into submission because the sheer cost of production.
Both judges -- along with Tom Allman and moderator Carole Basri -- will be presenting the Thursday keynote (immediately following our "Green Your Career" networking breakfast for jobseekers) at LegalTech West Coast, at the LA Convention Center. Don't miss it. These two judges are entertaining, and substantive, and it's bound to be a great panel. For information, visit www.legaltechshow.com -- or just come on' over to the LA Convention Center!
I'm just about ready to head out to Charlie Haas' 7:30 p.m. book reading at the Barnes & Noble in the Village (396 6th @ 8th) for his new book, The Enthusiast... but before I dash out the door, need to catch up on some incoming!
• Attorney Paul Levine also has a new novel out -- Illegal -- and he introduces a new "trouble-prone hero," Jimmy (Royal) Payne. It's a tale set in the California desert that tells the plight of a 12-year-old boy whose mom disappears during a border crossing. It was inspired by real events, says Levine. "A thriller with a social conscience, the book combines the moral decay of Chinatown with the sudden violence of No Country for Old Men," he says.
• Audrey Rubin checks in to announce the launch of her new website, Rubin Solutions. (Sigh, will they never learn -- but at least it rhymes!) (Audrey: NO SOLUTIONS!!!!!! It's the most abused word in the English language.) Chicago-based Rubin (right) served as COO for seven years at Wildman Harrold Allen and Dixon, and at Butler Rubin Saltarelli and Boyd.
• Clifford Chance's Sally King chimes in with a request to spread the word about a petition to help pass legislation that would protect women from "drive thru" mastectomies. Check it out here. This is really important -- and doesn't impact just women. Men, sign it too! Your mothers, wives, daughters and friends will appreciate your support.
• Frederick Hertz, my pal from SFO, also has a new book, which debuts in July from NOLO, with Emily Doskow: Making it Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Parnterships & Civil Unions. Here's an interview with Hertz: Part 1 and Part 2. (The book's not showing up on the Nolo site).
• And we are not done with new books: Perry Binder says Unlocking Your Rubber Room will motivate you to achieve professional satisfaction, and is based on his courtroom and classroom experiences. (He's now a legal studies professor at Georgia State Univ.
• Mais Oui! The Association of Legal Administrators has launched a French version of its website, available here. It features French language introductions to key ino, special resources, and links to the English language section of ALA's main website.
• Perry Segal wants you to know about his blog, E-Discovery Insights, which covers EDD from a California lawyer's perspective.
• Adobe's Rick Borstein found this post from Matthew Buchanan about virtual letterhead to be a very green idea, (with a hat tip to Stephen Nipper).
OK, all for now... I'm off to hear about Henry Bay!
MO' MAILBAG #052009
JoAnna Forshee checks in to let folks know that it will provide 10 scholarships to unemployed attorneys who are job hunting, to attend its "Get a Life" Conference that is presented by the Total Practice Management Association. It is a two-day workshop on marketing and practice management and social networking that will be held in Chicago on May 27 & 28. Deadline to apply, 5/22, 5 p.m. CST. 411 here.
• Brent Bourque has replaced long-time director of marketing Connie Moser at Los Angeles-based Elite. She's a tough act to follow! Bourque, based in New Orleans, has been with Elite for 12 years, starting in sales. His title is senior director, strategic marketing and business intelligence, and he can be reached here.
• Charlie Haas, who went to University of California Santa Cruz, along with lawyer/marketer Louise Rosen Byer et moi, is embarking on a book tour for his latest novel, The Enthusiast (Harper Perennial). Check out his book readings:
Tuesday, June 2, 7:00 pm - Books Inc. at Opera Plaza, San Francisco.
Thursday, June 4, 7:00 PM - A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland (Montclair district).
Monday, June 8, 7:00 PM - Barnes & Noble, Jack London Square, Oakland.
Friday, June 12, 7:30 PM - Barnes & Noble, 396 Avenue of the Americas (at 8th St.), New York, N.Y.
Thursday, June 18, 7:30 PM - Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles.
I'm planning to attend the NYC reading -- after all, the main character's name is Henry Bay!
Charlie also wrote the sequel (Gremlins 2) to one of my all-time favorite movies Gremlins. (Whenever I'm in a funk I just remember the scene with all the critters singing "Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's off to work I go" with popcorn bucket hats!)
• Stephanie Hall wants you to know about her Relay for Life -- the American Cancer Society fundraiser she participates in every year to honor her mother, who she lost to cancer almost five years ago. Any donation helps.
• And our LTN colleague Theodora Blanchfield is also participating in a project, to benefit the Cancer Survivorship Initiative at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in N.Y. She's running to hnor her grandfather, Herbert Blanchfield, who died of mesothelioma in 2000.
• Steve Schwartz reports that certain LSAT PrepTests (past administered LSAT exams) are available only to students who take prep courses, not those who self-study. Check it out on his LSAT Blog.
• 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.
• 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.
BACK ON THE PAYROLL
Good news from both Babs Deacon and Mark Reichenbach, who both got pink slip'd a few months back.
Deacon has landed a new gig with Integreon, (which recently acquired Onsite3) as director of consulting. New e-mail here.
Reichenbach is the new veep for client and industry development, with Capital Legal Solutions. 411 here.
Both will join us at the "Greening Your Career" job seekers' networking breakfast, June 25 at LegalTech West Coast.
GREEN YOUR CAREER: A NETWORKING BREAKFAST
This erratic economy has been tough on everybody, but none more so than the members of our legal technology community who have lost their jobs. It's difficult, scary, and challenging for even the most self-confident professionals.
Our Incisive gang wants to help -- so we decided to team up at LegalTech West Coast and offer a simple, heartfelt gesture: On day 2 (Thursday June 25) we will host a very informal, free "Green Your Career" networking breakfast, from 7:45--8:45 a.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
It will be co-hosted by Law Technology News and law.jobs, with the support of the LegalTech crew, and has a straightforward format: We're inviting job seekers -- as well as vendors and law firm leaders (even if you do not currently have an available opening).
For the first half-hour, we'll just schmooze together, and enjoy coffee, tea, danish, etc. — i.e., a chance to "work the room." Then we'll gather at round tables, where at each table a leader of our community will talk about how he or she survived/thrived thru a career transition. Among the scheduled speakers are:
• John Tredennick, who was a litigator partner at Holland & Hart when he spun off Catalyst Respository Systems.
• Tom Collins, former owner of Juris Inc., who survived cancer and now is a murder mystery novelist!
• J. Craig Williams, who shuttered his small firm and joined Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold.
• Mary Mack, renowned counsel at Fios Inc.
• Brad Blickstein, who opened his own consultancy to help businesses serve corporate legal departments, after working in magazine publishing.
• Babs Deacon, who was one of the SPi folks who lost jobs last winter, who is the new director of consulting at Integreon, based in New York.
• Mark Reichenbach, who just joined Capital Legal Solutions after losing his gig at i365.
• John Lipsey, who left law practice to work for legal technology vendors, and now works for Martindale Hubbell Connected.
The event is FREE -- and all attendees will be invited to stick around and visit our exhibit hall and the Day 2 Keynote Address (immediately following the breakfast) on us.
Job seekers will be encouraged to post their resumes on lawjobs.com, and all firms/vendors who attend will get free access to lawjobs.com (for a limited period, of course).
Again, just a simple concept: let's provide an hour of inspiration, nurturing, contacts, and networking.
Please come, whether you need a job, or just want to offer encouragement. And if you are coming to show support, please bring along a gift card (you can pick them up at most supermarkets or drug stores), so we can give a day brightener "party favor" to each job seeker. It can be just a few dollars (or more if you can tithe a bit more generously) -- to a national "chain" such as Starbucks, Target, Macy's, Chevron, Von's, movies, SuperCuts -- you get the picture. Something practical and upbeat that will lift spirits!
(If you can't attend and want to send a gift card, mail them to us c/o Law Technology News, 120 Broadway, 5th floor, NYC 10271.)
Job seekers: Come for warmth, support and new contacts! If you e-mail us at email@example.com, we'll have a badge ready for you (and that will help us make sure we have enough coffee and danish). But you can also just show up.
Firms/vendors: If you do have a spot open, what a better place to find great talent? And even if you don't, you might tomorrow -- so bring lots of business cards.
And as an added incentive for technology vendors: We will raffle off a wonderful lunch or dinner with moi (you can even use the word "solution" and I will promise to try not to cringe) where you can tell me about your company's plans, products and services and get a great meal on LTN!
BE THERE OR BE SQUARE! Visit www.legaltechshow for details, or e-mail LTN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAST but not least: Please help spread the word! Twitter this! Blog this! Reprint this post freely! Let's get viral! The permalink is http://tinyurl.com/LTWCbkf. Twitter hash: #LTWC.
Update: Great news! The Los Angeles County Bar Association (which offers career resources on its website, has joined us as a co-sponsor of the breakfast!!
April 14, 2009 in Conventions, Meetings, Live Programs, Darwin Watch, Diversity, EDD: E-Discovery, Good Works, People, Social Networking, Tech Turbulence (Economy) , Webinars, Podcasts, Programs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
NEW IS OLD AGAIN
Sorry, Baltimore, we got Tex & we ain't givin' him back. Even if he got jussssst a little bit spooked by the "welcome" booooos he got on opening day at Camden.
Now usually when the Yanks meet up with the O's in Maryland, there's about 65% Yankee fans in the stands
(I suspect most from New Jersey because it's so easy to get to from the Garden State, and Camden is so economical and family friendly.)
But not on Opening Day. It was more like 10%. To be honest, it's the first time I've felt juuuuussst a little intimidated in the friendly confines of Camden. The hostility to our newbie Tex rivaled that of the pissed off Yankee fans chanting "Who's Your Daddy" to Pedro Martinez in 2004 postgames, the noise level so intense that the Stadium literally shook.
But anyway..... it was big fun, even tho we got clobbered. My colleague Jai Wallace and I are sending huge thanks to our guests, the delightful Mary Ellen Belusci, Yankees fan Joe Zanta, and Scott Bogash of Needles; and Yvonne Dornic of eSentio Technologies and her finace Jim Rhodes, and Red Sox fan David Horrigan of Covington & Burling. Yvonne and Jim helped me recover from the trauma with a nightcap at their amazing restaurant, Ze Mean Bean in Fells Point.
I'm hoping tonight's game has a much happier ending for the New Yorkers. Should be interesting, as my O's rep Matt Dougherty notes: It's the Far East match-up, with Taiwan's Chien Ming Wang facing the O's new addition, Koji Uehara -- former ace of the Yomiuri Giants-- in his major league debut. And Thursday I get the pleasure of spending time with Cataphora's fascinating Susannah Smith, and Kelly Klyn, litigation technology specialist for Goodwin Procter. Can't wait!
I'm also LOVING the brand new Baltimore Hilton -- Check out the view from my room! It is literally yards from Camden, and gorgeous. But I must admit has a kinda odd color palette -- but it works: tangerine, gold, cobalt blue and lime green. So much better than 2008's obsession with chocolate and aqua (Yes, yes, yes, I watch way too much HGTV.)
Tuesday was an off day so we headed down to DC to visit with Robert Erich Jr. of Select Associates. We had a terrific conversation about how the economy is affecting the time/billing/acctg vendors -- Erich noted that his company's star* collect product has seen quite a spike in sales in recent months. Select Associates, says Erich, specializes in a variety of add-on software that integrates with Elite, Aderant, and other T&B/A software that targets the top AmLaw firms, he explained, including data warehousing and business intelligence tools. One of the newest offerings star* targetCash which helps firms project cash flow.
I suspect that interest in these types of products will most definitely continue to jump as purse strings tighten throughout the legal industry.
Tuesday night, we had the pleasure of joining Sally Gonzalez (Baker Robbins & Co.) and Stan Wasylyk (Michael Farrell Group) for a boisterous dinner at the Hard Times Cafe in Alexandria. Years and years ago, when I was vice-chair of the ABA's Law Student Division, we had a ton of meetings in D.C. and made regular pilgrimages to the HTC. It's a lot of fun, and it was great to return, although I probably ate more carbs in one sitting than I normally eat in a month.
Sally and I can bore anyone to death when you get us talking about our adventures on United Airlines. Sally's in the coveted rareified air of Global Services -- so elite that they don't even publicize it or tell you what the membership requirements are -- but it pretty much boils down to flying overseas a lot. Sally was based in London for a long stint, and also frequently visits clients in Switzerland, so she has that elusive BLACK Mileage Plus card that the rest of us mere mortals drool over. I hope we didn't drive our companions toooo nuts but we sure had a good time comparing road warrior stories.
(Btw: this could be a very interesting year for road warriors because so many of us will probably drop at last one level in the elite tiers because so many firms/companies are reducing travel.)
So... two more days in the wonderful Inner Harbor before I head back to NYC. Of course I save the best for last.... thanks to a dear friend who is a Cubs season ticket holder I actually got tix for last Saturday's Cubs/Yanks Exhibition game at the New Stadium.
OMG, it totally takes your breath away. It's just magnificent. But the strangest thing about it is that once you are inside, in your seats, it's almost Twilight Zone Deja Vu -- because it FEELS like the old Stadium. Even the FTI ad is in its proper place. The new video screen is awesome, and the Batter's Eye is now a restaurant, but the subway still screams right by the Short Porch, the Bleacher Creatures still do roll call, and it just feels great. Only the courthouse is missing from the tableau, because of the slight change in real estate.
And making the day even more touching: the first pitch was thrown out by Captain Sully, and the USAir 1549 skyboat crew! (He was joined by the first officer Jeff Skiles and chief flight attendant Doreen Welsh.)
Saturday, Cano christened the Stadium with its first home run, and Tex got back-to-back homers! (Jeter got the Stadium's first hit Friday night.) Joining me at the day game was the fabulous consultant Brad Blickstein, of Chicago's The Blickstein Group (above left), who took most of the photos on this page, and two terrific marketing dudes from Deloitte: Alan Numsuwan and Michael Rachlin. (We had a great conversation about off-shoring e-discovery and the impact of the economy on outsourcing.)
Two things da Yankees gotta do: 1) Get Sweet Lou (who got a standing ovation from the crowd during the Saturday game) to give us another one of his bats to sit on top of the center field flag pole, so we can see the wind direction (Mattingly took the original from the old stadium) and 2) they HAVE to install those nylon rope bank-line things to control the concessions line from blocking traffic all the way across the huge broad concourse.
But no complaints. It's wonderful. It's awesome. Even the birds are already finding their niches. And yes, no question about it, Aura & Mystique and the other ghosts have cheerfully crossed the street. Welcome home.
DRU'S HEADED BACK TO SF
The amazing and wildly influential Drucilla Ramey is heading home to San Francisco, to become the next dean of Golden Gate University's School of Law. She's been in New York City for the last seven years, and most recently served as executive director of the National Association of Women Judges.
Here's the top of The Recorder's story. Read the full story here.
March 26, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO — Drucilla Ramey is back in the Bay Area, this time to head a San Francisco law school.
Golden Gate University School of Law has appointed the former longtime head of the Bar Association of San Francisco as dean-elect. She will take over the reins from acting dean Alan Ramo on Aug. 1.
The school has been searching for a new dean since Frederic White left last March to head Texas Wesleyan University School of Law.
Legal observers say that Golden Gate will benefit from Ramey's fund-raising prowess, as well as from her reputation as a champion of diversity.
"She is an icon in the city, a real force of nature," said Bingham McCutchen partner Raymond Marshall. "People just don't say no to Dru, even when you know what she's coming to ask for, which a lot of times means money." Marshall said that he personally, as well as his firm, have over the years given money to Ramey's causes.
On diversity issues, he added, "She has a national brand and that can only be good for Golden Gate University."
GGU President Dan Angel said that the law school narrowed its pool of applicants from about a dozen to four in the final round. Ramo didn't apply to be permanent dean, Angel said.
He added that Ramey brings "instant visibility," saying that there was "comfort and excitement concerning her candidacy."
#SESNY: BUBBLING ABOUT GUY KAWASAKI
Guy Kawasaki mesmerized the SRO crowd today at the NY Hilton, when he gave the kickoff keynote address at our Search Engines Strategies conference. #SESNY.
Kawasaki is smart and irreverent, two of my favorite personality traits, and gave a crash course in using Twitter as a marketing tool. I think it will take me days to absorb all of his advice, but among the top tips:
• Retweeting is one of the best measures of your success. (How many folks re-post your posts).
• Twittercounter tracks the most popular sites (currently, @cnnbrk)
• "Forget the A list" -- instead of thinking "trickle down," it's better to have evangelists "bubble up" with enthusiasm about your products or services.
• It's important to have lots of "followers," but what really matters are "direct messages" and "@ replies."
• If you are serious about wanting to use Twitter as a marketing device, you probably want helpers who can post for you.
• Another key to success is the quality of the links that you put in your posts.
Guy demo'd a slew of third-party programs, everything from TweetDeck to ReTweetist, that he uses to monitor his own site, and his company site, Alltop.com. He graciously offered to give attendees his bookmark list, which I will post here once we get it.
Bottom line: If you have a chance to hear Guy, don't miss it. He will make your teeth hurt with all his ideas (some, he admits, are controversial) and is big fun.
Update: here's his list.
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.
* Matt Kesner, CIO of Fenwick & West, says everybody should take on as many new duties as they possible, and “prove every day that you are worth employing.”
* Says Kraft Kennedy’s CTO Marcus Bluestein: “It’s easier to let a name go than a face,” so work on building your relationships with attorneys!
* Concurs Henry Chase, CIO of Burns & Levinson: “Show your worth. Share your knowledge. Stay on top of technology.”
Video CLE: Ellis Mirsky says Trial.com www.trial.com, now offers free video CLE programs. Tarrytown N.Y.'s Mirsky is exec director and GC of Trial.com, which is a network of trial lawyers and firms. They are also offering litigation management podcasts on iTunes.
Economy crunch: Samantha Carlin, of Steven Brill's Clear, says even if your law firm or company is not reimbursing users for membership in its program that helps frequent fliers circumvent long TSA lines, Clear will still set up employee discount programs, and can send over its mobile enrollment kiosk. I absolutely love Clear, especially when I'm flying in/out of JFK and SFO. Its staff are professional, courteous, and savvy. (Usual caveat: Brill used to be my boss.) Interested? Contact Carlin here.
John Bringarder, news editor at Law.com, caught this enticing post on Above the Law about some of the severe cutbacks at BigLaw.... including a decision by Locke Lord to shift from Lexis to LoisLaw to cut research costs. ATL also broke the classic gaffe story about the chatty commuter on Acela who loudly discussed pending layoffs at Pillsbury.
David Henderson chronicled this little faux pas by Ketchum's James Andrews who, when arriving at Memphis, carelessly Twittered that he was underwhelmed by client FedEx's home town -- which created quite the brouhaha. (Hat tip to Donna Payne for spotting it.)
One of the things I love about coming to Hawaii is that I pretty much stay on NYC time, so I get up at 4 a.m. (9 a.m. on da body clock) and have several hours of blissful quiet before the rest of the family gets up. Yes, yes, I know I'm a workaholic, but these days, who can afford not to be -- but anyway, it's one of the rare times when I can actually do mundane but necessary tech tasks, such as cleaning out my old e-mail & iTunes. And I can catch up on blogging!
Yes, yes, yes -- No need to nag me, I absolutely will turn the computer off when the sun comes up and I won't fire up the Samsung Saga either.
The weather in NY this winter has been particularly taxing, so it's a complete pleasure to exchange my waffle-stomper boots and the ankle-length down coat that makes me look like a football player for shorts and ridiculously touristy flip-flops bought for $8 in the Coco Cove gift shop at the Embassy Suites (a great place for families -- with large rooms and included "real" breakfast.)
We're here in Honolulu to say aloha to our dad, but it's truly an upbeat trip. Mom, all four kids (+ one wife and one ex-husband), and all five grandkids are here to celebrate his life. He had a great life, and yesterday would have been his 89th birthday. So we rented a sailboat and on a perfect morning, with quiet seas, and azure water/skies, under the flight path of HNL airport, we said goodbye and gave him to the warm Pacific Ocean. He must have liked it, because within minutes, a 747 (the plane he loved) flew right over us.
We then threw the flowers from our leis (after removing them from the string, which is hazardous to the marine critters) and it was amazing to see the flowers float and create a large beautiful circle. As trite as it sounds, it was soothing to literally see the circle of life created by the family patriarch. It brought home visually how this good man created a vibrant life and touched so many. The boat captain, Ken Middleton, gave us the GPS coordinates so if ever we want to come back, we can.
We all laughed when we saw the name of the boat, "The Love Boat," and kept laughing and telling jokes and remembering funny moments with Dad throughout the voyage. He wouldn't have had it any other way. He would have been more than irritated if any of us starting "boo-hoo-hooing" as he would call it. If there's a common gene in our family it's most definitely irreverence.
Ken Middleton of TradewindCharters.com, was fantastic. My brother and I get horribly seasick, and I was really worried that I'd be contributing more than flowers to the sea -- but he offered a "homeopathic" lavender oil concoction to put behind our ears. I was skeptical, but I'll try anything! I have no clue how it did, but it worked and none of us had any discomfort. Amazing!!!!!!
We ended the day watching the sun set from the Outrigger Reef hotel's boisterous open air Shore Bird Restaurant , a perfect choice for a three-generation group, right on the beach. It's a fun place, a cross between a Brazilian Churrascaria and Benihana's (but you grill your own meat). It's loud and sassy, which prevents the kind of dinner conversations that can end up in skirmishes, always a good thing for any family. I couldn't stay up late enough for the Karaoke, but I expect a full report this morning from the grandkids. We toasted Dad one last time.
As my sister and I walked her back to the hotel, Mom summed it all up: "It was a perfect day." It was indeed. Aloha, Daddyo.
FRIDAY THE 13TH
Bad news, better news:
2. Horrible news from Buffalo, Continental commuter plane down, all lost -- stunning photos on The New York Times' website. Adding to the misery, the flight originated in Newark, N.J., second plane incident from our area in a few weeks, and sadly this one with no miracle ending. 50 dead, including someone in the house that the plane hit.
2. Yesterday was not just Honest Abe's birthday, but the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of my idols (No, not Joe Torre - but I did just buy his audiobook and plan to listen to it over the long weekend) - but Darwin.
3. My colleague Jill Windwer found this hysterical "tech" rant by George Carlin. Love the jargon!
4. Another colleague, Anthony Paonita, editor-in-chief of Corporate Counsel magazine, will discuss its new Technology Survey via webinar on 2/19 at 1 EST: Registration info here.
Update: Mark Reichenbach checks in, to advise me to "Forget Friday the 13th. Forget Valentines Day. Today is soooo much more: Using UNIX or POSIX time, at 6:31:30 seconds EST PM today, it will be 1234567890. Numerologists and Unix freaks will be having parties all around the world." He blogged about it here.
And I did forget about Valentines Day.. so a shout-out to all of us who don't have sweeties to celebrate with, including my mom... it's her first VD without Daddyo. May past and future joys buffer the bittersweet day. As an old friend once said, "You never know, when you wake up in the morning, what will happen that day."
May tomorrow bring us all new possibilities for unexpected delights.
MEADOWS TO BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN
He'll be starting there on 2/17. Congrats!!!! Welcome to the East Coast. You're an official member of the San Fran ex-pat club.
#LTNY SO MUCH MORE TO COME!
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. email@example.com
SAD NEWS FROM SF: JOHN McGUCKIN HAS DIED
Just heard the very sad news that one of my favorite people lost his battle with cancer, John H. McGuckin. I got to know John during my Recorder days, and he was a gem. Modest, generous, good-spirited, kind and smart, he always warmed my heart and treated everyone with dignity and joy. He retired in June after serving as GC of Union Bank of California, where he worked for 27 years.
One issue we both were very passionate about was our belief that the current system that requires lawyers to work only in the state(s) they are admitted in is flat-out silly, and should be replaced with "drivers license" jurisdiction -- eg you get admitted in one state and can practice in the other 49. Here's a wonderful article he wrote for Law Technology News on the subject.
OZ JOINS WHITE & CASE, WHICH IS RETOOLING
The firm, according to our sibling blog, The Am Law Daily, is undergoing a major reorganization. "Under a new structure put in place this week, power will shift from 35 individual offices to 14 regional groups, with a renewed focus on 16 different global practices. The moves come in the wake of a four-month review by McKinsey," reports Ben Hallman.
Oz has been a member of the LegalTech educational board.