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Special Report: The Hot-ish Swag at LegalTech New York 2015

Feb. 6, 2015 (Mimesis Law) Scott Greenfield checks out the swag vendors gave out at this year's LegalTech New York. Who went cheap? Who had the best gear? There's only one way to find out...more

Simplify and Emphasize in Litigation Graphics

In oral argument, a litigator has very limited time—she needs to hit the high points and move on. She must communicate enough information to convince the judge or jury of her argument, yet must avoid getting mired in details that will only confuse. Good litigation graphics can counter this time crunch by allowing an attorney to communicate clearly and quickly. The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” reflects the truth that our brains quickly process and understand images. To support an argument, graphics should be tightly tied to the key points of the advocate’s message. At Cogent Legal, we start the design of a litigation graphic by understanding the messages the litigator wants to convey. Our experience as trial attorneys often helps in this process—we understand legal briefing and can work with our clients to transform written arguments into oral and visual presentation. Often, we help the attorneys simplify their arguments and hone in on the most important points. Today’s blog post reviews this design process for a hypothetical animation of a chemical synthesis for defendant’s opening argument in a patent infringement case (the case is based on a real case, but in this hypothetical, we have changed some details to protect the identity of the parties and the confidential information in that case). The starting point for a litigation graphic is the message that it needs to convey. In our hypothetical case, the patent covered a pharmaceutical compound delivered in tablets. Our hypothetical client wanted to prove that the compound could be synthesized by following the procedure described in an article published years before the filing of the patent application (i.e., the article was “prior art”). This proof, that the pharmaceutical compound could be made by following the procedure in the prior art article, would make the patent invalid. The evidence was that an expert had twice performed the synthesis described in the prior art article. In the first run, the expert had added a reactant rapidly, and had achieved a yield of 7% for the desired pharmaceutical compound. On the second run, the expert added the reactant slowly over 30 minutes (slow addition of reactants is a well-known technique to increase the yield of a synthesis). This second run resulted in a yield of 76% of the desired pharmaceutical compound. The briefing and expert report contained many details about the two performances of the synthesis described in the prior art article (e.g., 250 milliliters of solution, 45 degrees centigrade, filtration and extraction procedures, etc.). In working with our client, we decided to simplify the argument by omitting much of this detail. Our client wanted to emphasize two key points in the argument: • both syntheses (rapid or drop-by-drop addition) created the patented pharmaceutical compound; and • a simple change of adding the reactant by drops over half an hour increased the yield of the compound.more

LPOs Stealing Deal Work from Law Firms

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg Law) -- Legal process outsourcers (LPOs) and other alternative legal service providers are beginning to take the bread-and-butter of large law firms -- handling whole mergers and acquisitions, not just the due diligence aspects of deals, according to law firm consultant Kent Zimmermann of the Zeughauser Group. For smaller deals, clients are finding "they don't need perfect, they need good enough," and are increasingly willing to hire LPOs rather than higher-cost traditional firms, he says. On some deals, clients are "adding insult to injury," asking their traditional outside counsel to supervise the work of LPOs, he says. Major U.S. firms are scrambling to deal with the new competitors. One AmLaw 100 firm plans to layoff 25 percent of its associates firmwide over the next three years, as clients shift low-value work to LPOs, he says. Other firms are partnering with LPOs to win business. A Washington, D.C. firm is now bringing LPO representatives with it to pitch meetings with potential client, to demonstrate it can do the work at lower costs than other traditional firms, he says. Zimmermann talks with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia.more

An Iridescent Look at Activities During LegalTech New York

(SAN FRANCISCO, January 19, 2012) This week, I will highlight some of the upcoming industry events that will be taking place during “The Show.” In previous years that I attended LegalTech, I felt like a “fish out of water” because I either did not know of anything to do after The Show ended for the day or was not “connected” enough to be invited to various receptions, parties, or gatherings. Thus, I will share some of events that I am aware of that may not be affiliated with The Show or just may not have been publicized well. Many of these events require registration or to be on a guest list, so as a disclaimer, you will have to verify that you can attend them on your own, but at least you will know about them in advance and can perform the necessary legwork to get access. January 30, 2012 Kroll Ontrack Welcome Cocktail Reception – 5pm Edge Legal Marketing hosted a similar reception last year in the main ballroom. This year, Kroll Ontrack will provide food and beverages for hundreds of guests and it will take place at 5pm. The only caveat is that you have to either be an exhibitor or a paid conference attendee in order to attend. (Please see the ad on page 6 of the link above for more information.) B-Discovery Party – New York Chapter – 9pm Every year, B-Discovery rents out a location near the Hilton and hosts a party. Wave Software and Intelligent Discovery Solutions will sponsor this charitable event benefitting the Harwood Center, an early intervention agency for children with special needs. There is a $10 requested donation and you have to visit the link above to join the mailing list, which will ultimately provide you the location. The festivities start at 9pm. January 31, 2012 OLP Meet ‘N Greet – 7am The Organization of Legal Professionals will host its annual breakfast sponsored by Digital War Room. The event is free and it will be held at Georgio's Country Grill (9th & 53rd Streets), however, you must RSVP by emailing info@theolp.org or calling (760) 610-5462. Space is limited. NYC 2012 LegalTech Solo/Small Firm Meetup – 5:30pm This event is geared for small law firms and solo practitioners. It will be held at Bann Restaurant, 350 W. 50th St (8th Avenue) in New York and there is a cost involved for dinner. Please visit the link above to RSVP. more

Putting Some Pepper Into Legal Project Management?

It is not uncommon for law firms being pressed by clients for more accurate budgeting and better budget management to raise the “unpredictability defense.” Whether in litigation or transactional matters, the unpredictability defense asserts that it is nearly impossible to precisely plan and completely control legal spend because legal matters are subject to such a plethora of unforeseeable variables, risks and unexpected events. Read this article to see how and why law firms need to learn how to "foresee the foreseeable" and plan for the unexpected -- from successful businesses.more

Social Media Tips in the Age of eDiscovery

Privacy is one of the public’s biggest concerns when discussing eDiscovery and its place within the realm of social media. For one thing, many people feel that it still exists…it does not. More and more courts are determining that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy when individuals voluntarily post updates, thoughts, suggestions, recommendations, etc. out in “the cloud” of public domain. Various Tweets, status updates, “check-ins”, and the like have caused many problems for litigants from across the globe. Who here has read all of the terms and conditions of all of the social media sites that they belong to and still belong to them? I would argue that very few have. So what can we do as regular citizens to protect our inalienable rights of Freedom of Speech and expression? Here are some tips that may give you the impression that your social media activity is private but cannot guarantee that it is not discoverable: Facebook – The biggest culprit in alleged privacy violations appears to be Facebook, due to the shear volume of users. Under the Home button at the top right, there is a Privacy Settings button. There, you can limit who has access to see your posts, determine whether or not your profile is searchable by strangers, and determine which applications you will allow access to your profile. I recommend making your profile extremely private where no one can find you unless they have your customized URL or that your friends, who see you comment on a mutual friend’s page, sends you a request that way. Moreover, I rarely “check-in” places so that I do not alert people of my actual whereabouts at any given time. Employers, potential employers, or private investigators who are looking for your profile to see what kind of dirt that they can dig up on you will not be able to find you or if they are lucky enough to, they will have to develop further cleaver tactics to “friend” you in order to get behind your “friend” wall. Twitter – Although it is difficult to say a lot using Twitter since it is limited to I believe 143 characters per Tweet, what you do say can go viral instantly and cannot be taken back. Furthermore, Twitter can pin point your exact GPS location when you send a Tweet if you do not know what you are doing. You also have to be careful using third party applications such as TweetDeck or UberSocial to send and receive Tweets because they have there own complicated privacy settings. I advise people that want to Tweet just to there “followers” to go to settings under their avatar at the top right of the screen and check Protect My Tweets and leave Add a Location to my Tweets unchecked so that you do not disclose your whereabouts at any given point of time. LinkedIn – Even though LinkedIn is the most professional social media site, you still can and should protect your profile. The purpose of LinkedIn primarily is to network professionally so you want people to find you, however, you do not want EVERYONE seeing your activity, your status updates, your contact information, or sometimes your connections. Depending on what industry you are in, sharing this information can be detrimental by giving away your competitive edge for free by disclosing your coveted contacts. If you click settings under your name at the top right, there are buttons called Privacy Controls and Settings at the bottom that will allow you to limit who can see what if anything at all. more

Legal Ethics in the Digital Age (Powerpoint)

Delivered by Michael Kaiser on December 20, 2011, as the ethics portion of the Seattle, Washington, Continuing Legal Education seminar (CLE) "Find it Free and Fast on the Net: Strategies for Legal Research on the Web." Mr. Kaiser, founder of the Kaiser Legal Group, is a consultant and mediator. He also regularly speaks at the law school level and at Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars for attorneys. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Washington and his Juris Doctor from Seattle University. You may contact him at 206-660-2858 or Michael.Kaiser@Kaiser-LegalGroup.org.more

Legal Ethics in the Digital Age (text)

Written for the ethics portion of the Seattle Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar text "Find it Free and Fast on the Net: Strategies for Legal Research on the Web.” Michael Kaiser presented the ethics portion of the CLE, which was held December 20, 2011, at the Westin Hotel in Seattle, Washington. The text also was published in the Social Science Research Network: Legal Information and Technology eJournal. It has been a top ten download. (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1978623). Mr. Kaiser, founder of the Kaiser Legal Group, is a consultant and mediator. He also regularly speaks at the law school level and at Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars for attorneys. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Washington and his Juris Doctor from Seattle University. You may contact him at 206-660-2858 or Michael.Kaiser@Kaiser-LegalGroup.org.more

LPO’s Have Become Legal Project Outplacement Firms: They Are Outplacing Legal Work from Traditional Law Firms

As Jeff Carr the voluble distinguished general counsel at FMC Technologies has long noted, legal services can be into four buckets: counseling, advocacy, process and content. See, for example, http://kowalskiandassociatesblog.com/2011/09/14/the-clock-is-ticking-in-five-years-traditional-law-firms-may-be-extinct-what-are-you-doing-to-avoid-being-an-artifact/ . Of these four buckets, only a portion of two of them require formal bar admission. In particular, court appearances and trial work (in the advocacy bucket) and formal opinion letters (in the content bucket) require admission to the court in which a case is pending or in a state under whose laws an opinion is rendered. But in the ligation (advocacy) arena, a very small percentage of the services rendered require the individual provider of legal services to be licensed. The majority of the work performed in the litigation process, consisting of legal and factual research, drafting of pleadings and motions does not require that individual providers of legal services be duly licensed. Licenses are only required of those making court appearances, inclusive of taking or defending depositions. Thus, as we all know, if we were to measure a full “litigation bucket,” it is likely that perhaps 10% of the contributors to that bucket require bar admission. With regard to content, the bulk of the work consists of due diligence, document review and legal research. The providers of those services need not be licensed. The only component requiring a license is the rendering of a formal opinion. Again, only an immaterial number of the contributors to that bucket require licensure, Yes, of course, LPO’s are open and notoriously practicing law without adequate bar admissions, licensing and are largely owned by non-lawyers. In that same vein, Internet providers of legal services are similarly openly and notoriously practicing law without being properly licensed and are also similarly owned by non-lawyers. (http://kowalskiandassociatesblog.com/2011/08/11/are-law-firms-going-to-be-replaced-by-internet-based-providers-of-legal-services/ ) Both operate in a completely unregulated environment, and no regulator or other authority has undertaken to challenge these activities. Paul Lippe estimates that within five years, these alternate providers of legal services will own 10% of the gross legal spend, or approximately $5,000,000,000, with traditional law firms losing $1.50 to $2.00 for every dollar earned by these alternate providers of legal services. http://www.abajournal.com/legalrebels/article/the_rise_of_the_non-firm_firms . These alternate providers may already be “too big to fail” and will be increasingly so as their market share grows. More significantly, the beneficiaries of this market disaggregation, namely consumers of legal services, will not abide any belated attempts to enforce bar admission or law firm ownership rules. The cow has already left the barn. more

Embracing Legal Technology

The pendulum has shifted dramatically for how lawyers develop business, litigate cases, and obtain/demonstrate the necessary evidence to win their cases. When I started my legal career 13 years ago, I used “redwells”, binders, Word Prefect, Excel spreadsheets, hundreds of boxes, redaction tape, actual labels for Bates numbering, and warrooms where people literally lived at the office. Now, law firms are much more technologically savvy, utilizing complex document management systems, eDiscovery/ remote online document review platforms, and social media to brand, market, and drum up business. My, how times have changed. Although most of the large (250+ attorneys) law firms have embraced technology and have developed litigation support departments, IT help desks, etc. to meet the growing challenges and needs of their clients, many of the small (<25 attorneys) to mid-sized (25>249 attorneys) firms have been left behind. It is time for small and mid-sized firms to embrace legal technology and allow it help them win their cases too. Here are 5 reasons why small and mid-sized law firms should embrace technology: 1. It Equalizes the Playing Field – Gone are the days where the “little guys” get bombarded with a sea of documents that used to hide the “needle in the haystack” from opposing counsel. Using affordable methods of forensic collection technology and reliable eDiscovery services, data can be extracted effortlessly from harddrives of computers and electronic devices. Keyword searches and other “culling” methods can reduce the review subset to manageable levels where a thorough document review can be performed. eDiscovery can level the playing by finding key documents that can prove your case. 2. Reduces Waste – Producing 5-10 copies of dozens of boxes of documents is one of the biggest wastes of paper and destruction of the environment of all time. I have visited warehouses of boxes of documents that need to be retained and preserved for years. Why not scan documents and send massive document productions via a secured FTP, CD, or DVD. 5 boxes of documents can be kept on a thumb drive or disk, reducing space and allow you to take massive quantities of documents with you “on the go!” 3. Saves Time – Lawyers and legal professionals can review documents and/or access their office computers from all around the world, just as long as there is an internet connection. Presently, lawyers can conduct interviews with clients and potential witnesses via WebEx/GoToMeetings, video conferencing, and Skype. Online hosted document review solutions allow users to access their data from anywhere, review, issue code, and redact all from the comforts of their home. Lawyers are even appearing via video conference to participate in depositions. Small and mid-sized firms can maximize their resources by being smart about needing to travel and how they can become more efficient. Smart phones and tablets are making it even easier to get more accomplished in half the amount of time and with the right software, you can even use your devices during trial. 4. Saves Money – Technology can make law offices much more efficient. Scanning and routing incoming mail via email cuts down the need to maintain paper files, creating and maintaining chron files, and over using expensive copiers that breakdown and require lots of maintenance. Moreover, the reduction of review time and the ability to collaborate with others via electronic methods, allow attorneys to focus on what is important, practicing law. Maintaining large libraries, magazine subscriptions, etc. can be costly and time consuming. Having a Lexis or Westlaw account and subscribing to the same publications online can make a significant cost saving impact (not to mention, save the environment). Using software for calendaring, conflicts, eFiling, etc. can also save money in the long run by not having to hire staff to do the tasks these methods can do for you. more

Law Firm Purchasing Trends Survey - ILTA/InsideLegal

This August ILTA, in partnership with InsideLegal, administered the annual ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey. The annual survey includes many of the categories covered in past years, and has been enhanced to include more detailed breakouts of technology purchases; legal technology budget questions; updated information on participants’ social media preferences; an in-depth analysis of cloud computing; and sections on technology outsourcing and IT challenges.more

Sending Large PDF Documents By PDF

From the May 2011 edition of the Palm Beach Bar Bulletin, here is the Lawyer's Guide to Sending Large PDF Documents by Email. Send large PDF, JPEG and other files to clients without fear of hitting email file size limits. more

What Do Internet Lawyer Rating Sites Say About You?

What do sites like Avvo say about your reputation as a lawyer? Are you prepared for the ABA rankings of law firms? This article discusses how clients -- or worse, simply anonymous posters -- may be commenting about you. This article was published in the October 2010 Palm Beach County Bar Association's Bar Bulletin.more

Online and email risks at work

A quick checklistmore

2010 InsideLegal/ILTA Member Technology Purchasing Survey

InsideLegal and the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) recently released the findings of the 7th annual ILTA Member Technology Purchasing Survey (survey). The 2010 survey, which was administered by ILTA and analyzed and published by InsideLegal, focused on feedback from ILTA member law firms with 50 or more attorneys and covered IT budgeting; technology purchasing patterns; selection criteria and influencers; technology trends & IT challenges, and state-of-the-economy questions. The survey, considered by leading legal technologist Dennis Kennedy as the "best resource available for getting hard data on what law firms are actually doing in the area of legal technology", has continued to gain in relevance in our space. The 2010 edition, complete with 43 questions (including 10 new items from last year), was distributed to approximately 610 ILTA member firms, ranging from 50 to 3,000 attorneys, and yielded 109 unique firm responses. 84% of all participating firms came from the U.S., with the remaining 16% originating from Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.more

Cloud Computing and Virtual Law Practice

This manuscript was submitted as material for a Presidential CLE program at the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting. The panel discussion, hosted by the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, covered cloud computing and virtual law practice, outsourcing and the globalization of law firms.more

Tough Times Got You Down? Some New Models to Enhance Law Firm Profitability and Strengthen Client Relations

Law firm profitability continues to be under attack. Despite official reports that the The Great Recession ended last year and the continued rise in the stock market, the squeeze on law firm profits continues unabated. The continued economic upheaval has also kept corporate law departments under continued enormous strain. Challenging times require creative solutions. One approach, already used by a number of law firms is the establishment of new business models, while maintaining their curent business model, albeit with the current business model itself evolving to meet current market challenges. These new business models entail the creation of law firm subsidiaries and affiliates which complement the services of the law firm itself. Some law firms have jumped in to these new waters with both feet. At te same time, law firms should be enhancing and deepening their relationships with law firm clients by greater use of lawyer secondments. Seconding a law firm's associates to a client offer many distinct advantages for both client and law firm. It enhances the relationship between client and firm. Pressures on corporate law departments are alleviated efficiently with the addition of well qualified and well trained lawyers, with knowledge of the corporation's legal affairs and needs, in a fashion having distinct advantages over corporate use of temp staffing agencies. more

Considering Third Generation eDiscovery?

With the many products and services available in the marketplace today, the need to be able to uniformly contrast and compare electronic discovery offerings continues to grow. Though more and more vendors are providing tools and techniques tools that can help in considering and comparing their offerings, there continues to be a need for comparison frameworks to help electronic discovery professionals systematically evaluate offerings beyond pricing and through the lens of additional factors to include capability, delivery method, and integration. This paper - Considering Third Generation eDiscovery - provides readers with a reasonable framework from which to consider the many electronic discovery choices in the market today. Source: OrangeLT.commore

Law Firms Face Competition for Doc Review Work - Law 360

The rise of e-discovery over the last decade has provided law firms with fertile ground for racking up hours on document review, but it has also made the traditional method of having associates conduct the work under the guidance of a partner far too expensive for corporations intent on tightening their belts. Meanwhile, vendors that had focused on the systems end of document production have expanded their services, offering corporate law departments specialized staff to review the documents at a one-stop price, which can often be pushed even lower by using employees in places like India. more

Taney's a-Twitter for clients and fun by Jeff Blumenthal

Social networking has become another tool in savvy lawyer's business development toolboxes. Unfortunately, many lawyers and law firms have yet to figure out how to use them effectively. This article highlights one attorney and other key commentators on how to use these tools to develop business.more

Coupons Not Required: GCs Look for Creative Ways to Save on Legal Costs by Ursula Furi-Perry

There's certainly a lot of talk about alternative fees. In a February article about tying outside legal costs to value, Altman Weil's Pamela Woldow discussed the various ways alternative fee arrangements are manifesting themselves in law department practice. The most common, she wrote, include procuring work through RFPs or tenders that specify acceptable arrangements; imposing billing hour limits and rewarding firms for crafting alternative fee structures; reducing the total number of outside providers or sticking to a preferred outside counsel list; and opting for value-based fees, which are based on the type of work performed and the value it has to the client, rather than a strict hourly measure. more

Professional Facebook privacy in under 10 minutes

Are you on Facebook? Have you tweaked your Facebook privacy settings to ensure that you keep your personal and professional lives separate? Read this article and learn the essential steps you can take in under 10 minutes to protect your identity, your privacy, and your reputation online.more

Considering Meet and Confer? - ILTA Product Briefing Presentation Slides

As the planning and preparation for FRCP Rule 26(f) mandated “Meet and Confer” conferences continues to be a major topic of interest for both law firm and corporate legal professionals, it is increasingly important for e-discovery practitioners to fully understand how to translate an understanding of “Meet and Confer” into practical execution. This document contains the presentation slides for an overview of Rule 26(f) and provides definitions, examples, checklists and timelines to help e-discovery professionals increase in their knowledge and understanding of “Meet and Confer.” Source: OrangeLT.commore

Electronic Discovery Provider Orange Legal Technologies Announces Quarter Over Quarter Revenue Growth of 27% During the First Quarter of 2009

Electronic Discovery Provider Orange Legal Technologies Announces Quarter Over Quarter Revenue Growth of 27% During the First Quarter of 2009 Revenue Growth Follows Strongest Annual Revenue Performance (2008) and Strongest Fourth Quarter Performance (4Q 2008) in the 14-Year History of the Company Source: OrangeLT.commore

Nine Slides On Planning For Meet and Confer Conferences

A Short, Nine Page Presentation On Meet and Confer Planning. Source: OrangeLT.commore

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