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Dennis Kennedy

Technology Law and Legal Technology. Dennis Kennedy is one of the few technology lawyers who is also an expert on the underlying technologies. Dennis an award-winning leader in the application of technology and the Internet to the practice of law. DennisKennedy.com gives you access to a wide variety of Dennis Kennedy's resources on legal technology, his writings, his well-known blog, DennisKennedy.Blog, and information about how you can have Dennis speak to your organization or group.

Dennis Kennedy is one of the most knowledgeable legal technologists you will find. - Michael Arkfeld.

Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer and legal technology expert in St. Louis, Mo., has been a significant influence in the ever-evolving relationship between lawyers and the Web. - Robert Ambrogi

Archive for April, 2003

Langa’s Article on Ten Great Free Software Tools

Monday, April 21st, 2003

Fred Langa’s recent Information Week column contains a list of his favorite useful free software tools. There should be a few to put on your downloading list.

Avoiding Armageddon

Monday, April 21st, 2003

I recently finished Benjamin and Simon’s The Sacred Age of Terror, which seems to be a good overview of the terrorism of our day. I do not think that anyone will finish this book with any sense of optimism for the long haul, even in spite of recent military victories.
It’s the unfortunate nature of our modern world, but the site for PBS’s Avoiding Armageddon series provides good info and resources on weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and the like. There’s also a companion book.

A Cornucopia of Legal KM

Thursday, April 17th, 2003

There are two recent collections of “KM in law firm” articles that are well worth checking out. The first is in the current issue of Legal Technology News (requires free registration, but you get a free subscription to an excellent legal tech publication) and FindLaw’s Modern Practice webzine. Between the two you’ll find a good number of the leading thinkers on legal KM and links to legal KM resources.

Blog Evolution – War Blogs Without the War.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2003

Tom Yager’s Ahead of the Curve column in Infoworld has recently become one of my favorite reads because he addresses the implications of technology in addition to the implementations of technology. For example, his recent column called “Natural Selection” is an thought-provoking (in the best sense) meditation on consolidation in the IT industry and its implications.
The article, among other things, poses a key question in the new post-war blogging era: which bloggers will stick with it for the long run and which will bail out?
What sound does a war blog make when there is no war? The survivors and innovators will continue and I’m sure that I’ll see some favorites disappear, but I can’t wait to see the cool ways those who continue evolve their blogs.

Good Article on Upcoming New Versions of Adobe Acrobat

Wednesday, April 16th, 2003

At TechShow, David Masters said that Adobe Acrobat was a necessary tool for lawyers. There’s even a blog on PDF for lawyers. Today, the informative PDFZone newsletter had a link to a good overview article on the soon-to-be-released Acrobat version 6 and its three new flavors.

Happy HIPAA

Tuesday, April 15th, 2003

To celebrate the official April 14 HIPAA privacy deadline, two useful overview resources:
HIPAA Basics: Medical Privacy in the Electronic Age from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
and
Many Unaware of Medical Records Privacy Rules
I’m keeping a list of HIPAA resources at http://www.denniskennedy.com/hipaa.htm.

Recent Thoughts on PDAs for Lawyers

Monday, April 14th, 2003

I made some posts to a listserv today as sort of a beginner’s guide to PDAs. I thought I’d collect and share them.
1. Having a Palm device is not a requirement of getting into the 21st century. Not by a long shot.
2. Like many technologies, Palm devices can be useful tools to address specific needs. If you don’t have the needs, you don’t need the tools. In the case of the Palm devices, the specific need is to have information (generally calendar and addressbook info) readily accessible when you are away from your office. If you spend 95% of your time at your office computer, the purchase of a Palm device is hard to justify.
3. As others have mentioned, once you have identified a real need, you’ll need to consider what software you want to use (there are programs for just about everything), your budget, your style and your eyesight. You’ll carry and use a device that you actually enjoy carrying and using – especially if you are wary about the devices in the first place. Also, I recommend color over mono because the screens are much easier to read, a concern for those of us on the verge of entering the bifocal era. The Sony screens, in particular, are amazing. A visit to a store where you can compare display, look and feel is definitely in order before buying.Color will drain the charge on batteries more quickly than you will like. That’s the bad news. The good news is that color units come with rechargeable battery packs, so you need to remember to keep the device in the recharger/cradle on a regular basis. The “good old days” of getting 2 months use out of a pair of AAA batteries on a Palm III are gone. The typical standard Palm apps (calendar, to do list) actually use very little color, but the color display screens are so good that the improvement in clarity alone is a reason to give the color units careful consideration.
4. As I mention in a recent Law Office Computing article (http://www.denniskennedy.com/mobilecomputing03.htm), I think that for a number of business and other reasons, the Sony devices are the devices of choice these days. Note, though, that carefully watching sites like www.dealnews.com or www.half.com, you can find lots of bargains on many of these devices. Be aware, though, that there are some concerns that both Palm and Handspring may get out of the hardware business (one reason I recommend the Sony devices). As I suggested earlier, if you shop on the Internet, you are likely to find some great deals – I’d hesitate before paying anything like a retail price on PDAs these days. See, for example, http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?PAGE=PROFRAME&PROD_ID=61898 for a great price a refurbished Sony Clie.
5. Although this article is a little outdated in terms of today’s models, my “Getting Started with Palm” article (http://www.denniskennedy.com/palmstart.htm) still offers a useful way to think about these devices.
6. For what it’s worth, I use a Sony Clie T615C. I just won a Toshiba e740 Pocket PC with WiFi, so I’ll be exploring that route. If you are thinking about Pocket PC as an alternative to Palm, I’d take a look at the Dell models, which are priced lower than most other Pocket PC devices.
Note that Sony devices are Palm OS devices. Here’s a handy guide: Palm, Handspring (Visor) and Sony devices all run the Palm operating system. Toshiba, HP, Compaq, Dell and a few others run the Pocket PC OS from Microsoft and tend to be much more expensive (up to about $800) but have stripped down versions of MS Word, etc. Lawyers tend to use Palm devices; business people tend to favor the Pocket PC devices (especially when the company pays for them). Palm OS devices still command approximately 80% of the market.
7. My two cents on the PDA/cellphone combos: I like two separate devices, each of which does a good job at what it’s supposed to do, rather than a combo. I know some people who like the Treos, but they are definitely techies and they have heavy, specific wireless needs. The big question is whether you like holding something the size of a Palm up to the side of your head for an extended time (most people don’t and I can’t even imagine it), or whether you are comfortable talking on a headset. In St. Louis, there is some acceptance of seeing people talking away on a headset (even in elevators or in line at a restaurant), but in other areas, people may just think that you are a nut talking to yourself. The other issue about the combo devices is that some of the cell providers that carry them are not the highest rated service providers.

TechShow 2003 / 2004

Thursday, April 10th, 2003

I’m working on putting together my reflections on TechShow 2003, which I’ll try to post this week. It was fun, the people I met were great and there’s plenty of cool tech happening.
I’ll be on the TechShow Board for TechShow 2004. My goal is simply to do my little part to make TechSHow 2004 the coolest, rockingest TechShow ever. In order to help do that, I’d like to solicit comments, suggestions, ideas, criticisms and the like from attendees, past attendees, non-attendees and future attendees. What will it take to get you there next year? Send me an email.

Looking for Legal Marketing Articles for Law Practice Today

Thursday, April 10th, 2003

As many of you know, ABA Law Practice Management Section’s Law Practice Today Webzine is now live. In addition to being one of the main co-editors, I am also the lead editor of the Marketing section. If you have articles on legal marketing, new or previously published, that might fit our webzine, please let me know and we’ll see if we can put you in front of this great audience.

News Aggregator Tools List

Thursday, April 10th, 2003

The always-great Shifted Librarian blog mentions a great list of news aggregation tools.