Technology-Lawyer

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 May, 2003

Research Agent News

Thursday, May 15th, 2003

Research Agent News is a brand new email newsletter focusing on the economics of online research and it’s definitely worth a look. While admittedly I’m going to be biased toward a newsletter that runs one of my articles as a feature in its first issue, I like the fact that some of the first articles focus on both the cost recovery and income opportunity aspects of online research, including an ROI calculator. Take a look.
Speaking of newsletters, don’t forget about my new free email newsletter, Practical Technology Contract Review News.

Cybersecurity and Cyberincident Response Plans

Wednesday, May 14th, 2003

Simone Kaplan’s article on CSOOnline.com called “When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies” is a great, if scary, overview of cybersecurity and cyberincident response plans. It’s a good starting point for trying to come to grips with these issues and even better for those who have not yet focused on these issues.
If you are in Missouri (or nearby) and have an interest in this topic, I had a meeting with Cecil Caulkins of The Missouri Bar this evening about planning an all-day seminar on the legal and business aspects of cybersecurity. It looks like it’s a go and we are working on a September date. I welcome any suggestions for topics or speakers or any other comments that will help me gauge the interest in and target this program.

Companies Unprepared for California Data Privacy Law

Monday, May 12th, 2003

Every piece of legislation directed at technology seems to have unintended consequences. I mentioned last week that companies are now stepping up to unintended consequences and costs of the Patriot Act. Add another to the list.
Jaikumar Vijayan’s article in ComputerWorld suggests that a new California Data Privacy Law intended to protect Californians against identity theft may have wide-ranging and unexpected consequences for any company doing business in California. In simplest terms, a company may have an obligation to notify California citizens in the event of a security breach that might lead to identity theft. But it’s not so simple. As the article indicates, some have found the statutory language ambiguous and a company that notifies only Californians of a security breach invites a public relations nightmare.
If that’s not fun enough, imagine 50 different state identity theft laws, plus federal laws on the subject as well.

The Rising Cost of Patriot Act Compliance

Friday, May 9th, 2003

If you want to find classic examples of unintended consequences just look at what happens when legislation and technology mix. The aims and intentions are usually laudable, but law do not seem to be able to keep up with technology and legislators seem equally unable to foresee the consequences of new statutes and regulations.
Tamara Loomis’s New York Law Journal article, “The Rising Costs of Patriot Act Compliance,” gives us some more examples and more expensive news for financial institutions and other businesses who had a hard enough time navigating through the shoals of Graham-Leach-Bliley and HIPAA.
She points out: “A year and a half later, many experts say we may never know whether the law is working as intended. Yet, effective or not, it is now an expensive fact of life for the financial firms that fall within its gamut.Although still a moving target at this point, the cost of compliance is expected to be staggering. According to research firm TowerGroup in Needham, Mass., securities firms alone will spend nearly $700 million on compliance over the next several years. The list of tasks is long and still growing. Just last week, the U.S. Treasury Department, the agency administering the new law, issued seven new sets of Patriot Act regulations.”

An Ideameme Worth Spreading

Friday, May 9th, 2003

Jim Fruchterman, the CEO and founder of Benetech, and one of the 2003 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in Geneva, Switzerland has an article on News.com called “Throwing down the gauntlet to Silicon Valley.” His premise is that “combining technology with social enterprise provides immense leverage for good.”
He says, “Many technologists would love to work on socially important problems, but this is rare because they don’t have viable models. The best way to bridge this gap is with social enterprise, a technology venture run like a business but structured as a nonprofit with two bottom lines: social and financial. The goal is not to make lots of money, but instead, to deliver the maximum good while operating in a sustainable manner (generally at breakeven). The technology user is treated as a customer–not the recipient of charity–and the enterprise must meet his or her needs or lose revenue.”
And he concludes, “Corporations can cooperate with these social entrepreneurs to go after neglected markets at little marginal cost, and see their products and technology applied to social applications. Foundations need to explore how social enterprise can help their dollars go farther and how to take advantage of the immense leverage technology offers. Ultimately, the only limit on what we can accomplish with technology is our imagination. At a time when the for-profit sector looks grim, it’s important to remember how much good technologists can still contribute to the world.”
He provides a few examples as well. These are important ideas and ones worthy of more discussion and action. My friend Wendy Leibowitz has written on similar notions as they apply in the legal space and a few other ideas can be found at elawyering.org. Definitely something to think about. Spread the word.

PeopleSoft Decision is a Watershed Event for Linux

Thursday, May 8th, 2003

PeopleSoft’s recent decision to port all of its 170 enterprise applications to Linux by the end of the year may well prove to be the most significant development in Linux this year and a major sign of the movement away from Windows and Linux in the enterprise market.
You have to watch what is happening in the applications market to gauge what’s going on in the OS market.
“What’s changed in the last few months is where [customers] want to use it,” said David Sayed, PeopleSoft’s technology product marketing manager. “It’s a coming together of customer demand and [Linux] maturity as a whole.”
Stacey Quandt, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., said PeopleSoft, like other software vendors, has seen “the competitive aspect of having a Linux solution. There’s obvious demand in the market,” Quandt said.
Watch where developers are putting their money, especially in this economy. This is big news on the Linux front.

XBRL – A Trend to Watch

Thursday, May 8th, 2003

The SmartPros newsletter carried a report today called “XBRL Top Tech Trend, Says PwC Forecast.” XRBL is the “eXtensible Business Reporting Language” standard and is “an electronic format for simplifying the flow of financial statements, performance reports, accounting records, and other financial information between software programs.” The idea is that XRBL will be used as a consistent format for business reporting which “will streamline how companies prepare and disseminate financial data, and how analysts, regulators, and investors review and interpret it. As a result, XBRL will save time and money when information consumers within and outside of a company analyze complex data. XBRL is a standard based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and is supported by a consortium of over 200 corporations, financial markets, accounting firms and regulators.”
“The effect that XBRL will have on the business community will be more significant than the transition from paper and pencil analysis of financial information to the use of electronic spreadsheets,” said Mike Willis, founding chairman of XBRL International.
The PwC report also identifies real time business intelligence systems displayed on digital dashboards, evolution of business integration technologies, real time supply chain event management with the growing use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, and expanded use of XML as other trends to watch.

MLK

Monday, May 5th, 2003

I was in Alabama for a few days attending a friend’s wedding. Since I was flying out of Atlanta yesterday, I had a few extra hours to take a look at Atlanta.
I believe it was Tom Peters who wrote that any time he is in Atlanta he likes to visit the Ebenzer Baptist Church. That rang a bell with me, and thanks to my trusty Hertz NeverLost system, I found my way there, and discovered that in fact there is a very good Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, which includes the church, his birth home and his grave. It’s quite an experience.
One of my wishes is that over time I will be able to visit some of the important sacred and spiritual places in the world. Quite simply, this site is one of them. If you are ever in Atlanta, I thoroughly recommend a visit.

Technology in Corporate Law Departments – The Current State of the Art

Thursday, May 1st, 2003

A fascinating article by Ashby Jones in Corporate Counsel reports on the results of a survey on what technologies corporate law departments sre using. While I’m frightened by the implications of the findings of any article that starts out, “The once hidebound law firm has finally gotten hip to technology,” the article suggests that some corporate law departments make many law firms look like technological juggernauts. Three words for corporate law departments on the subject of technology – Dupont Legal Model. My set of resources on “Client Driven Technologies” has more than a few good ideas for corporate law departments. See http://www.denniskennedy.com/clientdriven.htm. One of my areas of consulting is precisely this field and I spoke on this topic at the ABA TechShow and would be happy to speak on this subject again.

Practical Technology Contract Review News

Thursday, May 1st, 2003

I debuted today a new free, monthly email newsletter called “Practical Technology Contract Review News.” The title is pretty self-explanatory. I welcome you to check it out and see what you think. As is the case in most of my web projects, I simply want to provide a resource where there doesn’t seem to be one that exists currently. This short newsletter will benefit lawyers and non-lawyers alike and focus on solid, practical information, tips and techniques for reviewing and negotiating technology contracts in what I hope will be an interesting way. In a sense, it is an extension of some of the teaching I do in my IP and e-commerce licensing and drafting class at the Washington University School of Law.