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 July, 2003

SpringsteenNews.Net – RSS Feed

Wednesday, July 30th, 2003

At long last I’ve found a Springsteen site with an RSS feedSpringsteenNews.net. With news, set lists from recent shows and more, you can keep tab on the latest happenings on the current tour.

But the Lawyer Said I Have to Get a New PC

Wednesday, July 30th, 2003

In PC replacements: Lawyers, auditors and common sense, Peter Kastner argues that companies may have a fiduciary responsibility to update computer equipment. Anyone working with an outdated and underpowered computer might want to place a copy of this article on the boss’s desk.

The Case for PDF

Wednesday, July 30th, 2003

Jakob Nielsen and others have been highly critical of PDFs lately. Not surprisingly, there is another side of the story. This article on PlanetPDF.com critiques those critiques and presents the other side of the story.

“Expert” Speaks on Legal Tech Cost Savings and More

Monday, July 28th, 2003

When I returned home from a very productive and enjoyable TechShow 2004 board meeting in Denver, I saw an article called “Tech for Less” in the ABA’s eJournal Report. The article quotes me at length on some of my favorite topics: wise use of technology budgets, IT portfolio management and the like.
I had a pretty lengthy conversation with the author and while she emphasized a few points a bit differently than I would have, I think the article contains a lot of good points for lawyers to consider.
My final point in the article, however, lost a little in translation, because my point of view is a little counter-intuitive. The article says: “If you have a terrific Web site, Kennedy says, then consider investing in another area where you are lagging behind other attorneys.” My belief, in fact, is that in a slow economy you should seriously consider prioritizing investments in areas in which you are already ahead to further distance yourself from your competition. So, if you have a great web site, you should think hard about putting more money into the site to extend the gap between you and your competitors.
That said, it’s definitely an article that’s worth a read and there are also some excellent comments from Andy Adkins.

Missouri Biotech: From Burbank to Biobelt

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2003

A week or so ago my friend and personal biotech guru, Kevin Buckley, invited me to a bill signing for Missouri House Bill 688, which Kevin played a key role in drafting. The new law is pretty cool – dedicating a portion of Missouri’s tobacco settlement funds to life sciences research and development.
His invitation prompted me to pull out the copy of Matt Ridley’s Genome that I had been wanting to read for a while. As I read a chapter on Gregor Mendel the night before the signing, I found myself wondering whatever happened to all the notes and research that Luther Burbank did with plants. I made a mental note to check into that.
The next day at the signing, Kevin and I were talking with Dennis Roedemeier of the Missouri Department of Economic Development and, much to my surprise, he started talking about Luther Burbank.
As it turns out, Burbank was so impressed by the work at the Stark Brothers nurseries in Louisiana, Missouri (still a major seed and plant supplier) that he assigned them his patents and materials. Part of this fascinating story is told in this paper written by Dan Kevles for a Yale Law School legal theory workshop.
Missouri has been billing itself as the “Biobelt” recently, which seemed a bit of an overreach to me (because I didn’t know the history), but, as I now consider the lineage of Burbank and Stark Bros., the work of Peter Raven at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the world-renowned work on Washington University, Monsanto and other Missouri entities in the plant sciences, that moniker now seems quite fitting.
There is no one who is more enthusiastic about the future of biotech in Missouri than my friend Kevin Buckley and his enthusiasm grew by leaps and bounds as we heard this story. I thought that I might even be driving with him out to Stark Bros. that same afternoon, but we’re saving that for another day. Given the Burbank pedigree, the great history of Missouri biotech seems highly likely to evolve into quite a future.
By the way, this was my first bill signing. Governor Holden won a vote by personalizing an autograph to my daughter and giving her a signed copy of the bill and the pen he used. Thanks to the governor for letting me score some major Dad points.

Best Article on Legal Blogs Yet?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003

Thanks again to Sabrina at LLRX.com for publishing the latest installment of The Internet Roundtable, where regulars, Jerry Lawson, Brenda Howard and I, along with very special guests, Ernie the Attorney and Tom Mighell, discuss the usefulness of blogs in part 1 of a two-part article.
I’m biased, of course, but this Internet Roundtable column is full of great practical information about lawyer blogs and I thoroughly recommend it to all blawgers and blawgers-to-be.
Since Part 2 is already written, I can say already that, to me, part 2 will top part 1 and explore some areas that have been a little neglected in discussions of blawgs. Keep an eye out for its later publication at LLRX.com.
Ernie and Tom are brilliant in these articles and I thank them again for sharing their uncommon expertise and insight.

The Best Article Your Lawyer Probably Won’t Be Reading

Monday, July 21st, 2003

From Larry Bodine’s Law Marketing Blog – Larry posts about a videotape documenting a focus group in which business clients of lawyers were asked a variety of question about their law firms. Larry delivers the quotes, which will give you a good overview of the current ways many law firms treat their clients.
This type of information is enormously valuable, but I can guarantee you that the vast majority of lawyers will studiously ignore it and continue to treat their clients in exactly the ways their clients do not want to be treated.
Welcome to the Great Lawyer / Client Disconnect of 2003. It ain’t right and this sorry state of affairs is one of the reasons I left the big firm world to go solo and am also focusing on the subject of client-driven technology.
Here’s my favorite of the quotes: “We’re actually looking for something more profound – lawyers who don’t sell us hours. Companies want to buy expertise, responsiveness and assurance. I don’t care how long it takes the firm to do the work. At our company we’re asking for something more profound.”
Why do I like this quote? Because it is pretty darn close to what I really want to do in my new law practice.

Matt’s Cool Reading List

Thursday, July 17th, 2003

I spent some time tonight on the A Whole Lotta Nothing blog and was greatly rewarded.
I particularly enjoyed Matt’s list of books that shaped his view of the web, in part because I had read most of the books over the years and could nod my head in agreement with his assessments.
But I was delighted by his mention of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. While I think that the book is quite helpful in thinking about web site design, it’s the most influential book I’ve ever read in terms of impact on my use of PowerPoint. The book made me think very carefully about the transition of thought from slide to slide and the logic of both the gap in between slides as well as the way to use slides themselves. If you think about that, that’s a key element in comic strips. In fact, a lot of the explanantion of why many PowerPoint presentations are considered “bad” can be found in this book, but you have to think and try to draw some analogies out. It’s well worth the effort.
Ironically, when people tell me they like my presentations, I’ll mention this book and notice that they never believe me. Now, don’t you do that. I recommend both Matt’s list and McCloud’s book.

Lessons for RIAA and Entertainment Industry?

Thursday, July 17th, 2003

The RIAA’s scorched earth policy in which they seemingly want to sue all of their potential customers never has made much sense to me. Matt Haughey’s Donuts ‘n Porn essay seems dead on target to me. As he says, “there are two ways a business can view people crowding around their valuable products: either as thieving pirates that must be stopped at all costs, or as potential customers that can bring in a lot of money. As a business owner, what view is best for your profits?”
That question seems to be a rhetorical one to me, but I guess that others disagree.

Litigation Trends Article

Thursday, July 17th, 2003

The May/June issue of the ABA’s Law Practice Management Magazine has been posted to the web. Among other excellent articles about the use of technology in trial practice is a fascinating collection of short essays on leading trends in litigation. The list of authors is an honor roll of some of the best thinkers and doers in legal technology and it’s flattering that I was included in this group. I talk about client-driven technologies (my current favorite topic), but you will also see Marc Lauritsen on smart technologies, Sharon Nelson and John Simek on electronic evidence, Mark Tamminga on “transparency,” and Wells Anderson on virtual court rooms, to name a few. Very cool stuff, even if you don’t do litigation, and essential reading for litigators. It’s also interesting to notice multiple mentions of CaseMap by this group of experts.