Best Article on Legal Blogs Yet?

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

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

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?

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

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.