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. 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 October, 2003

Experts Look at the Future of Legal Technology

Monday, October 20th, 2003

A great twofer from Bob Ambrogi. His blog gives links to two great articles on legal technology and law firm web sites, all part of the 10th anniversary of Law Technology News (free registration required, and highly recommended).
Bob rounded up some of the most interesting thought leaders in legal technology (hey, he included me) and their comments will give you plenty to ponder.
His list of the top 10 legal web sites over the last ten years also shows Bob’s impeccable judgment on quality web sites – he’s been reviewing them for nearly ten years.
Great job, Bob.

Boxes and Arrows – Analyzing Common Web Elements

Monday, October 20th, 2003

Heidi Adkisson has written a fascinating article called “Examining the Role of De Facto Standards on the Web,” which covers some research she has done on the plusses and minuses of following standard web page conventions.
As she says, “Will the web become more standardized? What are the usability risks of not following a de facto standard on the web?”
She also has put together a companion web site that delves further into her research and will cover this topic on an ongoing basis. I’ve also felt this subject is one of the more important web design / usability topics and one well worth taking some time to try to understand. Cool stuff.

LawTechGuru on Innovation

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003

Jeff Beard discusses a fascinating article on the “innovator’s challenge” and the role of CIOs on his excellent LawTechGuru Blog. As ever, Jeff makes some great points, especially when referring to the phrase “cultivation” in the context of aligning IT departments and business goals.

A Great Blawg Goes Silent

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003

It’s so sad to see that David Giacalone has decided to shut down the excellent ethicalEsq? blog due to health-related reasons. I’ve admired the growth and evolution of his blog and pointed to it on a number of occasions.
David was a needed voice who focused on critical issues for the profession and the delivery of legal services. I expected that he would grow into a sort of conscience for legal bloggers and through them the legal profession. His approach has affected the way that I look at some of today’s issues and reminded me and others that we need to pay attention in a thoughtful way to these issues on a regular basis rather than simply scrambling to grab our required hours of ethics continuing legal education credit at the last minute.
David forced us to think about the ethical issues, which are complex and difficult, and, I believe, will also be considered to have played an important role in the early history of legal blogs.
I understand his decision, but hope that his voice will return again in some form. For me, it gives me a new impetus to cover these issues on a more regular basis and I’ll probably do that from time to time on the eLawyer Blog.
David, my best wishes to you in all you do and a big thank you for a job well done.

Excuse me – is that a Ferrari on your laptop?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003

Here’s an interesting trend that I expect to continue. Gizmodo points to an article in the Register announcing a new laptop from Acer with a Ferrari brand. The laptop sports a bright red cover and a Ferrari logo. Just a guess – walking into a business meeting with this one willl get you noticed.
Note to Acer – while I seldom write reviews of hardware, I will make an exception for this one if you get one to me.

Missouri Bar Alternative Billing Methods Committee Final Report

Friday, October 10th, 2003

Kudos to the Missouri Bar for its 2003 Alternative Billing Methods Committee Final Report, which sums up the results of a survey of Missouri lawyers on a variety of issues related to hourly billing and other options. This report was undertaking in response to recent ABA efforts to determine the “corrosive” impact of hourly billing on the profession.
The report provides a lot of good data for people interested in these issues and I recommend the report highly. Great work by the committee.
By the way, it’s no secret that I believe that billable hours practices, especially minimum billable requirements, are slowly, but surely, destroying the legal profession.

An Angry Edge Sounds Like Good News to Me

Thursday, October 9th, 2003

I saw this headline: New U2 album driven by Edge’s anger at Bono.
My critique of the last few U2 albums – where is Edge and why is the guitar mixed down so far?
I’ve been known to say that one album I’d buy in a heartbeat, if it existed, would be “Edge: The Practice Sessions.” But the idea of a new guitar-driven U2 album seems like good news to me.

TechShow 2004 – Speaker Suggestions

Wednesday, October 8th, 2003

This is a blogging experiment.
As you may know, I’m on the Board for the ABA’s TechShow 2004, one of the premiere annual legal tech conferences.
As you may or may not know, I’m pretty aware of my many limitations. One of them is that I know that I’m not smart enough or well-traveled enough to know all the really good speakers on legal technology topics.
So, on a totally unofficial basis, I wanted to ask the readers of this blog for a little help.
Who have you seen or heard who either (a) is a great speaker on legal tech topics, (b) is a pretty good speaker but has compelling content, or (c) is good and would be a draw for you or others to attend TechShow? By the way, I’d be happy to learn that the answer is you. Lawyers or nonlawyers are OK.
There is expense reimbursement for speakers, but not honorarium. As a general matter, vendor representatives are not selected as speakers.
Let me know your ideas by emailing me.
I’m just looking for ideas and for ways to open up the field, so, to me, there are no wrong answers. Think of this as a way to help me brainstorm.
The standard disclaimer: the full board will make final decisions as they deem appropriate.

Technology’s Impact on Everything

Wednesday, October 8th, 2003

CIO Magazine has a great special issue called “Technology’s Impact on Everything.”
They have assembled a cast of stars to discuss a wide range of current and future tech issues. The bite-sized articles are uniformly excellent and will give you much to chew on.

First Thing . . . Let’s Quell All the Lawyers

Wednesday, October 8th, 2003

David Giacalone continues his great work over at the ethicalEsq? blog with a piece called “First Thing . . . Let’s Quell All the Liars.”
Among other things, the piece discusses the various interpretations and misinterpretations of the famous Shakespeare quote. Can you believe that lawyers have twisted the meaning of the quote to the point where they argue that the quote actually represents the highest degree of praise of lawyers??!!
David points out a growing perception that increasingly affects lawyers in a subtle but negative way. This perception is one that lawyers must learn to understand and appreciate.
He says, “Like it or not, to the average person, lawyers seem to be in the business of lying, their degree being a license to lie (and steal).”
This point of view is really the default perception that people have of all lawyers. It’s a little unnerving to me, after 20 years of practice, to run into this attitude on a regular basis. Fortunately, it’s usually manifested by people telling me that “you’re not like most lawyers – you’re honest.” I interpret that as a compliment, but, sheeesh, what kind of a state of affairs have we gotten into here?
There are a number of implications of this presumption, but it helps you understand why so many clients will say that the reason that they fired a lawyer was because the lawyer did not return phone calls.
Here’s the way I see it. Client starts with the assumption that lawyers lie. You tell them that you are available to them, will return calls or promise work by a certain date. If you don’t return a call, are late for a scheduled appointment, or are late on a promised deadline, you have not committed a small impoliteness, you have confirmed the “liar” stereotype.
Paying attention to every detail that reinforces the “liar” stereotype has become a necessity these days, especially in the first period of representing a client.
A similar phenomenon also takes place when dealing with other attorneys.
The bottom line: excellent, responsive client service is not just an optional behavior these days.