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 March, 2004

The “Blog or Website” Question

Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

Jeff “LawTechGuru” Beard has a good post on the increasingly-common question of whether to start with a blog or a website.
I know that the question is increasingly common because I was standing with Jeff when a couple of the people he mentions raised the question.
By the way, like Jeff, my current response is definitely a blog and, in most cases, hosted on TypePad. For the reasons Jeff mentions and others, starting with a blog and gradually building out standard “website” features makes the most sense if you are in the position where you are asking that question.
But I’m still surprised when someone with a law practice tells me that they have neither a website nor a blog.

How to Help Someone Use a Computer

Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

From Roland Tanglao: Phil Agre’s How to Help Someone Use a Computer is a piece that I wish I could have written. Unfortunately, I break too many of these rules (although I sense that I’m doing so when I do) because I don’t have quite enough patience.
Phil’s points are so wise and on point that each of us should use them as a starting point when helping others learn to use a computer or any other tool, for that matter.
I especially agree with his point of getting down to eye-level rather than standing over someone’s shoulder.
A few of my favorites:
“Don’t take the keyboard. Let them do all the typing, even if it’s slower that way, and even if you have to point them to every key they need to type. That’s the only way they’re going to learn from the interaction.”
“Attend to the symbolism of the interaction. Try to squat down so your eyes are just below the level of theirs. When they’re looking at the computer, look at the computer. When they’re looking at you, look back at them.”
“Explain your thinking. Don’t make it mysterious. If something is true, show them how they can see it’s true. When you don’t know, say “I don’t know”. When you’re guessing, say “let’s try … because …”. Resist the temptation to appear all-knowing. Help them learn to think the problem through.”
“Take a long-term view. Who do users in this community get help from? If you focus on building that person’s skills, the skills will diffuse to everyone else.”

Steve Gillmor on Why Microsoft Needs RSS

Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

Steve Gillmor’s Memo to Steve Ballmer sets out the case for RSS in an open letter to Micrososoft’s Steve Ballmer. It’s a great article to show people who don’t get the point of RSS.
Gillmor concludes:
“RSS may appear to be just a niche technology, a hippie miracle cure for everything from information overload to e-mail dysfunction. But I’d like to see the data on relapsing from RSS. Once you kick the browser, it’s very hard to go back to the old way of doing things. I look forward to hearing from you, perhaps via your own RSS feed. That’s one channel I look forward to subscribing to.”

Sites We Wish Had RSS Feeds

Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

Amy Gahran has launched a project that there has been a crying need for – talking bloggers with great blogs into adding RSS feeds.
A huge thank you to Amy for this. Note that she includes a sample form letter for you to send to non-feed-sending bloggers.
I’m always frustrated to find a blog with excellent material, but no RSS feed, because I realize that the chances of me returning to the blog on my own on a regular basis are almost nil.
Help start an RSS feed today.

TECHSHOW Mini-Roundup

Tuesday, March 30th, 2004

Well, I didn’t quite get my notes and thoughts on TECHSHOW pulled together today. Luckily, Jeff Beard and Bob Ambrogi have already posted some substantive coverage.
I plan to post a debriefing or two, but, man, did I have fun, and I learned a lot and met some great people.
Coming soon: There were a lot of comments about there being nothing all that new in legal tech. Au contraire. Unless I’m significantly behind the curve and everyone else is really up-to-date with what I saw (and, more importantly, the implications of what I saw and heard), there’s more innovation happening now than I’ve ever seen and the pace of change in law is going to accelerate more quickly than many will expect.
I’ve been saying for a while that one trend we’ll see is tech-savvy lawyers leaving large firms to start solo and small firm practices. Those who are thinking along those lines might want to step up their timetables. and My New Column with George Socha

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

As my friends know, I have a hard time turning down the chance to write a column, but the recent opportunity I got to start a new column for, one of if not the premier Internet resource on electronic discovery, was an offer I simply could not turn down. You see, the column gives me a chance to write with one of the most knowledgeable and tech-savvy lawyers I’ve ever met – George Socha, who has been my “go to” person on electronic discovery issues for several years.
We’re doing the column (see the first column – called “The Electronic Discoverers” – in which we take an overview of the e-discovery landscape) in the conversation style, which gives us a great structure to include guests as well as to take several views of an issue.
I invite you to try out the column and let us know what you think. If you have ideas for topics, let us know.
As an aside, George is doing some cool things that he’ll probably announce soon that will be invaluable to those working in and following developments in e-discovery. You’ll get a little glimpse of some of those things in this first column.
For those thinking – “But Dennis doesn’t even do any litigation . . .” You are right – I’ll focus more on the tech, management and trends aspects of these issues and George will brilliantly cover the technical discovery issues in more detail.
Thanks especially to Julia Wotipka for putting this idea together.

Eric Mack Online

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

Another blog related to David Allen and organization/productivity approaches is EricMackOnline (blog with feed). Mack’s blog tells the story of launching Allen’s blog and appears to be chock full of useful tips and information. Thanks to Tanny O’Haley for pointing me to Eric’s blog and the background on the startup of David Allen’s blog.

David Allen – URL Updates

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004

One of the things I love about blogging is how you get to meet people doing cool things.
I posted recently about organization guru David Allen’s new blog and how it and some related resources would become must-visit places for those of us practicing Allen’s great system.
I got a thank you note from the operator of one of those resources, Jason Womack, who wanted to update me on the new URLs for David Allen’s blog – and Jason’s Getting Things Done blog – Both have feeds and I highly recommend them.

Still Time to Register to Attend or Become a Sponsor or Exhibitor at TechShow 2004

Thursday, March 18th, 2004

The American Bar Association’s TechShow 2004 takes place in Chicago next week. Even if I weren’t totally biased by being a member of the TechShow Board, I’d still call it the premier legal technology seminar and show for lawyers.
My rule is “the more the merrier,” so I wanted to remind people that it’s not too late to register to attend or for your company to exhibit or sponsor.
There’s a great roundtable discussion about TechShow 2004 and the expected highlights in the current issue of Law Practice Today.
Please be sure to introduce yourself and say hello if you see me at TechShow. I’m speaking at three sessions, so I’ll be a little frantic, but I’d be glad to meet you.

Support Our Sponsors – CaseSoft and Fios

Thursday, March 18th, 2004

Keen-eyed vistors to this blog have already noticed the logos of the blog’s first two sponsors – CaseSoft and Fios. I’ve put together some sponsorship options to highlight some of my favorite vendors and give them exposure to the blog’s audience. Because I’ve decided to limit drastically the product reviews I write anymore, this approach has become an avenue to expand what I can do with this blog.
I’ve been a huge fan of CaseSoft’s products, CaseMap, TimeMap and NoteMap, since they were first introduced. In fact, the story of how Bob Wiss (one of the founders of CaseSoft) and I first met and my first article on CaseMap are part of the lore and history of CaseSoft. For those unfamiliar with CaseMap, think of it as a litigation knowledge management tool. We have also worked out an arrangement to benefit the readers of this blog. If you visit the CaseSoft website and download a trial version of NoteMap, CaseSoft’s outlining tool, and let them know that you learned about CaseSoft products from, CaseSoft will give you one free license for NoteMap. If you were already planning to buy a license for CaseMap, this deal is pretty irresistable. If you like great free software, it’s also pretty irresistable.
The second sponsor, Fios, also provides great litigation software tools and a premier web resource on discovery – I’m enthused by what Fios is doing. In fact, I’ll be joining e-discovery guru George Socha to co-wrote a monthly column on electronic discovery that will appear on the website. Because I have the benefit of already seeing the first column, I can tell you that this column will be a must-read for those interested in electronic discovery.
If you think this blog’s sponsorship program might make sense for your company, please contact me and I’ll get you the information you will need to consider opportunities in this blog and my website. Worldox, maker of a great document management software package in common use in the legal profession, and Tabs 3, premier financial and practice management software, are a new sponsor and advertiser on my website.
If you attend the upcoming ABA TechShow 2004 next week in Chicago, you will have a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the offerings of these great companies and talk with the principals of these companies.
Please support these sponsors. I am grateful for their help in allowing me to get the word out on how lawyers can use technology in better ways.