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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 September, 2004

Required Reading: Steve Gibson on Personal Firewall Software, XP SP2 and other Security Matters

Thursday, September 9th, 2004

The appropriately-named FirewallLeakTester.com has a great interview with the respected security expert (and former ABA TECHSHOW keynote speaker), Steve Gibson, known to many for his Shields Up security testing web application.
The interview gives a large amount of useful information about the present world of computer security and a realistic assessment of personal firewall software, Windows XP Service Pack 2 and if we will ever be able to feel hopeful about computer security.
The interview is uniformly excellent and sobering. However, there’s one part of the interview I got a bit of a chuckle about. Steve says:
“My main advice to parents of younger Internet-using kids is never to try sharing a computer with their children. There is no safe way to share a computer with someone who will opens eMail attachments, downloads software and �gizmos’ from the Internet, shares unknown software with their school friends and uses peer-to-peer file sharing programs. In any household with kids, the parents should have a computer that is permanently and forever off-limits to the children, and the children should have their own machine(s). Computers are inexpensive enough now that �giving the kids their own’ is definitely the best security policy.”
I thought Steve was leading up to a comment on how using a separate computer was the best way kids could protect themselves from their parents’ mistakes. Instead, Steve said, “Then the parents can have some reasonable chance of using their own computer safely and reliably. And when the kids’ machine collapses under the weight of hundreds of viruses and Trojans and spyware fighting each other for control of the machine, as will certainly result from the kids’ inherently unsafe use of the Internet, their machine(s) can be reformatted from scratch, be setup fresh, and then repeat the process of dying from unsafe exposure to the Internet.”
I guess Steve’s experiences with the habits of parents (especially lawyers) on the Internet is different from mine. In all seriousness, though, Steve’s message would definitely include making the effort to teach your children safe computing. I like a book called Always Use Protection: A Teen’s Guide to Safe Computing and made reading it a requirement for my daughter.
Gibson’s interview is required reading for anyone who wants to get a good working knowledge of Internet security and safe computing practices. I hope that means everyone.
The message continues to be: “Let’s be careful out there.”

All Aboard the RSS Adoption Train

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

You may have to trust my judgment on this one, but Andy Seidl’s post called RSS Adoption Train-Next Stop: Mainstream may well be the most important blog post you’ll read this year.
I make no secret of my admiration for the work that the people at MyST Technology are doing. I also put two long phone calls I had with Bill French in a steadily-growing list of amazing conversations I’ve had about the path of future technology developments this year. You’ll notice that Bill’s note to Andy is the inspiration for Andy’s post.
The core of the post is here:
“RSS is a disruptive force. It is changing the way people connect with information. I’ve long believed that the ultimate search technology is one you don’t explicitly use. Imagine turning the search paradigm on its head-instead of us finding stuff, why not stuff finding us? Pushing this idea to the extreme, our applications would understand what we are working on and automatically provide us with exactly the information that we need in every specific context. In that scenario, we would never need to search for stuff because the right stuff would find us.
This is the direction we’re headed. We have a long way to go, but technologies like topic maps, smart tags, research services, and yes, RSS, are all bringing us closer.”
The key message of the post is here:
“But this train is already moving fast and picking up speed every day. Many B2B and B2C value chains are already leveraging RSS to reduce time-to-awareness, capture precious attention cycles, avoid spam-related issues, increase search engine visibility, create a branded desktop presence, and so on.
All aboard!”
But there is so much in this short post that it is impossible to do it justice. You gotta read it, man! Even if you don’t understand this post or see it with the same enthusiasm that I do, be sure to keep a copy of it, remind yourself to go back to it once a month, and, even if it takes a while, there will come a day, when the lucidity of this post will flash in front of your eyes and you might even say, darn it, Dennis was on to something before the rest of us even saw it coming – no wonder he kept talking about that train thing.

Last Chance to Register / Attend My Webinar on E-Discovery with George Socha and Fios on September 8

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

Time is running out to attend the webinar George Socha and I will presenting tomorrow:
Thinking Beyond the Box: The Rapidly Changing World of E-Discovery
When: Wednesday, September 8th 2004
Time: 10:00 a.m. PDT, 1:00 p.m. EDT (Seminar length – 1 hour)
Our Featured Guest Presenters: George Socha and Dennis Kennedy
Register for the September 8th event
Are you up to speed on the recent developments and rulings in electronic discovery and the practical impact that they will have on your practice?
Do you see the five big trends in electronic discovery that will be affecting you soon?
Do you know all of the potential benefits of electronic discovery, and how it can make your cases more manageable, profitable, and winnable?
Is electronic discovery still a concern only for big firms in big cases, or are we quickly moving into a new era of electronic discovery?
How close are we to seeing malpractice claims against lawyers who fail to use electronic discovery or mishandle their attempts at electronic discovery?
Dennis and George will discuss the above as well as share some of their favorite practical tips, best practices, and horror stories on electronic discovery for today and tomorrow.
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Hope that you can attend. I’m familiar with the presentation – there’s some great info in this webinar.

Blogging, Invention and Freedom

Saturday, September 4th, 2004

I saw the following quote at the Weblogs in Higher Education blog. It struck me as a profound, even inspiring, set of thoughts that deserve some of your quiet meditation time:
“So maybe here’s my point: blogging is not democratic only because it gives each person a place to publish — it is also democratic because it is a body of practices that help each person invent something worth reading. It is as if freedom of speech is not valuable only or even mainly for its freedom, but rather it is valuable for the social practices that it helps a society cultivate, for the internal and social work it helps individuals do, and for the quality of the speech that results from those things. Not to mention the quality of listening.”
Ken Smith goes on the expand on these thoughts in a compelling, even poetic, way. He captures some of my “two turntables and a microphone” notion of blogging, but goes much deeper than I have been able to do. If you want to get a sense for some of the potential of blogging, Weblogs in Higher Education is required reading. Here’s the feed.
Among other things, Ken recently helped 40 students sign up for blog accounts. I now know that I have some work to do. What have you done for the blogging world lately?

September 8 Fios E-Discovery Webcast with George Socha and Dennis Kennedy

Friday, September 3rd, 2004

Thinking Beyond the Box: The Rapidly Changing World of E-Discovery
When: Wednesday, September 8th 2004
Time: 10:00 a.m. PDT, 1:00 p.m. EDT (Seminar length – 1 hour)
Our Featured Guest Presenters: George Socha and Dennis Kennedy
Register for the September 8th event
Are you up to speed on the recent developments and rulings in electronic discovery and the practical impact that they will have on your practice?
Do you see the five big trends in electronic discovery that will be affecting you soon?
Do you know all of the potential benefits of electronic discovery, and how it can make your cases more manageable, profitable, and winnable?
Is electronic discovery still a concern only for big firms in big cases, or are we quickly moving into a new era of electronic discovery?
How close are we to seeing malpractice claims against lawyers who fail to use electronic discovery or mishandle their attempts at electronic discovery?
Dennis and George will discuss the above as well as share some of their favorite practical tips, best practices, and horror stories on electronic discovery for today and tomorrow.

The Curse of the New in the Blogging World

Wednesday, September 1st, 2004

Bob Ambrogi is one of the giants in the world of lawyers’ use of the Internet – it almost seems like he might have written the first of his columns on legal websites before the first legal website appeared.
I’ve mentioned and recommended the new edition of Bob’s book, The Essential Guide to the Best (and Worst) Legal Sites on the Web. On Bob’s blog, LawSites, Bob has been posting about some of the five star sites Bob covers in his book. Bob offers a unique perspective because of his long-term view and his evaluations carry a lot of wight with me. I thoroughly recommend visiting his blog and subscribing to his feed to gain the benefit of his wise counsel.
As I’ve seen Bob comment on some of the 5-star sites, I’ve seen some of the best of the history of the legal presence on the Internet. I cannot imagine any longtime Internet users looking for legal information who does not have good experiences and good feelings about sites like LLRX.com, LawPeriscope, Hieros Gamos, and other sites Bob has and will mention.
Bob’s posts, however, got me thinking about the blogging world’s phenomenon of breathlessly announcing any new blog as soon as it appears. I call it the “curse of the new.”
I was cleaning out my newsreader (FeedDemon) the other day and noticed that a good number of blogs that got announced all over the place on their launches withered away and disappeared in a relatively short time.
On the other hand, the tried and true, highly valuable blogs roll along steadily for years, never experiencing the “buzz” or high-profile “launch” that almost any random new blog gets.
Let me be clear that the launch of some new blogs, because of their authors, deserves a lot of attention. For example, I was thrilled to learn that David Allen had launched his own blog. Blawg Channel, for example, probably deserved the number of mentions it got, but we still have to prove that we can do it for the long haul and continue to create a high-value blog. In other words, we have to earn your trust.
As many of us know, some blogs are launched after receiving paid-for advice to “get the major blogs to mention your blog and you’ll shoot up to the top rankings in search engines.” I so dislike this “take, not give” approach to blogging that I adopted my “new blog mentioning policy.” By the way, the policy was a great success – no one asks me to announce their blogs any more or, if they make initial inquiries, I don’t hear back from them after I refer them to my policy. This result doesn’t surprise me. However, I can tell you that there are some new blawgs that are posting at such a level of quality that they are getting onto my radar screens and I know I’ll soon be linking to their posts on a regular basis.
Other blogs launch with great ideas and expectations, which are never met. I’ve mentioned new blogs in the past that have disappeared, with the only remains of their presence being the glowing praise I gave to them when they launched.
Bob reminded me that it’s better to honor the veterans, those who have earned their chops, show long-term commitment and consistently offer great information and hig quality. They are so solid and consistent that you start to take them for granted. That’s unfortunate. If you want a perfect example of this type of blog, look no further than BeSpacific.com, a blog that legal bloggers admire for Sabrina’s consistency and consummate professionalism.
The sad thing I’ve noticed is that some people new to the world of lawyer blogging have never heard of blogs like BeSpacific.com. Instead, their news aggregators may be filled with new blogs, which is not a bad thing in itself, but lack blogs that I consider to be bedrock legal blogs.
That bothers me. Maybe it shows that I’m getting older. But Bob is on to something important.
So, I’m announcing a new feature of this blog where I’ll highlight the core legal blogs that meet my definition of excellence. Some have been around for a long time; some might not have been around quite so long. All have histories of providing valuable content. I could (and perhaps should) link to posts from these blogs at least once a week, or maybe even to every post. These bloggers should be household names, but many of them get overlooked on lists of legal blogs.
If my blog has the power to increase search engine rankings (and it does), then I want to use it in a way that benefits my friends who have been running consistently great blogs.
I use the term “my friends” because part of the magic of blogging is that I now know and communicate regularly with the bloggers I most admire. That’s an amazing benefit of blogging. It’s also true that I’ve known some of these bloggers since the earliest days of lawyers having websites.
I’m tentatively calling this feature “Essential Blawgs.” I’ll post about each Essential Blawg in an individual post. If you guessed that BeSpacific.com might be the first one I’ll cover, I suspect that you might be right.