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 November, 2004

DennisKennedy.Blog Reader Appreciation Week Extended

Monday, November 1st, 2004

Due to a little illness this weekend and some commitments this week, I’m delaying the “official” launch of my new redesign of my website and blog until November 10.
I appreciate all of the great comments I’ve gotten from readers who have responded to my survey and have taken advantage of the special offers for readers that are part of my blog reader appreciation week. For the details and the survey, read my initial post on DennisKennedy.Blog Reader Appreciation Week.

Alternative Billing, Round 2, in Law Practice Today

Monday, November 1st, 2004

The new issue of the ABA’s webzine, Law Practice Today, revisits the subject of alternative billing as a follow-up to last month’s issue. Once again (please forgive my bias as an editor), this issue presents a strong collection of articles on the real world practicalities of today’s practice of law. The lead article is an interview of one of our leaders in innovation in pricing legal services for corporations, Jeff Carr, with whom I have had the great pleasure of co-presenting on the role technology can play in providing more efficient and more acceptably-priced legal services.
Just a few quotes from Jeff will give a flavor:
On forming his own firm: “I thought I was fed up with being a lawyer. What I learned was I didn’t hate the practice of law, I hated the business of law as it was being practiced at law firms. What brought me back to in-house practice after this little five-year experiment was the fact that at my core I’m a lawyer. I worry about our profession and I worry about the failing of lawyers in law firms to understand that they are in a business and to understand that it is a customer service business, and understand what customer service means.”
On the great attorney / client “disconnect”: “If you think of the law firm model, the economic model is based upon total revenue brought in the door. And that’s a function of hourly rate times the number of hours that you actually bill for and can collect for. That has absolutely no relationship, whatsoever, to the value that the corporate client places on the services.”
On what has been called the “latent market for legal services”: “I think quite frankly legal services have gotten too expensive in this country. Look at the rise of things like Nolo Press and Willmaker, software packages, that essentially permit people to do a lot of what would have been done by a lawyer on their own. Let’s face it, most legal work, about eighty percent of it, in any context, whether it’s your personal stuff, or whether it’s in a corporate world, is commodity type of practice. It’s really that only twenty percent are high value, high risk, bet the company, go to jail, lose your house matters. Those are the things that you really need the specialized service for. I think, in general, legal services have been priced out of the market for the general consumer. ”
Lots of thought-raising and, perhaps, action-provoking ideas in this interview. If you are familiar with Jeff’s speaking and writing, that will come as no surprise, but, if you aren’t familiar with Jeff’s approach, this interview might hit you like a freight train.
You will also find an article by Ward Bower on one of the most important issues new partners simply do not have an appreciation for, and an issue that may one day kill some law firms – unfunded death and retirement plans. Stephen Gallagher and Leonard Sienko discuss new approaches to strategic planning. I chip in with a list of Internet resources that take new perspectives on the alternative billing issue. And much more.
Check it out.

The Impact of Your Virus Infections on Other People’s Email Inboxes

Monday, November 1st, 2004

I read a few days ago that another variation on the old and familiar “address book attack” viruses was appearing in the wild. The defenses for these viruses have been available for a long time.
Have we learned the lesson?
Apparently not.
For the last few days, the detritus of the successful attacks of this virus has been showing up in my email inbox, primarily in the form of bounced messages from email servers that are rejecting virus-laden emails resulting from spoofed versions of my email address and virus-laden messages because my email address in the address book of someone who has been infected.
During the last few of these attacks, the auto-generation of bounce messages and the reaction of spam filters vastly increased the amount of traffic on the Internet. Network administrators still haven’t gotten the message that the “cure” only makes the problem worse.
If you are wondering why you haven’t gotten a response to an important email, you will need to be concerned about the impact of this attack/counter-attack strategy and the unfortunately growing likelihood that your email is now being treated as spam, through no fault of your own, and being blocked by spam filters.
Welcome back to another period when we have to call people to make sure that they got our email messages.
While I enjoy observing the scientific phenomenon, I’d prefer that you take at least the minimal precautions necessary to prevent the effects of this type of “old-time” virus. However, don’t do it just for me; do it as part of your basic responsibilities and obligations as a member of the Internet community. When the day comes that the Internet actually goes down, my guess is that this kind of automatic response/feedback looping will be a primary cause.