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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 January, 2005

Socha and Kennedy on the E-Discovery Process – Webinar – January 11

Monday, January 10th, 2005

George Socha and I have been putting the finishing touches on our Fios webinar for January 11 (Tuesday) called “The EDD Grande Process.”
Here’s the description:
” ‘One EDD grande please, de-duped with double metadata and a dash of OCR. Native only, no conversion today.’” Does electronic discovery seem a little confusing? Do you feel like you’re picking items off a menu without understanding what you’re getting? Join the crowd. Discover how the actual process of electronic discovery consists of a series of stages. Listen in as Dennis Kennedy and George Socha discuss the parallel paths of identification, preservation & collection, processing, review & analysis, production and presentation.”
We have some great information and tips we unveil at this webinar, and a straightforward way to consider the entire e-discovery process, whether you are a novice or a seasoned electronic discovery expert.
The reference to “the crowd” in the description is an apt one – late last week registrations were nearing the triple digits. Get the relevant info and get registered at http://www.fiosinc.com/events/webcasts.html#050111.
Check out the upcoming Fios webinars while you are there and remember the excellent DiscoveryResources.org site.
See you there or, as the acronym goes, BTOBS.

A Major Spy Thriller Weekend – Return of Both 24 and MI5

Friday, January 7th, 2005

A fabulous weekend for thriller TV fans features the return of both MI5 (on A&E – watch out for major spoilers in the plot summary, almost from the first word) on Saturday night and Fox’s 24 on Sunday night (and Monday night). Fasten your seat belts.
MI5 gradually pulls you into its web. 24 grabs you by the throat and yanks you in.
A favorite script excerpt from 24:
“Jack Bauer: You don’t have any more information, do you, Nina?
Nina Myers: Yes I do.
Jack Bauer: No, you don’t.
[shoots her]”
Need a regular feed of 24 news? Try 24weblog.com.

LSVA.com – Excellent Litigation Support Resource

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

I got a nice note from Mark Lieb recently pointing me to the LSVA.com site, which I found to be a great resource on a variety of litigation issues.
LSVA.com has some great downloads, including a new litigation budget spreadsheet and a very useful document on litigation technology standards. Mark also plans to release a 170-page ebook called “Litigation Support Department,” written from the lit support perspective.
The lit support people around the country are doing a lot of great, under-appreciated, work in the trenches. Check out the LSVA.com website and see what this 1,300 member group is doing. It is also is the place to go for hiring lit support talent, with a free job posting process.

SDN Compliance – Another Huge Compliance Issue Flying Under the Radar

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

Sarbanes Oxley is sucking away almost all of the oxygen in the coverage and discussion of records management and related issues. However, many businesses are finding that they may have issues relating to the Patriot Act, “deemed exports” and “specially designated nationals and blocked entities.”
I had an interesting discussion yesterday with Sean Tierney of Legal Technology Consulting, Inc. about the later topic yesterday. He’s developed a web-based compliance tool and is working on other compliance tools.
Let me simply give you the summary from LTC’s SDNCompliance.com site:
“The Office for Foreign Assets Control is a branch of the US Treasury and has the duty of enforcing sanctions against “enemies of the United States” as designated on a master list called the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Entities.” OFAC has strict regulations regarding the acceptance of payment from individuals suspected of aiding terrorists. Many law firms may be unaware that they are expected to screen all past and potential clients against a list of nearly 5000 entities that changes daily. Those firms that are aware are grappling with the procedural and technological difficulty of adhering to a very tedious and challenging task. Penalty for violating OFAC regulations (whether knowingly or unknowingly) can result in fines of up to $10,000,000 and 30 years of imprisonment.”
As Sean noted, that last sentence will get your attention. Add one more item to your 2005 to do list.

Macs in Law Offices

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

I’m working on an article for Law Office Computing about the technology you need to start a law office. My guess is that I’ll use the article as a springboard to writing a more comprehensive eBook on the topic.
I decided that I want to have a section in the article about the Macintosh option, which seems more realistic now than perhaps it ever has. I don’t have a contact at Apple who works in or has responsibility for the legal services vertical market. If someone can point me to the right contact, I’d be grateful and be willing to see if I can a similar favor for you.

Looking for Some Vendor Recommendations

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

I’m looking for a number of service providers for my own use and for some of my colleagues. Although I’d obviously consider some kind of exchange of services for publicity or referrals type of arrangement, I’m mainly interested in finding some reliable, quality providers in the following areas:
1. Fully-outsourced ecommerce and credit card order solutions.
2. Distribution and marketing of eBooks, audio and video products.
3. Webinar hosting and administration.
4. Podcast hosting, with reasonable bandwidth and download pricing.
5. Routine conversion of VHS video cassettes and analog audiotapes to digital formats and production/reproduction of CDs and DVDs.
6. Design and production of ebooks and ebooklets.
7. Print-on-demand services.
Email me at denniskennedyblog@gmail.com. References or examples would be appreciated from vendor contacts. I’ll share the results of my research on this blog.

Electronic Discovery Law Blog from Preston Gates and the Best Way to Ask Me to Mention Your Blog

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

The highly-regarded law firm, Preston Gates, has moved into the world of blogging with the nicely-implemented and useful Electronic Discovery Law blog. I’ve been following the blog for a while and noticed that it seemed to be achieving momentum, with more consistent and useful postings. Most important, unlike some of the large law firm blog efforts I’ve seen, the Electronic Discovery Law blog has an RSS feed.
I became even more impressed with the blog yesterday when I got an email from Dave Bowerman of Preston Gates about the blog. It turns out that I picked it up before its official launch, which will be on Monday.
They’ve actually been working on the blog in a “live” mode before they launch it. Aside from the amazing story of Sabrina Pacifici doing three months of posts before she launched BeSpacific.com, you don’t hear of many bloggers taking that kind of a rigorous approach to a launch.
This bodes well for the prospects of the Electronic Discovery Law blog becoming a solid resource on electronic discovery. As you may have noticed, there is a long trail of now-defunct blogs that law firms have launched with great fanfare but quickly faded away as they learned the difficulty of sustaining a regular posting regimen.
Dave’s email to me was a textbook example of how a blogger should ask other bloggers to mention or link to his or her blog. Note the following:
1. Make a positive reference to the blogger or blog from whom you request a reciprocal link or mention (for convenience, I’ll call him or her the “target blogger”). In this case, the Electronic Discovery Law blog had already posted a favorable mention of one of the Electronic Discoverers columns I co-write with George Socha.
2. Show that you have visited or are a reader of the target blogger. Bonus point: remember to make a positive comment about the blog. Dave starts simply: “I came across your blog today [nicely done].” I don’t ask for much – just a little pat on the back is OK.
3. Give a reason or an example of why the target blogger’s audience will benefit from knowing about your blog. Ideally, write this in a way that the target blogger can copy and paste into a post about your. Example from Dave: “we’re adding the finishing touches — including a searchable case database on electronic discovery issues — in the next day or so for our formal launch on Monday.” This database sounds like a great tool.
4. Don’t ask for a “reciprocal link” or, worse, demand a link to your blog. Be polite and respect the blogger’s time constraints. There are two great examples in Dave’s email. First, he simply says that he “wanted to alert you to the upcoming launch of our e-discovery blog.” He ends with, “Please check it out when you get a chance.” Anyone who has gotten a lot of requests for reciprocal links over the years will recognize that this polite of an approach is rare indeed.
5. Mention your blog’s name and give the URL so that the target blogger can easily copy and paste it in a post. You’d be surprised how many people neglect to do this.
6. Add a link to the target blog on your blog before you ask for a link in return. The only minor quibble I might have with Dave’s email to me when comparing it to a mythical “perfect” request is that he didn’t say that he had already linked to my blog, but (1) there already was a post about me (better than a simple blogroll link) on the blog and (2) in fairness to Dave, he was not making a reciprocal link request.
7. Consider point #3 above very carefully. If you simply want a link from a target blogger to enhance your search engine placement or drive traffic to your blog, without offering any significant benefit as a resource to the target blogger’s audience, realize that you are asking for a purely economic transaction that benefits you, not the target blogger. In that case, you must treat your request accordingly and I recommend that you read my post on my reciprocal linking and blog mentioning policy.
I wish Dave and Preston Gates the best on the Electronic Discovery Law blog. It’s an important area that could use more blogging coverage. I’m planning much more electronic discovery coverage in my blog and I’ve been talking with several people lately about launching an e-discovery blog. At the moment, Michael Arkfeld is the key electronic discovery resource in the blogosphere, but electronic discovery is a big topic that would benefit from much greater blog coverage. I’m pleased that Preston Gates, with the debut of its Electronic Discovery Law blog, is jumping into this area with an effort that holds great promise. I’m even more pleased that they have someone like Dave Bowerman who seems to know how to handle its launch in the right way.
Note: George Socha and I will be presenting a webinar on the electronic discovery process on January 11 – details at http://www.fiosinc.com/events/webcasts.html#050111.
Some other great electronic discovery resources:
DiscoveryResources.org – http://www.discoveryresources.org
Tom Mighell’s Strongest Links Column on Law Practice Today – http://www.abanet.org/lpm/lpt/articles/slc07041.html
A Gold Mine of Electronic Discovery Expertise: A Conversation Among Veterans of Electronic Discovery Battles – http://www.abanet.org/lpm/lpt/articles/ftr07041.html
Michael Arkfeld’s book – Electronic Discovery and Evidence
EDDix’s “EDD Suppliers Landscape” – http://www.eddixllc.com (Until January 31, available at a special discount to readers of DennisKennedy.Blog – details at http://www.eddixllc.com/landing/dmk.asp ; see my comments on the report at http://www.denniskennedy.com/archives/2005_01.html#000550
For litigation support issues in general, check out LSVA.com – http://www.lsva.com

Laura Owen – The Tech Evolution: Change or Die

Tuesday, January 4th, 2005

Laura Owen of Cisco gave one of the best presentations I attended last year. She covers some of the same themes in her excellent new article called “The Tech Evolution: Change or Die,” which is absolutely required reading for (1) any law firm doing any planning at all for the use of technology and (2) any corporate general counsel or purchaser of legal services.
The most striking moment in Laura’s presentation came when she unveiled a simple “wish list” she had for technology tools she felt Cisco’s law firms could provide Cisco. There were sixteen items on the list (I have my notes). She was not asking for all of them, but maybe a few of them. In the room were reps of some of the largest and most prominent law firms in the country. Not one of them was willing to say that they could do even one of the items on the list.
I was stunned.
None of the items represented anything like rocket science. I talked to Laura and another Cisco rep after the presentation and confirmed that they were as shocked by the response as I was.
At that point, I noticed the wafting smell of death coming from the traditional approach to the practice of law.
If you want a strategic plan to work from, you cannot do much better than simply working from this article as a blueprint. My notion of “client-driven technology” reflects a similar approach. The devil is in the details of implementation and execution and that’s where someone like me, my friend Michael Kraft (with whom I had a discussion on issues very similar to those raised in this article just this morning), or one of the other great legal tech consultants can really help a firm.
My concern continues to be for the corporate legal departments and other clients who work with with law firms and lawyers who do not even get the basics of modern technology and its role in client services, let alone Sarbanes Oxley, record management and retention, and electronic discovery. Can you really expect innovation from firms focused on rolling out faxing from laptop computers?
Change or die, indeed.
We will definitely be discussing the issues raised by Laura’s article at LexThink! Chicago in April. There’s still time to get on the invitation list.
In 2005, I’ll be putting much more of my focus into my consulting practice, especially areas like “client-driven technology.” I think that I can do more good helping with corporate legal departments than I can with law firms, but I’m happy to talk with firms that are serious about making changes. Laura says, “Change or die.” I might soften it a little and say, “Change or lose your best clients and best people,” but that’s just an iterim step on a downward spiral.
You don’t have to believe me, but you’d better read the article and do some thinking about it.

Jim Calloway’s Blog Goes Live!

Monday, January 3rd, 2005

I learned today that Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips blog has made its official debut. What a great way to launch the year of 2005 in legal blogging.
As you may know, Jim, among other things, is the chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2005, the practice management advisor for the Oklahoma Bar and one of the best-hearted people you’ll ever find. I’m pleased that he mentioned his excellent article, “Technology, Stress and the Lawyer’s Quality of Life,” in one of his early posts. It’s one of my favorite articles on legal technology and I recommend it highly. It’ll give you some inspiration to start the new year.
I just happen to know that Jim has been thinking about starting this blog for a while now and I’m so pleased to see that his ideas have come into reality. This blog will definitely be one to watch. Welcome to the blogosphere, Jim.
For the rest of you who are thinking about blogging or made a resolution to start a blog this year, come on in, the water’s fine.

EDD Suppliers Landscape – Essential Electronic Discovery Research Report at a Special Discount for Readers of DennisKennedy.Blog

Monday, January 3rd, 2005

You may remember that my recent enthusiasm for a research report on electronic discovery from EDDix, LLC called “EDD Suppliers Landscape.” I’m pleased to announce a special offer and discount to readers of DennisKennedy.Blog from my friends at EDDix.
From now until noon on January 31, if you go to the special page that is linked here, you will have a unique opportunity to purchase the research report, EDD Suppliers Landscape, and a companion report, at a dramatic discount.
As I’ve mentioned before, I believe this research report is the best starting point for anyone seriously interested in learning about what is happening in the world of electronic discovery. If you work for electronic discovery vendor or consultant, this report is essential reading and will save you hours of time that you might have otherwise spent researching the industry.
Even if you aren’t an electronic discovery vendor, consultant or otherwise involved in the EDD industry, this research report contains a great deal of valuable information and analysis that, again, may save you hours of time you might otherwise spend researching the electronic discovery field.
The discount works in the following way. You go to the special page and follow the instructions there. Use the code available there on the order form for the special bundled offer and you get a substantial discount off the regular price.
I will receive the small commission for each sale generated through the special code between now and January 31, 2005. I will donate 10% of whatever commissions I receive to one or more tsunami relief organizations, most likely Doctors Without Borders, a favorite charity of mine.
If you want to learn more about the research report, you can see the review I gave it in an earlier post on my blog. There’s also more useful information at the EDDix website.
I want to thank Michael Clarke and EDDix for being able to put together the special arrangement to benefit the readers of my blog. I encourage everyone with a serious interest in what is happening in the field of electronic discovery to consider purchasing this report.
Here’s the link to the special ordering page – http://www.eddixllc.com/landing/dmk.asp
A happy 2005 to all! Electronic discovery will be a HUGE issue in 2005 and this set of reports will help you get off on the right foot.
As an administrative note, I will be covering electronic discovery in a much more substantial way in 2005 and have created a new category for posts on electronic discovery.