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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 April, 2005

New Trend? The Electronic Discovery Special Counsel

Friday, April 29th, 2005

Ron Friedmann has a great post on the nascent trend of law firms designating lawyers as “EDD special counsels” to help oversee and manage electronic discovery efforts.
He points to an article in Legal Technology News (free registration required)that discusses the idea in detail and talks about some examples of firms who are taking or considering the approach.
I wholeheartedly agree with Ron when he says, “In my view, this is a good trend. Firms would be well-served if the lawyers in these roles had not only EDD expertise, but also project management expertise. It’s not enough to know the rules of discovery and the technology – succeeding in large EDD matters also requires project management discipline.”
I highlight the project management issue whenever I speak about electronic discovery. George Socha and I discuss the issue in some detail in our Electronic Discoverers column called “Looking into the Electronic Discovery Crystal Ball for 2005—Predictions, Observations and Opinions”. You can also hear us talk about the topic in the archived version of our webcast called the EDD Grande Process at the DiscoveryResources.Org site.
By all means, however, if you are involved in electronic discovery, especially as a client, you will want to take the trouble of filling out the registration form for the Law Technology News article and reading the article. I guarantee it will be an eye-opener.
It may not be the money quote, but the most amazing quote in the LTN article is:
“Production goes much smoother after EDD, if not the review process,” he says. “But I think [attorneys] can review faster on paper than online.” (emphasis mine)
I simply don’t know what to say about that last sentence.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

A Few Good Electronic Discovery Articles

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

There are two good articles on Law.com today that present a good view of the current world of electronic discovery.
In Justices Skeptical of DOJ’s Claims About Andersen Document Retention, Tony Mauro covers the arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case involving Arthur Andersen’s “reminder” of Enron’s document retention policy that it is argued came too close in time to an investigation targeting the company. As you read the excerpts from the arguments, you’ll see that the case case raises difficult questions with potentially far-reaching practical implications. How clear is a standard like “reasonable possibility of an investigation” when you are implementing a document retention policy that involves deletion of documents?
The money quote:
O’Connor too fretted about the impact on small businesses and on lawyers who advise companies. “How is a person supposed to know what to do? How is a lawyer supposed to know?” she asked.
The second artice, E-Discovery and Inevitable Litigation, attempts to answer some of the questions posed by the Arthur Andersen case. For the most part, the authors resist the impulse to scare people with potential horror stories and stick to providing solid advice and recommendations. However, after you read the other article I mentioned, I’m sure that you will be jarred when you read the sentence that begins “The policy needn’t be written . . . .”
My quibbles aside, this article is a handy outline of where we are in electronic discovery today that covers issues from the points of view of both lawyers and clients.
The money quote:
6. Just as inside counsel should learn the basics of information technology, the company’s information technology personnel could benefit from learning the basics of discovery obligations and the consequences of spoliation. As Zubulake V demonstrates, the more that legal personnel and information technology personnel can speak one another’s language, the less likely spoliation is to occur.
7. Educate your company’s regular outside counsel about the company’s document-retention policies and data-retention and storage architecture. It may be beneficial for outside counsel to talk to the company’s information technology personnel directly.
I may want to substitute the word “will” for “may” in that last sentence.
If you deal in any way with electronic discovery or document retention issues, you’ll find it well worth your while to spend a few minutes today reading both of these articles. If your interest in e-discovery is piqued, be sure to check out Merrill’s on-demand seminars on specific e-discovery topics.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Why Lawyers and Legal Bloggers (Blawgers) Love Google

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

I couldn’t help but notice how Ernie and Matt have been spending their time running Google searches about themselves and then applauding the wisdom of Google. I was a little surprised that they would resort to this type of posting, which was largely pioneered by me at times when I was desperate for material and seeking external validation for my efforts.
I really want to be impressed with Ernie’s results and Matt’s results, but, frankly, I’m not as impressed as they are (and who could be, really?). Here’s why:
In the category that really matters to all legal bloggers, note that I, Dennis Kennedy, am the first result in a Google search today for “coolest legal blogger” and “coolest legal blog.”
I’m also thrilled to have Google rank my blog as the #1 result for “best named legal blog.”
Among other honors I now have in Google are being the first result for:
best legal blogger
best legal blog
most famous legal blogger
legal blogger you most want to have a beer with
most important dennis kennedy in the world
leading legal thinker named dennis kennedy
legal blogger who should be paid a lot more money
best writer of the legal bloggers
Oh, Google, you are making me blush.
My colleagues at Between Lawyers have also done well.
Congrats to Tom Mighell – “most admired blawger
Denise Howell – “most respected blawger” and “best litigator of the legal bloggers.” Denise is also the “happiest blawger.”
Unfortunately, Google was not so kind to Marty Schwimmer who received only the “best marty schwimmer who authors the trademark blog” award, but I have no doubt he’ll find a few others.
Other Google awards of note:
In a bit of a surprise, Jeff “LawTech Guru” Beard took the “most ironic blawger” award.
Evan Schaeffer walked away with the award for “best coffee mug given away by a legal blogger.” I was shocked to defeat Evan in the category of “funniest legal blogger.”
Of course, Google has a changing dynamic and can be, at times, a bit capricious in handing out favored search rankings. Your results may vary, depending upon (1) when you click any of the links in this post and (2) the efforts of others currently less favored by Google to optimize the favor with which Google treats them.
Not surprisingly, Google also found me as the first result on “most nonbillable hours today of legal bloggers.” Back to work.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Might Adobe Acrobat 7 be the Tool of Choice for Small and Low Budget Electronic Discovery Cases?

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

Rick Borstein of Adobe was in St. Louis last week. Over lunch, we talked about Acrobat 7 and the ways lawyers use (and don’t use) Acrobat in their work.
I’ve been thinking a lot about a couple of topics in that conversation. One topic that fascinates me relates to electronic discovery in small cases.
I’m still trying to think this through but I’m coming to the tentative conclusion that Acrobat 7 might be a single tool that can cover almost all of the bases for a litigator with a case that has a modest number of electronic files involved in electronic discovery. By that, I mean a few files, a few hundred files, a few thousand files, perhaps more, depending on your facility with Acrobat.
My hypothesis is this: Using Acrobat, you can collect, gather, scan, catalog, search, produce, manage and even display files in court. You will have to dig deeper into the feature set than most lawyers do, but the tools are definitely there. Of course, before people panic, I’m not suggesting that the use of Acrobat will or should take the place of needed computer forensics experts and tools where they are needed.
Think about it with me. It offers the attraction of using an existing (inexpensive program) in better ways, keeping your work in one program rather than in many programs, and keeps things simple when they can be kept simple. That has a lot of appeal.
DISCLOSURE: Rick did buy lunch last week and is sending me a copy of Acrobat 7 to experiment with. However, I own Acrobat 6 and bought it myself, and would have bought version 7 if Rick hadn’t been so generous. I truly do not expect this to tempt me to call things in any other way than as I see them, and would be disappointed in you if you thought that it would.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

My Electronic Discovery Presentations for Merrill – New URL

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

I’ve recorded a set of on-demand seminars on electronic discovery topics for Merrill that can be accessed for free at http://www.merrillcorp.com/law/ .
The following seminars (each approximately 12 – 15 minutes, with PowerPoint slides) are currently available:
Computers and Copies – Is Every Step Traceable?
The Mysterious World of Metadata
The Many Places to Discover Data

In May and June, Merrill will add sessions on:
Developing a Team Approach to Electronic Discovery
and
Determining When to Use Electronic Discovery
I really like the format and these sessions wil give you a good introduction to the approaches that I’ll be taking in a new half-day seminar on electronic discovery that I’ll be announcing in the next day or two.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

New Issue of Law Practice Today Available

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

I might be a little biased because I’m an editor, but another great the ABA Law Practice Management Section’s webzine Law Practice Today has hit the Internet.
This month’s theme is malpractice prevention and you’ll be able to do a ton of malpractice prevention with the generous collection of features, columns and other material in this issue. Check out the new issue and look for the RSS feed and email subscription to make sure that you get notice of each new issue as early as possible.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

I Fought the Allergies and the Allergies Won

Monday, April 25th, 2005

St. Louis is considered one of the allergy capitals of the United States.
I’ve been really suffering this spring. Frankly, it’s demoralizing to get into my car and have to turn on the windshield wipers to clear enough pollen off to be able to see to drive. My maroon car looks green.
Until recently, the main effect was on my eyes. Last Friday, I decided that, come hell or high water, I was going for a bike ride. I put on a mask and packed an inhaler and went out for a ride.
The ride was good. The price I paid was pretty steep – sinuses and lungs. I’ve been pretty knocked down for the past few days. With luck, the allergy season will end soon, but this seems to be a brutal spring allergy season in many parts of the country. If you are suffering, you definitely have my sympathy and best wishes.
But, I really want to get out on my bike soon. Biking is like blogging – once you get into the rhythm, it’s difficult to break the routine, especially when it’s not your choice.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Guest Author – Sacagawea: Native American Explorer and Heroine

Monday, April 25th, 2005

I’ve previously published some of my daughter’s essays on this blog. My daughter, Grace, is a sixth grader at The College School in St. Louis. I am so impressed with their approach to teaching writing skills. If you are someone who has the ability to direct donations or funding to a school, then I strongly recommend that you consider The College School.
Earlier this year, she wrote the following research paper on Sacagawea. It’s her very first research paper. Although (and I know some will find this ironic) I thought that this paper was a little long for a blog post, she said that she’d like me to post it on my blog. She was proud of the paper and she received high marks on it. Her mom and I are proud of her and the paper too.
I’ve taken out the footnotes and bibliography (for my convenience).
=========
Sacagawea: Native American Explorer and Heroine
Many people have probably heard of Sacagawea, one of the most well known and respected Native American women. She helped lead Lewis and Clark, and the US Corps of Discovery, on the historic journey to explore the Louisiana Territory and find a water route to the Pacific Ocean. Not as many people know that Sacagawea was pregnant and had her baby on the expedition. Her path from the wilderness of Idaho to lasting fame was as difficult, filled with adventure, and as mysterious as the Lewis and Clark expedition was.
Sacagawea was born around 1789 in eastern Idaho, as a member of the Shoshone tribe. She did not remain with her Shoshone tribe for very long. When Sacagawea was around age ten, the Minnetarees, a rival tribe, captured her, and they took her to the North Dakota border region. Before her capture, she lived with her family, her parents, two brothers, and her sisters.
At around age 14, after about four years of living as a captive of the Minnetarees, Sacagawea was sold to Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-American fur trader. Charbonneau and Sacagawea were soon married, and a short time later, Sacagawea became pregnant.
Charbonneau was hired by the US Corps of Discovery around 1804, and was required to bring Sacagawea with him for two reasons. If she came, she would help the party make peace with the people they met on the expedition. They also needed her to be their Native American interpreter and guide because she knew both the languages of the tribes they might meet and she had lived in an area they would be exploring.
Sacagawea helped the crew and made important contributions. At one point, she even saved Lewis and Clark’s journals, which would have sank if she had not rescued them. These journals are a national treasure, and without the help of Sacagawea, we would know much less about the expedition.
During the expedition, they actually returned to Sacagawea’s homeland. When she returned to her tribe, she found her brother who was now the chief of the tribe. After much celebrating, the tribe wanted her to stay. However, Sacagawea chose to continue on the expedition, even though it was dangerous and she would leave her brother behind. Sacagawea’s choice is an important part of the story that made her famous.
People still greatly respect Sacagawea today. She is one of the most famous women in history and memorials to her can be found in many places. She has more statues of herself than any other woman in the United States. She is even on a coin. Originally, the one-dollar golden coin was going to have Susan B. Anthony on it, but the design of the coin was changed to Sacagawea carrying Pomp (her son), on her back.
Lewis and Clark thought very highly of Sacagawea. Clark wrote many journal entries about her, praising her for all the good work she did. Lewis and Clark named a river after Sacagawea, known as Bird Woman’s River, and an incredible sand feature after Pomp, known as Pompey’s Tower. Clark wrote a letter to Charbonneau; praising Sacagawea for all that she did. Charbonneau was paid $500.33 for his services on the expedition, but Sacagawea was paid nothing. Even though Sacagawea was unpaid, she was rewarded with lasting fame and has made an amazing impact on our American history today.
There is a mystery about Sacagawea’s death. One theory says that she died of “putrid fever” on December 20, 1812. Another theory points to a Native American woman named Porvo. If Porvo was Sacagawea, then she was married several times, had more children, and was reunited with her son, Jean Baptiste. Those who knew Porvo said that she knew the inside facts on the expedition, spoke French, and talked about sun stories known to the Shoshone. Porvo died on April 9, 1884. Scholars today believe that Porvo was most likely Sacagawea).
Sacagawea was very important to both the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition and to our history. Sacagawea was captured and sold as a child, and then sold again to Charbonneau to be his wife. She became an important member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, saved the expedition journals, was reunited with some of her family, and was greatly praised by William Clark. Sacagawea had an incredible life, resulting in becoming very famous. She is a Native American hero, and should always be greatly respected. Nearing the end of the expedition, Sacagawea realized that both America and her native land would soon change. All the places they had explored would be open to the people who would follow Lewis and Clark west. As Sacagawea would say, “This was the end of my journey; this was the beginning of a Great Change.”
- Grace Kennedy
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

New Corporate Legal Department Technology

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

Alan Cohen does a great job of covering the current state of affairs for technology in corporate legal departments in his article called “The Killer App” in Law.com’s Corporate Counsel magazine.
Alan’s article is an excellent analysis of and companion piece to the release of Corporate Counsel’s technology survey of corporate legal departments. I highly recommend the article and note that Alan was kind enough to include a few quotes from me on knowledge management and other trends in technology for corporate legal departments.
The key message for both corporate legal departments and their outside law firms – OPPORTUNITY.
Thanks both to Alan Cohen for yet another of his consistently excellent articles and to Genie Tyburski for pointing me to the article. Genie’s site, newsletter and feed are great examples of the valuable, but too often under-rated and under-appreciated, work that law librarians are doing these days.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.con/blog/)]

Just an Ernie Kind of Day

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

I played a Professor Longhair CD today and felt like I needed to pick up the phone and call my New Orleans pal Ernie the Attorney. However, even as cool as Ernie is, it’s cooler to be listening to the Professor. So, I didn’t make the call.
In fact, on the list of my great musical regrets is never getting to chance to see Professor Longhair do a show in New Orleans. I might write about some of the other regrets one of these days. It’s interesting how my Professor Longhair regret now has expanded to include “and seeing the show with Ernest Svenson.” Such is the impact of blogging.
It turns out that Ernest was busy doing more of the things that make him the coolest legal blogger.
First, Shel Israel’s recent interview with Ernest has been posted and, as usual, Ernest’s insights are worth reading and thinking about.
Not to reveal any secrets, but a significant number of people who do not blog have made comments to me that “all bloggers do is talk about is blogging.” The funny thing is that when bloggers get together, they talk very little about blogging. You’ll notice that in this interview Ernest is always moving toward something more interesting than blogging. After the recent BlawgConnect 2005, a number of legal bloggers commented to me about how little of the conversations actually dealt with blogging.
The other thing that people have told me is that I should not start another blog – that I’m doing too many.
People do way too much calculation about blogging. If you really like blogging, you end up wanting to do what fits you best and blogging for yourself, not for calculated marketing reasons. The Achilles heel in the current “you must have a blog for marketing purposes” fad is that the most long-lived blogs have such strong and clear individual voices. The jury is still out on how corporate-voiced blogs will work in the long run.
Ernest today also announced his new blog called Tech Feng Shui, which he calls “the blog I really want to write.” That kind of talk gets my full attention. I got an early preview of the blog and will say that it’s a blog that I really want to read.
Although only a few people actually believe me, I chose the name of my blog so I could go in many directions as different areas of interest and voices evolved. Even so, I’ve almost started two new blogs this year already (that’s in addition to Between Lawyers). I really like the way that Ernest has used the new Tech Feng Shui blog to cover an important topic that doesn’t fit the Ernie the Attorney blogger persona.
Need any guest posts on Tech Feng Shui?
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]