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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 July, 2005

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

There’s nothing like finding a good spy thriller novel to read for the summer. Oops, this one may well be the real story.
I really enjoyed Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, which I found in the new books section at my local library when i was looking for some good summer reading. It gives an insider’s view of recent economic history and US dealing with what we tend to call the Third World.
Perkins posits the theory that what he calls the corporatocracy has led to more troubling results than any conspiracy we might imagine.
What’s an “economic hit man”? Perkins says: “Economic hit men are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars.”
I found this a good summer read that makes you think and go hmmm from time to time. I’ll let others debate the “truth” of all this – I recommend it for the summer reading list, if only to get one answer to that question, “why do so many in the rest of the world seem to hate the United States?”
[Originally published on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s eBooks – Preparing Your Law Firm for the Internet Era: 150 Steps Toward a 21st Century Practice of Law, Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Primer and Unlocking the Secrets of Legal Technology and Technology Law: Finding Your Way in the First Internet Era.

Phishing Email Gets More Sophisticated?

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

Email efforts to trick you into taking some action to reveal information about yourself or introduce spyware or other malware into your computer (sometimes known as “phishing” efforts) have gotten increasingly sophisticated and clever.
But, not always.
Take the first few sentences of an email I just received, please.
The money quote (all typos in original):
“Dear eBay Member,
We recenlty noticed one or more attempts to login into your eBay account from a more IP address and we have reasons to belive that your account has been used by a thirth party. In order to protect your sensitive information or unauthorized listing we temporality suspended your account for further investigations.”

My favorite part: “In order to protect your sensitive information or unauthorized listing . . . .” Surely I do want my unauthorized listing protected, right?
At least these phishers have a sense of humor, even if they have no spell-checker or grammar checker.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s consulting services, featuring RSS and advanced blogging consulting and technology committee coaching packages for law firms, corporate legal departments and other professional services providers.

A Contrarian View of the BlackBerry

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

I highly recommend Bo Peabody’s wise little book, Lucky or Smart? The book gives you Bo’s insights into the entrepreneurial experience, as filtered through the dot-com era. Great stuff.
I’m a bit of a contrarian on the whole obsession of lawyers with the Blackberry. See this article on the phenomenon featuring my former law partner Jim Gunn (one of the people who I truly appreciate having gotten the chance to work with during my legal career) for an overview of lawyers’ affinity for the BlackBerry. In Jim’s case, he has his usual geat sense of humor about the whole phenomenon.
I don’t really understand the benefits of the Blackberry in most situations, especially as we enter an era of ready WiFi access. It’s a good tool in certain circumstances, but my sense is that some law firms are using the BlackBerry as a way to save money by not buying Tablet PCs, notebooks or full-featured Pocket PCs for lawyers. That’s just my opinion.
Peabody has a great quote about Blackberry’s that I simply have to share. It’s a bit provocative, but it will give you something to think about in connection with the BlackBerry craze.
“Without question, the worst and most dangerous example of this ‘constantly reading’ phenomenon is the BlackBerry. These little handheld devices send your e-mail to you anywhere in the world, so that you can fill all your free time reading penis-enlargement spam and responding to the generally non-time-sensitive queries of your colleagues. I know people who leave the dinner table to go to the bathroom to check e-mail. This is insane. Of course, it’s better than the assholes who sit at the dinner table and answer their e-mail. The best use you can make of a BlackBerry is to buy them for all of your competitors. They’ll never have time for another creative thought.”
An excellent point, made with humor and panache. If you like the attitude and insight shown in the quote, you’ll love the book. I sure did.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www,denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s eBooks – Preparing Your Law Firm for the Internet Era: 150 Steps Toward a 21st Century Practice of Law, Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Primer and Unlocking the Secrets of Legal Technology and Technology Law: Finding Your Way in the First Internet Era.

The End of an Era in American Industry

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

My Dad would not want anyone to make any fuss over this, but I learned last night that today is my Dad’s last day of working and he is now officially retiring.
We all knew that he wasn’t going to stop at age 65, nearly 4 years ago. Early this year, my Mom said that Dad was talking about actually retiring. Then Dad said something about it. Then we heard maybe the end of July. Then we heard that he had actually gotten the paperw to fill out.
As I mentioned, Dad wants no fuss over this and I’ll say simply that Dad’s retirement is well-earned and that, obviously, much of my work ethic and attitudes about work, working hard and doing good work were learned from my Dad and his example.
It’ll be interesting to see what Dad does in his retirement. He just bought a 1953 Ford pickup to restore and my brothers apparently have plans to get him involved in some of their projects. My daughter has some plans to get him to teach her how to weld one of these days when we get back to visit them in Indiana. However, I suspect that Dad might take a day or two to relax.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www,denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s consulting services, featuring RSS and advanced blogging consulting and technology committee coaching packages for law firms, corporate legal departments and other professional services providers.

A Big Thank You to Canada

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

I want to send a big thank you to Canada for sending a big cold front down that broke the back of the hellacious heat wave we’ve had in St. Louis.
This morning, I rode my bike very early in the morning and felt that it was the most uncomfortable day yet. This evening, my daughter and I caught the leading edge of the cold front as we picked up a pizza. Disappointingly, the leading edge hadn’t reached our house by the time we got home (about 2 miles away). A few minutes later, the wind started and the temperature dropped a good ten degrees. Yes, that was me dancing around the front yard.
After the last many brutally hot days (including those days where the forecast predicted a heat index of 125 degrees(!)), it was very welcome relief.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s half-day electronic discovery seminar – “Preparing for the New World of Electronic Discovery: Easing Your Transition from Paper to Electronic Discovery.” Contact Dennis today for more information and to schedule a seminar for your firm or legal department.

Why Aren’t Kids Going into IT (or Law) These Days?

Monday, July 25th, 2005

Mitch Wagner at Information Week has set off a fascinating discussion that, frankly, has some profound implications, with his blog post “Why Kids Aren’t Getting Into IT.”
The money quote:
“Kids these days are worried about money and survival, in a way that we haven’t seen since before the baby boom. The kids who will enter college in a few weeks are kids who turned 14 when the planes hit the World Trade Center. They spent most of their adolescence, the time when kids get ready to enter the world of adulthood, learning about terrorism, war, the economic downturn, outsourcing, layoffs, increasing deficits, the health-care crisis–am I leaving anything out here? They resemble, in outlook, the generation that grew up in the Depression and fought in World War II. They grew up knowing the world is a scary place.”
I don’t know if Mitch is right, worng or somewhere in between, but his post prompted quite a discussion in the comments section and it strikes me that he raises some questions that we all should be spending a lot more time thinking about these days.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by LexThink!™ – The Conference, Re-imagined. LexThink! – Think big thoughts, do cool things, change the world.

The Sand and the Sea

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

I love the title Gerry Riskin chose for his recent post on law firm strategic planning – “38% of Law Firms are the Sand and their Clients are the Sea.”
The post is great, too.
The money quote:
“Planning is about making choices about what you prefer to do. You earn the right to do those things by providing more valuable legal work that the right prospective clients can appreciate.”
Otherwise, as Gerry says, “You just sit there like a grain of sand on the beach and your next work opportunity depends on the the nature of the next wave that rolls in.”
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by LexThink!™ – The Conference, Re-imagined. LexThink! – Think big thoughts, do cool things, change the world.

The Most Important Article You’ll Read on Legal Technology This Year?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

At the must-read LLRX.com, you’ll find John Alber’s new article “Delivering Actionable Information To Front-Line Lawyers.”
This is a very important article and one that anyone interested in legal technology and law practice management should read and study carefully. . . and then set aside some time to think about its implications. I’ve heard John speak on this topic and his presentation gave me much to think about that has stayed with me ever since.
It’s easy to write off acronyms like KM, CRM and BPM as so much BS, but John’s article drives home the point that there is something of real substance at the root of these technology and business efforts, especially when properly understood and creatively implemented. I’ve long admired John’s ability to combine the creative and the practical.
John’s article is another example of a recent string of articles I’ve read and conversations that I’ve had in which a phrase something like “actionable intelligence” has come up as the focus of the discussion. It’s starting to get my attention. I’m curious to hear from others thinking in the same direction.
The money quote from the article:
“Because we can now model engagements to better understand the impact of alternative staffing and pricing arrangements, we can bid on business that our old rules of thumb would have prevented us from seeking. Our lawyers are also becoming increasingly astute about the impact of their pricing and staffing positions on firm profitability. . . . The more they use these tools, the smarter our lawyers get about economics and the more flexible they become about what pricing and staffing structures they consider.”
Fascinating, perhaps profound and definitely highly recommended.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s consulting services, featuring RSS and advanced blogging consulting and technology committee coaching packages for law firms, corporate legal departments and other professional services providers.

Marty Schwimmer on Similar Blog Names and Blog Trademarks

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

Leading legal blogger and Moneyball fan Marty “The Trademark Blog” Schwimmer hits a home run with a great, concise discussion of the issues arising out of similar blog names and blog-related trademark issues.
There are few things that will upset a blogger more than seeing someone start a blog with a very similar name. If you’ve found yourself in that place, you’ll appreciate Marty’s post. And you’ll find a lot of other great material on his blog.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s half-day electronic discovery seminar – “Preparing for the New World of Electronic Discovery: Easing Your Transition from Paper to Electronic Discovery.” Contact Dennis today for more information and to schedule a seminar for your firm or legal department.

Randy Holloway’s Unfiltered Podcast – Show #2 – Randy and Dennis Talk about Lawyers and Technology

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

Randy Holloway has made the second show of his Unfiltered Podcast available. I was honored that Randy invited me to be the guest for the podcast. We had a good discussion about the sometimes wacky world of lawyers and technology, including topics like Tablet PCs and OneNote, electronic discovery and the uneasy relationship lawyers have with technology and how vendors might better provide and sell tools to lawyers (or, perhaps even better, to clients of lawyers).
As always, it was a lot of fun to have a conversation with Randy, who is a tech person who really understands the implications for of technology for lawyers (in fact, while we recorded the podcast, Randy admitted that he almost went to law school).
Randy will be involved in the big SQL Server 2005 rollout coming later this year and I think I talked Randy into helping me learning enough about what can be done with SQL Server to do a podcast later this year about the implications for the SQL Server in the legal profession.
I encourage you to listen to the podcast (and Randy’s show #1) and subscribe to the feed for Randy’s blog.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://ww.denniskennedy.com/blog/)
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s half-day electronic discovery seminar – “Preparing for the New World of Electronic Discovery: Easing Your Transition from Paper to Electronic Discovery.” Contact Dennis today for more information and to schedule a seminar for your firm or legal department.