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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 August, 2005

August Issue of Law Practice Today is Out

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

I’m probably a little biased because I’m an editor, but the new issue of the ABA’s Law Practice Today webzine is now available. There are lots of good articles and I recommend that you check it out. Note that the webzine has an RSS feed and that you can also subscribe to a monthly email alert that will let you know when a new issue appears.
I especially recommend the Powerful Pointers for Presenters article that Tom Mighell and I wrote which gives a ton of excellent resources to help you with PowerPoint presentations. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg – there are many good articles in this issue.
Just a quick note: We’re always on the lookout for good articles for Law Practice Today. It’s a great and growing audience and we get your articles published quickly. Take a look at the contributor page for details on how you can submit your article.
[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.

Webcast on Lawyer Blogging – Redux

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

Like my co-presenter, Tom Mighell, I greatly enjoyed our Bloggin for Lawyers webcast for FindLaw yesterday and can’t express my feelings any better than Tom did here. We had more than 200 attendees and it was fun and educational. Tom and I have agreed to try to answer the questions that we couldn’t get to during the alloted time.
I want to thank everyone who attended the webcast. It is my understanding that the audio of the two webcasts will be made available at some time in the future.
Tom and I were discussing how much we enjoy presenting this topic (and RSS feeds, too, as we did at ABA TECHSHOW 2005), although we wish that we could do so in a half-day session or perhaps even in a workshop format. In a 45 – 60 minute session (if you count the Q & A session), we can’t cover everything we’d like to cover or go into much depth.
So, as Tom says, if you’d like to have Tom and me present on blogging or RSS feeds for your group, please get in touch with us. We’d really like to have the opportunity to do those kinds of presentations. Email me at denniskennedyblog @ gmail.com or get in touch using the contact info on my website.
[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.

Changing Daylight Savings Time Laws May Inadvertently Trigger the Next Y2K Problem?

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005

I grew up in Indiana where, until a recent bout of legislative insanity, there was no need to change the clocks twice a year.
Ironically, to me, that has led to many people saying to me, with a straight face and in all seriousness, “Indiana is so weird – they don’t move their clocks.” As if the idea of moving the hours in the day while trying to remember “spring forward, fall back” was something other than weird.
Well, in the latest illustration of the law of unintended consequences, there is a growing concern that new legislation changing the dates of daylight savings time may cause all kinds of technological problems that are reminiscent of the famous Y2K problem.
FindLaw published an AP story today called “Longer daylight saving could trigger tech trouble,” which sketches out the potential problems and leads me to suspect that the costs of dealing with these nagging little problems will probably cost us more than the intended energy cost savings of making the change.
Pull those Y2K strategic plans off the shelf, dust them off and prepare for a new tech distraction, courtesy of our well-meaning, but sometimes impetuous, legislators.
The money quote from the article, you ask? Here it is:
“Missiles won’t be launching but it’s still going to cause a lot of hassle,” he said.
And a bonus money quote:
“It is unfortunately going to add a little bit of complexity to consumers,” said Reid Sullivan, vice president of the entertainment group at Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. “In some cases, depending on the product, they may have to manually increase or decrease the time.”
Yes, he did say manually.
[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. Coming soon: Daylight savings changeover consulting.

Reminder about Today’s Blogging for Lawyers Webcasts

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005

I wanted to remind all of my readers (and all of their friends) to join Tom Mighell, Raza Hasan (FindLaw’s Manager of Product Development) and me today for a free one-hour webinar called “Blogs for Lawyers: Building an Audience to Build Your Practice,” brought to you by the good people at Thomson FindLaw.
We’ll cover the world of lawyer blogs in general and talk about how lawyers are using blogs and where legal blogs are headed.
The webinar is designed to be at the introductory level, but even long-time bloggers will benefit from the material covered in the webinar.
The Webinar will be produced live twice on today, August 9 and here are the links:
August 9, 11:00 AM CDT
August 9, 3:00 PM CDT
Hope to see you there. Please pass the word along to anyone you think might be interested in this webinar.
[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.

Racing in the Street (A First Draft)

Monday, August 8th, 2005

Regular readers of DennisKennedy.Blog will be familiar with the recent story line in which my friend Jeff and I decided that we had to try to get tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in both St. Louis and Milwaukee and then successfully got great tickets in both cities. Our plan, which we accomplished, was to take our wives to the St. Louis show (for which we had 4 tickets) and then go to the Milwaukee show (where we had two tickets) as a boys’ night out. It was a complicated strategy, requiring coordination of trips to and from St. Louis, Milwaukee and Rockford, Illinois.
As someone once said, mission accomplished.
To our credit, both Jeff and I will admit that there is a certain amount of youthful impulsiveness to our plan and we recognize that some people have quite puzzled looks when they heard what we planned to do. In fact, Jeff’s kids asked their mom if their dad had turned into some kind of groupie. On the other hand, it’s always good for your children and your friends to understand that there are some things that you are really passionate about. Hey, we’ve been going to Springsteen concerts for more than 25 years.
As I was driving back from Rockford today, I had the chance to think about the two concerts and my reactions to them.
First, I had to note that, somewhat ironically, our boys’ night out concert in Milwaukee ended up with both of us wishing we would have have two extra tickets for our wives. When we left the Bradley Center, one of the first things Jeff said was “Dawn would have really liked this show.” In my case, Springsteen played one of his true rarities, “All That Heaven Will Allow,” which is the first song Colleen and I danced to at our wedding reception. Heck, I would have liked to have my wife, my daughter and all of my friends with whom I’ve ever seen a show in the past or would want to in the future be there.
You might want to look at the set list for St. Louis and Milwaukee, or even the newspaper reviews for the St. Louis show.
The long-time fan will realize immediately that the set lists are nothing short of astonishing, with several rarities and a number of tour debuts.
Seeing two shows in two nights also helped me understand the bigger picture and the thematic structure to these shows. More on that later.
If I would have only seen the St. Louis show, I would have simply said that it was one of the best of all the shows I’ve seen. We had the best seats I’ve ever had for a Springsteen show and the show had nothing but highlights. My intuition that “Backstreets” would make an appearance proved to be right on target and it was a show-stopper. We also got some of my favorites like “Two Hearts” and “Lucky Town” and thorough treatment of the songs from Devils and Dust. Springsteen’s virtuosity as a musician and performer was on display all night and you couldn’t help but marvel at his approach to making a one-person show consistently visually, sonically and esthetically compelling. I learn to so much and am inspired at so many levels when seeing one of his shows.
So, move ahead a day and Jeff and I are driving to Milwaukee. My thought was that the St. Louis show was about as good as it gets. I hoped the Millwaukee show would be as good, but thought mainly about how it might be different. What I didn’t expect, and honestly could not comprehend because I honestly did not see room for much improvement, was that the Milwaukee show would not only be different but also markedly better, taking things to a whole nother level, as they say.
Anyway, Jeff and I are talking about the prospects for the show. Our mutual feeling is that we are along for the ride and that whatever he does will be great. I venture the prediction that we might get a “Racing in the Streets.” Jeff, although he thinks it will be unlikely, repeats his wish that he would get to see a version of “Point Blank.” We run through a couple of other possibilities, but mainly we are just two happy guys who are getting to see a second show. We also figure that the “Backstreets” and “Two Hearts” we got the previous night probably at least make us even with our friend Jim who got to see a version of “The Promise” in Cincinnati.
Now let me describe what happened:
1. Shut Out The Light – Here’s a song no one could have predicted as an opener. A rare song that I’ve always really liked. Played on the pump organ to set up bookends with the closing song.
2. Reason To Believe – This other-worldly version of this song amazes me in both its concept and its power. In the album version, this dark song talking about people finding a reason to believe seemed only to offer a sense of hope in the music itself, not the lyrics. In the live version, Bruce deconstructs the song – to the extent you might have found something uplifting in the music, that has been replaced by a blues; the lyrics are sung through a voice synthesizer, giving them a sense of even greater alienation; and the lighting and the performance itself is other-worldly. I find this version incredibly powerful (and, interesting, it also serves the purpose of making the audience more receptive and quieter during what is to come). Jeff had seen this version a few months and go and had talked about its meaning. His idea, which I like a lot, is that by breaking away the pieces of the song which on the album could be interpreted to show why you might have a reason to believe and lighting the stage in red, Springsteen was emphasizing the negative elements – that there is an evil in the world and that your reason to believe or faith must come out of your dealing with the evil in the world. I’m intrigued by that interpretation, but it struck me too that this version of the song forces you to address the question of what gives you a reason to believe in a world where the traditional moorings you have relied on are broken, distorted and all but unrecognizable. It’s the question, or the questioning, that’s important. That sets up the two songs that close the show.
3. Devils & Dust – This is a great song. What if we are facing just devils and dust, even if God is on our side? I like the way this song works with Jeff’s interpretation of RTB.
4. My Father’s House – A rare gem. A treat to get to hear this one. Jeff has elbowed me and said, wow, two out of the first four are new ones for the tour.
5. Long Time Comin’ – This song has grown on me greatly in two nights. Springsteen talks about his own children and the lyrics here have quite a wallop for any parent. In the course of two nights, Bruce has done an interesting thing: although the song is clearly done in a character’s voice, Bruce talks about how he might be too cocky in his payoff line: “I ain’t gonna fuck it up this time” and, after talking about changing the line in St. Louis, sings the line as “I hope I ain’t gonna fuck it up this time.” By the way, you do get some adult language in this show.
6. Frankie – Oh my God! Frankie is probably my favorite of all of the obscure non-album songs. It’s rarely been play at any time. I might have even mention it to Jeff as something that it wasn’t even worth thinking about because the odds of it being played were to great. The show has just entered the realm of magic and I’m starting to wonder if it really is possible that the second show could be better than the first.
7. Back In Your Arms – A reprise of the opener from St. Louis. I’m really liking this song. I’m starting to wish Colleen had come with me.
8. Ain’t Got You – I had been thinking about “She’s the One” all day. Ain’t Got You is in the “She’s the One” family. Played on the coolest white guitar.
9. State Trooper – Can’t imagine a better version.
10. Nebraska – Four out of the first ten songs from Nebraska! Another rare treat. I really had no idea what could follow the crescendo that had been created.
11. Reno – Now I see that this song is one of the structural points of the show. It’s not that it is a logical follow-up to Nebraska, but it’s a return to the show’s structure – a touch-point. I’m somewhat uncomfortable with this song, more so because it is a story-song than because of its sexual explicitness, which is also somewhat discomforting. I’ve made some peace with the song, though, because I like it’s use of a film-noir style of flashback and visual imagery (hotel blonds, e.g.)
12. All That Heaven Will Allow – Bruce notes that the show has gotten a little dark and he needs to prove that he is a guy who writes happy songs. As I mentioned, performances of this song are extremely rare and it was the song we chose for our wedding. I would be the guy with tears running down his face. Very emotional moment.
13. Point Blank – I think I heard Jeff gasp. All of the comments I’ve read about the show point to this song as a highlight. We saw one of the earliest performance of this song at a concert in 1978 and the song is powerful just in itself and for the memories it evokes. I’m thrilled that Jeff’s wish came true.
14. Racing In The Street – Several people designated me to participate in that music survey thingy that a bunch of bloggers did. To be honest, I couldn’t have even limited myself to a top 5 Springsteen songs, let alone a top 5 of all songs, so I’ve never done the survey. If you forced me to pick one Springsteen song as my favorite, this song would be one of the finalists and might be the winner. It touches the great mystery in a subtle and endlessly fascinating way, ultimately proving more interesting to me because of its indirectness than the more direct “Something in the Night,” another song that I really like.
15. The Rising – My opinion of this song keeps going up. I like the whole The Rising album (and would love to have heard the acoustic blues version of “Counting on a Miracle”), but if we only get one, this is a great one to get. And, hearing “Nothing Man” the night before was another rare treat.
16. Darkness On The Edge Of Town – Yet another version of this song. This one, back on guitar, may be the best of all.
17. Jesus Was An Only Son – Part lecture, part song, derived from the version he did on VH1 Storytellers, this is nothing but great.
18. Leah – A beautiful, beautiful song. If I could learn only one song to play well on guitar, I’d be more than happy for it to be this one.
19. The Hitter – Not my favorite on the new album and another story song, I’ve grown to appreciate it more. Interestingly, it has some of the out-of-body imagery that you find in Reno. That continuing sense of other-worldliness, of being separated from what is stable, trusted and what you are accustomed to.
20. Matamoras Banks – Another story song, which keeps me a bit detached (by this, I mean that I basically learn the story – it has a beginning and end – and that it becomes to easy to focus on and grow tired of the narrative over time). Here Springsteen makes a political comment about the need for a humane immigration policy that is more strongly made by the song. After the build to this point, the last two songs don’t seem to have the energy to cap off the show, but the version of Matamoras Banks is a beautiful one and definitely appreciated by the audience. Today, I began to think about the theme of connection that runs through this show and understood how MB really works well as a thematic capper. The sense of alienation set out by “Reason to Believe” reaches a nadir of sorts in a song about someone who dies in the effort to cross over into a new kind of connection.
(encore)
21. Open All Night – Amazingly, the fifth song from Nebraska. A rocking, cool version that’s a great encore stopper.
22. Growin’ Up – You’ve gotta be kidding me. Another special and rare treat.
23. Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street? – The show now seems almost historic with a second song from the first album. Fascinating line: “What’s the dope? The dope is there’s still hope.”
24. The Promised Land – The first three songs are encore songs. Now, we turn to the two-song set conclusion. Here I think the thematic circle gets closed. In this version, this well-loved classic gets slowed-down and each line of the lyrics emphasized. The guitar is turned into a percussion instrument. The performance is both virtuoso and shocking innovative. I’m not sure what else it is like. So, here we have arrived at deconstructed “Promised Land.” What does “promised land” mean in today’s world? Reason to believe? Promised land? What have we gotten ourselves into? What do we teach and pass on to our children in a world that has stopped making sense to us? Where have we come to?
25. Dream Baby Dream – The resolution, perhaps. In recent tours, Bruce has closed with one of my favorite songs – Land of Hope and Dreams. That song now seems incongruous for where we may now find ourselves. Reluctantly, it has to go. What replaces it is an astonishing parallel “Reason to Believe,” in its own way as other-worldly and strange (it’s not the closer anyone could expect – I’m not sure how many people would have the vision to conceive, image and produce this performance and then have the courage to actually do it). A simple description will not do it justice. It is repetitive, like an incantation, almost shamanistic. You will not see anything like this at any other concert you will be going to this year. The phrase “dream baby dream” and similar phrases are repeated over and over in a swirling fashion, layered over a earth-shaking swirling pump organ soundtrack. It builds and builds until Bruce walks off the stage and the unattended organ finsihes the song. Then the lights come up and the show is over. It is disconcerting as hell, but it does present an answer to reason to believe. The answer is in the questioning, the mystery, the courage to face it and give voice to efforts, to search, to test, to put out in front of the world what you have, at least so far. Ultimately, it’s about using your voice, your creativity and your art to deal with any increasingly alien world of terror, fear despair and a sense of brokenness and to create a new world through communication and new connections.
Summer is here and the time is right
To go blogging in the street.

Jeff: Thanks for talking me into going to these concerts.
Note: This is a first draft that was posted without editing and probably will be revised, cleaned up or otherwise changed in the future. Typos, alas, probably made it through to the published post.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Blogs for Lawyers Webinar on August 9

Friday, August 5th, 2005

I invite all of my readers (and all of their friends) to join Tom Mighell, Raza Hasan (FindLaw’s Manager of Product Development) and me for a free one-hour webinar called “Blogs for Lawyers: Building an Audience to Build Your Practice,” brought to you by the good people at Thomson FindLaw.
We’ll cover the world of lawyer blogs in general and talk about how lawyers are using blogs and where legal blogs are headed. I have the advantage of already having heard the first rehearsal and can tell you that you will learn a lot of great practical information that I haven’t seen or heard elsewhere.
The webinar is designed to be at the introductory level, but even long-time bloggers will benefit from the material covered in the webinar (heck, I learn all kinds of great new things about blogging whenever I talk with Tom).
The webinar will be produced live twice on Tuesday, August 9 and here are the links:
August 9, 11:00 AM CDT
August 9, 3:00 PM CDT
Hope to see you there. Please pass the word along to anyone you think might be interested in this webinar.
[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.

My Recommended One-volume Resource on Electronic Discovery

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

Here’s one quick thing I have for you about electronic discovery this week.
My friend Michael Arkfeld recently sent me a copy of his book Electronic Discovery and Evidence. I ended up reading it from cover to cover – a rare experience for me with legal tratises.
Here’s my conclusion after finishing the book: If you are in any way involved in electronic discovery, just go ahead and get a copy for e-discovery bookshelf. Even better, don’t keep it on the shelf. Read the book.
If you you take the time to read this book, you’ll jump to the head of the class among lawyers (and non-lawyers) living in the electronic discovery world. It’s practical, it’s easy to understand and it’s reasonably compendious.
Don’t think that you can sit down and read that many pages in ine setting – that’s what the chapters and subchapters are for. Make a plan and work your way through this book. That will give you the foundation to make e-discovery a lot more interesting for you.
I always learn a lot from Michael. This book is no exception for me, but it is also an exceptional resource. Put it on your summer reading list. If you are a client, you might buy a copy for your favorite litigator – it might help you sleep a little better at night (especially if you have one of those lawyers who still doesn’t use email).
[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.

Anticipating a Springsteen Show

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005

One of the cool things about the Internet is being able to track the Bruce Springsteen tour as it tracks toward my town thanks to the great Backstreets website (how about an RSS feed, though?). The last few shows have been jaw-droppers for long-time fans and I can’t wait until I hear from my friend Jim about the Cincinnati show. I assume that he will be speechless for a few more days after seeing a performance of “The Promise.”
The money quote from that one, by the way, is:
“When the promise is broken you go on living
But it steals something from down in your soul
Like when the truth is spoken and it don’t make no difference
Something in your heart goes cold”

[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.

Conference Idea Management at Lexthink

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

Matt Homann announced today one of the things that we’ll be doing at LexThink – conference idea management. Take a look – you’ll find it quite intriguing.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by LexThink!(TM) – The Conference, Re-imagined. LexThink! – Think big thoughts, do cool things, change the world.

The New Thinking E-Discovery Column Debuts

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

I’m pleased to announce the debut of a new electronic discovery column on DiscoveryResources.org website. The column is called “Thinking E-Discovery” and it will be a monthly column written by Tom Mighell, Evan Schaeffer and me. Our debut column is called “Disconnect and Discontent – The Electronic Discovery Landscape in Summer 2005.”
We invite you to check out our new monthly column and to visit the excellent resources at DiscoveryResources.org.
[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.