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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 February, 2006

What is Information Lifecycle Management?

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

I’ve been thinking lately about records management and information governance as being more important than the related area of electronic discovery. And I’m not the only one thinking that way.
I’ve written a new white paper called “Making the Right Decision at the Information Lifecycle Management Crossroads” for RenewData that’s hot off the presses. You can download it for free here.
As you may have noticed, I’ve started to do some white paper writing lately. I really enjoy it. It gives me a chance to write longer, analytical pieces that provide some big ideas and a context for them in a way that I typically cannot do in magazine articles and to write for a different audience.
I think that this white paper on information lifecycle management will give lawyers, IT people and business execs involved in the compliance, records management, information governance and e-discovery areas some useful ideas to think about. It certainly represents my latest thinking on this subject. Let me know what you think about the white paper.
And, yes, I would be receptive to talking with you about writing white papers for your company, especially if you are as pleasant and easy to work with at Rob Robinson and the people at Renewdata.
[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.
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By Request: What Would I Do Differently If I Started Blogging Today?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Leading intellectual property law blogger Steve Nipper had a great post the other day called “Five things I would do differently if I started blogging today” that I highly recommend to your attention. He has some wise observations and some great tips for both new bloggers and long-time bloggers.
I started this blog three years ago today. To help you understand my point of view, at the time I felt that I was starting my own RSS feed and that the blog was the vehicle for the RSS feed. RSS was the motivation and the driver for this blog. As I’ve mentioned before, I was soaking up everything I could about RSS at the time, Dave Winer’s Scripting News was my prime and daily resource, and I spent much more time researching what the blogging tools could do in generating RSS feeds than I did in researching what they could do in terms of blogging.
First, let me concur that Steve’s main points in his posts – portability and user friendliness – are ones that every blogger needs to think about on a regular basis.
Here is my somewhat iconoclastic list:
1. I’d Treat My Blog More Like a Website. I make no secret that my focus for my blog and the audience I consider when writing my blog is the audience that subscribes to the RSS feed. Even though I know that a huge number of readers visit my blog directly, I’m surprised when someone tells me that they “visited” my blog.
As a result, I think I underserve the non-RSS portion of my audience, don’t think about the blog experience as much as I perhaps should, and have not explored what blogging software, such as Movable Type, can do as a content management tool for a combined blog/website experience. I’m intrigued by some of the things another RethinkIP guy, Matt Buchanan, has done and has talked about doing in terms of making his blog more webpage-like.
What does that mean? Updating certain posts with fresh information or lists of links. Using posts as repositories of information (say, a list of my articles). Fleshing out the “blog as mini-portal” concept. There are a lot of ideas there.
Once you move into a feed-dominant approach, I think that you focus primarily on content and less on the actual design and user experience of the visitors to the blog (do bloggers really understand what the message they are sending when they have a long column of not-very-relevant Adsense ads on the front page of their blogs or a blog roll in which there are hundreds of blogs and six of the first ten are either dead links or blogs which haven’t been posted to in months?)
In retrospect, I might have decided to do the idea I had a few years ago to redesign my site and adapt it into Movable Type. RSS is still what interests me most, but I think I neglected some things that would have worked well for the large numbers of people who do not yet use RSS.
2. I Would Have Used More Emoticons and Humor Warnings. Many people still do not believe me that I started this blog not as a lawyer blog, but as an experiment in writing. I wanted to try different kinds of writing and let it find its own audience. As a result, I’ll do things on my blog that I would not recommend that the standard lawyer blog do. But, I know that.
One thing that I like to do is write about subjects ironically or to attempt to inject some humor. One of my friends likes to tell me that my humor is pretty dry and it’s hard enough to know when I’m not being serious in person, but it’s even harder to know that in my blog writing.
Once upon a time, I used little “humor warnings” when I thought there was a good chance that people, especially lawyers, would not be able to tell from the context that I was joking around. I haven’t done that in a while. I also use a lot of self-deprecating humor, which people don’t always understand that I’m doing (that comes from growing up in small-town Indiana, where both self-deprecating humor and deadpan-delivery are admired traits).
The unstated rule in blogging seems to be that you not use emoticons (smileys) to let people know that you are joking. ;-) This, of course, preserves the “but I was just joking” defense if someone takes exception to your post, but sometimes leads to some misinterpretations.
This has become more of a concern as the blogworld has grown and not every blogger knows every other blogger. In the past few months, I’ve felt that too many of my comments have been misinterpreted and a smiley here or there would probably help matters.
3. I Would Have Done More Collaborative Blog Projects Earlier. The whole blogging thing is worth it for me just because it gave me the chance to work with Between Lawyers group. If you add LexThink!(R) to that, that’s quite a “return” on my blogging investment. I’d like to do more of that, and to have done it sooner. The bloggers I’ve met over these three years are amazing people. I’m happy that they’ve let me join them in creating whatever blogging will grow into.
I’d still like to do that big collaborative project that a bunch of us have been talking about for way too long.
4. I Would Not Have Turned on Comments. I turned on comments on my blog after not enabling them for close to the first two years of my blog’s life. Now that they are on, I don’t really think that I can (nor do I really want to ) turn them off. But I have a lot of second thoughts about them.
I estimate that the ratio of comment spam to good comments is at least 50:1. It’s part of my regular routine to clear out spam comments. On the other hand, one good comment from someone you respect makes all the hassle seem worth it – at least now that they are on. In retrospect, I would have left them turned off and ignored the people who like to say that you don’t have a “real blog” if you don’t have comments on.
5. I Would Not Have Spent Two Years Trying to Decide What the Right Thing to Do on Ads and Sponsorships Was and Then End Up at the Same Place I was at Two Years Ago. I used to write a lot on this topic. My feeling was that randomly-served ads really did not make sense for blogs (unless you have huge amounts of traffic) and that the National Public Radio sponsorship model was more appropriate for blogs. However, there was tons of discussion about ads on blogs, ads in feeds and related issues. I wanted to do the right thing and follow the model that the leading blog thinkers felt was best.
The blog world moved to server-based ads. I do some of that, through Blogads, in part because Henry Copeland was a speaker at our BlawgThink conference, but, now more than ever, I think that a tailored sponsorship model is the better approach. I’ll consider any approach these days and it is clear that the ad-based model has become a standard, but I think I should have gone my own way from the beginning.
6. I Would Have Done More Experimenting. I’m really curious to see where today’s generation of highly-focused, marketing-oriented blogs go. I think that many of them are great and I learn from them on a regular basis. I also know that most of the long-time bloggers are writing on topics and in ways that are far different and far broader than what they did when they started. It seems that somewhere between a year and a year-and-a-half, many bloggers start to write more personally or to explore new directions. It will be interesting, in a good way, to see what happens with the more corporate blogging efforts.
Some might say that I’ve probbaly experimented more than most with the blogging form. I still remember the negative feedback I got when I experimented with a blog post written in the third person.
However, there are many things I haven’t tried and I’d like to have been more willing to experiment with new features, approaches, audio and the like.
So, I’d add to Steve’s list of key points one thing – a willingness to experiment.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Like what you are reading? Check out the other blogs where I post – Between Lawyers (feed) and the LexThink Blog (feed).

Is It True That My Blog Has Its Own Amazon Wishlist?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

My working theory is that at some point after your second year of blogging, your blog begins to take on a life of its own. It’s more than just that it demands to be fed with new posts every day, like an online Tamagotchi pet.
Bloggers start talking about their blogs as if they are another person and they even have pet names or acronyms for their blogs. Last summer, Doug Sorocco of the RethinkIP blog was in St. Louis and we had lunch. He kept talking about the “Artip” blog this and that. Gradually, I figured out that he meant RTIP. I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t know about his new blog and I resolved to look it up later. On the drive home, I finally realized RTIP was the insider name for RethinkIP.
I can’t believe the number of bloggers who have pet names for their blogs. I’ve started to refer to mine as DKB. Between Lawyers has, of course, turned into “BL” when we talk about it among the authors. We actually considered what the shortened or pet names might be when we named Between Lawyers.
Anthropomorphize is the technical term for this phenomenon.
So, to make a long story short, I was talking with my blog about the blogiversary week thing. It said, “Shouldn’t I be the one getting presents? Let’s face it, the audience comes to me, not to you.”
A fair point.
My blog then said that there were a lot of things that I had touched on in my posts (actually, it said “our posts”) in the last three years that it would like to learn more about. It then said that it would like to put together an Amazon wishlist so that readers could send the blog books and other items it was interested in.
Right. So, I said, “If you can make the wishlist, I’ll post about the wishlist in the blog and we’ll see what happens.” I thought that would be the end of it, seriously, but blogs can be innovative, insistent and persistent. Today my blog reminded me that today is its official birthday and handed me the URL to its very own Amazon wishlist.
Well, a promise is a promise, right? If you like my blog and want to send it a birthday present, you now have a handy list of gift suggestions. Send any gifts to me and I’ll pass them along to the blog.
Blogs really do seem to take on a life of their own.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Like what you are reading? Check out the other blogs where I post – Between Lawyers (feed) and the LexThink Blog (feed).
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Did You Say You Were Offering Some Discounts on Your Services for Your Blogiversary Week?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

I did say something about some special discounts for some of my services during my blogiversary week.
I was going to offer some discounts on a few selected speaking and consulting packages, but I decided to do something much simpler.
Simply, if you book any speaking or consulting engagement from me this week (until February 20), you’ll get a ten percent discount on the price we agree to. If it’s a flat-fee arrangement, I’ll knock ten percent off the price. If it’s an hourly-fee engagement, I’ll reduce my hourly rate by ten percent. It’s that simple. The only catches are that you need to book with me this week and this discount does not apply to my legal services or to LexThink services and/or events.
Take a look at my speaking and consulting pages on my website for some ideas of the services and seminars I provide. This would also be a great time to book one of the new legal tech audit packages I’ve just started to offer.
As I said before, I mean for this week to be a reader appreciation week for readers of my blog.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s legal technology consulting services, featuring RSS and blogging consulting, technology audit, strategic planning and technology committee coaching packages especially for medium-sized law firms (15 – 100 lawyers) and corporate legal departments. More information on the “Second Pair of Eyes” packages for legal technology audits and strategic planning may be found here (PDF).
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What Free Downloads Are You Offering for Your Blogiversary Week?

Monday, February 13th, 2006

There are five free PDF downloads I’m offering to readers of this blog this week
1. My eBooklet called Preparing Your Law Firm for the Internet Era: 150 Steps Toward a 21st Century Practice of Law (PDF, 324K)
2. My eBooklet on Rethinking Legal technology (PDF, 215K)
3. An introduction to my thinking about electronic discovery technology issues (PDF, 128K)
4. The collection of my articles I republished on my blog last fall (PDF, 740K).
5. My PowerPoint slides from my recent presentation on Trends in Electronic Discovery Technology for 2006 (PDF, 594K).
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s legal technology consulting services, featuring RSS and blogging consulting, technology audit, strategic planning and technology committee coaching packages especially for medium-sized law firms (15 – 100 lawyers) and corporate legal departments. More information on the “Second Pair of Eyes” packages for legal technology audits and strategic planning may be found here (PDF).
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Announcing the 2006 Blogiversary / Birthday Week at DennisKennedy.Blog

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Longtime readers of this blog will know that I like to do something now and then to show my appreciation for my readers.
Last year, I had the idea to use the week of my blog’s anniversary (February 15) and my birthday (February 17) – this blog was an early birthday present to myself in 2003 – as a way to have a reader appreciation week. It seemed to work out well last year and I’ve decided to have another blogiversary / birthday week this year. It’s meant to be fun and to help me remember not to treat my blog or me too seriously.
So, I’ll have a continuing set of blogiversary-related posts this week and some regular posts as well. I’d also like to answer your questions, so ask away and I’ll have some “By Request” posts this week too.
I’ve put together some special features, some free downloads, some discounts on some of my consulting and speaking packages, and some surprises. And three big announcements below.
I want to thank the people, like Ed Poll, who have already wished my blog and me happy birthday. Best wishes to Ed, who is celebrating his birthday by going to a professional cycling camp, something I’d like to do someday.
Let’s jump right into the three big announcements for the week.
1. In a HUGE announcement, NASCAR has decided to recognize my willingness to mention that I am a NASCAR fan, despite the preachy advice you get that lawyers should never mention any personal interests or show any personality on their blogs (especially not for stock car racing or anything else seen by these critics as not professionally dignified), by graciously scheduling this year’s Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 19, as the capper to blogiversary / birthday week at DennisKennedy.Blog.
2. As a special gift to my readers who would like to extend the celebration an extra day, the US government has generously designated Monday, February 20, as a holiday. That’s the kind of appreciation I want to show for my readers.
3. The Law List on PubSub jumped the gun on this week’s celebration by listing DennisKennedy.Blog as the #1 law-related blog on Saturday February 11! To go from our modest blog beginnings to the coveted #1 slot is an accomplishment that I am quite proud of, even if I did notice the irony of achieving that ranking when I didn’t post anything that day or the day before. No matter – it was still a #1 ranking and I’m planning to have the screen shot framed. I see that I’ve slipped to #2 today, but you can still tell that I was #1. I’ll let wiser minds than mine try to figure out what that all means.
Please enjoy the week. Take it in the spirit that it is intended. And, thank you so much for reading this blog and being part of the network that it has created.
[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. Ask us about private LexThink retreats and conferences for your firm, business or organization. Coming soon – LexThink Lounge – April 19.

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Will There Be A Blogiversary / Birthday Week Again This Year at DennisKennedy.Blog?

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

Yes, there will – starting tomorrow, Monday, February 13.
Tom Mighell (who is my #1 answer to the question Neil Squillante poses here) asked me yesterday if I really needed a whole week to celebrate my combined blogiversary (#3 – this blog debuted on Februrary 15, 2003) and birthday (February 17, which I share with Michael Jordan and Jim Brown, among others).
The answer, of course, is “Yes!”
I had the idea last year to do a blogiversary/birthday event as a fun, tongue-in-cheek way to have a reader appreciation week and to have an excuse to have some fun on my blog.
You can expect a variety of special posts, giveaways and free downloads, discounts on some of my services, and other surprises. I’ll also try to answer as many of your questions as I can in a whole week of “By Request” posts (email your questions for me at denniskennedyblog @ gmail.com). There’s way too much stuff going on for me to accomplish it all in anything less than a week.
Expect more details tomorrow, but you can start off with a free download of the slides from my recent presentation on Trends for 2006 in Electronic Discovery.
Long-time readers will know that it’s blog features like this one that have brought me criticism from those who believe that law-related blogs must be totally serious and oh-so-professional every second of every day. However, I want to do something to show that I appreciate my audience and that it is important to have fun every now and then. I expect that I’ll give them more fodder for their criticism before this week is over.
Stay tuned for more details.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Like what you are reading? Check out the other blogs where I post – Between Lawyers (feed) and the LexThink Blog (feed).
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Would You Remind Us About the Details on the Email Management Teleseminar You Will Be Part of on Tuesday?

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

I’ve been looking over the script outline for the teleseminar on email management that I’ll be one of the panelists for on Tuesday, Februrary 14, and it’s going to be a good session for anyone who struggles with handling their email inbox. That probably is everyone who reads this post. Including me.
Here are the details:
Surviving the E-mail Avalanche – A 60-Minute TeleConference and Live Audio Webcast 0n Tuesday, February 14, 2005 at 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern (12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Central; 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Mountain; 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific)
Registration information at http://www.abanet.org/cle/programs/l06sem1.html
Description – “Are you tired of reading the same e-mail multiple times? Afraid to delete e-mails because you may need them later? Unable to find past e-mails effectively because of the volume of e-mail in your inbox or because you already deleted what you needed? Concerned about e-mail management and the potential legal implications of what you do or fail to do? Our experts offer practical tips on how to manage the everyday e-mail pileup. In particular, this program will include recommendations on topics from organizing and reviewing e-mails to finding management technology to guard against the crushing volume of messages, including how all of these issues and solutions affect case management.”
Presenters:
Ted Banks, Chief Counsel for Global Compliance, Kraft Foods, Northfield, IL
Todd H. Flaming, Partner, Schopf & Weiss LLP, Chicago, IL
Nancy Flynn, Executive Director, e-Policy Institute, Columbus, OH
Dennis Kennedy, DennisKennedy.com, St. Louis, MO
Note that ABA Members can register for this program and receive complimentary enrollment in the Section of Litigation—a $75 value!
The teleseminar is brought to you by The American Bar Association Section of Litigation and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education.
Learn more at http://www.abanet.org/cle/programs/l06sem1.html
Hope you can join us on Tuesday.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s legal technology consulting services, featuring RSS and blogging consulting, technology audit, strategic planning and technology committee coaching packages especially for medium-sized law firms (15 – 100 lawyers) and corporate legal departments. More information on the “Second Pair of Eyes” packages for legal technology audits and strategic planning may be found here (PDF).
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How Difficult Is It Becoming to Sort Through Electronic Discovery and Litigation Technology Vendors?

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Rees Morrison has a good analytical post on the number of electronic discovery and litigation support vendors at the recent LegalTech New York conference. The numbers help you understand why making choices in these categories can seem overwhelming.
The money quote:

My point from this admittedly flawed and artificial research is merely that law departments that are forced to come to grips with expensive, complicated, fast-changing and crucial document discovery have hundreds of vendors clamoring for selection.

Too many of these vendors still want to describe themselves as “full-service electronic discovery providers,” a description that I don’t think is helpful to anyone. I spent a fair amount of time on the exhibit floor trying to get electronic discovery vendors to explain to me what market segments they were really good at. Learning that is very helpful.
[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.
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Is There Another Web-based Search Tool for Digests of Court Cases Involving Electronic Evidence?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

I mentioned the Sensei electronic evidence case search tool yesterday and then saw that the Preston Gates Electronic Discovery Case Database now contains more than 400 cases. The good news is that you now have two free search tools for electronic discovery cases.
I’ve mentioned the Web 2.0 search tool called Rollyo before. I’m fascinated at the ways you can now start to put together your own toolbox of highly-specially search tools that fit your needs.
[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.
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