Technology-Lawyer

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, 2006

The Search for an Appropriate and Accurate Job Title / Description

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

It seems like a lot of journalists and writers have been calling me lately to interview for quotes for articles. There always comes a point in the phone call where the writer asks, “So, how should I describe you in the article?”
Most of the time, they want to say something that includes “The Dennis Kennedy Law Firm, LLC,” which leads to a long description that, to me, would interrupt the flow of the article.
Lately, I tell them to describe me as “a computer lawyer and legal technology consultant based in St. Louis.”
Maybe I can do better than that and I welcome your suggestions.
Sometimes, I’ll suggest the term “legal technology expert.” That’s led to me being listed in three of the top ten results for that term on Google.
However, I’ve always felt a little presumptuous (or is it pretentious? probably both) suggesting that someone describe me that way.
Some people also react negatively to the use of the word “consultant” and I’ve tried to think of a better word.
I kind of like the word “authority,” but “legal technology authority” has a lot of syllables.
A while back, I read this post about “industry analysts” and really liked that term. In fact, in 2006, “legal technology industry analyst” probably most accurately describes the bulk of the work I’ve done so far this year. It certainly describes a role that I have in the legal tech world.
“Legal technology industry analyst,” however, has a lot of syllables and, frankly, is not very melodic.
So, yesterday I was listening to National Public Radio and the host of a segment introduced the guest as “humorist Stanley Bing.”
Whoa! That’s a description I’d like to have. I couldn’t even listen to what Bing was saying (something about the Roman Empire being the prototype for the modern corporation) because I was thinking about how cool it was to be described as a “humorist” and what he might have had to do to achieve that description.
What’s cool is that he is referred to simply as “humorist.” Not “business humorist” or any other qualifier. That’s the ultimate. But you have to start somewhere.
“Legal technology humorist, Dennis Kennedy.” “Legal tech humorist.” The human brain, of course, is not wired to deal with the term “legal humorist.” Blogger humorist? Blawg humorist?
I’m still playing around with the idea. I mean, how would you establish your credentials as a legal tech humorist? Maybe write a post where you use the term “legal technology humorist” a bunch of times and then point to the Google search results as your credentials? Or would you create a Technorati tag for ““? I’m just not sure.
On the other hand, the phrase probably wouldn’t get past an editor and be published anyway.
So, I’m continuing the search for the perfect, short descriptor to use to describe me when quoted and I’m more than a little jealous of what Stanley Bing was able to accomplish.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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Searching for a Good Topic for a Blog Post – Just Another Day in the Life of a Blogger

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Last week at TECHSHOW, a number of people asked me about blogging. There are several common misconceptions about blogging.
Some people asked me not to blog about our conversations or thought that I was going to dash away from whatever I was doing to blog. I never blog about conversations or “live blog” or post during or immediately after an event – not my style.
Others wondered how I found time to do “all that blogging,” and were surprised that my goal has always been to post 3 to 5 posts a week. They would probably have been more surprised to know how much I was looking forward to taking a break from blogging while attending TECHSHOW.
In fact, it’s often harder to decide on a topic to post about than it is to write the post.
Today is a perfect example.
I thought I’d write on some more of my reactions to TECHSHOW. Then Tom Mighell and I decided that it made more sense to talk about our findings from TECHSHOW in our next podcast rather than to write a bunch of posts or a long post.
Then I noticed that I’ve had a couple of articles come out recently and thought I’d mention those and link to them. Unfortunately, the two articles I wanted to link to are not available on the web. The first is called “Increasing Profitability: Moving into alternative billing via technology,” and it appears in the April / May 2006 print issue of Law Office Computing. In the article, I consider the role technology can play in contributing to a lawyer’s or law firm’s profitability.
The second article, which may be available on the web for a limited time soon, appears in the April / May 2006 issue of Law Practice Magazine and is called “Tech Costs Spinning Out of Control?” It’s a roundtable article in which Sharon Nelson, Craig Ball, Jim Calloway, Ross Kodner, John Simek and I discuss ways solos and small firms can get more bang for the buck with technology. It’s also worth getting your hands on this issue to read Tom Mighell’s excellent article on the current state of blogging.
Unfortunately, I don’t like writing a blog post about an article that doesn’t have a live link to the underlying article. That ruled that topic out.
My next idea was to write an initial post on my initial experience with my new MacBook Pro, which, as some of my readers know, came to me when Apple selected me as one of a test group to experiment and evaluate Macs in the legal environment. However, I’d rather use the MacBook Pro and get the hang of it rather than write about it yet. I will say that I’m really liking it so far.
I then thought about either mentioning the free BlawgWorld eBook or the upcoming New Orleans, New Law event that many people I know will be involved with and for which exhibitors and sponsors are still sought. However, I felt I needed to write about them in more depth than I was prepared to do today.
Then I realized that I had taken two good short topics I could have used and posted about them on the Between Lawyers blog. I don’t like to “echo post” my Between Lawyers posts, so I ran into another dead end there.
The result is that common posting trick of bloggers – the metapost – or post about the process of writing (or not writing a post). Rather than writing a complete, developed post, I can allude to a few unrelated topics, talk about process and still have a post.
It takes many tricks to blog on a regular basis.
[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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Back from TECHSHOW – A Few Notes

Monday, April 24th, 2006

I’m now back from the 20th edition of TECHSHOW where I had a great time. A number of people have provided some notes (and pictures) from TECHSHOW. Tom Mighell has an especially good round-up here.
I had a great time speaking on computer security with Dan Pinnington and podcasting with Tom Mighell (see one attendee’s reactions here). Tom and I would be more than happy to reprise the podcasting presentation for other groups.
I had a great legal tech moment on Friday when I found myself chatting in a group with Burgess Allison, David Johnson and Ron Staudt – three of the original founders of TECHSHOW and three of the biggest influences on my approach to legal technology. I’ve always appreciated the generosity of the early pioneers in legal technology and modeled my own approach on how they have treated me. It was a pleasure to get the chance to visit with these three and many other great people over the past few days at TECHSHOW and LexThink Lounge.
I’ll report on some of the more interesting things I learned over the next few days, as well as on my upcoming testing of the Macintosh environment.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by LexThink!(R) – The Legal Unconference. Ask us about private LexThink retreats and conferences for your firm, business or organization.
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LexThink Lounge Photos

Friday, April 21st, 2006

A big thank you to Lynn and Rob Robinson for posting on Flickr a collection of photos from the LexThink Lounge event on Wednesday evening. We had a great time!
[Originallly posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by LexThink!(R) – The Legal Unconference. Ask us about private LexThink retreats and conferences for your firm, business or organization.
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Pre-TECHSHOW/LexThink Lounge Odds and Ends

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Hope to see some of the readers of this blog at either the LexThink Lounge event or the ABA TECHSHOW over the next few days.
I’m not much for “live blogging” – I prefer to talk to people when I get the chance to be with them in person – so I’m not sure how much posting I’ll do over the next few days.
In the interim, you might enjoy the audio clip I posted over at the Between Lawyers blog or thinking about Kevin O’Keefe’s excellent question about when the legal profession will start to move to RSS. As my friends know, I’ve been waiting to help the legal profession make that move for the last few years.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by LexThink!(R) – The Legal Unconference. Ask us about private LexThink retreats and conferences for your firm, business or organization. Coming soon – LexThink Lounge – April 19, 2006.
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Should Law Firms Have Chief Innovation Officers?

Monday, April 17th, 2006

Renee Callahan Hopkins raises the question “Should companies have Chief Innovation Officers?” in the new Corante Innovation Hub.
Fascinating discussion. I wonder if we’ll see any law firms moving in that direction?
This topic might be an interesting one to discuss at the rapidly-approaching LexThink Lounge event.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by LexThink!(R) – The Legal Unconference. Ask us about private LexThink retreats and conferences for your firm, business or organization. Coming soon – LexThink Lounge – April 19, 2006.
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Coast to Coast Podcast Appearance and Upcoming Webcast

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

I made a guest appearance on the latest episode of the well-known legal podcast, Coast to Coast.
Here’s the description:

Does your website have the right stuff for a lawyer? Is your website really a good representation of your law firm? On this show, Coast to Coast co-hosts, J. Craig Williams and Robert Ambrogi, both attorneys and Law.com legal bloggers, get the answers from the experts. You’ll hear from Tim Stanley, former CEO and co-founder of FindLaw who now runs Justia, a web design company for law firms and member of the California Bar, Pete Boyd, Florida Attorney and President of PaperStreet which he founded in law school and legal technology consultant, Dennis Kennedy who is also on the [board of Law Practice Today and the ABA Law Practice Management Section Council]. Craig and Bob get to the bottom of what every lawyer needs to know!

Listen to or download the podcast here. I had a great time appearing on this podcast and you will get some great information by listening to the podcast.
Also, there’s still time to register for a live webcast of a session called “The Weakest Link: Security in a Wired and Wireless World” that Dan Pinnington and I will be presenting at ABA TECHSHOW on April 20. The details and registration information can be found at http://www.abanet.org/cle/programs/t06wls1.html.
If that’s not enough, remember that you can still hear the replay of my webinar on Information Lifecycle Management and my videocast on Best Practices for Law Firm Technology Committees.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by LexThink!(R) – The Legal Unconference. Ask us about private LexThink retreats and conferences for your firm, business or organization. Coming soon – LexThink Lounge – April 19, 2006.
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Podcast Debut: The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Episode 1

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

We’ve been talking about this podcast for a while, and now Tom Mighell and I just released episode #1 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, which we call a “Podcast on Legal Technology, with an Internet Focus.” Episode #1 is called the ABA TECHSHOW Preview and, in part, was put together with the “Podcasting for Lawyers” session that Tom and I will be presenting on April 22 at TECHSHOW in mind. Our podcasting session will share some of the practical lessons we learned while putting together our own podcast.
If you will be attending the ABA TECHSHOW (still plenty of time to register), our first podcast episode will give you all the details you need and our best tips for how to get the most out of the conference. And we discuss some of the cool technologies we expect to see and the ones we saw at the LegalTech NY conference earlier this year.
While we definitely have plans for a “Web 2.0 in the Legal Profession” episode, we’d be happy to get your suggestions for topics of future episodes. We’re also working on music, other touches and experimenting with the format.
For more info on The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and to subscribe to get future episodes, go to http://tkmr.libsyn.com/ or the RSS Feed.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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The IT Value Matrix

Friday, April 14th, 2006

Bruce MacEwen points to a fascinating approach to expressing IT value in business terms recently reported on by CIO magazine. Bruce also offers some great insights into the results of a project that led to something called “The IT Value Matrix.”
I simply recommend that you check out the IT Value Matrix and Bruce’s post as an introduction to it.
I like Bruce’s comments about the importance of expressing the value of IT projects and of discussing IT issues in general in business language. That’s a topic I mention in almost every talk I give on legal technology topics. In fact, Denise Howell and I gave a presentation a while back that, while nominally about technology ROI and other business metrics, was in fact about how to use business language and firm culture to select, evaluate, advocate and move forward IT projects. It’s a very important topic and Bruce provides an excellent introduction to the topic.
You might find the IT Value Matrix very valuable in your own planning, evaluations and discussions.
Highly recommended.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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Four Generations of Computer Malware

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

Donna’s SecurityFlash is a must-read resource for anyone interested in computer security – especially if, like me, you are preparing for a presentation on computer security next week.
Today, she points to a great article by Peter Tippett called “The Fourth Generation of Malware.” The article is mandatory reading for anyone who still thinks that anti-virus software is all the protection you need and for anyone who wants to gain a greater appreciation of what the threat environment for computers today.
Tippett describes four generations of “malware,” while noting the 20th anniversary of the first computer virus:
1. DOS Viruses (1986 – 1995)
2. Macro Viruses (1995 – 2000)
3. Big Impact Worms (1999 – 2005)
4. Malcode for Profit (2004 – to present)
The money quote:

Over the last twenty years, worms have used all types of replication vectors, which of course increase with each advance in technology. Authors have worked diligently to have their worms and Trojans avoid detection and reach more victims with every iteration. For instance during this fourth generation, we’ve witnessed Backdoors, Trojans and root kits that enable the free reuse of the infected computer, and bots that create ‘zombies’ out of a network of computers that allow the malcode perpetrator to orchestrate responses among tens of thousands, or even millions, of victims at a time.
With each generation of malware growing more complex and devastating, it’s become increasingly important for CIOs to know not only who is on their network, but who is accessing their network.
While there isn’t an end-all-be-all solution to wiping malicious code authors off the face of the Earth, having the best security policies and procedures in place will help enterprises avoid a crippling network attack that not only puts information at risk, but impedes productivity and ultimately damages the bottom line.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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