Arch 2.0

Shelley Powers makes a great case for getting O’Reilly to put on a scripting, Ajax, and web development conference here in St. Louis. Randy Holloway has also picked up the theme. How do we reach critical mass?
As Shelley says, “I don’t know about anyone else, but I for one am getting tired of conferences held only along the coasts. Arch 2.0. It works.”
[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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What Technologies Are Law Firms Buying?

Another great post from Tom Collins covers the results of the recent ILTA 2006 Technology Purchasing Survey. It gives an interesting perspective from the CIOs and IT Directors of large firms.
Tom does a great job of summarizing the results, which, among other things, support my belief that Microsoft SharePoint may be the hottest technology in the legal space these days.
It was also nice to see that this blog was one of the most-read blogs by this group, even though, as Tom wryly notes, the survey responders don’t seem to be big blog readers. It was also nice to see the Between Lawyers blog on the list.
[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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By Request Week: Are there any software tools specifically designed for commercial lawyers?

From Australia, where many cool things are happening in legal technology, comes this question:
Are there any software tools specifically designed for commercial lawyers?
It does seem that most legal software is designed for litigators, with commercial (or transactional) lawyers having fewer choices.
In part, the non-litigation practices are quite diverse and it’s not as easy as it is in litigation to design tools that cut across the practice areas.
That said, there are a number of software tools for the transactional lawyer.Often there are specific tools for specific practice areas. When I did estate planning early in my career, for example, we used fiduciary accounting software, tax preparation and planning, actuarial software, and other estate planning software tools, often with several programs to choose from in each category.
However, it’s surprisingly difficult to find those practice-specific programs without a lot of searching on the Internet.
Let’s turn to some general software categories for commercial lawyers.
1. Document or case management software. Commercial lawyers often have to manage multiple documents for each deal, track workflow and do other administrative tasks. Using a general document or case management tool can make a big impact.
2. Document assembly. Commercial lawyers use a lot of forms and model documents. It’s a short step to move to document assembly (e.g., HotDocs, Ghostfill, Ixio, DealBuilder and Exari). To me, document assembly is THE software to consider in a commercial practice.
3. Litera’s IDS and ChangePro. I’m fascinated by these two suites of tools from Litera. Among other things, they give you ways to manage documents that are being negotiated and changed, to keep track of those changes and to do real-time collaboration. You can also handle metadata and other issues associated with exchanging documents.
4. Adobe Acrobat Professional 7. Exchanging Word documents is a tricky thing, with some metadata pitfalls. Acrobat 7 gives you ways to exchange, secure and electronic sign documents, and a ton of other useful features.
5. DealProof. Now part of the Thomson family, DealProof offers, among other things, an automated way to proofread your documents and make them consistent.
Those are some starting points. It’s a great question and legal software vendors in this category need to be aware of the difficulty commercial lawyers have in finding your products.
I welcome readers who have recommendations of good software tools for commercial lawyers to mention them in the comments to this post.
[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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By Request Week

I haven’t answered requests on my blog for a while and thought I might open things up for requests for the rest of the week.
I do the “by request” feature as a bit of an homage to one of the bloggers who had a large influence on my blogging style, Sherry Fowler at Stay of Execution. Sherry has done “by requests’ for a long time. For those who don’t know, Sherry was one of the earliest lawyer bloggers and helped pave the way for the use of a more personal style among some long-time legal bloggers.
Here’s the way my “by request” feature works. Send me your questions, preferably by email to denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com. You can also leave them as comments to this post. I’ll see how many I can answer this week.
Let me start by answering a question I’ve gotten a lot in the last few days – “are you at the ILTA conference?”
Nope, not this year. ILTA is one of the major legal technology conferences in the US each year. Even though I used to be on the board for the ABA TECHSHOW, I now have to say that ILTA is my favorite legal tech event. I’m disappointed I had to miss it this year and I’ve been following blog posts from those attending the show. I’m sure that everyone there is having a great time.
[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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Email. Security and the Philosophy of Small

On the weekends, I find that I delete as much as 80 – 90% of the email I get (most of it grabbed by spam filtering) before I focus on the ones I read. It’s astonishing how much of these involving phishing or have dubious atachments.
John Robb’s post, “Getting Small,” takes a thought-provoking perspective on email, security and related issues.
He points to another post that suggests that an entire generation of young people have abandoned email. Robb notes: “I hadn’t thought of it, but my kids don’t use e-mail. They are all on peer to peer chat/voice solutions in conjunction with blogs.”
How has your use of email changed in the last few years? Are you using RSS feeds and instant messaging as alternatives to email?
Robb points to ways that he has made himself a smaller target. Given my current experiment with a MacBook Pro, I noted with interest that one method Robb discusses in “getting small” is moving to the Mac platform.
The ideas of making yourself a smaller target and living in a more diverse environment are great foundations in a security environment. I’m intrigued by Robb’s philosophy on this.
The money quote:

The more commonly used (the more ubiquitous) the ecosystem, the less secure it is. These systems represent too big a target, and they are burdened by a complexity and connectivity that makes them impossible to defend. Getting small alleviates the problem.
How small should ecosystems get? Down to the minimal level of viability (viability being defined by the minimal level of activity necessary to provide it with robustness, innovation, diversity, etc.).
How many ecosystems? The greater the diversity of the ecosystems riding on the minimal rulesets of the global platform, the more secure all of us are.

Think about it. Read the whole post, and you’ll see why Robb is one of my very favorite bloggers.
[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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