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. 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 September, 2006

Educating Lawyers About Electronic Discovery

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

I just returned from Washington, DC, where Tom Mighell and I presented a daylong seminar on electronic discovery for a large legal department. Yes, that’s the Tom Mighell of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how best to teach lawyers about electronic discovery. It’s not like you can avoid the topic. Like many lawyers, I get invitations to seminars on electronic discovery by mail or email nearly every day, especially with the December 1, 2006 effectivedate for the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure rapidly approaching.
Unfortunately, there’s a certain sameness to most of the EDD seminars I see. I had a lawyer tell me a few months ago that he was going to scream if he went to another electronic discovery seminar where speakers went on and on about Zubulake. I know the feeling.
I’ve been wanting to take a very different approach. I’ve done a presentation a couple of times this year on trends and predictions in electronic discovery, which is innovative and challenges people to think in some new ways about electronic discovery. It’s been gratifying to see how well-received that presentation has been.
I want to focus on the practical aspects of EDD, giving lawyers just enough learning about the technology so that they know how to recognize the key issues and ask the right questions. As usual, I’m more interested in applications (how you apply the new rules and technology to the issue in front of you) more so than learning academically about recent case law and abstract theories about the new rules. The concepts in EDD are easy; the devil truly is in the details.
And I wanted to present the topic with a litigator with experience who can also explain technology in a way that lawyers understand, and one who can explain the rules, the cases and the practical issues. Tom is perfect for that role and is an excellent presenter.
Our presentation, called “Electronic Discovery: The Basics and Beyond, had four parts: EDD/technology 101; the new rule; practical tips for the real world; and trends/predictions. In my mind, this is exactly what lawyers want and need to know at this point. My sense for this was confirmed as we started the session by heaing what all the lawyers in the room hoped to learn. We had everything they mentioned covered.
I was pleased with the discussion the presentation started and how we had given the lawyers in the room a good foundation and a vocabulary on which they could base that discussion.
As I tell people, my interest in electronic discovery is really one of education. I have no interest or angle in consulting or other projects. I like to teach lawyers about this subject, as does Tom, to help them think about it and address the challenges and point them to ways they can improve their practices.
So,this latest presentation was fun and rewarding. As I was telling Tom, it would be great if we could do some more of these together. I suspect we will. Let us know if you’d like to hear more about the seminar and whether it might work for your legal department or law firm.
As I prepared for the seminar, I was struck by how complicated these issues really are and the profound implications electronic discovery raises for us. Think about these three questions, which have rolled around my head for the last few days:
1. Is electronic discovery so complicated that it will drive most disputes to arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution?
2. Will corporate clients and vendors working on records management “disintermediate” lawyers and limit the role of lawyers in the discovery process to as small a sliver as they can?
3. Will the response of lawyers to electronic discovery and the complexity of electronic discovery add enough additional burden to our court system to effectively break it?
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about electronic discovery at Dennis Kennedy’s Electronic Discovery Resources page.
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9/11 Shuffle

Monday, September 11th, 2006

I was thinking about 9/11 this morning as I drove. I’ve been working onsite with a client and I pass by a memorial sculpted out of materials from the World Trade Centers every day at the highway exit I use. With the flags at half-mast today, it made for a way to take a little pause to reflect.
It was overcast and rainy this morning. It’s intriguing how much I associate 9/11 with the sky that was the unbelieveable shade of blue.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been experimenting with using the shuffle mode of my iPod to see if I can find meanings and patterns in what is served up.
Today seemed like an appropriate day for that. Here’s what the shuffle served up:
Redemption – Johnny Cash
Gunpowder – Wyclef Jean
Lucky Town – Bruce Springsteen
Labour of Love – Joe Grushecky
Break it Up ((live) – Patti Smith
Worried Man Blues – The Carter Family
An Unusual Kiss – Melissa Etheridge
Charlie the Chulo – Duke Elleington
Hey Now Baby – Professor Longhair
Go Your Own Way (live) – Fleetwood Mac
Into the Fire – Bruce Springsteen
Pride (In the Name of Love) – U2
Life in Wartime – Talking Heads
These Days – Johnny Clegg
Lift Me Up – Bruce Springsteen
An interesting article to see today was Robert Andrews’ Wired article 9/11: Birth of the Blog. I agree with Andrews that blogs really took off for me and became an alternative channel in the period after 9/11. Much has happened since then.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

Denise Howell on VRM and VLFs

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

Reed Smith’s loss is our gain. Denise Howell has been writing the best stuff I’ve read in along time about the intersection of law and technology on Bag and Baggage, Between Lawyers and her newest blog, the highly-recommended Lawgarithms.
I wanted to single out her post today on Between Lawyers called “VLFs Should Embrace VRM.” part of an ongoing discussion we’re having over there about virtual law firms and related issues. I’ve listened to two of the three parts of the podcasts she recommended (and found myself longing for a stronger hand at the editing controls on the podcast, but I think my patience will be rewarded in part 3). For those who prefer reading to listening, start with this post from Doc Searls.
The VRM (vendor relationship management) notion, simplified as “the user is in control,” when applied to law has some resonance with the idea of “fourth generation legal technology,” something I posted about and haven’t yet returned to and developed in writing.
It’s a subject I’m really looking forward to discussing with Denise, the rest of the Between Lawyers group, and others. Maybe we can do a podcast on the topic.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.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: What is the TechnoLawyer Newswire?

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

I’ve gotten a few questions recently about the articles I’ve been writing for the TechnoLawyer Newswire.
As many of you know, I’ve been writing, in one form or another, for Neil Squillante’s great legal techology resource and email list, TechnoLawyer, for many years. Many of my articles have appeared as TechnoFeatures and I am proud to be one of the distinguished group of alumni writers (and the current group is pretty darned good too) of the IP Memes newsletter, which contained some of my favorite of my own writings over the last few years.
And I consider Neil a good friend.
About six months ago, Neil and I were reminiscing and I mentioned (1) how I liked his NewsWire newsletter because it was one of the best places for me to learn about new legal technologies, (2) how I felt I wasn’t able to keep up with new product announcements as much as I wished I could, and (3) how I kind of missed writing for the TechnoLawyer audience on a regular basis. Neil smiled and said he might have something for me to think about.
A few months later, I had agreed to write the articles for the NewsWire email newsletter. Two big reasons were that (1) it gave me a great chance to learn about new legal tech products and (2) it gave me a chance to learn to write in the 250-word format. Since I’m known for long blog posts, I thought this would be a great skill to hone.
So . . . what is the TechnoLawyer NewsWire? It’s a free newsletter (registration required) that covers products and services that are new (or new to lawyers) and new releases and developments in existing products and services. Each issue covers three products or services. For example, today’s issue featured “an online alternative to Microsoft Office, a free service for tracking your wealth (and comparing it to that of your peers), and an Outlook add-in that enables you to organize and archive your e-mail by client and matter.”
As Neil says, “Dennis uses clever headlines, pop culture references, and a touch of humor. He also keeps it short and to the point, discussing only the most salient features. It’s an excellent way to stay on top of the latest and greatest products and services.”
What I really do is write a short, descriptive and objective piece about the products and services – neither a sales pitch or a review (think Jack Webb, as the pop culture reference).
There are about 12,000 subscribers to the TechnoLawyer NewsWire. The NewsWire is educational, to be sure. You can see a bunch of the articles I’ve written here (TechnoLawyer publishes one article from each issue of the newsletter in its blog)
For more info and the subscribe form, click here.
The more subscribers, the merrier, as I always say.
If you’re a vendor that has released a new product or is new to the legal market, send an email to newswire at peerviews dot com.
So, it’s another innovative TechnoLawyer offering from Neil and a fun little freelance writing gig for me that will help me have a small budget for some cool new products.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about electronic discovery at Dennis Kennedy’s Electronic Discovery Resources page.
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My Interview on

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

Charisse Dengler wrote an article about me on the website after interviewing me about blogging, legal technology and other topics. It was fun and I think you’ll enjoy reading the article. Charisse did a great job of capturing the key points from our conversation. Note: the blogging awards she refers to are the “Blawggies” rather than the Bloggies.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.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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