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 October, 2006

Document Assembly at the Tipping Point?

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

My first real foray into serious legal technology involved putting together a document assembly application for estate planning documents at one of my former law firms over 15 years ago. I’ve written about document assembly in a number of articles over the years.
Two of the most enjoyable and enlightening conversations I’ve had on the topic have been with Jamie Wodetzki of Exari.
If you have any interest in document assembly and the current state of the art, check out Jamie’s post “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Precedent Automation,” in which Jamie describes a recent online conference that featured a list of many of my favorite document assembly experts.
Consider carefully Jamie’s question: “So, are we facing a revolution in the delivery of legal documents?”
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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Great Lists of Software Utilities

Monday, October 30th, 2006

I’ve found a couple of useful lists of free/low-cost software utilities recently and I recommend them to you.
First, although it’s a few months old, PC Magazine has a feature called “14th Annual Utility Superguide.”
Second, there’s the Ultimate List of Free Office Software from Microsoft – 150 of them.
Third, there’s 150 more at Ultimate LIst of Free Windows Software from Microsoft.
Fourth, there’s the top ten Open Source programs for Windows list on LifeHacker.
Fifth, for Mac users, take a look at 10MacApps on GigaOM and, especially, the comments.
Sixth, a top ten list of Open Source programs for the Mac.
Happy downloading.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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Dennis Kennedy Profiled in Law Practice Magazine

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Mark Tamminga interviewed me for a little featurette in the current issue of the ABA’s Law Practice magazine (note: the article will be available for a short period before it disappears behind a “members only” firewall). We cover a range of topics and you’ll learn a bit about my background and story. I also talk about my perspective on blogging and RSS, legal technology and other topics. Check it out. Thanks, Mark and Law Practice magazine. Lots of other great articles in this issue.
[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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CityTech’s Global Tech Leaders Top 100

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Karen Jones, editor of London’s CityTech, has posted the Global Tech Top 100 Leaders list for 2006 (pdf here). The focus is on technology in the legal industry, and it’s a list determined by the choices of 2,000 people involved in legal technology. It’s an impressive list determined by peers and I’m quite honored to be on the list, along with so many people whose work I admire.
I’m pleased to be singled out for three things that are important to me – blogging, innovation and “for talking about Law 2.0.”
Today, JoAnna Forshee, Matt Homann and I were talking about the next LexThink event, which we are calling Litigation 2.0. Matt’s also on the Top 100 list and JoAnna has been on the list as well (she helped with it this year). To me, Litigation 2.0 is a piece of Law 2.0, and perhaps the piece of it that will arrive the earliest. (By the way, nothing official yet, but we’re thinking of early spring 2007 in New York City for the Litigation 2.0 event.)
As I think about Law 2.0, the one thing I know for sure is that if you took the 100 people on this list, brought them together to brainstorm, and turned them loose on the question of what Law 2.0 would look like, you’d get something pretty amazing. And that would be one heck of a LexThink conference. Matt and JoAnna, there’s an idea for our next conference call.
Thank you to Karen and CityTech for putting together this great list and recognizing the people and their contributions.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
LexThink!(R) – The Legal Unconference. Ask us about private LexThink retreats and conferences for your firm, business or organization. In 2007 – Litigation 2.0.
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Electronic Discovery on my Mind

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

I had a great time this morning recording a panel discussion with Tom Mighell and Ron Friedmann on the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the changes they will bring to electronic discovery. Thanks to Toby Younis of Merrill who came up with the idea and will soon put the discussion up on the Merrill website. Ron moderated with insightful questions and added some great comments. Tom had his usual excellent insights and I offer my usual non-traditional perspective – there’s a lot to think about. If you are a litigator, I hope that you have started to put your thinking cap on.
I’ll also be presenting a seminar session tomorrow on the new amendments and trends in electronic discovery.
I must admit that my initial reaction to the amendments was that there didn’t seem to be much there. In fact, I didn’t even single them out as a specific trend in my EDD trends presentations earlier this year, covering them as just a part of “court-directed pressure to change.” Over the past few months, I’ve come to see how these amendments will likely prompt a sea change in how law is practiced in the U.S. Let’s face it, most lawyers have successfully avoided electronic discovery until now, but things are about to change drastically. Or, at least as drastically as anything in law is likely to change.
I’ll post a link when this roundtable is available.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about electronic discovery at Dennis Kennedy’s Electronic Discovery Resources page.
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All Aboard the Blog Train

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

It seems that I haven’t spoken much lately about blogging and it’s been awhile since I’ve given a presentation in St. Louis.
Thanks to the good people at the St. Louis Chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants, I’ll get to do both on November 17.
Here are the details:

Dennis Kennedy, Speaker
November 17, 2006
Registration & Networking 7:15 am, Breakfast 7:30, Meeting 8:00 am – 9:15 am
Ces & Judy’s
(10405 Clayton Road (in Le Chateau Village, St. Louis, Missouri)
Tom Peters has said, “Biz Blogging . . . works. It is of . . . MONUMENTAL IMPORTANCE. (Or can be.)” In the session, well-known St. Louis blogger Dennis Kennedy ( will introduce you to the new world of blogs and podcasts and the benefits they now bring to many consultants and professional services providers. You will start with blogging 101 and then learn how you can uses blogs and podcasts to connect with a larger audience, enhance your reputation and marketing reach, and build your business. Kennedy will share his insights from more than three years of blogging. Business blogging does work.
Dennis Kennedy ( is a St. Louis lawyer who both practices computer law and provides technology consulting services for law firms and corporate legal departments. His blogs, DennisKennedy.Blog ( and Between Lawyers (, are among the longest-running, best-known and most influential of the legal blogs. In 1995, Dennis became one of the first group of lawyers with a web page, and he has frequently spoken, written and been quoted on Internet marketing issues, including the use of blogs by lawyers and other professional services providers.
An award-winning author with hundreds of publications to his credit and a frequent speaker, Dennis was named the 2001 TechnoLawyer of the Year and 2003 Contributor of the Year by for his role in promoting the use of technology in the practice of law. His website ( has long been considered a highly regarded resource on legal technology and technology law topics.
He is also a co-founder of LexThink!, a conference and consulting group that focuses on innovation in the professional services industry ( Dennis also co-writes a popular column on electronic discovery at He is a member of the ABA Law Practice Management Section’s Council and is an editor and board member of the Law Practice Today webzine (
Dennis received his J.D., cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1983 and B.A., magna cum laude, from Wabash College in 1983.
Costs: $30 for IMC Members, $40 for non-IMC members,includes buffet breakfast.
If you bring a first-time guest, you will get $5.00 back at the door. Also, your Guest will receive a $5.00 discount.
We prefer that you register via our online registraton below. If you must call in your registration – call Kathy Robinson at Cost Containment Strategies – 314-439-5673.
Please make your reservation no later than Tuesday (by noon) before the Friday program.

Get more info about IMC-STL and the presentation here. Register here.
IMC-STL is a great group. I invite my local readers – lawyers or non-lawyers – to attend this session and learn more about the topic and the group.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

Litigation 2.0

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Litigation 2.0. So it begins.
I told the audience at my presentation on electronic discovery trends last June at the Legal Tech West Coast conference that on the morning of my presentation I had a bit of an epiphany about where electronic discovery was going as it moved toward its next evolutionary stage. I sketched out a few notes that morning on where I saw it going. Then I had a near “Jerry Maguire” moment and, until my better judgment prevailed, nearly scrapped my prepared presentation and rewrote something new called “Electronic Discovery 2.0.”
I set aside the notes and haven’t yet returned to them, although you will pick up some of the ideas here and there in my recent writings on electronic discovery. They are, to me, some of the most interesting ideas on legal tech that I’ve had, but haven’t yet written about.
Litigation 2.0
In the last few days, however, these ideas have come back to me with renewed life. In part, that’s because of a conversation I had with John Thickett of the Tusker Group about their approach to outsourcing electronic discovery work and processes, and the implications of that outsourcing. In part, it comes from podcasts I’ve listened to featuring Andy Kessler, the author of The End of Medicine (podcast link), and C.K. Prahalad (podcast link).
But, mainly, it’s from the recent conversations Matt Homann, JoAnna Forshee and I have had about the next public LexThink! conference, which have focused on the topic of a new kind of conference on electronic discovery.
Litigation 2.0
In keeping with the LexThink approach, we wanted a conference that was innovative and different, that was both intensely practical and allowed people to consider the big picture and deeper implications. Ideas moving to action.
I kept pushing us to look at what was happening in the trenches. Let’s face it, the most interesting things happen at the points where different fields intersect and with the people working at those intersections. To me, that’s the world of litigation support and litigation support managers – right at the point of intersection of IT, client concerns and the practice of law.
So, we’ve been turning over that idea and working it into form.
Litigation 2.0
Yesterday, we decided that this area would be the focus of the next public LexThink conference in early Spring 2007.
We absolutely did not want to do another electronic discovery conference that academically covered Zubulake and the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. There’s plenty of room for those and many of them are quite good. But that’s not our territory.
We want to explore what the changing environment means for people who need to make decisions and get things done in the real world and have excellent insight into where all of this is taking us. It’s best to focus on these topics in ways that help people do their work better, make their lives easier, and help them learn together and form communities with people facing the same issues.
That’s a discussion that has to happen. And it needs to involve lit support managers (in law firms and corporations), lit support and electronic discovery vendors (the tool makers), the helpers and consultants, the clients, judges, and lawyers too. I’ve long wanted to participate in that discussion, but now I believe that we can facilitate it as well.
Litigation 2.0
As usual, the discussion came down to deciding on a name that was big enough and broad enough (and short enough) to hold what we wanted. Using “electronic discovery” or “lit support” is too limiting. We’ve always had the idea of “summit” floating around this project, but, yesterday, even that didn’t feel right.
It’s a big change in the process of happening – not necessarily moving into new territory but recognizing that the territory we inhabit has already begun to change. Think of “paradigm shift” in the classic Thomas Kuhn sense of the term.
Announcing Litigation 2.0 – the conference, the concept and the conversation.
Details to come.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.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 – a new public LexThink event. Watch for details.
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St. Louis Idea Market II – Redux

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

I had a great time and met some cool people at the second St. Louis Idea Market last night.
I’m fascinated each time I see Open Space (and the other creativity exercises Matt Homann like to try) in action.
I was tired when I got there and planned to lie low and keep quiet. However, there was a great energy in this group and Dave Gray of Xplane managed to get me thinking and talking about creativity.
It was funny to find myself talking about my recent thinking about the iPod shuffle feature (what I now think of as my iPod shuffle trilogy), and then to see how the group discussion brought me back to thinking about Twyla Tharp’s book, The Creative Habit, which always gets my highest recommendation. I ended the evening by re-reading a chapter of the book.
That may or may not have led to something I’ll post tomorrow, which I consider among my more creative efforts in a while.
A great time – hope to see you at the next one.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
LexThink!(R) – The Legal Unconference. Ask us about private LexThink retreats and conferences for your firm, business or organization. Coming soon – a new LexThink public conference.
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Revisiting the Land of Legal Metadata

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

There’s a new edition out of the Thinking E-Discovery column Tom Mighell, Evan Schaeffer and I write over on the ever-excellent site.
In this column, called “Metadata Revisited: Recent Developments, Correcting Common Misconceptions and Analyzing the Florida Approach,” Evan and I give Tom a break to prep a trial while we revisit the murky netherworld of lawyers’ reactions to metadata, especially the unusual approaches taken by the Florida Bar. We have some fun with the issue and try to teach some basics about metadata, help you avoid common metadata misconceptions, and offer some ways for you to deal with metadata issues a little better.
If the column piques your interest in electronic discovery, check out our previous columns and then take a run over to the new column Tom and I wrote about our favorite Internet resources for electronic discovery called “EDD-ucating Yourself About Electronic Discovery.”
As a note, all of my blog posts on electronic discovery may be found in the electronic discovery category archive on this blog.
As I’ve mentioned before, Tom and I do some speaking on electronic discovery topics.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about electronic discovery at Dennis Kennedy’s Electronic Discovery Resources page.
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Procrastination Cured! (Well, At Least Helped Some)

Monday, October 16th, 2006

I’ve been planning to write about this topic for a few days. . . .
I’ve written about David Allen, Getting Things Done and procrastination from time to time on this blog (see this post, for example).
In the last few days, I’ve been having a bit of a David Allen / GTD festival. I did a big brain dump and collection of tasks,along with a sorting and organizing, in part prompted by watching a video seminar, courtesy of the great people at MindJet, in which Allen talked about the GTD (that’s “Getting Things Done”) approach and how he uses mindmaps. Details on viewing that seminar can be found here.
Even better, Merlin Mann at the great 43 Folders blog is doing a series of podcast interviews with David Allen on a number of topics.
I listened to the one on procrastination today. It’s insightful and enlightening, at both the practical and psychological level. I liked Allen’s comment that the prettier his house looked, the more you could tell that he was avoiding a big project. I also was cheered to learn that the time management guru cheerfully admits to the need to deal with procrastination.
This session is especially good for bloggers. Many times, you will find barriers and distractions to getting a post up there, especially if you get hung up on writing the “great American blog post.”
Currently, I have a few of those that I’m not writing – but I do have titles for them. Here are just a few on my list that I hope will one day get written and see the light of day: “The Unbearable Everydayness of Blogging,” “Reading on the Backstreets,” “OODA Loops in the Delivery of Legal Services,” “The Coming Legal Expansion to India,” “My Email from Patti Smith,” “The Compleat Macintosh Primer for Lawyers,” to name just a few that I see on the list I’m looking at now. It probably goes without saying that these would all be long posts.
With the new ideas I have, I have a new understanding of the procrastination issue. Soon, action may follow. If you haven’t experimented with the whole podcast thing yet, the procrastination podcast might be a good starting place.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Remember the St. Louis Idea Market #2 on October 17 – details here. Hope to see you there.
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