Collaboration Tools for Lawyers: The Book

Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell are pleased to announce that they will be writing a book on collaboration tools that will be published in early 2008 by the American Bar Association. The book is tentatively titled: “Collaboration Tools for Lawyers: Essential Ways to Work Together with Colleagues, Clients and Even Opposing Counsel.”
Nearly every lawyer finds that colleagues, co-counsel, clients and even opposing counsel use the Internet and technology to collaborate and work together on documents, projects and cases. In the simplest scenario, lawyers and clients use the “track changes” feature in Microsoft Word to work together on a document. Technology today lets lawyers take collaboration to the next level. Many legal technology tools now include collaborative elements.
At the same time, lawyers increasingly use the Internet in many ways to work together. From document sharing to videoconferencing, there are more tools than most lawyers can imagine for working together, online.
Two key trends are at play here. First, for years lawyers have understood the clear benefits of collaboration and working together as a routine matter. Second, the availability of simple, inexpensive (even free) collaboration technology has created an environment where working together makes sense to nearly every lawyer in nearly every firm. The push forward on both trends is likely to continue.
Two other important factors also come into play. First, business clients are routinely using technology to collaborate and will expect their lawyers to follow. Therefore, collaboration tools illustrate a classic example of a client-driven technology. Second, events in the world from increased travel costs to possible pandemics make it even more likely that these tools will be adopted by necessity.
To the extent lawyers have experimented with these tools, they may have the nagging feeling that they are simply touching the tip of the iceberg of what might be available to them and how they might use these tools to their benefit. We believe that they are right to feel that way, because it is undoubtedly true.
The book will provide intensely practical advice for lawyers and law firms wanting to take better advantage of these tools and the benefits they bring. It will take a look at how to use these tools wells, focus on both categories of tools and specific individual tools, and provide concrete action steps and techniques so that even the least tech-savvy lawyer can catch up with the early adopters and successful innovators.
Collaboration Tools for Lawyers: Essential New Ways to Work Together with Colleagues, Clients and Even Opposing Counsel, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell (expected publication date: early 2008)
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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Idea Market: Meet Me in St. Louis to Talk About Blogging

I don’t get to speak about blogging nearly as much as I’d like to these days, but Matt Homann has given me the chance to lead a discussion about blogging at his Idea Market event on Monday evening, March 19. Matt wants you to reserve a spot (it’s free) by joining this site. The Idea Market starts at 6:00 pm at the Lucas School House in the Soulard area of St. Louis. Keep an eye on Matt’s blog for more details.
I understand that some of the other longtime St. Louis bloggers (like Randy Holloway) will also be there, so we might turn this into a St. Louis blogger meet-up.After all, St. Louis is Blawg City USA.
If you are a St. Louis blogger, a blogger who can get to St. Louis, or a blogger-to-be (i.e., some who is not already blogging), then it’d be great to meet you on Monday night and participate in what I’m sure will be an informative and knowledge-sharing conversation about many aspects of blogging. If you want to send me questions or topics that you want me to cover, that’d be cool.
And, as usual, there will be other fun stuff happening at the Idea Market too. Record “24″ and get out the house on a Monday evening for a change.
See you there.
[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 – LexThink Litigation 2.0.
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The Electronic Discovery Continuum – Accelerating Complexity

I’ve been thinking about electronic discovery lately, in large part because we’ve been working on the LexThink “Litigation 2.0″ event. Expect more details soon and please contact me or Matt Homann and we’ll get you on the mailing list.
I’ve also just finished a new “Thinking E-Discovery” column with Evan Schaeffer and Tom Mighell that will appear on the excellent website (I’m so pleased that is a sponsor of this blog, because I am a big fan of the site and appreciate the high quality of information collected there). The column will interest many lawyers – I haven’t yet seen an article that covers the topic we’ve chosen. That’s called a teaser. That word might also apply to the previous paragraph.
But here are two things that caught my attention today that illustrate two points I make in my EDD presentations.
1. The concepts are easy, but the details can get complicated very quickly. Yes, we all know that digital information today can be stored in a variety of places, and that you need to extend your net to capture that information. However, it will often surprise people to find where that data is stored, often right under our noses, and how something once invisible becomes so obviously an issue once someone points it out to us.
Today’s example is copiers and the tip comes from David Ma’s techblawg in a post called “from the ‘another security headache’ department” that highlights a Wired article on the storage capabilities of copiers.
The basic point: many digital copiers contain hard drives. That shouldn’t be a surprise, but who really gives it much thought. Ma and Wired point out the security (and privacy) issues, but it’s apparent that copiers should be added to the list of data sources to be considered and explored in electronic discovery.
2. There are so many tools and vendors in EDD that even if you make it your business to keep up with the industry, it is extremely difficult and I wonder how EDD newbies even know where to start.
Today’s example comes from my favorite EDD blog, Rob Robinson’s Information Governance Engagement Area, in a post called “13 Tools for eDiscovery.”
Here’s a simple test to help you see where you fall on the EDD continuum. Read the list of 13 tools. See if you can determine the differences between each of the tools and when you might use one rather than another. Consider how you would determine what other tools compete with each of these and how you might evaluate how to choose one tool over another. Now decide if the phrase in my title, accelerating complexity, is apt. My guess is that it is.
It’s the practical implications of issues and questions such as these that I’d like to delve into at LexThink Litigation 2.0 with others who really want to understand where we are going and how best to get there. Let us know if you are interested in joining us and tell us about the topics that you are losing sleep over so we can be sure that they are on the agenda and the people you’d most like to hear speak about these topics
And on a related note, as a final thought for this post, check out JP Rangaswami of the Confused of Calcutta blog’s “more musings on the opensourcing of process” – the most thought-provoking post I’ve seen lately, with very interesting implications for the legal, litigation,and e-discovery processes.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about electronic discovery at Dennis Kennedy’s Electronic Discovery Resources page.
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Keeping Track of Track Changes

Redlining and use of Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature have become necessary tools in a lawyer’s technology toolbox today. Yet, all of us could use a little more knowledge and improvement in our skills in handling these tools.
In the latest “Strongest Links” column that Tom Mighell and I write for the ABA’s Law Practice Today webzine, “Staying on Track with Track Changes,” we pull together a great list of useful places on the Internet where you can learn more about these essential tools. I can assure that, given the amount of time it took us to find these resources, this article will save you time and give you a running start on learning about “track changes” and redlining.
The money quote:

Track Changes has its own unique set of frustrations, but its usage is now so common that lawyers, especially those with transactional practices, should be familiar with using the feature as part of their everyday document creation routine. . . . We can’t promise that this article will eliminate all of your frustrations and difficulties with Track Changes, but it should definitely make your life with the feature a little bit easier.

As always, there are many other great articles in this month’s issue of Law Practice Today.
Keep your eyes open for the next few days for an announcement about a major new writing project that Tom and I will be announcing. Comments are open for your best guesses.
[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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Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Trends 2007 – the Download

I posted the long version of my 2007 legal technology trends article as a series of blog posts. I’ve also cleaned it up a bit and turned it into a PDF file that you can download for free here. Enjoy. As I’ve mentioned before, a presentation based on this topic will be one of the seminars I’m available to deliver this year.
My friend Neil Squillante recently posted some thought-provoking comments on the TechnoLawyer Blog about the state of legal tech in 2007. While my trends article is largely my answer, I liked this comment Neil made:

[S]ometimes it seems like the same legal technology predictions make an appearance every year, but nothing really changes. In fact, you could probably whip out a predictions article from 2004, change the date to 2007, and republish it. Ha!

That reminded me that I did something similar in 2005, when I pulled out my predictions article for 2000 without updating and invited people to compare to see how much and how little had changed, in both the industry and my own perspective. It’s be instructive to read the 2000 article alongside the 2007 article and see if Neil’s riposte is on target. It’ll be fun, in any event.
As always, I invite your comments and questions about the 2007 article. I’d like it to be a discussion-starter.
Download PDF version of article.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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