Thursday, March 27, 2008

From in-house back to private practice

Interesting article from on in-house counsels going back to private practice.

Here are some interesting quotes:

"For many years, the role of in-house counsel was to act as a conduit between inside business people and outside counsel. Their role lasted only so long as it took to get a matter from their in-box to their out-box."

"The role of corporate law departments has evolved from being primarily an intermediary between the company and its law firms to being a full-service legal team involved in every major business decision."

It seems that just as law firm experience provides important skills for in-house counsel, the in-house experience can be valuable to law firms. Those returning to firms with in-house experience have not only legal skills but also contacts and perspective that can help with getting and keeping business. "They can go back to a firm and help on the business side with client relations," said Krebs. "It would be tremendously valuable in a law firm."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Mobile Office: Take Your Desktop in your Pocket

I am currently blogging LIVE LIVE beside Bret Burney who is presenting with me on Mobile Office.

He is reviewing certain solutions for Palms and iPhone, and I did Blackberry. If we have some free time at the end, I will discuss about Windows Mobile.

Here is my presentation (you really had to be there... see you next year!):

Friday, March 14, 2008

Todd Flaming and Brett Burney on Small Volume E-Discovery

During the course of their session Small Volume E-Discovery: One Hard Drive Could Make, or Break, Your Case, presented in the Solo an Small firm track of the ABA TechShow. Todd Flaming and Brett Burney invited participants to consider the discovery of electronically stored information in all types of cases.

The participants had a lot of interesting questions for Brett Burney on the technical possibilities available to recover all sorts of ESI, (IM, PIN, Cell phone, email records).

Todd Flaming provided a lot of interesting insight in the use of the common office suite software research tools that can be used in smaller volume e-discovery cases.

As all cases now inevitably involve ESI, this presentation was right on point and introduced participants to products that can be used to manage the discovery proceedings in smaller cases on a reasonable budget.

JF DeRico

Craig Ball and Judge John Facciola: EDD Jeopardy

ABA own's Alex Trebeck, Craig Ball, put on quite a show during an EDD version of Jeopardy

Judge John Facciola, and fellow members of The jeopardy jury, David Cohen and Browning E. Marean, had a few occasion to discuss EDD issues, among which the retention and preservation of ephemeral data and the difficulties it raises.

With such categories as EDD-ucation / Alphabet Soup / E-discovery Lingo /I never met a data I didn't like, the 3 volunteers had the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the EDD rules and practice, and the IT acronyms that have integrated our jargon.


Thursday, March 13, 2008


Enjoying the ABA Techshow? Join us in lovely Montreal for Leg@l.IT2008, at the Mount-Royal Center on April 21st, 2008.

Have a look at the three tracks program and the amazing faculty.

Register quickly before it is full!

Allan MacKenzie and Ben Schorr: The Data Mix and Mingle: How to Get Your Data Into Other Applications

Now this is a useful session which is hard to blawg about because Allan and Ben were giving tips on how to deal with information hosted in different Microsoft software and merge them. Here are some examples:

1) The classic paste special

2) How to mail merge (contacts to letter)

3) How to export emails from Outlook to Excel to send an email blast (and be blocked by firewall or be blacklisted)

4) How to tie data from an Excel spreadsheet to a Word document in order for the later to be automatically updated when the spreadsheet changes

5) How to integrate parts of an Excel table to Word

6) How to convert a Word outline into a Powerpoint presentation

7) How to effectively draw in Word

The whole presentation was made in parallel fir MS 2003 (Allan) and 2007 (Ben).

Showtime at the Courthouse: A Demonstration of Courtroom Tech Toys

Fellow Canadian Nils Jensen gave us a very entertaining presentation on the use of technology in the courtroom : “high tech on a low budget”. Nils Jensen explained his use of a document camera to present exhibits and power point presentations during argument.

Paul J. Unger discussed the appropriate use of power point and other technology in the courtroom. Paul convincingly presented the functionalities of TimeMap and Verdical and the advantages of using these products in the Courtroom.


LexisNexis: DMS Redefined

I attended a presentation in the Vendors' Track about SaaS. Alvin Tedjamulia presented us NetDocuments, LexisNexis' DMS.

I have to admit I was impressed with the ease with which you can centralize your data. Being webbased, it means you need an excellent connection that never fails. This obviously is a solution for medium and large firms but I am told it is a good solution for 1-3 attorneys as well. Within an hour of formation lawyers can start working and assistants after about 3 hours. Have a look at it!

Keynote Address—Who’s Watching You? A Conversation About Privacy on the Internet

Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC.ORG) in Washington, is speaking about Eliot Spitzer's resignation and the surrounding events in light of privacy issues.

While showing a funny suite of pictures on Powerpoint relating the little story, he pointed us to:
Ashley Alexandra Dupré's MySpace page [now offline], Spitzer's alleged call-girl from the Emperor Club VIP
Eliot Spitzer on Wikipedia

It seems that Client 9 was caught because of his currency transactions... His Manahattan bank reported important transactions on his account which led to wiretapping which ended up by his resignation.

According to the Bank Secrecy Act, Banls have reporting obligations that now go beyond cash deposits of more than 10000$.

Information Awareness Office was used to capture information on americans as opposed to what it was meant to do, ie protect them by capturing information from outsiders. Now deffunded, its project are nevertheless being continued by other agencies. These projects are being legitimised by cross-reference to numerous laws that are unrelated (PATRIOT Act, Banking, etc.) and justified by 911.

Here are some of their projects:
Face recognition
Walking recognition

For more information on privacy issues, Mark invites you to visit the Electronic Privacy Information Center

Part II: Tom and Mark head2head

TM: What is the future of Real ID (statute requiring individuals to present a proof of identification that respects certain legal requirements)?
MR: It aims at preventing terrorists to board planes, federal buildings, etc. The project was put in place because states didn't want the responsibility or the costs involved with RealID. In fact, many states like New Hampshire and Iowa are enacting laws against what the federal government is planning to do...

TM: What about Google-Doubleclick merger?
MR: Microsoft pleaded there would be an impact on competition. Epic was approaching it on the profiling side. They were asking for privacy safeguards.

TM: Presidential debate
MR: Big impact of the internet (CNN-You Tube)
Obama campaign really effective on the web
Candidates are becomming more sensitive to younger tech savvy voters.

Part III: Q&A

Warrantless boarder-crossing search
No answer yet, more questions:
Can a laptop be looked at when you enter the USA?
What happen if you have encrypted files?
According to a conversation MR had with DHS's representatives, it is not in their policies and they won't do it unless there is prima facie evidence that they must.

Unability to take information off social websites
No answer, much litigation!
Google keeps the IP address, cookies and the search, and it time stamps it and retain the information for 2 years.

My friend Dave Bilinsky, from Thoughtful Legal Management, asked what tools people sould use to protect privacy online
Mark referred him to EPIC Online Guide to Practical Privacy Tools

Telecom Immunity
Epic opposes Telecom Immunity but understand that some telcos were squeezed and were trying to work with the governement. Let's wait and see which bills make it through!

Wow! That was an amazing session! A little reality check of where the world and your privacy are. I'm selling my PC right away!

Judge Herbert Dixon and Todd Flaming: A Real-World EDD Motions Hearing

I attended the Moot EDD Motions Hearing Session presented by Judge Herbert Dixon, Tom O'Connor, Todd Flaming and Browning Marean. The session was set up as motion hearings during which the speakers presented the arguments to put forward when handling EDD issues before the court.

The panellists briefly covered the following contentious issues in their pleadings on a motion to compel:
Privileged information

Judge Dixon stressed the importance of the pre-trial meeting (to allow the Court to clear its docket !) and ordered the parties to meet again and negotiate the scope of the documents to be provided.

On a subsequent hearing for sanctions, Plaintiff attorney Todd Flaming, had Tom O’Connor of Gulf Coast Legal Tech Center testify on the disappearance of documents, metadata and hypertext links scrubbing, and the disadvantages of obtaining documents in non-native formats.
Todd Flaming and Browning Marean appropriately pointed out the importance to adequately prepare for the meet and confer and the advantages to be accompanied by a knowledgeable IT resource in order for the pre-trial meeting to be efficient.

Judge Dixon referred the participants to Courts’ guidelines among which the Guidelines For State Trial Courts Regarding Discovery Of Electronically-Stored Information.


De Rico @ Techshow

I am more than happy to welcome my friend Jean-François De Rico on my blawg for the Techshow. Jeff will post on the sessions he attends. You will be able to get more information on the different sessions as I can't be everywhere (yet!). Welcome Jeff and have fun!!

Techshow Live!

We are currently being welcomed by Tom Mighell in the Grand Ballroom (and Grand, it is!). He is filling us on what's hot and cool at ABA this year and I will try, as much as possible, to do likewise for you!

Please note that many posts will be sent straight from my Blackberry, so no picture and no proof reading...

Between my posts, you can have a look at Techshow Buzz for updates on what is happenning. This is a new feature of this year Techshow that I am sure will be most useful to attendees and non-attendees.

Other new ways to keep current on the Techshow:

Want to see what is happening: Flickr tag Techshow
Want to go to referred websites: tag Techshow
Want to know who is doing what: Twitter