This week, when I wasn’t taking lessons in constitutional law from Christine O’Donnell, the greatest candidate for the United States Senate ever, or honing my brief drafting skills with the help of a Ph.D., I spent the time putting together this week’s legal technology Rundown.
In this edition, we see that a lot of lawyers will be working for or against BP for quite some time, and a former Senator explains why shipping American jobs overseas is a good thing. There is also some news on Qualcomm, a little cloud talk from north of the border, Rocket Matter is in “sync,” and much, much more…
* I had the chance to attend MyLegal.com’s “The Case for Social Media” conference yesterday, and came away pleasantly surprised. I counted over 50 attendees for the one-day event, and most of them were very engaged in the topics presented. Some of the speakers included Conrad Saam who spoke on the best ways to use Avvo; Nicole Black and Carolyn Elefant, who gave a talk about social media for lawyers; and Adrian Dayton discussed bringing in business through social media as well. I will have more to say about the conference on my blog in the next few days. One of my personal highlights was running into one of my favorite people, Jordan Furlong, who is a partner at Edge International and author of the law blog Law21.ca. Furlong is a great guy and definitely someone every lawyer should get to know, especially in terms of his ideas for how firms can adjust to the “new normal,” as we crawl our way out of recession.
* In BP oil spill news: “Last week, a federal court appointed 15 attorneys to lead the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, which will coordinate pre-trial discovery on behalf of all plaintiffs whose cases are consolidated within the multi-district litigation of what will be one of the largest mass torts in history.” With hundreds of lawsuits filed against the oil giant and its partners, this may very well be the biggest e-discovery in history, too.
* Former Senator, Secretary of Defense, and now world class economist, William Cohen, writes that “for every job ‘outsourced’ to India and other foreign countries, nearly two new jobs were generated here in the U.S.” Hooray! Now all we need to do is outsource a million jobs abroad, and we will get two million jobs back, right? He even cites the new NBC show Outsourced as one of his authorities. I am not kidding.
* “The first thing you do is get the files before you question the witnesses,” says Cravath’s Evan Chesler, who represented Qualcomm during its minor e-discovery fiasco in 2007. Irene Plagianos posts a blurb about it on AM Law Daily. According to the Hon. Barbara Major, the judge who presided in the case, neither Qualcomm nor its lawyers should escape blame for their e-discovery mishaps.
* Cloud Talk from Canada: Jack Newton in Slaw discusses his concerns over the Law Society of British Columbia “strongly discouraging” their lawyers who want to develop a virtual practice from using non-Canadian providers. The problem is that the vast majority of cloud providers are in the US.
* Although Canadians may be concerned about their lawyers outsourcing their virtual practices abroad, Nicole Black discusses how taking your practice to the cloud is not typical outsourcing at all.
* Is legal practice management a trend or a fad? As they state in the New York Law Journal, Pamela H. Woldow and Douglas B. Richardson of Edge International think it’s very much a trend and that “trends matter.”
* Speaking about practice management, Rocket Matter wants to put your law firm in complete “synchronicity.” Check out their video on their new two way synch from Apple’s iCal with resource links to Outlook and Firebird.
* As I mentioned last week, this is your final opportunity to come up with your own cartoon caption for CaseCentral’s Case in Point cartoon contest. Here is your chance to earn fame, fortune, and everything that goes with it. And by “goes with it,” I mean that the cartoon with your caption will be sent to you in a frame.
* On the move: E-discovery guru, author, and technology lawyer Mary Mack has left Fios Inc. to join ZyLab. One of her books is being used as the text for the Organization of Legal Professionals (OLP) E-Discovery 101A The Fundamentals course. The E-Discovery 101 course will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from October 26 -December 21.
* Also on the move: Lou Andreozzi and Larry Thompson, formerly of Lexis, have reached a nexus with Bloomberg. Andreozzi will be the chair of Bloomberg Law and Thompson will serve as its COO. As Monica Bay points out on Common Scold, Andreozzi will focus on fixed and predictable pricing and utilizing many of Bloomberg’s existing multimedia features.
* Mergers: Grant Thorton UK has acquired UK e-discovery provider Legal Inc.
* Trends: The Stored IQ Blog has posted its second entry on e-discovery trends, which talks about the ever-exciting world of records and information management. Their first post on information management can be found here.
Quick Disclosure: As I mentioned last week, I am a member of MyLegal.com’s advisory board. That said, I was paid an undisclosed amount in cash coupled with some hookers and blow nothing to post the blurb above about their conference.
Gabe Acevedo is an attorney in Washington, D.C. and the owner of the e-discovery blog, Gabe’s Guide to the e-Discovery Universe. He also writes on legal technology and discovery issues for Above The Law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.