Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.
Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at email@example.com.
Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally,
to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at email@example.com.
About this blog
Between Lawyers provides just-in-time group commentary on the issues
raised when technology, culture and the law intersect. We take you
behind the firewalls and conference room doors to show you how
experienced lawyers deal with these issues and help you prepare for
the new challenges we all face. For more, see our introductory post.
As Tom Mighell says, "knowing the right questions to ask in an electronic discovery deposition is crucial, and I'd wager most lawyers haven't had the opportunity to ask many questions along those lines."
Denise Howell's notes from her recent talk called "Law That Works" will one day be seen as one of the important theoretical steps toward what will become Law 2.0.
The reinvented law of reinvented TV is built — route-around by route-around — on the damage of things like byzantine music licensing rules, nonexistent Hollywood film licensing alternatives, antiquated procedural niceties, and the inability of our undeniably glorious (when compared with other alternatives) legal system to deliver certainty on a host of business-critical and livelihood-critical issues.
The Open Culture blog has amazing lists of and links to educational podcasts, such as this useful list of links to podcasts from top U.S. law schools. It's nice to see my law school alma mater, Georgetown, among the leaders in these efforts as well as Georgetown returning to historic basketball form in the NCAA tournament.
Between Lawyers' own 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)
Blog carnivals are an interesting blog phenomenon, with a long history. Dave Winer has referred to a blog as "the unedited voice of a person," and blog carnivals turn that notion on its head, being "voices of many different people in many different places." However, that's what makes the blogosphere so rich - there are so many ways to create compelling blogs and blog content. In that respect, it's even more amazing to keep a blog carnival going for 100 editions (and even more in the case of some blog carnivals), especially as blog search tools improve and people increasingly consume information through RSS feeds and newsreaders rather than individually visiting blogs.
This is an opportunity for the blawgosphere to assume a leadership position. It can be more than a compendium of firm brochures. Practitioner blogs can provide cool-headed legal analysis of issues such as the Niger Documents, Plame Affair, Torture Memos, NSA issues and Signing Statements, to a broader audience than the prof blogs can reach.
Is it a poison for a practitioner to discuss politics? Partisan politics, yes.
However I don't see a downside in arguing for equal application of and respect for the law. That may even be one of those civic duties they may have mentioned at the bar admission ceremony.
I would hope that there is a centrist bloc of practitioner bloggers who simply want the truth to come out. Jack Nicholson is wrong, we can handle the truth.
So let's continually ask whether our Government is acting lawfully.
Legal marketing guru Burkey Belser takes a few stabs at the recent New York and Florida efforts to restrict legal advertising and communications in his post "Rotten to the Core." I agree with his assessment that the law of unintended consequences will apply many times over with these rules and the risks of arbitrary enforcement are quite high.
The money quote:
One wonders if federal regulation of legal marketing will ever overtake the state-by-state model currently saddling the profession. So many firms have so many offices across so many state lines that the old regulatory model hardly makes sense anymore.
There's good practical advice in the post and a helpful chart you can download.
Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy provide a great list of resources for learning more about Word's Track Changes feature and redlining in their article, "Staying on Track with Track Changes," in the March issue of the ABA's Law Practice Today webzine.
Internet radio is a canary in the coal mine of an insane Net-hostile Regulatorium that stretches from the cableco/telco duopoly to the copyright oligarchs who are strangling what Professor Lessig calls Free Culture. That Regulatorium should be the enemy of every free-market Republican and every free-speech Democrat. It's slowing down the U.S. and its businesses as competitors in the World Wide Marketplace we call the Net.
Will this decision to execute the Internet radio canary motivate us to do what we should have been doing more of for the past ten years? That's up to you and me.