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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

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

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

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
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September 18, 2007

Calling All Legal Tech MacGyvers - A Mini-contest

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

I'm planning to write an article about what I'm calling "MacGyver" technology tricks. I'm assuming that you are familiar with the MacGyver concept (or you can wikipedia it).

As an example, consider using a digital camera or cameraphone as a document scanner in a pinch (or sending a document as a fax to a nearby fax machine when you aren't able to print it any other way).

I'm looking for some good examples and wanted to get a little help from the readers of this blog.

Remember, the idea is not something like using the top of your laptop as a cutting board, but ways to use software and hardware in unexpected, but logical and useful ways, in a pinch when you don't have the normal tools available. Another example: using a video iPod to run your PowerPoint presentation when your laptop won't work with the projector. I'm also looking for something that the average lawyer would be able to do with gadgets, hardware and software (or Internet apps) readily at hand for most lawyers.

However, I'm not looking for examples like this one, because it requires that you have a specific device available.

You get the idea.

Let me know your best ideas by leaving a comment to this post or joining the Between Lawyers Facebook Group and leaving your recommendations as a response to the discussion thread there.

On an unrelated note, be sure to take a look at a great roundtable article on legal podcasts and lawyer podcasting in the latest issue of the ABA's Law Practice Today webzine, with Denis Howell, Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy among the participants.

Comments (5) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL on Tour | Legal Technology


1. Li on September 19, 2007 4:57 AM writes...

You may want to look at the new generation of scanners, complementing such MFP aimed at increasing the personal productivity of individual knowledge is the integrated color document scanner built in a PC keyboard For example: KeyScan KS810 takes up effectively zero desk space, compared to any other desktop scanner. In reality the KS810 is more than just a gadget, it could lend itself to serious business applications in, for instance, retail banking customer service. By using 'hot-key' buttons on the keyboard or default "No Touch" Scan, Copy, Email and Fax applications are activated

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2. Anonymous on September 23, 2007 3:24 PM writes...

Sometimes plain old brainpower is the best technology out there.

Years ago, a client presented me with a case that required the immediate filing of a document in a remote county on just-in-time notice. The filing fee for the document was $15 in some places, $20 in others (the statutory filing fee was $15, but an affidavit of service also had to be filed for a $5 cost, and some clerks collected this upfront.)

I'd sent everything to a title company to ensure no problems with missing or delayed documents, including my perfectly good $20 check. The morning of deadline day, the call comes: they're rejecting the filing. Nothing missing, nothing wrong, but the check was five dollars too much.

No, they won't make change.

No, the title company wouldn't advance the freakin fifteen bucks on my behalf.

Somewhere in the white smoke produced by my ears, though, came an idea.

"How much do they charge for copies?"

::pause to check that out:: "Um, 50 cents a page."

"Fine," I replied. "Make me ten copies and my check will balance."

Even at this stage, she sounded confused. "Ten copies of WHAT?!?"

"Of the document itself. Of their schedule of fees. Hell, have the county clerk put his ass on the glass and I'll take ten of THAT. I. Don't. CARE! as long as you get my document filed.

Several days later, a time-stamped copy, a receipt for 20 bucks, and ten unstamped copies (chickens) showed up in my mail. As we now say, "For the win."

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3. mark on October 16, 2007 3:33 PM writes...

I use, or cybersecretaries, to record a client who need to ok a document, settlement, or other item, and that client is not near a FAX, email or mail takes too long....

I call client, put him on hold, bring in 1800youdictate, get the transcription rolling, go over what is needed, and then bang, an email with the typed transcript AND the tape comes into the inbox as a WAV file.

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4. Nicholas Kaizer on December 5, 2007 9:44 AM writes...

Contact information:
Nicholas G. Kaizer
Vice President - North Law Publishers, Inc.
tel: 212-737-0400
fax: 212-396-4152


North Law Publishers, Inc. Announces the Launch of the Washington, D.C. Judicial Ratings Website,

New Site Modeled Upon its Highly Popular Federal Judicial-Rating Portal

New York, NY – November 1, 2007 -- After the launch last year of, a highly successful, online portal that allows lawyers and other members of the legal community to rate Federal judges, North Law Publishers, Inc. has unveiled the Washington, D.C. version of this popular site. The, with more than 8,000 critiques of Federal judges posted to date, has gained prominence as the fastest growing judicial-rating website in the country. The Washington, D.C. version of The Robing Room will provide the same intelligence to those who use the State courts as the Federal site provides to Federal court users.

“After launching the Federal site, we were inundated with e-mails to launch State sites,” commented Nicholas G. Kaizer, vice president of North Law Publishers. “This is the first of 50 State sites that we will be developing over the coming months. We also are in discussion to develop several international judge-rating sites as well. These portals will become invaluable resources of information for attorneys and other members of the legal community at large.”

User-friendly interfaces allow visitors to rate judges based on set criteria, and to submit an in-depth commentary so that others researching a judge for an upcoming case can see the rationale behind the ratings and prepare themselves accordingly. The identity of the rater remains completely anonymous. “The quality and integrity of the comments posted reflect the legal community’s acknowledgement that a resource of this caliber is needed and highly appreciated,” asserted Mr. Kaizer. “We are thrilled at the amount of interest generated thus far and are excited to be expanding our efforts to the State level.”

The sites are free to use and will, in the very near future, offer members of the legal community an online platform to advertise their services for a nominal monthly fee. “Advertisers will be able to target their promotions on a national, state or local level, reaching the specific audiences that will best support their businesses and build their brand,” noted Mr. Kaizer. “Legal service providers, in particular, will find advertising on these sites of great value because of the high level of traffic and the ability to custom tailor their outreach to the target markets that will generate the greatest return on investment.”

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5. kawsar9999 on December 6, 2011 1:23 PM writes...

When drugs are legalized, criminals will turn to other means of crime for making money.
Cartels in Mexico make their money not just on drugs. Extortion, kidnapping, counterfeiting, corruption,
and exports of drugs to forein coyntries go hand in hand with the drug trade. Legalizing drugs would cause
criminals to expand those alternative routes of income to make up for the loss of drug sales.
san diego criminal defense lawyer

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