As has been widely reported, it’s no secret that the number of actual jury trials have declined precipitously in recent years. Too much risk. Discovery costs–particularly those associated with electronic discovery–have made the pretrial process simply too expensive. And there is a reluctance by some to trust juries with what they believe are complicated issues. The result: more cases are settled, typically in mediation.

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Last week, I talked about why social media for lawyers is essential. In this post, I want to talk about the practical: what has worked for me in using social media to develop business.

How to Use Social Media

When you use social media, you are creating an image of who you are as a person and your brand. First and foremost, that image must be authentic and consistent with who you are as a person. Then, what you do on social media must be compatible with that image.


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There’s been much hype over the last couple of years about blockchain, what it might do in terms of simplifying and documenting transactions and digital information and how it may affect lawyers and what they do. While it’s admittedly hard for many to get their heads around how the blockchain works, there has been gradual acceptance among businesses of its value.

Lawyers, on the other hand, have by and large looked askew at the whole concept of blockchain and how it may impact how they do their work and, for that matter, the kind of work they may be doing in the future. For most lawyers, the blockchain has been mostly noise.


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“The Best Innovation Tool is Continuous Learning”

Dennis Kennedy recently published a new book entitled Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations.  In essence, it’s a primer and “how-to” on innovation in law and generally.

Kennedy is well known as an astute legal commentator and thinker. Perhaps that’s because he has worn so many hats during his career: in-house lawyer, technologist, author, and adjunct professor, to name a few. As he puts it, “innovation is a visible thread that runs through my career.” (By way of disclosure, I have known Dennis for several years and, like many others, turn to him often for advice and guidance. He never disappoints).
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Once upon a time,  red and white barber poles were used to identify barbers who also practiced  medicine on the side, since there was little money to be made from practicing medicine. The red and white barber pole had its origins in the old notion: “healing whatever ails you”; the red color actually represented blood shed during bloodletting.

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Earlier this month, the 2019 LexisNexis CounselLink Enterprise Legal Management Trend Report was released. This is the 7th year the Report, which looks at data from invoices of over $33 billion in legal spending processed through the CounselLink platform, was compiled and issued.

CounselLink is a cloud based legal management platform that provides work management, financial management, vendor management, and legal holds solutions for corporate legal departments. It offers analytics and benchmarking tools for evaluating invoices and fees.
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Technology can solve many practical problems we face as lawyers if we only will think about the problem and apply technology in innovative ways. This was recently brought home to me in a serendipitous conversation with a lawyer and an expert.

For many years, I was a mass tort lawyer, often defending cases involving a single incident with multiple injuries, property damage and fatalities.  A catastrophic fire. A deadly building collapse. A massive explosion.

In most cases, the entities who end up being defendants in the resulting litigation rarely know of their involvement or potential involvement until months or even years after the event occurs. The practical result: those entities do not have the opportunity to have their experts inspect the scene and do a critical scene evaluation while the evidence is fresh and the least disturbed.
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The giant legal services provider, LexisNexis and Knowable, one of the leaders in enterprise contract intelligence, today announced that they have entered into an joint venture agreement. Knowable was spun off from Axiom Global Inc. in February 2019. Mark Harris and Alec Guettel, Axiom’s co-founders, will lead Knowable as CEO and CFO respectively.

Knowable provides machine-learning enabled contract data analytics and related contract intelligence solutions. Knowable’s products allow their corporate clients to peer deeply into the contract relationships and gain greater understandings of their business activities, risks, and values. Knowable essentially converts the massive amount of non-structured data in its clients’ contracts that are often in non searchable PDF format and which frequently contain arcane and non standardized prose. By converting this language into structured data, Knowable helps its clients understand the vast amount of information in their contracts, providing a global view of risks, obligations, entitlements and compliance. It can also enlighten exposures created by contracts as well as businesses opportunities, says Harris.


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Want to know what litigation analytic product to use?

Some 27 librarians tested 7 platforms of the most well litigation analytics providers to see which one was the best. They presented their findings at the American Association of Law Librarians (AALL) annual meeting this week in Washington D.C.

The platforms evaluated were those offered by Bloomberg Law, Docket Alarm, Docket Navigator, Lex Machina, Lexis Context, Monitor Suite and WestLaw Edge. The test panel consisted of law librarians who asked the platforms sixteen real world questions. The questions were the kind most legal professionals would expect litigation analytics would be able to answer, like how many times a certain lawyer had appeared before a certain judge or how many class action matters a firm had defended. The answers, of course, could only be derived from federal court data.

The short answers: these platforms do slightly different things and work in slightly different ways so there is no real winner. And the platforms work best when they are run by an experienced, well trained people who then manually review and analyze the results.
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This week I’m attending the Enterprise World Conference in Toronto put on by OpenText. OpenText is an Enterprise Information Management (EIM)  company that works with businesses of all sorts to manage digital information and then use that information to better achieve their goals. If that sounds broad, its because it is. OpenText has its hands in almost every industry.

OpenText recently made a big play to get into the LegalTech space and is trumpeting this entry at the Conference. OpenText’s legal section and programs have been mentioned prominently in the company keynotes and educational sessions and it has devoted significant space on the exhibit floor to its legal related products.


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