“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).
Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.
Continue Reading

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.
Continue Reading

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.


Continue Reading

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.
Continue Reading

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.


Continue Reading


Greg Lambert, Chief Knowledge Service Officer at Jackson Walker and well-known blogger at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, recently authored a post entitled The Ethics of It All. In it he talked about another article by Fast Company’s Gwen Moran entitled, Is It Unethical to Not Tell My Employer I’ve Automated My Job?. Moran offers the hypothetical of a worker who figures out how to automate a 40 hour a week job into 2 hours and then wonders whether she should tell her the employer knowing that it could cause her to lose her job. Lambert raises a similar ethical question for the legal profession, particularly for those who charge by the hour versus results.
Continue Reading


Lots of talk these days for the need for lawyers to be emphatic. To work on practicing empathy. To be more emphatic toward others. Usually, this is couched in terms of being able to better serve and relate to clients, and their needs and concerns, all of which is true enough. But there’s another more practical side to empathy for lawyers that’s also pretty valuable.

I stumbled upon this recently when a good friend said to me, “not sure how you were so successful as a lawyer, you’re such a nice guy.” (She was a little less direct than that, but I got the thrust). Ignoring for the moment that the idea that being a good/successful lawyer requires you to be an asshole, her comment did get me thinking about why I was so successful for so long while still being thought of as a reasonably nice person (well, at least by most).
Continue Reading

Sometime ago, I wondered whether and to what extent plaintiffs’ lawyers, most of whom work on a contingency basis as opposed to by the hour, were adopting technology. After all, it would make sense that any technology that would reduce time spent on a task should be appealing to those who use a business model with which the less time you spend on a project, the more you make.

It has since occurred to me that litigation data analytics would be particularly appealing to contingency fee lawyers since it would enable them to better assess exposure and likely results and the time needed to get to an end resolution. I have written before about the power of these kinds of analytics.
Continue Reading