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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One of my favorite academic LegalTech/innovation thought leaders is Dan Linna. Dan was a practicing litigator for several years before moving over to the academic side and is now with the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago. Dan brings good humor to every issue and never tires of pushing the needle when it comes to legal tech. He’s also very attuned to what’s going on in the marketplace. To paraphrase an old commercial: When Dan Linna talks, everyone should listen.
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A couple of years ago, I decided to go bare ass screenless for one day a week in efforts to get away from social media, emails, text message and visual noise pollution.

I thought about my decision and its impact recently as I was listening to Nicole Abboud’s podcast episode about her 30-day detox (as she calls it) from social media. I’m a big fan of Abboud’s Gen Y Lawyer Podcast even though I’m a bit removed from Gen Y at least chronologically. Abboud’s podcasts are always thought-provoking and stimulating no matter your age or status in life.
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Wilson Sonsini and its new tech ancillary business, SixFifty, may be ushering in a new wave for providing legal services and law firm marketing. The combination promises to provide automated legal services for more commodity type services under the Wilson Sonsini brand in hopes that it will generate more lucrative business for Wilson Sonsini later.

Background

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Thomson Reuters today announced a new legal workflow solution that it claims will enable firms to better plan, manage and execute legal matters with enhanced data and data analytics. A cloud-based system, Thomson Reuters PanoramicTM is built on TR’s Practical Law’s legal guidance platform and its 3E financial management system to better connect the front office of a law firm—where the legal work is handled—to the back office—where law firm financials are monitored and analyzed.

TR says Panoramic is specifically directed toward large and mid sized firms although it’s primary beneficiaries in my opinion may turn out to be the more innovative mid size firms (the AmLaw firms in the 100-200 range) who lack the resources and systems of some of the very large firms. As I have previously noted, it is, in fact, these mid size firms that will be most under threat in today’s changing legal marketplace. But because of their generally reduced cost structures and overhead, some of these firms, those that choose to distinguish themselves in the market, also have a big upside potential. And tools like Panoramic, if vigorously adopted (which is an if, as discussed below), could enable this capitalization.
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Today was yet another big Apple Event to announce new products. This one was held interesting enough in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Academy of Music instead of in California which is where Apple typically holds it announcements. The show opened with a short video ironically extolling New York (“ I happen to like New York”) instead of Brooklyn; I assume Apple does know the difference. In any event, the video was pretty well made and definitely one of the cooler things Apple has done recently.

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I tell you, no prophet is accepted on his own land.

Assume: /ə-soom/ Verb. Making an ass out of you and me

Sometimes you find pearls right under your nose. You just miss seeing them because you make certain assumptions based on what you’ve heard or how you have been conditioned. This happened to me recently when I discovered there is a Kentucky law school on the cutting edge of teaching innovation, entrepreneurship and legal technology.
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I had a chance to catch up with Avaneesh Marwaha, CEO of Litera Microsystems earlier this week at LegalWeek18. Litera Microsystems is one of the larger document management service and technology providers with a range of products in this space. I first met Avaneesh at last year’s ILTA conference shortly after the Litera Microsystems merger which I wrote about in a piece for the Lawyerist. At that time, the CEO decision was up in the air although it seemed pretty obvious to me at least that Avaneesh was the likely choice.
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The Janus Issue

The Supreme Court is set to consider in late February in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees whether workers can be forced to pay union dues even when they don’t agree with the Union’s political activities or simply don’t want to. If the Court holds that these mandatory fees violate workers’ First Amendment rights, a large and perhaps unrepairable crack in the power dam held by state bar associations may be about to occur.
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