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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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last week, the legal tech community was rocked to learn that the lawyer rating service, Avvo, had been acquired by something called Internet Brands. Internet Brands is in turn owned by the private investment powerhouse KKR.

Avvo has always been a lightning rod
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“They can’t take it from me, if they try, I lived though those early days.

Early Days by Paul McCartney

I constantly marvel at the technology we have today. I am a tech and innovation evangelist. I believe the delivery of legal services can and will be improved and disrupted. I can’t wait.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes reflect back to the way things were when I first began as a lawyer. Some things were worse. Some things were better. Some were just, well, different. And I wonder how much the technological tools we have and the innovation that’s out there have truly created the positive changes of which they are capable
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Much has been written about the ethical duties of a lawyer regarding technology, a duty found in Rule 1.1 (competence), Rule 1.6 (confidentiality), Rule 1.5 (ethical billing) and Rules 5.1 and 5.3 (supervisory responsibilities). These rules and their nuances should in and of themselves be enough for lawyers to be as inquisitive and knowledgeable about tech as they are the substantive law.

But forgetting these for a moment and that technology can generally make us more efficient, there are also some 6 very sound practical reasons lawyers should be familiar with and welcome technology and, as expressed in Comment 8, know of its benefits and risks.
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This week, the International Legal Technology Association or ILTA as its commonly known, released the results of its annual technology survey. ILTA refers to itself as a peer to peer networking organization for those in the legal tech field. Unlike the ABA Tech Survey which also recently came out, ILTA survey respondents tend to be from larger firms and are people who work in the legal tech field as opposed to practicing lawyers.

So, what are the takeaways? On a quick review, 5 things stood out:
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