Sunday, February 26, 2017

Practice Innovations: Passwords are Dead; Pens are Alive; Big Data & Big Foot, Virtual Reality, Security and Cloud Choices


The latest issue of Practice Innovations  was the "technology" issue. Each article probes a specific  technological pain point known to every law firm.

Here are the articles from the current issue:

Too Much Computer Security? A request for Better Customer Relations by Conrad Jacoby, efficientEDO

Too Many Passwords by Bobby Kuzma, Systems Engineer, Security Technologies

Big Law Big Data & Big Foot by Jeffery Brandt, Brandt Professional Services

The Pen is Dead Long Live the Pen by Don Philmee, Consultant

Is Virtual Reality Finally  Ready for Business Use? by Joseph Raczinski, Manager Technical Client Management, Thomson Reuters

Cloud Choices Mature: What Works for the New Legal Business Model by Keith Lipman, President Prosperoware.

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Politics Aside: MLex Offering Straight News Coverage of Brexit and Trump‘s White House.


In the past year MLex has launched two “hot topic” newsletters: Brexit Market Insight and White House Watch which are positioned at the vortex of regulatory uncertainty and designed to helplawyers and corporate leaders mitigate regulatory risk. I interviewed    MLex’s founder and CEO Robert McLeod and reported on the evolution of the MLex service and its unique approach covering the global landscape of regulatory risk in an earlier post.
 


 The UK’s referendum to exit from the European Union and the election of Donald Trump were both surprising election outcomes that have roiled the normally somnolent world of regulatory reporting.

Brexit Market Insight
Four months before the majority of British voters approved a referendum to exit from the EU, Robert McLeod, began planning a newsletter devoted to “Brexit.” Brexit is shorthand for British Exit. In a recent interview McLeod recalled that on February 22, 2016  the Sunday Telegraph reported that Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London, journalist, provocateur had announced his support for Brexit. For the first time McLeod considered the possibility that the Brexit referendum could succeed. McLeod telephoned his co-Founder and Managing Editor, Duncan Lumsden to begin discussing the launch of a new product focused on the ramifications of Britain’s possible departure from the European Union.   The Brexit referendum would be just the first step in a long and uncertain process extending over several years. The UK will have to formally invoke “Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty” which will give Britain and the EU two years to agree to the terms of the split. Company executives are facing a prolonged period of uncertainty.

McLeod recognized that business executives and lawyers would be desperate of insights and guidance on a host of issues:  What would Brexit mean for their customers suppliers, competitors and for individual companies as they plan for the new regulatory environment? They began recruiting writers with special expertise in identifying the regulatory implications of Brexit for their bureaus in London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels. On June 23, 2016   Britons voted in favor of leaving the EU

The Brexit product which launched in mid- 2016 is updated three or four times a day. The digital newsletter has been profiling the key Brexit players.  McLeod recognized that business leaders need to understand who will be influencing and negotiating the new regulatory framework. What are their political beliefs? What are their economic beliefs? Where did they go to school? What speeches they have given? What positions they have taken?  According to McLeod there are 900 separate regulations that could possibly be renegotiated …everything from fisheries to footwear could be impacted. To date, Brexit Market Insights has been the fastest growing publication in the MLex portfolio.

 

White House Watch Free Until May

The day after Donald Trump won the US Presidency, McLeod began pulling resources from around MLex  to help him launch a news service to cover the regulatory upheaval promised by Donald Trump during his campaign.  McLeod is still recruiting journalists with specialized White House experience. Following the Brexit formula, they plan to focus of regulatory issues of interest to corporate leaders including, trade, tax, labor, environment and energy.  McLeod observed that President Trump has up-ended the traditional role of lobbyists and industry associations by engaging directly with company CEOs. MLex editors plans to profile all political appointees in order to better anticipate their regulatory agenda. They had already created profiles of judges on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee list. 

White House News Without the Politics. McLeod hopes to offer pure legal analysis without a political point of view. If he can pull that off – he will deserve a Pulitzer Prize – and perhaps a new category of Prize!

MLex has eyes and ears around the globe --with news bureaus in 20 major cities.  The White House Watch will continue to respond to the global interest in following the regulatory and legislative impact of the Trump administration. McLeod personally reads the coverage of the Trump administration in 5 major international newspapers and recognized that it is a challenge to sort out the truth. He believes that MLex could lead the market in offering White House news unblemished by hyperbole and partisan rhetoric.

 The White House Watch will be free until May. The newsletter can be filtered by regulatory issue in order to easily locate topics of interest. Lawyers can feel free to distribute stories to their clients.

REMINDER: Start/Stop Poll Closes Friday February 17th. Take the survey here.

MLex: Monitoring Regulatory Convergence and Litigation Risk



In July 2015 LexisNexis acquired MLex, a newsletter service specializing in international legal analysis of regulatory risk. In recent years MLex has cracked the US market as a “must read” for antitrust lawyers. MLex editors employ an investigative approach combined with in-depth forensic examination of issues by reporters, lawyers and industry experts located in 15 bureaus around the world. In the last eight months they have launched two new products emerging from vortexes of regulatory uncertainty: Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. These two newsletters will be examined in part two of this post.

The market for specialty news.

I recently interviewed MLex founder and CEO, Robert McLeod. MLex has ridden a wave of demand for deep specialized news. McLeod discussed MLex’s rise in the context of recent dislocations in the news industry. The Pew Center has documented the decline of the traditional newspapers.

 McLeod witnessed the transformation from inside the traditional news industry where he has deep roots as a professional journalist. He started as writer with Bloomberg in 1993 when Bloomberg had only 17 reporters in Europe. McLeod focused on antitrust and merger control in Paris, covered energy and investment banking in London and was promoted to bureau chief in Belgium. McLeod traces his idea for MLex back to 2004. As Internet browsers began eroding the market share of traditional newspapers, the owners of news outlets responded by cutting the most highly compensated reporters – the ones who covered the most complex regulatory and business issues. Newspapers began seeking business and regulatory content from news agencies like Bloomberg and Reuters. There was one catch. Newspaper editors wanted  “copy” but they wanted “watered down” versions for general news readers. McLeod recognized that there was still a market for very sophisticated business coverage or as he likes to say …“smart copy.”

Since broadband has leveled the playing field. Startups like MLex had a unique opportunity to complete with big news organizations. McLeod left Bloomberg in 2005 to launch MLex.

MLex – “11 Years to Overnight Success” 

McLeod filed his first MLex story on July 7, 2005. He recalls celebrating when the first reader clicked on the story. He watched the traffic grow steadily. He found four US law firms who agreed to subscribe for the first year.   MLex was not an easy sell.  Forty five firms said they were not interested… they already had a source for all the antitrust news they needed.  McLeod was confident that he could deliver a product that provided deeper analysis and more compelling content than his competitors.

Over the past decade MLex has branched out into coverage of: financial services, anti-bribery, compliance, data privacy, globalization and convergence of regulatory risk. McLeod offered an outline which highlights the acceleration of global regulation. 

McLeod’s Outline of Regulatory Acceleration:

  • ·         It took 120 Years for antitrust regulation to spread around the world from US.
  • ·         It took 40 years for anti bribery to spread around the world from the US.
  • ·         It took only 12 years for data privacy and security regulation to go global.

McLeod expects the next big regulatory issue to go global in less than 10 years. All of these regulations expose companies to serious risks running the gamut from huge fines to jail time for executives. Many of the regulatory regimes are converging and companies which are exposed on one issue may discover risk exposure on other issues. This convergence will increase the risk of litigation. According to McLeod  “Companies which operate multiple jurisdictions have to update their compliance materials every three months.  The job of the global GC is to keep the CEO out of prison.”

Today MLex has 85 reporters in 15 bureaus located in key political and financial centers around the globe including Washington DC, New York, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Jakarta and Geneva. Subscribers represent more than 800 law firms and corporations around the globe.

New Issues in the Pipeline.
McLeod anticipates that tax and intellectual property will be next areas to experience a surge in global regulation.

McLeod also sees opportunity arising from being part of LexisNexis. LexisNexis has a deeper bench of technologists and programmers who can help them add enhancements to the product. McLeod would like to see new visualization features such as regulatory "heatmaps." They plan to offer lawyers the ability develop custom newsletters on discrete issues that will automatically update.  One use case would be shareable pages on specific issues related to a deal.

While library budgets remain tight, specialty news sources for practice groups remain one of the few areas where spending is increasing. Specialty news addresses every lawyers need to feel smarter than their client,  while also responding to every GC's demand that outside counsel follow the business issues facing their industry. Specialty newsletters like MLex are positioned in a market sweet spot where they can simultaneously reduce information anxiety and enhance opportunity.

Up Next: Part Two-- MLex Tackles Brexit and The Trump White House

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Last Call Take The Start/Stop Survey - Share Your Wisdom With Your Colleagues

The fourth annual Start/Stop survey of products and projects will be closing on Friday February 17th.
Share your wisdom with your colleagues by taking the survey HERE
  
You the readers have provided the insights and trends which have made the "Start Stop Survey" one of the most popular blog posts of each year. . Here are links to the  2013 , 2014 and 2015  product  and process  results.
 
Let the cheers and raspberries roar. Share your insights into the hope and the hype of legal information and legal technology market. Did your firm hire a "robot lawyer"? Did your team develop an in-house app? Are you driving analytics into the practice of law?

 We routinely assess new products, new processes, new roles,  new organizational options, new expectations.  Let's help each other decide what's worth doing. Let's leap boldly into the future together. Share your insights. What were your victories, false starts or  plain old bad choices. Share your hot tips,  short cuts,  projects and best practices.

Make Room For Value. The speed with which old processes and assumptions become obsolete is accelerating. We can only deliver more value by eliminating or streamlining the routine, the redundant and the unexamined. 
Invest in the Future. Since law firm budgets remain flat, the best  way find the budget for innovative new products, is to eliminate redundant products and low value products.

The Wisdom of Colleagues. In the spirit of collecting the wisdom of colleagues please let us know what processes and projects you  started or stopped in 2016 or will start or stop in 2017. Which products  will be tossed and what have you selected as the "must have" new product for 2017?
Anonymity Results will be aggregated and there will be no attribution to any individual person or organization without the express written consent of the respondent.
The Poll: Please take the brief 9 question survey here.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Legal Pros: Digital Curators,Connectors, Change Agents and Innovators Panel


Steve Martin, Jean O'Grady, Scott Baily, Greg Lambert
 
On February 1st, the first panel of the new Legal Pros track at Legal Week--  New Ways for Law Librarians & Knowledge Managers to Become Indispensable brought in a standing room only crowd.

Steve Martin, a Principle and head of legal design practice at Gensler provided an overview of the transformation of law firm libraries from rooms full of stacks into innovation and collaborarion hubs. A Gensler survey of library users had identified new roles for information professionals. At the top of the list was digital curator, change agent, connector and innovator. All of these issues emerged throughout the panel discussion.

From this framework -- I joined my co-panelists, Scott Bailey, Global Director Research Services, Squire Patton Boggs  and Greg Lambert, President-Elect, AALL, Chief Knowledge Services Officer, Jackson Walker in a discussion about the challenges  and opportunities facting information professionals in  21st century law firms.

I highlighted the importance of business skills including budget analysis, scenario planning and analytics for knowledge services leaders. Since lawyers are not always open to innovation-- there are times when it makes more sense to act first and get permission later--  acting when   a unique opportunity presents itself.

Scott Baily highlighted the importance of outreach and  deep engagement with practice groups to identify knowledge gaps where information professionals can create new solutions. New opportunities can arise from embedding researchers in practice groups where they can advise on the development of new workflow best practices.

Greg Lambert focused on interdepartmental collaboration opportunities. Most administrative functions have knowledge needs and information professionals can help develop workflow solutions .There are also opportunities to assume responsibility for a wide portfolio of knowledge related serviced including, conflicts, pricing, business development, competitive intelligence, intranet management, and client portal development.

We all agreed that lawyers simply can't keep up with all of the changes in knowledge products and technologies and that  the role of the information "connector" has never been more important. Information professionals will play and important role in assessing and deploying emerging Augmented Intelligence, analytics and workflow enhancement products.


It was clear from the audience questions that not every law firm and corporate legal department has invested in hiring strategic knowledge leaders - so the panel provided a great platform for educating the wider legal community on the transformative roles information professionals can play in giving lawyers an information edge.






 

 

 

1)    New efficiencies within the department

·        JOG - What skill do you wish you had learned before you became a Knowledge Services Leader/ Library Director?

·        SB-Many studies regarding innovation have suggested that the way to create indispensable services is to be inventive and develop something new. How has your firm effectively recognized (or not recognized) your attempts at innovation? Is failure an essential part of the process?
 
 ·         SB-What innovative services does your department offer that expand your value and insight and impact?

·        JOG - Have you ever gone out on a limb to introduce innovation (opting for  forgiveness rather than permission)?

 

2)    Unique partnerships within firm and outside

·        GL - What non-traditional opportunities are available within the firm to the leaders of Knowledge Services?

·        SB-What are the points of resistance toward establishing an effective internal awareness campaign of what you and your team can do?

·        JOG - What have been your most successful alliances/collaborations to initiate change?

 

3)    Effectiveness of information services

·        GL - How are you leveraging the technologies your firm already possesses in new ways that expand the role of KM or Libraries?

·          JOG - What new technologies are you watching closely with an eye future innovative opportunities?

 

 

 

 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Legal Tech's Legal Week Sessions For KM, Law Library and Information Professionals

American Lawyer Media's Legal Week kicks off January 31st - February 2nd at the New York Hilton Mid-Town. In keeping with the Legal Week mission of providing programming more legal communities, they have added a track for Legal Pros which focuses on topics of interest to law librarians and legal
information professionals.

I will be speaking on the panel which kicks off the two day Legal Pro track.  The session, New ways for Law Librarians and Knowledge Managers to Become Indispensable also includes, Scott Baily, Global Director of Research at Squire Patton Boggs and Greg Lambert, CKO, Jackson Walker LLP. The panel will be moderated by Steve Marin, Principal, Gensler.

Other Programs include Business Intelligence & Analytics Tools for Legal Pros with a who's who of legal tech start-ups. Josh Becker, CEO Lex Machina, Daniel Lewis, CEO of Ravel Law, Phil Rosenthal. President, Fastcase,Inc. and Michael Sander. Founder, Docket Alarm, Inc. Tools of the Trade: Negotiation Skills featuring Natalia Berdzeni. Exec. VP Chase Cost Management, Robyn Rebollo, VP, Chase Cost Management. Doing More With Less: Coping with Staff Reductions and M&As, Kimberly Council, Reference Librarian, Sullivan & Cromwell.  Marketing and Promoting Knowledge Management and the Law Library. Christine George, Faculty & Scholarly Services Librarian, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.   Working With Vendors: Software and Soft Skills. Ifeoma Anekwe. VP, Project Manager, Legal Discovery Management, JP Morgan Chase & Co.,  Moderator: Mark Schwartz, Director Content Management, Law Library Management Inc.

Program information and registration here.


Castext Offers Civil Rights Lawyers Free Access to Their Premium Tools Including CARA

I just received the message below from  Jake Heller, CEO of  Casetext.   Casetext is  now offering free access to their premium tools to any lawyer involved in civil rights litigation.


 Casetext offers access to caselaw and crowdsourced annotations. I had previously reviewed CARA in a post "Citation Fingerprints, Celestial Footnotes and Opinion Sourcing : Casetext Launches CARA."

The key features of CARA are:
  • Suggested Cases – identifies cases not included in your document, which should be reviewed for relevance before finalizing a brief.  A concise summary includes a citation and the case holding derived from judicial “explanatory parentheticals.” There is a direct link to the full text of the opinion on Casetext. If a lawyer is analyzing an opponen’ts brief – this feature could identify vulnerabilities.
  •  Most Cited Passage- identifies the most cited text from other opinions.
  • Insights provides links related law firm memos discussing the case. 

Dear Jean
The courts will soon set important and long-lasting precedents defining crucial rights and liberties.  I believe that Casetext's missions of making the law freely accessible, and getting the best tools in the hands of the best lawyers, are going to be critical in these cases.
This is why Casetext is offering free access to our full suite of premium tools, including CARA, for litigators fighting for civil rights and civil liberties.  If you are an attorney working on a civil rights case, request free access here.  
If you are fighting to defend our rights, our liberties, and the Constitution, we hope CARA helps you in your litigation. You can learn more about how CARA empowers litigators here.
Thank you,
Jake Heller
CEO & Founder


I asked Casetext CEO, Jake Heller to explain provide some further insights into today's announcement. Here is Heller's response: "This is an important time for the legal profession. We at Casetext believe ALL clients deserve the best representation, and that includes access to the best information and the best research tools. Most of our customers are of course in private practice — from the largest law firms to solo practitioners — but we want to give extended access to public interest lawyers as an acknowledgment of the fundamental issues before the courts today and in the coming months."

P.S. If you are interested in CARA but not a civil rights litigator, you can sign up for a free trial here or respond to this email for more information.