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Law Practice Technology Roundtable

The Law Practice Technology Roundtable met regularly between 1991 and 2003. We discussed how lawyers can use technology to enhance law practice, the impact of technology on the business of law, and cultural issues raised by the growing use of technology. About 100 people were invited and between 30 and 45 attended. Attendees included partners and senior knowledge or technology managers at large law firms; several senior in-house counsel also attended.

Ron Friedmann co-founded the Roundtable (with David R. Johnson and Jim Moore) because, in 1991, they felt that larger conferences (e.g., Legal Tech and the ABA Tech Show) did not provide a forum for earnest discussion among practicing lawyers. Many Roundtable attendees also attend or speak at LawNet, Legal Tech, or the ABA Tech Show.

The Roundtable does not have a corporate existence. Ron organizes the meetings, working with participants to formulate the agenda and nominate guest presenters. Ron takes care of mechanics such as sending invitation e-mail messages. Most Roundtable topics are presentations by or panels consisting of Roundtable members. We sometimes invite guests to present at and attend a single meeting. A participating firm or law department hosts each meeting. Each participant bears his or her own expenses.

The Roundtable has three ground rules. First, the content of all proceedings is off the record. This rule encourages a more frank and open discussion than is possible at larger conferences. There is no organized effort to record or circulate the proceedings. Second, invitations are personal to the recipient and attendance is limited to no more than two persons from any single organization (except the host). And third, any vendors or consultants who attend cannot “wear their vendor hat” at the meeting. We initially started with a “no vendor, no consultants” rule but modified this rule when several participants switched from law practice to vendor or consulting organizations.

Summary of Prior Agendas

  • 20th Meeting at Winston & Strawn in Chicago, April 22nd, 2003
    • Reprise from Prior Updates (Outsoucing DMS, Office of Project Management)
    • Guest Presentation by Deborah Galvin of Kraft – “Embedded Law Systems” – Contract Management at Kraft
    • Using Technology to Gain Competitive Advantage – John Alber, Bryan Cave
    • Participant Updates – Dealing with Spam, Legal Secretaries in the Future, Full-Text Retrieval Update
    • Litigation Support – Current Approaches and Issues (Adam Bendell and Neil Aresty)
    • Group Discussion on Electronic Records
    • Group Discussion on Disruptive Technologies (e.g., wireless, tables, P2)
  • 19th Meeting at Mintz Levin in Boston, May 1st, 2002
    • Participant Update – Highlights
    • Business Innovation and the “Innovator’s Dilemma” [Dr. Eric Mankin, guest presenter]
    • The Role of the Non-Practicing Lawyers in Knowledge Management
    • Extracting Knowledge and Expertise Automatically
    • CRM: Back-Office, Marketing, or Knowledge Management
  • 18th Meeting at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in NYC, May 3rd, 2001
    • Participant Update and Survey
    • Legal XML and Open Source: Update and Implications
    • The Role of Project Management in Law Practice and Management
    • Extranets I: Benefits and Issues
    • Extranets II: Using a Hosted Service
  • 17th Meeting at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, Washington, DC (May 23, 2000)
    • Participant Update and Survey – Part I
    • A Glimpse at New Power Tools (Instant Messaging and Wireless E-mail)
    • Document Management, Knowledge Management, and Extranets
    • Web Start-Ups in the Legal Market
  • 16th Meeting at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in Chicago (April 29, 1999)
    • Participant Update and Survey
    • Impact of Technology on Litigation and Litigation Management
    • Outsourcing and Technology Investments
  • 15th Meeting at Howrey & Simon in Washington, DC (May 7, 1998)
    • Participant Update and Survey
    • Developments in Practice Management
    • Mobile Computing and the Internet: Impact on Culture
    • Adapting to Change
    • Practical Legal Knowlege Systems
  • 14th Meeting at Nixon Hargrave Devans & Doyle in NYC (October 14, 1997)
    • Participant Update
    • Productizing Services (Brian Baum, E&Y Partner, presents on ERNIE)
    • Collaborative Computing
    • Emerging Internet Issues
  • 13th Meeting at at the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon, Va. Sponsored by McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe (April 29, 1997)
    • Participant Update
    • CIT and World Congress on Information Technology
    • Client Driven Collection and Re use of Work Product
    • The Future of Online Legal Research (Michael Wilens, West; Ron Staudt, Lexis; Joe Acton, Versuslaw)
    • Metrics and Best Practices — The DuPont Experience
    • Brief Report on Electronic Court Filing Project
  • 12th Meeting at McMillan Binch in Toronto (October 17th, 1996)
    • Participant Update
    • Knowledge Re-Use A Cross-Profession View (Roger Ferguson, McKinsey partner)
    • Putting Task-Based Billing to Use
    • Intranets and Emerging Internet Applications
  • 11th Meeting at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, DC (April 25, 1996)
    • Measuring the Benefits of Technology — Why It Fails or Succeeds
    • Managing Professional Knowledge Cross Profession View (Don Oppenheimer, CIO and partner, Mercer Management)
    • Legal Publishing Shakeout
    • Five Years Later A Reprise and Look to the Future
  • 10th Meeting at Kraft Food, Inc. in Northfield, Il. (October 31, 1995)
    • The Lawyer’s Desktop
    • Unbundling Legal Services and Technology
    • Groupware
    • In-House Counsel Panel
    • Panelists
  • 9th Meeting at Hogan & Hartson in Washington, DC (April 25, 1995)
    • Law Firms in Cyberspace: The World Wide Web
    • Work Product Databases, Part I
    • Work Product Databases, Part II
    • The Legal Research Network (Dov Seidman)
  • 8th Meeting at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in NYC (November 3, 1994)
    • Technology, Marketing, and Service Delivery I: Delivering Advice on Disk
    • Technology, Marketing, and Service Delivery II: Are Associates Obsolete?
    • The Australian Scene:
    • Participant Update
    • Technology Arsenal: What Should Be in It?
  • 7th Meeting, with NCAIR Trustees, in Washington, DC (May 12, 1994) (agenda not available in digital format)
  • 6th Meeting at Davis Polk & Wardwell in NYC (October 25, 1993)
    • Participant Update
    • Re-Engineering the Practice of Law
    • In-House Perspectives
    • Video Depositions and Video Conferencing:
    • Participant suggestions for Brent Israelson, now of Jurisoft
    • How to Get Lawyers to Use the Technology
    • Panelists
  • 5th Meeting at Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, DC, (May 4, 1993)
    • Electronic Trial Notebook
    • Substantive Practice Systems
    • Document Assembly and Electroinic Reference Tools
    • Imaging in Litigation
    • Impact of E-mail on the Legal Profession
    • Staffing Implications of Technology
  • 4th Meeting at Motorola Center in Schaumburg, Il. (October 28, 1992)
    • Demonstration and discussion of a new system to share legal expertise (Counsel Connect)
    • Demonstration and discussion of expert systems
    • Incentives for lawyers to invest in using technology to improve effectiveness and share expertise
    • Managing information in litigation: the role of imaging and optical character recognition
  • 3rd Meeting at Shearman & Sterling in NYC (May 14, 1992)
    • Participant Update
    • The Citibank Litigation Tracking System
    • Automation Approaches Used by Prudential’s Law Department
    • Automation Approaches Used by GE’s Law Department
    • What the Spread of Technology Means for Law Department and Law Firm Relationships
  • 2nd Meeting at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt in Toronto (November 7, 1991) (agenda not available in digital format)
  • 1st Meeting at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering in Washington, DC (April 26, 1991) (agenda not available in digital format)