November 20, 2003

Highlights from the WI Law & Technology Conference

I had the privilege and pleasure of presenting at the annual Wisconsin Law & Technology Conference & Expo in Milwaukee this week. As I've participated in each of the last three years' shows, this was the best one yet as it just gets better every year. It was very well attended, and featured national speakers such as Kingsley Martin, Craig Ball, Donna Payne, Dale Tincher, David Whelan, Sheryn Bruehl, Ross Kodner, and a host of great talent from across the state.

My presentation was on mobile lawyering, and it was satisfying to see a large number of WI attorneys looking to improve their mobile capabilities to serve their clients better as well as make things easier and more efficient for themselves. This is a favorite topic for me, and it was fun to present with David Whelan from the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center, who was full of great tips and tricks, being another mobile gadget hound.

Kingsley Martin gave a thought-provoking luncheon keynote about KM and the "skeptic's toolbox", which are methods for quantifying leverage and return on investment. He is one of the few people I know who can take complex mathematical formulas, break them down, and explain them in byte-sized chunks for lawyers to understand. If you ever get a chance to see Kingsley speak, run, don't walk to see him.

Lastly, as a fellow lawyer once said to me, "in a perverse desire to increase my anxiety level", I attended Craig Ball's and Donna Payne's session on "Computer Forensics For Lawyers". Craig was as entertaining and educational as ever, and Donna showed us some very scary aspects of metadata that shocked even the Microsoft folks when she had showed them (which is another scary thought in of itself). Suffice it to say, lawyers and businesses working with common business software (MS Office, WordPerfect, Adobe Acrobat, etc.) need to have very good metadata cleaner tools and need to know exactly which features in Word to turn on and more importantly, off. This is one of those sessions that could have been called "Computer Forensics: Scared Straight for Lawyers".

All in all, it was a well-planned and executed conference, and if you're in the area, I strongly encourage you to attend next year's show.

Topic(s):   Legal Technology
Posted by Jeff Beard