It’s a new year in legal technology, and the visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads quickly give way to visions of LegalTech 2009. After all, who can help but dream about another opportunity to brave the icy streets of New York City in February? Fond memories of attempting to wolf down a stale croissant and cold cup of coffee while jostling for an uptown cab outside the New York Hilton can set even the most jaded litigation support manager’s heart aflutter.
The weather and the Manhattan traffic may remain the same, but, as we’re all painfully aware, this year’s show takes place in the context of a dramatic global recession that is having a huge impact on the legal industry’s use of technology, particularly electronic discovery. It’s in challenging times that innovation often thrives the most, so this year’s LegalTech may actually yield a surprising number of new ideas and technologies.
Innovation aside, this year’s LegalTech will likely have a bit of a different “look and feel” from last year:
|LegalTech 2008||LegalTech 2009|
|Dining hot spot||Le Cirque||Le Hot Dog Cart|
|Evening activity||Attending swanky club parties hosted by eager and generous vendors||Watching Law and Order in your hotel room while eating Chinese take-out|
|Cheap giveaway||Demo CDs||Devalued CDOs|
|Hilton elevator waiting time||20 minutes||20 minutes|
|Top discussion topic while waiting for the elevator||Managing the costs and risks of electronic discovery||Managing the costs and risks of electronic discovery|
Some things, of course, never change. Fortunately, the team at Incisive Media has been working overtime to put together a stellar lineup of practitioners, legal experts, and judges to provide insight into some of the key issues of legal technology. While electronic discovery is top-of-mind for many, there’s a lot of more than that on tap. Key sessions include:
- Patrick Oot, Director of Electronic Discovery and senior litigation Counsel at Verizon will lead the first-ever LegalTech Town Hall meeting, to be featured on YouTube. The Town Hall will be an interactive discussion where participants will be able to submit questions in real-time to a panel of experts for immediate feedback and insight on the topics that are of top concern.
- John W. Woods, a partner at Hunton and Williams, will deliver a keynote on “How eDiscovery is Changing the Relationship Between Law Firms and their Corporate Clients”. Clearly there’s a sea change going on here, which seems to be being accelerating by the economy, and it will be very interesting to hear what John has to say.
- Finally, LegalTech would not be complete without a contribution from a leading light of the bench. And this year, none other than United States Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola of Peskoff v. Faber and United States v. O’Keefe will be presiding. Ralph Losey said he’s “just about my favorite judge of all time” and it’s sure to be a fantastic session to get up to speed on the cutting edge of electronic discovery law.
The fantastic speaker lineup, of course, just scratches the surface. LegalTech is also an incredible networking opportunity to meet with fellow practitioners and vendors. However, it can be a little overwhelming, particularly to first-time attendees. So, we thought we’d close with a video that Monica Bay put together last year that provides a quick “how-to” guide for making the most of your time at LegalTech.
As a final note, I’ll be attending the E-Discovery 2.0 LinkedIn Happy Hour before B-Discovery’s LegalTech event. It’s at the Hilton’s Bridges Bar from 8:00 – 9:00pm on Monday February 2nd. Come by and say hello. If you are not a member of the E-Discovery 2.0 LinkedIn group, sign up here. See you at the show!