The past 10 days have been a whirliwind of travel and speaking engagements. After the panel for Esquire Litigation Solutions mentioned below, I stayed in Chicago to speak at a Litigation Readiness Workshop put on by Thomson LegalWorks. The panel I was on focused on ED cost savings in the review phase and was moderated by Browning Marean of DLA Piper along with Brent Kidwell, Chief Knowledge Counsel at Jenner & Block and Kathleen Skapik, Regional Director of TechLaw Solutions. The discussion was lively and much attention was paid to my assertion that we need a new paradigm for dealing with e-discovery that is based on using native files. Brent Kidwell disagreed and asserted his postion that TIFF based review was still the best tool, a position I countered by reminding people that the tools to handle native file without resorting to the TIFF/Bates number paradigm.
From Chicago it was back to New Orleans and the first ever Louisiana Bar Solo and Small Firm Conference. This event was a resounding success, thanks largely to the efforts of Eric Barefield of the Louisiana Bar. You can see a detailed report of the event by Monica Bay on her blog, The Common Scold.
And speaking of Monica, knowing what a great baseball fan she is I took her out one night to see some Looziana baseball. The New Orleans Zephyrs are the AAA franchise of the New York Mets and defending champs of the Pacific Coast League. (I know, New Orleans is on the Gulf Coast..apparently major league baseball owners don’t have well developed geography skills) A mild breezy evening, great local crowd and the home team won on a 3 run homer (by Fernando Tatis, who was called up by the Mets two days later).
The next night Monica, Eric and I joined Connie Nichols and Kay Sloan (the owners of New Orleans service bureau Docusource) for a great local dinner at R & O’s (which in local vernacular is pronounced much like Arnauds but is a bit more relaxed and a lot less expensive than that crown jewel of French Quarter dining) Crawfish pie, fried hush puppies, great italian salads, soft shell crab and roast beef poboys …well you get the idea. The highlight oif the evening was driving along Bayou St. John with the windows down, the radio blasting something by Neil Diamond and Connie and Monica in the front seat singing along as loud as they good. Reminded me of high school days on a summer nite with a car full of buddies driving to the , ah malt shop..yeah that’s the ticket…milk shakes. With Morgan Fairchild.
The next week found me back in New York speaking on a panel for an ALM event on Outsourcing. This was a well attended event which focused on the various outsourcing opportunities in law firms with my focus, of course, being the pressure to reduce ED review costs, which by most estimates, amount to 70% of the toal cost of any ED project.
That afternoon it was over to Penn Station for an Amtrak ride to D.C. (shades of my old college days at Johns Hopkins when I’d ride that same train back and forth from Boston at holidays). I had been invited to attend the Litigation Support Leaders Conference becasue I had been nominated for one of the categories of the Betsy Ann Reynolds Awards for Excellence in Litigation Support they were presenting.
The event was outstanding. Put on by the Litigation Support Today magazine family team of Albert and Tammnay Buckwalter and Alberts (very proud) dad, Publisher Charles Buckwalter, the two day event had a who’s who of speakers, including Browning Marean, Neil Aresty, Georg Socha, Beth AND Bil Kellerman, Duane Lites, Jeff Beard, Chuck Kellner, Joe Utlser, Tim Piganelli…the list of professional experts was simply outstanding. Close to 200 people attended and it seemed hard to believe this was the inaugural even since everything ran so smoothly. Can’t wait until next year.
The Betsy Reynolds Awards were handed out at a special dinner Wednesday nite and the winners were: Beth Kellerman of Apple (Corporate Law), Florinda Balridge of Fulbright Jaworski (private firms), Carl Kikichi of the DOJ (gov’t sector) and I won the the Industry Support category for my work in New Orleans. For that work I specifically thanked all the industry experts above who had helped in that effort (especially Bil K) and, of course, Gayle without whose support and inspiration I would have accomplished nothing.