L.A. Lakers, S.F. Giants and Silicon Valley Tuna
By Monica Bay
As Roseanne Roseannadanna, on Saturday Night Live, used to say, "It's always something!" LegalTech Miami '99 was interrupted by hurricane-force weather; LegalTech Los Angeles 2000 was invaded by 1 million people celebrating the NBA championship of the Los Angeles Lakers.
As luck would have it, I was moderating a panel at 11 a.m. on June 21-- the exact kickoff time of the parade. But the festivities didn't seem to mar the spirits of the LegalTech attendees, vendors or panelists. And fortunately, the subject (ASPs) proved a compelling draw.
Special thanks to the speakers: Kevin Moran, of West Group; Donald Murray, of ELF; Michael Shannon, Data Access Technologies Inc. and Marty Steinberg, RealLegal.com (formerly PubNETics).
Ditto for the June 22 panel on Internet Repositories, which inspired our showcase article on page 39. It featured Ian Campbell of Iconect L.L.C.; Christopher Kruse of casecentral.com; Jeanne White, of The Repository Solution Inc., and Jonathan Nystrom of IKON Business Information Systems.
Basketball aside, LegalTech L.A. was a whirlwind. It was all but impossible to keep up with the events, exhibits and parties, including the de rigeur bash from casecentral.com; a garden party hosted by CompuLaw; and JurisDiction-USA.net's reception.
And few cities can top L.A. for cuisine. Thanks to the Juris gang (Tom Collins, Lee Ann Herron and Jay Hennessy) for a particularly memorable "American" dinner.
The next time you're out West, check out the Comedy & Magic Club, in Hermosa Beach. It's a schlep from downtown, but worth it.
The club attracts top-notch performers, including talent from David Letterman's World Wide Pants Inc. production company (i.e., Ray Romano, of Everybody Loves Raymond). Jay Leno appears most Sunday evenings to try out monologue material. We saw headliner Kevin James, (of CBS' The King of Queens).
Next, the dreaded United LAX/SFO shuttle (don't get me started) to the Bay Area, to present two CLE classes at the new Microsoft Corp. campus in Mountain View (Silicon Valley). It's beautiful, with state-of-the-art conference facilities, and of course, California sensibilities. (The cafeteria chef refused to create a tuna sandwich, because the suppliers brought red, rather than white, tuna -- which he deemed not good enough for the Microsoftie gourmands. Somehow, I just don't see that ever happening in a N.Y.C. corporate cafeteria.)
Anyway, Robert Moselle, head of the Monterey, Calif.-based Center for Continuing Education, and Microsoft's Jan Roycraft have organized a series of CLE courses aimed at Bay Area lawyers.
Our session featured four one-hour segments, on media relations, mobile lawyering, document management and Internet resources. Other speakers included Martha Sullivan of Legal Voice; Peter Lesser, of Kraft, Kennedy & Lesser; Bill Baker, of Baker & Associates; and Microsoft technology specialist David Swanson. For a schedule of upcoming programs, see www.cce-mcle.com.
Take Me Out . . .
Then it was up to Pacific Bell Park, the new downtown stadium of the San Francisco Giants, for the launch of WaveBend Solutions L.L.C.
WaveBend is a business and technology consulting practice that has just spun off from BDO Seidman L.L.P.,'s accounting and consulting service, as a wholly-owned subsidiary.
WaveBend plans to service digital commerce start-ups and dot.coms, helping them enter e-commerce and develop strategies.
The baseball venue was certainly a draw for the launch attendees, especially considering that the inaugural Giants' season is sold out, and getting tickets is harder than duckets to The Lion King.
Pac Bell Park was built at a cost of $319 million, and park officials have come up with some clever ways to raise money to pay for the construction. On Giants' off-days, the park opens its doors for corporate events, and they also conduct clever auctions (VIP batting packages, "Grounds Crew for a Day," etc.), which also benefit the club's charities.
The WaveBend launch was held in one of the "executive dining rooms," and included presentations from Shelly Taylor, of Shelly Taylor and Associates, and from David Oppenheimer, vice president and CFO of Digital Impact, an e-mail marketing company. He gave a fascinating account of lessons learned from his company's IPO; she talked about her research on popular Web sites.
The presentations were followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of PacBell Park that included the field, visitors' dugout, luxury suites, and more. Way cool, even for the sports impaired like me.
Thanks to my pal Terry Lloyd, of BDO Seidman, for the invitation!
Next dateline: Back home to New York City, for the first half of the American Bar Association's 2000 annual meeting.
It was definitely quieter than usual (maybe everybody was out at Shea or Yankee stadiums for the "Subway Series"), but the registration included a whopping 9,021 lawyers (15,000 total people, if you count spouses, kids, speakers, etc.) for the Manhattan sessions (July 6-12). The London half (July 15-20) has 3,300 members pre-registered, and an anticipated 7,000 people at final tally.
As a transplant to New York, the ABA annual is always fun, because it's a chance to visit with former California colleagues, including Drucilla Ramey, of the Bar Association of San Francisco; and Dorothy Tucker, Nancy Clinch and Pauline Weaver from the Calif. State Bar.
As for trends: you couldn't help but notice the increasing number of Web-based matchmakers. Among them: Legalstaff.com; LegalMatch.com; and Martindale-Hubbell.
Legalstaff offers online recruiting for both attorneys and suppport staff.
LegalMatch.com links lawyers and would-be clients, and offers a consumer "rating system," somewhat like a souped-up eBay "feedback" function.
M-H previewed its upcoming "Legal Services by Request" program, that will soon be available on lawyers.com and Respond.com. It will link lawyers (and law firms) with potential clients, via e-mail
Potential clients fill out an anonymous request form, which is then forwarded to the appropriate registered attorneys, explains MH.
Gayle O'Connor, Ross Kodner and the usual suspects from the ABA's Law Practice Management section held their popular "60 Hot Legal Tips in 60 Minutes," and "Technology for the Rest of Us" seminars during the N.Y. sessions.
At the LPM Council meeting, leaders welcomed Neal Cox III, who just joined as the section's book publishing marketing, planning and promotion director.
Kodner organized a terrific dinner at Churrascaria Plantation, a Brazilian restaurant on Central Park South. (Highly recommended for carnivores, wonderful roasted meats and a reasonable prix fixe!)
During dinner, John Tredennick told table-mates about his new CEO duties at Holland and Hart's new subsidiary, caseSHARE Systems. It will help firms and companies create Extranets and "paperless offices," he says. H&H retains a controlling interest in the new company, and Tredennick remains as the firm's CIO.
The service will go beyond just case management, he says. For example, grocery chain Albertson's is using an H&H-created Extranet to track all of its labor grievances; another client uses the system to monitor its advertising.
Houston trial lawyer and LTN columnist Sam Guiberson is retiring his law practice to launch DigitalAdvocates.com, which will provide online CLE for lawyers interested in law office technology, computer litigation support and the digital courtroom.
The site will be optimized for broadband Internet connections, he notes, and will use streaming media technology so that the audio and video presentations can include the speakers' visual aids, written materials and related links.The site, www.digitaladvocates.com, previews this month, and launches in September.