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June 2002
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LegalTech Los Angeles is Hot!

By Monica Bay

Matthew Kesner, Fenwick & West L.L.P., Elysia Everett, Gray Cary, and James Hall, Occidental Petroleum
Matthew Kesner, Fenwick & West L.L.P., Elysia Everett, Gray Cary, and James Hall, Occidental Petroleum
ANOTHER whirlwind as we headed West for LegalTech Los Angeles, May 9-10. What incredible energy in the exhibit halls and seminars!

First, thanks to my fellow panelists for a most interesting discussion of The Color of Money: How to Avoid Going into the Red with Your Technology Budget.

Matthew Kesner, chief technology officer at Fenwick & West L.L.P., Elysia Everett, director of information technology, Northern region, for Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich L.L.P., and James Hall, corporate applications team leader for Occidental Petroleum Corp., all offered thoughtful strategies and tactics on budgeting, from wish lists to coping with realities and politics.

Substitute Keynotes

Jeffrey Rovner
Jeffrey Rovner
Tower Snow, a partner (and former chair) of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison L.L.P., was scheduled to keynote at LegalTech L.A., but called in colleague Jeffrey Rovner as a last-minute substitute.

Rovner, of counsel to the firm, and its director of knowlege management, is based in Brobeck's Irvine office.

Sculpture at the Westin Bonaventure
Sculpture at the Westin Bonaventure
Rovner talked about Brobeck's online projects, and walked the audience through a demonstration of its Web site.

More Mice

I tend to be a fairly organized person, but one thing I often forget to pack is a mouse for my laptop. (I can't use that eraser tip on my IBM ThinkPad.) Hence, I have quite a collection of mice from cities worldwide. But I got an unusually good one at the Westin Bonaventure: a Belkin MiniScroller. It's tiny, so it's handy on airline tray tables, and is a 2-button mini-scroll, with both USB and PS/2 connectivity.

Ain't cheap though: Runs $19.99 at the hotel (I usually pay about $9 for my mice.)

Ciao, Baby

Rene Aragon, Barbara Aragon and Marc Adler of Executive Data Systems (PerfectLaw Software)
Rene Aragon, Barbara Aragon and Marc Adler of Executive Data Systems (PerfectLaw Software)
The AmLaw gang had not one, but two excellent dinners at L.A.'s Ciao Trattoria, at 815 W. 7th, about two blocks from the hotel.

(BTW: I am a lifelong Californian, with only four years in New York, but I'll tell you one thing I certainly do not miss from my home state: the aggressive panhandling in the streets. Walking anywhere in downtown L.A. guaranteed a "conversation" with a local denizen. Give me Manhattan any day!)

John Mola
John Mola
Anyway, we had terrific dinners, and enjoyed the company of the gang from PerfectLaw Software; Dan Bowen and the Verdict Systems group; the teams from Great Barrier Reef and VIACK; John Mola and Philip Bieler from Practicing Law Institute; current and past LTN Edit Advisory Board members Al Barsocchini and Tom O'Connor; Tenrec's Per Casey; et al.

I particularly recommend the Tuscan chicken.

Water Grill

Tom O'Connor
Tom O'Connor
Of course, a visit to L.A. is not the same without a meal at Water Grill, where I was joined by Steven Rosen, vice president, corporate sales, of j2 Global Communications, who briefed me on his company's efforts in the area of Web-based faxing and other services.

Screaming to LAX

United Airlines has a new EasyUpdate service where they will innundate you (or your assistant, spouse, pals, etc.) with e-mail, cell phone or regular phone messages about your flight status (departures, delays, arrivals, upgrades, etc). It is borderline annoying, and I was about to shut it off, but it turned out to be a lifesaver.

Jeffrey Adelman and Steven Rosen, j2 Global Communications Inc.
Jeffrey Adelman and Steven Rosen, j2 Global Communications Inc.
I'm normally just shy of obsessive about my flights, but for some reason, I thought my flight to New Orleans was at 8 p.m. At 5 p.m., in the lobby of the Bonaventure, I got an alert telling me that my 6:15 p.m. flight was departing on time. (Of course, it was the last flight to the Big Easy, and of course, it was one of those rare trips where I was checking luggage.)

The greatest cab driver in the world slammed me to LAX, in the middle of Friday rush hour, and got me there in 25 minutes flat. (That's about half the normal time in non-rush hour traffic.)

Jeff Reid of UPS
Jeff Reid of UPS
UAL whisked me through processing (it sure pays to be 1K) and I got to the gate with five minutes to spare. I'll never forget that cabbie!

I made it to the Crescent City in one piece, and spent Saturday enjoying New Orleans' best!

First, brunch with Connie Nichols of Docusource Litigation Support Solutions, at Commander's Palace (amazing dining rooms!)

Elite's Rick Wargo, left, with Monty Lunn, and artist Cynthia Groya
Elite's Rick Wargo, left, with Monty Lunn, and artist Cynthia Groya
Then I caught up with the Elite Information Systems Inc. gang, who were ending their annual users group meeting with a dinner at Restaurant August -- the latest trendy venue for foodies, on Tchoupitoulas St.

Among the revelers were John and Ginny James, of Ernst & Young, and Rick Wargo, senior vice president/chief technical officer of Elite's Law Manager division, and his sweetheart, Cynthia Groya. It was a lovely evening, with good conversation, and an absolutely spectacular creme brulee!

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