Snap Shot: James Towery
By George Aiken
VITALS: Undergrad: Princeton University, '73; J.D.: Emory University School of Law, '76.
Photo by Monica Bay. Location: De Anza Hotel, San Jose, Calif.
CURRENT POST: Partner and member of executive committee, Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc. The firm has 40 lawyers, offices in San Jose and Pleasanton, Calif. Practice: Civil litigation (emphasis: professional liability defense, business litigation and health law).
HAIL TO THE CHIEF: President, State Bar of California ('95-96), Santa Clara County Bar Association ('89). Chair, A.B.A. Standing Committee on Client Protection ('99-00). Currently: Member, Calif. Chief Justice Commission on Multi-Jurisdiction Practice; liaison to A.B.A. MJP Commission.
OFFICE TECH: The local area network is built on Hewlett-Packard Netservers, with Microsoft NT 4.0. Workstations: 166 MHz Pentium clones with Intel motherboards and Ethernet cards. "Switched" network (HP Procurve 10/100). Pleasanton office connected via a T1 line. Remote connectivity: Citrix. Software: Windows 95, Office 97, ProLaw. E-mail: Outlook and Microsoft Exchange server.
FAVORITE GADGET: TV remote control.
LAPTOP: My spouse's Dell 5000.
HOME SYSTEM: Compaq MV720 (333 MHz, 11.4 GB RAM), Pacific Bell DSL. America Online.
PAGER & PDA: No pager; Palm V.
FAVORITE PDA SOFTWARE: I primarily use the calendar and address book functions.
CELL PHONE: Nokia 5190.
FAVORITE NON-TECH MAGAZINES: Vanity Fair, National Geographic.
CARS: A sensible Honda Accord V6, to make up for wife's Corvette.
LAST BOOK READ: Hitler, by Joachim Fest.
FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Sports Center; Boston Public; anything on the History Channel.
LETTERMAN OR LENO? Letterman.
WHERE WOULD WE FIND YOU ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON? PacBell Park. Go Giants!
APPOINTMENT I NEVER MISS: A date with my wife, Kathryn Meier.
MOST IMPORTANT LEGAL TREND: In the context of litigation: trial presentation technology. I recently used PowerPoint for my opening statement, and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was and how much more effective it was than a traditional opening. I also sense a quiet revolution occurring in lawyer-client communication. Increasingly, e-mail and file attachments are replacing faxes and hard copy letters. It's a more direct and simple form of communication.
MOST IMPORTANT TECH ACCOMPLISHMENT IN LAST YEAR: Learning PowerPoint. I presented an initial case evaluation to a client using PowerPoint, which organized the discussion very effectively.
FAVORITE URLS: findlaw.com; historychannel.com; cowparade.net; homerunrecord.com.
FAVORITE SEARCH ENGINE: Google.
LAST VACATION: A week in Vegas in July for our 10th anniversary.
FAVORITE QUOTE: When I am trying to settle a case as a mediator, I like to quote this Vietnam-era statement: "The best policy is to declare victory and leave."