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    Archive for May, 2012
    Web-Based Dispute Resolution Systems Gain Traction (“ODR”)
    Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

    ♫ The spheres’re in commotion
    The elements in harmony
    She blinded me with science
    “She blinded me with science!”
    And hit me with technology…♫

    Lyrics and Music by Thomas Dolby and Jonathan Kerr, recorded by Thomas Dolby.

    Computer monitors shaking hands

    This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Christy Burke, written today for the blog Legal IT Professionals.  With her permission I have reproduced it here.

    Web-Based Dispute Resolution Systems Gain Traction as Court Delays and Low Value Disputes Surge

    Christy Burke

    Courtroom showdowns make for great movie scenes, but To Kill a Mockingbird’s Atticus Finch would be shocked to hear that the courts are only resolving a fraction of today’s legal disputes. A growing number of cases are being resolved by online tools, and sometimes lawyers and judges are not even involved. Impartial web-based systems apply computation, algorithms and cryptographic technology to bring about resolution quickly and inexpensively.

    A growing stable of private sector companies are beginning to compete with the judicial system for “customers” and are also changing the face of traditional Alternate Dispute Resolution or ADR, which has typically included mediation, arbitration and other alternatives to the courts.

    Not only are approaches to justice and negotiation changing, but some of these new systems like those provided by Fair Outcomes, are actually prompting lawyers and their customers to be more honest about the value of a case and their realistic objectives from the outset, providing disincentives to lie, bully and posture. Utopian though it may sound, this is actually becoming a reality. Atticus would be happy to hear that, at least!

    A potential paradigm shift is in the making here, but what is motivating parties to look outside traditional courts, mediation and arbitration and flock to the web for resolving their disputes? In short, overburdened courts, lean economic times, cost, and convenience all figure into the mix.

    Pared Down Courts Cannot Keep Up

    Many courts in the US and abroad are sagging under the weight of overflowing caseloads while budget cuts slash their resources – a double negative. Take California for example. (more…)

    Posted in Adding Value, Business Development, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 4 Comments »
    Silos and Knowledge Management
    Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

    ♫  Cos when I look at my life
    How the pieces fall into place…♫ 

    Lyrics and music by Jarl, Stenmarck, Andreas Carlsson, recorded by Westlife.

    Last piece of the puzzle

    Gentle readers of this blog are aware of my interest in the intersection of business strategy, finance, leadership and technology within a law firm setting.  One of the emerging areas that lies within the  intersection of these disciplines is knowledge management.  I believe it has particular importance within a large firm setting as there is the tendency for lawyers in larger organizations to become ‘silo-ized’ – not for any other reason other than your ability to interact with people on a 1-1 basis diminishes as the size of an organization grows.  For example, if you work in a larger organization, ask yourself how often you speak to someone who works on another floor in your firm?  If you have multiple offices in multiple cities, the situation is compounded even further.  Since 1-1 interaction is at the heart of person-to-person knowledge sharing and transfer, the sheer size of an organization works against 1-1 knowledge transfer.

    So to begin: What are we speaking about when we use the phrase “knowledge management”? (more…)

    Posted in Adding Value, Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »