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    Archive for September, 2007
    The Pacific Legal Technology Conference
    Saturday, September 29th, 2007

    I’ll be seeing you
    In all the old familiar places
    That this heart of mine embraces
    All day and through..

    Words and Music by Sammy Fain / Irving Kahal, sung by Billie Holiday.

    Wednesday Oct. 10, 2007 will see the 2007 edition of the Pacific Legal Technology Conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This conference will be the 5th PLTC and this year The BCLMA (the British Columbia Legal Management Association), the LMA (The Legal Marketing Association – BC Chapter) and the GPSSF National Conference of the Canadian Bar Association (The CBA’s General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Conference) all have joined the Conference as additional sponsors. This is in addition to the four founding sponsors: The TLABC (The Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia), the CBA – BC Branch (The Canadian Bar Association – BC Branch), the LSBC (The Law Society of British Columbia) and the ABA-LPM Section (The Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association).

    This year’s conference starts with a bang at 8 am with: 60 Technology, Management, Marketing and Finance Tips in 60 Mins and concludes with 25 Things You Really Need to Know and Take Home. The noon plenary features Frank Fowlie, the Ombudsman for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Frank has a unique view of the growing trend towards on-line dispute resolution and will talk on the different technology platforms in use, the state of ODR and the opportunities – and challenges – that ODR poses to the legal profession. The full program can be found here.

    In-between these plenary sessions are a further 18 sessions divided into six tracks: The Solo and Small Firm Track (sponsored by the GPSSF section), the Tips and Marketing Track ( sponsored by the LMA), the Applications Track (sponsored by the ABA-LPM Section), the Implementing Technology Track (sponsored by the LSBC), the Administrators & Managing Partners Track (sponsored by the BCLMA) and the E-Discovery and Litigation Track (sponsored by the TLABC).

    The sessions range from How to Know What You Don’t Know – a Primer on the Newest Legal Technogies to Electronic Evidence Best Practices; from Working with Adobe Acrobat to No Limits! What a Young High Tech Firm Could REALLY Look Like!; from Security Overview: Backups, Removing Metadata, Digital Signatures, Secure Email, Handling Spam, Fraud and Other Tips to Tips on Becoming Creative with Technology in the Practice of Law.

    The conference features outstanding speakers: Sharon Nelson and Dan Pinnington (both past ABA TECHSHOW Chairs) as well as a number of other outstanding speakers from ABA TECSHOW and from BC (Doug Jasinski, Allison Wolf, Steve Matthews just to mention a few…(24 great speakers in total). The Conference draws attendees from as far away as Halifax and down into the USA (MCLE Credit is available for Washington, Oregon and California and pending from Idaho) and the Conference offers 9 hours of Professional Management Instruction for reporting by BC lawyers.

    The theme of this year’s conference is Leadership, Technology and You. This conference is unique in that it is designed from the bottom up in a collaborative manner with all past attendees. Each year, the Advisory Board pulls together a list of possible sessions that are posted to a SurveyMonkey web site – and every past attendee is invited to participate and indicate which sessions would be most relevant to them.

    From the survey results the session program is pulled together from the top rated sessions. As a result, in every year the Conference has been held, it has received a 100% “YES” answer to the question “Would you recommend this Conference to your colleagues?” in the conference evaluation. As the Chair of the Conference, I am proud of that distinction and believe it indicates the world-class speakers, exhibitors and information that is integral to the success of the Conference.

    I hope to be seeing you at the Vancouver Westin Bayshore Hotel and Resort on Wednesday October 10 for the Pacific Legal Technology Conference this year!


    Posted in Adding Value, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    Saturday, September 15th, 2007

    It’s magic, it’s magic, it’s magic.
    Strange magic,
    oh, what a strange magic…


    Words and Music by: Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan, recorded by Electric Light Orchestra


    My good friend Jim Calloway put me onto Jott in his blog. I think it is one of the coolest things I have run across lately. Being in Canada, it took a bit more to get it to work, but all that meant was a bit of perseverance. First I will talk about the Jott concept and then we will move to how to actually get it to work.

    Most of us wish we had a digital recorder with us when we are ‘out and about’ when an idea hits. However, if you are like me, the best that you have is a cell phone. Here is where the elegance of Jott comes in. You dial the Jott number that is programmed into your cell phone (*hopefully by speed or voice dial*) and connect to Jott. Then you select the person to whom you wish to Jott a note (being yourself or you can select one person from your list of contacts or you can select a group of contacts that you have established with Jott) and dictate up to a 30 sec note. Jott then transcribes your dictation and emails your note to the selected contact or group. It is really that simple and easy. The best part – it is free!

    Here is how to get it to work (*with directions from both the USA and Canada*):

    Step 1: Go to the Jott web site ( and register your name, email address and create a password (and approve the terms of service).

    Step 2: Then follow the directions on the Jott web site and validate your email address (they send you a confirming email to your email address).

    Step 3: You have to validate your cell phone number by calling the Jott number. In order to do this, you have to have ‘number blocking’ turned off or use the prefix that your cell phone company provides that will ‘unblock’ your number for certain calls. In my case you have to prefix *82 in front of the Jott telephone number. I also found that I had to call the specific number that they list for Canada rather than the USA number. Once I combined both of these, the Jott service validated the cell phone.

    Step 4: This is optional – but once validated on the Jott service, you can establish a list of contacts to whom you wish to ‘Jott’. This serves as a way to quickly “Jott” to someone on your list a quick memo.

    Following the speed dialing of the Jott number on your cell phone and the selection of a contact (lets assume it was yourself), you would dictate up to a 30 second memo (you can do this over and over for a longer thought!). Later…once you are on your computer, you can see the emails of your Jott memos in your in-box…from there, you can click on them to take you to the Jott website. Signed into the Jott site, you can see your transcribed messages (and listen to the original voice recording) and send the eamil memo to others (including the audio file), set reminders, click them off as being ‘done’ etc.

    This ability to ‘Jott’ yourself a email note from wherever you may be, using only your cell-phone, is as close to magic as we can come. Of course Arthur C. Clarke said that: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is virtually indistinguishable from magic.”

    Posted in Law Firm Strategy | Permalink | 2 Comments »
    Dan’s Award…
    Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

    Nobody does it better,

    Makes me feel sad for the rest,

    Nobody does it half as good as you.

    Baby, you’re the best…


    Music by M. Hamlisch, Lyrics by C.B. Sager, Recorded by Carly Simon

    Law Practice Magazine published by the American Bar Association, Law Practice Management Section, received three awards this summer: A 2007 APEX Award for Creative Director Mark Feldman for cover design of the April/May 2006 issue, another 2007 APEX Award in the writing category for Bill Gibson’s terrific “Ask Bill” column, and a 2007 Tabbie Award for cover design, again for the April/May 2006 cover. The APEX Awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content and ability to achieve overall communications excellence. The Tabbies recognize excellence in trade, association and business publications. Credit has to go to former Law Practice Magazine Editor-in-Chief Merrilyn Astin Tarlton, who led the team to excellence at the time these awards were earned!

    Dan Pinnington (Director, PracticePro) recently received The Edge Award for the Best Column in Law Practice Magazine for 2007, entitled: I’m Not Here Right Now, Please Leave a Message (Tips and Tricks), in the April-May 2007 issue. Congratulations to Dan for an excellent column! Speaking of Dan, he was just inducted into the College of Law Practice Management. Edge International is a leader in firm strategy and management.

    Congratulations are also due to all the 2006-2007 Edge Award winners—announced on page 5 of the September 2007 issue—for writing excellence in Law Practice magazine. They are: Best Feature Article: Steven T. Taylor “Rainmaking: Rewriting the Rules” in the October/November 2006 issue; Silver Feature Article: Peter Darling, “Seeking Out New Markets” in the September 2006 issue and of course, Best Column: Dan Pinnington, “I’m Not Here Right Now, Please Leave a Message”, from the Tips and Tricks column of April/May 2007.

    It is gratifying that a magazine devoted to the topic of the business of the practice of law receives such recognition. Oh, and I am proud to be the current Editor-in-Chief and grateful to be working with such a talented team of professionals – the Editorial Team (Joan Feldman – Managing Editor, Joy White – Editor, Mark Feldman – Creative Director), the Editorial Board (Laura A. Calloway – Finance Editor, Marcia Pennington Shannon – People Editor, and Mark Tamminga – Technology Editor), the Editorial Advisory Board (Edward H.Flitton III, Ann Lee Gibson, K. William Gibson, Erik J. Heels, Karen MacKay, Reba J. Nance, and Doona L.G. Shaft), the talented writers, ABA Staff and all others who contribute to the success of Law Practice Magazine. Way to go Team – Baby, You’re the Best!

    Posted in Adding Value, Change Management, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »