LTWC 2008: LIVE FROM THE SHOW FLOOR

Rob Robinson from Orange Legal Technologies has done us one better on the legal tech blogging front. He’s got a live webcam at the Orange booth right now, and he’ll be interviewing many of the show’s usual suspects today and tomorrow. Here’s the lineup:

Thursday, June 26th (All Times PST):

10:00 a.m. Exhibit Hall Opens. Live Updates Begin. Law.com Blogger’s Breakfast.

10:15 a.m. Ronda Raymond — OrangeLT VP of E-Discovery Services/OneO Discovery.

11:15 a.m. Monica Bay, editor-in-chief, Law Technology News/Blog: Common Scold.

12:30 p.m. Kurt Leafstrand, director of PRD MGT, Clearwell/Blog: e-discovery 2.0.

5:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Closes. Conclusion Of Day One Live Updates.

Friday, June 27th (All Times PST):

10:00 a.m. Exhibit Hall Opens. Live Updates Begin.

10:15 a.m. Brian Meegan — OrangeLT VP of Operations/Partner Update.

11:30 a.m. Kevin O’Keefe, president, LexBlog/Blog: Real Lawyers Have Blogs.

1:00 p.m. Dr. Jim Dertouzos, RAND senior economist/Evidence Lifecycle Management.

Sphere: Related Content.

Posted by John Bringardner on June 26, 2008 at 01:30 p.m.

LTWC 2008: CHEVRON GC’s KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Chevron GC and former Jones Day antitrust partner Charles James proclaimed himself a Fred Flintstone when it comes to technology during this morning’s LegalTech West Coast keynote address. So how did he get picked to open the show? “I am the target … my IT needs are astronomical.”

Like a guy who’s had five root canals addressing a dental convention, James found himself both praising the hard work and technological advances of his several-hundred-strong audience, and decrying the need for that work in the first place. He started by running through some impressive numbers. Chevron gets sued an average of 2.5 times a day, he estimates; they’ve got more than 400 lawyers on their in-house legal team, and spend $190 million a year on outside counsel; the oil company has about 500 law firms working for it around the world — James says he helped winnow that down from 700 when he started in 2002 — with the lion’s share of the work going to about 35 preferred provider firms. “I go to bed each night with $10 billion in potential litigation exposure hanging over my head,” he said.

He then cited some of the IT success stories he and his team have made in recent years. Chevron has an in-house Web site detailing legal procedures for their teams around the globe — it was in shambles six years ago; now it’s the first thing they teach new in-house hires how to use. Their new e-billing system for legal has given them the kind of granular info they needed to get rid of extraneous or ineffective law firms, and hire more in-house lawyers (they’ve added 60 in the past year). Like a grocery store’s customer rewards card, it stores all kinds of added details about each firm, beyond just dollars and cents. If Chevron sees that a single lawyer at a firm is billing them more than 1,200 hours a year, James makes him or her an offer they can’t refuse: Come work for us in-house, or we’ll find someone else who can.

But James also took the opportunity to run down his list of vendor gripes. First, stop grossly overselling the practical capability and functionality of products. Jargon like “complete enterprise solution” and “seamless integration” are misnomers that get thrown around in far too many a vendor pitch, he complained. I knew that somewhere in the back of the room, Law Technology News editor Monica Bay was smiling in weary recognition.

Second, noting the convention center’s proximity to south central L.A., James quoted Rodney King: “Why can’t we all get along?” Interoperability continues to be a major issue. New systems are built on proprietary standards, increasing the cost of installation, while an older but effective system loses support when its maker merges with another vendor and decides to let that product fade into history.

Finally, James lived up to his early morning promise to be controversial. “Electronic discovery is a waste of society’s resources,” he told the room full of e-discovery specialists. Allowing himself to fantasize out loud for a bit, the embattled oil executive painted a picture of a world without plaintiffs lawyers, litigation holds or over-zealous attorneys general. “Everything is a crime these days,” he said. “I’m not being facetious.” So what’s left for all the legal tech vendors in this idealized world where most of their work is unnecessary? Knowledge management — tools that can help a massive, global corporate entity like Chevron take care of business effectively. And maybe help them make gas a little cheaper too.

Sphere: Related Content.

Posted by John Bringardner on June 26, 2008 at 01:14 p.m.

LTWC 2008: LEGALTECH WEST COAST TRIVIA ANSWERS!

1. Keynote speaker, Today! 9 a.m.: Charles James, VP and GC, Chevron.

2. The Los Angeles Convention Center is the venue for LegalTech West Coast.

3. The third panel of the “Law Technology News presents FutureTech” track is called “TomorrowLand,” inspired by the iconic venue at Disneyland in Anaheim, also home of K-Rod and the Los Angeles Angels of Tijuana/SoCal/Orange County/San Diego/Riverside etc.

4. True, any non-vendor blogger can attend LTWC free. Just e-mail LegalBlogWatch@alm.com.

5. The “Bloggers Breakfast” will be held today, after the keynote, from 10 to 11 a.m. in room 508. Everyone is welcome!

6. 2008 marks the 27th year of LegalTech.

7. Green Law — our LTN column on how the legal tech community can combat global warming, is also the title of FutureTech’s 1:30 to 3 pm panel, “Green Law: It’s not easy going green … or is it?” (Friday, Room 503).

8. Feb 2-4, ’09 is the next LegalTech NY.

9. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte presents the Friday morning keynote.

10. The esteemed and venerable Henry Payne Dicker (hdicker@alm.com) heads up LegalTech!

Sphere: Related Content.

Posted by Monica Bay on June 26, 2008 at 07:59 a.m.

For more up-to-date coverage of LegalTech West Coast 2008 from Law.com and Law Technology News, visit our blogs:

Legal Blog Watch

Legal Technology Blog