Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Paul King reimagines law

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Lucy Reed, the first law blogger to be cited in a High Court judgment

A barrister at St John's Chambers, Lucy Reed who blogs at Pink Tape, has becomes the first law blogger to be cited in a High Court judgment (see paragraph 27 here). It's also covered here with blog titled, Blogosphere in the Judgosphere.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Adam Wagner - The very definition of a modern lawyer

In his own words:

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Michael Bloomberg on technological disruption driving innovation

Michael Bloomberg delivered an address at Stanford University's 122nd Commencement Ceremony. During the speech, the former mayor of New York explained the critical role of new technology. He said:
"I started as a clerk at a Wall Street firm worked my way up to partner and loved every minute of it – right up until the day I was fired. But getting fired was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I had tried to convince the firm to develop new technology to deliver financial information faster and more efficiently. But companies, governments, unions, and schools tend not to like disruptions to their business models. And that’s exactly why new technology is so important. 
Technological disruption drives innovation. And the more disruption there is, the better markets perform and the harder it is for monopolies to survive. The idea that you can find a way to do something better, faster, and cheaper has driven American innovation for centuries."

Monday, 18 November 2013

Northern Ireland Bar Conference 2013

Richard Susskind with Brian Spencer at Titanic Belfast.
The Northern Ireland Bar Council conference 'Transforming Legal Practice Through Innovation' (preview here) was headlined by the eminent legal futurist Richard Susskind (@RichardSusskind). Ahead of his keynote address, a number of other esteemed speakers addressed the conference. Here they are in order:

Attorney-General John Larkin began by his address by admitting that he had not been at the forefront of transforming practice. He noted two errors that he and others have made:
One: That technology doesn't matter and we can get along with it. 
Two: Some have idolised technology and technological innovation for its own sake. 
John Larkin elaborated. On the first error made, he said: Those who ignore tech advance will soon realise the error of their ways in the exhaust fumes of their competitors. On the said error made, he said: The second is a subtler risk. Technological advancements for lawyers cannot be an end in itself. It can only be better so long as we can use it to better serve our clients. There is little value in wielding a technological masterpiece if we cannot be sure of its reliability. 

He said finally that: "We lawyers should also be solvers of problems. Seek better solutions. I commend this conference heartily as it takes its first step in that direction."

QUB alumnus and Supreme Court Judge Lord Kerr took to the podium. Lord Kerr began by confession. Until recently he said, "I couldn't think without a pen in my hand, I was a complete Luddite." But Lord Kerr is now a convert and advocate of technology as tool for enhancing justice and the work of legal practitioners.

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Irish Times - The sky's the limit for Irish legal eagles on Twitter

The Irish Times ran an interesting article by Fiona Gartland in the Monday 11 November 2013 edition of the paper under the title The sky's the limit for legal eagles on Twitter here. Fiona featured the experiences of three legal tweeters. Here's what they said:

Fiona de Londras (@fdelond) is a professor of law at Durham University and is a founder member of group blog humanrights.ie. She said:
"And it’s a way I can still contribute to debates in Ireland as well as in the UK, even though I am now institutionally located in the UK. I can engage with a Minister, or a TD or a Senator so easily through twitter and connect them into my research in a way that was previously almost impossible for academics to do,” she says. But she adds “you have to be quite good in figuring out how to boil a message down”."
Limerick solicitor Rossa McMahon writes on clatterofthelaw.wordpress.com said:
"I used to work in Dublin in a big firm where I had a lot of colleagues and now I’m in a much smaller situation and I find it quite a good way of keeping in touch with other people. Sometimes you know someone through it and then privately bounce ideas off them or see what they think about particular things."
Rossa McMahon commented on the business development potential of social media, saying: "From a marketing point of view, I couldn’t necessarily say that I gain anything specific, although I have gotten bits and pieces of work out of it."

Law professor at Trinity College Dublin Eoin O’Dell (@cearta) has written about law, education and policy on cearta.ie since 2006. He said:

"I consider that it is a very important part of my academic work to make my research and arguments available and to engage in discussion and debate online is just another means of disseminating research and engaging in discussion."
Eoin O'Dell explained that his blog posts tend to be “considered discussions” of 500 or 600 words in length. He also explained that his Twitter account is used to share interesting items with his 2,200 plus followers and to  respond to comments. He also said: "I think it’s a good thing and I think it is increasing the direction in which we are going."

Read the article from the Irish Times in full here. Read my blog post on Defero Law on the article here.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

We humans must upgrade our skills as regularly as we upgrade our technology

Ireland's 'Digital Champion' David Puttnam recently said:
"We as humans must upgrade our skills as regularly as we upgrade our technology." 
He continued: 
"Digital technology has fundamentally reshaped the world in which people of all ages make sense of, connect with and engage with society each other. Although the pace and speed of change can be bewildering the need to up our game is absolute."
"We are and always have been change resistant. This is troubling because I believe the world is shifting on its axis and because of the impact of digital technology this is happening significantly faster than most people seem to be prepared to acknowledge."

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Opening Shop in Silicon Valley

Change will not come from within a law firm. It'a up to law firms to look to the train head of innovation. To look, learn, reach out and even establish a bridgehead at the point where innovation is most concentrated. As the Harvard Business Review said:
"How can you build your organization’s ability to sense and respond to rapid improvements in technology? Many large, successful companies are creating offices in California’s Silicon Valley to spot big new trends and learn how they can transform their organization in ways they couldn’t otherwise imagine. It’s no longer good enough to wait for change to come to your industry; you need to be out there where it’s happening. And a lot is happening in Silicon Valley."
Read the original article in full here.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Guest Post - How Google+ Is Invaluable For SEO

[This is a guest post written by Marcela De Vivo, a freelance writer and online marketing professional in Southern California.]

Many people running small businesses don’t realize that Google+ very well might be the most powerful social media platform available to them. Google+ has nearly 350-million active members as of early 2013, and that number looks like it’s going to keep growing in a very significant way.

Right now, only Facebook has more users. Google+ even has more active users than Twitter. I bet that’s a statistic that surprised you!

But the real power of Google+ isn’t just in the number of users. The reason that Google+ is so important for SEO-based business should actually be really obvious – it’s owned by Google! Google is the world’s largest, most popular search engine hands down. In reality, it has no competitors.

You already know that your search rank is important when it comes to people finding your business and website on the internet, and you know those two things happening are vital for making your business grow. Building and maintaining an active Google+ profile can improve how easy your business is to find through search.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The NewLaw business model

George Beaton, director of Beaton Capital and Beaton Research + Consulting wrote:
"The NewLaw business model for professional services is now the subject of intense interest. The Schumpeter column of The Economist on September 21, 2013 addressed ‘The future of the Firm’ with the upper case ‘F’ reserved for McKinsey. Schumpeter cited an October 2013 Harvard Business review article, Consulting on the cusp of disruption, by Clayton Christensen and others. For Australian start-ups challenging parts of McKinsey’s business, have a look at Vumero  and Expert 360, both following in the e-steps of the Gerson Lehrman Group, a premium virtual platform for connecting clients to experts and their insights." 
As I wrote in ‘Factories’ and ‘Brain Surgeons’ last year, firms like McKinsey are “self-generators of IP and have alliances with leading academic institutions; they don’t need scale”. But crowd-based providers meet many of the same needs at lower price points. And there’s excess capacity. These are the antecedents of disruption. 
Like butterflies in the Amazon, virtual and crowd-based professional services firms are starting to disrupt. They are leading the rise and rise of the NewFirm business model."

Further reading:

If you found this post of interest, you can find more on related topics from Bigger. Better. Both? here:
And also on the highly recommended Adam Smith Esq blog. In full here.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Andrew Sullivan - Blogging has enormous depth

Andrew Sullivan said in 2006 on what blogging is:
"My own approach is I'm just a thinking out loud person. I'm a conservative who is attacking [George] Bush which is putting me in a strange position. The limitation of a blog is that it has to be instant; which means it can't be a terribly considered judgement. But it's also deep because you can have hyperlinks that link the reader to original sources and original texts. So readers, unlike TV, or even unlike newspapers, readers can look at my opinion and then they can go to the original source and make their own mind up. That is enormous depth."
In full here. Previous blog on Andrew Sullivan and legal blogging here.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Karl Chapman - "You tut if you want to, the [legal] market is for turning"

Karl Chapman slam dunks it in an interview with the legal tabloid Legal Cheek here. He said: 

"You tut if you want to, the [legal] market is for turning."

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Gary Slapper - Lawyers Must Change

Law columnist with The Times online,  Professor at the New York University, Director of NYU London and Chambers door tenant at 36 Bedford Row, Gary Slapper said on Twitter recently:

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Kevin Plank - Dictate the future

Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour recently said on Bloomberg TV:
"The best merchants are the ones who dictate the future, not the ones who predict the future."

Saturday, 12 October 2013

From the world of Kodak to Instagram

Kodak used to have "140,000 really good middle-class employees. Instagram has 13 employees, period." Here.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Rocket Lawyer UK loves art

Talk about being different and letting your personality shine through.


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Kevin O'Keefe - The Perils of being a Law Firm/Lawyer/Law Student social media holdout

Kevin O'Keefe, attorney and head of LexBlog, spelt it out in plain English why lawyers not only should be on social media, but why they can't afford to not be on social media:

"How do you appear, as a lawyer or law firm, if you fail to embrace the methods other businesses are using to network, nurture relationships, and build reputations? Not only are you making it difficult for those whom you’d like to do business with to connect with you, but you are also looking old and behind the times.

If every lawyer in your law firm lost their cell phone today, you’d have them replaced by tomorrow, no questions asked. I’d act with the same sense of urgency in getting your lawyers using social. It’s just as important for long term success as a cell phone."
Pat Ellis of Michigan State School of law responded with a slant on how it is for law students, he said: 

"This idea applies with equal weight to law students. Sure, we don’t have to worry about being the “go to” lawyer (yet), but we must be tuned in to what is happening in our industry; now more than ever. Ultimately, students need to assess their own situation and the opportunity-cost of forsaking social media and blogs. For me, the cost is too high and it is a risk I am not willing to take."

Kevin O'Keefe responded here:
"Powerful position. The cost of forsaking social media and blogs is too high, a risk this law student is not willing to take."
In order, here, here and here. My previous post on the low uptake of career-minded social media use among students is here.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Karl Chapman - The Days of the Legal Technocrat are Over

Karl Chapman of Riverview Law, the non-law firm legal services provider and star performer at the FT Innovative Lawyers 2013 spoke with Legal Cheek about the need for law students and young lawyers to radically shift their plane of regard and perception of how legal services should be delivered. Here's some excerpts:
"Some of the big themes from business and commerce that are most relevant to future lawyers have nothing to do with law, but they have everything to do with the successful practice of law in the new market emerging. They are common-sense principles that have been applied in most other sectors of the economy, excluding much of the public sector, for decades. The future will see legal businesses and large organisations pay a premium for pragmatic, IT literate, numerate and commercially aware advisers who can communicate succinctly, play as part of a team and problem solve…oh, and who just happen to have a legal qualification (not necessarily achieved via university!). The skills they will need include: 
1. An ability to be proactive and pre-emptive:
lawyers tend to be reactive, responding to client requirements. But increasingly they will need to take the initiative too, demonstrating that their input pre-empts future risks and costs.
 2. IT and social media savviness:
Legal businesses and in-house functions will need to invest significantly in automation if they’re to drive efficiency, improve processes and transform their relationships with their customers.
3. Management information capabilities:
Lawyers will need to be able to capture, interpret and apply data and trend analysis to their clients benefit. Customers take it as read that lawyers know the law, so lawyers need to ask themselves what other value-add can they bring.
4. A customer service ethos: 
Lawyers really will need to pay more than lip service to building customer-focused service delivery and pricing models."

Very similar to what Forbes Magazine said here that, "The days of when students need just MS Word are long gone." Karl Chapman then spoke on the specific need for young lawyers to raw an active on social media:
"Returning to the 1980s for a moment: I really wish I’d known that many of my friends would end up as senior and managing partners in law firms. Given what we’re doing now I’d have kept in even closer contact with them than I have. Which brings me to one further really big point of advice for aspiring and young lawyers: even in a fast moving, social media-enabled world, never ever underestimate the power of relationships and personal networks. It’s amazing how often these come into play and, with hindsight, I wish I’d invested more time in maintaining my legal network."

In full here.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Main Street consumer - "That's the prize"

Ajaz Ahmed of Legal 365 spoke with the Financial Times and reflected on the latent legal demand from the man and woman on Main Street:
"The market will change, and when it does it will change fast. There are a lot of people who do not use lawyers because they cannot afford them. That's the prize."

'Reinvention takes lead at law practices', here. My previous article on the latent legal market on Main Street here.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Anne-Marie Slaughter - The changing parameters of law and business

In the Harvard Business Review here, Anne-Marie Slaughter said of law firms and the law of change:
"This fracturing and reorienting is happening in the corporate world as well. Turn to manufacturing and note that supply chains first shifted from vertical to horizontal, in-house to global. Then they moved from chains of contracted suppliers to networks of peer producers. Boeing refers to its global "value webs," an approach that turns managers into systems integrators. Large factoring companies assemble networks of designers and producers; they look for "network orchestrators." And as many companies begin outsourcing at least parts of their R&D, they are creating space for professional "inventers" operating through websites like Innocentive. 
When I was in law school in the 1980s one of my favorite professors pointed out that the entire world of law was being turned upside down by the advent of Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw on line. For generations West Publishing Company had published all U.S. cases and had decided how to organize them in meta-categories such as torts, contracts, civil procedure, criminal law, property, etc., and sub-categories within each of those. Those were the fields of law — as taught, practiced, studied. With the advent of Boolean online searching, however, a researcher could suddenly find all cases of every type pertaining to horses, or basketball, or diamond necklaces. Law could be divided and sub-divided in an infinite number of categories, depending on what was actually useful to lawyers, judges, clients, and anyone else creating value out of legal texts. 
Something similar is happening to all our professions. Information and communications technology is blowing the old categories into bits. But countless new jobs will be created connecting those bits in unexpected but useful ways. And who better to name them than you?"

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Beware, Your Twitter history could haunt you

Crude but a powerful metaphor that captures just how destructive social media can be:
"With twitter, once its out there & you try to remove tweets, it's like trying to taking piss out of a swimming pool."

There's just no hiding. The social analytics company Topsy now offers the entire history of public tweets on Twitter. Even deleting a tweet won't cover your back. If someone retweets the offending or questioned tweet it has been cast in concrete. As an Irish politician found out. Find out all about that here.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Daniel Hannan - The Lawyer's Cognitive Dissonance

Daniel Hannan explains here why we as humans, and thus lawyers, are instinctively skeptical of anything new:
"The phenomenon of cognitive dissonance... When presented with a new discovery, we automatically try to press it into our existing belief-system; if it doesn’t fit, we question the discovery before the belief-system. Sometimes, this habit leads us into error. But without it, we should hardly survive at all. As Edmund Burke argued, life would become impossible if we tried to think through every new situation from first principles, disregarding both our own experience and the accumulated wisdom of our people."

Monday, 30 September 2013

Harper Reed - There’s not a business out there that doesn’t require in this age a lot of technology

In an article I wrote for Defero Law here, I quoted the CTO for Obama 2012, Harper Reed, who in an interview with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight made a powerful observation on the role of technology in politics, business and in every area of life. He said:
"I do think that there’s not a business out there – politics, marketing, commerce, whatever – that doesn’t require in this day and age a lot of technology. And so like in the US, it just turned out that the US was no different."

Monday, 23 September 2013

Institutional Bewilderment and the three types of technology

On Saturday 21 September Radio 4 featured 'Bremner's One Question Quiz - What Does the Future Hold?' On that show, Mark Stevenson, possibilist, futurologist and author of 'An Optimists Tour of the Future' made some interesting observations. Of those, one segment stood out. Mark Stevenson made reference to Douglas Adams, a man who said that there were three types of technology. It's very interesting and here's how Mark condensed it:
1. Technology invented before you were born which you don't think of in technology. Like sewers and paper. 
2. Technology invented between the ages of 0 and 35 which you get super excited about. For many, this is the Internet, mobile phones, etc. 
3. Then there's the technology developed after you're 35 which you see as pointless and which makes you angry. 

Mark Stevenson gave his thoughts on the third category: "For my generation that's things like 3D tv and Twitter; I've got friends who are literally furious that Twitter even exists." Mark further said: "The people who determine the strategic direction of a nation or an organisation are usually in the last category. Yet most of the population are in the second category and so you get institutional bewilderment."

Monday, 16 September 2013

Guest Post - Social Media 101 for Attorneys

[This is a guest post by Chelsea Wilson, the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s online LL.M. degree program.]

You may have a J.D. and LL.M., but how much do you knowabout online marketing and social media? Blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platformsare providing new channels for attorneys to build their reputations and attract clients. Although some law firms arestill taking a traditional approach to professional networking and marketingrecent survey statistics show that social media engagement in the legal profession is gaining momentum and showing no sign of slowing down. Attorneys who don’t have asocial media presence are ignoring an increasingly important communication tool.

Despite these statistics, outdated rules with respect to online communication are hindering the adoption of social media by many large firmsSolo practitioners and small firms have a greater chance of success since they can avoid bureaucratic restrictions. Although there are very real ethical issues toconsider, as evidenced by examples of cases placed in jeopardy by social media postings by a juror, judge or prosecutor, adhering to some established best practices can help avoid the most common social media pitfalls.

Friday, 13 September 2013

15m UK Twitter users

Twitter claims 15m active users in the UK, thats one quarter of UK Population. Via The Telegraph here.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Emmanuel Carrère - "I know some big words, but I try my damndest not to use them”

“Like everyone, I know some big words, but I try my damndest not to use them.” 
           - Emmanuel Carrère

On the art of nonfiction, fall 2013 edition of The Paris Review.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Traditional Media for Law Firms, Ctd

Thanks to Legal Cheek we heard here that legal tweeter and podcaster Kevin Poulter (@kevinpoulter) has leveraged his social media nous and graduated onto a leading traditional media platforms, BBC News as you can see from the YouTube video above.

Previous posts on traditional media for law firms here and here.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

David Allen Green - The FT's Legal Blogger

The journalist and lawyer David Allen Green who tweets at (@DavidAllenGreen) and from (@JackofKent) is routinely cited as a the leading legal tweeter and the man who inspired other legal heads to jump into the Twittersphere.

As well as being active on Twitter Mr Green has complimented these efforts with consistent and comprehensive blogging, both on his personal blog (here) and on The New Statesman. Regularly commenting on the law and leading policy questions.

He has been a leading light, blazing a trail where others have followed. Myself included. And now it seems his online energetics have not gone unnoticed. Besides becoming a regular on traditional media outlets he has now landed a regular slot as legal and policy blogger with the FT. Impressive and really quite something. A milestone for sure in the history of legal blogging.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

John Cooper QC on Twitter for Barristers

Big hat tip to Legal Cheek.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Justin Green on the power of Twitter

Justin Green on the right pictured during another interview.
The Nebraskan native and DC-blogger (at the Washington Examiner) Justin Green (@JGreenDC) sat down with fellow blogger Matt Lewis to discuss a range of topics including Twitter and blogging (listen here). Here's some interesting snippets. On the power of Twitter Justin said:
"For young journalists it's the greatest networking tool in the world. It's how I got my start in DC. You follow someone and interact with them; if they like what you're doing they'll follow you back."
Justin then explained how exactly Twitter has served him personally. He said:
"It's how I started with you [Matt Lewis]. It's how I got started working with my current boss David [Frum] (Justin is no longer with the Daily Beast)."

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Seth Godin on fearing social media

Seth Godin on man's resistance to change, used the common mirror as the example and explain social media aversion. Interesting. He said in the blog post here:
"Mirrors and cameras each took a generation or more to catch on as widespread foundations of our culture. It's not surprising, then, that so many people fear social media. It's about us, and when we're on the hook, in front of people we can't know or trust, we hold back. For a while. And then we don't."

Friday, 16 August 2013

Looking back on the Summer's Legal Commentary

Below is a round-up of some of the latest and best observations made on the state of the legal industry in the UK and US.

Legal Innovators and Entrepreneurship:

"Law firms composed of visionaries have the ability to rise to become leaders of a new industry."

Lawyers and law firms are stuck in a steam bath of trouble. For lawyers and law firms to get out of this pickle and succeed in a world of excess capacity, they need to change. This has been the prescription I’ve heard time after time.

Including from the Wall Street Journal here, from the Hildebrandt Institute here, from the ABA Journal here, from the Global Legal Post here, from the Managing Partners Forum here, on the Lawyer Magazine here and on the American Lawyer here.

And of course I always refer to the following reports by: Deloitte (UK), PWC (UK),the Law Society of England and Wales (UK), Citi-Hildebrandt (US), Wells Fargo (US), Georgetown-Reuters (US) and the FT

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Eminent Former Judge, Henry Brooke Joins Twitter

The Lawyer's Email Hysteria of the 1990s

In an interview with litigator-turned-presenter James D. Zirin, Richard Susskind spoke of how his mid-1990s suggestions that lawyers would use email were rubbished and silenced by the settled legal establishment. Backing-up the discussion a bit, Richard Susskind explained the context in this way:
“I look at the tax profession. I look at the way they handle tax risk, the way they identify, control, manage, hedge, monitor tax risk: they use sophisticated tools and techniques to help clients, not simply resolve their problems, but say, on the horizon are 4 problems you’re likely to face and here’s how you can manage and control these risks." 
 James D. Zirin then breached the email-hysteria topic. He asked Susskind:
"You’ve been working in this area for about 30 years. When you got started there was considerable resistance at the English Bar to your ideas, isn’t that true – that the Law Society (what we in the US call the American Bar Association) didn’t want you to speak in public?”

Friday, 9 August 2013

Richard Susskind discusses Twitter and Facebook, Ctd

Richard Susskind, legal technology specialist, continues with his discussion of social media:
"If my clients are sending out regular messages of about what they're doing, where they're going and what they're doing, I would want to be part of that; even if the mechanism of communication is a daft name."

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Richard Susskind discusses Twitter and Facebook

At 23 minutes of the video above and here, legal technology specialist Richard Susskind discusses the usefulness and merit of social media as it relates to law practice. Susskind then said at the end of the discussion that in 5 years time, social media will become mainstream and ubiquitous.
"In 5 years time we'll have embraced [social media]... I'll just take you back to 1995 when people were sceptical about email..."
He also made an interesting point about how junior lawyers use social media:
"To be fair most junior lawyers don't use [social media] for business purposes..."

Monday, 22 July 2013

Maria Popova: "The law lags behind the culture; a good decade usually"

Maria Popova who writes at Brian Pickings and is renowned for for being a one-woman-discovery-machine has taken classes on copywrite law, she spoke of the relationship between the law and the space that it is supposed to govern. She said:

"The law lags behind the culture; a good decade usually."

 - Maria Popova 

At 53 minutes 45 seconds

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Ways are Changing, Yet Law and Lawyer is merchant of the olden days

I like poetry and verse. Here's my attempt to bring some poetry to the legal profession. My legal verse:

"The terms and ways of modern trade are changing, 
Yet lawyer and law firms are the modern day merchant of the olden days."

Monday, 8 July 2013

Being social online is more than just social media

Kevin O'Keefe discusses how law firms can use online and social media monitoring services to really tie together and effectuate a strong online and social media presence:
"If I am a lawyer looking to use social media effectively, I am listening to key words and key phrases relevant to my area of law and the industry I represent. That’s in addition to the obvious ones – my name and the url of my blog. 
I want company names, case names, regulations, and the names of other thought leaders. When such names are mentioned in influential sources – trade publications, blogs, Twitter, newspapers, and other mainstream media, I want it fed to me. I also want to have RSS feeds set up from relevant blogs and other influential sources. Twitter lists with the influencers and thought leaders are also critical. 
With that sort of listening environment, I pick up a 360 degree assessment of the relevant discussion in my field. I can now strategically share what I am reading and engage in the conversation through my blog and other social networks. 
Without such an environment, I am operating in a vacuum and totally in-equipped to take part in social media. Heck blogging and using Twitter without monitoring like that could be considered just making noise, rather than partaking in a conversation that builds trust, relationships, and a reputation."
More here

Irish courts must get with multimedia times says former DPP

The Irish Times explains:

"But the “system” to which Hamilton refers does not any longer reflect reality. The nexus between public opinion, the media and the administration of justice is no longer where it was 13 years ago when it was held that the former taoiseach could not be tried, putting him in effect beyond the law.

Experienced prosecutors are of course right to raise these issues. When and if charges are finally brought to full hearing, claims of prejudice and bias will be among the earliest hares to be coursed by defence lawyers. It will be pleaded that such has been the intensity of public anger, so vile have been the media in their coverage, and such has been the popular rush to judgment that it will be impossible to empanel jurors with open minds.

Hyper-connected world
But in the hyper-connected world of today it is unrealistic to expect that a panel of intelligent adults, possessed of reasonable deductive capacities, can be found who will not to some degree have “internalised” (Brian Cowen’s term) the shocking performance of the Irish financial system and of Anglo in particular. Nobody living in this State has been unaffected. So can prosecutions proceed only where jury members can be shown to have been living in some sort of cocoon? Taken to its logical conclusion it would suggest the criminal courts as a whole should be shut down."


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

We're living in an American legal world

The Legal IT Insider has just published its June edition with news that it is to launch the Legal IT Global Insider 200. This will run alongside the Legal IT UK Insider 200 which has been published since 2003. 

So who are the firms making up the Global 200 listing? Onto the guys at Legal Tech

We are living in an American world with 150 of the top 200 firms having their head offices in the USA. Next up comes the UK with 27 global firms, followed by Continental Europe with 15 firms (Germany, Spain & the Netherlands each on 3) and then Australia with 5 firms. However China (2), Canada (1) and South Korea (1) also make the list. 

Other news includes announcement that Tim Berners-Lee will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Legal Tech conference. 

See the June edition of the Legal IT Insider here. 

Saturday, 29 June 2013

The tyrants' take on Twitter

Overview of the Northern Ireland legal economy

Courts will be fully digital by 2016

Courts in England and Wales will be fully digital by 2016. The legal correspondent for the BBC Clive Coleman reports:

"Courtrooms in England and Wales will be fully digital by 2016, the government says, ending what it described as "an outdated reliance on paper"."

He continued:

"It is part of a wide-ranging £160m plan to improve the speed and efficiency of the criminal justice system."

And this is interesting:

"Measures will include secure wi-fi in courts so lawyers and judges can access all necessary documents."

As are the comments from Justice Minister Damian Green:

"Justice Minister Damian Green said the plan would turn the courts system into a "modern public service"."

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Thereza Snyman on demographic transition at law firms

"As the young'uns move up the food chain and as they become actively more engaged in law firm management we might see more engagement with IT and knowledge management and with other support functions; so that they can be integrated into the strategic thinking of the lawyers."

Theresa Snyman is head of IT at Kingsley Napley. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/thereza-snyman/4/937/318?_mSplash=1

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Traditional Media for Law Firms

She also appeared on BBC 5 Live


As well as BBC world news 


Good link up by Linklaters on Twitter 


Changes to law on whistle blowing

- whistle blowing 

Until now, there has been no requirement for whistle blowing to be in the public interest. But that all changes with effect from today, June 25 2013. 

Nicola Rabson, employment partner at Linklaters came onto Radio 4 to walk the cat back on the Amendments to the employment rights act. 


As the law stands - If an employee blows the whistle and unveils a "protected disclosure" then his or her employer cannot treat them any differently by reason of the fact they've blow the whistle. 

Four key changes to the law 

1- disclosure has to be in the public interest. It cannot just be a personal grievance. 

Come by reason of a number of cases. 

Thereby the hurdle has been raised for any disclosure. 

2. Motivation is now irrelevant. Even if the employee doesn't like employer, as long as the revelation is in the public interest it will be a regarded by the law as a "protected disclosure".

3. if you're employee and you find employee has blown whistle, you cannot treat them differently. You are liable for your actions and the whistle blower can actually sue you for those hostile actions. 

Nicola called this an "interesting change"

4. As an employer, unless an employer takes reasonable steps to prevent hostile actions, the employer can be vicariously liable. 

What are "reasonable steps" steps? Unknown as of but likely to mean training and awareness meeting. 

There is no definition of "public interest". This will only come through the courts and judge made law. Need precedent. 

Asked about the number of whistle blowing incidents, Nicola said the change in law would have little effect. 

She also appeared on BBC 5 Live


As well as BBC world news 


Good link up by Linklaters on Twitter 


Monday, 24 June 2013

"Blogging makes me a better lawyer" - Reflections on a decade of legal blogging

Dallas, Texas lawyer Alan Sherman says that his decade old blog makes him a better lawyer. 

LexBlog asked: How? They then explained:

"By writing the blog, he stays up to date on development in his field and analysing them for the publication keeps him sharp."

Read more and watch an interview on video here. http://www.lxbn.com/2013/06/22/how-alan-shermans-blog-closing-in-on-a-decade-running-makes-him-a-better-lawyer/ 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

"A truly innovative law firm"


Timeline of social media articles, essays and blogs

-          2008: Northwestern University Law Review

-          2010: Conscious Marketing - Top 100 law firms websites (2010)

-          December  14 2011: Lexis-Nexis - Global Social Media Audit of Law Firms

-          December 14 2011: Martindale-Hubbel Blog on social media Audit

-          December 20 2011: Law Society of England & Wales, Social Media Guidelines

-          December 2011:  Visibility and LexisNexis
“Use of Social Media in Legal Marketing,” (summary graphic) and Lexis Nexis blog.

- Jan 5 2012: Law Society of England and Wales practice note

- Jan 6 2012: Law Society of England and Wales says be careful when adding clients on social media.

-          February 2012: the International Bar Association (IBA) report –
The report addressed the impact of social networking on six groups of legal actors, namely lawyers, judges, jurors, journalists, law students and professors, and legal employers. Read the IBA survey on the impact of online social networking onthe legal profession and practice, here. The IBA is the global voice of the international legal profession.

-          February 23 2012: ALM Legal Intelligence Report

-          March 11 2012: Washington Post

-          March 29 2012: Top 200 UK Law Firms on Twitter (Calista Marketing)

-          June 20 2012: Law Society of Scotland, Social Media Guidelines

-          September 18 2012: Social Media Today Article

-          November 2012: Southern Africa Legal Information Institute

- March 2013: survey by Core Legal research finds that many solicitors are still avoiding social media:

- March 13 2013: Law Society of England and Wales publishes practice note on protecting your online reputation.

- June 2013: Law Society of England and Wales publishes 10 social media tips for lawyers.

Further Reading:

Legal Week confronts what is required of a lawyer or law firm interested in building a social media presence.
"It will take a least an hour a day of their time and it will take six months to a year before you build any kind of momentum. If you're prepared to accept that, then it's a nice communication tool to have, but it's certainly not yet essential or any kind of magic bullet." Here.

Legal Week refers to "social media puff".

Thomson Reuters Social Media Guidelines

Individual lawyer marketing on Bright Fire.

Lexis Nexis approaches law firm strategic planning.

Thomson Reuters says "fish where the fish are"

Lexis Nexis social media service herehere, here, here and here
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