ABA Midyear Meeting: Highlights and Interviews

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The American Bar Association includes an impressive number of committees, divisions, and sections all aimed at providing the best resources to its members. We were able to sit down with various leaders within the organization to learn more about what programs are out there, how they are of benefit, and what their plans are for the future.

These 32 conversations provide incredible insight into the opportunities available within the ABA. Listen now to hear how these divisions and committees can help you, and hear it directly from the leaders.

American Bar Association President William C. Hubbard

Hubbard discusses current and future ABA involvement with legal representation concerns in the areas of unaccompanied minor immigration, domestic violence, and criminal justice. Listen now: American Bar Association President William C. Hubbard

_William Hubbard and Sharon Nelson

Additional Interviews

Below are the interviews with various department, committee, and division leaders within the ABA.

In addition to event coverage, the ABA promises monthly episodes discussing the latest from top legal authors and experts on ABA Journal: Asked and Answered and ABA Journal: Modern Law Library. For immediate updates, sign up for email notifications or subscribe on iTunes.

Photos from the ABA Midyear Meeting

Trish Refo discusses the House of Delegates

Trish Refo and Jim Calloway discuss the House of Delegates

Aaron Sohaski discusses the Law Student Division

Aaron Sohaski discusses the Law Student Division

Judge Waxse discusses the Judicial Division

Judge Waxse discusses the Judicial Division

Rew Goodenow sharing details about the National Conference of Bar Presidents

Rew Goodenow sharing details about the National Conference of Bar Presidents

Discussing Law Firm Advertising with Micah Buchdahl

Discussing Law Firm Advertising with Micah Buchdahl

Andrew Schpak and Lacy Durham discuss the Young Lawyers Division

Andrew Schpak and Lacy Durham discuss the Young Lawyers Division

Lisa Dunner gets ready to discuss The Section of Intellectual Property Law

Lisa Dunner gets ready to discuss The Section of Intellectual Property Law

Larry Gill, Kristine Gregorio, Lee Swanson, and Kate Noble discuss ABA Leisure

Larry Gill, Kristine Gregorio, Lee Swanson, and Kate Noble discuss ABA Leisure

Michael Drumke shares his expertise on Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

Michael Drumke shares his expertise on Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

Bob Young discussing the Law Practice Division

Bob Young discussing the Law Practice Division

Amy Lin Meyerson and Stephen Rosales discuss Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division

Amy Lin Meyerson and Stephen Rosales discuss Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division

Zoe Linza on the National Association of Bar Executives

Zoe Linza on the National Association of Bar Executives

A TECHSHOW Appathon with Rodney Dowell and Adriana Linares

A TECHSHOW Appathon with Rodney Dowell and Adriana Linares

‘Serial’ Podcast Poll: Do You Think Adnan Syed is Guilty?

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adnan-syed-serial-podcastIf you’ve been following the Serial Podcast then you’re probably familiar with the case of Adnan Syed and his convicted murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in late 90s Baltimore. The case has baffled the millions of listeners who tuned in for the first season of ‘Serial’, which investigated the case week by week. With no resolution in the final episode and the recent granting of Adnan Syed’s request for review of his murder conviction by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, many people are still unsure of whether or not he actually did it.

Do you think Adnan is guilty of murdering Hae Min Lee beyond a reasonable doubt?

Vote in the poll below and share your opinions on Adnan’s guilt, the involvement of Jay Wilds, and what you think about Adnan’s attorney Cristina Gutierezz’s defense strategy.


On a very special and exciting episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, Bob Ambrogi and J Craig Williams were joined by Deirdre Enright of The Innocence Project, who is currently working on Adnan’s appeal (and was featured on episodes 7 and 12 of ‘Serial’), Erica Zunkel,clinical instructor at the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School and a former trial attorney with a focus on defense, and Markus Kypreos, a practicing attorney who has previously worked with the Texas Prosecutors Association. to break down the case and what was presented on ‘Serial’.

Listen Now! Attorneys Dissect Adnan Syed’s Case


The attorneys analyzed the case against Adnan from both sides, offering expert insight on criminal defense and prosecution, the testimony of Jay Wilds, and the portrayal of this case on Serial, all while tackling some of the tougher questions raised regarding DNA evidence, potential alibis, shaky timelines, and the overall defense strategy.

Comments on the defense

  • Cristina Gutierezz should have discontinued representation if health impaired her ability to do her job
  • There was no clear, outlined defense strategy that was communicated that to the client
  • Expert witnesses should have been hired to challenge cell phone records
  • Physical evidence should have been pursued and tested, including the hair found on Hae Min Lee’s body, the rope, and the liquor bottle found near her body
  • Asia McClain’s potential alibi for Adnan Syed should have been pursued
  • The defense should have investigated whether key witness Jay Wilds was guided to point to Adnan Syed as the primary suspect as a way to avoid jail time
  • Statements pointing to Adnan Syed’s religious background as motive should have been addressed and discounted as an attempted substitute for evidence
  • Jurors were not provided with a clear and understandable narrative
  • The tone and demeanor of the defense attorney when cross-examining Jay Wilds ultimately made the jury more sympathetic to Jay than to Adnan

Comments on the prosecution

  • The case and details presented on ‘Serial’ may not have been the same as what was presented by the prosecutors to the jury at trial
  • Regardless of the inconsistencies in Jay’s testimony, general lack of likeability, and clear involvement, the jury heard his testimony and determined that it was credible
  • This was an open crime scene in a public park where humans and animals traversed through before the body was found
  • While objects found near the body can be tested, it’s important to consider what will be determined to be exculpatory and relevant to the case and victim
  • The rope and the hairs should be tested, but other elements like the bottle found near the body may not be relevant

Stay tuned for the results of the poll!

The Florida Bar Podcast Covers the 2015 Winter Meeting

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In order to connect with members more effectively, the Florida Bar recently partnered with Legal Talk Network to produce a podcast, making education and information more readily available to their membership.

The podcast was launched at the 2015 Florida Bar Winter Meeting, and host Adriana Linares and members of the production team were there to cover the event. At the show, Linares was able to sit down with speakers and leaders within the organization to discuss Continuing Legal Education (CLE) sessions and what members can expect from the Florida Bar in the coming year.

Recording at the Florida Bar

Member Benefits Committee Chair Peter Sweeney, Leadership Academy Committee member Sean Desmond, Young Lawyers Division Representative Jennifer Kuyrkendall, and many others sat down with us to discuss the conference. You can listen to the full interviews below.

Interviews from the 2015 Florida Bar Winter Meeting:

In addition to event coverage, the Florida Bar Podcast promises monthly episodes discussing information, events, and education that is most pertinent to the membership. For immediate updates, sign up for email notifications and select the Florida Bar Podcast, or subscribe on iTunes.

Legal Talk Network Recording

The Winter Meeting was a great success for the Florida Bar as well as for attending members! We had a great time recording, networking with the membership, and learning about the latest in Florida Law.

Photos from the 2015 Winter Meeting

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti and Florida Bar President Craig Ball discuss member benefits and the Practice Resource Institute

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti and Craig Ball discuss electronic evidence and what’s changing

Ethan Wall and Adriana Linares get ready to discuss smart social media use

Ethan Wall and Adriana Linares get ready to discuss smart social media use

Florida Bar President Gregory Coleman and Adriana Linares record the next monthly episode live from the conference.

Florida Bar President Gregory Coleman and Adriana Linares record the next monthly episode live from the conference.

John Stewart shares some details on what to expect from the next technology conference

John Stewart shares some details on what to expect from the next technology conference

Joseph Corsmeier shares his perspective on legal technology and ethics

Joseph Corsmeier shares his perspective on legal technology and ethics

Lanse Scriven, John Stewart, and Adriana Linares sit down for a quick interview

Lanse Scriven, John Stewart, and Adriana Linares sit down for a quick interview

Liz McCausland, Melanie Griffin, Barbara Leach, and Renee Thompson join Adriana Linares for a discussion on balancing career against bar involvement

Liz McCausland, Melanie Griffin, Barbara Leach, and Renee Thompson join Adriana Linares for a discussion on balancing career against bar involvement

Michelle Suskauer pops by to discuss disciplinary reviews

Michelle Suskauer pops by to discuss disciplinary reviews

Peter Sweeney digs into member benefits and technology

Peter Sweeney digs into member benefits and technology

Sean Desmond and Renee Thompson sharing details  on upcoming meetings and leadership

Sean Desmond and Renee Thompson sharing details on upcoming meetings and leadership

Also from The Florida Bar Podcast

In the most recent episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Florida Bar President Greg Coleman sat down with Linares to discuss the Practice Resource Institute, June’s upcoming cloud conference, and member benefits. You can listen to the episode here: President Greg Coleman on the PRI, Member Benefits, and the Upcoming Cloud Conference.

Subscribe to The Florida Bar Podcast

For immediate updates, sign up for email notifications and select the Florida Bar Podcast, or subscribe on iTunes.

Interviews from the ABA Law Practice Division Fall Meeting 2014

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We recently had the privilege of attending the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division Fall Meeting, which was held this year in San Diego. Totally forgetting about the beautiful sites and scenes from Southern California, we were very impressed at the many programs being offered and projects undertaken by the Law Practice Division. Not only do they put on their large annual ABA TECHSHOW each year, but they publish their monthly Law Practice Today webzine to their nearly 400,000 subscribers each month.

In addition to the highly visible initiatives, Law Practice Division does a lot behind the scenes as well. From access to justice issues to their diversity and inclusion programs, this division of the ABA is hard at work making sure our legal system benefits everyone. Even groups like the ABA Women Rainmakers Board make sure to have programs and events that are inclusive of men. For those new to the practice of law (regardless of age), there is the ABA Young Lawyers Division. Not only are they great resources during the job search, but they are also a great place for referrals.

When they are not focusing on social justice, the Law Practice Division tirelessly endeavors to modernize the practice of law with Board groups like the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC for short). Through the production of their Blog, Webinars, Buyers Guide, and Legal Technology Survey, the LTRC makes sure that the most up-to-date technology information is available to lawyers everywhere.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the ABA Law Practice Division is the people who volunteer to make all of this happen. It might surprise you that in addition to the great programs they put on, most of the central leadership is fully employed somewhere else. Whether it is the Law Practice Division’s Chair Robert Young from English Lucas Priest & Owsley LLP, Chair-Elect Tom Bolt from BoltNagi PC, or even ABA President-Elect Paulette Brown from Edwards Wildman, these highly qualified volunteers brings decades of law practice experience to the table that they readily share with their 18,000+ members (and non-members as well).

We had the privilege of interviewing various speakers and individuals involved with the 2014 ABA Law Practice Division Fall Meeting. Take a listen to the interviews below for more details from the conference.

Highlights and Interviews From the 2014 Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group Conference

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The 2014 Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG) conference at the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, California was a central event during pivotal times for workers’ compensation lawyers. The tenor of tones seems to indicate that change is coming and that such change will be sweeping. As outgoing President of WILG Chuck Davoli stated during his interview with Alan Pierce (host of Workers Comp Matters), “It’s not a matter of if change is coming, it’s a matter of how much and from where.” His further remarks discussed implications from the Affordable Care Act as well as the rising nation-wide prominence of pro-business interests.

Alan Pierce and one of our producers took the time to sit down with some of the speakers to capture what was most important from the conference. From Lewis Heller’s concise interview on the history of workers’ compensation law to keynote speaker Jason Schechterle’s story of surviving an incident in which his police car was hit by another vehicle going 100 miles per hour, there is something for everybody.

For a complete list of interviews, see below.

Among the many shared concerns for this group of mostly plaintiff’s attorneys are the reduction of no-fault coverage for employees hurt on the job, unification of insurance policies under both A.C.A. and existing workers’ compensation structures, and combination of legislative actions and court decisions stemming from Florida (often referred to as the “Tipping Point”). For those interested in this area of law, the WILG Conference was an ideal event to attend. Not only did attendees have access to industry leaders such as incoming WILG President Michael Galpern, who measures his experience in decades rather than years, but they were also the benefactor of a helpful staff and speakers on pressing issues.

Interviews with Speakers and Attendees of the 2014 Clio Cloud Conference

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In late September we had the privilege of attending the 2014 Clio Could Conference (#ClioCloud9) in Chicago. This was a great opportunity for our hosts to mingle with some of the key leaders within the legal industry, and also gave hosts and producers a chance to interview some of the big speakers at the event.

Bob Ambrogi, co-host of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, kicked off our interview sessions by speaking with Jack Newton, CEO of Clio. Keynote speaker Richard Susskind discusses his presentation, and other interviewees offered their expertise on topics like data collection, customer service, social media, generational differences, digital marketing, culture, and the latest in legal technology trends. Here is a complete list of the interviews:

These experts give some great insights into the state of technology in law, as well as tips for how lawyers can adapt and what to look for in the future.

Special thanks to Clio for hosting a great event and for their continued support as a sponsor of Lawyer 2 Lawyer! To learn more about Clio and the latest technology trends, listen to Gone Clio.

Highlights from LegalTech West Coast 2014

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This was the last time LegalTech West Coast will be held in Los Angeles, California as the conference moves north to San Francisco next year. In its farewell performance at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, LegalTech offered high-powered speakers, Westin HotelThe Track: (Exploring the New Legal Ecosystem), and innovative new exhibitors.

Editor-in-Chief Monica Bay (ALM’s Law Technology News) took great care not only to find amazing speakers, she also moderated many of the speaking events herself. As a result, the events stayed on-point and audience questions got answered. Her energy and presence brings great connectivity to this conference and attendees walk away feeling very welcome and informed.

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti had the privilege of interviewing many of the speakers during the course of the event and the main take away was just how high the bar had been set. With speakers from some of the IMG_0539largest companies (Microsoft, Motorola, & Kia Motors) and most influential law firms (McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, & Baker & Hostetler LLP), this conference offered deep expertise and instruction. The same standard carried forward with other notable mentions such as Jay Mandel (Rocket Lawyer), Alex Ponce de Leon (Intel Corporation) and Amy Jane Longo (US Securities & Exchange Commission). No matter which speaking event, attendees were surely in for a treat.

 

Nimble & Competitive: Small Firm Advice from Host J. Craig Williams

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J. Craig Williams, host of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, presented “Can Tech Save Fuel Small Firms?” at the LegalTech West Coast Conference in Los Angeles, CA. During his introductions, Mr. Williams left the podium for a litigator-style discussion with the attendees on the floor. Absolutely open to questions, he spoke about the importance of backing up data, going paperless, and his migration from some researching platforms in favor of others.

The overarching theme was about how small firms can compete with larger firms by being nimble. Although he recommended many modern tools and software solutions, Mr. Williams also touched on a managerial approach that empowers employees to customize their working environments to achieve greater quality and efficiency. In addition, he recommended that attorneys should gain a basic understanding of how computers operate in order to get the most out of their software tools.

The final part of the speaking event was dedicated to marketing and reaching out. In addition to reviewing the various options for social media, Mr. Williams brought home a driving point about the nature of people when he said “nothing replaces a handshake at an in-person meeting”. The message being, whatever medium you use to reach out… connect personally.

 

 

Mass LOMAP’s 4th Annual Super Marketing Conference

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For small firms and solo practitioners looking for honest and practical advice on marketing themselves and their firm, this was the ideal event. Not only did attendees have direct access to industry leaders, they also had the happy assistance of Mass LOMAP’s law practice advisors (Jared Correia and Heidi Alexander). This intimate event took place at Suffolk University Law School’s beautiful building located down the street from Boston Commons and across the street from the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place for founding fathers such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere.

QUICK TIPS WITH THE EXPERTS:Starting with the keynote “Delivering a Cloud Experience” and first panel discussion, it was readily apparent that this conference was wholly geared towards solo practitioners and small firms. High-profile speakers such as Jack Newton (CEO & Founder of Clio), Jim Schonrock (Vice President-Performance at Findlaw), and Leigh McMillan (Vice President of Marketing at Avvo, Inc.) eagerly took live questions from the audience at Suffolk and the online participants. Best of all, the answers were straight forward and simple. It was the kind of knowledge that should have been taught in law school but somehow never was.

Picture2Also unique to this event was the emphasis on relationship building rather than a general message on the benefits of social media. In addition to the “whats” of marketing, the “whys” and “hows” were discussed in great detail. This was a true “rubber hits the road” event. Speakers and panelists (including our own CEO Adam Camras) were extremely thoughtful in the delivery of their message. The impression given was that everyone truly cared about the success of the attendees.

Despite the jam-packed schedule of this conference, Heidi Alexander and Jared Correia (hosts of Legal Toolkit) were able to sneak away to Legal Talk Network’s exhibition table to record an episode. In a series of interviews with Jack Newton, Heather Jackson, Jim Schonrock, Joyce Brafford (NCBA), Kelli Proia, Nicole BradickDamian Turco, and Susan Cartier Liebel, they recapped on the elements that make this conference special. Tune in to hear how attorneys should be managing their client relationships to grow their practices. Below are some of the marketing and relationship building take-aways from speakers and exhibitors:

  • Picture3Jack Newton (CEO and Founder of Clio):  “Today, it’s more about how you sell than what you sell”
  • Jim Schonrock (Vice President-Performance at Findlaw):  “With social media, start small and do it well”
  • Leigh McMillan (Vice President of Marketing at Avvo, Inc.):  When it comes to social media, “it’s better to not do it, than to do it badly
  • Gyi Tsakalakis (Director of Search at AttorneySync):  “Use your real name on social media… no one wants to be friends with law firms”
  • Heather Jackson (Regional Development Director at Constant Contact): For your newsletters, “Good Content Matters
  • Conrad Saam (Mockingbird Marketing):  “Phone #s must be in the header of the website… on every page and clickable”
  • David Morris (Assistant General Counsel from TripAdvisor):  “Curate your social profiles”
  • Marguerite Fletcher (Founder of Fletcher Legal Consulting):  “Start networking now… not just when you need it”
  • Kelli Proia (Founder of Lawducate):  “Don’t use gavels, scales of justice, court houses, legal books, etc. on your website”
  • Adam Camras (CEO of Legal Talk Network):  “Take advantage of events like today… have business cards, engage, network… everyone is a prospective client”

More from this event

For more from this event, listen to the below Legal Talk Network Special Reports.

 

LegalTech New York 2014 Highlights

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It was a battle against the elements to get to this year’s LegalTech New York show. We heard some horror stories of massive flight delays, cancellations, and getting rerouted, but those who were able to make it to New York conquered the slushy streets and combination of rain and snow for some great speakers, networking, and products. Here are a few of our highlights.

Tor, Bitcoin, the Silk Road and the Anonymous Web: Drugs, Bombs, and Murder-for-Hire

Jason Thomas, Chief Innovator for Thomson Reuters, presented the opening keynote. Noticeably nerdy for video games and technology, Thomas’s presentation was a delightful, and sometimes unnerving, analysis of how technology, particularly the Internet, is changing the future of crime. Perhaps underscoring the entire presentation was his statement that even criminals need to have a web presence.

TOR is essentially an anonymous Internet browser. The website describes Tor as “a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet” and originally designed with the U.S. Navy in mind. It is where crime sites like the notorious Silk Road are hosted. While Thomas walked attendees through the basics and showed some items for purchase online (a kilo of cocaine anyone?), just as you began to feel you were getting an exciting look at something secret he showed a directory of sites for hitmen, human trafficking, sex with children, and more. The ease of accessibility to these sites was chilling and only furthered when it was pointed out that the payment system for these sites was Bitcoin.

silkroad

Photo credit: @philweldon

Bitcoin has garnered a lot of attention from the media this year, most recently with the $2.6 million hack the Silk Road has pledged to pay back to affected users. Forbes Senior Online Editor Kashmir Hill lived off of Bitcoin for a week, and Bob Ambrogi and J Craig Williams covered the topic in one of their January podcasts: The Legal Issues Behind Bitcoin’s Rise to Popularity. The Internet currency is anonymous and associated only with serial numbers. Thomas shared a photo from a Bitcoin conference he’d attended, where he’d watched an attendee deposit less than $2,000 cash into a Bitcoin ATM and withdraw $75,000 a few minutes later. Perhaps it was because we were fresh off the discussion of hiring hitmen using bitcoin, the big payday made me a little uneasy.

The presentation gave many a new look at the tech-savvy and sophisticated world of crime. By the end of the presentation, Thomas, along with many who live-tweeting the keynote, had coined the term CaaS: Crime as a service.

Twitter reactions:

 

The LegalTech NY Bloggers’ Breakfast

LexisNexis FirmManager hosted the bloggers’ breakfast, which included a panel from four leading bloggers within the industry. In anticipation of the event, LexisNexis released a list of 25 Essential Legal Bloggers. It’s a great resource worth checking out.

bloggers breakfast

Photo credit: @trentcarlyle

On the panel were . . .

  • Chris Anderson, Product Manager for LexisNexis FirmManager (and host of the Unbillable Hour),
  • Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog Network and his own blog, Real Lawyers Have Blogs,
  • Bob Ambrogi, who has been writing the blog Law Sites since 2002 (and is a co-host of Lawyer2Lawyer), and
  • Vivia Chen, chief blogger for The Careerist and a senior reporter at American Lawyer.

The panel brought some great ideas and differing philosophies about selecting topics, writing quick posts versus more in-depths one, and how as bloggers it’s still difficult to predict what is going to perform well until after it’s published. It was a great way to kick off day two of the conference. Thanks, LexisNexis for the invite and for including Legal Talk Network on your list of essential bloggers!

Spotted in the exhibitor halls:

The exhibition halls were massive and packed with great products and resources. As usual, there were plenty of cool things at the booths. Here are a few that caught our eye.

Tiki Barber at the Kiersted booth

tiki barber

Photo credit: @LegalTechShow

Huron Legal’s Oxygen Bar

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 2.28.11 PM

Photo credit: @lisasolomon

Catalyst’s Rolling Papers

rolling papers_bob ambrogi

Photo credit: @bobambrogi

Bridgeway’s mini texas pecan pies

texas pie

Photo credit: @atlblog

There were a number of other great eye-catchers in the exhibition hall. Overall it was a great show and we can’t wait to attend next year.

Limited slides and information from the conference can be downloaded here.

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