Michael Fricklas is executive vice-president, general counsel, and secretary of Viacom Inc., a powerhouse in the digital content industry. Viacom, a global mass media company, owns Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Spike, Comedy Central, Channel 5 in the UK, and hundreds of other cable television networks. Because of the massive amount of media content it owns (mostly tv shows and movies), Viacom has been at the center of copyright issues involving YouTube/Google. Additionally, as a large corporation with many departments and outsourced legal work, cybersecurity and cyber attacks have become immensely important recently.
In this episode of In-House Legal, Randy Milch interviews Michael Fricklas about his path to becoming general counsel of Viacom, his specific interest in technology law, and what it’s like to be general counsel in a company owned by lawyers. Fricklas also discusses the copyright infringement lawsuit between Viacom and YouTube, how he managed the corporation’s public reputation during that time, and what he predicts for the future of cybersecurity in law firms and corporate legal departments. Tune in for an inside look at how the digital age has influenced the job of general counsel.
Michael Fricklas has served in senior management of Viacom’s legal department since 1993 and has been general counsel and secretary, Viacom’s most senior legal position, since 1998. He has been deeply involved in the legal issues surrounding the digitization of content and, most recently, has become involved in cyber-security issues.
“Artificial Intelligence is a means of designing a system that can perceive its environment and take actions that will maximize its success.” -Tom Mighell
Developments in Big Data, machine learning, IBM Watson, and other advancements in technology have brought back the cyclical discussion of what artificial intelligence might mean for lawyers. Has anything really changed, or have we just reached another round of the AI debate?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell analyze recent discussions about artificial intelligence and lawyers, try to separate myth from reality, and ponder whether AI can take over the work of lawyers. Together, they discuss the definition of AI, robotics, Technology Assisted Review, driverless cars, document assembly software, LegalZoom and how lawyers are assisted or threatened by these technologies. Dennis points out that lawyers are often worried about computer system mistakes but comfortable with the lower success rate of humans. Tom aptly explains that comfort in certain technologies stems from psychological acceptance.
In the second half of the podcast, Dennis and Tom revisit traveling with technology. As Dennis was just in Europe, and Tom is headed there soon, they talk about wireless routers, mobile wifi, headphones, phone chargers, backpacks, and the other various technology necessities to bring on your vacation. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
In March 2015, Legal Talk Network went to ABA TECHSHOW and interviewed many knowledgeable lawyers and legal technology experts. As a follow-up to the conference, we interviewed criminal defense attorney and self-proclaimed technology junkie Robert Sisson about wearable technology and the future of technology in the courtroom.
On this episode of Special Reports, Laurence Colletti and Robert Sisson discuss smartphones, smartwatches, and other forms of wearable technology. Sisson explains how these technologies save lawyers time and money, improve the client experience, and allow him to practice anywhere. He delves into the way smartwatches will change mobile technology, security concerns, and what to consider before buying one. While lawyers are now benefitting from wearable technology in the courtroom, Sisson believes the future will bring virtual reality technology.
One of the most important steps in starting a solo practice is marketing. This can also be one of the most difficult, because these lawyers depended on their previous firm for incoming business. And it’s not like they taught marketing a firm in law school. Since solo lawyers have smaller budgets than large law firms, online marketing is usually the most practical avenue. But where do we start?
In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews internet marketer Jason Marsh about the most effective marketing process for lawyers beginning a solo practice, how much they should spend on a website, and what it means to optimize your business for the search engines.
Focusing your business to target a niche audience
Prioritizing your marketing
Buying and building an impressive website
High-quality site content
What is Search Engine Optimization
What to expect from your online marketing
Jason Marsh is the founder of Orlando-based internet marketing agency MARSH8. He frequently writes and speaks on how law firms can implement better online marketing strategies to acquire new clients. He has been working in advertising and marketing for over ten years.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.
The legal service industry has been changing rapidly, causing many lawyers to worry about the future of their practice. Many potential clients are now looking online for solutions to legal problems. Despite this, there is still a large percentage of the population without access to the legal services they need. In order to deal with this emerging legal marketplace shift, American Bar Association President William Hubbard formed the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. But what does the commission do and how is it benefitting lawyers and the general public alike?
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Judy Perry Martinez, chair of the ABA Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services. Martinez discusses specific actions the commission is taking to find solutions, including grassroots meetings across the country, a national summit, public hearings, and lawyer education. She explains how discussions with lawyers, judges, technology innovators, law students, academics, and law librarians bring awareness to issues in the changing legal landscape and encourages solution ideas. These changes present challenges and opportunities for lawyers today, but those who do not jump on board will likely be left behind.
Judy Perry Martinez is currently is spending a year in residence at Harvard where she is an Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow. Previously, she has served as vice president and chief compliance officer of Northrop Grumman Corporation, a major aerospace and defense company. Prior to going in-house, she was a commercial litigator for 21 years at the New Orleans law firm of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn. Judy served as the ABA lead representative to the U.N. and has held many leadership positions in the ABA over the last 30 years, including service on the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee, chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary and the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, and chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division.
In a recent blog post, Canadian lawyer and legal technology blogger Nathaniel Russell defined Lawmageddon as “the imminent confluence of events that will change lawyers’ lives forever.” This most likely includes technologies such as cybersecurity, cloud-based systems, encryption, and social media, which influence the legal sphere in a way that lawyers cannot opt out of. Why are lawyers as a profession so hesitant to adapt to these changes in technology, what will it take for the legal profession to eventually come around, and how are different jurisdictions effecting the necessary changes? It is important to discuss these questions, even if we can only hypothesize answers.
In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview Nathaniel Russell about his definition of Lawmageddon, what the legal profession needs to embrace these changes, and the consequences lawyers face if they fail the tests of Lawmageddon. In the second half of the podcast, Russell discusses what can happen if lawyers ignore the presence of social media as evidence and the ethical responsibility all lawyers have to their clients with regard to social media and due diligence.
The difference between legal market change, anxiety or panic, and Lawmageddon
How lawyers do or don’t securely store their files and communicate
The psychology of plodding lawyers
How a cataclysmic event might be required for true change
The lack of collusion in different jurisdictions
Ethical and legal standards for practice in social media
The fun case of Beattie v. Beattie
Useful social media evidence tools
Nate Russell is a Canadian lawyer and blogger with a passion for technology, law, access to justice and civil liberties, especially where they intersect. He works with Courthouse Libraries BC, a non-profit serving legal information and training to lawyers and the public, and is a recovered family lawyer and civil litigator. Additionally Russell consults and does legal research on the side.
The idea of a lean business was recently made popular by Eric Ries’s book, “The Lean Startup.” The lean concept involves eliminating waste and resources that don’t create value for the end client. This practice has become predominant in the tech world, in which companies create a minimum viable product, test it early and often, and adapt to client feedback. But how can we adapt lean concepts to law firms and the legal industry that is service-based? Where should a new law firm start?
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Heidi Alexander interviews Nicole Bradick, former litigator and chief strategy officer at Curo Legal, about what it means to have a lean business, how to apply lean concepts to law firms, and where new lawyers and established law firms can start. Bradick begins by clearly explaining the lean concept; the company builds a minimum viable product, measures how it helps clients, learns and adapts to feedback, and repeats the process. Lawyers can use lean concepts, she says, by making fewer initial assumptions about client needs and adapting to what works. She discusses how law firms should maintain low overheads to adjust for shifts in the market while adopting efficient practices to increase productivity. Cloud-based technologies like practice management systems, contact relationship management systems, email platforms, research tools, and document management systems can be beneficial in streamlining practices, but Bradick urges lawyers to properly learn to use the technologies or risk creating more problems. Obviously, starting a lean law firm is easier said than done, but it will likely be successful in this changing legal market.
Nicole Bradick is the chief strategy officer at Curo Legal, a company that provides practice management advice and consulting to law firms. Nicole previously founded and operated Custom Counsel, a legal services outsourcing company, until it was acquired by Curo Legal. Nicole has been named to the ABA Journal Legal Rebels List and to the Fastcase list of 50 global legal innovators.
Disclaimer: Please note that Heidi Alexander and Nicole Bradick refer to Eric Ries as David Ries.
“Invisible apps” are background programs that automatically trigger functions without being opened. Therefore, the app interface is less important than the underlying function. These invisible apps might include automatic notification or emails based on a trigger, a personal concierge, or a password manager. Rather than a calculator or camera app waiting to be opened, invisible apps actively interact with users. Why do Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell believe these to be the newest generation of device apps and how can a lawyer use them in his or her practice?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss invisible apps, how they might impact or benefit lawyers, and whether they are the leading edge of a much more significant technology wave. They discuss moving away from labeling app success only by presence on the home screen and how invisible apps are more often used but rarely opened. For example, Dennis uses his news apps for breaking stories, his password manager interacts with other apps, and he receives context notifications (e.g. within proximity to a Facebook friend). He also talks about Invisible Girlfriend, an app that gives social proof of a fake relationship for inquisitive friends and family. Tom discusses many useful apps for “if this, then that,” apps that arrange appointments, reservations, and groceries, and email notification automation for social updates. Tom and Dennis discuss how this new generation of notification apps is indicative of emerging information intake platforms like smart watches. Finally, they talk about how lawyers can use these invisible apps for personal life, professional organization, or even client communication.
In the second part of the podcast, Dennis and Tom discuss Dave Winer’s new idea of a five minute podcast that quickly comments on one topic, answers a question, or responds to a post. They discuss the searchability of the podcast, the work spent on production, and whether this really is the Twitter of podcasting. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
During a recent trip, Lawyer 2 Lawyer host Bob Ambrogi visited Legal Talk Network headquarters in Denver, Colorado. While there, he interviewed hosts from another legal podcast called ‘FOSS+beer’. With their general focus on law, technology, and open source software, hosts Mark Donald, Jilayne Lovejoy, and the mysterious Boups the Beerman navigate potentially irreverent topics while sampling local libations on each episode. In an effort to respond in kind, we decided to adjourn from our comfy studio in favor of our neighbor’s craft brewery establishment, Beryl’s Beer Co.
Tune in to hear this spirited discussion about the indemnification, intellectual property, and ethical issues associated with open source software and the practice of law. In addition, listen to our very own Trent Carlyle, owner and chief technology officer of Legal Talk Network, and Chad Jolly, senior software developer, as they join the conversation and talk about the world of modern software development while Eric Nichols, head brewer from Beryl’s Beer Co., gives the rundown on the craft brewery industry sweeping the RiNo arts district in downtown Denver.
Mark Donald is an attorney who provides technology, knowledge management, workflow, and licensing consulting to his clients. He is a frequent speaker and presenter for topics relating to software in law practice. Mark maintains an open source project called oslawtools.org, which is dedicated to building on existing projects to make them useful and easy for legal practice.
Jilayne Lovejoy is a consultant providing services relating to open source policy considerations and licensing compliance. She co-leads the legal team for Software Package Data Exchange and is a regular participant in open source industry groups.
Boups the Beerman brings the non-legal perspective to the FOSS+beer podcast and makes sure that his co-hosts don’t get too serious about the legal issues. Although his identity is mostly a secret, his tastes as a beer connoisseur and fashionista are well-known?
Eric Nichols is the head brewer at Beryl’s Beer Co. which is a craft brewery that specializes in barrel-aged products. He started as a home brewer but eventually went to brewing school to pursue his passion.
Trent Carlyle is the co-owner and chief technology officer for Legal Talk Network. Prior to founding Legal Talk Network’s parent company, Trent earned his MBA from Colorado State University and went on to build and grow a number of software and internet start-ups. Trent works very closely with the technology and marketing teams overseeing product development.
Chad Jolly is the senior software developer for Legal Talk Network and its parent company. He enjoys building and fixing all types of things while striving to find simple and elegant solutions to complex problems.
In this series of Legal Talk Network interviews, producer Laurence Colletti and ABA Journal Legal Affairs Writer Victor Li interview Professor Andrew Perlman, Shantelle Argyle, Dwight Smith, Judge Laurie White, Terri Mascherin, Judge Ann Aiken, and Steven Crossland. Together, they discuss the mini-presentations that were part of the ‘Bridging The Gap’ speaking event at the ABA’s National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services.
Tune in to hear how law schools are adjusting their curriculum to meet shifting roles for attorneys, what an innovative law firm is doing to address decreased job openings for lawyers, and why it’s important to hire ex-cons when they are released. In addition, learn how app platforms are reducing repeat criminal offenses while saving taxpayers money and why some paralegals are allowed to practice law in Washington State.
Victor Li is the legal affairs writer for the ABA Journal. Previously, he was a reporter for Law Technology News, The American Lawyer magazine, and Litigation Daily (NYC). A former prosecutor in the Bronx, Victor earned a J.D. from Tulane, a M.S. from Columbia University School of Journalism and a B.A. in history from Amherst.
Professor Andrew Perlman is the professor of law and director of the Institute on Law Practice Technology & Innovation at Suffolk University Boston Law School where he teaches professional responsibility and civil procedure. He is the vice chair of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services and the former chief reporter for the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20.
Shantelle Argyle started Open Legal Services, Utah’s first and only nonprofit modest means law firm that has the goal of helping people of modest means who are working hard but can be easily crippled by a legal setback.
Dwight Smith is a solo practitioner at the law office of Dwight L. Smith, PLLC. He has chaired numerous committees and commissions for the American Bar Association, including the Standing Committee on Group and Prepaid Legal Services.
Judge Laurie White presides over the Criminal District Court in Orleans Parish where she hears criminal matters. She is the co-founder of the Orleans Re-Entry Court Workforce Development Program, which focuses on getting former inmates back into the workforce and reducing the chances for recidivism.
Terri Mascherin is a partner at Jenner & Block’s Litigation Department and a member of their Complex Commercial Litigation, International Arbitration, and Trademark, Advertising and Unfair Competition practices. She serves the firm as co-chair of the Firm Centennial Planning Committee and as a member of the Diversity and International Committees and the Women’s Forum Steering Committee.
Chief Judge Ann Aiken presides over the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon nominated by President Clinton in 1997 and confirmed by the Senate in 1998.
Steven Crossland has been a practicing attorney for nearly 40 years. He is the former president of the Washington State Bar Association and has been dealing with the unauthorized practice of law and access to justice for 21 years. He is also the recipient of WSBA’s Award of Merit and the current chair for the Limited License Legal Technician Board.