Spending on technology appears unlikely to decline at many law firms this year, but executives are stressing the need to remain agile. Jeffrey Brandt, chief information officer of Jackson Kelly, reports a slight increase in his firm's IT budget, but says one upcoming expense has been "significantly pared down": conference room improvements.
Everlaw, which makes tools for e-discovery and litigation technology, is making its Storybuilder tool available for free. Storybuilder uses documents found in e-discovery to create a narrative, incorporating other evidence as well as depositions.
Opus2 has expanded beyond its collaboration and dispute management platform to include deal management, a move the company said is in response to demand from clients on both sides of the Atlantic. Meanwhile, CEO Graham Smith-Bernal will move into the executive chairman role, with former fintech executive Martin Coen becoming the new CEO.
Legaltech provider InfoTrack, which is based in Australia and has operations in the US, has bought Lawgical, which will continue to operate under its current name and remain in Denver. Lawgical owns several brands including ServeNow and ServeManager in the process server field and Legal Talk Network, a producer of podcasts.
E-discovery professionals on a recent virtual panel indicated remote depositions are likely to continue even after the pandemic abates, because of the cost savings involved. However, protocols likely are necessary to address the challenges that emerge when dealing with documents in remote depositions, said Amy Sellars, director of Cardinal Health's Discovery Center of Excellence.
Internal debates are part of implementing any new technology, so it's important to "work through them and come out as a stronger group in the end," writes Patrick Rodgers, marketing chief for document automation company Lawyaw. Rodgers offers tips on forming implementation teams and training plans.
Many employees will be skeptical or fearful of COVID-19 vaccines, and while employers can require vaccinations, they'll succeed more with strong, empathetic and clear communication that aligns with employee well-being, public health communications and company policies, writes Inspire PR Group founder Hinda Mitchell. "Going in with a 'vaccinate or else' message is sure to fail, while a well-crafted set of messages will build a favorable climate for future vaccination requirements," she writes.
Chief information security officers need to guide executives' expectations better, writes Douglas Ferguson, founder and chief technology officer of Pharos Security. Ferguson outlines five security/economics questions that need to be answered, concluding with "Can our results be independently verified?"