The second annual Law Technology News Awards, presented at a filet mignon and salmon dinner event tonight, recognized the technological savvy of Foley & Lardner, Jenner & Block, Hogan & Hartson and Latham & Watkins -- and the innovative people who put technology to good use for their firms and clients.
Rod Oshins, a Yankee fan decked out in a tuxedo, was the master of ceremonies, who captured the attention of the 200 attendees with his clarion voice. AmLaw Group Publisher Kevin Vermeulen presented awards to numerous vendors who won plaudits in 13 categories from the magazine's readers, who voted in an online poll. LTN Editor Monica Bay presented the law firm awards at Legaltech 2005 at the New York Hilton to:
- Douglas D. Caddell, CIO for Foley & Lardner won the IT Director of the year award. He had taken 18 offices that were independent tech fiefdoms and created a single, central world-class technology organization. He provided the vision and motivation for the firm to create value-added services that have attracted clients and won praise from corporate executives.
- Brent Kidwell, a partner at Jenner & Block, was named "Champion of Technology." He melded the firm's law practices to create a "Client Driven Applied Technology." Among his achievements in only 18 months on the job was JennerNet, which collects information from the firm's accounting, email, conflicts, records, human resources, document management, CRM and other internal databases. He made them all searchable by created a powerful KM Search engine. For an article about his work, see "Web-Enabled Law Firms Capture New Business" online at http://www.lawmarketing.com/pages/articles.asp?Action=Article&ArticleID=352.
- William Gregory, CIO of Hogan & Hartson, won the "Most Innovative Use of Technology" category. The IT department has distributed 900 Blackberrys to attorneys, so they can stay in touch with their colleagues and clients; created a work-flow system using Metastorm's eWord product to integrate the firm's new business intake system with the Blackberrys; and made it possible for lawyers to work remotely, wirelessly and as close to an "in office" mode as possible.
- Partners John P. Lynch and Mark D. Beckett of Latham & Watkins won the "Most Innovative use of Technology at Trial" award. They used animation, music and photos to win a breach-of-contract case. The multi-media presentations provided lost profits and market share in an international arbitration.
In a moving coda to the evening, a dozen yellow roses were presented to Monica Bay, who celebrates her 20th year at AmLaw on February 1. She started out as a cub reporter for the San Francisco Daily Recorder, and today is Editor-in-Chief of Law Technology News; Editorial Director of Law Firm, Inc. and Small Firm Business, and the voice behind the blog The Common Scold, http://commonscold.typepad.com/.