Technically Legal - A Legal Technology and Innovation Podcast

Percipient - Chad Main

Technically Legal is a podcast about legal tech, legal innovation and the impact of tech on the law and legal industry.

In each episode we interview an innovator in the legal industry. Guests discuss how technology is changing the practice of law and how they are implementing legal technology and innovation into their legal departments and law firms.

All Episodes

Eric Farber, attorney and writer, visits the Technically Legal Podcast to talk about Creators Legal, a LegalZoom like app for creators and those in the entertainment industry. Creators Legal offers self serve industry contracts drafted by experienced lawyers. It makes sense that Eric launched a legal tech company for creative types. He started his career in the entertainment industry working for a talent agency and then headed up business affairs for a movie studio. Ultimately he moved to private practice and represented entertainers and athletes. In fact for many years, he represented Amaru Entertainment which released Tupac Shakur’s posthumous music. In 2008, with the economy in shambles, Eric, like many, had to pivot and launched Pacific Workers which was initially a workers compensation law firm for athletes, but later came to represent workers from all fields. So, how is that Eric decided to launch a legal tech company? One of Eric’s law clerks pointed out that Eric always had great business advice, but he never used it himself. That comment resonated with Eric and that’s when he decided to launch Creators Legal. Based on his experience in the entertainment world, he knew the vast majority of those creating art and intellectual property could not afford proper legal representation to protect their rights. What Eric saw is an access to justice issue and set out to do something about it. The result is a site that creators can go to and find legal documents to help them protect their rights and create businesses around their art. Although historically Eric was on the legal side of the entertainment industry, he is also a creator. He wrote a book a couple of years ago called The Case for Culture: How to Stop Being a Slave to Your Law Firm, Grow Your Practice, and Actually Be Happy.

Nov 24

26 min 7 sec

We talk to Nicole Clark, Co-Founder of Trellis, an AI-powered state court research and analytics platform. Like many entrepreneurs before her, Nicole came up with the idea for Trellis to “scratch her own itch”. She was burning the midnight oil on a pleading she needed to get on file for a client (prior to launching Trellis, she was a litigator). She was unfamiliar with the judge that would hear the motion so, that night, she sent an email to colleagues at her firm to find out if any of them had been in front of the judge. In a stroke of luck, another lawyer in the office had been in front of the judge and with the very same legal issue. Needless to say, she was now armed with important background information about the judge that would help her notch a win for her client. It was that night that Nicole, said to herself, “there has to be a better way.” Why isn’t there a database of background information on state court judges she wondered. It was then and there that the idea for Trellis came to be. Eventually, Nicole hired a developer to create a bare bones app and used her law firm colleagues as testing guinea pigs. And it worked…Trellis became a reality and started attracting users outside of Nicole’s law firm. Nicole and the Trellis team got into Tech Stars LA and started raising money, and the rest…as they say is history…well…history in the making. Nicole and the trellis team have a lot of big plans they have yet to execute.

Nov 10

39 min 12 sec

The ransomware episode. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so how couldn't we do this episode? Our guests are Kelly Geary, National Practice Leader of Executive Risk & Cyber/Professional Services Claims for EPIC Insurance Brokers, and Rich Gatz, Claims Counsel for Coalition, a Silicon Valley cyber insurance company. While both Kelly and Rich have law degrees, they have worked in insurance for a long time. Both got started with cyber insurance and incident response in the early days. On the show, they talk about the history of cyber insurance coverage and what parts of ransomware and cyber incident response insurance covers. To close out the conversation, they explain what goes on behind the scenes in a cyber attack response.

Oct 28

33 min 54 sec

Blockchain. Crypto mining. Proof of stake. Smart contracts. Non Fungible Tokens (NFT). DAOs. Crypto regulation. We talk about all of the above and more with Lewis Cohen of the blockchain focused law firm of DLx Law. Lewis breaks down what a blockchain network is and how transactions are recorded and verified on the network. He also talks about the legal and intellectual property implications of NFTs and decentralized autonomous organizations. Lewis also touches on recent efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies and blockchain businesses.

Oct 14

49 min 39 sec

Sonja Ebron found herself in a couple legal tangles over the years. From disputes with landlords to dust-ups with shady creditors, she represented herself in court a couple times and quickly figured out litigation without a lawyer can be very difficult. So, what did she do about it? She founded Courtroom5, an app that helps civil pro se litigants with legal research, provides education about court procedures and also helps them draft and file pleadings. A “do-it-yourself” litigation support tool. In 2019 when Courtroom5 participated in the Duke Law Tech Lab incubator program, Sonja met Maya Markovich who joined the Courtroom5 advisory board. Together with the Courtroom5 team, they are trying to bridge the access to justice gap and make it a little easier on litigants who head to court without a lawyer.

Sep 30

38 min 30 sec

Otto Hansen, the founder of Term Scout, visits Technically Legal to talk about the company he founded that uses machine learning to analyze and rate contracts. Specifically, it analyzes contracts to determine whether they are in line with industry standards and how vendor or customer friendly they are. The goal of Term Scout’s rating system is to cut down on contract negotiation and eliminate the back and forth about uncontroversial terms so the parties can focus provisions that will require more give and take before they are finalized. Term Scout is not Otto’s first start up. Otto is a lawyer who practiced for a few years before launching Term Scout, but prior to entering the legal world, he worked at a start up that was making ski gloves. It was his experience with the ski glove company that actually inspired Otto to go to law school.

Sep 15

34 min 6 sec

“Whatever benefits advanced legal technology may bring to lawyers, I am concerned about this sort of technology seeping into the legal writing classroom,” writes Northwestern University Legal Writing Professor Michael Zuckerman in an article he penned for the ABA Journal, Law Professor Makes Case Against Automating Legal Writing in Law School. However, Professor Zuckerman is not anti-legal tech. In fact, as he explains in the latest episode of Technically Legal, he even founded a legal tech company before joining the law school faculty at Northwestern. His concern is that if law students are not first taught to write their own legal documents and do their own legal research, but instead rely on tech, it may very well come at the expense of their ability to employ critical legal thinking and, ultimately, be effective attorneys to their clients. Professor Zuckerman also talks about how the Rules of Professional Conduct are also implicated by the use of legal technology.

Sep 2

29 min 44 sec

Contract automation and building an alternative legal service provider (ALSP) within a law firm is the topic of Episode 52. Eric Baker and Michael Case, transportation attorneys with Frost Brown Todd, talk about their journey founding Transaction Expeditors, an AI enabled contracts automation platform for the transportation industry. Before joining Frost Brown Todd and before launching Transaction Expeditors, both Eric and Mike were in house attorneys. Eric served as GC for transportation and logistics companies SIRVA and CRST. Mike was also in-house doing legal work and running claims for a transportation insurer Protective Insurance. There has been much talk over the last couple of years about the interplay between law firms and alternative legal service providers. Should law firms use them? If so, should the create their own? When Eric and Michael, along with their colleague Stacy Katz, founded Transaction Expeditors, they were not thinking about those questions. They just wanted to create a more efficient contract management solution for their transportation clients. But in the end they created an ALSP within their law firm. Having Eric and Mike on the show also brings the podcast full circle because Transaction Expeditors’ technology partner is the AI engine Legal Sifter, a company we had on the show way back on Episode 15 in 2018.

Aug 18

43 min 4 sec

Cyber incident response. Cyber attacks. Unfortunately, we hear these terms daily nowadays. But what really goes on behind the scenes in a cyber incident? To answer that question, we asked Luke Green, a Breach Response Services Manager for cyber insurer Beazley Group and Josh Sudbury, Managing Principal of Forensic Investigations at Lodestone, a leading cyber defense and incident response company, to come on the show. They break down step by step what happens when an organization is hacked. From containment to remediation, Luke and Josh explain the stages of a cyber incident response plan. They also explain how cyber insurers and incident response teams work with companies to minimize cyber risk and damage. They also discuss cybersecurity and what companies can do ahead of time to prevent cyber attacks including education initiatives and implementing cyber incident policies.

Jul 27

35 min 17 sec

Data analytics maturity models (and legal operations maturity models in general) are the topic of discussion with Peter Eilhauer, Managing Director for Legal Spend Solutions at Epiq. Peter knows his stuff about legal spend management–he’s been working in and around it for 16 years. He started as a consultant helping law firms manage costs and then jumped ship to help corporate legal departments manage their legal spend. Most recently with Epiq and just before that with Elevate Services. Peter describes a maturity model as “a set of structured levels that describe how well the behaviors, practices and processes of an organization can reliably and sustainably produce required outcomes.” Stated another way, a legal operations maturity model is a way of measuring how well a legal department is using their people, processes and technology to handle legal work. Although Peter mainly discusses maturity models as they relate to data analytics (and specifically how to use data analytics to monitor and control legal spending), maturity models can be applied to many legal operations functions.

Jul 8

38 min 27 sec

Using artificial intelligence to help make hiring decisions is the topic du jour of Episode 49. Matt Spencer and Aaron Meyers, the CEO and CTO of Suited, respectively, explain how their AI powered, assessment-driven recruiting platform helps law firms and corporate legal departments find the best candidate for legal jobs and also increase diversity hires. After a career in investment banking, Matt and his co-founders launched Suited to address the major difficulties in finding the right job candidate: limited time, limited budgets and limited information. Suited trains its AI with assessments taken both by hiring parties and candidates to identify potential hires who have the best chance at thriving in a particular firm or company work environment. Suited’s assessments collect three categories of information: psychometrics, skills and academics. Once candidates take the assessment, the app ranks them for a particular firm to predict whether the candidate will work well in that environment. To better identify the right legal job candidates and create a more diverse hiring pool, Suited’s engineers worked hard to develop software that mitigates bias in the hiring process. To do that Suited’s A.I. models models exceed the standards for fairness set forth by the EEOC. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Jun 10

36 min 3 sec

"The fundamental tool of lawyers is language" explains Serena Wellen in this episode. Serena is a Senior Director for LexisNexis and works on the Context legal analytics platform. Context leverages machine learning and natural language processing from Ravel, a company LexisNexis acquired in 2017. Using Ravel's analytics engine, Context sits atop many of the LexisNexis databases and analyzes information about judges, lawyers, expert witnesses and companies compiled in "entity authorities." With Context, lawyers can craft their best arguments using analytic insight about the judges they are in front of and opposing counsel they face. Context can help identify the case law judges and adversaries rely on the most, and how likely a court is to grant their motions. Context is also a helpful tool outside of the courtroom. In-house legal teams can use it to vet outside counsel and attorneys can use it to figure out if the expert witness they want to hire has ever been disqualified and if so, why. Learn more about Serena.

May 19

32 min 49 sec

Online Dispute Resolution.  That is the topic of discussion with New Era ADR cofounders Collin Williams and Rich Lee. New Era ADR is an online claims dispute resolution platform that provides online mediation and online arbitrations. Collin and Rich came up with the idea for New Era after they both served as General Counsel for a couple of Chicago based tech start ups. Collin was GC for online music instrument marketplace Reverb and Rich's last role was general counsel for Civis Analytics. A data science company founded by technology vets from the 2012 Obama reelection campaign. Collin and Rich are buddies and a couple of years ago they were commiserating about inefficiencies in dispute resolution they dealt with as GCs. That is when the seeds for New Era were sown. Fast forward to 2020, and the two got serious about launching an online dispute resolution company. The company teamed up with the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and provides experienced neutrals to oversee online arbitrations and mediations. The rest, as they say, is history (or at least history in the making). Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Apr 28

30 min 17 sec

Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Tumblr and WooCommerce (among others), is a distributed company by design. In fact, the company’s creed spells out its commitment to a distributed workforce. They have 1500 employees spread across 80 countries. In the latest episode of Technically Legal, Paul Sieminski, Automattic’s General Counsel, discusses how legal work, which has traditionally been performed in offices, is prime for distributed teams because it is quintessential knowledge work. And… the legal industry, like all others, must face the new post-Covid reality where people will likely spend much less time in an office (if at all). Paul explains why effective communication is key to working with others outside of an office environment, and how this is good for lawyers because communication is a “legal superpower”. He also shares tips and suggestions on how to create productive and successful distributed legal teams. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Apr 14

48 min 18 sec

Using legal tech to scale a corporate legal department is the topic du jour in Episode 45. The guest: Mel Scott, Senior Legal Counsel for Megaport, a global technology company offering scalable point to point connectivity for public and private cloud connections. Mel is also the host of a great podcast called Counsel about in-house lawyer life. Mel talks about her journey from law firm lawyer to an in-house role. She also talks about her experience scaling Megaport's legal department not only with specific legal technology (contract management app Ironclad) but by starting with technology the company was already using. In this case, Slack and Jira (issue and project tracking software). Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Mar 23

32 min 36 sec

The history, current state and the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is the topic of conversation with George Socha. George currently serves as Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness for e-discovery software company, Reveal Data, but back in 2005, he founded the EDRM along with Tom Gelbmann. What is the EDRM? It is a model that outlines the stages of the Electronic Discovery process.  The EDRM discovery stages are: Information Governance Identification Preservation and Collection Review and Analysis Production and Presentation In the 16 years since the inception of EDRM, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is much more prevalent in e-discovery, and as George explains, can be used in nearly every EDRM phase. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Mar 3

48 min 42 sec

Using intellectual property management software and automation is the topic of conversation for Episode 43. We talk to Jeppe Hudtloff Viinberg Rightly.io co-founder and Rightly user Michael Ro Mejer Interim General Counsel for Danish clothing company, Masai. Rightly is IP management software that automates and tracks tasks across the IP management lifecycle. Such as docketing, renewal management, and brand protection. The app also provides IP registration metrics and reporting. Jeppe and Michael explain how through the use of technology, IP management can move from manual processes and tracking deadlines on spreadsheets to automating tasks necessary to the intellectual property lifecycle. Using technology to manage intellectual property also makes it possible to leverage metrics and maximize return on IP investments. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Feb 2

41 min 14 sec

In the first episode of 2021 we talk to a fellow podcaster and legal blogger Greg Lambert. He is co-host of the Geek in Review Podcast and also writes for Three Geeks and a Law Blog. Both the Three Geeks podcast and blog focus on legal innovation and change in the legal industry. Greg’s day job is Chief Knowledge Services Officer for the Dallas based law firm Jackson Walker. Although Greg still considers himself a law librarian, as Greg explains, the role of a law librarian in the 2020s is way different than it was in the late 90s when he started his career after a stint in the army, law school and with a masters degree in library sciences in hand. If the term law library conjures up visions of books and an old school card catalog, think again. Modern law librarians are often legal technologists and the role of law librarians overlaps with knowledge and information management professionals, among other functions in a law firm. In fact, Greg oversees several non-library functions at his firm that involve the use of tech and data. Greg is a member of the firm’s C Suite and is in charge of its research team, the firm’s conflicts and intake team and he also helps with marketing and business development. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Jan 11

38 min 9 sec

The modern legal ecosystem and all its allied professionals is the topic of discussion with Lucy Bassli, founder of InnoLaw Group (formerly InnoLegal Services) and Chief Legal Strategist at Law Geex. Lucy started her career in Big Law (at Davis Wright Tremaine) and ultimately landed a job in Microsoft’s legal department where she served as Assistant General Counsel. At Microsoft, Lucy was responsible for, among other things, the legal department’s procurement operations and contract management systems. Lucy left Microsoft in 2017 and started InnoLaw Group–part law firm and part consultancy–where she helps law firms and law departments develop new ways to deliver and receive legal services. In her role as Chief Legal Strategist for Law Geex, Lucy advises on the use of artificial intelligence in contracting, helps with product roadmaps, consults with corporate customers, and assists with the development of go-to-market strategies. Lucy discusses the players in the modern legal ecosystem (regulators, industry groups, service providers, consumers of legal services and educators) and why to be really successful and efficient, all of them should work together. She also explains what it means to be a unicorn lawyer–a lawyer that knows law, but also loves, understands and values process and technology. We also talk about the “Big 4” entering the legal market and how law firm associates have a real opportunity to push for change. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Jan 7

34 min 9 sec

Workflow automation for lawyers and legal teams is the topic of Episode 41. Our guest is Scott Kelly, one of the founders of Community.Lawyer, which is “no-code” workflow automation software with an app builder designed with attorneys in mind.  Community.Lawyer is a way for law firms, corporate legal departments and legal aid organizations to automate common and repeatable tasks to save time and resources. Among other uses, Community.Lawyer can be used to create forms to collect data, create portals for both internal and client use, automate document creation and even collect payments. The app is centered around databases that legal teams can use to collect and reuse data relating to their clients and legal matters. As Scott discusses, Community.Lawyer is being put to some pretty cool uses both for public and commercial purposes. Law firms and legal departments are using it to create better client experiences and it is also a great tool for legal aid organizations to tackle access to justice issues. Speaking of access to justice and public sector legal work–Scott is no stranger to that. With an Ivy League law degree in hand, he started his career working for the American Civil Liberties Union. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Dec 2020

45 min 56 sec

Episode 40 is a great conversation with Matthew Holland, CEO of Field Effect Software, a cyber security company providing tools and managed detect and response (MDR) services to protect against cyber attacks.   Field Effect is Matthew’s second company.  In 2007 he founded Linchpin Labs, a company that offered ethical privatized intelligence to governments and companies. Matt started his cyber security career with an internship at Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE). Canada’s CSE is similar to the NSA in the United States. The CSE ultimately brought Matt into the Tailored Access Operations group to gather signals intelligence for the agency (intelligence from communications and information systems). Matt explains why law firms and legal departments are prime targets for hacking. He thinks of law firms and legal departments as “the formalization of relationships between businesses and people and the documents, the communications around all those resources.” And, in those documents and communications, is the type of very sensitive information hackers hunt for. That is why law firm data security is key. Matthew also discusses cyber security best practices for law firms and corporate legal departments (cyber security best practices for all businesses, really). Matthew’s first and foremost suggestion to prevent against cyber attacks? Education. The majority of cyber incidents have a root cause in human error and cyber security education goes a long way. He also suggests the use of multifactor authentication (MFA), VPNs (virtual private networks) and password managers.  He also explains that an organization’s first step in implementing a cybersecurity policy or program is to designate a point person and figure out what kind of budget is available. Once a budget is known, organizations can then start to figure out the best approach to cyber security (what software to use and whether security efforts should be handled in-house or outsourced, like an MDR solution). Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

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Nov 2020

48 min 30 sec

Virtual court hearings are the subject of Episode 38. We talked to Magistrate Judge Tony Leung via Zoom about using Zoom videoconferences for court. Judge Leung sits on the bench for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota and has a pretty impressive background. He emigrated from Hong Kong to the United States at the age of 6, was valedictorian of his high school class and then headed to Yale for college. From Yale he went to New York University law school, worked as an attorney at BigLaw for a few years and then became not only the first Asian American state court judge in Minnesota, but also the first Asian American federal judge in the state. Judge Leung talks about his experience with virtual court hearings and the pros and cons of holding court hearings by videoconference. He also offers some best practices for appearing before a judge via video (test your equipment ahead of time, make sure you have a stable internet connection and good lighting, take time to mark and ready your exhibits and... make sure you are out of bed before hopping on the video call!). Judge Leung also talks about how internet access for all also implicates access to justice issues. Specifically, if not everyone has access to the internet, it may limit their ability to have their day in court. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Nov 2020

51 min 9 sec

Ethics attorney Jim Doppke returns to Technically Legal to talk legal ethics and technology. Jim is a former prosecutor for the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and is now in private practice with Robinson, Stewart, Montgomery and Doppke. Jim counsels attorneys and businesses on legal ethics issues and represents attorneys and attorney candidates in ARDC proceedings. Way back in 2017, Jim was our first guest and he talked about what was then a fairly recent change to Comment 8 to Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 (a lawyer’s duty of competence). In response to changes in technology, the American Bar Association added language to MRPC 1.1 , Comment 8 stating attorneys must understand “the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”  (To date, more states than not require attorneys to be “technologically competent.”) We brought Jim back to talk about what has changed since he first appeared on the podcast because his original episode is still one of the most downloaded.  Jim says a few things have changed since the tweak to the Rule 1.1: More lawyers using artificial intelligence (AI), especially for contract review and litigation, more lawyers using tech in general (especially since COVID-19) and that there are now other legal ethics rules that touch on the use of technology (like MRPC 5.3 (Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistance). Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Oct 2020

31 min 50 sec

Attorney Michael Volkov, head of the Volkov Law Group, is our guest for Episode 38. He discusses the use of technology, software and data analysis in corporate compliance and ethics programs. Michael and his firm focus on regulatory compliance issues, internal investigations and white collar crime. Michael explains that it is very difficult to implement a successful ethics and compliance program without using technology to analyze data. In fact, recent updates to the U.S. Department of Justice Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (the “DOJ Compliance Guidance”) emphasizes that corporate compliance officers must be given access to relevant compliance and human resources data so they may properly monitor and assess the effectiveness of compliance programs. Michael discusses the types of data that should be measured to ensure the effectiveness of a corporate compliance program, where to find that data and the future of compliance software and “RegTech” (Regulatory Technology). Michael has his own compliance podcast, Corruption, Crime and Compliance and a great blog focused on compliance, internal investigations and white collar crime. Things We Talk About in This Episode DOJ Compliance Guidance Compliance Dashboards RegTech Software Association of Corporate Counsel Legal Operations Maturity Model for Compliance Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Mr. Roboto Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Sep 2020

36 min 50 sec

Bryan Cave data privacy attorney Christian Auty returns for Episode 36 to talk about the real world implications of the Schrems II opinion from the European Court of Justice. What is Schrems II? It is shorthand for Case C-311/18 Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited and Maximillian Schrems. In it, the Court of Justice reaffirmed that generally, transfers of personal data from the EU to non-EU countries are prohibited unless sufficient measures are taken to protect it. The court followed law found in the European Data Protection Directive and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Both say that personal data of EU citizens may not be transferred to non-EU countries unless proper safeguards are in place and only if the Non-EU country ensures an adequate level of protection for the personal data transferred. In short, Schrems II invalidated the EU/US Privacy Shield Framework that many companies used to legally transfer data between the EU and US. The EU and US governments created the Privacy Shield so companies could become certified to securely transfer data between the EU and US. The Schrems II court did not believe that the Privacy Shield did enough to protect EU personal data because, among other things, even under the program, EU citizens have no right to challenge government requests for their information under the Foreign Information Surveillance Act. As Christian explains, although Schrems II invalidated Privacy Shield, it did not invalidate Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC) and he suggests that if you do not have SCCs in place and you transfer data from the EU to the United States, you should look into them. Standard Contractual Clauses are model contract clauses officially sanctioned by the European Commission that address how companies must handle and protect personal data of EU citizens. Christian says too that companies can bolster their contracts and SCCs by implementing a law enforcement policy–a specific policy about how a company will handle inquiries from intelligence agencies or law enforcement regarding data.

Aug 2020

36 min 39 sec

You don't have to "boil the ocean" to implement innovation and change in a law firm or legal department. That's what we learn in Episode 35 from Anna McGrane, PacerPro COO, and Joshua Fireman, President of Fireman & Company. PacerPro is an app that streamlines and automates the distribution and capture of data from federal court filings. Fireman & Company is a legal industry-focused management consulting firm. Anna and Joshua join us to talk about a white paper they put together analyzing the time saved and the ROI law firms realized by automating the distribution and processing of federal court filings. Dealing with pleadings may not be the sexiest legal tech use case, but as Joshua explains, addressing solvable, everyday pain points can be a big win in the development of a knowledge management program and in the bigger picture of change management.  In their study, Anna and Joshua figured out that by automating the distribution and processing of federal court filings, participating law firms saved nearly 50,000 hours of human time.

Jul 2020

33 min 14 sec

Do you want to spend less time dealing with email? Are you interested in automating repetitive work tasks? Cyndi Wheeler and Mark Pike, both in-house lawyers at collaboration software company Slack, offer tips on how to do that in Episode 34. Cyndi and Mark discuss how they moved almost all of their communications with outside counsel away from email and into Slack channels and how that has increased productivity and the effectiveness of their legal team. They also explain that Slack is more than just a communication hub, but has many other features including workflows and bots that the Slack legal department uses to automate common legal tasks. They use Slack workflows to field questions, review documents and contracts for legal issues and help sales close deals.  Finally, the two lawyers offer tips about how to organize and prioritize Slack channels and messages to stay sane and not become overwhelmed by the barrage of electronic communications we all get everyday. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Jun 2020

35 min 23 sec

LegalMation Co-Founder Thomas Suh is our guest in Episode 33. LegalMation is a suite of artificial intelligence tools that helps attorneys and legal professionals automate routine litigation tasks like drafting pleadings and written discovery responses. Thomas and his Co-Founder James Lee came up with the idea for LegalMation while working at a litigation boutique. The firm handled high profile cases and, to even the playing field with larger law firms, they leveraged automation to save time and conserve resources. Taking automation a step further, the two attorneys realized artificial intelligence could be used to tackle routine (and sometime mundane) tasks that every litigator has to deal with–like responding to complaints and written discovery. Fast forward a few years, LegalMation is live and used by corporate legal departments for some of the biggest companies in the world. As Thomas explains, Walmart uses LegalMation’s AI in slip and fall cases to give their lawyers a head start and let them focus on “higher touch” legal tasks. Using LegalMation’s assistance in drafting pleadings also promotes consistency throughout the company’s large litigation portfolio. Similarly, LegalMation is also used by law firms to automate litigation tasks, such as Ogletree Deakins whose employment lawyers use it in certain employment cases. Thomas points out that the use of AI in legal is not a replacement for attorneys, but a “lawyer’s technician.” He also says that lawyers implementing tech and AI should start slowly because if you take on too big of a project, you might be setting up yourself for failure. Things We Talk About in This  Episode LTL Lawyers Legal Project Management Software IBM’s Watson   Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

May 2020

31 min 58 sec

Legal Value Network Founding Board Members Keith Maziarek and Justin Ergler visit Technically Legal for Episode 32.  Keith, a second time guest (Episode 15 – legal service pricing) and Justin talk about the genesis of LVN (an evolution from the P3 conference) and the group’s mission of “designing, building and implementing the foundations of a more contemporary and commercially-sound model of legal service delivery.” Keith is Director of Legal Pricing and Project Management at Katten Muchin and  Justin is Director of Alternative Fee Intelligence and Analytics at GlaxoSmithKline. Keith and Justin explain that inclusiveness is a big goal for the Legal Value Network and the group wants to create a membership community with representation from all corners of the legal ecosystem.  Keith and Justin explain that through LVN they hope to encourage community and collaboration throughout the legal services industry. Things We Talk About in This  Episode LVN Webinar: The Challenges and Opportunities of One-to-Many Legal Solutions Blickstein Group Legal Department Operations Survey Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Apr 2020

34 min 41 sec

Microsoft attorneys Dennis Garcia and Jason Barnwell discuss how legal teams can successfully and productively work remotely. They also discuss how recent work from home orders may speed up innovation and transformation in legal departments and law firms. Dennis is an Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft and a prior Technically Legal guest. We talked to him on Episode 4 about Automation, Cybersecurity and the Cloud. Dennis leads a team of lawyers assisting Microsoft’s Enterprise Commercial Sales and Services team, one of the company’s largest commercial businesses. Jason is also an Assistant General Counsel and heads up Microsoft’s Modern Legal team. In that role, his mandate is to drive industry leading innovation to digitally transform and modernize the Microsoft legal department. Dennis and Jason explain that for companies to equip their lawyers and employees to successfully work from home, they need to invest in the right tools. The first of which is good hardware—devices up for the task of running whatever software the business needs. Jason points out that if remote workers have good hardware, they are well positioned for success because most modern software is cloud based and “meets you where you are” permitting work to be done pretty much anywhere with an internet connection.  Dennis and Jason also explain that for successful remote work, the modern legal team needs collaboration tools to communicate and work with team members, productivity software like Word and Excel to create legal documents, remotely accessible data storage and knowledge management tools. Both Dennis and Jason agree that change is hard, but lawyers, like everyone else, just need to make the jump and try new tools and new ways of working. And… it all starts with a mindset shift. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Apr 2020

34 min 2 sec

Sterling Miller joins us on Episode 30 to discuss how in-house legal teams can help their companies respond to crisis situations and pandemics. Sterling is a three time general counsel (Travelocity, Sabre Corporation and Marketo) now with the Hilger Grabens law firm. He also writes a great blog, Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel. Sterling explains that during crises, in-house lawyers should “run to the fire” and actively help their companies deal with difficult times. It is a good opportunity for legal departments to lead and show value to the organization.  Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Mar 2020

36 min 42 sec

According to Clio’s Legal Trends Report, attorneys fail to respond to more than 60% of inquiries from prospective clients. This abysmal response rate is juxtaposed against surveys of in-house counsel reporting that, on a scale of 1 to 10, responding to client inquiries rates 8.8 in importance .  Poor client communications should not be the norm in legal. In Episode 29, lawyer and founder of Attorney Sync, Gyi Tsakalakis explains how lawyers can use tech and software to be more responsive to client inquiries, strengthen client relationships and win new business. Gyi is a good person to talk to about this subject. His company Attorney Sync is a digital marketing consultancy helping lawyers build good websites and implement effective digital strategies. Gyi is also the co-host of a great legal marketing podcast called Clienting. In this episode, Gyi talks about a few of the findings from the Clio Legal Trends report, but also offers practical tips to improve client communications. As Gyi notes, the first step in building strong client relationships and improving customer experience does not involve tech at all: It’s making responsiveness a priority and implementing client response policies. Once a policy is in place, then it is time to think about using tech to enhance client interactions. The backbone is a good CRM platform (customer relationship management). These tools often provide access to email automation, bots and customer support tools that help facilitate client communications.  Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Mar 2020

31 min 57 sec

In Episode 28 Joshua Becker, Chairman of Lex Machina and head of the Lexis Nexis Legal Tech Accelerator talks data driven lawyering. Josh discusses his start in the tech community and his move to venture capital. Ultimately, Josh became involved with Lex Machina, a legal data analytics company started at Stanford. Lex Machina permits legal teams to mine litigation data to find insights about judges, lawyers, parties, and the subjects of the cases themselves to discover meaningful patterns in data. Josh explains how data analysis can not only help lawyers win cases, but it can also help them win business and help corporate legal departments find the right lawyers for their legal projects. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Dec 2019

23 min 51 sec

In Episode 27 we talk to Chuck Fox, Director of the Visualization Practice Group at Engineering Systems Inc. (ESI). Chuck explains how his team creates 3D models and virtual reality applications to help lawyers better understand their cases and demonstrate to judges and juries how situations occurred. Chuck explains that VR modeling starts with laser scan data that is turned into a point cloud and then loaded into software to create the VR environment. Chuck and ESI have been hired by lawyers to create VR models for injury cases and also patent cases. Chuck believes that VR also presents an opportunity to recreate situation for insurance claims handling and create training models for insurance claim adjusters. Learn more about Chuck or connect with him on LinkedIn. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Nov 2019

27 min 47 sec

We headed to Silicon Valley to chat with SimpleLegal founder Nathan Wenzel in Episode 26. Nathan has a great legal tech startup story–from idea to acquisition. SimpleLegal provides legal operations software to help corporate legal teams run their departments, manage their legal operations and monitor finances. (This type of software is sometimes referred to as ELM software or “enterprise legal management” software.) The early days of SimpleLegal were spent at Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s highly respected start up accelerator. The company was one of the first legal tech companies YC accepted. After completing the program, Nathan and his team raised a seed round and then a $10 million Series A round to grow the company. Fast forward to 2019 and Onit came knocking. Onit is another company providing enterprise software for in-house legal departments and legal ops teams. Onit acquired SimpleLegal in May, 2019. Nathan talks about his legal tech journey and what it was like to raise money when investors were not as familiar with legal technology companies. Learn more about SimpleLegal, and be sure to check out their great blog covering legal ops and in-house legal topics. The company also has a great legal ops resource center too. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.  

Oct 2019

31 min 46 sec

In Episode 25, we talk to New York Times Senior Economics Correspondent Neil Irwin about his book, How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World: The Definitive Guide to Adapting and Succeeding in High-Performance Careers. To write the book, Neil interviewed successful employees with companies in various industries–from Microsoft to a company running popular New York City eateries.  He wanted to understand what made these people successful in the modern economy. An economy driven by automation, “gig” jobs and dominated by “winner take all” companies (companies that dominate an industry like Google, Facebook and Walmart). Neil figured out that the most successful professionals are “glue people.” People who can communicate across varying job types and roles. Glue people are effective communicators because they are flexible, held varying types of positions in their career and understand the economics of their company. What does this have to do with legal tech and legal innovation? Quite a bit. The legal industry is not immune to economic changes affecting other industries. Technology and automation are changing the way lawyers work. To be a successful lawyer nowadays, it takes exposure and skills outside traditional lawyering (like understanding project management and being tech savvy–or, being a “unicorn lawyer”). In his book, Neil ultimately concludes that for people with the right mindset, economic changes impacting the modern career path are positive. Those that are flexible, willing to make the effort to stay ahead of industry trends and take time to understand what really drives business to their companies and firms are poised to succeed. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Sep 2019

28 min 59 sec

In Episode 24 we talk litigation finance with Justin Barker, an investment manager and the head of the Chicago office for litigation funding firm Validity Finance, and Bartlit Beck litigator Steven Nachtwey. Justin and Steve discuss the process of securing litigation funding, deal structure and explain that a good litigation finance relationship is built on trust. We close out the interview discussing the non-monetary benefits of litigation funding (another “set of eyes” to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a claim and the ability to see a claim all the way through to the end). The guys also dispel some myths about litigation finance (such as that it encourages litigation of bad claims). In the legal tech founder segment we talk to lawyer and legal tech founder, Brian Powers of PactSafe. Founded in 2015 PactSafe is software enabling users to create, monitor and track high volume contracts (like clickwrap agreements) at massive scale.   Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Sep 2019

49 min 57 sec

Legal ethics attorney Jim Doppke discusses the impact that legal tech and legal innovation have on the Rules of Professional Conduct and other rules that govern how lawyers practice law. Jim explains how Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (Lawyer’s Duty of Competence) and  5.3 (Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistance) are implicated by advances in legal technology and legal innovation. A comment to Rule 1.1 (and adopted by most states) says that as part of a lawyer’s duty of competence, lawyers must stay abreast of changes in technology. Rule 5.3 states that lawyers must actively supervise “non-lawyer” assistance they engage to help out on legal matters. This is significant, because certain legal tech, like artificial intelligence (AI), is really non-lawyer “assistance.”  So, as Jim points out, if lawyers are going to use AI, they must supervise the training of the algorithms to ensure accuracy. In a similar vein, Jim points out that as the use of ALSPs (alternative legal service providers) increases, there too is another situation in which lawyers must supervise work done by those who may not be attorneys. In the legal tech founder segment, we talk to Jeffrey Eschbach, the founder of Page Vault. Page Vault software permits users to capture webpages and social media for use in legal matters. The captures are forensically sound, delivered in pdf format and include vital metadata strengthening evidentiary value.    Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Aug 2019

43 min 12 sec

For Episode 22 we headed to Washington D.C. to talk to patent attorney Kate Gaudry about using big data to help legal clients. Much of Kate’s data analysis focuses on allowance rates for individual patent examiners (the percentage of patents they approve) and also for the “art units” they work in. We also talk to Kate about how mathematical models like game theory can be used to make decisions about pursuing or abandoning patent applications. Finally, Kate explains that before attorneys start collecting data and using technology to analyze it, they need to take a step back, look at the whole process and figure out which questions really need answered and identify the ones for which data may provide insight. In this episode we also talk to Lawcadia founder Warwick Walsh. The Lawcadia platform is an end-to-end matter and spend management system built specifically for in-house legal teams.   Check out episode page.   Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Jun 2019

39 min 18 sec

In Episode 21 we talk to Dave Rogers, Chief Technology Officer for the Ministry of Justice in the United Kingdom. (Similar to the U.S. Department of Justice). Dave explains how falling in love with “hype technology” (the hot new tech of the moment) may actually hinder an organization’s efforts to innovate. Dave also points out that legacy technology can be problematic for organizations large and small. He refers to this as the “toxicity of legacy”. Toxicity caused by older software and systems that are poorly supported, hard to update, poorly documented, non-compliant or inefficient. We also talk to Crawford Appleby, founder of rulings.law. A searchable database of tentative rulings issued by Los Angeles Superior Court judges.   Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Apr 2019

41 min 3 sec

In Episode 20 we talk to Evisort founder Jerry Ting about his company and also about improving legal technology by looking outside of legal tech. Jerry founded Evisort while studying at Harvard Law and it was there that he started looking outside of the legal world to build his business. He applied to and was accepted by the Harvard Innovation Lab to help launch the company. By the time he graduated Harvard, Jerry and his team already had customers and had raised money for the company. In this episode’s legal tech founder segment, we talk to Andrew Klein, founder of Reynen Court,  a services automation platform that uses containerization to enable law firms to deploy computing applications without exposing firm or client content to outside computing environments. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Mar 2019

36 min 54 sec

Lawyers Zach Smolinski and Christian Auty return for Episode 19. Like last time, they discuss blockchain technology and its impact on the practice of law. Zach is with Smolinski Rosario Law and Christian with the Much firm. We talk about what’s changed in the blockchain world since they were on the show in 2017. Both agree that regulators have stepped up enforcement and the public is less enthralled about the technology. However, both are still big supporters and excited to see people getting serious about building sustainable blockchain businesses. In this episode’s legal tech founder segment, we talk to Basha Rubin and Mirra Levitt the founders of Priori Legal. The company makes it easy for companies to find, hire and manage outside counsel without the costly infrastructure of a firm. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Feb 2019

40 min 26 sec

The focus of this episode is automation of legal processes by law firms and in-house legal teams. We talk to immigration lawyer Greg Siskind. He and his firm automate both client facing and internal legal processes. As we learn, automation limits errors, automates expertise, saves time and is good for marketing. In our legal tech founder segment, talk to Tom Dreyfus, CEO and co-founder of Josef, an automation platform helping lawyers create legal chatbots. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Feb 2019

40 min 32 sec

In Episode 17 we talk about online dispute resolution with Stephen Kane, the founder of Fairclaims, a platform that helps people resolve legal claims online. ODR has been around since the 1990s, but really took off when companies like Ebay and Amazon started to use it to resolve customer complaints and disputes. As Stephen explains, many types of disputes are amenable to ODR and courts across the globe are starting to use it. In our Legal Tech Founder Segment, we talk to Tucker Cottingham, the CEO and co-founder of Lawyaw, a document automation and assembly tool for lawyers. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Jan 2019

36 min 48 sec

Our guest this time is Vishal Agnihotri, Chief Knowledge Officer (or “CKO”) for Hinshaw & Culbertson. As CKO, Vishal is responsible for the firm’s knowledge management programs.  Vishal has a great definition for KM: the ability to identify critical knowledge within an organization and then leveraging it to serve up at the right time for the right purpose. Vishal explains that law firms are great candidates for knowledge management and law firm CKOs must work closely with the firm’s Chief Information Officers and Chief Marketing Officers. For law firms and legal departments interested in implementing a knowledge management program, Vishal says the first step is determining what constitutes “critical knowledge” and to use tools to organize that critical information. She suggests a good starting point is a collaboration platform to share knowledge and pose questions and to also utilize a good intranet for the organization.  We also talk to Jeff Kerr, the CEO of CaseFleet. A case chronology and management tool for lawyers that helps attorneys review evidence, organize facts, and identify trends in legal matters. Jeff also points out that CaseFleet is also used by investigative reporters and expert witnesses. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Nov 2018

32 min 12 sec

In this episode, we sit down with Keith Maziarek, Director of Pricing and Legal Project Management for the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman. Keith explains that law firms are adding pricing positions because of economic pressures and client demands. Clients are demanding changes in the way they are billed (AFAs or “alternative fee arrangements”) and also demanding that law firms become more efficient. Keith also explains how project management and pricing legal services go hand in hand because to properly forecast the cost of a legal project, a thorough understanding of how the work will be done and what resources are needed is necessary. Keith notes that fixed fees are not the only type of AFA out there. He discusses fee collars and success based legal fees. Keith explains how pricing fits into law firm marketing efforts and why sometimes it is best not to bid on work at all if it is not a good fit for the law firm. In our Legal Founder Segment we talk to Kevin Miller, the CEO of Legal Sifter, an app that uses artificial intelligence to help people negotiate contracts with speed and providing advice from company leaders and lawyers in seconds. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Oct 2018

36 min 36 sec

In Episode 14 we talk to Barry Solomon, lawyer, former BigLaw CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and current President of Foundation Software Group. Foundation develops experience management software for law firms. Barry distinguishes marketing from business development and explains how the two should work together. Barry says the key to good business development is to really listen to clients about their needs. Barry also discusses the benefits of using of technology to gather data and track marketing metrics. He points out that much of the data helpful to improve marketing efforts is often found in software law firms already use (such as billing and timekeeping software, matter management software and the like). Barry’s tip for law firms wanting to get serious about marketing, but still testing the waters, is to have two programs in place: 1) a program to gather client feedback; and 2) a program in place to train lawyers how to develop business.   We also talk with Daniel Goldstein, the Founder of Trust & Will, an online tool to create, edit, store, and share a trust and will. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Sep 2018

33 min 33 sec

For Lucky Episode 13, we talk to Justine Gottshall about data privacy laws. Specifically, about the GDPR and California’s Consumer Privacy Act.Justine is a partner at InfoLaw Group, where she counsels clients on data privacy, technology, information governance, consumer protection, and digital marketing issues. Justine began her career as a Washington D.C. litigator and was involved in the FTC’s first data privacy investigation.In this podcast, Justine explains to whom the GDPR and CCPA apply and the protections the laws give consumers. Justine also explains that law firms are not immune from data privacy laws.We also talk to former bankruptcy attorney Morris Massel about the company he founded, CourtSolutions, The company provides an efficient way for judges and lawyers to make telephonic court appearances.

Aug 2018

38 min 39 sec

In Episode 12, we talk to Jae Um, founder of Six Parsecs, an insights company for the legal industry. The conversation with Jae is wide ranging. We discuss Han Solo, the true distance of a parsec and how she came up with the name for her company. Jae explains that a “new normal” confronts many law firms and discusses how they must now compete for business post-2008 recession. Jae also talks about how “data viz” (or data visualization) helps explain information and why it is not helpful to use the “Because Lawyers” excuse as the reason change does not always come quickly to the legal industry. In Episode 12, we also talk to Jason Boehmig, attorney and founder of Ironclad. A contract management and automation platform. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Jul 2018

39 min 20 sec

In this episode we connect with Zach Abramowitz, lawyer, legal tech writer and entrepreneur. Zach left the practice of law to launch ReplyAll.me, a tool that lets users conduct live conversations and embed them on a website as the conversation unfolds. We talk to Zach about trends in legal tech, how lessons learned by e-discovery software companies helped pave the way for other legal tech apps and why law firms are positioned to develop legal tech software. In Episode 10, we also talk to Catherine Krow, also an attorney and the founder of Digitory Legal, a cloud based legal budgeting and resource management platform. Technically Legal is hosted by Chad Main, an attorney and the founder of Percipient, a tech-enabled alternative legal services provider.

Jun 2018

25 min 28 sec