Thursday, February 5, 2009

Back from LegalTech New York 2009

I'm back from the City (definite article "the", capital "C" -- as I grew up referring to it, notwithstanding my upstate NY-raised wife's dissenting opinion on that particularly parochial identification), after attending LegalTech® New York 2009 earlier this week. Karen Yotis, site administrator for the LexisNexis Insurance Law Center had invited me and some other LexisNexis Top 50 insurance law bloggers to participate in a panel entitled "Adopting Web 2.0 Capabilities into your Web Presence". 

Those of you who have clicked my résumé link on the toolbar to the right already know that I speak frequently at insurance industry meetings and conferences on issues relating to insurance coverage and fraud, my substantive areas of practice, so I did ask Karen Yotis why she was inviting me and why anyone might be interested in hearing me speak about Web 2.0 and legal blogging.  After all, other lawyers, such as my western New York neighbor Nicole Black, have been writing and speaking about integrating Web 2.0 modalities, tools and resources into a legal practice for much longer than I've even been blogging.   Since LexisNexis was sponsoring the Web 2.0 track on Tuesday, however, Karen was asked to pull together a panel of bloggers, and she turned to her pool of insurance law bloggers who post or guest post on her LexisNexis Insurance Law Center. And, okay, I am, as I admitted during the panel, a bit of a technogeek (nicknamed Jimmy Neutron by one client, which I'm perfectly okay with, especially since I've heard some of his nicknames for others), so the opportunity to talk about something I have grown to enjoy -- blogging -- intrigued me.  And, for those who has seen my "interactive presentations" in the past, I'm not shy about opening my mouth in public.

To prepare for LegalTech and for credibility's sake, even if somewhat recently acquired, I did create and start exploring both LinkedIn and Twitter profiles prior heading to New York, and retrospected on the whys and hows I began blogging.   If you look to the right toolbar, you'll see that I also created and integrated a CoverageCounsel Twitter feed into this blog.

Joining me on the panel, in alpha order, were insurance law bloggers Roland Goss, author of the 5-lawyer effort, Reinsurance Focus, my perceived (but not so much) nemesis, Dave Gottlieb, the second-time new dad and author of the No-Fault Paradise blog, and Brian Green, who edits/contributes to the 40+ lawyer effort InsureReinsure.  Also contributing to the panel were blogger Rees Morrison, who writes Law Department Management, and our moderator, Maia Benson, LexisNexis' Director of SEO/SEM (search engine optimization/marketing).

Although our panel reportedly was up against a cocktail reception (true that?) and was last on the day's schedule, the session was well attended with folks, including many who already blog, who seemed very interested in hearing from the panel about the start-up, metrics, value and concerns of and with blogging.  Dave Gottlieb and attendees Jason L. Molder (Small Firm Tech blog) and Kelly D. Talcott (Infringing Actions blog) have already posted excellent summaries of our panel here, here and here, respectively.  A pretty cool and polished podcast of participants in the LexisNexis-sponsored Web 2.0 track just hit Twitter and can be heard here (QuickTime).

One of the most interesting aspects of attending and speaking at LegalTech was the presence and real-time reporting of twitterspondents, Twitter users who tweeted the progress of many sessions, including ours.  Twitterers could follow those running tweets/reports either onsite or remotely by following the LTNY hashtag or by using Twitter Search.  With TweetDeck and its LTNY column running, I took my laptop to the panel's table and monitored the tweets while our panel presented, not to create a chilling effect on candor and critique, but to observe with interest the observations and comments of those who were hearing the panel both live and remotely.  Never shy about anything, it seems, Dave Gottlieb tweeted a comment or two himself from his iPhone during the panel. 

Our panel's assiduous twitterspondents were @VMaryAbraham, @johnhochfelder, @KMHobbie, @nicolecaccamo, @alinwagnerlahmy, @caminick, @dougcornelius, @jonlin98, @econwriter5, and @kdtalcott.  You can read their tweets on our panel by searching and scrolling back to the Tuesday afternoon on #LTNY.  VMaryAbraham's first tweet about the panel was at 4:16 p.m.  From outside the room, @TomMighell even answered one of the questions I posed about Google Analytics, demonstrating the power of knowledge connectivity through Twitter.  Thank you all who tweeted the program.  Impressive display of Twitter's use and usefulness.

As my JetBlue plane prepared for takeoff yesterday afternoon, I flipped channels on the monitor in front of me sans headset, and stopped to watch, but not hear, CNN's coverage of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' press briefing.  No, I don't read lips so I couldn't "hear" what Gibbs was saying.  I stopped to watch because CNN anchor Rick Sanchez was tweeting the press briefing on a split screen, showing not only some of his tweets but many from people he apparently follows, allowing me to follow the press conference, in a sense.  Instant audience metrics, and stuff for CNN's and Sanchez' commentary, no doubt.

Regardless of what you may think of its name, Twitter can be useful not only for social/professional networking, but as a reporting and micro-blogging vehicle.  I intend to use it for both/all.  Heck, I may even drive down the Thruway and tweet oral arguments of the LMK Psychological Services v. State Farm case next Wednesday, February 11th at the New York Court of Appeals in Albany if the court will let me, and Gottlieb doesn't beat me to it.  Do you want to listen?  Find out whether your companies will allow access to Twitter and consider using it as a resource.  For stuff like this. Yes, even insurance coverage and fraud stuff.  Who would have thunk?


Eric T. said...


I thought the whole panel did a great job. You and Gottlieb did a fine job of repping the great state of NY. Even if you are on the other side.

Roy A. Mura said...

Funny. Thanks, Turk.

And one of the true benefits of becoming a blogger, as I said in my portion of the LN podcast, is in getting to meet, know and share with preeminent blawgers such as yourself.

It was very nice to meet you, as well, even if you're on the other side.

David Hobbie said...


I enjoyed your panel, and having you up there watching the Twitter stream is very interesting from a KM point of view--it gave the audience a very direct way to provide feedback to the panel participants about what was interesting them (us).

BTW, I happen to know that one of the alleged "twitterspondents" you mention, @dougcornelius, was in Boston at the time. So it wasn't just Tom Mighell participating from elsewhere.


Moi said...

You're too kind for mentioning me;) It was so nice to meet you-especially since you're another Upstate NY blawger. Hope to see you soon!

Anonymous said...

the prior comment was mine--Niki Black. *sigh*