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LegalTech NY Reports: final day summary

Here's a round-up of the final day at LegalTech New York courtesy of our associates at InsideLegal –

The third and final day of LegalTech started off with a bang and a truly impressive headliner in Malcolm Gladwell and his participation in Wednesday's keynote: I3: The New Convergence of Intelligence, Intuition and Information. Gladwell, along with Dr. Lisa Sanders, medical columnist for the New York Times and technical consultant for the TV show House, and David Craig, Thomson Reuters Chief Strategy Officer (and the keynote session's sponsor), drew a mega-crowd of several hundred legal-ITers to discuss how technology can be used to help supplement decision-making capabilities of subject matter experts.

While the host shared that 2009 saw 2 billion searches performed on Westlaw, a near 50% increase from the previous year, and that Thomson financial and news systems now process more than a half-million updates per second, Gladwell and Dr. Sanders cited examples from their respective books and columns questioning to what extent more information leads to better decision making. Gladwell impressed with his short stories and witty examples reminding the audience that intuition is the key to better decision making, and that information overload is a big “distraction” in this regard “intuition is fragile and easily upset”, he stated. The panelists discussed a few questions and then followed up with a lively Q&A session, all the while we (along with many of our compatriots following on twitter) thought “shut up already and let Malcom tell more stories”. Surely his book sales got a boost as well! In a nutshell, our keynote takeaway was “not more info, better info”.

While topping this day 3 kick-off wasn't in the cards, we caught-up with more vendors to capture their show impressions: Marc Adler of PerfectLaw feels 2010 is REALLY the year of the paperless office. “Firms no longer want to pay to store hard copies so document imaging is very popular this year.” Adler also notes the importance of a reliable and secure back-up system when transitioning to paperless. PensEra's President, Peter Zver lamented the fact that floor 3 had no vendors at all.  Zver stated that it was always a highlight of his to tour the 3rd floor and speak with new entrants in the industry who in years past have set up there. Dean Evans & Associates noted an estimated attendance downturn of 20-30% and less booth traffic, despite a pre-show direct mail and email campaign.

According to Logan Sutterfield, Product Manager of Symantec, about 30% of the LegalTech NY crowd consisted of “trick or treaters” and another group of e-discovery experts.  Advanced Productivity Software's CEO Jim Tharpe was encouraged by what he's heard at the show and shared that several firms he spoke with had “good Q4s” and looking to spend again. Dan Bressler, VP of Marketing for IntApp, mentioned Autonomy's iManage ConflictsManager release as big show news.

In other new product news,  we also caught-up with SAP and Susie Krupa, Industry Principal, Professional Services, and responsible for the German software giant's penetration within the Am Law 200 financial practice management market. Krupa told us recent SAP wins at Baker & McKenzie and Shoosmiths is the beginning of what they see as increasing firm demand for a true end-to-end solution spanning time & billing, financial management, HR, payroll, marketing, etc. Of course, there has been “SAP enters legal market” chatter for over a decade but with Susie (and her many years of legal practice management and enterprise experience) driving the bus, it will surely be interesting to see what happens.

The Orange Rag plans to run a separate round-up on e-discovery news.