While law firms are seeing growth, it seems IT projects are the real focus. According to surveys conducted by PwC:
- 82% of UK law firms reported growth in 2015.
- 95% of UK firms reported plans to undertake major IT projects in the coming year to improve efficiency.
- 97% of US firms have reported a greater IT budget this year compared to last.
- 80% of those surveyed believe they “need to respond to the digital age”.
As the economy continues to improve, law firms are willing to spend in order to keep up with evolving technology. However, some firms are having to make operational changes just to keep up with the newest technology since they do not have capabilities in place to do so. Security also remains a priority since 62% of UK firms were affected by a security incident. Keeping up with technology and increasing interaction with clients seems to be the main focus of law firms going into 2016.
Source: Legaltech news
Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. (“GTP”) recently brought a breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation suit against EisnerAmper LLP. The suit alleges that an expert witness provided by the firm lied about having a doctorate degree; this cost the plaintiff a $10.3 million arbitration award.
Richard Gering, the expert in question, and EisnerAmper falsely represented that Gering earned a Ph.D. This, Global Tungsten claims, ended a settlement agreement worth possibly $10.3 million in arbitration over a disputed sales agreement. GTP also claims that EisnerAmper received approximately $151,000 for its work on the case, which, due to negligence, should have been returned.
The dispute stems from a supply agreement in which Largo Resources Ltd. agreed to sell monthly supplies of tungsten concentrate. GTP hired Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP to represent them in an arbitration concerning Largo Resources. Drinker Biddle & Reath entered into an agreement with EisnerAmper and Gering on GTP’s behalf.
All plans to reach a settlement were put on hold since the fraudulent misrepresentation came to light. In February, Largo asked a judge to vacate the award. Ultimately, Largo and GTP signed an $11.5 million agreement with the understanding that GTP would release the remaining contract rights. GTP is seeking damages, interest and attorneys’ fees.
In my research, I did find that Gering had falsely represented himself listed as “Dr.” and “PhD”, however, now he is represented on his LinkedIn as a “PhD Candidate” with all courses completed except his dissertation.
Advances in technology are hard to ignore, even for attorneys. It is becoming inevitable for law firms to update their software and rely on electronic information systems to increase efficiency and stay up to date. However, attorneys have some strong feelings about adopting the latest technology. “[They] all know that utilization of advances in electronic information systems is key to efficiency, and ultimately the bottom line. But these surveys also point out a couple interesting – and actionable – truths, namely that we chronically under-invest in training, and often choose poorly from the bewildering array of product options.”
ILTA and InsideLegal published the 2015 Purchasing survey results which asked what firms were doing to make sure the entire firm was property trained to gain maximum utility from the technological products they purchased. The survey found that:
- Less than 50% of law firms actually provide training
- 24% stated that their law firms were doing nothing to address technological competency and
- 63% of small firms admitted to having zero training.
It’s clear firms aren’t providing adequate training and simply investing in a technologically advanced products isn’t enough. However, should this burden lay solely on the shoulders of the firms adopting this new technology or should the companies also share in the blame?
Source: Legaltech News
Judge Brendan Conroy recently ordered a Jury Trial after hearing “enough evidence” during the preliminary trial of Kathryn Steinle’s death. This case involves Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant, who shot Ms. Steinle’s in the back while she was walking along the waterfront this past summer. Mr. Lopez-Sanchez admitted to firing the gun, but said it was on accident. The gun, however, did not belong to him – it was registered to a ranger from the Bureau of Land Management and was reported stolen a month earlier.
The shooting triggered a national debate over immigration after it was revealed that the Sheriff’s Department had released Lopez-Sanchez despite a federal request to detain him for possible deportation. Lopez-Sanchez was previously deported five times.
This case has all presidential candidates weighing in on border issues and police procedures regarding illegal immigrants.
The family has filed claims against the Bureau of Land Management due to negligence in leaving a loaded gun unattended in the Ranger’s car, San Francisco’s Sheriff Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Mr. Lopez-Sanchez has pleaded not guilty, but was charged with murder and will be back in court December 15th.
We are excited to announce that Ogletree Deakins, a global labor and employment law firm, chose us as their litigation knowledge management solution.
Patrick DiDomenico, Ogletree Deakins’ Director of Knowledge Management, said, “Courtroom Insight’s knowledge management application is a natural fit for us. Their product allows us to leverage our firm’s experience, which takes the guesswork out of hiring or opposing litigation professionals. The efficiencies we gain from this directly benefit our clients by maintaining budget certainty while continuing to deliver high-quality legal services.”
Our CEO, Mark Torchiana, said, “It is exciting to work with such a forward-thinking and innovative firm that uses technology in ways that deliver value for clients. Ogletree Deakins’ input has been invaluable in shaping and improving our solution and we look forward to a long, collaborative relationship with the firm.”
Please find the full press release here.
I’m happy to share ILTA’s 2015 Peer to Peer Magazine. Our CEO, Mark Torchiana, weighed in on one article titled “Which business process should legal organizations improve immediately for long-term success?”. Please find the link to the magazine and article below. We look forward to attending the International Legal Technology Association Conference next week.
We are excited to announce that custom expert witness search is now available. Attorneys who lack sufficient time or resources to locate and vet exceptional experts may request free, targeted referrals of quality expert witnesses. This new service is offered to entire law firms and individual users through our partnership with a leading expert search firm.
The service builds upon the Courtroom Insight Expert Witness Directory which provides valuable information about professional expertise. Visit Courtroom Insight to learn more about our suite of Expert Witness products and services, including: