‘‘Twas the Night Before #ABATECHSHOW & All Thru the House…

6 03 2018

Tomorrow is a new day. A time for reconnecting with friends and acquaintances. A time to learn new things. A good reminder not to talk about politics, nor religions, or even take on controversial topics like “Who Shot J.R.?”

It’s more than that of course, but I will do my best to plan ahead. I have started picking out my sessions, marking the “must attend” blocks and the “backup” sessions, and of course trying to figure out which ones are for beginners and which sessions are for full immersion.

My camera is loaded with fresh film (kidding,) and I’m packed. Now I just need to source a decent whisky when I’m there and a few people to share with and all will be well in the universe.

The most important thing is for everyone to stay positive, remember in most cases you’re a guest so play nice, and even though you’re in a big city think ecological and leave no footprints.

Stay tuned, there may be mayhem.

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#ABATECHSHOW Run-up – thoughts before the rush

28 02 2018

ABA Techshow is a week away so I just thought I’d take a few moments to opine on the journey to Techshow and try to make a few last minute suggestions:

1) Be AT the conference while you’re there – sure work interferes with best laid plans all the time but most people will be traveling to Chicago from out-of-state/out-of-country and you should squeeze every last bit of learning out of the few days you’re there. Delegate or postpone as much as you can before you head out.

2) The Canadians – I know I’ve mentioned the ubiquitous Canucks before but I say this again, seek them out and ask questions about what’s going on with Canadian regulators in Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. They’re friendly, often know how to drink, are up for almost any kind of food or beverage, and as a bonus will often buy you a drink. (Ask to see their BlackBerry)

3) Go outside – Techshow is hypnotic and a bit overpowering so if you’re like me you start way too early and finish way too late. It’s a good idea when you’ve had your 19th vendor expo break to just skip it and go for a long walk. Walk to the lake, walk to the river, find the Billy Goat Tavern and have a razor thin somewhat tasteless but really cheap cheezborger. What could go wrong?

4) Find the parties – There are parties. Ask around. Some you will need a ticket or will have to get on a list. Get on the list 😉

5) Find the Legal Talk Network guys. They will have their finger on the pulse of Techshow – who they want to interview, who you shouldn’t miss, and where the good spots are for hurried food and drink (they work a lot so don’t harass them too much or they won’t get to eat.)

6) AI will be big this year so listen in to the keynote, the sessions, look for a robot lawyer. Stop and talk to Andrew Arruda (he will have a fresh haircut, big smile, and a TShirt identifying him as some guy named ROSS.)

7) Come to Canada – Did you know you can fly to downtown Toronto from Chicago (Midway) for about $300 return on Porter Air? If you haven’t been to Toronto it’s a world class city with amazing food and communities.

8) Enjoy yourself – there are lots of vendors. Kick the tires on something good! Ever heard of TrialPad? Check them out if you want to litigate and organize/present your trial from an iPad. Heck you can even meet Ian O’Flaherty, the “Honorary Consul of Ireland in Miami.” (He’s also CEO of the aforementioned company.) Practice management software? Yeah there’s lots of that there too from new kids on the block to the big players who have been around for 10 years.

9) Learn something – Go to the new attendee orientation if you have only been once or twice (or have never been.) It’s 07:30AM on March 8th.

Learn about Macs, hotspots, security, incremental backups, NAS, what’s a JungleDisk, cyberinsurance, where is the dark web, what is whaling and spear fishing, and, will you need a bigger boat.

10) Be careful, have fun, enjoy everything and know your limits, be respectful and try not to talk about politics unless you’re among “friendlies.”

Hope to see everyone there!

Twitter: @psuba98

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ABA Techshow – Survival Guide 2015

1 04 2015

I have attended ABATECHSHOW six times in seven years and I would say I always miss out on something happening but I think I am getting the hang of it now.

I thought I would jot down a few thoughts in case people attending for the first time were feeling a little timid. The first thing I would suggest is unleash your party animal. You’re out of town (if you don’t live in Chicago,) you’re on a business trip, you want to learn, and you want to network (or create synergies if you like to use buzzwords from the last few years!?) Here are a few suggestions for the first timers:

Don’t be shy. You came to ABATECHSHOW to learn sometime, or possibly just to get your state required learning for the year, either way, live a little. You should/must talk to people you don’t know. Chat up people on the elevators, at lunch, before sessions start and after sessions are finished. If you go to ABATECHSHOW and leave without meeting new people you have lost out on some of your investment and some great opportunities!

Social Media – If you don’t know what social media is, well, that’s OK too, but a lot of info is zooming around during the conference on Twitter, LinkedIn, and this year probably Meerkat and Periscope too. Find out what a hashtag is (this # is a hashtag,) and follow what people are saying about techshow and where the parties/gatherings are right now (in plain language, get a Twitter account and follow the #ABATECHSHOW feed.)

Vendors – Wander around the vendor floor/area more than once. Sure some of them will want your soul (or at least your business card so they pester you into the afterlife). . .but you can see lots of cool things and some of them might be right for your office, (or you will find out which ones you want to avoid in the future.) The other thing is you can’t necessarily figure out what the product is from the banners or signage as you walk past a booth so talk to someone, make eye contact and find out what it is they do! Some of the vendors give away great gifts in a draw which takes place at the end of the show. . .you can’t win it if you’re not in it (as they say.) Want to know the differences between Clio, Rocket Matter, MyCase and Firm Manager? well this is your chance to find out! Talk to all of them, get a demo, find out about the nitty gritty costs and have them explain the Terms of Usage agreements. Ask them if they will modify them. Ask them where their cloud servers are located. Ask them what the heck the cloud is!?

Taste of Techshow – I have been to one of these and I would recommend going at least once. Its hard to pick one ahead of time so I would say forget about who the hosts are and decide which restaurant you want to go to and sign up. You pay for these ones yourself so watch your budget, oh, and you’re away from home so live a little.

ABATECHSHOW app ** – You can probably do without it if you know how to use a smartphone, pen and paper, follow a schedule or can read a sticky note but there is an app and you’re welcome to download it. I have downloaded it a few times and probably will again this year but I have found it of limited use. It does prove that there IS an App for that though. . .

This is too late to add as a tip but I will say it anyway. If you missed out on booking the Hilton this year because they were sold out you should book if for next year. It is always a great experience to be on location for this event so you don’t miss anything. I will add this cryptic note. . .the view from the roof late in the evening is spectacular.

The Canadians – Find us. . .we are friendly, we know a bit about tech, and most of us will give you the shirts off our back. If we don’t know how to get someplace we will probably stay with you until you complete your journey. We will talk your ear off. We know a lot about beer (some of us,) and there is a special contingent who know a lot about scotch and sometimes arrange a scotch tasting at a nearby purveyor of spirits…seek them out if you’re interested. We are usually ridiculously polite (annoyingly so for some people.) Some of the Canadians (not me) are ABATECHSHOW insiders and know everything.

Check out the Garmin store at 663 N. Michigan Ave. I believe its the only store in USA where you can go and touch every Garmin device made, even those swimmy watch stroke measuring things!

Music – Its Chicago, go find some live music on one of the nights. . .seriously, just do it.

Food – I’m not going to give any real tips here except to say if you sit in your room and eat room service alone you might as well have stayed home. Tag along with some of the people you just met and go someplace fun and eat something you might not have a chance to eat again. OK, I will make a few suggestions even though I said I wouldn’t. . .eat one of the “Chicago hot dogs” just for the fun of it. They put fluorescent green relish and sport peppers on it. . .its strange…but just go with it. Find a deli and have some brisket or smoked meat or pastrami or even a place that brews their own root beer. There are places. . .use the Google! If you want to know what is supposedly hot right now in Chicago, check here

There’s a lake. . .its big…walk down to the lake…take a long walk…you will feel better…dress warmly. It is a six minute walk (East I think) to the Lakefront Trail and Lake Michigan. . .take a camera.

The conference concierge desk/genius bar-like oblong shaped holding pen of speakers – This is a resource that is hidden in the open. You might stop just to ask the person behind the counter how to get to a particular conference room and then move on. . .that would be a mistake! Engage the people behind the counter, they are the synapses firing behind the scenes that really make techshow do it’s thing. Talk to Lincoln Mead, or Ben Schorr or Adriana Linares and find out something about the conference that you would never discover otherwise. They can tell you where the best Wifi spot is in the hotel. They can fix your wifi if you can’t connect in the hotel. They can tell you where to eat. Want to know what’s going on with the Cubs, ask them. Want to know where someone bought a cool bit of tech, ask them. Curious about Ben’s last triathalon, ask him. They can tell you which vendors have the best swag. Its like having access to a supercomputer.

Pick the sessions you want to go to in advance, and then pick an alternate session at the same time. I have been to a few sessions that looked great on paper and then the presenter just didn’t “bring it.” It could be they didn’t have enough coffee, or had too much coffee, or they didn’t prepare, or they over prepared, or there is some technical glitch. . .but just in case have another choice up your sleeve and be prepared to get to another session if your first choice is a dud.

Don’t be afraid to have a “spare.” In other words, you don’t have to go to every session. Take some time to absorb some of what’s going on, maybe sit down and chat with someone and do a little quiet networking. Its also a slower time (during sessions) for vendors and now you can get close to the vendor you wanted to corner.

Usually there is a “Beer for Bloggers” session in the hotel with Kevin O’Keefe and it’s worth checking out if you blog, vlog, send out a newsletter, or can spell Tweet.

Talk to the ABATECHSHOW Planning Board members. Tell them what you like, don’t like, or give them some ideas for the next year. Engage people, don’t just be a bystander.

There are lots and lots of parties going on in the background – find one. . .ask someone what’s going on and you can be one of the cool kids (I have never attained that status but I think it’s possible for others.)

Plan ahead. This is a show packed with vendor/exhibitors. Is there some service you always wondered about? Have a look at past exhibitors and find the one you want to know more about. There’s even a floor plan so you can find people and I know there is probably one on that App thingy I dismissed earlier but hey, I’m not great with maps when I’m below the Earth’s surface.

Last words, bring something warm to wear. . .you will need it on at least one of the days or nights. . .microfleece is light and will keep you warm – ask someone from Minnesota (maybe even this guy) or anyone from Canada.

Go have fun, meet new people, say hi if you run into me. . .I’m easily recognized from my….ummm….painting.

Oh wait, last word – if you haven’t been to Canada, it is a very quick hop from Chicago.

These are my own opinions. not the opinions of anyone affiliated with ABATECHSHOW nor are they the opinions of my employer.

** Just a quick update on the app since I wrote this – I have now downloaded and subscribed to the new app and it looks like in 2015 they may have made some major improvements – there are icons for everything in the front page to follow the official and unofficial Twitter feeds, marking your schedule, noting your sessions by topic or by speaker, a Taste of Techshow interface and even a QR Reader. I would say give it a try this year – I’ve already updated my profile to see if you truly can “Find People.”

PB





For The Defence

10 08 2011


For The Defence, originally uploaded by psuba98.

Volume 32 Issue 5

Yes, its that time again, latest issue of “For The Defence”, magazine of the Criminal Lawyers Association has hit the mail and the over-riding theme is Lawyer Ethics. Published by the Carswell/Thomson Reuters, this issue is packed with great articles about Lawyers in Possession of Real Evidence, Guilty Pleas and Ethical Quandries, Informer Privilege, Criminal Responsibility, Use of Crown Disclosure, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Keeping Secrets From your Clients, National Security Litigation, and the Ethical Issues in Preparing Your Client to Testify. There is even an article about the Law Society and how they might help with Ethical Questions.

http://www.criminallawyers.ca





Tortious Conduct Rocks it Out!

10 05 2011


Tortious Conduct, originally uploaded by psuba98.

There is a whole set coming for this one. Friday night was Rockin’ the Courthouse in aid of Lawyers Feed the Hungry. It was sponsored by McMillan Law Professional Corporation, The Law Society Foundation, Gardiner Roberts, League of Rock, Howie Sacks & Henry, and Paliare Roland





Evidentiary Challenges for Criminal Lawyers @ LSUC Feb. 12, 2011

3 02 2011

Evidentiary Challenges for Criminal Lawyers <—– tap that link!!

There is a Continuing Professional Development program upcoming at the Law Society of Upper Canada for criminal law practitioners. The program is geared toward the mid-level practitioner and will cover a variety of substantive topics in a half-day live and webcast format. This program is Chaired by Janet Leiper, Criminal Specialist, and has a superb cast of speakers including in no particular order, Adam Boni, Tim Breen, James Lockyer, Paul Burstein, Sue Chapman, Del Doucette, Marty Herman, Shayne Kert, Anthony Moustacalis, Howard Rubel, Robin Parker, Lisa Pomerant, Prof. James Stribopoulos and Emma Rhodes. This program was planned by myself and Janet Leiper and is ably co-ordinated by Cathy Castaldo and this program will rock!

Check it out and the meat will be in the presentations so pay attention. There are some great discussions on tap so tap that link and read the agenda. The whole program is CA$210 plus HST and if I manage to escape Earth orbit I might even liveblog some of the topics or at least dust off my "Twitter digit". See you in Toronto.

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Paralegals in the Henhouse

27 04 2010

I just wanted to comment on an upcoming “storm” on the legal horizon in Ontario. The Law Society has been regulating paralegals for awhile now and they are mostly bound by the same rules as lawyers including utilization of trust accounts, rules against conflicts of interest, ethics, professional responsibility, and of course competence.

The stage is set now for a Motion to be heard at the Annual General Meeting of the LSUC on May 5th, 2010 There will be lots of lawyers and paralegals in attendance and both have their agendas. The paralegals want to expand the scope of their practice to include things like “preparing family law documents, representing before the family court for certain matters, drafting incorporations, and drafting uncontested divorces.” Licensees must attend to vote, (all the good stuff is contained in By-law 2) and you cannot vote by proxy.

A few things of note. Firstly, regardless of the vote, Convocation doesn’t have to do anything. Secondly, the future of law and the legal landscape is changing and lawyers may need to embrace some change. Paralegals are here to stay and clients are demanding more service for less money. Lawyers need to worry less about paralegals and more about how they can deliver service to clients in a more cost effective way. The days of the six minute increment are fading into the twilight and there needs to be more innovation. Clients are getting more sophisticated and they are unlikely to keep paying for creating the wheel over and over. Where are the extranets, the virtual law practices, the cloud delivery and the Web 2.0 toolboxes?

Competition is supposed to be a good thing but from the conversations I have heard lately about rallying lawyers to prevent paralegals from successfully voting for the motion and causing a review of their scope seems . . . paranoid and short-sighted.

These are just some thoughts and I am neither for nor against the motion. I will attend the AGM but I will likely abstain from voting. The views expressed in this post are solely my own and not those of my employer and there is a possibility of rain tomorrow.

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