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Home / Expert Opinion / Legal Currents: Rochester: An emerging legal tech hub?

Legal Currents: Rochester: An emerging legal tech hub?

Nicole Black

I’ve spent most of my adult life in Rochester, New York, having lived here for a total of 20 years. Aside from the typically harsh and lengthy winters, it’s not a bad place to live. It may not be the most metropolitan area, but Rochester offers something for everyone, from a vast array of festivals and sporting events to world class music and museums. Not to mention it’s got some of the best school districts in the state and provides a wonderful environment for raising a family.

Another interesting facet of Rochester is its incredibly robust and innovative technology community. I participate in a number of local networking groups and whenever I attend an event, am always surprised by the sheer number of technology companies located right here in the Flower City. The focus of the various companies runs the gamut, from Web-based platforms to pioneering optical inventions to cutting edge medical devices. Regardless of the type of product being developed, the entrepreneurial spirit of Rochester startups never ceases to amaze me.

And, Rochester-based legal technology companies are no exception. There are quite a few of them based locally and for some time now I’ve been meaning to bring together a meeting of the minds in this space, if only to facilitate a conversation about the direction of legal technology. Well, I finally got around to organizing just such a gathering, and last week, enjoyed a spirited discussion of legal technology issues over lunch with a very interesting group of people.

In attendance were Peter Coons, senior vice president of Computer Forensics and Collections at D4 eDiscovery (www.d4discovery.com), Jerry Denninger, senior account executive at InfoPreserve (www.infopreserve.com), Kevin Momot, publisher at The Daily Record; and me, wearing my new hat as vice president of Business Development and Community Relations at MyCase (www.mycaseinc.com).

The discussion covered a wide range of legal technology topics centered around the issues relevant to the services provided by each company.

One issue discussed in depth was eDiscovery and the authentication of digital evidence at trial. This was of particular interest because D4 provides digital forensics and eDiscovery solutions, while InfoPreserve provides cloud-based document management and digital document preservation.

Peter and Jerry discussed the importance of being able to determine from an audit trial when a digital document was created, who had accessed it since its creation, and whether it had been modified since its creation. They noted that in the absence of the ability to establish this information, it can sometimes be nearly impossible to authenticate a digital document for admission into evidence at trial.

Another topic that surfaced repeatedly was cloud computing and the many benefits cloud computing platforms can offer law firms. This was because all three companies offer cloud computing services. D4 offers eDiscovery managed services in the cloud, InfoPreserve provides a document management platform housed in the cloud, and MyCase offers lawyers a cloud-based law practice management system, including calendar and contact management, document and template creation, document management, time management and billing capabilities.

The consensus of those in attendance was that cloud computing was undoubtedly the wave of the future, and therefore, it is important for lawyers to learn about it, if only so they can make educated decisions about whether to use a cloud computing platform in their law practices.

All in all, it was a productive, enjoyable lunch. Everyone learned something and new connections were made. Good food, good times and a meeting of legal technology minds — the lunch was everything I’d hoped for, and more.

Nicole Black is VP at MyCaseInc.com, a cloud-based law practice management platform. She is also of counsel to Fiandach & Fiandach in Rochester and is a GigaOM Pro analyst. She is the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise. She speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes three legal blogs and can be reached at niki@mycaseinc.com.