Made it home Thursday nite after one last run thru the exhibit hall and catching uo with folks I missed the first three days. Hard to believe, but as he pointed out in his Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest today, Jeff Brandt wasn’t one of them.
Jeff felt that ” “reunion” dominated the conference” and I’d be hard pressed to disagree. It was certainly the dominant unofficial theme this year and overarched all the official proceedings. If there was ever any doubt that ILTA is a true member driven organization, this meeting dispelled it.
One person I did see everywhere was Doug Austin and he did a great recap of the events with Mary Mack and Kaylee Walstad of the EDRM. You can find the video of that interview on DOugs site, EDiscovery Today.
A special shoutout to Beth Anne Stuebe, ILTA Director of Publications and Press, who provided press passes to the many bloggers present and kept us up to speed with daily morning brefings about the show, it’s events and vital statistics.
And of course, my friends and colleagues, the real killer B’s, Craig Bayer and Craig Ball. Never a dull moment, a missed quip or a passed up insightful comment around these two. Thanks guys.
ILTACON22 hit its stride with education on full day 4, the penultimate day of the conference. From the opening keynote by Judge Tanya Kennedy of the New York Appellate to multiple sessions during the day, the strength of the conference really showed all day long. And so did Craig Ball who seemed to be everywhere!
From sessions on Legal Ops, AI, ransomware and Microsoft eDiscovery to a discussion of the ILTA lit support survey results to company updates from KL Discovery and Microsoft, it was a strong day for learning. My colleague Craig Bayer of Optiable was attending for only the second time. He came specifically to attend every session and workshop on Microsoft Teams that he could. And said he was extremely satisfied with the quality of information he received.
The day closed with a wonderful party on the Atrium terrace hosted by CS Disco with a traditional Maryland crab boil, a cigar roller and a steel drum band. I boycotted the iManage party later in the evening because they would not give a ticket to Mike Quartararo, the President of ACEDS. Clumsy move iManage, it’s not all about sales prospects!
But even that sour note couldn’t cancel out a great day of learning, both in the classroom and with colleagues. Heading out now for the last day and sorry that it came so soon.
ILTACON attendees who weren’t at the ACEDS reception sponsored by Everlaw on Monday have been asking me about the toast I gave to Browning as we marked the 8th anniversary of his death.
So, for this who weren’t there, above is the picture I brought, a get well card a number of attendees at ILTACON that year signed and sent to him, and here is what I said, at least as best I can recall.
I started by saying that it was especially bittersweet for me to be at ILTACON this year since it was the first year I was here without Gayle. I noted that she particularly loved the Monday night vendor hall reception since she loved any excuse to costume and it reminded me that the first time I ever saw her was at a Halloween party in a restaurant lounge near my apartment in Seattle where she worked. She was wearing a Wonder Woman costume and I thought to myself, “my goodness that woman has a great, ah, tiara.”
Well, we met and became friends, and not long after we moved to first Sacramento and then San Diego on a very large case I was working on. We met Browning at a tech conference held at the Hotel Del Coronado and we all became fast friends.
It was an unlikely seeming friendship. I was a South Boston Irish Catholic working-class Democrat; Gayle was a Seattle rock & roller whose politics were closer to the Wobblies than any other party while Browning was a north shore of Boston Protestant Republican. But we had a shared love of Bob and Ray, the two and only, the Boston-based comic team who had started in radio back in the days before TV took off. Browning and I were both old enough to have grown up listening to the radio for home entertainment and our love of that old technology was our first common bond.
He was a great friend and mentor not just to me but to countless numbers of other people in the field of legal technology. He was never too busy to give advice and was courteous and kind to everyone. His sense of humor was notorious … I remember him saying about a technology expert with whom he disagreed on just about everything, “often wrong, but never uncertain.” … and of course, his list of swear words that he contributed to firms for their use in searching documents for offensive language was legendary.
He was the type of attorney I wanted to be when I was a young man. Learned and articulate without being pompous or overbearing and always polite and cordial. He was a great friend, colleague, attorney and technologist and he will be missed by us all.
I noted several of the people in the room who had been close to Browning and also a few other friends besides Gayle who have left us, including Jim Keane, Nigel Murray and Ross Kodner. I then finished by raising a glass in a toast with the phrase Bob and Ray used to sign off their radio show.
Joy tells Tom about the planning, preparation and last minute adjustments for the hybrid conference format of ILTACON21. Coming up in August at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, there’s lot’s of changes but still the same old great educational content. For all the details listen in here!
Tom O and Rachi Messing doing a test drive of their podcast platform with a discussion of legal tech conferences: the good, the bad and the ultimate tech conference as envisioned by them (AKA, TomandRachipalooza)
Shawn Huston is the Managing Partner at LSP Data Solutions LLC in Philadelphia, an EDT channel partner. LSP has been providing litigation support services to solo attorneys, boutique firms and the AM LAW 100 for over 20 years. Shawn spent some time with Tom O’Connor at the recent ILTACON19 conference and in this interview gives some feedback on his experience.