Although I didn't get to spend as much time at LegalTech this year as I would have liked, I wanted to give you a brief overview of my impressions. I spent approximately five hours there Thursday afternoon, and that leads me to some advice I'd like to give. This is the 2nd year in a row where I was only able to attend the final day and I can tell you that there is much more 'action' on the 1st day. My mental note to myself – and to you – is, if you can only make a single day, make it day one. Things really get quiet in the final afternoon and a lot of vendors start breaking down their booths early.
This spilled over into the educational tracks. I poked my head into a couple of sessions and they were very sparsely attended. I think a lot of attendees are planning their exit to LAX by that point.
A lot of the usual faces were there, but some weren't – a sign of the economic times. Every year, I make a point of visiting a lot of vendor booths to take their temperature about the current state of affairs. Opinions were very mixed. Some report that business is picking up, others not so much.
I also attended what turned out to be a surprising and very enjoyable lunchtime session titled, "Forensics: The Truth Behind the Fiction". Ok, I admit I didn't research the conference guide too heavily, but this is LegalTech, so I assumed they were speaking about data forensics, especially since the moderator was Craig Ball (one of the top forensic technologists in the field). Nope. Three top-notch panelists (a UCLA Pathologist, a Kern County Criminalist and a Sacramento County Coroner) discussed "the C.S.I. effect", breaking down for us in great detail how all of the new forensic TV programs have influenced public perception about how evidence is collected and analyzed.
If your work brings you anywhere near juries, as mine does, this session was instrumental in helping someone like me have a better idea of how the general public thinks we do our jobs; which, I might add, is far removed from reality.
The final word: I always get something beneficial out of the conference and this year was no exception. The guide says next year's conference will be held June 15th & 16th, 2011. Mark your calendars!