#ReinventLaw NYC: A Survivor’s Tale

When I mentioned #ReinventLaw, Silicon Valley edition, my bona fides to question its glorious exposition were challenged because I wasn’t in the room. Ironic for people with an affinity for distant connections via the internet, but there it was.

Scott – you owe me a retraction.

You were not in the room.  Really?  but you feel like making the sort of sweeping statements about what occurred via the prism of twitter?

Seriously – I would hope you are better than this?

I leave it to you to decide the level of irony in Dan’s demand. And so, when Reinvent Law came to New York City, and it became clear that neither of its young lawprof sponsors, Dan Katz or Renee Knake, planned to ask me to speak as a juxtaposition to cries for passion, pyrotechnics and safety glasses, I did the only thing left for me to do.

There were a few emails the day before imploring attendees to come early, because of the massive crush signed up and the size limits of the room.  Come at 8, it instructed, so minutes before 9, I walked into the basement of the Great Hall at Cooper Union, found my name tag among the hundreds sitting untouched on the tables and looked at the empty hole where coffee should have been.

Quietly, I found a seat close enough to the front to get a good view without being amidst the screaming fans or being likely to get covered by goo if someone smashed a watermelon on stage.  I put on my nametag, which had obviously been prepared by someone who had no idea how to describe  me. I corrected it.

curmudgeon

Pic courtesy of @RightBrainLaw

And so I sat. And I listened. There were 35 speakers, plus either Katz or Knake before and after, in longish format (10 minutes or so) or Ignite format (6 minutes).  Never has 6 minutes dragged on so long. Ten minutes was nearly leisurely.  I learned something important from the length of the presentations: if one speaks in mostly adjectives rather than nouns, then the time needed is significantly reduced. There just aren’t that many adjectives.

Having given some thought as to how best to explain the cacophony, it seems prudent to break it into a few separate themes, as there was nothing coherent about Reinvent Law, either internally or externally.  One theme that wove its way through all the speakers was that “disruption” was inevitable.

Speakers disagreed as to whether change was coming by revolution or evolution, though no one disagreed that the law was in crisis, change was about to destroy life as we know it, and lawyers are greedy, selfish misanthropes who brought misery to society and destruction to themselves.

As expected, there were the cheerleaders of technology, including a few segments that were nothing more than infomercials for whatever “better mousetraps” the speakers were trying to sell. Of course, they weren’t described as mere better mousetraps, but as earthshattering innovations. As some of the people who had attended a prior Reinvent Law told me, past innovators have since disappeared from the face of the earth.

There was a kid of about 12 minutes’ experience who had yet to accomplish much of anything giving instruction as to how to create the law firm of the future, and his deeply considered view of what’s wrong with lawyers.  Yet, he was more appropriate than law students from Knake’s class explaining how the practice of law would change in the future.

I talked to a law student afterward. He was a nice, likeable young man, and he had spoken well, but the notion of a law student telling a room about the future of a profession to which he had yet to earn admission was mind-boggling. But then, this was Reinvent Law, which would not let reality stop its momentum.

I found myself involuntarily mouthing the word “why” as conclusory assertions were tossed about with abandon. The lack of substance, simplistic approaches, and unadulterated presumptuousness of some presentations was stunning. On the way in, someone handed me a “buzzword bingo” card, which in itself was pretty funny and showed a sense of humor that was missing from the self-important presentations.

But there was nothing funny about how jargon was strung together as if it represented anything remotely similar to thought. Never in my life have I heard as many flawed analogies thrown about, making the hard fact that no one could relate their fantasies to the reality of the law. Lawyers were strawmen, vilified by speaker after speaker. Our souls can’t be saved, aren’t worthy of salvation, and so that’s why you need to buy an app that will change everything.

After lunch with a group of long time friends and fellow-blawgers, from ABA Journal’s Molly McDonough to Carolyn Elefant and Bob Ambrogi, and the prodigal son, Kevin O’Keefe, all of which was at the kind mercy of Avvo GC Josh King, who adeptly picked up the check before I could whip out my card, I settled back in the room with baby lawprof Josh Blackman.

An aside about Josh Blackman, who was kind enough to let me mooch off his wifi and juice up my dying cellphone via his charger. I’ve gotten on Josh’s butt a few times for getting ahead of himself, going straight to academia without practicing, being a bit less humble than my sensibilities would prefer. That said, Josh is quite brilliant, remarkably astute and surprisingly bold and confident for such a young man.  While he still needs some grooming, he will be influential, in the Academy and the law, and we will be better for it.

Much of the afternoon was consumed by two issues, the first being “access to justice” with a reply of the misguided CALI dream that if the public has access to [forms,] statutes and caselaw, they won’t need lawyers and can do it all on their own.  Apparently, the phrase “a little knowledge is dangerous” hasn’t filtered to the left coast yet.

The other theme was general counsels explaining how they really don’t care much about anything other than their budget, and want lawyers (or, as one said, non-lawyers, as he couldn’t care less who does his work) to do it cheap.

The coup de grace for the program was Richard Susskind, a Scot who decided in 1988 that computers would one day rule the law and has spent every day since then trying to convince people. He was an engaging speaker in search of a subject, like a sad preacher who doesn’t understand why the end of time never came.

Many of the presenters, and likely even the overly exuberant (and unfortunately fast-talking) Knake, are well-intended in their desire to provide “better, faster, cheaper” legal services through the glory of technology and some sadly unrealistic schemes.

That so many demonstrated no grasp of what the practice of law entails, no understanding of what serving clients actually means, no idea of who lawyers are and why lawyers do what they do, explains their inability to appreciate why their fantasies aren’t embraced.

Instead, they dismiss the legal profession (or trade, as FMC Technologies GC Eric Carr explained, who stated that he couldn’t care less about hiring people engaged in the crime of the Unlawful Practice of Law) as stupid and venal because lawyers have yet to recognize the one true god, technology, that will make the world a wonderful place.

Now that I spent a day of my life, which I will never get back, listening to 35 speakers explain how they would Reinvent Law, one thing is abundantly clear: Their disconnect from reality, their myopic and simplistic grasp of law, reduces them to irrelevance.  There is a reason why the front desk still had hundreds of name badges sitting there untouched.

Epilogue:  Reinvent Law didn’t have to reduce itself to irrelevance. There were aspects that held promise, ideas that, had they been presented in far greater depth and subject to discussion and vetting, had potential.  Some of the start-ups may well provide valuable services, even if they aren’t quite disruptive, but just a better way of doing something.

I have thoughts about how this could have proven far more useful and meaningful.  But then, I wasn’t asked to speak, was I?

 

 

38 comments on “#ReinventLaw NYC: A Survivor’s Tale

    1. SHG Post author

      It was a great lunch and a great chance to meet and greet a lot of friends and people I’ve never met IRL before.

  1. BRIAN TANNEBAUM

    Putting aside that I could have written your post 3 days ago or a week or month ago, I am a little confused.

    I have often wondered if I am wrong about these “cheerleading” conferences. Maybe it’s not a bunch of unemployed or underemployed lawyers who want to believe that the future of law is being created at the tables and couches at Starbucks. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh and there is something I can learn from spending a day hearing metaphors about straws and the latest app that will destroy the practice of law as we know it.

    I am confused because the comments I read after Reinvent Law were that this was the most awesomeness conference. It was just awesome.

    So I ask, was there anything, one thing that would cause an otherwise decent lawyer to leave there yesterday and think that that they had heard something that would cause a sea change in their practice? Or was the after party cheeleading nothing more than that – a show of self fulfilling prophecies that the future of law is what Reinvent Law wants it to be and therefore we all need to be ready for straws?

    1. SHG Post author

      Many of the people there are smart, likeable and reasonable people, and when you speak with them directly, you find out that they actually understand the deep flaws of most of the concepts, but they get a bit swept up in the choir. So are we being harsh? Well, yes, a bit because these aren’t really bad people at all. Are we being unfair. No. Even nice people have misguided, simplistic and self-serving beliefs, hoping that no one tells them their baby is ugly.

  2. Charles B. "Brad" Frye

    Surely there must have been some pearls cast about? Perhaps you’re planning another post on the substance of the “good stuff”?

    And I fully retract that “chicken” remark. Thank you for giving that day and for your comments.

  3. Jamison

    Most practicing lawyers would never have even heard about ReinventLaw but for your frequent writing about it. It sounds pretty cultish to me with excessive enthusiasm used to gloss over any potential misgivings. Next year, hopefully, they will invite you. That would be something worth watching.

  4. Wheeze The People™

    So to clarify, it is your opinion that the baby you saw and held is, in fact, ugly?? Not just unfortunate looking or dumpy-to-average looking, but full-on, twice or thrice beaten with the ugly stick, bag its face, ugly?? . . .

    Ugly babies do make me sad :( All I can seem to focus on after I see a really ugly baby is just how hard life will probably be for the far less than perfect specimen . . .

    Do you think cosmetic or any other kinds of surgery or treatment can help at this point or would it just be like putting nice earrings and pretty lipstick on one very large, ugly, smelly, porcine, noisy, and ultimately doomed, pig?? . . .

    You did your time, so I believe you are now qualified to make such pronouncements in response to queries concerning what is to become of Walt Nevnier’s master plan/final solution . . .

  5. Jon Harman

    I’m all for innovation in law, I’m all for technology having a profound role. But I am constantly saddened by the over used mantra of “Disruptive Innovation” when often the people banging the drum barely really understand it. I get for some that they’ve been to a Google Campus event and love the different approach – but just like the punk movement had Malcolm Mclaren feeding off it – I get the sense that this is happening. Audrey Watters deconstructs the narrative of “Disruptive Innovation” here and that’s what I’m seeing with ReinventLaw: [Ed. Note: Link deleted per rules.]

  6. Sarah Glassmeyer

    I’m glad you went to a reinvent law so you could finally give a real review, as it’s intellectually lazy to review a conference that you didn’t even attend. (Although this is not an actual review but rather more of series of zingers to appeal to your base.) I don’t recall the part where speakers implied that lawyers were greedy misanthropes, but the acoustics weren’t the best. If anything, I thought speakers were very pro-lawyer and wanted to create tools that allowed them to work more efficiently so that they can serve their clients better.

    You also seem to have a misunderstanding of what John Mayer spoke about and what CALI is doing for Access to Justice and I’d like to correct the ones you made in this and the post you linked to. Full disclosure: I work for CALI but I’m not speaking in behalf of them – I just hate to see these ideas perpetuated when a2J is actually a very successful and useful tool that is impacting millions of lives. A2J Author development and training is funded by a TIG Grant to Idaho Legal Services and is provided for free to legal aid organizations.

    a2J Author is not about making statutes and case law available to the public so that they can solve their own problems. Don’t get me wrong…a truly open legal information ecosystem would be great. Letting citizens actually access and read the laws that govern them? Is that really a crazy idea?

    What A2J Author does is let lawyers and law students (supervised by clinical faculty) create guided interviews, utilizing the lawyers’ legal skills and knowledge to do so. The resulting interview is similar to what one would experience in a Turbo Tax type situation. The questions in the interview are written in away that non-legal experts (as well as those with literacy or language issues) can more easily understand. The software is used by legal aid organizations to assist people in filling out forms, do client intake and triage. Just using them for intake has saved some organizations the equivalent of a FTE staff time.

    Obviously lawyers do more than fill out forms. I assure you John Mayer is aware of that fact. He is also aware that there is no guaranteed right to legal aid as there is in criminal defense. I submit that perhaps you, as a New York City criminal defense lawyer are not aware of all the hurdles that regular mooks in fly-over country experience when trying to be served by the court system. There are, in fact, thousands of forms, boiler plate petitions, motions, calculations and triage that can be replicated without a loss of quality by a computer program. I invited you and your readers to view the progress made all across the country by looking at Law Help Interactive.

    I am disappointed that we were not able to hear you speak – perhaps you could have a for what you would have said had you been given 6 or 15 minutes on how you would reinvent law.

    tl:dr Greenfield is wrong about A2j and you should check out Law Help Interactive for reality check.

    ps CALI staff are located in Chicago, Minneapolis and Altlanta. Not the left coast.

    1. Turk

      Letting citizens actually access and read the laws that govern them? Is that really a crazy idea?

      No crazier than allowing citizens to know what is going on with their bodies medically before surgery.

      But, as SHG notes, a little knowledge can be dangerous. You aren’t going to perform surgery just because you can learn the basics of a medical procedure. There’s a reason that lawyers/doctors are generally better after 10 years experience than fresh out of school, let alone those that didn’t even go to the school.

      ps CALI staff are located in Chicago, Minneapolis and Altlanta. Not the left coast.

      Those are all west of the Hudson, aren’t they?

    2. SHG Post author

      I’m going to try to be as kind as I can, Sarah:

      I submit that perhaps you, as a New York City criminal defense lawyer are not aware of all the hurdles that regular mooks in fly-over country experience when trying to be served by the court system. There are, in fact, thousands of forms, boiler plate petitions, motions, calculations and triage that can be replicated without a loss of quality by a computer program.

      This makes me sad. Is this really a law librarian’s understand of what law is? I find it curious that you call me “lazy” for having written about Reinvent Law in Silicon Valley without attending. You write about how to represent people. How many have you represented? How many trials have you done? Have you been there when the disaster caused by your bizarrely uninformed grasp of what the practice of law entails to pick up the wreckage of your scheme?

      Your desire to help people gain “access to justice” — ridiculous phrase by the way but I can understand how people who know nothing about access or justice would think it’s cool — is commendable. Your utter lack of understanding of what is needed, and how these harebrained scheme harm people, is not. And those who have made it their “brand” are so married to their own ideas that they will never grasp the harm they do.

      You hurt people who need lawyers, and you don’t understand why. I feel badly for you. I feel worse for them.

      TL;dr, I’m sure you are sweet, kind and sincere, but you have no clue what lawyers do or the harm your scheme does to the poor. Since you’re a law librarian, it’s not your fault that you don’t understand, but then, it’s a bit lazy of you to think you know more about the realities of law than lawyers given that you’re a law librarian.

  7. Tim Knowles

    The absence of coffee shows that these people have a long way to go before they really know what’s important to clients.

    I am always amazed that people think that “faster” and “cheaper” can easily go along with “better.” Especially when it comes to outsourcing work to non-lawyers, I fear that it will be faster, cheaper, and worse.

    I also have not heard any practical solutions for keeping attorney fees low in complex litigation. If a case requires an entire office to drop everything for long periods of time, it’s going to be expensive, even if you use the right technology.

    1. SHG Post author

      The “we need to be faster, cheaper and better” theme was pervasive, the kicker being with “our magic system,” we can. The only flaw is they can’t, and it’s unclear whether they don’t grasp why or they do and they don’t care as long as someone is foolish enough to buy whatever they’re selling.

  8. Carolyn Elefany

    My write up will be coming. Not that you needed it or sought it, but the fact that you showed up and spent the day generated enormous respect for you and your work. Now that you’ve visited the future, it will be interesting to see whether anyone will invite you to speak or will attend a substantive CLE or spend a day court watching or a few months doing pro bono to learn how the practice of law really works.

    1. SHG Post author

      Not to be ungracious, but I wasn’t seeking anyone’s respect. I went to see for myself. And to hang around with some friends like you.

  9. John Barleycorn

    It shouldn’t be too long now before the garden variety sharecropping agreement with general counsel reasserts the “necessity” that the serfs pick up all the expenses of weed control, seed, and fuel, not to mention machinery and if it doesn’t rain throw in irrigation too. How can you blame them for their prayers that technology will be the super fertilizer that makes it all pencil out.

    Q is when will the imbedded chips get “smart” enough to outsource the outsourced?

    There is just not enough to go around they said and everybody knows that an adequate return is mandatory.

    The reinvent law folks may be onto something once they figure out the “why” in their anxiousness even if they find themselves at an alter that whispers to them “it’s inevitable”.

    Should get even more interesting if the technologies of salvation bring more “disruption” than anticipated.

    Our esteemed host is being a little mean but perhaps he too is a bit apprehensive when he looks at the horizon while in the seat of his 6X4 and wonders in real time if he shouldn’t have went with a hard top or if an improvised canvas solution will be adequate if need be.

    This reader is disappointed he didn’t try out the vodka and cayenne pepper libations and talk about the kool aide with a few of the kids, that didn’t quite fit in, after the show.

  10. noah

    With regard to the theme of GCs caring only about their budgets, did they explain how they were actually going about getting their cheap legal work? Now that almost everyone is taking advantage of the low hanging fruit of outsourcing document review to contract labor, what legal work are they willing to give to cheaper non-biglaw providers? It’s one thing for them to try to talk down fees from their current firms, but unless they are willing to engage the smaller firms in cases where real money is at risk, it’s just another empty negotiation threat. I’m not talking about those boutiques comprised of ex-top biglaw partners, but other solid small to mid-sized law firms.

  11. Bruce Godfrey

    Seems that the entire #ReinventLaw enterprise is an exercise in careless pleading. If they admitted that “Count II – Potentially Useful Tools for Some Lawyers” had a better shot at surviving summary judgment or a motion for failure to state a claim than “Count I – DISRUPTION/THIS CHANGES **EVERYTHIII!I!!I!!##I!NG/SUXXOR2BUlawyerzz” (i.e. by pleading Count II), they would be less mockable.

    Real advancements don’t need “believers” or the defeat of “haterzzz”; there was no “keep the faith, brothers” movement with the fax machine, the slide rule or the hand-held calculator. Tools work for certain purposes, or perhaps don’t, from the wheel to the iPad; no reinforcement of faith in revelation is required.

  12. John Neff

    I don’t understand why disruption follows change. If people were to invent a robot court recorder or a highly automated clerk of court office those would be technological changes but I doubt they would cause much disruption.

    1. SHG Post author

      Disruptive and transformative are active words that evoke visceral responses. It’s marketing, with just as much substance.

    2. richardpwnsner

      As I understand it, ‘disrupt’ connotes not just change, but change that disproves/displaces a basic assumption out of which a product or practice evolved, prompting a rush to rebuild the latter in a way that conforms to the former. That doesn’t happen very often, so either the term is abused or I’m just confused.

  13. Patrick Maupin

    FWIW, if I ever felt seriously threatened by the government, I’d spring for the best criminal representation I could find (and shut up until I got it).

    OTOH, there are lots of civil situations where I am perfectly happy to “operate on myself” and not spring for bucks for representation.

    And in at least one of those situations, after being puzzled by the discrepancy between the regulations and the underlying statute, I reached out to several different practitioners who operated in that area, most of whom had a fairly serious internet presence. None of them could answer my question satisfactorily, most of them didn’t even understand the disconnect, and one of the responses was bizarre, to say the least. So I eschewed paying for any help and did it all myself.

    To be fair, I’ve had doctors seemingly try to kill me, too, so I’m abnormal in more ways than one. And when I had an electrician re-wire a house, I was much harder on him than any inspector would be because I know the code and it was _my_ house. (I would have rewired it myself, but you’re only legally allowed to do that on homesteads here, not other properties.)

    In any case, you’re absolutely right that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. But it’s pretty obvious that some areas of the law are amenable to many average people in average situations being able to figure it out, either completely by themselves or with the help of software (tax law comes to mind). In my experience, in many cases a dedicated layman actually can acquire all the necessary legal expertise for his particular situation without going to law school and practicing for several years.

    That actually wasn’t as true 10 years ago, and I can only hope it keeps getting better. Whether efforts like CALI will actually help that is another issue. In my ideal world, government would make all the statutes, case law, and public records freely available, and google would scarf them up. Case law is currently a very weak link for someone who doesn’t have Westlaw or Lexis/Nexis.

    You’re absolutely right that this is not revolutionary, but I’ll take the evolutionary approach whenever I can get it.

    1. SHG Post author

      In my experience, in many cases a dedicated layman actually can acquire all the necessary legal expertise for his particular situation without going to law school and practicing for several years.

      Or destroy his life, but you won’t know until afterward. Everything is doable until it’s not. Imagine lying on the table during DIY surgery realizing that you can’t figure out how to get your brain back in.

      When you’re on the lawyer end of the phone call from the person who figured out just enough to get themselves into a deep pile of shit, the hardest thing to do is tell the caller that there is nothing you can do to extricate them. It’s painful to listen to otherwise good and smart people cry about the havoc they created.

      1. Patrick Maupin

        > Or destroy his life, but you won’t know until afterward.

        Sure, but I can find numerous examples where having the wrong lawyer is life-destroying, as well. In some cases, those bad outcomes are rectifiable, but not always.

        > realizing that you can’t figure out how to get your brain back in.

        I once told a doctor “I think I have appendicitis” and he told me I didn’t. A few weeks later I told him I had a hole in my eardrum and he told me I didn’t. Fast forward a couple of months, after I was seriously infected, and other doctors removed my appendix and patched up my eardrum. My wife tells me it’s my fault for self-diagnosing and presenting information. That may be true, but a “professional” who can’t get past that isn’t actually professional. How hard is it to take seriously the statement “I think I might have appendicitis”? In any case, I’m more than happy to use doctors or lawyers when appropriate.

        When you’re on the lawyer end of the phone call from the person who figured out just enough to get themselves into a deep pile of shit, the hardest thing to do is tell the caller that there is nothing you can do to extricate them. It’s painful to listen to otherwise good and smart people cry about the havoc they created.

        I’m sure that every therapist/doctor/insurance agent/real estate agent/veterinarian/personal trainer/etc. has similar stories. The thing is, we all self-insure to some extent.

        You have a valid point that the law is sometimes counterintuitive, and that the typical layman who claims “I know my rights” doesn’t actually know anything, and I’m not trying to minimize that. If I need something done now, I will consult a specialist. But if I have some time to figure it out, I will research it, and usually during that process, I will find out that a lot of the specialists just aren’t really all that special. Whenever I actually find a special specialist, I hang on to them.

        1. SHG Post author

          That’s the problem with using anecdotes inductively. Someone can always point to a story of how some outlier happened (Hey, Gates didn’t graduate college and he’s a billionaire, so if I don’t graduate from college I can be a billionaire too!). There are bad lawyers and bad doctors, but that neither means that lawyers and doctors don’t serve their purposes, nor that a non-lawyer or non-doctor will do better on their own.

          1. Patrick Maupin

            > That’s the problem with using anecdotes inductively.

            So do you have more than anecdotes about people who should have used a lawyer, or is it just duelling anecdotes?

            > so if I don’t graduate from college I can be a billionaire too!!

            That’s obviously a logical fallacy. OTOH, the case for college has always been a highly individual equation. I don’t have a degree and, although I’m not a billionaire, I’m certainly far to the right of center on the bell curve of income distribution.

            1. SHG Post author

              That’s an interesting question, actually. I don’t know whether there has ever been an empirical longitudinal study of how people fare using lawyers versus doing it on their own. In fact, I doubt whether such a study could be done, as it would require head to head comparisons, and those always seem to fail because situations are never the same.

              That said, the vast wealth of experience (as opposed to individual anecdotes) are lawyers do a whole lot better doing lawyer stuff than non-lawyers doing lawyer stuff. This would be by a rather significant magnitude, like billions to one, so I’m pretty comfortable even if there is no study.

              As to the college fallacy, there was no argument that people without a college degree can’t be financially successful, though on this issue there are a great many studies which appear to confirm that a college degree provides substantially better income potential than not. That you’re doing well (and I’m very happy to hear that) may not be far outside the norm, but still isn’t the norm. Of this, empiricism seems to squarely favor college.

          2. Patrick Maupin

            A bit of googling found an interesting paper called “An analysis of Pro Se litigants in Washington State 1995-2000″.

            I haven’t thought long and hard about their methodology, but they seem to believe that the average litigant has a pretty good idea whether they need an attorney or not.

            1. SHG Post author

              Just skimmed through it, but it doesn’t address the efficacy question at all. To the extent I can tell, it assumes the outcomes to be no different than they would have been had the pro se litigants been represented.

            2. Patrick Maupin

              it [seems to assume] the outcomes to be no different than they would have been had the pro se litigants been represented.

              Speed of resolution is actually part of the outcome, and it shows that for at least one class of problem, that is faster without attorneys. With, of course, the caveat that the more complicated cases self-selected for using an attorney, so yes, you’re right — it’s hard to say.

              Divorce is an interesting field — if there were an objective measure of acrimony, the widest standard deviation of such measure would probably be found in divorce cases. And as the acrimony drops, so does the need for a lawyer. Which is why (speaking of anecdotes) some divorce practitioners are masters at increasing the acrimony.

            3. SHG Post author

              Speed is a process issue for courts. They have standards they want to meet, and love quickly resolved cases. So pro se litigants can lose in half the time. Courts are happy. Pro se litigants, not so much. It’s not really an outcome measure without the results piece.

              As for divorce law, I agree completely, even though anecdotal. They suck.

    2. John Neff

      If you were to take snapshots of the US criminal justice system in 1914, 1964 and 2014 how would you describe the changes between snapshots? I would say a set of adaptations to changing cricumstances (evolutionary changes) because of the need to provide backwards compatibility. Bacwards compatibilty is a feature not a bug and in my opinion it rules out revolutionay change.

      Because of backwards compatibilty we have pre 1978 and a post 1978 criminal justice systems in Iowa because the criminal code was revised in 1978 and it was necessary to provide backwards compatibility.
      I estimate that the pre 1978 system will become moot in 2035.

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  15. Thomas R. Griffith

    Sir,
    Re: “I have thoughts about how this could have proven far more useful and meaningful. But then, I wasn’t asked to speak, was I?”

    Apparently, they didn’t care to extend an invitation (to Speak) to anyone other than those with something to sale. For some (marketing) reason they chose to fill seats with names drawn from a hat with some being celebrity blawgers like yourself, for effect. Those in the know, staying home. With 35 speakers having half of their mouths tapped shut as they delivered sales pitches that either left the old schoolers in the dust, or tempted them to cross over to the other side, would have served their targets better if performed via Twitter (or by Mimes). A place where everyone knows your name and knows the time-game going in and you can print a coupon, or get up and walk away.

    I hope to see your input soon regarding solutions that: better the profession as a whole & put the client first, while remaining 100% Real vs. same ol, same ol. Wait, all one has to do in order to learn that is to simply read the SJ Archives and subscribe to Posts. Thanks for braving the cold to learn / hear directly from Marketers vs reading their Post and Replies online.

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