What Will Virtual Conferences Lead to Next?

I am sure that by now that all of you have at least checked out a virtual conference. Yeah, they are kinda goofy but it is an easy way to learn about vendors and hear some great webcasts without leaving your desk chair. Well, the other day I was being interviewed for a news story--okay, sorry for the little bit of self-promotion but hey if I don't toot no one will (err ...)--I started going off on one of my new favorite riffs: virtual court rooms. I was telling the reporter that I could envision a time, maybe in a 100 years, when we will have virtual court rooms. Juries will log into the courtroom. The lawyers will present audio, video and documentary evidence virtually. Judges will be able to preside without having to wear those black robes. Just think of the ramifications: jurisdictional issues, jury selection, proving up evidence. The technological issues of cross-examination, objection, recording and preserving a record. Would it eliminate the need of court reporters? Would create a need for court room technologists? Which raised another thought for me today: if we could have virtual court room, why couldn't we have virtual law firm partner retreats? Frankly, I don't think the large law firms would go for it. They love seeing each other and swapping war stories. The golf games, the spa time and the clay shoots. But it is already happening on the corporate side. Investor Relations reported that more and more companies are choosing to hold virtual annual meetings. So maybe it will happen in my life time.

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Steven B. Levy said...

I think one place they'll lead next is away from the big cities. Imagine if top attorneys can have a non-city lifestyle but still be part of the BigLaw/Big-City world, as I note here.

Maybe it won't replace the partner retreat, but think about firm committees working together. Telepresence can change the game in some interesting and subtle ways.
-- Steven B. Levy, author of Legal Project Management: Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks, and Maintain Sanity


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