I spent the last few days in Chicago at the 2013 installment of ABA TECHSHOW. In just about every way, I considered it to be the best TECHSHOW ever, although there are a few things that I hope are done differently next year.
The conference sessions were, as always, excellent, with a full day devoted to Tablets and Smartphones. As the title suggests, this track was platform-agnostic. For some topics, that made sense. For example, I gave a presentation on tablet and smartphone security with Pittsburgh attorney David Ries and Illinois attorney Aaron Brooks, and I thought it was quite helpful to compare and contrast security options on the different smartphones. On the other hand, on Friday morning there was a session presenting the top apps for four different platforms: iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows 8 tablets. Each presenter was excellent, but it would have been far more useful to have different sessions devoted to different platforms. iPhone and iPad users didn't gain much learning how Android users are trying to work around the lack of legal-specific software for that platform. I really hope that next year the ABA brings back the 60 iOS Apps in 60 Minutes session that has been so popular in the past. But notwithstanding my constructive criticisms, the iOS content at this year's TECHSHOW was better than ever before, which is a big part of the reason that I thought TECHSHOW overall was better than ever this year.
Another reason: the keynote speaker. David Pogue of the New York Times was even more entertaining than I thought he would be, and I had high expectations. I didn't realize that his grandfather, Welch Pogue, founded a D.C. firm that merged with Jones Day in 1967 (hence the "Pogue" in "Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue") and his father, Dick Pogue, was the managing partner of Jones Day for many years. (Jones Day grew from 335 to 1,250 lawyers under his tenure.) So while Pogue is not an attorney and did not speak much about the law, he definitely has an understanding of what it means to be an attorney. Pogue talked about the future of technology, but was as much a comedian as a visionary. He had the audience in stitches for almost an hour, then ended up by performing some funny songs.
After his amazing talk, he was nice enough to chat with many of us and take lots of pictures, such as this next one with me. I laughed when I saw Ed Walters of Fastcase tweet that upon posing for a picture with Pogue and Kevin O'Keefe, he felt like his Twitter feed had "materialized out of thin air."
The exhibit hall of TECHSHOW was full of activity every time I visited it. And it seemed like half of the vendors were showing off something on the iPad. It was just three years ago that all of us at TECHSHOW were wondering about what the upcoming iPad might mean for lawyers, and it is amazing how quickly this technology has taken hold. I'll be discussing some of what I saw in upcoming posts.
As always, one of the best parts of TECHSHOW was talking with other attorneys about technology. I always learn so much when I hear what others are doing with their iPhone and iPads. I also enjoyed talking with Jeff Taylor of The Droid Lawyer. Sam Glover of Lawyerist.com apparently found it amusing when he saw us talking, leading him to tweet about competing smartphone ecosystems, but I always enjoy hearing what Taylor is doing with his Android phone and tablet because it often gives me idea for the iPhone and iPad. Sam was nice enough to take this picture of the Jeff and Jeff of the iPhone and Android worlds with my iPhone.
I want to especially thank the very enthusiastic crowd for the iOS in Action session that Ben Stevens (of The Mac Lawyer) and I presented on Saturday morning. I know that many people had left TECHSHOW by then, but we still had a packed room and some great questions both during and after the presentation. For those of you who didn't get a chance to talk to me or Ben, you can always freel free to send me an email.
Finally, I had a fabulous time at the Taste of Techshow dinner that I co-hosted on Thursday night. It's a shame that only 12 people could attend, but we had an amazing group with lots of lively and fun conversation. Thanks to everyone who attended: Scott Norby of Thomson Reuters ProLaw (which sponsored the dinner), Philippe Doyle Gray (a barrister in Sydney, Australia and frequent iPhone J.D. commenter who literally traveled across the world to join us), Ian O'Flaherty and Tara Cheever of Lit Software in Miami (makers of TrialPad and TranscriptPad), South Carolina attorney Bill Latham of The Hytech Lawyer, San Antonio attorney and mediator Don Philbin (creator of the Picture it Settled app), North Carolina attorney Leigh Anne Miller, Texas attorney Karl Seebach (who recently started eDepo, a service that delivers video transcripts to an iPad), North Carolina legal technology consultant Pegeen Turner of Turner IT Solutions, Illinois law student Noelia Rodríguez-Quiñones and of course my co-host, Dallas attorney Tom Mighell.
I'm already looking forward to the next ABA TECHSHOW, in Chicago on March 26-29, 2014.