NEW YORK–LAWFUEL – American Law News –ALM’s Law Technology News® today announced law firm and in-house law department winners in its fourth annual Law Technology News Awards program. The awards recognize the best technology use – and users – in the legal profession. Awardees in the five law firm categories are: Oz Benamram, Jo Haraf and James McKenna of Morrison & Foerster; Judith Flournoy of Loeb & Loeb; John J. Kruse of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; Pen Volkmann of Holland & Hart; and Chip Goodman, Cheryl Garrett and the IT Department of Winston & Strawn. Winners of the in-house law department award are John Theriault and Mary Ann Sarao of Pfizer Inc. These individuals and firms, plus vendor winners in 14 technology categories, will be honored at the LTN Technology Awards Dinner, at LegalTech® New York on January 29.
“Today’s law firms and legal departments face unprecedented pressures to deliver better, faster and cheaper services. These leaders all have demonstrated creativity, determination and spirit in meeting those goals,” said Monica Bay, editor in chief of the magazine. “We are especially thrilled to present our first-ever pro bono award, recognizing how technology can help serve the under-represented members of our communities. We honor and applaud each of our winners.”
Morrison & Foerster’s Jo Haraf, chief information officer, Oz Benamram, knowledge management counsel from the New York office and James McKenna, firmwide litigation technology manager from the San Francisco office, received this year’s “Most Innovative Use of Technology by a Law Firm” award. Haraf, Benamram and their team developed AnswerBase, an intelligent knowledge management system that allows users to find answers about documents, people, and matters from across a rich array of MoFo data sources. McKenna created a user-friendly vendor database for the firm’s litigation department, accessible from any of the firm’s multinational offices. The judges also awarded an Honorable Mention in this category to Dianna Case, senior trial consulting manager for Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, for her work in the design and technology build-out of the firm’s Trial Practice Center.
Pen Volkmann, director of graphics and video services of Holland & Hart, was named winner of the “Most Innovative Use of Technology During a Trial” category, for leading a team that used technology from Hollywood to translate extremely complex testimony into artistically appealing visuals that persuaded a Miami jury to award $110 million in damages to the firm’s clients. His team helped to present complex science and accounting data in a way that was understandable and engaging for a jury that ranged from eighth-grade graduates to professionals with advanced degrees.
John J. Kruse, director of records, imaging and conflicts at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, was selected as this year’s “Champion of Technology,” for leading the firm through many successful and innovative technology projects over the course of more than 30 years. His contributions have included assisting early adopters of technology, working with the team that eventually created LegalKEY, as well as creating a more user-friendly environment for integrating the firm’s information management environment for document management, e-mail, and client relationship management.
The judges chose Judith Flournoy, Chief Information Officer of Loeb & Loeb, as the recipient of this year’s “IT Director” award. She was recognized for her leadership in development of the firm’s Dynamic Document Drafting, or “D3,” program, allowing attorneys and staff to re-use the same content multiple times without document corruption. When a firm client depends on a form specific to their industry, the D3 user can harvest the document format directly into the D3 system for repeated use.
John Theriault, vice president, and Mary Ann Sarao, director, global security of Pfizer Inc., were chosen by the judges as the winners of the “Most Innovative Use of Technology by an In-House Legal Department” award. Theriault and Sarao conceived of, and developed, an anti-piracy system whose benefits are enormous and consequential. Their global security application improves communication and information sharing, helps bring criminals to justice, safeguards corporate revenues, protects consumer health, and helps ensure that pharmaceutical companies continue to invest in research and development for future cures.
Chip Goodman, IT director, Cheryl Garrett, senior programmer/analyst, and the IT Department of Winston & Strawn were named as the winners of a new category introduced this year, for “Most Innovative Pro Bono Use of Technology.” Over the course of the last three years, the IT department created a powerful in-house pro bono recruiting tool that allowed the national firm of nearly 900 attorneys to continually increase its pro bono capacity from nearly 26,000 hours in 2002 to nearly 40,000 hours in 2006.
Law firm and in-house nominations were solicited throughout the year from the magazine’s 40,000 subscribers, and through the publication’s Web site. The recipients were selected by an independent panel of three jurors, all members of LTN’s Editorial Advisory Board: Andrew Z. Adkins III, director of the Legal Technology Institute at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Fredric Lederer, professor of law and director of the Courtroom 21 Project at the College of William and Mary, and David Whelan, director of the Cincinnati Law Library Association.
Additional information on the awards and winners will be available in the March issue of Law Technology News and on the magazine’s Web site at www.lawtechologynews.com/awards.
In 2006, Law Technology News was recognized with three silver medals in the annual American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) journalism awards program. The magazine was also selected by the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) for a silver medal and honorable mention in its annual competition.
Law Technology News provides timely information and insight into the latest technologies, products and services available for the legal marketplace. Each month, LTN features new product announcements, as well as monthly articles and columns written by industry experts and senior law firm decisionmakers. LTN is distributed to more than 40,000 selected subscribers and is also available on the Web at www.lawtechnologynews.com. The magazine is published by ALM.
Headquartered in New York City, ALM is a leading integrated media company, focused on the legal and business communities. ALM currently owns and publishes 34 national and regional magazines and newspapers, including The American Lawyer®, Corporate Counsel®, The National Law Journal® and Real Estate Forum®. The company is one of North America’s largest producers of conferences and trade shows for business leaders and the legal profession. ALM’s Law.com® is the Web’s leading legal news and information network, while ALM’s GlobeSt.com® is the Web’s leading information source for commercial real estate professionals. Other ALM businesses include book and newsletter publishing, court verdict and settlement reporting, production of professional educational seminars, market research and content distribution. ALM was formed by U.S. Equity Partners, L.P., a private equity fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP. More information on ALM’s businesses and services is available on the Web at www.alm.com.