Collaborative Network Addresses Emerging Legal Issues

nGenera, together with California law firm Folger, Levin & Kahn, and Legal OnRamp, today announced that they had collaborated to use a wiki tool to author a sophisticated white paper on legal issues presented by new Internet technologies, including wikis themselves.

Deepak Ramanchandran, VP Enterprise 2.0 at nGenera, stated, “We’re working with the most sophisticated companies in the world to help them develop Enterprise 2.0 approaches. Law may very well go from ‘worst to first’ in its adoption of Enterprise 2.0. The white paper shows that concerns about the use of Enterprise 2.0 tools in the legal environment are relatively easy to overcome. We deployed a collaborative network to help address these concerns. We’ve had great results so far.”

Paul Lippe, founder of Legal OnRamp, said, “As we like to say in Silicon Valley, we decided to ‘eat our own dog food,’ using Web 2.0 approaches to address Web 2.0 issues. We turned to Mike Kelleher, an expert in legal technology issues, to lead the wiki social authorship effort to develop a collaborative expertise model in this critical emerging area. A whole range of lawyers and clients have contributed to the wiki, and it will be continually updated and improved.”

Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Cisco, said, “The top driver of productivity improvement over the next decade will be collaboration. Lawyers can use their expertise to help clear away hurdles to collaboration-driven productivity improvements for their clients and to begin to improve their own productivity using these techniques. Legal expertise has always been ‘socially produced,’ and this just represents the next step.”

Mike Kelleher, Partner, Folger Levin & Kahn, “We were delighted to invest some unbilled time in pulling together this wiki-based White Paper on legal considerations in Web 2.0. The wiki social authorship model on Legal OnRamp is easy to learn and easy to use. Unlike Wikipedia, the attribution and editorship feature provide an extra layer of assurance. And with an ever-changing area like this, tapping into the community for both emerging issues and emerging best practices is the only way to stay on top of things. The document isn’t perfect, because every day it gets better.”

Richard Susskind, the UK-based legal IT expert and futurist, “Wikis will be used whenever there is an opportunity for lawyers to collaborate with one another or with their clients. Although the legal fraternity is not renowned for collaborating, the clear attractions of legal wikis should help foster greater co-operative spirit: contributions to wikis can be made easily and quickly; their impact and usefulness is immediate and apparent; they evolve rather than requiring one single act of creation; they provoke stimulating debate and discussion; and they appeal to the ego, in that contributors seem irresistibly enjoined to leave their mark.”

Marisia Campbell, Stikeman Elliott LLP, “We’re always looking for ways to deliver more value to clients, such as making knowledge more available. Wiki authorship is a very exciting and promising area.”

Gillian Hadfield, Professor, USC Law School, “As has been well documented, the self-regulation of the legal industry stands as an impediment to legal innovation. This effort shows how clients, using modern tools and techniques, are beginning to drive the innovation themselves, with the help of forward-thinking law firms.”

James Seidl, President of Legal Research Center and co-publisher of the 2008 Legal Transformation Study: Your 2020 Vision of the Future, “As free and easy access to legal content increases, one major differentiator that will help lawyers maintain their position as key providers of premium legal advice is their ability to leverage technology. Technology is the catalyst that will enable law firms to transform their practice development from risk-averse to one that embraces risk as an entree to opportunity. Wiki social authorship is a future legal industry best practice, and thanks to Legal OnRamp, the future is now.”

About nGenera

nGenera Corporation is an on-demand platform for business innovation that provides a suite of subscription-based offerings to enable the Next Generation Enterprise. Powered by software and people, nGenera’s on-demand offerings give organizations sustainable, breakthrough capabilities in leadership performance, talent management and development, and customer experience. Customers that subscribe to the company’s on-demand solutions include a marquee list of Global 2000 companies in a range of industries.

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About Legal OnRamp

Currently used by over 175 companies and more than 150 law firms, Legal OnRamp provides content via collaborative Wikipedia-style postings and collaboration via social and professional networking and execution services to help legal professionals deliver higher quality work in less time at a lower cost. Law firm client alerts and publications, as well as standard templates, are available to in-house attorneys in the Legal OnRamp community, enabling them to answer legal questions without starting from scratch each time. Social networking and other online collaboration tools are also available to help in-house lawyers collaborate better with their counterparts in other companies and with external counsel. These services directly respond to the desire of in-house lawyers to have ready access to a wide range of knowledge and to be able to work more closely and in a smarter way with internal and external colleagues.