Update on Bogus Industry Awards

Those who are regular readers may recall that I published a post on the crazy awards that are basically pay-to-receive distinctions. A real award isn’t something that you pay for.
And while I continue to receive award notifications from all kinds of organizations, I saw a really great article echoing my comments on these non-distinctive awards in the ABA Journal, June/July 2020 edition. Here’s the link.  
It seems that Lucy Davis of Davis Law Group in Seattle won an award as Lawyer of Distinction in the personal injury field in 2017.   Lucy is a poodle.  In submitting her application for the award, Lucy’s office mentioned that she had “Juris Dogtor” and was a member of the King Country Bark Association.
To those at Davis Law Group, I salute you!!  And to Lucy, you’ve got my vote.

Pandemic Update

While the pandemic impacts businesses around the world, we are fortunate to have work underway and have not closed our doors.
Our best wishes for good health for you, your families and friends, and our thanks to all who continue to provide essential services and medical care during this time.
Please stay home to flatten the curve, wear masks if you need to go out and wash your hands!


New LEDES Standards

The LEDES Oversight Committee has ratified new standards for legal ebilling and I had the honor of leading the development effort. There were some basic changes:

  • Increased the size of the invoice number and to increase the number of decimal columns for the tax rate (LEDES 99BI, XML 2.0, XML 2.1)
  • Added a data element for the CTC tax authority invoice reference number and to clarify other fields where we have noted confusion (XML 2.0, XML 2.1)
  • Moved the math statement to a separate tab and clarified math references (XML 2.1)
  • Created functionality to support tiered taxes (new format XML 2.2)

The new formats are available on LEDES.org.


This year I began to receive notices of awards from numerous legal publications. The offers were remarkably similar, all notifying me that I had been nominated by my peers in legal for a prestigious award and was a finalist based on recent voting. Some of the awards received so far this year include:

  • Finance Monthly’s Legal Awards Global Award 2019.
  • CIO Application’s Magazine’s Top 10 Legal Tech Consulting/Services Companies 2019
  • Lawyer Monthly’s Women in Law Awards for 2019
  • and then again Finance Monthly’s Global Award 2019.

And this doesn’t include the number that I deleted before I started saving my “Award” notifications. I think my favorite early honor was one that named me as a top lawyer. I corrected them several times that I was not a J.D., but apparently that wasn’t enough to disqualify me from the award.

Each of these honors required a fee to be interviewed and for the printing, shipping, etc. of the award. So my question is this: Who pays for an award?

Recently Forbes Magazine published an article on top corporate law firms in the Americas, which can be found here.  I believe I have finally found an award I can respect.  At the bottom of the page you will see the following note:  “Companies do not pay a fee for placement on the list, which is independently determined by Forbes.”   My congratulations to all who were honored on the Forbes list and to Forbes for their methodology and process.

LEDES Ebilling Format Changes

I have been leading the Tax Accommodation Subcommittee for the LEDES Oversight Committee for the last year, spearheading changes to the global ebilling formats for two projects:
Project 1: Accommodating a greater number of cursor columns to the right of the decimal separator for the tax rate only. These proposed changes impact LEDES 98BI and XML Ebilling 2.0 and 2.1.
Project 2: New functionality to accommodate Tiered Taxes. The changes required are extensive and result in the creation of LEDES XML Ebilling 2.2. The proposed solution adds 2 new segments and 13 data elements to the file and significantly changes the invoice math statement.
You can access the proposed changes and feedback survey through https://ledes.org/proposed-standards-requiring-public-comment/, which page includes a link for providing public feedback on the proposed standards. The public comment period will remain open until 8 September, 2019.

Acquisitions and New Offerings

It is conference season and with that comes news of acquisitions and new products.

Wolters Kluwer ELM has acquired CLM Matrix, a contract management platform, filling in a gap in their product offering.

Onit has acquired SimpleLegal, a law department-focused ELM system.

Also in the news is a new law firm billing program, Accurate Legal Billing. It is in the vein of other systems recently in the news that purports to produce bills that comply with client guidelines.

Look on our Law Department and Law Firm Resource Room pages for links to each of these products