Using Technology and System Design to Improve the Dodd-Frank Resolution Planning Requirement (+ Better Manage Complexity)

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This past week, I had the pleasure of participating in a half day closed door session with about ~40-50 folks from the financial services industry including several of the world’s finest law firms, representatives from SIFI and non-SIFI financial institutions as well as folks from IBM Watson and LegalOnRamp (a Watson eco-system partner).

The specific subject was RRP – the resolution planning / living wills requirement under Dodd Frank.  Former Congressman Barney Frank provided opening remarks and joined the group for the balance of the half day session.  Paul Lippe and I discussed our recent paper on Resolution Planning that was published in Banking Perspective (The Journal of The Clearing House).

As we argue in the paper, the ‘too big to fail argument’ is not really that intellectually forceful.  The question – properly posed – is what to do about complexity and the management of complex systems.  The complex and interdependent nature of the banking ecosystem is the feature that really challenges efforts to develop robust regulatory / management structures.  This would be true even if existing financial institutions were made smaller.

Our conversation was about how to use technology and system redesign to confront and manage wide scale complexity.  The resolution planning challenge should not just be focused upon clearing the existing regulatory hurdle but actually can be an opportunity for organizations to build better financial/legal information infrastructure (ultimately leading to an internet of contracts or more broadly an internet of legal things).  In building a better financial/legal information infrastructure, banks will be better positioned to manage/properly price risk.

Dentons (World's Largest Law Firm) Launches NextLaw Labs and Creates Legal Business Accelerator

Read stories here, here and here  plus check out NextLaw Labs.

Stanford CodeX FutureLaw Conference 2015 – Conference on Innovation, Technology and the Future of the Legal Industry

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Daniel Martin Katz to Join IIT Chicago-Kent Faculty to Support Chicago Kent's Ongoing Initiative to Build the Preeminent Law & Technology Program in the Country

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.48.18 PMI am excited to announce that I am leaving MSU to join the Chicago-Kent College of Law where I have accepted a lateral offer starting this summer.

It is has been a good run here at MSU Law and wish my MSU colleagues all the best.

The opportunity to be part of one of the long standing and premier law+tech programs is extremely exciting and I look forward to doing great things with my new colleagues at Chicago Kent.   As noted in the press release, I am excited to “assume a key leadership role in the law school’s ongoing initiative to build the preeminent law and technology program in the country!”

More to come starting this summer …

Legal Tech NYC 2015 – A Short Recap #LTNY #LTNY15

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 10.11.51 AMSome scenes from my LegalTech NYC 2015 experience in the pictures above (including getting stuck in an elevator).

As Oliver Goodenough has noted – #LegalTech NYC features between “$20 billion to $30 billion a year in commercial activity.”  Curated by Stanford CodeX (where I am now an external faculty affiliate) and Mike Bommarito is a fellow, this year’s legal tech offered ten early to mid stage legal tech startups who collectively cover a wide range of practice areas.

I presented on a panel sponsored by FTI Technology which featured Judge John Facciola (United States Magistrate Judge in the District of Columbia),  David Horrigan (451 Research) and Cliff Nichols (Day Pitney).

Check out a Cartoonist’s recap of our panel!  #LTNY  #LTNY15

The #LegalHack Movement -or- The HomeBrew Computer Club of the Legal Industry

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#Legal Hacking is a Movement.
This is what Robert Richards from Legal Informatics Blog declared back in 2012.  It turned out to be a very accurate prediction. The rise of the legal hack movement is among the most interesting developments in our industry — with significant growth coming in the second half of 2013.

Thousands of individuals in the #LegalHack movement are coming together across the globe to connect, discuss and try solve persistent problems that plague both the legal industry and public sector / judiciary.   The past months alone have featured more than 10 events in locations such as Washington, DC, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Bologna, Brasila,  London, Geneva, Ottawa, Brooklyn, Paris, etc.  RC Richards has been compiling a list here.

Additionally, there are law+technology meetup events taking place in locations such as Seattle, Cincinnati,  Austin, Los Angeles, etc.

While certainly not a silver bullet for all problems, technology can potentially help alleviate some of the persistent issues in both the private and public sector including firm efficiency, access to justice, better courts and a better justice system, more effective regulation, perhaps a less dysfunctional congress (well – that might be impossible) …

I should just note for those of you not familiar with this fact – “hacking” has multiple meanings.  The context in play here is the positive sense of the word -> developing creative solutions to particular problems that exist in the world (rather than say committing crime using a computer).  So the well know site Lifehacker (which helps me all of the time) is devoted to hacking your life in order to make it easier.

For the legal industry, this looks a lot like the HomeBrew Computer Club (circa about 1976)!

Proud to Be Named to the 2013 Class of Legal Rebels by the ABA Journal

legal rebels 2013 Proud to be honored – promise to keep working hard – and I am really looking forward to sharing some really cool new projects (with Michael J Bommarito II, Michael Bossone, Bill Henderson, J.B Ruhl and many others) that are in the pipeline — coming in 2014!