Sessions and Speaker Bios

The following sessions have been confirmed. We will post a schedule closer to the date.

Do clients dream of electric lawyers?

When we look into the clouded future some of us see utopias, others see dystopias. One thing is clear, however, and that is: for both good and ill, the future of law will be a technotopia. Lawyers, firmly lodged in the “late adopter” group, by and large experience technology as something outside (their ken, their industry) that keeps happening to them. It’s well past time for lawyers as a group to accept that they need to participate in the shaping of this technotopia if their experience with law is to be at all recognizable in the shape of things to come.

Topics to be discussed will include:

  •  Trends in technology
  • The smart legal document
  • Technology and access to justice
  • Online dispute resolution

Simon Fodden is Professor Emiritus at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he taught for more than 30 years. He is the Publisher of Slaw (, Canada’s online legal magazine, which has published daily for seven years.

An Introduction to Knowledge Management for Law Firms

Large law firms have discovered that the principles of Knowledge Management (KM) can help with organization, “findability” and use of their precedents and other important documents. Join consultant Connie Crosby and Stephanie Barnes as they give an overview of what KM is, and how it can move your firm toward becoming a “learning organization.” Hear lesser known KM techniques and additional benefits, such as improving knowledge sharing to lessen the impact of associates leaving the firm and partners retiring, and “Lessons Learned” or improving learning from client work.

Connie Crosby is a law librarian who now works as a consultant specializing in Knowledge Management, Information Management and Social Media for the legal industry. Before starting Crosby Group Consulting in 2008, she was Library Manager for ten years in a prominent Toronto law firm. Known in the Canadian law firm KM and law library circles, Connie is a founding director and contributor for the cooperative law blog and also writes her own blog Connie and Stephanie Barnes are launching Law Firm KM,  a new Knowledge Management assessment tool and coaching service for small firms.

Connie is also winner of the iSchool Institute Award for Outstandig Teaching 2010-2011 for her continuing education courses on social media at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information iSchool Institute. Connie has an MLS (Master of Library Science) and Information Management Certificate from the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto in addition to a BA and MA in English Literature.

Stephanie Barnes has over 20 years successful, progressive experience in Knowledge Management and Accounting in the High Technology, Health Care, and Public Accounting sectors, with abilities in Strategy Execution and Change Management, as well as Project Development, Implementation and Team Development. Stephanie has a BBA in Accounting, an MBA in Information Systems, is Masters Certified in ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and has a Business Systems Analyst Certificate.

She is author of the Ark Group report published in May 2011,“Aligning People, Process and Technology in Knowledge Management” In January 2010 Missing Puzzle Piece Consulting became the Canadian Franchisee for Knoco Ltd ( This expanded Missing Puzzle Piece’s consulting activities as well as provided the opportunity add Knowledge Management training to its repertoire.

Considerations for the Management and Administration of Digital Legacies

From the perspective of estate and testamentary planning, digital legacy issues include:

  • the identification and disposition of digital assets,
  • addressing digital liabilities (crystallized or contingent),
  •  securing and dealing with legal, personal and medical information according to the instructions of the testator and  applicable trust, taxation, privacy and other laws, and
  • generally ensuring the smooth unfolding of the post-mortem estate administration so as to minimize uncertainty, discomfort and  legal expense to the beneficiaries.

For the solicitor, estate planner or executor, achieving these objectives may be difficult given variety of specialized skills entailed and the sparse, yet rapidly evolving professional standards which obtain. Furthermore, estate professionals must remain cognizant of the professional risks associated with any digital legacy practice.

This presentation will briefly detail our experience with a professional digital legacy practice and describe some of the more common digital assets, digital liabilities and issues arising on administering digital legacy estates.  Emerging standards and a framework for addressing testamentary digital legacy planning will also be discussed

Jerrard Gaertner, Chartered Accountant, technologist, computer security and privacy expert, trustee and officer of the Court, systems assurance professional, President – Canadian Information Processing Society (Ontario, Canada), Director – Soberman LLP.

My Coworker is a Robot: The [Coming] Age of Legal Informatics

Computers are taking over more and more tasks currently performed by highly paid professionals. Software can write news articles, drive cars, answer phones, and do document review.

How will more advanced technology impact lawyers, law students and legal practice in 2020? Drawing examples from other professions that have experienced significant advances in automation, this presentation will cover how new technology is changing the practice of law and how lawyers and technologists will collaborate to automate ever more advanced tasks such as legal due diligence.

Alexander K. Hudek is Chief Technology Officer of DiligenceEngine, a legal automation software company. Alex holds Ph.D and M.Math degrees in Computer Science (specialising in bioinformatics) from the University of Waterloo, and a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in Physics and Computer Science.

Noah Waisberg is Chief Executive Officer of DiligenceEngine, a legal automation software company. Prior to co-founding DiligenceEngine, Noah was an associate in Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s New York corporate practice. Noah holds a J.D. from the NYU School of Law, an A.M. in Political Science from Brown University (where he completed the coursework and comprehensive examinations for a Ph.D), and a B.A. from McGill University.


Technology is Changing the Real Estate Transaction and Creating New Opportunities for Lawyers

This session will focus on the impact of technology on the process of selling real estate and the affect it will have on lawyers working with these clients. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of homeowners choosing to forgo the services of a real estate agent and represent themselves. Many of these customers have little if any experience and fail to understand the risks and legal exposure. To respond, lawyers must become more engaged in the entire selling process not simply at the end of the transaction. There are definite new revenue opportunities for lawyers that make this change.

Terry Welton is President of Softext Publishing Inc. a software development company and web developer since 1987. The company specializes in the production of investment management systems for the financial firms across Canada. Mr. Welton is also COO of Lawyers Web Propertyshop Ltd. a company servicing the private-sell real estate market.

Michael Forcier is a sole practitioner in Owen Sound. He was called to the bar in 1986. He practises in the areas of real estate, estates, corporate and family law including collaborative law. He has taught at the local community college for Law Clerks Association and presented at Ontario Bar  and Canadian Bar association seminars. He sits on the District Legal Aid Committee.  He is one of the co-founders of, which is a system that allows clients to sell their own property with the assistance of their lawyer.


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