Bye Bye Bartleby – Who Will Live and Who Will Die?

Who Will Live and Who Will Die?

“…[E]conomies like ecosystems are dynamic, and a threat to one species does not mean a threat to all.  In fact it can often mean opportunity…” Daniel Silva, The Rembrandt affair (New York: GP Putnam Sons 2010) at 370.

A joke serves as a useful parable for this part of the discussion.  Two hikers, Henry and Joe, are suddenly confronted by a grizzly bear which appeared out of nowhere from behind some trees.  The giant bear is up on its hind legs, roaring wildly, and ready to pounce.  White with terror Henry says, “Joe, we’ll never be able to outrun him.”  Joe, as he begins to sprint quickly away looks back and says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, Henry, just you.”

In this new era of lawyering, the quick will survive and the devil will take the hindmost.  This will be especially true of solo and small practices, and trial lawyers in particular.  Those that can be agile infantrymen and reduce the disadvantages of small firm and trial practice through the sophisticated use of computerized case and practice management tools that are widely available today at modest cost, will comprise a species that not only will survive, but will find opportunites to prosper.   The rest will likely meet Henry’s fate. See John Markoff, Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software (NY Times, Science Section, March 4, 2011).

Stephen M. Winnick, Esq. is the founder and senior partner of Winnick & Sullivan LLP (www.winnlaw.com); and the developer of Summary Judgment™(www.summjudg.com), a comprehensive case and practice management software tool built on Eastgate Systems’s Tinderbox data platform (www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox).  Additional information about Summary Judgment’s features and operation is available in his prior blog series entitledWinvictus’s Summary Judgment – the Romero Case(www.winvictus.wordpress.com).


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