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LTNY 2009: Jeffrey Toobin at the Fios LegalTech Party

LegalTech New York 2009 is now officially over, but in spite of the dire state of the economy, Tuesday night still saw the typical slate of conference parties. Many took place at the Hilton shortly after the sessions ended for the day, but electronic discovery provider Fios Inc. opted instead for the Rainbow Room, on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center. (Unfortunately the driving snow storm took away from the otherwise breathtaking views).

On top of the cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, Fios brought in New Yorker writer and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to pontificate on the Supreme Court, the subject of his recent bestseller "The Nine." But what does Toobin think about the state of e-discovery? Hard to say, as the last time anyone uttered the phrase last night was when Fios announced its own new book on the topic, just before ceding the stage to the eminent journalist.

Toobin's talk ran through some of the historical highlights from "The Nine," detailing the ideological trajectory of the Supreme Court from the early 20th century to the present, punctuated by a few jokes and witty political observations. He speculated on the possibility that President Obama will name at least one new Justice during his term, a popular game among legal commentators these days. Rather than a pick from the federal judiciary, as has become standard operating procedure in recent decades, Toobin thinks Obama might hearken back to an earlier era of the Court, when Justices were lawyers who came to the bench from political positions. He says Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine or Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm are likely contenders. But Toobin did hold out the possibility for one non-political pick. In response to a question from the audience (Legal Blog Watch's Robert Ambrogi, to be specific), Toobin speculated that 2nd Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor could become the Court's first Hispanic Justice.

The evening wound down in a Q&A session, with a few jabs at Bush v. Gore and some final thoughts on the fate of newspapers in America (Toobin fretted that we may be close to the day when a mid-size American town has no paper of its own), but nothing more about legal technology. It was a grand event -- well-attended by Am Law 200 lawyers and in-house counsel who probably didn't make it out to LegalTech itself -- the likes of which one hopes legal technology companies can still afford to put on next year.

Posted by Laurel Newby on February 4, 2009 at 07:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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