eDiscovery Daily Blog

Observations about Legaltech 2019 from Attendees, Part One: eDiscovery Trends

We’ve completed Legaltech New York (LTNY) 2019.  What did attendees at the conference think about this year’s show?  Let’s take a look.

As I’ve done the past three years, I reached out to several attendees (some of whom I met with during the show) to get their thoughts and impressions of this year’s show.  As always, these should be taken as their personal opinions and observations regarding the show, not those of their employer or clients.  We had more people than ever respond with their thoughts, so thanks to all who did!  So many that we’re going to spread these observations over two days.  Here we go!

“This was my 23rd LegalTech conference, and one of the most enjoyable in memory despite the intense cold.  But, my joy sprung from seeing old friends and interviewing Bob Woodward at the E-Discovery Heroes awards.  The central event, LTNY 2019 (who calls it LegalWeek?), lacked the crowds and sprawl of its storied past, shrunken in sympathy with the consolidating vendor community.  I predict it will soon be but a single bustling floor, down from the raucous and rambling three or four it once commanded.  Most everything else about the incredible shrinking LegalTech was business-as-usual with the sad exception of the educational tracks, which have never been less engaging nor more distant from the intersection of law and technology from a practitioner’s perspective.  Experience was paper thin and paper-centric; the distance between the lawyer presenters and the technologies they discussed was scarily evident.

I felt I’d stumbled into a conference about managing the international legal industry, not about using technology in the practice of law.  That may be as much a comment about this old trial dog as about LegalTech itself.  Litigators no longer do; they delegate.  No lawyer I heard on a dais had ever tried a case, save for a few judges and former attorneys general who’d done it when fax machines were cutting edge.  It made me long for the days when LegalTech was exciting because of what was inside the Hilton instead of the many events and networking opportunities orbiting its faded gravity.  ALM is starting to feel more like AOL: overdue for a cold reboot.”

— Craig Ball, Lawyer Technologist

“Although I didn’t attend any sessions this year, I always enjoy seeing long-time friends. I was honored to attend Mary Mack’s bloggers luncheon and spend time with some of my mentors. It was sad to see the exhibitors’ area shrink again this year. Nikolai and I partnered up to record an educational video, so keep an eye out for that!”

— Amy Bowser-Rollins, Editor of LitigationSupportGuru.com

“I am amazed every year at this annual event, Legal Tech.  The participation and involvement by the legal industry, including judges, attorneys, technologists, and legal professionals from the government, corporations, and vendors. This year proved no different.  This year’s Legal Tech event affirmed we work in an incredible eDiscovery community and industry.  More consolidation yet new players introduced themselves.  And the community remains strong and supportive.  Great panels, fun parties, education and friendship….networking and strengthening relationships.  The icing on the cake was the snow.  Sadly no blizzard this year but we did get the cold and snow…. It was great seeing you all and here is to everyone having an amazing and successful 2019….”

— Kevin M. Clark, Litigation Support Manager at Thompson & Knight LLP


  1. I wish I had a dime for every time I heard ‘AI’ …. nobody can explain what it is but everybody is selling it and they have the best.
  2. Lot of vendors and law firms talking about how innovative they are … very few sessions of any real substance for end users.  Couple of exceptions were Access to Justice featuring Maura Grossman. Jim Sandman of LSC and Judge Xavier Rodriguez and a demo on O365 Advanced Discovery by Rachi Messing.
  3. Lots of activity outside the show hotel …many, many folks doing demos at hotels within a block of the show. Clearly drained attendees off site.
  4. Which is OK because the Hilton is dingy, narrow, ill lit and poorly managed.   BRING BACK HENRY DICKER!!


  1. Great B2B venue…I see people I just don’t get to see much otherwise:  Michael Arkfeld, Rachi Messing, Lincoln Mead, Henry Dicker, Craig Ball ….. oh, never mind!
  2. Some off site sessions were great …..client focused, great speakers, well worth the walk even in 5 degree weather.
  3. Good place to see what ‘big fish’ in the market are doing even if it doesn’t really apply to me and the client space where I work”

— Tom O’Connor, Director, Gulf Coast Legal Tech Center

“The thing I enjoy the most at LTNY is connecting with my vendors and colleagues.  There’s no substitute for meeting folks in person and spending time in a casual setting with them.

I say again:  Either have LTNY in the summer, or have it in Florida in January.

Disco’s Legaltech NY cartoons were legendary.  Seriously, I want to buy some of those as framed art work for our Discovery Operations area.  Where can I get them?”

— Janice Jaco, eDiscovery Project Manager at Keesal, Young & Logan (on long-term secondment at Walmart’s Home Office)

“The show floor seemed to be a little smaller in size and appears to be more very niche around eDiscovery, Investigations and Compliance. In the past, there were more general law firm software providers, but that seems to be dwindling. The focus on the Cloud also continues to be very big. As usual, there appeared to be a lot of meeting activity and many meetings outside the show – more than ever, it seems.

GDPR was talked about a lot this year, but I did not see a lot of software purely focused on that space, though it was clear there is an increased focus on compliance and investigations, in addition to the traditional focus on litigation.

One trend I noticed this year is the tremendous amount of private equity investors attending this year. The lobby seemed to be full of PEs and Investment Bankers all looking for their next investment.  Between that and all of the investment announcements we’ve seen recently (including our own announcement last year about our affiliation with Peak Rock Capital and our acquisition of the LexisNexis eDiscovery suite), it’s clear that investing in this market has heated up considerably.”

— Brad Jenkins, CEO of CloudNine

So, what do you think?  Did you attend Legaltech last week?  What did you think of this year’s show?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.