You come to this site, I know, for sharp, incisive, witty stuff about the e-disclosure world, the court rules, the case law, the new developments. There is plenty of that at LegalTech here in New York, but those who do not come here may like a feel for the event, the place and the context.
I brought my son William over with me this year since he was due to come anyway this week with a college party. The cheap flights are on Saturday and LegalTech did not start until Tuesday, so it made sense to give him some extra days. The Warwick Hotel, where I stayed last year, was booked out, so we checked into a rather less grand hotel, at a nightly saving which easily covers the double fare. I can’t actually fit a chair between the table and the end of my bed, so any typos in this can be blamed on the fact that my nose is pressed against the screen.
Bags unpacked, I suggested we go find some people. Don’t be stupid, William said, you don’t just wander round New York hoping to bump into people you know. We did, of course, in the second bar we looked in, a half-dozen mixed case of litigation support managers and suppliers. Some drinks followed, and dinner with a couple of them.
It is a curious little friendly colonisation of a corner of a vast city which, at any other time of year, would seem anonymous but which feels almost homely for these few days, with someone likable whom you know at every corner.
The next morning was the British Brunch, organised annually by Trilantic at the Tavern on the Green in Central Park. We were sitting, as last year, in a vast, ornately-decorated conservatory, surrounded by well-heeled parents with their well-scrubbed offspring. I came away last year promising to settle for just the one enormous course next time. Maybe next year I will be more disciplined with the menu. Eggs Benedict, good company, a walk round Central Park on a beautiful morning and some shopping – Sunday alone was worth the air fare, and that’s before any business gets done.
Not much to show for the shopping though. The dollar rate is much the same as last year, but mentally halving the dollar price does not yield the bargain in sterling that it did. One concludes that the prices must have risen, which is tough on those whose earnings are in dollars. The one bargain was a bass effects pedal which I bought for William in a musical Aladdin’s Cave, counting myself lucky not to have to buy the Jazz Bass he tried as well.
Many of the UK contingent gathered in a pub to watch the Superbowl on multiple television screens round the bar. Wild horses would not normally get me into a crowded, noisy pub showing a major sporting event which I don’t understand, and I would have left after the first Guinness. My son, however, was engaged in conversation by a pretty girl and it seemed unfair to drag him away. It became clear, however, that she just wanted him for his accent. I never get chatted up by pretty girls in New York bars, and I speak just like he does.
Off to dinner with Browning Marean of DLA, somehow forgetting en route about the Guinness. Guinness is good for you, as is wine with dinner. Taken in close sequence, however, with a dash of jet-lag thrown in, they are not a great combination.
What of the Superbowl? It proved unnecessary to look up the result. I was back in my room when an eruption of car horns and shouting from the street made it clear that the New York Giants had won.