You may have noticed that my blog has fallen more or less silent since before Christmas. It seems rather odd, perhaps, particularly to American eyes, that I take my main annual holiday immediately after the inordinately long Christmas and New Year break. I never publish much over the Christmas period anyway, partly because there are few people around to read the posts, and partly out of deference to UK readers who quite like to forget about work things at that time of year.
Instead, we worked on preparing videos for production – as I have mentioned before, I recorded many interviews in the autumn, and the actual recording is the trivial bit – editing them, seeking approvals, writing the blog posts, and doing the video tagging and credits takes very much longer. We have a stock in hand to publish over the next few weeks.
January is actually quite a good time to go away. The eDiscovery / eDisclosure providers who are the source of most of my material are hunkered down preparing for Legaltech, and there are few new initiatives to write about. From a personal point of view, it is a relatively cheap time to rent houses by the sea, and our children – the two who are self-employed and the one who is constrained by university terms – are more likely to be able to join us. I keep up with the emails but lay off the writing in an attempt to reboot before the rigours of Legaltech in New York at the end of January.
Legaltech is going to be as busy as usual. I am moderating a panel for Relativity called The International Legal Cloud 2019: discovery, security, and business considerations. We are getting requests from sponsors for video interviews – Legaltech provides an unparalleled opportunity to talk to industry leaders, giving me a larder of interesting material for future publication. My sons Will and Charlie do the technical stuff of filming and editing while I do the interviews.
Last year, we shut ourselves away in a suite at the Sheraton. That was efficient as well as expensive, but its main drawback was that I missed the opportunity to bump into people which is my main purpose in being there at all. This year, we aim to be more mobile, able to set up, shoot the video, and be gone, without taking up too much of the interviewees’ time, while retaining the quality which we get from our usual studio arrangement. It also increases the possibility of doing ad hoc interviews with anyone we bump into who has something interesting to say.
It is pretty strenuous stuff, and it is a good idea to clear the mind and refresh the body before hauling myself to the horrors of Heathrow.
We went, as usual, to North Cornwall, where we take a house overlooking the estuary of the River Camel. My wife, Mary Ann, fills the house with people, many of whom enjoy cooking. Will and I roam around taking photographs and shooting videos. As my Twitter followers know, we have recently acquired a dog to replace our long-lived labrador, Saxon. This one, by chance, arrived with the name Norman (for those whose C11th English history is sparse, the Normans invaded England in 1066, conquering the Anglo-Saxons, so our replacing a dog called Saxon with one called Norman was an odd coincidence).
Cameras and canines make a good combination, as this clip (shot by Will) shows: