Debbie Foster is a nationally recognized thought leader on efficiency and innovation in professional legal organizations. Her 20+ years of experience, combined with a mix of strategic management and strong leadership skills, has enabled Debbie to develop a unique ability to work with law firms and legal departments to help them navigate the ever changing legal services delivery landscape.
Debbie has been working with law firms and legal departments since 1995, originally implementing software solutions ranging from practice management and time/billing/accounting to document management. This quickly led to her helping solve general law office management issues. It became abundantly clear that in addition to helping clients with their software and technology, what was really needed was help thinking about one’s firms and departments like a business, and running them accordingly.
Debbie earned her Lean Six Sigma Certification and is relied on by firms all over the country as a management consultant. She has been working with legal professionals to understand the importance of accuracy and efficiency in their processes, along with inspiring them to focus on innovation – or simply put, finding the better way. If a bigger picture focus in needed, Debbie is also a trusted advisor for many when it comes to assisting law firms with strategic management problems and their resolutions.
Debbie is very active in the Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association, and is currently serving on the Finance Committee. She was the Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2010 and is serving again as the Co-Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2018. Debbie is also very active in Local and State Bar Associations as well as the Association of Legal Administrators, serves as the Chair of the Associate Member Advisory Board for the American Legal and Financial Network, and she regularly speaks on topics relating to technology, management, finance and marketing of a law firm.
Debbie lives in Seminole, FL with her husband Dan and has 2 grown children.
Tom Mighell, Co-Chair
Tom Mighell is Vice President of Delivery Services at Contoural, Inc., where he helps companies develop information governance, litigation readiness and privacy programs. Prior to becoming a consultant, Tom practiced for 18 years at the firm Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. Tom is the author of four books, including iPad in One Hour for Lawyers (3rd Edition), iPad in One Hour for Litigators (2nd Edition), iPad Apps in One Hour, and The Lawyers Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies. Mighell is also the co-host of “The Kennedy-Mighell Report,” a legal technology podcast on the Legal Talk Network.
Tom served on the ABA TECHSHOW planning board for four years, serving as its chair in 2008. He also served as the chair of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division from 2010-11. He received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Lincoln Mead, Co-Vice Chair
Lincoln Mead currently serves as the Director of Information Technology for the Utah State Bar and is an obsessive mourner for Cubs baseball. He assists attorneys with evaluation of practice management technology, implementation and policy. He is a frequent technology and practice management speaker at Utah State Bar events and has been a guest speaker at law and technology related events across the country. He is a past Chair of the IT Section of the National Association of Bar Executives and a past member of the ABA TECHSHOW Board. He has overseen the implementation of Casemaker for all Utah attorneys; assisted in the roll out of the state’s mandatory efiling system and in the design and implementation of the public WiFi system at the new Federal Court House. He is currently working on the migration of the Utah State Bar operations to new enterprise software and the creation of the member services portal cleverly named https://services.utahbar.org. He is also the proud father of three Irish sons: War, Plague, and Pestilence, and the husband of a mysterious and beautiful Welsh wife.
John Simek, Co-Vice Chair
Mr. Simek is the Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., an information technology, digital forensics and information security firm located in Fairfax, VA. Mr. Simek has a national reputation as a digital forensics technologist and has testified as an expert witness throughout the United States. He holds a degree in engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and an MBA in finance from Saint Joseph’s University.
Mr. Simek holds the prestigious CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certification. He is also holds multiple technical certifications for diverse technologies to include Microsoft, Novell, mobile devices and computer networking environments. Mr. Simek is also a member of the High Tech Crime Network as well as the American Bar Association and the Fairfax Bar Association.
He currently provides information technology support to hundreds of area law firms, legal entities and corporations. He is a co-host of the Legal Talk Network podcast Digital Detectives and a co-author of fifteen books to include Locked Down: Practical Information Security for Lawyers, 2nd Edition (American Bar Association 2016), Encryption Made Simple for Lawyers (American Bar Association, 2015) and The 2008-2017 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide: Critical Decisions Made Simple (American Bar Association, 2008-2017) as well as other titles. He is a frequent author and speaker on information security, legal technology and electronic evidence throughout the country. He blogs at youritconsultant.senseient.com and may be reached at email@example.com.
Heidi S. Alexander, Esq. is the Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers’ Practice Management Services, known as the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP). LOMAP provides free and confidential practice management assistance, guidance in implementing new law office technologies, and methods to attain healthy and sustainable practices. Heidi frequently makes presentations to the legal community and contributes to publications on law practice management and technology. She is the author of Evernote as a Law Practice Tool, an American Bar Association (ABA) publication, a white belt in Legal Lean Sigma Project Management and Process Improvement, and the architect behind the ABA’s Women of Legal Technology initiative that celebrates and encourages women in legal technology.
Heidi serves on and leads a number of volunteer boards and committees, including serving as co-chair of the Women’s Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Section and co-chair of the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Practice Management Committee. She serves on the ABA’s TECHSHOW Planning Board, the Boston Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Committee, the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Committee, and the Lemberg Children’s Center Board of Directors. In 2017, Heidi was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Advisory Committee on Professionalism.
Prior to joining LOMAP, Heidi owned and operated a web consulting business and solo law practice. Her consulting work focused on assisting solo and small law firms with Internet marketing and technology, and her legal work focused on nonprofit law and governance. She also taught nonprofit law and technology courses as an adjunct faculty member at a local community college. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Heidi represented employees discriminated against in the workplace at a small Boston-based law firm and clerked for a justice on the highest court of New Jersey. Her commitment to public service began straight from college when she worked for a nonprofit women’s business assistance center helping low income and minority women launch and grow their businesses.
Heidi is a native of Minnesota, a graduate of Amherst College, a graduate of Rutgers School of Law, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Rutgers Law Review, and is the proud mother of three amazing young children.
Stacey Blaustein is a Senior Attorney in the Corporate Litigation Department of the IBM Corporation in Armonk, NY where she manages all aspects of E-Discovery, is integrally involved in Cross-Border Discovery and Data Privacy issues, and also handles many aspects of regulatory law and third party subpoenas. Her previous experience includes over 17 years as a securities litigation attorney. Stacey speaks and writes frequently on E-Discovery, Cross-Border, Social Media, Data Privacy and ethics and E-Discovery issues. Stacey is on the ABA TECHSHOW Planning Board for 2016-2018 and is a member of Sedona and on the subcommittee of Working Group 6 Middle East Data Privacy. Stacey is a graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University, and the Emory University School of Law.
Judge Herbert B. Dixon, Jr.
Herbert B. Dixon, Jr. is a senior judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He is a former member of the ABA Board of Governors and the House of Delegates. He is the technology columnist for The Judges’ Journal magazine and a member of the ABA Journal magazine’s Board of Editors. Judge Dixon was the chair of Superior Court’s Electronic Filing Pilot Project, which received national recognition for its success, and oversaw implementation of the court’s technology-enhanced courtroom project. He is a frequent speaker on topics related to the intersection of law and technology
Judge Dixon is a former presiding judge of both the Civil Division and the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division of Superior Court; a former co-chair of the DC Courts’ Strategic Planning Leadership Council, the entity charged with writing the strategic plan for the District of Columbia Courts and evaluating progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the plan; and a former chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges. During 2007 – 2010, Judge Dixon is the first known active judge to serve on the TECHSHOW® Planning Board. He received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University.
Barron K. Henley, Esq. is one of the founding partners of Affinity Consulting Group, a legal technology consulting firm focused on automating and streamlining law firms and legal departments. He earned his B.S./B.A. (marketing and economics) and J.D. from The Ohio State University and is a member of the American, Ohio and Columbus Bar Associations, and the Worthington Estate Planning Council. He is a member of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, a Board Member for the ABA TECHSHOW, and is the former Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Law Office Automation & Technology Committee. Mr. Henley heads Affinity’s document assembly/automation and software training departments; he is a renowned expert on HotDocs document assembly software, Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat; and has authored legal-specific manuals on HotDocs, Adobe Acrobat, and Microsoft Word, Excel & Outlook. Barron is also an expert in launching new law firms, overhauling existing firms and documenting and re-engineering law firm processes. Finally, Barron teaches continuing legal education (CLE) classes throughout the U.S. and Canada covering a wide variety of topics related to law practice management, technology and ethics.
Author, lecturer and 30 year veteran of the business and technical side of the practice of law, Allan Mackenzie shares his experience as the Director of Information Technology for a Wall Street white collar litigation boutique. Recognized for his “known-nonsense to no-nonsense” approach to practice management and technology, he has acted as architect and implementer of successful strategies that have won the hearts and minds of legal and technology professionals and created holistic solutions that move firms forward whether 1 or 600 strong.
Allan is a Clio® Certified Product Pro and has held certifications with Time Matters®, Pro Law®, and numerous others. A regular speaker and contributing author to legal and technology forums, he has lent his name to three national and international consultancies that focus on the technological efficiency of the legal profession. Prior to joining the consultancy sphere, Allan hung his hat at the Worldwide Training division of Microsoft® and Wang Laboratories® and has trained technical support and legal professionals in the United States, England, The United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Japan. And while he has provided Acting CIO services for large firms, he still loves to roll up his sleeves and design document assembly automation in Microsoft Word.
Attorney Nerino Petro is the Chief Information Officer for Holmstrom KennedyPC, in Rockford, Illinois. Nerino is responsible for all in-house technology and training as well as recommending, selecting and deploying new technologies and provides direct support to the firm’s team members and attorneys in the office and at trial. Nerino is also one of the firm’s attorneys practicing in Illinois and Wisconsin. HolmstromKennedy is a century-old, 18-lawyer firm providing innovative solutions to complex issues throughout Northern Illinois, with offices in Rockford and Byron. In addition to immigration law, its attorneys practice in health care, bankruptcy/creditors’ rights, employment and labor, intellectual property, business transactions, civil litigation, estate planning, and real estate.
Nerino served as the first Practice Management Advisor for the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Practice411™ Law Office Management Assistance Program from 2006-2014. Nerino assisted the more than 24,000 Wisconsin Bar members operate their offices more effectively and efficiently. Licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin, Nerino uses his 20+ years of legal practice experience and experience being CEO/Senior Legal Technologist for CenCom Legal Technologies (which he founded in 1994), to help lawyers and their staff deal with the technology and practice management issues confronting them.
He is a Certified Independent Consultant for TimeMatters® practice management software, as well as Clio cloud based practice management and has provided consulting, installation, customization and training for clients throughout the country. He is a NetDocuments Certified Partner and has worked with other leading products including TABS® time, billing and accounting software, Practice Master® practice management software, Lucion FileCenter, Quikscribe Digital Dictation, Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Cosmolex cloud based practice management as well as Fujitsu and Canon Scanners.
Nerino was the ABA LPM Magazine Product Watch columnist through 2012 and is a regular contributor to other local, state and national publications including the Illinois Bar Journal, Wisconsin Lawyer, Wisconsin InsideTrack and ABA GP|Solo Magazine. Nerino serves on the ABA GP, Solo and Small Firm Division GP|Solo Magazine Board as its Technology Co-Editor. He has presented throughout the US and abroad including the ABA TECHSHOW, Pacific Legal Technology Conference, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Indiana, South Carolina and Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conferences, ABA GP|Solo National Solo & Small Firm Conference, US Virgin Islands Bar Association, National Association of Bar Executives meetings as well as other ABA, State and local conferences. He served on the ABA TECHSHOW Planning Board from 2012-2014 and is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference Planning Committees. Nerino was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50 list of the top legal techies in 2011. He provides information on legal technology, practice management and items of interest to lawyers on his blog at www.compujurist.com. Nerino continues to provide technology consulting, training and practice management services to lawyers and firms throughout the United States through CenCom Technologies.
Mary E. Vandenack
Mary E. Vandenack is founding and managing member of Vandenack Weaver LLC in Omaha, Nebraska. Mary is a highly regarded practitioner in the areas of tax, benefits, private wealth planning, asset protection planning, executive compensation, equity fund development, business and business succession planning, tax dispute resolution, international tax, state and local tax, and tax-exempt entities. Mary’s practice serves businesses and business owners, executives, real estate developers and investors, health care providers, companies in the financial industry, and tax exempt organizations. Mary is a regular commentator for Leimberg Publications and recently participated in the publication of “Tools & Techniques of Trust Planning” as a contributing editor. Mary is a member of the American Bar Association Real Property Trust and Estate Section where she serves as Co-Chair of the Futures Task Force and Chair of the Technology and Economics of Law Practice Committee. Mary is also a member of the American Bar Association Law Practice Division where she serves on the TechShow Board, the Executive Council, and the Law Practice Magazine Board. Mary writes a Leadership column for the Law Practice Magazine. Mary is also active in the American Bar Association Sections on Taxation and Business. Mary was the winner of the 2015 James I. Keane Memorial Award, presented at the 2015 Tech Show. Mary was featured in the September 2015 issue of Fortune Magazine, is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, and was included in Women Leaders in the Law in 2017 issues of American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel and the National Law Journal. Mary is a frequent writer and speaker on tax, benefits, asset protection planning, and estate planning topics as well as on law practice related topics including improving the delivery of legal services, technology in the practice of law, building sustainable law firms, and alternative fee structures.