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
Bio coming soon!
Lincoln Mead, Co-Vice Chair
Bio coming soon!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heidi S. Alexander, Esq. is a Law Practice Management Advisor at the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (MassLOMAP), where she advises lawyers on practice management matters and provides guidance in implementing new law office technologies. She frequently makes presentations to the legal community and contributes to publications on law practice management and technology, including the MassLOMAP Blog, the American Bar Association’s Law Technology Today, Attorney at Work, and Technolawyer. She is also the author of the forthcoming publication by the ABA’s Law Practice Division, Evernote as a Law Practice Tool.
With the goal of encouraging and increasing diversity in legal technology, Heidi spearheaded an effort to celebrate women in legal tech through the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC). Now it’s second year, the “LTRC’s Women in Legal Tech” includes a list of fifty talented women, many of whom have served on the TECHSHOW Planning Board and as faculty.
Before joining MassLOMAP, Heidi practiced employment law and litigation at a small firm in Boston and owned a technology consulting business. She also clerked for a justice on the highest court of New Jersey and served as the editor-in-chief of the Rutgers Law Review. She is a native Minnesotan, was a collegiate ice hockey player, and now a mother of three children under the age of three (including twins born last year). Fortunately, Heidi loves time management and productivity, and is constantly experimenting with new methods and tools to manage multiple responsibilities.
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.
Sofia S. Lingos, Esq.
Sofia S. Lingos, Esq. is the founding and managing attorney at Trident Legal LLC – an innovative business law firm, providing transactional legal services, to small businesses and start-ups in diverse industries, throughout all stages of growth. Focusing on formation, financing, licensing, employment, compliance and contracts – our mission is to ensure legal protection, provide accessible representation, and promote transparency throughout the process.
Attorney Lingos is also an adjunct law professor at Northeastern University School of Law where she teaches Law Practice Management and Access to Justice; the business law advisor at Lawyers for Affordable Justice, a collaborative legal incubator; and is actively involved with numerous professional and philanthropic organizations where she holds various leadership positions. She has been published and interviewed by, many local and national media outlets on the topics of practice management, entrepreneurship, innovation and business law; topics on which she also lectures frequently.
She has received several awards and honors highlighting her professional achievements including being selected as a New England Super Lawyer Rising Star for 5 consecutive years (recognizing the top 2.5% of attorneys); Top Women in the Law for five consecutive years; Mass Lawyers Weekly Excellence in the Law recipient; Greek America’s Forty Under 40; and the Distinguished Alumni award from her undergraduate alma matter.
Attorney Lingos is committed to the pursuit of happiness for all!
Bio coming soon!
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
Bio coming soon!