13 TECHSHOW’s Ago – Mark Tamminga Reflects on His Year as Chair in 2003

We’re on a TECHSHOW countdown and with 13 days to go, we’re hopping in the WayBack Machine to hear from past chairs and take a look at What Was at TECHSHOW!

Mark Tamminga – ABA TECHSHOW Chair 2003
LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/marktamminga

What were you doing (real life job) when you were the ABA Tech show chair in YEAR? Are you still doing that same thing? If not tell us a little bit about your journey.    

I was (and still am) a partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, practicing in our Hamilton Ontario office. Since then I have been in a number of leadership roles in the firm, first as Managing Partner of our Hamilton office from 2008 to 2012 and, lately, as Leader, Innovation Initiatives. The latter role came to me after my management stint just as Gowlings was recognizing an urgent need to devote more effort and resources to evolving the way it delivered legal services. It’s been a rewarding and deeply interesting job, leading to involvement in the KM initiatives and, more recently, an concerted push into the legal project management and business intelligence worlds. So it’s more of the same, only more so.

What was / were the notable topics/tracks of your year?

Take a look at the official ABA TECHSHOW 2003 Brochure here.

What was the hot technology or must have service, gadget or tool or idea?

Tech retrospectives are easy targets for “look what they had to put up with way back when” jokes. I remember being very proud of my DiskOnKey thumb drive that I bought for almost 200 bucks that was able to hold 128kb of data. I still have it. It still works. It still holds only 128kb. I should also point out that the 2003 TECHSHOW audio program was available on cassette, and—for $190—you could buy a bound print copy of the materials. But what’s more interesting is how constant the basic technology themes have been. Security, E-discovery, knowledge management—the conversations have broadened but many of the issues remain current today.

If you had a keynote speaker who was it and what was their topic?  

Judge Richard A. Posner.

Here’s the session description: Judge Posner’s talk will focus on the application of intellectual property law, including copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret law, together with antitrust law, to computer software and Internet services. Among the issues he will discuss are file-sharing, database protection, intellectual property rights in industry standards, the Federal Circuit’s monopoly of patent appeals, and the capacity of generalist judges to deal with technical issues.

Any final thoughts about your TECHSHOW experience?

It was a true highlight of my career. Every single one of the people that I worked with on TECHSHOW are still friends today.