I was deeply surprised and saddened to read that Ross Kodner, a giant in the legal technology field, passed away at the too-young age of 52 yesterday.
When I first entered the legal technology industry five years ago with the launch of Clio, Ross was one of the first industry experts I crossed paths with. Over the course of the last five years, we’ve crossed paths at dozens of CLE events across the country, and I had the privilege of sharing a drink or a meal with Ross at many of these events. One of my fondest memories of Ross is an evening I spent with him and Craig Bayer after we spoke at the Louisiana Solo Small Firm Conference in New Orleans. We enjoyed an amazing meal at a restaurant Ross recommended, and wandered over to Vaughan’s Lounge to see Kermit Ruffins play his signature style of jazz. We lucked out and nabbed a front-row table, and spent a long evening talking technology, listening to jazz and drinking $1 draft beer.
A constant refrain in the interactions I had with Ross was a healthy debate about the risks (and rewards) of “the cloud” relative to traditional on-premise systems. Over the course of these debates on the merits of cloud-based practice systems vis-a-vis “terrestrial-based systems” (a term I’m pretty sure Ross coined), I think I played some part in Ross seeing the overall benefits of cloud-based systems. I felt a deep sense of pride when Ross agreed to help us launch our certified consultant program by becoming our inaugural Clio Certified Consultant.
I feel lucky to have spent as much time as I did with Ross over the last five years, and am deeply saddened we lost him so early in his life.