D. Casey Flaherty, corporate counsel at Kia Motors America, really
does have good intentions as he humiliates Big Law firms about their
dismal technology skills — and he is careful never to embarrass a
Flaherty mesmerized a standing-room-only crowd on the
opening day of LegalTech West Coast at the Westin Bonaventure in Los
Angeles with his electric keynote, "Raising the Bar on Technological
Competence — the Outside Counsel Tech Audit."
ridiculous bills for routine "commodity" matters, Flaherty decided to
strike back, and recently launched his technology audit program, where
firms bidding for Kia's business must bring a top associate for a live
test of their skills using basic, generic business tech tools such as
Microsoft Word and Excel, for simple, rudimentary tasks.
So far, the track record is zero. Nine firms have taken the test, and all failed. One firm flunked twice.
audit should take one hour," said Flaherty, "but the average pace is
five hours." In real life, that adds up to a whole lot of wasted money,
he said. Flaherty uses the test to help him decide winners of the beauty
contests, and to set rates and set performance goals. "I take 5 percent
off every bill until they pass the test."