Reflecting to the First Days of IBO #30DaysofIBO

Reflecting to the first days of IBO. Once we hard our first board meeting (see the August 1 post), we had to get some projects underway to gain a foothold on the reality of bringing technology into the Justice sector. 


That’s when Ethan Katsh, who helped eBay design their first online customer resolution center, called me to introduce me to a lawyer from Lagos, Nigeria by phone, Ayodele Kusamotu. Ayo (as we got to know each other) needed a proposal to the Ministry in charge of Trademark disputes. The proposal needs to address the use of technology, he said. Much work followed and a formal proposal was submitted. Until Wednesday of this week- about 14 years later- we had heard nothing. Until Ayo called me with the Registrar of Trademarks of Nigeria on the line. He wants us to update our original proposal. Amazing stuff! Sometimes it takes a bit longer than you had initially planned, but Projects’s show up when they are ready. With Ayo at the helm!


Now you have an idea of how African lawyers first became involved with IBO. Ayo has been on our board from early on. His work in 2005 for us not only included giving us the opportunity to work on a technology and justice proposal for Nigeria. The visibility of that project gave  IBO its first momentum and helped form IBO’s Africa Committee. 


I am fortunate to have board members like Ayo who have always found a way to give us vision, momentum, leadership, support and a trusted friendship. 
In 2005 and 2006, two early IBO board members, Susan Waters and Joe Vrabel, took on the executive director and general counsel roles for IBO. They completed the official framework for IBO, filed and got our federal tax exemptions. They helped us get the show on the road. 


We were physically located at Union Wharf, Boston, Massachusetts. Where I had my law practice.  And in 2005 and 2006, we ran our first programs to gather ideas on the impact of the intersection of technology and law.  For tomorrow ‘s story, stay tuned. 

Jeff Aresty 

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