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  • Inside Track
    October 15, 2014

    Answering Hundreds of Phone Calls and Thousands of Practice Management Questions Earns Nerino J. Petro the John Lederer Service Award

    Nerino J. Petro Jr., former State Bar practice management advisor, will receive the John Lederer Service Award at the Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference during the networking luncheon on Friday, Oct. 24, in Wisconsin Dells.
    Nerino J. Petro Jr.

    Oct. 15, 2014 – State Bar of Wisconsin practice management advisor, Nerino J. Petro Jr., bid the State Bar adieu in May this year. Petro fielded hundreds of phone calls, traveled the state meeting members at breakfast and business seminars, presented programs at State Bar institutes, and wrote technology and practice management columns in Wisconsin Lawyer™ magazine and other publications for seven years. Petro’s voice is as well-known as his face to thousands of State Bar members and their staff he has helped deal with the technology and practice management issues confronting them over the years.

    Petro will receive the John Lederer Service Award at the Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference in Wisconsin Dells at the networking luncheon on Friday, Oct. 24.

    Named in memory of Oregon, Wis., attorney John Lederer, this award is presented annually to an individual, group, or organization exemplifying the leadership, spirit, and dedication of John Lederer, who saw it as his mission to help solo and small firm lawyers master the skills and technology needed to build their practices.

    “I could burn through a thesaurus trying to find the right label to describe Nerino’s contributions to solo and small firm attorneys,” said former Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section Board member Johanna Kirk. “Dedicated. Patient. Knowledgeable. Innovative. Understanding. Thorough. Sincere. Caring. Generous. The list could go on and on.

    “Without his assistance, I wouldn’t have had the courage, insight, or practical tools needed to go solo successfully,” said Kirk. “His contributions to members of the Bar have lasting impacts beyond the hard drives of our computers and walls of our offices. He does more than just improve our gizmos and ability to use them. He makes us better lawyers for our clients and he single-handedly has elevated the expectations and reputation of our profession.”

    “The Lederer Award in part recognizes support of the Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference – and Nerino is the one who provided the original impetus to start the conference,” said Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section Board chair Nancy Trueblood. “This conference has become the model for the State Bar institutes and its revamped annual convention. He has continued to play an integral part in planning and presenting at the solo conference, and his national connections have been invaluable in securing speakers.”

    “This year we had several great nominations for the Lederer Award,” said Kathy Brost Solo, Solo Small General Practice Section chair. “The committee unanimously picked Nerino Petro as the recipient. The committee felt that Nerino had gone way beyond the scope of his role as law practice management advisor of the State Bar and given unselfishly of his time, energy, and ideas to make life easier for the solo and small firm practitioners of Wisconsin.

    “Nerino would help anyone who asked – whether it was for suggestions for the best software to use, or for what type of computer or hardware to buy, or how best to operate your practice” said Brost. “He always came through with a list of options along with an honest opinion of the pros and cons of each option. Nerino was incredibly helpful, with practical and useful advice; just what a solo practitioner needs to succeed in the practice of law today.”

    Petro will present “Gizmos, Gadgets, and Widgets” on Saturday morning at this year’s conference.

    About Petro

    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, Billing Matters® time and billing software, as well as Clio cloud-based practice management and has provided consulting, installation, customization and training for clients throughout the country. Petro has worked with other leading products including TABS® time, billing and accounting software, Practice Master® practice management software, NetDocuments online document management, Quikscribe Digital Dictation, Dragon NaturallySpeaking and TValue financial software as well as Fujitsu and Canon Scanners.

    Petro is the Chief Information Officer for Holmstrom & Kennedy, P.C., in Rockford, Ill. He is responsible for all in-house technology and training as well as recommending, selecting and deploying new technologies, and providing direct support to the firm’s team members and attorneys in the office and at trial.

    Petro was the ABA LPM Magazine Product Watch columnist (2006-2012) and is a regular contributor to other local, state and national publications including the Illinois Bar Journal, Wisconsin Lawyer, WisBar InsideTrack and ABA GP|Solo Magazine. He serves on the ABA GP, Solo and Small Firm Division GP|Solo Magazine Board as its technology editor. He has presented throughout the United States 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, U.S. Virgin Islands Bar Association, National Association of Bar Executives meetings as well as other ABA, State and local conferences and events in the US and Canada. He served on the ABA TECHSHOW Planning Board from 2012 to 2014 and is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference Planning Committees. Petro 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

    Congratulate Petro at

    For more information or to register for the conference.

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