Pass the Sauce: Elevate Your Game with an Assist from Winning Tech

The NHL playoffs are underway and there is sure to be some impressive sauce on display. 

When a player passes the puck to a teammate by lifting it off the ice so it clears an opponent’s stick or skate and drops back down right on target at the teammate’s stick, that is called a saucer pass – or “sauce.” If you were privy to the chatter on the bench after a sweet saucer pass, you’d likely hear, “Nothin’ but sauce on that one!” – particularly when the pass results in a goal.

There is a striking parallel between hockey sauce and the “secret sauce” needed to actually help the legal profession solve the technological challenges it faces. The level of skill involved in good hockey sauce cannot be underestimated, especially when you consider how fast everything happens during the game. A well-executed saucer pass requires a combination of Speed, Accuracy, Understanding, Cooperation, and Execution. The sauce that makes legal tech truly innovative and useful has those same attributes.


If a player does not propel the puck with sufficient velocity or act quickly enough when the opportunity arises, sauce does not have an impact on the game. If a saucer pass is not delivered right away, an opponent will be able to maneuver into a position to intercept the pass or the timing will be off and the teammate will not be able to receive the pass. Either way, a delay results in missing the intended target.

If a legal tech product does nothing else, it should at least speed up the process. If it does not, then its value is suspect. This is true in a variety of scenarios. Time is of the essence when identifying PII in response to a data breach incident so any technology used in that process has to get the information you need as soon as possible. Conducting document review with technology should significantly reduce the time it takes to identify responsive or privileged information compared to doing things manually. The better the tech, the faster you will find the best evidence while conducting ECA or preparing for a deposition.


The best hockey sauce delivers the puck right where a teammate can exploit the situation to the maximum possible advantage. Dropping the puck in the exact spot for a one-timer past the opposing goalie is the sweetest sauce of all.

The best legal tech is accurate, delivering what you need when you need it. When the results of an automated process are correct, the benefit of the speed with which you can get those results is fully realized. All the bells and whistles in the world won’t do you any good if the output you receive misses the mark. Without accuracy, you may be in no better position with the technology than without it. Including tech in your workflow should reduce the effort required to realize the best results. With accurate tech, you no longer need to wonder whether you found the best evidence regarding an issue in your case or whether you missed some of the privileged documents during a review.


Completing a saucer pass requires so much more than just cradling the puck on the blade of the stick and using a flicking motion of the wrist to lift the puck off the ice. Recognizing the situation and the opportunity to send the puck arcing through the air over an opponent’s stick or through a congested area is essential. Even that awareness is still not enough. It takes hours and weeks of practice, skill development, and study of game situations for a team to reach the place where sauce can be used as a game changer.

It takes more than just technological advances or improved processor capacity to deliver a product that is a game changer for the legal profession. The development, design and deliverable all have to take into account the needs and standard practices of the end user. Innovative and effective legal tech is built on a foundation of understanding the workflow involved and the end result that is required. Targeted solutions and tailored functionalities based on a proper understanding of the needs of the client and those involved in serving the client for a particular situation improve the odds that you and your client will score.


Every saucer pass needs someone to receive it. It takes seamless teamwork and confidence in one’s own abilities and that of a teammate to even attempt a saucer pass. The recipient has to be adept at recognizing the trajectory of the puck and predicting where and when it will land to be in the most advantageous position.

A software solution that ups your game in the best way possible provides a user experience that feels right and fits easily into your workflow. Proper tech design must take your professional and natural needs into account. When you have a tool that seems more like an assistant, it becomes a go-to part of your practice and might even feel like a reliable teammate working alongside you.


Saucer passes delivered with precise timing and skill can be incredibly effective for setting up scoring opportunities or breaking out of the defensive zone. The additional psychological effect on an opposing team who thought they were defending the situation can result in a significant momentum swing, especially when the pass results in a go-ahead goal.

The most innovative tech offerings allow you to accomplish things that otherwise seem incredible or even impossible. The best tech will at times bring a smile to your face and possibly leave others wondering how you did it when it assists you to serve up the best possible result for your client.

A well-executed saucer pass is a thing of beauty. It’s a skillful maneuver that evokes cheers from fans. Just as hockey sauce increases the chances of putting the puck in the back of the net, tech with good secret sauce clears the way for you to reach your clients’ goals more efficiently and effectively. While good legal tech solutions might not get you up out of your seat giving high fives to those around you, it can be worthy of admiration. The next time you get an assist from innovative tech that allows you to overcome an obstacle and reach your client’s goal, feel free to smile and say (even if just to yourself), “Nothin’ but sauce on that one.”

About the Author
David Gaskey
David Gaskey

David is the CEO at Altumatim and has been at the interface between law and technology for more than three decades. Specializing in intellectual property law, he has represented clients from all over the United States, Europe and Asia, including Fortune 50 companies, whose businesses involve a broad spectrum of technologies.

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