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The Inside Story of How a Paperless Law Firm Digitized 23 Years of Closed Files

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, October 13, 2017

Coming today to SmallLaw: Immigration law firm Siskind Susser decided to go paperless all the way back to its founding in 1994. Easier said than done as closed files comprised 823 boxes of paper. In this issue of SmallLaw, the firm's innovation director Josh Waddell who spearheaded the project takes you inside each decision, including whether to outsource, the biggest snag, integrity and proofreading procedures, what to do with the paper after digitization, rules for new cases, and more. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for advice on interviewing job candidates.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Document Management | SmallLaw

Cloud Document Management That Won't Change the Way You Work

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, August 31, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud practice management system with a new document management component that works locally on PCs and Macs like a network drive (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a new payment processor with a flat fee per transaction that deposits funds overnight, a Microsoft Word add-in for drafting litigation and transactional documents with a new document assembly engine, forms library, and machine-learning tools, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Cloud practice management has many virtues but concerns about document management prevent some law firms from taking the leap. These firms understandably don't want to give up their network drives and folder hierarchies, manually upload documents, or change the way they work.

Centerbase … in One Sentence

Centerbase is a cloud practice management system that now offers document management which functions like a local network drive.

The Killer Feature

CEO John Forbes tells me I'm the first person outside of the company and a few early adopters to see Centerbase's new document management technology. A product CEO who spent years as a reseller, Forbes has a Steve Jobs-like enthusiasm.

Documents in Centerbase function on your PC or Mac like a network drive even though they actually reside on secure servers in the cloud. Centerbase uses WebDAV, a standard file protocol for Internet file sharing.

During initial setup, Centerbase's support team uploads your entire document library, and can help you map document folders to the correct clients and matters in Centerbase. Forbes tells me about a firm that imported 3.6 million files.

"After setup, you use your files and folders like you always have in Windows Explorer or Mac Finder," says Forbes. Any changes to documents are automatically reflected in Centerbase and vice versa. Forbes describes this as a "1:1 correlation." An optional add-on makes Centerbase files and folders available offline with changes automatically synced when you're back online. For new matters, Centerbase can automatically generate a set of folders.

"Centerbase has made transitioning to a cloud product for document management seamless," said Tait Johnson, paralegal at Sharpe & Associates, PLLC. "We no longer have to maintain our own file server, and we can now access our documents from anywhere."

Other Notable Features

You can view documents in Centerbase from multiple locations. The Documents File Explorer gives you access to all mapped documents. Navigate your folder hierarchies or run a search. Alternatively, you can access relevant documents in other areas of Centerbase such as in Matters, Contacts, and Billing. For example, each matter contains a Documents tab listing all related files.

Centerbase's Microsoft Word integration and Workflows (document assembly combined with project management) bring further automation. Workflows take you from Centerbase to Word to automatically generate a document that gets saved to the correct matter when finished.

At your option, you can create document profiles to track type of document and other metadata to improve search results. Centerbase enables you to keep every version of a document in case you need to revert. You can restrict access to documents. Also, documents lock when colleagues work in them. If you need more robust document management, Centerbase integrates with NetDocuments.

What Else Should You Know?

Centerbase launched several additional features since our initial report. Matters Templates enable you to create customized layouts for each of your practice areas with all the requisite data fields. Thus, a bankruptcy matter can track creditors, while an accident matter can track medical records and police reports. The new Report Builder offers the ability to create custom reports. Forbes showed me a report that lists matters comprising 80% of a firm's business. Finally, Centerbase's iPhone app now includes mobile time entries for billing on the go. Centerbase costs $52 per user per month. Learn more about Centerbase.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Document Management | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

10.5-Inch iPad Pro in a Real Estate Practice; Reviews of Amicus Online, Surface Pro

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, August 17, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Wesley Y. S. Chang, How I Use My 10.5-Inch iPad Pro in a Real Estate Practice

Dwight Sowerby, Review of Amicus Online

Christian Onsager, Review of Surface Pro 3 (Sleek Beast But Getting Old)

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity | Utilities

Synergy Matters Automates the Capture of Client-Related Documents and Email

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, July 27, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers document and email manegement software that integrates with Microsoft Office and scanners to consolidate all client-related data in one location (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of ediscovery software for quickly and inexpensively collecting and reviewing documents and email in small cases, a cloud practice management app with desktop-class features and per-case rather than per-user pricing, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Even the most detail-oriented lawyers find it challenging to keep all the information associated with a matter in one convenient location. You shouldn't have to develop elaborate systems to achieve this. Instead, software should do this work for you.

Synergy Matters 3.0 … in One Sentence

Launching this week, Legal Matters Software's Synergy Matters 3.0 is a document and email management system that automates the consolidation of all client-related data.

The Killer Feature

You can begin using Synergy Matters immediately after importing your client and matter information from your accounting software. As users work on matters, Synergy Matters prompts them to import their existing documents. The Outlook add-in works similarly, enabling you to import email and attachments. Legal Matters Software President John Ryan tells me that most law firms get up and running in less than a day, often just two hours.

Once you import a matter's documents and email, you can grant access rights to matters and organize the information within matters using nested folders as you see fit. From this point forward, a number of tools keep all new documents and email within Synergy Matters. Automatic email capture occurs whether you initiate messages from within a matter in Synergy Matters or from within Outlook. In the latter scenario, the Outlook add-in enables you to attach documents from Synergy Matters and save your message in the corresponding matter. A similar Microsoft Word add-in captures all new client-related documents.

Integration with scanners helps you go paperless. Built-in OCR makes these scanned PDF files searchable. Synergy Matters also captures incoming and outgoing faxes.

"The intuitive nature of Synergy Matters makes training new staff easy, and having the same interface for bringing in emails, scans, faxes and downloaded research means the documents all end up in the correct place," says Troy Berg, Manager, Information Technology at Doak Shirreff.

Other Notable Features

Synergy Matters also offers new collaboration tools. When you use the For Review tool to send a document to a colleague, Synergy Matters marks the document as out for review and notifies your colleague. If your colleague makes changes, Synergy Matters creates a new version. Click the History button for a complete audit trail of who worked on the document and when. You can revert to any prior version as well as create a new version with its own history.

"Synergy Matters 3.0 is the result of lawyers working closely with us to enhance their workflows," says Ryan. "In particular, the For Review process offers foolproof internal collaboration with an audit trail."

Synergy Matters' dashboard lists your active cases within the past 30 days. The search bar enables you to find any case. Within matters, the new Chronological View lists all the files in reverse chronological order regardless of their location within a folder.

What Else Should You Know?

Other features of Synergy Matters include Combine as PDF to merge selected documents into a single PDF file, automatic time capture of your activity for billing or proof of work when splitting fees, ethical walls, a notes tickler within each matter, and cost recovery. Synergy Matters runs on Windows PCs. Pricing starts at $125 per month for up to five users. Learn more about Synergy Matters 3.0.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Document Management | TL NewsWire

Worldox Connect Adds Secure Document Sharing and Collaboration to Worldox

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, June 8, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a document management system with a new platform for securely sharing documents with clients and others outside of your firm (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a Mac-based document management system with new technology for sharing documents externally with clients, co-counsel, and others, interactive practical legal guides that you can customize to incorporate your firm's collective knowledge and workflows, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Secure document sharing with clients looks like the next big thing in legal technology thanks to more stringent ethics rules and more sophisticated clients. Ideally, moving beyond email to a more secure platform should not require your firm to overhaul its existing infrastructure and workflows — including its use of Outlook.

Worldox Connect … in One Sentence

Launched recently, World Software's Worldox Connect is a secure document sharing platform that integrates with Worldox GX4, the company's popular document management system (DMS).

The Killer Feature

Sharing one or more documents or folders begins with a right click within the Worldox client, and choosing the Send File to Worldox Connect option from the contextual menu. You then set the permissions for the items you're sharing. You can prevent or allow clients to invite others, restrict files to viewing or allow downloading, and set an expiration date. Worldox Connect uses Workshare technology, but you need not be a Workshare customer to use Worldox Connect.

Clients who receive a sharing link via email for the first time create a Worldox Connect Portal account on the web, and from there can begin collaborating with you. Collaboration tools enable clients to comment on documents and compare changes between versions.

If you allow downloads, clients can edit documents and upload a new version. Worldox notifies you of the new version, which you can bring into Worldox using the Sync File From Worldox Connect function in the same contextual menu used to initiate secure sharing. You can then make your own edits, and send this version back to the portal. At anytime, you can stop syncing and remove documents from the portal.

"There's an increasing emphasis on both collaboration and security," says World Software President Ray Zwiefelhofer. "This presents today's law firm with the challenge of implementing both in such a way that documents can be shared effortlessly while still controlling access to them and protecting the security of the internal DMS. Worldox Connect does this for law firms."

Other Notable Features

In addition to sharing documents from within Worldox, you can take advantage of Worldox Connect's Outlook integration. This works similarly to sending attachments the old fashioned way except that you attach documents directly from Worldox. This triggers the Workshare Protect panel within Outlook in which you apply the same access rights discussed above.

The documents then get moved to the Worldox Connect Portal, and the message you send contains a corresponding link. If documents don't require the security of Worldox Connect, you can instead convert Word documents to PDFs on the fly, remove the metadata from the documents, compress them into a ZIP file, and send them via email.

Worldox GX4 offers a new tool called Groups to facilitate sharing. You can create a Group for a matter or other project, and then share the Group via Worldox Connect. Group members can then share documents and collaborate.

Worldox Connect works on your iPhone and iPad too. You can share documents and access shared documents on the go by using the Workshare app in conjunction with the Worldox app.

What Else Should You Know?

No matter how you use Worldox Connect, administrative tools enable you to view an audit trail of all activity, revoke access, delete users, force password resets, etc. Shared documents reside in Amazon Web Services and are encrypted at rest and in transit. You can change datacenters and other parameters for compliance purposes. Learn more about Worldox Connect.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Document Management | TL NewsWire

DocMoto 3.8 Facilitates External Collaboration With Its New Secure Document Sharing

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a Mac-based document management system with new technology for sharing documents externally with clients, co-counsel, and others (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of interactive practical legal guides that you can customize to incorporate your firm's collective knowledge and workflows, a law firm website design service that includes a library of legal content to save you time, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Document management software facilitates document sharing within your law firm, and for obvious reasons it's similarly adept at preventing outsiders from gaining access. Because lawyers often need to share documents with clients, they resort to non-secure methods such as email. This sharing should instead emanate from your document management software in a secure manner.

DocMoto 3.8 … in One Sentence

Launched recently, CHL Software's DocMoto 3.8 is a Mac-based document management system.

The Killer Feature

DocMoto now offers secure file sharing. Select the document or folders you want to share, and then choose Create Share under the File menu. This brings up the Create Share dialog in which you can choose an expiration date, require a password, allow new versions and other uploads, etc. You can change these settings or remove access entirely anytime.

Those you invite access shared documents in the DocMoto Sharing Portal in their web browser. In the DocMoto Mac client, a new toolbar icon enables you to view and access all shared documents and folders. The Share Report gives you a more detailed look at what's being shared. This can help you identify shares that should no longer exist.

"Lawyers love DocMoto's professional feature set, which provides so much more than simple syncing tools," says CHL Software director Neil Cameron. "It's packed full of killer features from revision control and document templates to our latest technology for secure and manageable document sharing with third parties."

Other Notable Features

Speaking of the DocMoto toolbar, it's now customizable. The new Favorites icon on the toolbar enables you to access recently used and other documents you designate. Favorites are also accessible via the DocMoto iPad app and the web client on devices such as a Windows PC. When you need to dig deeper to find documents, DocMoto's Advanced Search offers a visual Boolean interface that eliminates the need for arcane syntax. The Save View feature enables you to save searches, which update in realtime.

DocMoto stores all types of documents, including scans and email. You can drag and drop email from Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook into DocMoto, which automatically parses the metadata so that you can sort and search using parameters such as To, From, CC, etc.

Built-in document assembly enables you to create document templates ranging from the simple (building documents from stored clause snippets) to the advanced (nested conditions, if/then statements, etc.).

Version 3.8 takes document automation a step further with Folder Templates. Designed for routine workflows, Folder Templates enables you to create elaborate sets of folders and documents with a mouse click. For example, a Folder Template for client intake can create an engagement letter, and folders for bills, correspondence, shared documents, etc. You can even specify the column views within each folder and the categorization of each document.

What Else Should You Know?

DocMoto runs on macOS Yosemite and later. "DocMoto is right for us because of its versioning, search, and templates," says Brian Walters of The Walters Firm. "We have folders relevant for every part of the firm so we don't need to waste time searching for templates any more. From a staff and attorney efficiency standpoint it has changed the way our firm practices. This was the most unexpected benefit of DocMoto." Learn more about DocMoto 3.8.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Document Management | TL NewsWire

Privacy of an Always On Smartwatch Display; What I Use and Why; MetaJure + DocuSign; Reviews of Mobile Scanner Apps; Immigration Pro

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, May 18, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, The Privacy Implications of an Always On Smartwatch Display

David O'Connell, What I Use and Why: Windows 10, Office 365, Galaxy Note 4, and More

Leslie Meagley, MetaJure's New Integration With DocuSign

Sheila Blackford, Review of Scannable (Mobile Scanning App)

Phyllis Dubrow, Review of Scanner Pro (Mobile Scanner App)

Bobby Abrams, Tip: Immigration Pro for Client Intake

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Document Management | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Networking/Operating Systems | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity

Lawyer's Guide to Electronic Signatures

By TechnoLawyer | Monday, May 15, 2017

Coming today to SmallLaw: Are you still using faxes for signatures? Or printing, signing, scanning, emailing? These old school methods waste a lot of precious time. In this issue of SmallLaw, lawyer and legal technology consultant Seth Rowland dives deep into the world of electronic signatures. You'll learn about the leading players, practical uses such as engagement letters, and how they integrate with products such as Dropbox, HotDocs, Outlook, and more. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for tips on getting more clients from your website.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Coming Attractions | Document Management | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | SmallLaw | Utilities

Using iPad in Litigation; The Gear I Use in My Law Practice and Why; Tips for Dragon, Dropbox, and Hard Drive Cloning

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Brett Burney, The Many Ways to Use Your iPad in Litigation

Steven Brower, The Gear I Use in My Law Practice and Why

Bill White, Tips on Moving a Dropbox Folder Plus Reviews of Macrium and Carbon Copy Cloner

Christian Onsager, Tips on Being Productive With Dragon

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Backup/Media/Storage | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Desktop PCs/Servers | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL Serendipity

Litéra Smart Send Adds Attachment and Security Tools to Outlook

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an Outlook add-in that addresses attachment headaches and reduces the risk of career-threatening errors (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a due diligence and business intelligence research service with a new approach to presenting data from public filings, a cloud software platform that automates entity formation and compliance tasks, and enables you to offer these services under your own brand, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

For years you've heard about so-called email killers but nothing has come of all the hype. Email reigns supreme for internal and external law firm communications. Instead of trying to kill email, how about improving it?

Litéra Smart Send … in One Sentence

Litéra Smart Send is an Outlook add-in that offers tools for managing attachments and preventing email mishaps.

The Killer Feature

Many of your email messages don't say much. All the action is in the attachments, which can slow you down. For example, your document management system (DMS) may use naming conventions you don't want to disclose or which may cause confusion. Also, instead of sending many attachments, you may want to send a single PDF or ZIP file. "Experts have shown that there are up to 27 disjointed steps in the process of managing email attachments," Litéra President Paul Domnick tells me. "With Litéra Smart Send there is one."

Domnick's talking about Litéra Smart Send's recently enhanced Attachment Manager. It enables you to attach documents from any repository — local hard drive, network share, DMS, etc. Add entire folders with a click. Instead of sending attachments using their original name, you can rename them. These name changes only affect the copies you send, not the originals.

Perfection isn't required. If you forget a document, you can return to the Attachment Manager and add it. You can also change the order of attachments. When you finalize the order, Litéra Smart Send can enter the name of each document into the body of your email message to provide the recipient with a table of contents.

The Attachment Manager provides a number of document handling options. You can send selected documents in PDF format instead of the original format, combine selected documents into a PDF binder with a cover page and table of contents, or compress selected documents into a ZIP archive.

Litéra Smart Send applies all these settings when you send the message. If you need to send the same message over and over again, Litéra Smart Send can save everything locally or in your DMS for one-click reuse. This obviates having to redo the settings each time

Other Notable Features

In addition to easing your workflow, Litéra Smart Send also prevents career-ending errors. Examples of such faux pas include replying to all (especially when you're a BCC recipient), exposing an internal thread to an outsider, and misaddressing a message.

Litéra Smart Send gives you three options for restricting Reply-All — warn users who click the Reply-All button, disable the button when the number of recipients reaches a certain threshold, or disable it completely. When disabled, you can give advanced users a keyboard shortcut for Reply-All.

To prevent revealing internal discussions, Litéra Smart Send can warn you when the number of replies in a thread reaches a certain threshold. Other security settings enable you to disable Outlook's autocomplete, alert BCC recipients when they click Forward or Reply-All, and append a stamp when sending privileged email.

What Else Should You Know?

Litéra Smart Send integrates with the Litéra Metadact-e utility to remove metadata from the attachments you send. DMS integrations include iManage, NetDocuments, and Worldox. An API enables you to create your own custom integrations. Pricing for Litéra Smart Send starts at $33 per user with volume discounts available. Learn more about Litéra Smart Send.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | TL NewsWire
 
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