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Lexis Advance Now Includes Insights on Judges Powered by Lex Machina

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a legal research service that now provides insights on the judges overseeing your cases in certain federal practice areas (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of practice management and legal accounting software that can download bank and credit card transactions for faster reconciliations, practice management software with a Dropbox-like mechanism for sharing files with clients, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Winning a case requires more than understanding the facts and applicable law. You also need to size up the judge, opposing counsel, and the parties. Understanding this human dynamic can tip the balance in your favor.

Lexis Advance … in One Sentence

Lexis Advance is a leading legal research service that now includes litigation analytics from Lex Machina.

The Killer Feature

When you next have a case on an antitrust, copyright, patent, trademark, or securities issue, you can use Lexis Advance to research the judge presiding over your case. Soon you'll also be able to research opposing counsel and competing law firms.

This data comes from Lex Machina, a company LexisNexis acquired in 2015. Lex Machina transforms data from federal court dockets into live charts. In Lexis Advance, you can access this data by clicking on the hyperlinked judge's name in the text of a case or in the new Legal Analytics box to the right of the case text.

This link takes you to a summary with the judge's biographical information, open cases by practice area, comparisons to other judges in the district, cases filed by year, and case timelines. These latter charts give you a sense of how long the dispute may take to resolve and the odds of a trial. Lexis Advance users can access these summaries without a Lex Machina subscription.

"With access to summary charts, graphs, and information about judges from Lex Machina, Lexis Advance users can quickly and accurately understand the justice presiding over their case, better anticipate his or her behavior and illuminate probable case outcomes — with the option to click out to Lex Machina for more detail," says Sean Fitzpatrick, Managing Director for North American Research Solutions at LexisNexis. "It is an early step in our strategy to integrate high value analytic and visualization tools directly into the Lexis Advance research experience."

Other Notable Features

For deeper insights, you can click from this summary in Lexis Advance to the Lex Machina website if you have a subscription to the latter. Lex Machina's Motion Chains enables you to analyze your odds of success for a specific type of motion based on historical data. Similarly, you can see how opposing counsel has performed on similar cases or before your judge. You can also research parties, case damages, venues, practice areas, etc. for business development purposes. As you research, you can download briefs, exhibits, and other documents from cases of interest.

Lex Machina offers a growing number of specialized apps. For example, Patent Portfolio Evaluator lists the complete litigation history for a specific patent. Damages Explorer enables you to forecast likely damages and attorney fees as well as compare damages when forum shopping. Early Case Assessor gives you an overview of the plaintiff's litigation history from recent activity to venues to counsel. Other apps consist of Courts & Judges Comparator, Law Firms Comparator, and Parties Comparator.

What Else Should You Know?

In addition to litigation analytics, you'll notice another new feature in Lexis Advance — Reason for Shepard's Signal. This provides you with instant context for each dreaded red or yellow Shepard's signal or instant peace of mind when the signal is green. Reason for Shepard's Signal is currently available for cases since 2003 with older cases coming soon. Learn more about Lexis Advance.

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: Legal Research | TL NewsWire

CosmoLex's Bank Data Feed Automatically Downloads Checking, Trust, and Credit Card Transactions

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, February 16, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers practice management and legal accounting software that can download bank and credit card transactions for faster reconciliations (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of practice management software with a Dropbox-like mechanism for sharing files with clients, software for managing trademarks and other IP assets, practice management software for personal injury lawyers, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Online banking is a modern marvel we all take for granted. However, reconciliation remains a tedious process. PDF bank statements may save trees but they don't save time. Instead, your legal accounting software should be able to download transactions directly from your bank on daily basis.

CosmoLex v4.6 … in One Sentence

Launching this week, CosmoLex v4.6 is cloud law practice and financial management software that securely retrieves checking, trust, and credit card account transactions.

The Killer Feature

CosmoLex's new Bank Data Feed technology integrates with all major banks, more than 2,000 community and regional banks, and credit card providers such as Chase and Citibank. Login verification occurs directly with each bank. Role-based permissions enable you to restrict user level access to Bank Data Feeds as well as other areas of CosmoLex for internal security.

You can review and accept transactions one at a time or in bulk from a Bank Data Feed instead of entering them manually. This may make sense for credit card statements. You can assign transactions to matters or a general ledger account.

For bank and especially trust accounts, you can instead use the Bank Data Feed for daily reconciliation. CosmoLex automatically matches the transactions your staff has entered with those from the Bank Data Feed and identifies any discrepancies.

"We identified an inability to utilize bank data feeds as a glaring weakness across the law practice management industry," says Rick Kabra, CEO of CosmoLex. "This new functionality is another example of how we continue to separate ourselves from the rest of the industry. Giving firms the ability to automatically import bank data feeds increases the value of our offering exponentially."

Other Notable Features

As Kabra intimates, CosmoLex offers general ledger and trust accounting, which obviates the need to use general accounting software. The CosmoLex Accountant Program enables your accountant to use CosmoLex for free. CosmoLex works with QuickBooks formatted checks (the company also sells its own line of checks). Financial data permeates the software. For example, the Matters Dashboard lists unpaid balances, unbilled balances, and available client advances whether in trust or operating accounts.

CosmoLex adds trust transactions as a liability as a safeguard. You can enter hard costs such as a filing fee and pay it from a trust account. LawPay integration enables your clients to pay bills or fund a trust account online with a credit card.

Several integrations enable you to access your data outside of CosmoLex. The calendar integrates with G Suite and Office 365, while the document management system can use Box, Dropbox, or OneDrive as its data store. Also, Auto-Match technology files forwarded email messages and attachments in the correct matter.

Other features include task management with automated workflows (e.g., court deadline calculations), a client portal for securely chatting and sharing documents with clients, matter notes, and conflict checking.

What Else Should You Know?

Version 4.6 includes an enhanced Data Import tool to make it easier to migrate from your existing software to CosmoLex. This free tool imports clients, matters, bank transactions, accounts receivable, and trust account balances. If you need a turn-key accounting data migration, CosmoLex certified consultants can handle it for a one-time fee. CosmoLex costs $49 per user per month if paid annually ($59 if paid monthly). Learn more about CosmoLex.

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: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

LEAP Adds Secure Client Collaboration to Its Practice Management Platform With LawConnect

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, February 9, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers practice management software with a new Dropbox-like technology for securely sharing documents and communicating with clients (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of software for managing trademarks and other IP assets, practice management software for personal injury lawyers, a court docket service for receiving alerts about cases of interest, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

The ABA's duty of technology competence seems poised to become the latest regulation adopted by all 50 states. While the rule doesn't provide specifics, many law firms have interpreted it as requiring a more secure approach to client communication and document sharing.

LEAP … in One Sentence

LEAP is practice management software that recently added secure client collaboration tools.

The Killer Feature

LEAP's new LawConnect "storage and collaboration platform" enables you to securely communicate and share documents with clients. Most competing offerings (often called "client portals") require setup before you can use them. LawConnect functions in a Dropbox-like ad hoc manner. This approach means you can share a document in seconds even if you've never previously used LawConnect.

Select one or more documents within a matter, click the LawConnect button, and choose the people with whom you wish to share the document. Recipients receive an email message with a secure link to create a LawConnect account after which they can access the document. Within LEAP, icons let you know which documents are shared and whether clients have viewed them. You can revoke access anytime with or without notifying the client.

LawConnect also facilitates secure client communication. Email notifications let you know a new message exists. LEAP's in-app notification system likewise keeps you apprised of new messages.

Other Notable Features

LEAP offers integrated timers and a timesheet for capturing time contemporaneously or after the fact. A number of technologies automate time capture. For example, Auto Text enables you to store frequently used descriptions, and enter them with a few mnemonic keystrokes. Also, LEAP lists unbilled activities that don't yet have time entries. The LEAP mobile app records billable time on the go.

In addition to capturing more time, LEAP may also get you paid faster now that it integrates with RapidPay (powered by LawPay) for online credit card processing. You can add a RapidPay link to invoices you send.

LEAP also integrates with Microsoft Office for document assembly. LEAP includes many forms (a.k.a. templates) plus you can import and create your own. These forms, which work in both the Online and Windows version of Word, can pull data from any field in LEAP, and incorporate "if/then" statements and other sophisticated logic. You can link applicable forms to a Task so that those assigned the task have everything they need. When you create a document or email message, LEAP prompts you to bill for it.

In addition to capturing documents created through automated forms, LEAP can also import entire folders during initial setup. Similarly, your existing scanning workflow can be redirected to save documents in LEAP (the Android and iPhone app contains a document scanner for mobile scanning). LEAP captures email via the Outlook add-in.

What Else Should You Know?

LEAP works on all platforms. You can use your choice of native apps for Windows, iPad, iPhone, and Android. It also runs in your web browser. LEAP includes a Google- and mobile-optimized website for your law firm to help you attract new clients. Learn more about LEAP.

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: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Alt Legal Automates the Management of Trademarks and Other IP Assets

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers software for managing your clients' trademarks, copyrights, and patents from inception to renewals (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of practice management software for personal injury lawyers, a legal research service for medical malpractice lawyers, a service that can help you add a new practice area, a Word add-in for automating exhibit references, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Even small intellectual property law firms manage thousands of trademarks and other IP assets on behalf of their clients. This means thousands of deadlines for replying to office actions, filing renewals, etc. Miss a deadline and you lose a client. Time to move beyond your creaky Excel spreadsheets for managing these portfolios.

Alt Legal … in One Sentence

Alt Legal is cloud software for managing intellectual property portfolios, including trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

The Killer Feature

Alt Legal crawls USPTO and TTAB dockets (and soon international trademark databases) to provide automated monitoring of changes and deadline calculations. "What you view in Alt Legal always mirrors the original source," says former big law lawyer and CEO Nehal Madhani. "Your deadlines are always up-to-date." Alt Legal notifies you of upcoming deadlines via email with live links to each filing.

Unlike competing services, Alt Legal's crawler doesn't only look for new docket entries and status date changes but all changes to each record. As a result, Alt Legal can instantly notify you of changes that don't trigger an official notification such as the appointment of a new attorney.

"Alt Legal's automated trademark docketing allows me to organize and monitor filings and keep track of dates and deadlines," says Bill Samuels, an IP attorney and the owner of W.R. Samuels Law. "The platform automatically identifies and updates my docket without manual data entry. To replace Alt Legal, I would need multiple employees to manage my clients' trademark portfolios."

Other Notable Features

You begin using Alt Legal by retrieving all the IP filings under your firm's management. Because TESS is the most modern USPTO database, you can retrieve trademarks by entering the associated email addresses or registration numbers. Alt Legal offers complimentary data migration for large IP portfolios.

The Docketing dashboard lists all IP filings under your management sorted by deadline. You can search by applicant, client, type of filing, etc., and add notes to IP filings for later reference. Alt Legal links directly to USPTO records so that you can download documents, respond to office actions, and reference applicable regulations with a click. Alt Legal automatically adds deadlines to your Clio and Outlook calendars thanks to integrations with those products.

Alt Legal enables you to generate reports using parameters ranging from Literal Element to Statutory Deadlines to Mark Type and many others. You can view reports in a spreadsheet-like table in Alt Legal or export in Excel format. If you wish, clients can gain read-only access to their portfolio.

Speaking of clients, Alt Legal's Intake tool facilities collaboration on new trademark filings. Clients receive a customizable email message with a link to a secure web intake form. The form adapts as clients answer questions such as whether they're filing individually or for a company. Alt Legal's team keeps these forms up-to-date, enabling you to populate TEAS forms without retyping. New filings are automatically captured by Alt Legal and added to the Docketing dashboard.

What Else Should You Know?

Alt Legal enables you to restrict access among your staff to filings assigned to them. Administrators can access all filings. Pricing for Alt Legal starts at $75 per month. Your cost depends on the number of filings in your account. In addition to data migration, an Alt Legal subscription includes unlimited training, live chat, and telephone support. Learn more about Alt Legal.

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: TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

SmartAdvocate Seeks to Take Document Automation to a New Level in Practice Management Software

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers practice management software with advanced document assembly capabilities (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2016 Awards and the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a cloud practice management app with a robust data import tool, another practice management app with a do-it-yourself QuickBooks integration, an Outlook add-in that prevents email mishaps, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Much of law practice involves recurring, routine tasks. The less time these tasks require, the more time you can devote to the thorny legal issues you're hired to solve. This is especially important for those of you in personal injury practice because of the upfront financing you provide.

SmartAdvocate Cloud … in One Sentence

SmartAdvocate is browser-based practice management software for personal injury law firms that is now available in a hosted version called SmartAdvocate Cloud.

The Killer Feature

"Every time we show SmartAdvocate's Document Template Generator to lawyers, they are amazed at how much work it saves," Chief Operating Officer Arnie Baum told me.

The lynchpin for this document automation is SmartAdvocate's Microsoft Word add-in. This connects Word to your case data in SmartAdvocate. You can automatically populate Word documents with any of this data (including your own custom fields) using Merge Codes.

Out of the box, SmartAdvocate contains nearly 2,000 Merge Codes and hundreds of templates you can modify. You can also create your own templates. None of this involves programming. Instead, you select the Merge Codes you want to use and place them into the template. These templates can include envelopes. "A document that normally takes 3-4 minutes to create can be generated, emailed, and stored in 30 seconds," says Baum.

"There is simply no information you can't enter into the database and there is a merge code for everything so you can generate complicated documents and PDF forms," says SmartAdvocate user Philip L. Franckel, Partner at Franckel & Plevy. "It is highly customizable and easy."

Other Notable Features

SmartAdvocate users spend most of their time in the Case Summary. This elaborate environment contains every conceivable piece of information about a case — critical deadlines, incident details, injuries, medical providers, insurers, timeline, disbursements, notes, etc. The Case Browse feature enables you to search and filter this data, and make bulk changes across multiple cases such as assigning a new lawyer.

How often do you take notes that you later cannot find? SmartAdvocate doesn't only store your notes in the Case Summary, it also enables you to categorize notes by type and search for them with filters. Notes can contain links to related items in SmartAdvocate such as contacts or documents for quick reference.

SmartAdvocate offers two calendars — Case and Office. The former contains case-related events, while the latter contains these events plus non-case events like your vacations. The Office calendar also displays the schedules of everyone in the office. Thanks to the Outlook add-in, you can add these calendars to Outlook and your smartphone. The add-in also enables you to save client-related email in SmartAdvocate.

SmartAdvocate offers more than 20 customizable dashboards. The home dashboard — called MySmartAdvocate — lists your upcoming appointments, deadlines, tasks, and more. Other dashboards enable you to focus on specific areas of your firm such as advertising results and finances.

What Else Should You Know?

Other features of SmartAdvocate include a Case Intake Wizard for case creation from any location,, reports to which you can subscribe by email, and the ability to send text messages to clients from within the system without revealing your phone number. "Initially available only in a server-based version, SmartAdvocate Cloud provides all this functionality in a hosted platform," said Baum. Learn more about SmartAdvocate Cloud.

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: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2016 Awards

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, December 22, 2016

It's time for the TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2016 Awards. TL NewsWire subscribers chose the winners of these awards. When subscribers clicked for more details about a product we reported on, they passively cast a vote. Passive voting is the most meaningful type of voting for awards. The winners below genuinely attracted the most interest from TL NewsWire subscribers.

This year a word processor earned the top spot! Major themes among the winners — practice management (8 products), litigation (5 products), legal research (3 products), time capture and billing (3 products), and add-ins for Microsoft Office (3 products). Also among the winners — a smartpen and accompanying app and notebook, a project management app, a virtual desktop service, and a marketing automation app.

TL NewsWire is free — sign up now so you can choose next year's winners.

Congratulations to all the winners! Without further ado …

WINNERS OF THE TL NEWSWIRE TOP 10 PRODUCTS OF 2016 AWARD

Congratulations to the 10 hottest products of 2016!

1. WordPerfect Office X8

This first place finish may surprise some, but not longtime fans who have vowed never to use that other word processor. These fans told Corel they wanted advanced PDF tools, and Corel delivered in WordPerfect Office X8. You can now convert PDF image scans into WPD files, and use Reveal Codes to search and destroy formatting problems. Additionally, you can create your own PDF forms, including digital signatures.

2. Zola Suite

Five years ago, Fred Cohen and his team of designers and engineers set out to build cloud practice management software without compromise. In 2016, this hard work paid off with the launch heard round the legal web. Zola Suite's web, Android, and iOS apps have feature parity. With advanced technologies such as Gmail and Office 365 email integration, telephone call tracking, and a OneNote replacement, maybe you can have it all.

3. Smart Writing Set

Want to get a lawyer's attention? Develop a replacement for the yellow legal pad, which lawyers love to hate. Moleskine's Smart Writing Set consists of a pen with a tiny camera that digitizes your notes. This being Moleskine, the special paper notebooks that work with the pen look as sharp as you in your best suit. The free Android and iOS app stores your notes and can make them editable with its built-in OCR.

4. Contract Tools

Paper Software knows contracts. One co-founder served time in big law, the other is a programmer with machine learning expertise. The result of this dynamic duo is Contract Tools, which adds a suite of tools to Microsoft Word for use with complex contracts. Click a defined term for its definition, find all references to a specific section, locate and finalize all placeholders, and correct inconsistencies, incorrect formatting, and other errors difficult for human proofreaders to spot.

5. Exterro Project Management for Law Firms

Until you can replace your staff with robots, Exterro Project Management for Law Firms might be the next best thing. This project management and process automation software enables you to automate your workflows. When someone completes a task, the person responsible for the next task in the workflow receives a notification. Extensive reporting gives you a God-like view of all your firm's activity, which you can monitor from your beach bungalow.

6. LEAP 365

LEAP 365 easily wins the most impressive product launch of the year as it took place in a (sweet!) suite at Yankee Stadium. This largess underscored the company's significant achievement — cloud practice management software with apps for Windows, web, iPad, iPhone, and Android. During the press conference, four product specialists used LEAP on a different platform while seamlessly collaborating on document assembly and other law firm tasks. Clearly, LEAP had a much better year than the Yankees.

7. ExhibitManager 5

Given how many features Microsoft Word has, it's amazing how many it lacks. ExhibitManager fills one such gap by automatically generating a table of exhibits in a Microsoft Word document based on simple references that you insert while drafting. The software keeps this table updated when you edit your brief. ExhibitManager also manages exhibits using a spreadsheet-like interface, and can create PDF exhibit binders or ebriefs with one click.

8. LexRex

It's hard to believe but the cloud practice management pioneers are nearing their tenth birthday. This means they were originally designed for a desktop web browser. By contrast, LexRex launched this year built for a mobile world with a design that minimizes the number of different screens. The app's Case Categories offer workflow automation, while the Case Summary lists all activity for each matter in a tickler-like manner.

9. LawBase

Many software products require your firm to adapt because of their rigidity. By contrast, LawBase adapts to your law firm. This practice management software ships with templates for practice areas ranging from insurance defense to mortgage refinancing to mass tort. If one of these doesn't apply, the company can work to create a custom template that'll fit your law firm like a glove.

10. Concordance Desktop

Designed for the do-it-yourself law firm, Concordance Desktop added processing to its suite of tools this year. Now for cases involving custodians with mainstream data sources such as Outlook, Windows Explorer, and file cabinets, you can import PST files, scans, and more without a consultant or a dedicated processor like LAW PreDiscovery. You can then use Concordance Desktop's popular document review tools to find relevant documents, apply Bates numbers, and produce them in native, PDF, or TIFF formats.

WINNERS OF THE TL NEWSWIRE TOP 25 PRODUCTS OF 2016 AWARD

Congratulations to the next 15 hottest products of 2016!

11. Firm Manager 2.0

Sometimes software developers focus on user-facing features, while other times they focus on under-the-hood improvements. Firm Manager took both paths this year. Crowd pleasers such as the new templates automate client intake and other routine tasks. Meanwhile, role-based permissions, integration with the online and desktop versions of QuickBooks, and extensive data import tools help law firms switch to Firm Manager in the first place.

12. BlueStylus Time and Billing

It seems like virtually all cloud billing apps cost the same, almost as if they colluded on price. This is of course apocryphal, but if a cartel did exist BlueStylus wouldn't join. At just $7 per user per month, BlueStylus broke the price barrier this year while offering breakthrough features such as automated filing of email messages from clients. Not too long ago, only large firms could afford such technology. Now it costs less than Netflix.

13. ReplyToSome

A few years ago, Peter Norman was holed up in his office at the Singapore outpost of a large law firm where he spent many billable hours negotiating multiparty deals via email with disparate teams of opposing counsel. One misaddressed message could imperil his career. Once stateside again, he spearheaded the creation of ReplyToSome, which adds a suite of tools to Outlook that prevents such mishaps. Even if you don't need to manage large distribution lists, ReplyToSome offers other helpful tools such as SendCheck, which warns you about replying as a BCC and when you forget an attachment.

14. TimesManager Legal

James DeRosa knows a market opportunity when he sees one. With an increasing number of law firms using ClaimsManager despite it being designed for insurance companies, he and his team developed TimesManager Legal to better serve the legal industry. If you can think of a billing arrangement with your clients or partners, TimesManager can handle it — split, blended, fixed, ABA, LEDES, UTBMS, etc. TimesManager can also manage complex approval workflows, and integrates with Tabs3, QuickBooks, Legal Tracker, and TyMetrix among others.

15. CaseFleet

A mashup of client relationship management and litigation management that runs in your web browser, CaseFleet automatically builds a timeline of your cases as you enter facts, issues, witnesses, and legal research. Filters enable you to spot critical connections and build your narrative. Meanwhile, CaseFleet's Legal Calendar color codes all the critical deadlines on your cases and syncs with GCal and Outlook, while the Leads Pipeline helps you capture and convert prospects into new clients.

16. Ulysses 2.5

Designed for writing long, structured documents on your Mac or iPad, Ulysses collects all your notes, research, etc. in one place. You write in chunks (such as different sections of a brief or chapters of your great American novel). When you complete a project, you can combine these disparate elements into a single document in Word, PDF, or ePub format. iCloud sync automatically makes your work available on all your devices, including the iPhone.

17. Digital WarRoom Private Cloud 8.8

Ediscovery software seems immune to the all-you-can-eat pricing revolution underway in other software markets. Digital WarRoom Private Cloud wants to change the game with its all-inclusive price of $1,995 per month. Designed for large projects, Digital WarRoom Private Cloud spans the EDRM gamut, offering tools for processing, review, and production. Advanced technologies include data visualization tools to make email easier to analyze and predictive coding.

18. Nutshell

Peter Drucker advised law firms to understand clients so well that their service sells itself. However, you still need software for the nuts and bolts of online marketing. Enter Nutshell, which captures leads from your website and routes them to your intake team, tracks telephone consultations, and enables you to send personalized email messages to hot prospects. Extensive reporting helps you analyze your marketing campaigns.

19. Amicus Attorney Premium 2016

Now part of the Abacus Next family of products as a result of the merger of the year, Amicus Attorney added enterprise-grade document management features, including check in/out and versioning to prevent lost work or duplicative effort. Also new, client-related email appears alongside documents thanks to integration with Exchange and Office 365. Amicus Attorney's client portal facilitates secure document sharing and communications with clients. You can even have clients complete forms through the portal.

19. Thomson Reuters ProView

The future of the law library finally arrived in 2016 thanks to ProView. Both an ebookstore and ebook reader, ProView is the Amazon Kindle of legal references. You can purchase and read ProView ebooks in a web browser or in the dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, iPad, and Android tablets. New editions of an ebook can import your bookmarks and highlights from the previous edition even if the location has changed. Sharing tools enable you to send a relevant section to colleagues or export it to PDF to send to a client.

20. Firm Central

Firm Central recently earned a TechnoScore of A from our SmallLaw newsletter in part because of its exclusive first-party integrations with other Thomson Reuters Legal's services such as Westlaw, Deadline Assistant, Doc & Form Builder, Case Notebook, CaseLogistix, and Practical Law. Among third-party products, Firm Central integrates with Outlook and QuickBooks. The addition of Time & Billing to Firm Central earlier this year, including trust accounting and three-way reconciliation and reporting, checks an important box on the requirements list of many small law firms.

20. Tabs3 Version 18

There's no better way to get paid than from a trust account. This year Tabs3 kicked trust accounts up a notch by automating payments. Once you create a rule in compliance with your jurisdiction, Tabs3 can apply payments to new bills or accounts receivable or both. Support for electronic funds transfer and credit card processing via ProPay further grease the wheels of commerce. The new three-way reconciliation reports provide your clients with transparency into these automated payments.

21. Boxtop

Our ace product reviewer Ed Zohn runs the products he evaluates in Boxtop to ensure fairness. "Sure beats the old Citrix I used a decade ago," he quipped in a recent email message. Boxtop provides everyone in your firm with a virtual Windows desktop. The wizards at Tabush Group help get all your legal and other software installed in this virtual environment, and can even provide you with thin client hardware that supports two monitors. Boxtop, which also runs on Macs and Windows PCs, supports Microsoft Office, PCLaw, Tabs3, Time Matters, Worldox, and other popular apps.

21. MedMal Navigator

Mention the name Frank Netter to doctors, and they'll wax poetic about his iconic medical illustrations. Now that more than 10,000 of these images reside in LexisNexis MedMal Navigator, you can use them in depositions, settlement conferences, and at trial without any copyright hassles. MedMal Navigator also offers tools for assessing the value of claims, finding expert witnesses, researching illnesses and injuries and applicable standards of care, and of course finding relevant case law in Lexis Advance.

21. MyCase

Proving that technology can save time and money, MyCase's new QuickBooks Online integration enables you to set everything up in a few minutes on your own for free versus the previous implementation that cost $99 and required a one-hour consultation. This integration somehow manages to create QuickBooks invoices that mirror those you create in MyCase right down to every time entry and description — a technological tour de force.

21. Practice Point

Thomson Reuters Legal offers a cornucopia of information services — Westlaw of course but also Reuters News, Practical Law, Westlaw Forms, Business Law Center, and Company Investigator to name just a few. Practice Point serves as your gateway to these services. Need to negotiate a joint venture? Just navigate to that section and you'll find all the resources you need from initial conversation to final agreement. If only Practice Point existed for everything in life.

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: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Legal Research | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

Firm Manager's New Data Import Tools Ease Your Transition to the Cloud

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud practice management software with extensive data import tools (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a practice management app with a do-it-yourself QuickBooks integration, a tool for leveraging court dockets, an Outlook add-in that prevents email mishaps, a research service for medical malpractice practitioners, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Many law firms that want to take their practice to the cloud feel trapped because of data migration hurdles. While it's relatively easy to export data from your existing software, most cloud apps have limited import tools.

LexisNexis Firm Manager … in One Sentence

LexisNexis Firm Manager is cloud practice management software that as of this week offers significantly expanded data import capabilities.

The Killer Feature

The words "data import" bring to mind a days-long process fraught with false starts and do-overs. By contrast, Firm Manager's new do-it-yourself data import tools can get you up and running in under an hour judging from the demo senior product manager Scott Light gave me.

The false starts of data migration stem from errors in source files. You then have to hunt down all these errors before you can import anything. Firm Manager takes a different approach. It imports all the clean data and notifies you of any errors. You can then save a CSV file that contains only the errors, which eliminates having to find them. Once you make corrections, you can import this remaining data.

Firm Manager distinguishes itself regarding the categories of data it can import — contacts, matters, billing codes, opening trust balances, time entries, expense entries, invoices, matter notes, contact notes, and tasks. Scott imported a data file for nearly each of these categories during the demo. This breadth gives you the opportunity to import data from multiple sources. If you can export to CSV format, Firm Manager can import it.

Calendars and documents have special data migration tools. For the former, Firm Manager integrates with Google Calendar and Office 365. For document management, Firm Manager can bulk import entire folders and nested folders with one click, and assign all the documents therein to a matter. You can also send email to a matter using a special email address.

"As firms upgrade their practice management systems, they want to bring their current and historical data with them," Director of Product Management Wes Gillette told me. "Firm Manager's new, improved data import process makes it easy for firms to get up and running quicker and easier than ever before."

Other Notable Features

Firm Manager has added a number of other features. The redesigned Home dashboard displays your calendar, tasks, recent activity, and unbilled time (Money Finder). Switching to the new Lawyer View provides insights into your billable targets, over-budget matters, and overdue tasks. Filters give your more granularity into this data.

Also new are customizable templates. Intake Templates ensure consistent handling of every new matter. Fields can consist of dates, currency, menus, and checkboxes in addition to text. Checklist Templates contain all the tasks associated with a matter type, including the person who should handle each task and its estimated billable time or budget. When you assign budgets to tasks, Firm Manager visually identifies tasks that took too long. You can alternatively assign a budget to an entire matter instead of its constituent tasks.

What Else Should You Know?

Two Firm Manager plans exist — Starter costs $29 per user per month while Essentials costs $44 per user per month. Both plans include the new data import tools. Essentials also includes the customizable templates, role-based permissions, QuickBooks integration, and reporting. Learn more about Firm Manager.

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: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

MyCase Adds Self-Setup QuickBooks Integration to Its Practice Management Toolset

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, December 1, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers practice management software with a new QuickBooks Online integration that you can setup in a few minutes (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a court dockets research service, an Outlook add-in that prevents email errors, a resource with model transactional documents and practice guides, two practice management products with apps on all platforms, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

If you visit the QuickBooks website, you'll have a hard time finding the legacy desktop version. It's another sign of the tectonic shift underway to the cloud. It's easy to migrate from the legacy version to QuickBooks Online but that's only half the battle. What about your practice management software?

MyCase … in One Sentence

MyCase is practice management software with a recently enhanced QuickBooks Online integration.

The Killer Feature

MyCase was among the first practice management systems to integrate with QuickBooks Online. As the number of customers using the integration soared, Product Manager Zac Post began receiving feature requests. The new integration that Zac recently showed me incorporates much of this feedback. "It's now both easier to use and more robust," said Zac as he started the demo.

MyCase's App Bar lists all available integrations, including QuickBooks. The new integration is free thanks to its self-setup. "What used to cost $99 and require a one-hour implementation call now takes less than five minutes and is completely free," said Zac.

After entering your QuickBooks credentials, a series of menu-driven screens matches your QuickBooks accounts to their corresponding data sources in MyCase, including bank accounts, income, expenses, trusts, and even non-trust retainers if you use them. You can add new accounts to QuickBooks on-the-fly if necessary. You can edit these settings anytime.

Once setup, trust and non-trust retainer deposits give you the option of syncing to QuickBooks. Similarly, invoice creation and payment also give you the option to sync. Instead of syncing invoices one by one, the QuickBooks Sync button enables you select and sync multiple invoices simultaneously. This instant syncing eliminates time-consuming manual export/import procedures along with common errors such as duplicate entries and inconsistent nomenclature.

The invoices automatically created in QuickBooks exactly match those in MyCase down to every time entry and description thanks to a clever use of Items in QuickBooks. As a result, your QuickBooks file will have everything your accountant needs for tax filings.

Other Notable Features

MyCase offers all the practice management tools you would expect. On the Home dashboard, you can view recent activity and quickly add new cases, contacts, events, documents, tasks, time entries, expenses, invoices, notes, and messages.

When you add new client contacts, you can give them access to MyCase's client portal. Clients receive an email message with instructions on creating a secure portal account. Using the portal, clients can securely communicate with you, share documents, and pay bills. MyCase recently added a new feature that lists all the activity for each contact, offering you more granularity than the case activity feed.

MyCase can store both case-related documents and email. Integrations with Gmail and Outlook enable you to automatically file email messages in MyCase where you can then assign them to a case. A unique MyCase email address enables you to send any email message to MyCase from any email app.

What Else Should You Know?

MyCase costs $39 per month per attorney user and $29 per month per staff user. You can try MyCase for free for 30 days, including the new QuickBooks integration. MyCase can also build and host your firm's website for an additional charge. Learn more about MyCase.

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: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

CourtLink Offers Court Docket Notifications and Insights to Fuel Your Case Strategy

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a court docket service to keep you apprised of your cases, obtain competitive intelligence, and identify new business opportunities (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of an Outlook add-in with tools for managing large distributions and preventing common errors, a service with model forms and practice guides for transactional lawyers, software for automating the creation of a table of exhibits in Word documents, contract analysis software, practice management software that automates trust account replenishment, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Court dockets contain a wealth of data. Mining this data can help you identify new business opportunities, find model briefs, and gain insights about judges and opposing counsel. And of course you should always monitor the dockets of your cases.

CourtLink … in One Sentence

LexisNexis' CourtLink enables you to monitor, search, and mine the largest collection of court dockets and documents — all federal courts and more than 1,200 state courts.

The Killer Feature

CourtLink Alerts can notify you via email about recently-filed cases of interest. For example, Litigant Alerts inform you about docket events relating to existing or prospective clients. You can bulk upload your entire client list, choose specific courts, and enter keyword terms and connectors to narrow the scope. The Manage My Alerts page lists all your Alerts and tools for editing and deleting them.

Alerts can also notify you about litigation work that might be in your wheelhouse. You can focus on the nature of a lawsuit such as a practice area, class action, appeal, etc. Similarly, you can create Alerts for filings by an adversary against whom you've won, a judge you've successfully persuaded, etc. With the ability to receive an email notification within an hour of a new filing, you can send a brochure to defendants and appellees faster than your competitors.

A special CourtLink Alerts tool called Breaking Complaints notifies you about notable new lawsuits filed in courts of interest to you. The CourtLink team creates these alerts based on prominent parties and other factors.

Other Notable Features

CourtLink offers a Lexis Advance-like interface for one-off, full-text terms and connectors searches with tools for refining your results by date, jurisdiction, and other parameters. CourtLink can even search PDF images in a case docket. The search results break out dockets, documents, and premium documents. Premium documents consist of model pleadings and briefs in Word format selected by the CourtLink team that you can download and edit.

Courts with their own online dockets typically offer only rudimentary tracking tools if any. The CourtLink Tracks tool enables you monitor both your own cases and other cases of interest. You can create notifications based on granular searches such as document type, new counsel, additional litigants, etc.

Data analysis has become increasingly important in many aspects of litigation. CourtLink's Strategic Profiles powered by recent acquisition Lex Machina enables you to generate charts to analyze the history of judges and opposing counsel. For example, the Nature of Suit Analysis breaks down the history by type of lawsuit, while the Judgment Analysis shows you the number of cases a party won, lost, and settled.

"Spotting threats and new business opportunities, assessing the competition's litigation history, and developing a winning case strategy are vital," said Jeff Pfeifer, vice president of product management for North American Research Solutions at LexisNexis. "CourtLink delivers this thanks to its database of nearly 200 million dockets and other court documents, and next-generation analytics insights from Lex Machina."

What Else Should You Know?

You can download any available docket document in PDF format. CourtLink has a runner service for state court documents not available for download. You can share search results and tracked dockets with colleagues using Shared Folders. Learn more about CourtLink.

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: Coming Attractions | Legal Research | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL NewsWire

ReplyToSome Prevents Face-Palm Outlook Errors and Provides Email Insights

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an Outlook add-in with tools for preventing email mishaps and managing email messages involving many parties (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a research service for medical malpractice lawyers, a service with model forms and practice guides for transactional lawyers, software for automating the creation of a table of exhibits in Word documents, contract analysis software, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Email mistakes occur all the time for various reasons. Regardless of whether the cause is sleep deprivation, multitasking, or a mischievous autocomplete, an email message sent to an unintended recipient can wreak havoc on business and relationships. Just as importantly, omissions cause problems and occur all too easily on deals involving many people. Preventing such problems seems tailor-made for software.

ReplyToSome … in One Sentence

Launched this week, Winnieware's ReplyToSome 2.0 is an Outlook add-in that prevents mishaps, simplifies distribution list creation, and provides insights into your email.

The Killer Feature

The ReplyToSome interface appears on the left side of Outlook. You can toggle it on or off. When viewing an email message, ReplyToSome lists all the recipients in individual rows, grouping them by whether they're an Insider such as a colleague or an Outsider such as opposing counsel or an unknown person. Insiders are shaded in green and Outsiders in red. ReplyToSome further groups recipients by organization, and lists whether each person is a TO or CC.

This interface includes a set of tools designed to prevent addressing mistakes when you create or reply to a new email message. For example, when you receive an email message involving multiple parties, you can select specific addresses or organizations from the message for your reply. This eliminates the risky and tedious process of using Reply-All and then removing email addresses. You can also use ReplyToSome to create or edit distribution lists without having to leave the email message you're reading. You can add these lists to a new message or reply using a drag and drop action.

"Lawyers spend about 30% of their day dealing with email, often circulating confidential information among multiple parties in a fast-moving environment," Winnieware's UX Design Director Dora Fang tolds us. "Outlook does not adequately serve lawyers' needs. ReplyToSome helps lawyers safely and efficiently send and receive email."

Other Notable Features

When you receive a message, a badge at the top of ReplyToSome tells you whether the parties in the message completely or partially match a distribution list you previously saved. Clicking the badge highlights the addresses that overlap. You can also identify people added to or removed from a given list.

Along the same lines, ReplyToSome offers a Blackline feature, enabling you to compare the recipients of two email messages to identify those who received both messages versus those who received only one. You can also compare an email message to a distribution list.

ReplyToSome's SendCheck technology provides several safeguards to catch common email sending mistakes. For example, SendCheck warns you if you're a BCC and reply to a message, and when it thinks you forgot an attachment.

Most importantly, SendCheck prevents you from emailing the wrong person. Given the demo Winnieware's CEO Peter Norman gave me when he visited our office, ReplyToSome goes beyond competing add-ins that warn you about using Reply-All. Instead, when you reply to a message, ReplyToSome shows you a dialog box listing all Outsiders. You decide whom to include and exclude. Only after confirming everyone you really want to email can you send the message.

What Else Should You Know?

ReplyToSome can transform Outlook into a vehicle for sending your email newsletters and client memos thanks to its ability to send the same email message separately to each person in a distribution list. Sending individual email messages results in better deliverability than bulk sending using BCC. Learn more about ReplyToSome.

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: Email/Messaging/Telephony | TL NewsWire
 
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