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Focus on Your Work, Not the Clock, With Smokeball's TimeScribe

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a practice management system with a large forms library that automatically captures the billable time you spend on document drafting and email (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a cloud practice management and accounting system that now includes free credit card processing via LawPay, a cloud practice management system with a new document management component that works locally on PCs and Macs like a network drive, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Accurate time tracking empowers law firms. Those that bill by the hour can maximize earnings while those that charge fixed fees can evaluate their profitability and staff efficiency. But how can you prevent lost billable time given human nature?

Smokeball … in One Sentence

Smokeball is a practice management and document assembly system that recently gained a new automatic time capture feature called TimeScribe.

The Killer Feature

Product Marketing Manager Eunbin Rii walks me through a typical stretch of time in a law firm, drafting documents, sending and receiving email, etc. He then clicks on the TimeScribe button in Smokeball's toolbar.

Not only does TimeScribe capture the time spent on this work, but it creates nearly final time entries. TimeScribe itemizes each task, connects it to the corresponding matter and creates a description of the work (e.g., Letter to Law Office of Arthur Kirkland). You review these entries, make any necessary edits, and post them if you bill by the hour. Every night, TimeScribe emails you a report listing all your captured time for the previous day broken down by matter.

Rii tells me that early adopters of TimeScribe have captured 34% more time on average. TimeScribe's Performance report enables you to measure its impact at your firm, and prove time worked in the event a client transfers his case to another firm. The report breaks out time spent and cost for each employee.

"We have not only been able to take on more clients, but have also seen profits skyrocket after just a few months of using Smokeball," said Michael Rapp, co-founder of Stecklein & Rapp in Kansas City.

Other Notable Features

Smokeball is a hybrid product, combining the capabilities of a native Windows client with the convenience of cloud data storage. The Window client allows for tight integration with Microsoft Office. When you open a potential matter, choose from more than 250 Matter Types with all the information fields you're likely to need. Smokeball also runs a conflict check.

Smokeball's Workflows enable you to capture your firm's processes. A Workflow consists of a set of tasks, each of which is assigned to an attorney or staff member. You can create task dependencies, and generate due dates based on triggers.

Many law firm tasks involve document creation. Smokeball offers more than 12,000 legal forms, and can help add your own during the onboarding process. Smokeball automatically enters information from the extensive set of matter fields. You can email completed documents directly from Smokeball. A clever feature lists the contacts associated with the matter, which saves time and prevents misaddressed messages. Alternatively, you can attach documents in Smokeball from Outlook. Either way, Smokeball saves all email in the matter, including replies.

"Smokeball helps small law firms increase the profitability of their matters," said Jane Oxley, Smokeball's President. "By providing our clients with features like full visibility into matter profitability and the most robust Microsoft Outlook and Word integrations in the industry, we help attorneys spend less time on administrative tasks, and get back to practicing law."

What Else Should You Know?

Smokeball's mobile app for Android and iOS gives you access to your practice on the go. For billing, you can use Smokeball's Boost Billing or any third-party billing software. Smokeball costs $139 per user per month plus a one-time onboarding fee of $300 per user, which includes contact migration and training. Learn more about Smokeball.

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 | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

CosmoLex Aims to Automate Client Credit Card Payments With CosmoPay

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud practice management and accounting system that now includes free credit card processing via LawPay (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a cloud practice management system with a new document management component that works locally on PCs and Macs like a network drive, a new payment processor with a flat fee per transaction that deposits funds overnight, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

No shortage of advice exists on how law firms can get their bills paid faster. Descriptive time entries, sharp graphic design, etc. can help, but nothing moves the needle like accepting credit cards. Ideally, accepting credit cards should make your life easier too.

CosmoLex … in One Sentence

CosmoLex, a popular cloud legal accounting and practice management system, recently launched CosmoPay, its new payments processing platform.

The Killer Feature

CosmoPay is a private-label version of LawPay, a payment processor designed to comply with state ethics rules. This offers several advantages. You can sign up for CosmoPay from within CosmoLex or move your existing LawPay account if you already have one. CosmoLex includes CosmoPay at no extra charge, a savings of $20 per month. "In a nutshell, you get the combined benefits of LawPay and CosmoLex, except for a lower fee," says CosmoLex CEO Rick Kabra.

After setup, you can embed a CosmoPay button on the PDF bills you generate in CosmoLex. Send these bills via email from CosmoLex or upload them to the CosmoLex client portal. Either way, clients who click this button pay the invoice on a secure web page. Additionally, you can process credit cards in person using CosmoPay's virtual terminal.

After payment, CosmoLex flexes its automation muscle thanks to its built-in accounting (no need for QuickBooks). It marks the bill paid, deducts the amount due from accounts receivable, and adds the amount paid to the applicable bank account ledger. CosmoLex can automatically adjust trust accounts if used and allocate payments if a bill contains fees and expenses (you can create a rule for allocating underpayments).

Unlike most credit card processors, CosmoPay doesn't deduct credit card fees from payments. Instead, to comply with ethics rules, it deposits the full amount into your bank account. LawPay bills you monthly for accrued processing fees. As we reported earlier this year, CosmoLex's Bank Feed feature automatically downloads transactions from your bank account for faster reconciliations.

"CosmoLex's mission is to simplify law practice management for attorneys," says Kabra. "We've built a strong ecosystem of trusted partners, and will continue to work with LawPay and others to improve the CosmoLex experience for our end users. With CosmoPay we are removing yet another barrier for small law firms, making it easier than ever for them to get paid. This is something all our users will immediately benefit from."

Other Notable Features

CosmoLex has added a number of other new financial features. The accounting system now supports the entry of vendor bills for more precise tracking of your firm's expenses as opposed to general ledger entries. You can create and send recurring office bills. For cases such as workers compensation that involve creditors, CosmoLex tracks third-party liens. The Matter Cost Statement summarizes these liens to help you with settlement negotiations.

The CosmoLex dashboard has gained interactivity. Expand a chart to view it at a larger size. Drill down into any item for details. For example, the Money Finder on the dashboard lists all events, notes, tasks, etc. not yet billed. Click on any item to create a time entry.

What Else Should You Know?

The updated CosmoLex mobile app for Android and iOS offers nearly all the practice management functionality as the desktop web app. CosmoLex costs $49 per month per user. Learn more about CosmoLex and CosmoPay.

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 | TL NewsWire

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

Abacus Payment Exchange Adds Payment Processing to Abacuslaw, Amicus Attorney, and Amicus Online

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a new payment processor with a flat fee per transaction that deposits funds overnight (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a Microsoft Word add-in for drafting litigation and transactional documents with a new document assembly engine, forms library, and machine-learning tools, a new legal research service that use artificial intelligence to keep you apprised of new federal legislation and regulations, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Giving clients more options to pay you results in faster payment. Consumers like using credit cards when their checking account is running on fumes, while a growing number of businesses prefer paying by ACH (echeck) for security reasons. However, third-party payment providers often charge fees and take a few days to release funds.

Abacus Payment Exchange … in One Sentence

Launched recently, AbacusNext's Abacus Payment Exchange (APX) is a payment processing platform that works within the company's AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, and Amicus Online practice management systems.

The Killer Feature

APX addresses many complaints law firms have about payment providers. There's no contract, no monthly fees, no monthly minimums, and no additional fees for premium credit cards. Instead, APX charges a flat 3% of each credit card transaction. ACH payments sail through free of charge. In most cases, APX deposits payments into your designated bank account overnight.

"APX is convenient and easy to use when clients want to pay with credit card," said Ohio-based lawyer Norman J. Ullom-Morse. "It costs us substantially less than the previous vendor we used. It also works really well in the cloud environment. At this point, APX has become a necessity for my practice."

Other Notable Features

AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, and Amicus Online contain an onboarding wizard for APX. This wizard auto-fills much of the required information such as your firm's address. You can finish the signup process anytime in case you need to retrieve information.

The wizard verifies and authenticates your credit rating through Vantage, an independent underwriter. For example, you may need to identify previous residences or vehicles. Most applications are approved within a day. APX is not privy to any of this information.

APX supports both operating and trust accounts. Accordingly, APX can deposit payments into a trust account, and deduct the 3% fee from your operating account. APX never deducts fees from trust accounts to comply with ethics rules.

In each respective practice management system, you can store a default payment method for each client to save keystrokes. You can always override this setting. APX emails clients a receipt confirming payment. With most providers, disputed charges (chargebacks) get sent to you. By contrast, APX receives chargebacks on your behalf and offers integrated tools for responding to and resolving these disputes.

The financial reports in AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, and Amicus Online now include APX payment data so you can assess its impact on receivables aging. "Our clients have been telling us that that invoicing and getting paid is one of the hardest parts of a legal professional's job," said AbacusNext CEO Alessandra Lezama. "APX solves these payment and invoicing challenges within the industry-leading case management software."

What Else Should You Know?

APX is PCI-compliant and securely stores all payment information in its datacenters. No payment information resides in your practice management system. Learn more about Abacus Payment Exchange.

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 | TL NewsWire

Drafting Assistant Adds Document Assembly, Expert Forms, and More to Its Microsoft Word Drafting Tools

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, August 17, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a Microsoft Word add-in for drafting litigation and transactional documents with a new document assembly engine, forms library, and machine-learning tools (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a new legal research service that use artificial intelligence to keep you apprised of new federal legislation and regulations, an AI-powered legal research technology that provides fast answers to common legal questions, including definitions, elements of a claim, and standards of proof, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

The briefs and contracts you draft often break new ground and benefit from your legal expertise. But just as often they incorporate material that already exists. And they always contain precise syntax that is time consuming to manually proofread. As a result, drafting benefits from automation — ideally a suite of tools within Microsoft Word.

Drafting Assistant … in One Sentence

Thomson Reuters' Drafting Assistant adds document assembly, reference, and proofreading tools to Microsoft Word (there's also a Drafting Assistant web app).

The Killer Feature

The new Build Document feature offers document assembly technology and a library of expert templates via integrations with Contract Express and Practical Law respectively. You start by selecting one of your own templates or a Practical Law template. Either way, you then use Contract Express' technology to enter data into the form fields to build your document.

Drafting Assistant can save your work at any point in case you need to hunt down some information or conduct research. Click the My Projects button to view recent documents, both completed and in progress. The Practical Law template library encompasses 12 practice areas, including antitrust, bankruptcy, commercial transactions, intellectual property, litigation, and real estate.

Other Notable Features

Drafting Assistant resides in a tab in Microsoft Word's Ribbon. Clicking the Drafting button opens a panel alongside your Word document that contains Build Document and other tools. Among these is the new Locate Precedent tool. Powered by machine learning, Locate Precedent enables you to compare a provision drafted by you or opposing counsel against publicly filed agreements in EDGAR. If you find a phrasing you prefer, you can add it to the document.

Also in the Drafting Assistant panel are a variety of tools for litigators, including the Locate Authority tool, which uses machine-learning technology similar to that of Locate Precedent. Select an argument in your brief and Locate Authority finds a supporting citation that you can add in your preferred style with a click. Flags & Links enables you to spot negative KeyCite signals for authorities you're citing. Alternatively, WestCheck creates a KeyCite report of all authorities in a separate document.

Other litigation tools include TOA Builder to build a table of authorities and Authority Compiler to a create PDF ebrief. "Drafting Assistant makes creating tables of authorities quick and easy," said Sarah Mauldin, Director of Library Services at Smith, Gambrell & Russell. "I like getting to look a bit like a magician by using a tool that transforms a painful process into one that is much less onerous."

Rounding out the suite of tools is Deal Proof, which has its own dedicated button in the Drafting Assistant ribbon tab. Deal Proof finds potential errors in your document such as undefined terms, unused terms, inconsistent paragraph numbering, punctuation errors, etc. Like a spell checker, Deal Proof now updates in real time as you make corrections.

What Else Should You Know?

Until this year Drafting Assistant required Windows. The Mac version will launch later this year, initially with Flags & Links and WestCheck followed by more tools in the future. "Mac users will have access to two of the most used features from Drafting Assistant," said Craig Larson, Vice President, Productivity Solution at Thomson Reuters. "Drafting Assistant provides a full range of solutions that improve efficiency and streamline document drafting workflows, validate citations, and perform other critical drafting tasks no matter where users are or what computing platform they are using." Learn more about Drafting Assistant.

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: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Legal Research | TL NewsWire

Federal Developments Knowledge Center Brings Subject Matter Experts and Artificial Intelligence to Bear on Federal Legislation and Regulations

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, August 10, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a new legal research service that use artificial intelligence to keep you apprised of new federal legislation and regulations (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of an AI-powered legal research technology that provides fast answers to common legal questions, including definitions, elements of a claim, and standards of proof, document and email manegement software that integrates with Microsoft Office and scanners to consolidate all client-related data in one location, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

The dramatic shift in public policy positions by the Trump administration and Republican Congress has resulted in a myriad of regulatory changes in the executive branch with the prospect of major legislation such as health and tax reform around the corner. Keeping up with this activity is daunting.

Federal Developments Knowledge Center … in One Sentence

Wolters Kluwer's Federal Developments Knowledge Center offers one-stop-shopping for analysis, news, and primary source material related to federal legislation and regulations.

The Killer Feature

More than 100 attorney editors comprise the team behind the Federal Developments Knowledge Center. One of their innovations is Smart Charts, which provide insights on recent activity within practice areas of interest to you. Smart Charts encompass more than a dozen practice areas, including Banking and Finance, Global Trade, Health Care, Immigration, Securities, and Tax.

After selecting one or more practice areas, you choose from several Document Types — Enacted Law, Executive Order, Final Rule, Proposed Legislation, etc. A table then lists Key Federal Developments with links to the primary source, Related Expert Analysis with links to news coverage, and WK Commentary. Written by the attorney editors, WK Commentary saves you time by providing the effective date, a synopsis, and the likely impact and next steps. Instead of periodically checking a Smart Chart, you can set up email alerts for one or more practice areas.

Other Notable Features

The Federal Developments Knowledge Center dashboard provides the entry point to Smart Charts. It also contains linked lists of presidential actions, bills and enacted law, rules and regulations, news headlines, white papers, and other references. Click See All for any of these items to view the full feed in reverse chronological order with new items since your last visit highlighted to save you time. At the top of the dashboard, you can search through all or selected types of content.

Federal Developments Knowledge Center offers artificial intelligence (AI) to provide predictive analytics for legislation, including a Bill Breakdown to help you assess proposed bills so that you can advise your clients. An AI algorithm called Predictive Outlook provides two percentages — Pass Prediction (whether a bill will exit its committee and get passed in that chamber) and Percent Chance of Enactment. A chart illustrates the positive and negative forces affecting the bill and their relative weight in forming the Predictive Outlook. In addition to the Bill Breakdown, you'll also find links to the bill and related bills and statutes, as well as statements about the bill by the president and administration officials.

"Amid so much regulatory uncertainty, attorneys have been hard pressed to monitor multiple sources, analyze information and gauge potential impact for their clients," says Dean Sonderegger, Vice President & General Manager, Legal Markets & Innovation. "Federal Developments Knowledge Center is designed to directly address those pain points, identifying the issues that will have a real impact on clients and giving legal professionals a comprehensive source of up-to-the-minute information so they can advise their clients with more speed, ease and agility."

What Else Should You Know?

Every item in Federal Developments Knowledge Center offers a printer-friendly version. You can also email any item or export to Word format (Excel format for Smart Charts and other tables). You can try the service for free without obligation. Learn more about Federal Developments Knowledge Center.

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

Lexis Answers Uses Artificial Intelligence to Cut to the Chase in Legal Research

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an AI-powered legal research technology that provides fast answers to common legal questions, including definitions, elements of a claim, and standards of proof (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of document and email manegement software that integrates with Microsoft Office and scanners to consolidate all client-related data in one location, ediscovery software for quickly and inexpensively collecting and reviewing documents and email in small cases, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

When you need a legal definition, the elements of a claim, a standard of proof, etc. — legal basics that lie beyond the reach of your memory — it seems like a waste of time to skim cases for the answer. Instead, an intelligent assistant like those in our smartphones should provide the answer instantly.

Lexis Answers … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Lexis Answers is a free enhancement to Lexis Advance that saves you time by using artificial intelligence to anticipate your legal research needs.

The Killer Feature

Lexis Answers doesn't cost extra. It's baked into Lexis Advance. When you enter a search that falls within Lexis Answers' wheelhouse, an Answer Card appears atop the search results.

Product Manager Michael Etgen gave me a demo of Lexis Answers. He starts by entering the search "define res judicata." The Answer Card contains a definition from Bouvier Law Dictionary. Etgen then changes the search to "elements of res judicata." The Answer Card for this search lists res judicata's three elements taken from a Fifth Circuit case with a handy link. Etgen adds "NY" to this search. The Answer Card changes to show the elements of res judicata in New York, referencing a New York Court of Appeals case.

You need not memorize precise syntax to use Lexis Answers. It lists suggested answers as you type that you can select, and understands intent across different variations of language. For example, both "what is the definition of res judiacata" and "define res judicata" generate the same result. As Etgen demonstrated, Lexis Answers also understands jurisdictions such as states.

A team of lawyers with subject matter expertise trains the Lexis Answers algorithm, an ongoing process to ensure this flexibility, improve results, and expand the corpus of knowledge Lexis Answers understands. The algorithm also incorporates intelligence from Shepard's to ensure that cases used to provide answers are among the leading authorities as was the case for the above res judicata example.

Other Notable Features

Below the Answer Card, you'll find case law search results with your Lexis Answers query among the terms in the Search Term Map. Click on this term in the Search Term Map to view it in context without leaving the search results. The Search Term Map also tells you where in the opinion the term appears and its density throughout the opinion.

"Our goal is to create a smarter starting point to research," says Jeff Pfeifer, Vice President of Product Management at LexisNexis. "Using machine learning and advanced natural language processing technologies, Lexis Answers actually understands and interprets the intent of a user's search query — saving them time and effort by surfacing specific and actionable insights right at the top of their search results. This artificial intelligence powering Lexis Answers makes research easier, quicker and more intuitive than ever."

What Else Should You Know?

Lexis Answers currently encompasses legal topics from federal jurisdictions and most U.S. states and territories. As he wraps up my demo, Etgen tells me coverage will continue to expand to include all legal issues in all U.S. jurisdictions. Learn more about Lexis Answers.

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

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

MetaJure Spotlight Makes Early Case Assessments Fast and Financially Feasible

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers ediscovery software for quickly and inexpensively collecting and reviewing documents and email in small cases (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a cloud practice management app with desktop-class features and per-case rather than per-user pricing, a practice management system that automatically captures email correspondence, integrates with Outlook, and offers a secure client portal, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Early case assessments and internal investigations can save time and minimize liability. These situations call for speed, not perfection. You want to quickly search the email and documents of one person or at most a few custodians. Using a document review platform with lots of bells and whistles at this stage can seem like fishing off a supertanker.

MetaJure SPOTLIGHT … in One Sentence

Launched recently, MetaJure SPOTLIGHT is lightweight ediscovery software designed to capture data from specific devices and make it searchable.

The Killer Feature

SPOTLIGHT costs as little as $1,000 per case regardless of the number of custodians or the volume of data. Companies can install it locally on a server or use it in the cloud (hosting by LexisNexis Managed Data Services is also an option; additional charges may apply). Ideally, companies have a retention policy and install the free SPOTLIGHT Agent on every computer they deploy to facilitate collection at any given time. Alternatively, you can install the Agent onto custodian computers whose data you need to review on an ad-hoc basis.

Either way, the Agent captures all email and local documents, and sends this data to the server. SPOTLIGHT can also collect data from billing systems, document management systems, file servers, and other data stores in an organization. The software automatically performs OCR where needed using ABBYY technology, and parses metadata such as to, from, cc in email messages to support advanced search features. This capture process takes a few hours after which you can begin running searches.

"SPOTLIGHT gives lawyers an easy, powerful tool to quickly gain insights from a mass of documents, emails and other materials," says MetaJure CEO Rob Arnold. "While every case requires smart and thorough analysis, not every case justifies expensive ediscovery software. SPOTLIGHT is the ideal, value priced document search and analysis tool for small cases and internal investigations."

Other Notable Features

SPOTLIGHT runs in any web browser, offering a search interface similar to other MetaJure products not to mention Google. To the left you'll find several filters that you can use to browse documents or to narrow search results. Location filters enable you to focus on a custodian or a specific data source. File Type filters include email, Word, PDF, PowerPoint, and Excel. As intimated above, SPOTLIGHT supports Boolean searches such as author, recipient, exact, fuzzy, proximity, and wild card.

The search results lists folders whose names match your search at the top because of the strong likelihood of relevance. Below any matching folders, you'll find documents and email messages listed by relevance accompanied by their date. You can list documents by date instead.

SPOTLIGHT preserves folder paths, groups duplicates for more efficient review, and maintains the connection between email messages and attachments for context. Click a document to view it in the Text Preview Pane on the right side of the page. Clicking the Open button opens the document in its native application.

What Else Should You Know?

When you hit the jackpot, clicking the Export Results button packages all the documents in the search results into a ZIP file that you can share and review offline. Learn more about MetaJure SPOTLIGHT.

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: Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL NewsWire

Case.one Brings Desktop-Class Features and a Disruptive Pricing Model to Cloud Practice Management

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud practice management app with desktop-class features and per-case rather than per-user pricing (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a practice management system that automatically captures email correspondence, integrates with Outlook, and offers a secure client portal, cloud litigation management software that enables you and your team to analyze the key documents, testimony, and witnesses in your cases, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Legacy desktop practice management software requires a significant upfront investment, which can contribute to cash flow problems at a new law firm. Cloud practice management software alleviates this pressure somewhat but most products cost just as much the first month as they do a year later. Ideally, the cost of practice management software should align with your firm's growth.

Case.one … in One Sentence

Case.one is a cloud practice management system with desktop-class customization and a unique per-case pricing model designed to reduce costs.

The Killer Feature

Case.one is free for up to 10 active cases. Once your firm uses Case.one to manage 11 or more cases, it costs 99 cents per case per month. This all-inclusive price includes unlimited users, storage, and technical support. Even better, Case.one offers discounted pre-paid plans.

Most competing products charge about $50 per user per month. Case.one's per case model and discounted packages makes it less expensive by comparison. For example, a high-volume immigration firm with 5 lawyers, 10 paralegals, and 300 active cases would spend about $750 per month for a per-user product versus $197 per month for Case.one. A low volume firm staffed the same but with only 50 active cases would spend the same $750 per month for a per-user product versus only $35 per month for Case.one.

Other Notable Features

Case.one greets you with the Firm Feed when you login, a tickler that provides an overview of upcoming deadlines and activity in your cases. Similar, more focused feeds exist in each of Case.one's major areas — Billing, Calendar, Cases, Contacts, Files, and Tasks.

CEO Bahar Ansari describes Case.one as "second generation cloud practice management." During my demo, she takes care to point out Case.one's desktop-class features. Remember the PBX integrations of yore? Case.one integrates with VoIP telephone systems so that you can click to call and automatically bill the time. Acknowledging the financial controls many firms have, Case.one enables you to create a billing approval process. The billing system supports billing codes, client-specific rates, contingency and flat fees, expenses, and origination credit. You can customize your bills, deliver them via email or PDF, accept credit cards via LawPay, and automatically record bills in QuickBooks.

Case.one helps automate work product too. Practice Area Libraries save you time by adding data fields, templates, and workflows you're likely to need. You can add your own custom fields, and create your own workflows, which consist of groups of related tasks such as for client intake. Assign tasks within a workflow to members of your team, and create dependencies so that completion of a task automatically triggers and assigns the next task in the sequence. Built-in document assembly automates the creation of documents required by a task.

In addition to its desktop-class functionality, Case.one also takes advantage of its modern underpinnings. A client portal facilitates secure collaboration and communication with clients. When Case.one recognizes a common activity, it can prefill much of your time entry and even offer a suggested time based on historical data. Dropbox integration makes all your documents available, and Office 365 and G Suite integration syncs your calendar, contacts, and tasks across all devices.

What Else Should You Know?

Reports in Case.one provide in-depth analysis of your firm, including productivity. Administrator tools enable you to create roles and control access rights. Case.one or one of its authorized consultants can help you with data migration and customization if needed. Learn more about Case.one.

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
 
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