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Rocket Matter iPad Edition: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers the new iPad app for a popular practice management system (see article below), a portable scanner that works with Android and iOS devices, a communications automation iPhone app, and device for improving and tracking your sleep. Don't miss the next issue.

LEGAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT ON THE IPAD TAKES ORBIT

Law firms like the benefits of infrastructure but not its baggage. For example, back in the 1990s, law firms welcomed server-based practice management systems because of the collaboration they made possible. But they stuck the servers out of sight. Nowadays, cloud practice management systems have completely eliminated the need for local servers. However, web browsers have become a pain point given the resurgence of native software thanks largely to iOS.

Rocket Matter iPad Edition … in One Sentence

Announced today and launching soon, Rocket Matter iPad Edition is a free app for users of Rocket Matter, a cloud practice management system.

The Killer Feature

Rocket Matter iPad Edition features a customizable dashboard so that you can instantly see what's happening with your matters as well as across your entire law firm if you have the access rights. In addition to choosing what to display and the color palette, you can further customize the dashboard with a personal avatar and photos.

From the dashboard, you can access documents, add notes to a matter, create calendar events, delegate tasks, enter time, generate bills, review trust account balances, etc. Rocket Matter iPad Edition offers the same functionality of the web version of Rocket Matter.

"The Rocket Matter iPad Edition is not just a mere app," Rocket Matter CEO and Co-Founder Larry Port told us. "It's an entire tablet-based solution that ties into Rocket Matter's cloud data storage. We've carefully watched how lawyers, law firms, and bar associations have all eagerly embraced the practical advantages that tablets provide. We took these observations and combined them with direct suggestions from our lawyer partners to build unmatched legal practice management software."

Other Notable Features

Complementing the dashboards, Rocket Matter iPad Edition can generate a number of reports that provide a detailed snapshot of your firm's financials, including accounting, billing, and trust accounting. Customizable parameters and date ranges enable you to generate a report with the data you want. If you have an AirPrint or other compatible printer, you can print reports directly from your iPad.

Good design makes products easier to use. Legal cloud software companies have the most talented designers and user experience engineers in the industry. Rocket Matter has such an abundance of so-called "front-end" talent that it also designs websites for law firms. This team created a new user interface specifically for the iPad. Port describes the screens in Rocket Matter iPad Edition as "sleek, intuitive, and seamless."

Within a web browser, cloud applications function only when you have an Internet connection. This is a limitation of web browsers. By contrast, Rocket Matter iPad Edition works with or without an Internet connection. Any changes you make while offline synchronize when you reconnect to the Internet.

What Else Should You Know?

While Rocket Matter iPad Edition is free, it requires a Rocket Matter subscription. Prices range from $52 per month per user for the two-year plan to $65 per month per user without a long-term commitment. The company also offers annual and quarterly plans. You can try Rocket Matter for free for 30 days, including Rocket Matter iPad Edition. Learn more about Rocket Matter iPad Edition.

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 | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Abacus Private Cloud: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a virtual desktop and network service that eliminates the need for you to buy and maintain server hardware (see article below), active noise canceling headphones, an Outlook add-on that analyzes your email messages for grammar and style and makes suggestions, and a legal research service. Don't miss the next issue.

TAKE A PERMANENT VACATION FROM MANAGING TECHNOLOGY

Some people who claim to take a vacation cook their own meals. This isn't a vacation. It's called camping (even when it occurs in a city). Most vacationers are not among the world's most talented cooks. Indeed, many people plan their restaurant itinerary as carefully as their other vacation activities. Nowadays, technology shares similarities with vacations. Some law firms still want to manage everything onsite, but most would prefer to let experts handle the "cooking" via the cloud — if only they could find the right "restaurant."

Abacus Private Cloud … in One Sentence

Launched this week, Abacus Data Systems' Abacus Private Cloud (APC) is a secure virtual desktop and network service on which you can run any software you want.

The Killer Feature

Law firms love the idea of outsourcing their IT infrastructure, but have concerns about security and functionality. Abacus Data Systems CEO Alessandra Lezama spent most of her career managing datacenters. She tells us that most online applications use the so-called public cloud. Your firm's confidential client data might reside on the same server as a videogame in a country with an unstable government.

APC resides in datacenters owned and operated by Abacus Data Systems in the United States. Furthermore, although the company offers a practice management system called AbacusLaw, APC is software agnostic. This means you can use whatever products you want while still reaping the benefits of the cloud.

Here's the deal. APC works on any Internet-connected device — Mac, PC, iPad, and smartphone. After logging in, a virtual desktop takes over your screen. From here you run the software you've asked Abacus Data Systems to install — QuickBooks, Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc. You can also use any web browser to run cloud applications such as Clio and WestlawNext. APC offers deep integration for AbacusLaw and Office 365.

"Piecemeal technology is no longer sufficient to remain competitive in today's legal landscape," says Lezama. "APC can take any local IT infrastructure and desktop software environment and weave it into a fully integrated, virtual workplace accessible remotely from any device anywhere, anytime."

Other Notable Features

In addition to a virtual desktop, APC provides you with a virtual network comprised of SSD drives. You won't need a file server anymore. You share documents with colleagues using the Corporate Drive (a User Drive exists for your personal documents). You can scan to and print from these virtual drives, which save every version of your documents.

APC requires no capital investment. Abacus Data Systems takes care of the entire deployment, including 24/7 monitoring and technical support, antivirus protection, backups, maintenance, security updates, software upgrades, etc.

The datacenters that house APC have five tiers of physical, network, and data security. This has earned APC the SOC2/SSAE16 certification. Abacus Data Systems guarantees 99.999% uptime — the highest possible. Your data, which you can retrieve anytime, has its own dedicated IP address.

What Else Should You Know?

You can tailor APC to meet your firm's specific requirements. You can scale your use of computing resources up or down quickly to adjust to the needs of your law firm. Pricing starts at $165 per month with no long-term contract required. Learn more about Abacus Private 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: Consultants/Services/Training | Networking/Operating Systems | Online/Cloud | TL NewsWire

LexisNexis PCLaw 14: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, September 4, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an integrated accounting, billing, and practice management system with automated billing technology (see article below), a multifunction inkjet printer with specifications similar to that of laser printers, software for running Windows on your Mac, and a popular stock photo store that significantly reduced and simplified its pricing today. Don't miss the next issue.

THE SOONER YOU BILL, THE FASTER YOU GET PAID

Some studies have shown that up to 20% of a law firm's invoices are in arrears at any given time. This negatively impacts cash flow, not to mention morale if you have difficulty meeting payroll. This problem often stems more from inefficient billing workflows than from deliberately delinquent clients. Better technology can therefore improve your cash flow.

LexisNexis PCLaw 14 … in One Sentence

Launched this week, LexisNexis PCLaw 14 is a financial and practice management application with new automated billing technologies.

The Killer Feature

Batch Email Billing enables you to review, edit, and email multiple invoices to clients — 5, 10, 100, or more simultaneously. If you accept credit cards, PCLaw can process and apply payments to further increase payment speed and reduce delinquencies.

From the same screen, you can monitor trust account transfers and retainers applied during the billing cycle for every invoice. You can generate a report listing all the invoices you emailed. This information also resides within each client's file.

"No matter how large or successful, cash flow is king for law firms," PCLaw Product Manager Steve Fetters told us. "Law firm customers today look for every way possible to speed the billing process so they can get paid faster. Batch email billing in PCLaw 14 helps reduce monthly invoicing time from days to just hours. The sooner the bills go out, the faster payments start arriving."

Other Notable Features

LexisNexis has also enhanced the dashboards in PCLaw. For example, the My Clients dashboard now enables you to access client time sheets, document a client telephone call, and record a collection memo. As with the previous version of PCLaw, My Clients continues to display for each client appointments, email, documents, ticklers, tasks, recent time entries, and financial information such as trust balance and overdue invoices.

The My Practice dashboard displays your appointments, email, tasks, recent matters, and news pertaining to your practice areas. The My Business dashboard displays firm-wide financial data such as Key Performance Indicators with the ability to drill down to financial statements, invoices, and more.

Finally, the new version of PCLaw makes it easier to onboard new clients. In addition to checking for conflicts, PCLaw can now email an intake form to prospective clients, and later import completed forms into PCLaw. You can alternatively perform client intake during a meeting or print your firm's client intake form from PCLaw for clients who prefer paper.

What Else Should You Know?

PCLaw costs $935 for the first user and $695 for each additional user. Prices include both the software and the first year of an Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP) subscription. The AMP subscription includes telephone technical support, software updates, PCLaw Mobility for secure access to PCLaw from your smartphone, and online training courses. Learn more about LexisNexis PCLaw 14.

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 | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Lexbe eDiscovery Platform: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud ediscovery software with new near-duplicate document processing technology (see article below), a new twist on cable management, legal proofreading software that you can train, and an iOS app for creating time-lapse videos. Don't miss the next issue.

GROUP "LIKE" DISCOVERY DOCUMENTS TO EXPEDITE YOUR REVIEW

If you're like most lawyers, the documents you create go through multiple rounds of drafts. And you probably have email conversations with threads that would kill a few trees if printed. You're not the only the one who generates these so-called "near duplicates." Documents nearly but not exactly the same have become an expensive problem in ediscovery.

Lexbe eDiscovery Platform … in One Sentence

Launched this week, Lexbe eDiscovery Platform, a cloud application for processing, culling, reviewing and producing electronically stored information (ESI), now includes near duplicate grouping technology called NearDup Groupings+.

The Killer Feature

NearDup Groupings+ takes advantage of specialized servers in Lexbe's datacenter, enabling it to scale to handle cases of any size. It "runs quickly" according to the company, giving it a speed advantage over on-premise software running on a single PC or even a small cluster.

NearDup Groupings+ also speeds up the review process while minimizing risks. Grouping similar documents in a collection of ESI facilitates accelerated batch issue coding. Of course, NearDup Groupings+ doesn't only group similar responsive documents, but also similar privileged documents. This makes it less likely you'll inadvertently disclose such documents, a growing problem thanks to the volume of email, attachments, and other ESI even in small cases.

Speaking of email, it has long posed a challenge for near-duplication software not to mention mighty Gmail. Conversations involving some of the same people but on different topics often mistakenly get grouped together. NearDup Grouping+ looks beyond the sender, recipients, and subject line to group email messages more intelligently — like a human being. With more confidence in the near duplicate groupings, you can review email threads more quickly.

Other Notable Features

Lexbe eDiscovery Platform supports documents in their native format and Outlook PST files. You can also load documents in PDF or TIFF formats; it automatically processes and performs OCR on scanned documents. Bates stamping can occur at the document level for native files and on each page for PDF and TIFF files, providing for flexible review and productions.

A Google-like search interface facilitates Boolean keyword searches. Lexbe eDiscovery Platform also features more advanced tools such as concept, stemming (derivatives of root words), and fuzzy searches. Saved searches automatically include newly added documents. You'll find a standard set of issue tags, but you can also create your own custom tags.

Administrative controls enable you to automatically assign documents to reviewers for "load-balanced" reviews. Review progress reporting helps you stay on top of staffing and production deadlines. Lexbe eDiscovery Platform produces documents in whatever format you agree upon with opposing counsel (e.g., Native, PDF, or TIFF load files).

What Else Should You Know?

Lexbe eDiscovery Platform costs $22 per GB per month regardless of the number of cases and users (discounts exist for customers with large cases and/or many accounts). This price includes NearDup Groupings+. However, the latter is also available as a standalone service. When used in this manner, Lexbe delivers near duplicate load files for other popular document review products. Learn more about Lexbe eDiscovery Platform.

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 | Online/Cloud | TL NewsWire

Lexis for Microsoft Office 4.2: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers software that adds legal research and litigation drafting tools to Microsoft Office via the Ribbon (see article below), a scanner rental service, an iPhone time management app, and a cloud practice management system for litigation. Don't miss the next issue.

GIVE MICROSOFT WORD AND OUTLOOK A LAW DEGREE

Microsoft Word and Outlook don't realize you're a lawyer. That's too bad because you spend so much time using these iconic software products. Your usage generates a wealth of data about your cases in the documents you create and the email messages you send and receive. Realizing this, LexisNexis teamed up with Microsoft to help you leverage this data to automate many common tasks.

Lexis for Microsoft Office 4.2 … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Lexis for Microsoft Office 4.2 adds legal research tools to Microsoft Word and Outlook and litigation drafting tools to Microsoft Word.

The Killer Feature

An email message arrives with an attached brief from opposing counsel. You need copies of all the cases and other source materials cited in the brief. Time for a ton of manual labor, right?

Not with the new version of Lexis for Microsoft Office, which adds a button called "Get Cited Docs" to Word's Ribbon. Clicking the button taps into your Lexis Advance account and places all the cited documents into a virtual stack. In addition to reading these materials on your PC, you can print and/or email them (PDF format). You can also apply filters such as displaying negative treatment from Shepard's to start your own research.

Get Cited Docs works with Word and PDF documents. In the latter case, technology from Nuance converts the PDF document into Word format on-the-fly. A document need not arrive as an email attachment. Get Cited Docs can import and then work its magic on any Word or PDF document with citations.

Other Notable Features

Lexis for Microsoft Office also assists you when writing. For example, Check Cite Format checks your citations against the Bluebook, California, or New York rules. It shows your citations in context and suggests corrections, essentially acting like a spell checker. It also updates "Id" citations.

As its name suggests, Check Quotes compares quotes in your document to the source material in Lexis Advance. When it finds a difference, it shows you the original in context and offers you a suggested correction. It works with block quotes and understands brackets and ellipses.

After cleaning up your document with Check Cite Format and Check Quotes, Prepare TOA automates the creation of a table of authorities that it validates against Lexis Advance. Options include adding, editing, and moving headings, separating cases and statutes, separating federal and state sources, and placing party names on separate lines. You can update the table of authorities as often as necessary.

Lexis for Microsoft Office also adds functionality to Outlook by highlighting keywords such as citations, companies, judges, lawyers, etc. Clicking on a highlighted item displays the corresponding court opinion, etc. from Lexis Advance. You can also display search results from Bing and Google as well as run citations through Shepard's.

What Else Should You Know?

Lexis for Microsoft Office works with Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, and 2013. It requires a Lexis Advance subscription. Learn more about Lexis for Microsoft Office 4.2.

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: Business Productivity/Word Processing | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Legal Research | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL NewsWire

Lexbe Native Processing+ (TIFF): Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an ediscovery processing service that may set new speed records (see article below), a cloud practice management system that integrates with Outlook, a secure file sharing service that organizes documents by people, and a secure group messaging service. Don't miss the next issue.

EDISCOVERY PROCESSING THAT SCALES WITH YOUR NEEDS

When some of you of a certain age started working as a young litigator, "processing" involved nothing more than having boxes of dusty documents copied. You would then review the copies. Processing electronically stored information (ESI) is much more complex not only because of the many document formats and garbage files but also the sheer volume. In short, you need both quality and speed.

Lexbe Native Processing+ (TIFF) … in One Sentence

Launching today, Lexbe Native Processing+ (TIFF) eliminates duplicates and other irrelevant documents from ESI, and converts the remaining documents into a TIFF-based load file.

The Killer Feature

According to Lexbe, its new service is among the fastest. How fast? The company reported in a white paper that the new service processed the famous 53 GB Enron data set into TIFF images in 5.3 hours. In one day, Lexbe Native Processing+ can handle more than 240 GB of ESI or about 23 million pages.

Lexbe's fast processing enables you to start your document reviews sooner, and meet tight discovery deadlines even as the volume of ESI continues to grow. Because your clients' ESI spends less time being processed, Lexbe Native Processing+ also costs less than the going rate for processing.

Other Notable Features

Lexbe Native Processing+ (TIFF) achieves its speed advantage thanks to proprietary processing software that works across multiple servers. Lexbe can provision as many servers as your job needs depending on its size and your deadline.

By contrast, law firms and legal departments that use desktop processing software internally can't add more PCs easily. You need a data center, and specialty software for this kind of scale. Processing also requires trained personnel to apply various filters such as de-duplication. Even the largest law firms usually have a relatively small team of litigation project managers and technicians.

As a result, a 200 GB job at a law firm or legal department could take weeks or more using 100% of available resources. Lexbe could finish this job in just days.

Lexbe transmits and stores the ESI you provide using 256-bit encryption. The company's data centers reside in the United States, and meet all the latest security standards such as SSAE 16 and ISAE 3042. Additionally, Lexbe has achieved ISO 27001 certification and validation as a Level 1 Service Provider under the PCI Data Security Standard.

What Else Should You Know?

You can use the TIFF-based load file created by Lexbe Native Processing+ in any discovery review software, including Lexbe's eponymous cloud application. Learn more about Lexbe Native Processing+ (TIFF).

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

Worldox for Mac Version 1.15: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, August 7, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a popular document management system that now supports Macs via a new application (see article below), an online court rules service that integrates with Outlook, speech recognition software that works within web applications, and a sleep-tracking gadget that works with your iPhone. Don't miss the next issue.

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT FOR MAC FANS

It once took a lot of fortitude to use the Mac in a law firm because virtually all legal software ran on Windows. Initially, this meant that Mac users had to use remote control software to run Windows applications. Later, Mac users could run a virtualized version of Windows. Next, Mac users could access some software using their web browser. Nowadays, actual Mac applications exist.

Worldox for Mac Version 1.15 … in One Sentence

Launched this week, World Software's Worldox for Mac Version 1.15 is a client for accessing the popular document management system Worldox GX3.

The Killer Feature

Worldox for Mac gives Mac users in your law firm access to the core features of Worldox GX3 or Worldox GX3 Cloud. The former runs on a Windows server in your firm. The latter is hosted by World Software, eliminating the need for your own server.

Most notably, Worldox for Mac integrates with Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook, the most popular Mac email programs. This integration enables you to store email messages and attachments within Worldox GX3 organized by client/matter and whatever other metadata you apply. Also, you can initiate an email message from within Worldox for Mac to send someone a document and instantly store your message within Worldox GX3.

"The new version of Worldox for Mac is a huge breakthrough since it brings the core features of our award-winning document management system to Mac users," World Software Corporation president Ray Zwiefelhofer told us. "Our initial inspiration was the remarkable popularity of the Worldox iPad app released in 2012 and more recently the universal iOS app that brought Worldox to the iPhone. We realized our customers needed support for the Mac too."

Other Notable Features

As alluded to above, when you save email or documents to Worldox GX3 using Worldox for Mac, you create a profile — the essence of a true document management system.

Accordingly, you can search for documents using metadata from these profiles such as author, client, matter, document type, date range, and more. You can also navigate through Worldox GX3's folder system if you know where a document resides. Worldox for Mac also supports full-text searching. To verify that you have found the right document or if you just need a bit of information, you can quickly preview a document rather than open it.

Worldox for Mac supports Check-Out to prevent changes to a document while you work on it, and Check-In to ensure the creation of a new version when you finish. Additionally, you can use Check-Out to create a personal version of a document without preventing others from accessing or changing it.

Favorite Files displays a list of recently-access documents. Other features in Worldox for Mac include copying and moving documents, the ability to revert to a previous version of a document, and Send To integration shortcuts for sending copies of documents outside of Worldox such as Dropbox, USB drives, printers, etc.

What Else Should You Know?

You can also access Worldox GX3 and Worldox GX3 Cloud using the Windows client, the iOS app, and/or Worldox Web Mobile (a module that facilitate access from a web browser). Learn more about Worldox for Mac.

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 | Networking/Operating Systems | TL NewsWire

Actionstep 14.7: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud accounting, billing, and practice management application with a new technology for the fast pace and unpredictable nature of law firm work (see article below), a website that creates a printer version of web articles, a cloud application to ensure consistent use of your firm's templates, and an application that mirrors your iOS device onto your computer or Android device. Don't miss the next issue.

LEGAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT THAT REFLECTS LAW FIRM REALITY

Lawyers have an unpredictable job. For example, clients — some of them from the distant past — will contact you out of the blue with questions. This makes it challenging to enter time and other information into the structured fields of practice management systems. You just don't have the time in the heat of the moment so instead you use a scrap of paper that you inevitably forget about or lose. A new technology promises to break this vicious cycle.

Actionstep 14.7 … in One Sentence

Launched today, Actionstep 14.7 is a cloud accounting, billing, and practice management application that automates tasks via workflows.

The Killer Feature

Like other practice management applications, Actionstep stores structured data. This is a necessity so that for example an email address resides in a designated place and acts the way it should when clicked.

However, the new version of Actionstep has a "Scratch Pad" for quickly entering unstructured information when you're in a rush. Later when your day calms down, you can convert these notes into structured data such as calendar events, contacts, tasks, time entries, etc.

Actionstep can remind you to revisit your notes so that you don't fall behind. Each user's Scratch Pad is private, enabling you to brain dump without worrying about anyone else reading your unpolished notes.

The company spent a lot of time testing Scratch Pad with volunteer lawyers to optimize the user experience. "Scratch Pad is a great example of how we are shaping the software to match the way lawyers instinctively think and work," Actionstep CEO Ted Jordan told us.

Other Notable Features

Also new, the Activity Log provides a Facebook-style news feed of what you and your colleagues have done recently — new matters, updates on existing matters, task assignments, etc.

The Activity Log complements Actionstep's signature Workflows technology, which guides users through each step of complex yet routine tasks such as client intake, court-specific litigation deadlines, checklists for specific types of documents, etc. Workflows essentially tell everyone "what's next" (and who should handle it) while the Activity Log tells everyone "what happened" (including new steps added to Workflows). Together, these two technologies aim to provide quality control throughout your firm.

A step in a Workflow may involve creating a document. Thanks to Actionstep's built-in document assembly engine and integration with Microsoft Office, you can store Word templates within Actionstep, fill in merge fields with data from a client's record, and store the final document in a specific matter. The document assembly technology also enables you to create web templates for clients to fill out, and send personalized bulk email messages such as for billing. Actionstep integrates with HotDocs for more advanced document assembly.

Other features include Outlook and Gmail plugins for saving email and attachments within a matter, and general ledger and trust accounting so that you need not pay for a separate accounting solution or deal with integration and duplicate data hassles.

What Else Should You Know?

Actionstep costs $60 per user per month. It works in all desktop and mobile web browsers. You can try it for free. The company offers a growing library of preconfigured and customizable Workflows in its online store such as its popular U.S. Litigation Pack. Learn more about Actionstep 14.7.

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 | Coming Attractions | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Overcast: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Friday, July 18, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an app for managing and listening to podcasts on the iPhone with playback technologies that shorten their duration (see article below), an iPhone app for contemporaneous time-tracking, an iPhone app for analyzing your website, and an Android, iOS, and Windows Phone app for referencing information published by Microsoft about its products. Don't miss the next issue.

LISTEN FASTER WITHOUT MISSING ANYTHING

Here you are now in the 20th year of the post-Cobain era. Do you really want to hear Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for the thousandth time? Or a radio advertisement for a lawyer? Leave your overplayed playlists and radio stations behind for podcasts, which are free, contain few to no advertisements, and include both big media programming such as Bloomberg Law as well as notable indie phenoms such as Legal Talk Network. All you need is a podcast app.

Overcast … in One Sentence

Launched this week, Overcast is an iPhone app for finding, subscribing to, managing, and listening to podcasts.

The Killer Feature

Many podcast apps exist (including one by Apple called Podcasts), all of which enable you to play episodes at a faster speed to save time. This seems like a good idea, but in practice probably only works well for John Moschitta.

Taking a different approach, Overcast features a technology called Smart Speed, which eliminates silent gaps in podcasts. Also, you can ratchet up the speed in very small increments such as 1.1x to prevent podcasts from sounding like, well, John Moschitta. Overcast tracks and displays the time you save versus listening in realtime.

Other Notable Features

Overcast has a built-in podcasts directory that should eventually mirror iTunes given its high profile creator Marco Arment of Tumblr, Instapaper, and Accidental Tech Podcast fame. The app also provides editorial picks in various categories to help get you started. If you can't find a podcast, you can manually enter its RSS feed. Overcast can also import podcasts from other apps.

Once you subscribe to a podcast, you can choose how many unplayed episodes to keep, whether to receive notifications of new episodes, and whether to use Smart Speed (see above) and/or Voice Boost. The latter equalizes volume across podcasts.

The playback screen has play, skip back, and skip forward buttons (you can adjust the time interval for each in the app's system-wide settings), and also provides access to show notes with a swipe gesture on the podcast's cover art.

Overcast enables you to create customized playlists to organize the podcasts to which you subscribe. Various settings exist such as whether to play newest to oldest or vice versa.

What Else Should You Know?

Overcast offers a sync service that will become more useful when the iPad version ships. The app doesn't support video podcasts. Overcast is free but the marquee features such as Smart Speed, Voice Boost and the ability to download episodes using cellular data sell as a $4.99 in-app purchase bundle. Learn more about Overcast.

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: CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | Entertainment/Hobbies/Recreation | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | TL NewsWire

imageFORMULA DR-M160II: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, July 10, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a small but powerful scanner with free software worth as much as the scanner (see article below), a database for iPad and iPhone (and Mac) that syncs among your devices, a new version of the cloud DVR for popular WiFi security cameras, and a service for saving and organizing your web bookmarks. Don't miss the next issue.

UNATTENDED SCANNING ARRIVES

Once a luxury, scanners have become required equipment in law firms of all sizes. Now that reliable scanning exists, the next frontier lies in so-called "unattended scanning." Simply put, this means virtually no human interaction required other than inserting the paper. A new scanner aims to provide this experience.

imageFORMULA DR-M160II … in One Sentence

Launched last month, Canon's imageFORMULA DR-M160II (DR-M160II) is a USB desktop-sized scanner with production-class specifications.

The Killer Feature

Canon offers a free upgrade to Kofax VRS Elite when you purchase the DR-M160II. Typically costing more than $1,000, this Windows software plays a key role in unattended scanning by automating tasks that scanner operators typically perform. The result is higher quality scans as well as more accurate optical character recognition (OCR) if you need to edit or search what you scan.

For example, Kofax VRS Elite cleans up hard to scan documents such as blueprints and wrinkled paper, removes hole punches and blank pages, automatically orients documents, normalizes the background of colored documents or replaces the background with the color white, intelligently crops and straightens documents, and alerts you about hardware problems such as parts that need replacement.

Just as importantly, Kofax VRS Elite performs all these tasks without slowing down the DR-M160II, which scans at up to 60 pages per minute (120 images per minute in duplex). Kofax VRS Elite can also store profiles for specific scan jobs so that you need only configure the settings once.

Other Notable Features

Measuring 9.09 x 11.02 x 9.76 inches and weighing 7.2 pounds, the DR-M160II scans at up to 600 dpi. Its automatic document feeder holds up to 60 pages that can differ in size. The scanner handles 7 to 68 pound paper with a width of 2 to 8.5 inches and a length of 2.1 to 14 inches. You can scan up to 7,000 pages per day. New roller technology minimizes jams better than older technologies — another example of Canon's goal of unattended scanning.

The DR-M160II scans into any ISIS- or TWAIN-compatible Windows application and into any TWAIN-compatible Mac applications thanks to included drivers.

The other bundled software for Windows consists of Canon CaptureOnTouch, CapturePerfect, and Nuance eCopyPDF Pro Office. Mac users receive Canon CaptureOnTouch. Both Windows and Mac users can perform OCR as they scan documents, eliminating the need to perform this task in a separate step.

What Else Should You Know?

The DR-M160II connects to your computer via USB. The MSRP is $1,195. Learn more about imageFORMULA DR-M160II.

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Topics: Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | TL NewsWire
 
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