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Finish Your Legal Research 25% Faster and Never Miss a Relevant Case

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, October 11, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a legal research service that uses artificial intelligence to find court opinions that match the facts, legal issues, and jurisdiction of your client's case (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of new research tools for analyzing, visualizing, and identifying trends in health care fraud and securities violations, a popular accounting, billing, and practice management system with a new design, including customization for a more personal and productive experience, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Remember the days of struggling to find a case with similar facts? Or wondering if opposing counsel missed a key case? Or learning that your legal research plan doesn't include a reference? If these old days sound like your present day, keep reading.

Casetext … in One Sentence

Casetext is an online legal research service with an artificial intelligence (AI) search engine called CARA designed to save you time and deliver better results.

The Killer Feature

Casetext supports Boolean syntax and natural language searches but CARA offers a third alternative. You drag and drop a complaint, brief, etc. into the CARA search platform. Then enter a few keywords (e.g., copyright, duty of care, mezzanine debt, Robinson-Patman, etc.).

This CARA search results in a list of cases ranked by relevance based on the facts, legal issues and jurisdiction of your client's case. Symbols indicate whether the case is cited in the document you uploaded, enabling you to find cases not cited by opposing counsel.

"Get a motion that you have to respond to, run it through CARA, put some keyword searches in, and I bet you you'll get your answers very, very quickly," says Karen Coolman Amlong of The Amlong Firm. "And I think the proof is in the pudding. You get that kind of response, and you say, 'Wow. This is cool.' And then you look at the pricing and say, 'It's really cool.'"

"Thanks to CARA, legal professionals finish their research about 25% faster than with traditional tools," says Casetext CEO and Co-Founder Jake Heller. "For too long, we lawyers have had to choose from a handful of not-so-great and expensive legal research options. Our goal at Casetext is to change that. We've brought cutting-edge, efficient legal research technology that attorneys actually love using to over two dozen Am Law 200 firms, as well as to over 700 solo attorneys and small firms like The Amlong Firm."

Other Notable Features

No matter what type of search you run, Casetext offers a number of tools to help you pinpoint the best cases. You can search within a search and limit search results to jurisdictions and courts of interest. Casetext highlights Key Passages — portions of the case frequently cited — and lists these citations for you to explore with a click. The Casetext Citator at the top of each case warns you about negative treatment.

Along the left side of the search results you'll find several AI-powered tools. Holdings displays the court's legal conclusions in the cases listed whereas Black Letter Law lists indisputable findings in these cases. You can also review cited statutes and regulations, as well as related briefs, client memos, and articles from top law firms.

When you copy a passage from a case, Casetext's Copy with Cite technology automatically adds the citation in Bluebook format to your clipboard. It also formats the passage you copy as a block quote if it contains 50 or more words. You can copy the passage as a parenthetical citation if you prefer.

What Else Should You Know?

Casetext includes all federal cases, all state appellate cases from the 1950s to present (California from the 1850s), and all state and federal statutes and regulations. A Casetext subscription costs $65 per month with an annual commitment ($89 per month otherwise), and includes unlimited access to everything. Learn more about Casetext.

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

Bloomberg Law Adds Health Care Fraud and SEC ALJ Initial Decisions to Its Growing Portfolio of Enforcement Tracking & Analytics Offerings

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, October 4, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers new research tools for analyzing, visualizing, and identifying trends in health care fraud and securities violations (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a popular accounting, billing, and practice management system with a new design, including customization for a more personal and productive experience, cloud billing and practice management software designed to automate your practice through tags, document assembly, process automation workflows, and third-party integrations, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

When your client faces or may face an enforcement action by the Department of Health and Human Services (the federal health care agency) or the Securities and Exchange Commission, you can conduct legal research to find similar fact patterns and piece together a strategy. However, reading individual health care fraud settlements and Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) initial decisions is time consuming and won't help you identify relevant trends.

Enforcement Tracking & Analytics on Bloomberg Law … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Bloomberg Law's Health Care Fraud Analytics and SEC ALJ Analytics are two new legal research tools for lawyers under the company's growing portfolio of Enforcement Tracking & Analytics.

The Killer Feature

Health Care Fraud Analytics and SEC ALJ Analytics organize the corpus of public data into visualizations to help you assess both the big picture and important details.

For example, Outcome Analytics graphically depicts enforcement trends in a bar chart. For health care law, you can view top settlements by court and/or violation type (kickbacks, billing for unnecessary services, physician self-referrals, etc.). Hover over a settlement for details like settlement amount, entity types, and settlement date. A link takes you to the settlement agreement if you want to read it.

For SEC violations, you can view a stacked bar chart showing top decisions by dollar amount with breakouts for disgorgement, civil penalty, and pre-judgment interest. Another stacked bar chart shows number of events by penalty with five breakouts ranging from under $500,000 to over $500 million. Narrow the data in the chart by type of entity, title of individual, and/or violation type (material misstatements, fraudulent scheme, etc.).

"Bloomberg Law's Health Care Fraud Analytics compiles what would have required lengthy searches over multiple sources and puts it all in one place in an easily navigable and digestible format," says Associate John Eason of Bass Berry & Sims PLC. "It is an incredibly useful tool for our firm's Health Care Fraud Task Force in its efforts to track and analyze the government's enforcement priorities in civil False Claims Act actions and related criminal matters, and in advising clients on health law compliance and risks."

"With all the essential data distilled into easy-to-digest visualizations, Enforcement Tracking & Analytics on Bloomberg Law allows practitioners to better and more efficiently counsel clients who are facing potentially significant penalties," says Joe Breda, president of Bloomberg Law.

Other Notable Features

Health Care Fraud Analytics and SEC ALJ Analytics also enable you to analyze and compare research results in new ways. Start by entering keywords and choosing from several advanced search options. For Health Care Fraud Analytics, narrow your search by origin of complaint (self-disclosure, government investigation, whistleblower), type of entity, type of violation, parties, attorney, law firm, date, and settlement amount. SEC ALJ Analytics offers search parameters such as judge, individual title, non-monetary remediation, disgorgement, and civil penalty.

Your search results appear in a table, giving you a snapshot of each relevant health care settlement or ALJ initial decision respectively. You can display only the columns you need, change their order, sort by date, and apply filters to narrow your results. Links take you the primary source as well as to related content like dockets and news stories. You can save your search to your Bloomberg Law dashboard, receive email alerts, and print or download the table to share with clients and colleagues.

What Else Should You Know?

A Bloomberg Law subscription provides full access to these new services and all other content. Learn more about Health Care Fraud Analytics and SEC ALJ Analytics.

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

Tabs3 Software Version 19 Brings a User-Focused Redesign to Its Deep Set of Features

By TechnoLawyer | Monday, September 24, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a popular accounting, billing, and practice management system with a new design, including customization for a more personal and productive experience (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of cloud billing and practice management software designed to automate your practice through tags, document assembly, process automation workflows, and third-party integrations, backup software that backs up operating systems, files, databases such as Outlook, and cloud storage services such as Dropbox, and which includes ShadowProtect for faster restores, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Design and user experience have become important features of legal software, especially accounting, billing, and practice management systems given their hundreds of features. The challenge lies in making these features discoverable and accessible without clutter. One popular product recently took on this challenge.

Tabs3 Software Version 19 … in One Sentence

Software Technology has redesigned Tabs3 Billing, Tabs3 Financials, and PracticeMaster — collectively Tabs3 Software Version 19 — with the goal of making law firms more efficient.

The Killer Feature

The new look of Tabs3 Software Version 19 (Tabs3) takes advantage of widescreen displays, and offers users extensive customization. For example, you can pin matters to the new persistent navigation panel on the left. This panel also lists your recent matters and actions, and features a global search with autocomplete suggestions. Quick Launch Icons along the bottom of Tabs3 place all major features one click away.

Also new are tabs and the Home Dashboard. You can open an unlimited number of screens in side by side tabs and quickly switch among them. Tabs remain intact until you close them. The new Home Dashboard lists your calendar events on the left and your tasks on the right. Below you'll find the new Recap of Hours with your totals and charts showing your billable and non-billable hours, as well as unprocessed timers by day, week, or month. One click takes you to the full Recap of Hours with larger charts and additional data such as your progress against your billable hours target.

"Magnificent!" says Steve May, Firm Administrator of Shapiro Blasi Wasserman & Hermann, PA. "I love the tabbed interface, Quick Launch, and Home Page."

"Version 19 of Tabs3 Software is the culmination of serving law firms for 40 years," says President and CEO Dan Berlin. "We have developed a close relationship with many of our clients and industry consultants. Insight from these relationships has helped us to develop Version 19 with the precision and flexibility that modern law firms need."

Other Notable Features

Given its maturity, Tabs3 supports any law firm billing model, including rules for origination fees and how to apply lump sum client payments. Tabs3 also includes general ledger, accounts payable, and trust accounting, eliminating the need for a third-party accounting system.

Version 19 beefs up online payment options. You can add an online payment link to an email message when sending an invoice. Clients can pay by e-check or credit card powered by ProPay. The new Import Online Payments tool enables you to allocate these payments with one click or review them one by one.

On the flip side, Tabs3 also offers new Accounts Payable features, most notably Advance Client Costs for recovery of expenses. You can choose to pay select invoices only after clients have reimbursed you to preserve your cash flow. A new General Ledger report shows these advance client costs. And speaking of cash flows, the new statement of cash flows report gives you better insight when making financial decisions.

What Else Should You Know?

Tabs3 runs on Windows. Companion product Tabs3 Connect facilitates remote access from any desktop or mobile web browser. A new subscription option that includes software updates costs $72/user/month for all products. Separately, Tabs3 Billing costs $32/user/month, PracticeMaster costs $32/user/month, and Tabs3 Financial costs $8/user/month. You can still buy a traditional license if you prefer. Learn more about Tabs3 Software.

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

PracticePanther Adapts to and Automates Your Firm's Processes

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud billing and practice management software designed to automate your practice through tags, document assembly, process automation workflows, and third-party integrations (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of backup software that backs up operating systems, files, databases such as Outlook, and cloud storage services such as Dropbox, and which includes ShadowProtect for faster restores, OCR software that automatically finds unsearchable documents in your document management system, Windows PCs, and cloud storage services, and makes them searchable, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Because of their internal processes, no two law firms are alike. These processes become the foundation of the firm's culture. New employees experience culture shock until they learn these processes. Likewise, your billing and practice management system will never fit in unless it too can acclimate to your firm's unique set of systems.

PracticePanther … in One Sentence

PracticePanther is a cloud-based billing and practice management system that emphasizes customization and which integrates with dozens of third-party applications for additional flexibility.

The Killer Feature

"Tags are a key PracticePanther differentiator," says Senior Account Executive Sam Alkoubey as he begins my demo. He's referring to the ability to append descriptors to any data in PracticePanther — contacts, events, clients, matters, time entries, prebills, invoices, etc. You can restrict tag creation to administrators to foster consistency and prevent near-duplicates.

Tags enable you to create applications within PracticePanther without any programming skills. For example, you can create a customer relationship management system by creating a set of tags to track contacts as they move from prospect to client. You could then email all prospects who complete an initial consultation within the past month but have not yet signed an engagement letter.

PracticePanther also offers custom fields, which work in conjunction with tags. You can group a set of related custom fields such as for a practice area intake form and associate this group with a tag. Then you could generate a report comparing your firm's practice areas across a range of metrics.

Other Notable Features

CEO David Bitton tells me that PracticePanther has surpassed older rivals in terms of overall functionality. "With contact and matter management, automated time tracking and invoice generation, document and workflow generation, email and calendar sync, and countless more sophisticated features, we are proud to offer the highest-rated and most intuitive law practice management software that is used in over 170 countries worldwide," says Bitton.

PracticePanther has a main dashboard as well as dashboards for each major function. From the main dashboard, you can access each of these functions, including an internal messaging system. Additionally, this dashboard lists your firm's overall financials if you have access rights, your billable time and targets, and recent activity in your matters. To the right are active timers and the ability to start new ones.

The billing system accommodates all business models — hourly, flat, contingency, and even subscription (recurring payments). You can set rates by timekeeper and matter, use UTBMS task codes, customize invoice templates with your logo and terms, enter multiple time entries simultaneously, edit prebills on the fly, receive a notification when clients view an invoice, and accept payment by e-check and credit card via LawPay. PracticePanther includes trust accounting and check printing, and also offers QuickBooks integration for bookkeeping.

Other features include a list view for the calendar and color-coded events, integration with Box and Dropbox for document management, document assembly that takes advantage of custom fields, automated workflows that consist of dependent tasks triggered by preceding tasks or date calculations, dozens of reports ranging from incomplete tasks to origination of matters, and a client portal with support for web forms.

What Else Should You Know?

PracticePanther runs in all major web browsers. You can also use the free iOS and Android apps. Choose from three plans — Solo, Essential, or Business — that cost $39, $59, or $79 per month respectively with an annual commitment. Learn more about PracticePanther.

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 | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Nordic Backup Has Never Lost Any Law Firm Data and Can Restore It Almost Instantly

By TechnoLawyer | Monday, September 10, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers backup software that backs up operating systems, files, databases such as Outlook, and cloud storage services such as Dropbox, and which includes ShadowProtect for faster restores (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of OCR software that automatically finds unsearchable documents in your document management system, Windows PCs, and cloud storage services, and makes them searchable, software for managing deal closings, including creating signature packets, tracking who has and hasn't signed, and generating PDF closing binders, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Your firm's data is like good health. You don't notice it until something goes wrong. Too often, law firms realize their backups are inadequate after disaster strikes. For example, many products cannot backup open databases such as the one in Outlook or your document management system. Likewise, many products cannot backup data in cloud services. Also, it takes too long for most products to get your firm up and running again.

Nordic Backup … in One Sentence

Nordic Backup can preserve any data type regardless of its location, and includes ShadowProtect for nearly instant restores.

The Killer Feature

Nordic Backup has hundreds of law firm customers. Recently, Ken Schurr, founder of Kenneth Schurr PA, discovered that his data server become infected with ransomware. He called his consultant, Arthur Lane at Lane Computer Solutions. Lane is a Nordic Backup reseller so he had long ago moved the firm to Nordic Backup.

"Inside of two hours, Nordic personnel were able to restore the entire system to a point before the infection and have everything back up and running as usual," says Lane. "We were very impressed with both the software and the support provided by the people at Nordic in getting our law firm client back up and running."

"Anyone can backup data but securing a business the right way is done with restoration in mind," says Nordic Backup CEO Morten Westerberg. "Our metric for success is the length of time it takes our clients to return to business as usual."

Nordic Backup achieves fast restores by offering industry-leading ShadowProtect as an option, which enables you to restore five times faster than would be typical.

Other Notable Features

For each backup, Nordic Backup walks you through various settings such as what you want to backup, where to store it, and when it should run. You can store your backups locally or online. The most commonly-used online option is Nordic Backup's own U.S.-based data centers with end-to-end encryption and a private key stored at your firm. No customer has ever lost data and no data breach has ever occurred according to Westerberg.

Nordic Backup offers a more diverse array of backup options than competing solutions. For example, it can backup Windows PCs and Macs. In addition to the operating system and documents, Nordic Backup also backs up databases such as Outlook, Exchange, QuickBooks, and document and practice management systems. Nordic Backup also backs up cloud storage services like Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Amazon S3. You can even save the data in one cloud service to another cloud service.

You can restore anything from a single document to an entire network of computers. A search function enables you to find files you need to restore. The restore process notifies you if an overwrite risk exists and can keep all copies as a safeguard. Choose any destination for the restore such as the original location, a new computer in your office, or a virtual desktop in Nordic Backup's data centers. Nordic Backup can assist you with a restore, often at no extra charge.

What Else Should You Know?

Nordic Backup offers three Small Business plans that differ primarily by storage — Basic ($249/year; 250 GB), Plus ($499/year; 500 GB), and Preferred ($999/year; 1 TB). All plans include unlimited computers and backup sets. For a small additional fee, you can add ShadowProtect and server backups to your plan. Learn more about Nordic Backup.

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: Backup/Media/Storage | TL NewsWire

Never Fail to Find a Document Again (Even Those You Don't Know Exist)

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, September 6, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers OCR software that automatically finds unsearchable documents in your document management system, Windows PCs, and cloud storage services, and makes them searchable (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of software for managing deal closings, including creating signature packets, tracking who has and hasn't signed, and generating PDF closing binders, cloud real estate closing document automation software for CD and HUD transactions that handles all calculations and tax filings, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

It's frustrating when you can't find a document that you know exists. But even worse is being unaware that an important document exists even when your search terms should pull it up. For example, failing to find a relevant document during a conflict search or when responding to a subpoena can expose your firm to liability. Law firms should not have any unsearchable documents.

Symphony OCR … in One Sentence

Trumpet's Symphony OCR automatically finds unsearchable documents wherever you store them, enabling you to discover them with keyword content searches.

The Killer Feature

"Law firms don't know what they don't know," says Trumpet CEO Kevin Day. No matter which document management system a law firm uses, typically 30% of the documents are unsearchable.

This happens for a variety of reasons. Some of your colleagues may skip OCR when scanning documents to get the job done faster. Documents that arrive as email attachments from clients and opposing counsel are often unsearchable. Etc.

Symphony OCR uses a two-step process to address this problem. First, it analyzes your firm's documents and flags those that cannot undergo OCR such as encrypted files. This report gives you deep insight into your firm's documents at any given time.

Next, Symphony OCR begins converting documents starting with the newest and working backwards. A histogram shows the progress. After the initial run, Symphony OCR will identify and convert new documents in minutes. In fact, you can specify how often Symphony OCR scans for new documents and which repositories to prioritize.

Other Notable Features

Symphony OCR offers higher precision than competing products because it analyzes each page instead of the document as a whole. Thus, Symphony OCR will find a 150-page document with only one page that needs OCR.

"Symphony OCR analyzes every single document, page by page, to identify image-based content and convert it to digitized, searchable text," says Day. "This ensures that when a firm conducts a search for conflict checks, responses to subpoenas, or other compliance-related searches, 100% of their files can be found based on their content."

Symphony OCR is non-invasive so it does not alter document content. It places the searchable text in an invisible layer over the document image. You can use the Rollback button to restore the document to its original state. Alternatively, you can save the OCR version of the document as a new version and either keep or discard the original.

It can take as little as 45 minutes to set up Symphony OCR. It integrates with popular document and practice management systems such as NetDocuments, ShareFile, SharePoint, Worldox, PracticeMaster, and Time Matters. You can also point it to any document repository such as a Windows or Dropbox folder.

"Things are going great with Symphony OCR," says Valerie Colbert, Office Manager at Duncan, Bressler & Liu Inc. "We love it. Everyone benefits because once the items are saved in Worldox we don't have to worry about them anymore. Before Symphony OCR, we would have to take the time to OCR each and every document. With Symphony, it's done every night savings us a lot of time. This was a program that was worth purchasing."

What Else Should You Know?

Symphony OCR can run on any Windows server in your firm (it does not need a dedicated server). If you prefer, you can host Symphony OCR in the cloud. Learn more about Symphony OCR.

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: Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Document Management | TL NewsWire

Streamline Deal Closings and Automate the Creation of Closing Binders

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, August 23, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers software for managing deal closings, including creating signature packets, tracking who has and hasn't signed, and generating PDF closing binders (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of cloud real estate closing document automation software for CD and HUD transactions that handles all calculations and tax filings, document comparison software that adds legal-specific functionality to Microsoft Word's Track Changes and which integrates with popular document management systems, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Transactional practice is mostly logical. You argue and obsess over phrases and other details to arrive at a compromise that satisfies all parties and minimizes future litigation. But when it's time to close, lawyers often fall prey to mind reading. "Why haven't they signed? Did they get the signature pages? Should I call them?" It's time to rethink closings.

SimplyAgree … in One Sentence

SimplyAgree is cloud-based transactional management software for streamlining and tracking deal closings, and automating the creation of closing binders.

The Killer Feature

SimplyAgree's co-founders, CEO Will Norton and COO Sam Beutler, spent several years practicing corporate law. They noticed that closings had not changed much since the advent of email 20 years ago. As a result, creating signature packets remains a time-consuming, manual process. Moreover, they found online signature tools inadequate for complex transactions with multiple signature pages and signatories.

"While other electronic signature tools have been focused on general business use cases, few have considered the unique challenges faced by transactional attorneys," says Norton. "That's where SimplyAgree comes in." "Transactional attorneys have proven processes to close complex deals," adds Beutler. "Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but to give these processes more horsepower."

SimplyAgree automates the creation and distribution of signature packets. You securely upload the documents associated with the deal to SimplyAgree and enter the name for each signatory. SimplyAgree then identifies where each person needs to sign and creates signature packets comprised of the signature pages for each signatory. You can include duplicates if one or more counterparties requires multiple original signature pages rather than a single copy.

Print signature packets for an in-person signing or email them in PDF format to each respective signatory. SimplyAgree integrates with DocuSign if you want to offer electronic signing and other timesavers such automatically filling the signatory's name and other stored data.

Other Notable Features

SimplyAgree's dashboard lists all active deals. Within each deal, you can track who has and hasn't signed, and store copies of completed signature pages. You can even reject invalid signatures and record why in case you need to show an audit trail someday. SimplyAgree holds all executed signature pages in escrow so that you can continue to negotiate terms.

When deals close, clients often demand closing binders but don't want to pay for them. SimplyAgree automates this thankless task. Upload the final version of your deal documents and connect them to the executed signature pages, arrange the documents in the order you want them to appear, and enter metadata such as party names and the closing date for the cover page. The software then merges all the documents into a single PDF file with bookmarks, corresponding slip pages, and a hyperlinked index.

You can customize the design of these closing binders with your firm's logo and colors. Creating different versions of a closing binder or updating a closing binder with new documents takes seconds rather than hours. In fact, you can use SimplyAgree solely for creating closing binders if you don't want to use its project management features.

What Else Should You Know?

"SimplyAgree is an excellent tool that expedites the closing and post-closing process, saving valuable attorney time and thus saving our clients money," says Aaron Moody, an associate lawyer at Eversheds Sutherland in Atlanta. Learn more about SimplyAgree.

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.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

Generate Error-Free CD and HUD Real Estate Closing Documents Online in Minutes, Not Days

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, August 17, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud real estate closing document automation software for CD and HUD transactions that handles all calculations and tax filings (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of document comparison software that adds legal-specific functionality to Microsoft Word's Track Changes and which integrates with popular document management systems, a Mac document management system that combines the familiarity of the Finder with legal-specific tools such as automated email capture, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Real estate transactions involve creating the same set of documents repeatedly — perhaps more so than any other practice area. Additionally, it's now a highly regulated market so it's more important than ever to produce error-free closing documents. These are good reasons to automate your real estate deals not to mention saving money and remaining competitive in a crowded market.

Easysoft Online … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Easysoft Online (Easysoft) is cloud software for automating Closing Disclosure (CD) and HUD real estate transactions, including tax filings.

The Killer Feature

You can start using Easysoft in seconds with any web browser. Create an account, designate a settlement agent, and enter your InfoTrack credentials. The software includes unlimited CD and HUD transactions. It complies with all regulations (including RESPA and TRID), calculates taxes, and files 1099 tax documents via InfoTrack.

Your clients will appreciate always knowing the cash to close and closing cost no matter how often the deal terms change. You'll appreciate not having to hire a title agent, which will save you approximately $500 per transaction. Easysoft costs $69 per month so after two transactions it will have more than paid for itself.

"Easysoft allows real estate attorneys to simplify their closings by providing an easy-to-use solution," says Easysoft's Managing Director Jeanette Knight. "With Easysoft, you save time by completing the closing disclosure in a matter of minutes rather than days. And the wonderful thing about Easysoft is you can access it from anywhere at anytime with no installation required."

Other Notable Features

Easysoft's dashboard lists all your deals, including file number, type (CD or HUD), borrower, seller, and status. Easysoft walks you through several screens that mostly consist of forms. You never need to enter information twice as Easysoft auto-populates fields that require the same data. Also, Easysoft performs all calculations so you won't need a spreadsheet.

For CD transactions, Easysoft covers loan terms and costs, taxes and any applicable prorations for city, county, assessment, school, and sewer, prepaid items such as insurance, interest, property taxes, and as intimated above all the inputs that comprise cash to close. Easysoft also walks you through loan disclosures, and adjustable payment and interest tables. A ledger lists all deposits and payments related to the deal and includes check printing if needed.

You can choose from several options for the signature pages, including a Consumer's Confirm Receipt Signature, Seller's Signature Addendum, and Interested Party's Signature Addendum. You can print two versions of the CD — the standard version for the seller that becomes the public record, and a more verbose version for the buyer with all the details.

HUD deals such as cash closings and reverse mortgages offer a similar process without the lender components and generates all the requisite documents, including a Good Faith Estimate.

What Else Should You Know?

Knight tells us that Easysoft reduces the amount of time required to create deal documents by up to 70%. Devan Ingram, a real estate closing assistant at Inzer, Haney, McWhorter & Haney in Gadsden, Alabama, agrees. "My experience with the new online version of Easysoft has been very positive," says Ingram. "Easysoft allows us to run a smarter and faster closing process using automated documents." Learn more about Easysoft Online.

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 | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

Compare Documents Faster and Gain Deeper Insights Without Leaving Microsoft Word

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, August 9, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers document comparison software that adds legal-specific functionality to Microsoft Word's Track Changes and which integrates with popular document management systems (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a Mac document management system that combines the familiarity of the Finder with legal-specific tools such as automated email capture, a legal payments platform that enables your firm to accept payment by e-check or credit card without having to change your billing process, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Microsoft Word's Track Changes offers a barebones document comparison experience designed for the mass market, not legal professionals. But it's convenient because it resides where you work — in Word. Recognizing this, Evolution Software set out to enhance Track Changes rather than require you to change your workflow.

NOVO Compare … in One Sentence

Evolution Software's NOVO Compare is document comparison software that enhances Microsoft Word's Track Changes for generating legal-specific redlines.

The Killer Feature

NOVO Compare resides in its own toolbar on the Microsoft Word Ribbon. Once you configure NOVO Compare, the QuickCompare menu enables you to compare documents with a minimum of clicks. "Our clients asked us to develop a better way to quickly and efficiently compare documents," says CEO Chris Cangero. "QuickCompare is our solution, delivering a practical design and advanced automation."

With QuickCompare, you can compare the active document to another open document in the background, a local or network document via Windows Explorer, or a different document or version in your document management system (DMS). Without any extra clicks, you can decide to make the active or the target document the baseline.

NOVO Compare integrates with the following DMS — iManage, NetDocuments, OpenText, SharePoint, and Worldox. If you use one of these, QuickCompare gains additional options such as comparing he last two versions of a document in your DMS, two different documents in your DMS, or a document in your DMS to a local document.

"NOVO Compare and QuickCompare specifically is of great value to our firm's users," Cheyenne Harden, Director of Information Technology at O'Reilly Rancilio P.C. "QuickCompare allows our staff to reduce the time it takes to produce and correct legal documents. It is truly a timesaver!"

Other Notable Features

NOVO Compare offers a deep collection of settings. You can save sets of settings and switch among them from the toolbar. Most importantly, you can decide what to include and exclude when comparing documents. For example, you can exclude white space, comments, formatting and case changes, etc. You can also modify how changes are shown and in what color.

Other settings enable you to choose the format of the redline (DOCX, DOC, PDF, or XPS), the page layout, whether to show the reviewing pane, how to handle paragraph and footnote numbering, and whether to create a Comparison Summary report in a separate document or before or after the redline. One of the more interesting settings acknowledges today's widescreen monitors, enabling you to show the original and modified documents alongside the redline. In this view, scrolling through the redline automatically scrolls the other two documents.

A number of tools exist for reviewing a redline and accepting/rejecting changes. You can magnify changes to make them easier to see without changing the formatting of the underlying document. You can also switch between a traditional redline view and Word's inline track changes. If you prefer reviewing on paper, you can choose from two settings depending on how much detail you want.

What Else Should You Know?

NOVO Compare integrates with Outlook for sharing redlines. Select the format, and send only the redline or also the original and/or the modified document. NOVO Compare costs $99 per user per year. This includes new features, software updates, and technical support. Learn more about NOVO Compare.

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 | TL NewsWire

That's Not the Finder, That's DocMoto v4

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, July 26, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a Mac document management system that combines the familiarity of the Finder with legal-specific tools such as automated email capture (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a legal payments platform that enables your firm to accept payment by e-check or credit card without having to change your billing process, document assembly software that you can use within other applications such as your document or practice management system, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Given that tens of millions of people use Macs, Apple does not focus on the needs of law firms when it creates new versions of macOS. As a result, law firms grow increasingly frustrated with the rudimentary document management tools in the Finder as they amass more documents and client-related email.

DocMoto v4 … in One Sentence

CHL Software's DocMoto v4 is a Mac document management system with a new Finder-like interface that offers organizational and sharing tools for documents and email.

The Killer Feature

"DocMoto version 4 merges the latest thinking from Apple along with our own designs and customer feedback to produce a DMS that better serves the way lawyers really work," says Director of CHL Software Neil Cameron.

DocMoto looks like a Finder window. You'll immediately notice a side panel with three sections — DocMoto, Favorites, and Recent Documents. The DocMoto section gives you access to all documents via the nested folders your firm uses, your own private documents, and documents you've trashed. You can save frequently-used folders as Favorites for faster access, and open documents you're working on with one-click in the Recent Documents section.

You can open any folder in a new tab. "This tabs layout allows attorneys to keep multiple matters open simultaneously all in the one interface," says Cameron. Searches also open in a new tab so that you won't lose your place. Save any search as a Shared View, which updates in realtime as new documents are created that match your search criteria. Rounding out the new interface, a customizable toolbar enables you check documents in/out, list all versions of document, and much more.

Other Notable Features

Document management without email is incomplete so DocMoto now connects to email accounts such as Exchange, Office 365, and Gmail, and offers several tools to automate the capture of client-related email. One tool — Mailbox Rules — consists of customizable filters. For example, a rule could capture all email to or from a client. An administrator can maintain a set of standard rules for all users. Advanced users can create their own rules, including exclusionary rules to ignore personal email.

Mailbox Patterns give users more control of what email to store in DocMoto but still offer automation. Once created, Mailbox Patterns watch folders in connected email accounts, and copy messages and attachments that match to the correct location in DocMoto. Like the previous version, DocMoto also offers manual import of email via drag and drop.

When you open a document or email message in DocMoto, a three-pane display shows you the document's location, metadata such as who last edited it, and a thumbnail. From here you can view or edit the document, the latter of which checks it out and creates a new version.

"When we moved our documents to DocMoto, it was great to have access to all documents without syncing to a computer and eating up hard drive space," says Kelley McFarland, Lead Litigation Paralegal at Brown Law LLP. "Our colleagues quickly realized how easy it was to share documents with people inside and outside the firm by creating shared links to folders rather than putting documents on a USB drive."

What Else Should You Know?

The new version of DocMoto also features beefed up security, including a setting to throttle the number of documents users can download to prevent internal sabotage or theft. Learn more about DocMoto v4.

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
 
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