TechnoLawyer NewsWire
So many products, so little time. TL NewsWire discusses and links to hot new products and services for lawyers and law office administrators.
Informative and jargon-free, each TL NewsWire article enables you to quickly understand the function of each product, and zero in on its most notable features. In each issue, you can easily revisit previous articles thanks to convenient links.

Every December, we publish the TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of the Year Awards as chosen by TL NewsWire subscribers — including you if you become a subscriber.

TL NewsWire is free. Subscribe now to TL NewsWire and any of our other newsletters by using the form on this page.


Read a recent issue
Join TechnoLawyer Now
CURRENT MEMBERSHIP: 13,879
Your First Name: 
Your Last Name: 
Email Address: 
Create Password: 
Retype Password: 
Alternate Email 
(optional)
Recent Issues
Return to List of Recent Issues

Type Only Your Legal Insights and Automate the Rest

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a customizable, multiuser text entry automation utility that runs in Windows, Mac, and iOS applications (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a popular cloud practice management system that now offers a full-featured mobile app, a chat system, and payment processing, a service that enables you to analyze IP portfolios for M&A due diligence, litigation strategy, and prior art research, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Legal drafting involves a constant battle between precision and time spent. While hard enough for one lawyer to balance, it becomes even more of a challenge to scale across a law firm. Automating boilerplate language enables everyone at your firm to use carefully crafted language in a few keystrokes, ensuring consistency across work product.

TextExpander … in One Sentence

Smile's TextExpander is an automation tool for quickly entering frequently-used text in any application on Windows, Mac, and iOS.

The Killer Feature

TextExpander offers cloud-based administration tools. This enables everyone in your law firm to benefit from centrally managed "Snippets" — Smile's term for TextExpander's text automations — on all their supported devices.

TextExpander computes statistics so that you can see which snippets have the highest usage, and how much time your staff saves en masse. Sales and Business Development Manager Mike Burda tells me that the average TextExpander user saves one hour per day on average assuming a typing speed of 60 words per minute.

"I use TextExpander for many things in my practice — including responding to discovery," says lawyer Stewart Albertson of Albertson & Davidson in a blog post. "I have over 60 objection "snippets," including attorney-client privilege, work product doctrine, calls for expert's opinion from a lay person, etc. Before TextExpander I used to cut and paste from a template of objections. While this works, in my experience it takes much longer and it is easy to get lost in a large response file. As you can imagine, using TextExpander speeds the process up for responding to written discovery. Give it a try."

Other Notable Features

At its most basic, TextExpander enables you to type a shortcut such as "sig" in conjunction with a hot key of your choosing to enter your email signature snippet at the end of a message in Outlook. Snippets can contain rich text formatting, hyperlinks, images, and even HTML. They can span many paragraphs such as an entire engagement letter. You need not memorize TextExpander shortcuts. Instead, you can use another hot key to view a list on the fly and search through them. Your firm's TextExpander administrators can organize snippets into folders to make it easier for users to find the one they need.

More advanced snippets can incorporate conditional text. Such text appears next to a checkbox that controls whether to include it or not. For example, you may not want to include your mobile number in your signature every time so you can omit it by default unless you check its box. Additionally, snippets can perform date and other calculations, prompt you to enter data or choose an option from a menu, remove formatting of text on the clipboard, complete forms, etc.

Snippets can incorporate other snippets. With these "Nested Snippets," your administrator could reference a marketing snippet within each user's signature snippet. This would enable your firm to consistently promote whatever it wants in everyone's signature without users having to do anything.

What Else Should You Know?

TextExpander Team costs $7.96 per user per month billed annually ($9.99 otherwise). The Life Hacker plan for single users costs $3.33 per month billed annually ($4.16 otherwise). You pay only for active users and can accrue credits. The administrator tools provide control over access rights. Learn more about TextExpander.

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.

Rocket Matter Celebrates 10 Years With a New Mobile App, Chat System, and Financial Tools

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a popular cloud practice management system that now offers a full-featured mobile app, a chat system, and payment processing (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a service that enables you to analyze IP portfolios for M&A due diligence, litigation strategy, and prior art research, on-demand service for capturing social media and other web evidence in accurate and defensible PDF documents, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

In the early days of modern smartphones and tablets, lawyers complained about the lack of native companion apps for cloud practice management systems. When these apps arrived, lawyers discovered that they lacked key functionality, offering a watered-down experience. The dream of running your law firm from your phone requires a mobile app with complete feature parity.

Rocket Matter Atlas Gold Edition … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Rocket Matter Atlas Gold Edition (Rocket Matter) is a popular cloud practice management system with Android and iOS apps that now mirror the functionality of the desktop web app.

The Killer Feature

This identical functionality on mobile and desktop is exemplified by Communicator, Rocket Matter's new internal messaging system. Director of Sales Matt Nelson and Sales Operations Manager Alejandro Dao gave me a demo with one using an iPhone and the other a Mac. Channels organize conversations within Communicator into specific topics, while direct messages offer one-to-one communication. Rocket Bot, Communicator's artificial intelligence system, recognizes matter names and links to their file, offers to create an event when someone enters a date, etc.

"We've been using the desktop and mobile app," says Robin Cherkas of Bull & Reinhardt, PLLC. "We love Communicator here. It's seriously awesome. Everything is all in organized channels. It has eliminated people leaving Post-it messages on my desk. It has lived up to the word "communicator" with the whole firm communicating more effectively than we ever have."

With your entire firm in your pocket, state-of-the-art security is essential. You can now require two-factor authentication for the mobile app, which requires you to enter a PIN number in addition to your stored password when you login. For faster two-factor logins, you can enable Touch ID on iOS (Face ID on the iPhone X).

Other Notable Features

Rocket Matter has three core features always available — global search, sidebar navigation, and the contextual Add New button. The Dashboard offers a personalized view of your events, tasks, billing activity, and more across all of your active matters. Each matter contains its own dashboard within which you'll find the Matter Stream — a ticker listing all activity in reverse chronological order. Rocket Matter also enables you to view any aspect of a matter in isolation such as calendar, documents, email, invoices, and payments.

Speaking of payments, Rocket Matter now integrates with LexCharge legal payment processing, enabling your clients to securely pay invoices or replenish their trust account by e-check or credit card. You can also enter payments manually. The new Recurring Payments option facilitates alternative business models such as a monthly subscription, or letting struggling clients split payments across time.

For document management, Rocket Matter integrates with Box, Dropbox, and Office 365, the latter of which supports versioning. Or you can upload documents directly into Rocket Matter. ScanSnap integration enables you to scan directly into Rocket Matter. The mobile app one-ups the desktop app in one regard — you can use your device's camera for scanning on the go.

What Else Should You Know?

"When Rocket Matter launched in 2008, we introduced something truly novel to the legal industry," Rocket Matter CEO Larry Port tells me. "Nearly 10 years later, our team remains relentlessly inventive and continues to provide revolutionary features that help law firms significantly boost revenues and operate more efficiently." Rocket Matter costs $65 per user per year on the annual plan (you can pay monthly). This includes the new payment processing features. Learn more about Rocket Matter Atlas Gold 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.

Connect the IP Dots to Assess M&A Deals, Litigation Threats, and More

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a service that enables you to analyze IP portfolios for M&A due diligence, litigation strategy, and prior art research (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of on-demand service for capturing social media and other web evidence in accurate and defensible PDF documents, a practice management system with a large forms library that automatically captures the billable time you spend on document drafting and email, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

It may seem like we live in a world of abundant information, but much remains hidden — not necessarily private but too voluminous to review and connect all the dots. This is especially true of patent and other intellectual property data in the context of M&A due diligence, litigation strategy, and prior art research.

ktMINE … in One Sentence

ktMINE is a research service available through Wolters Kluwer that provides previously unavailable intellectual property data and analytics searchable by company, industry, and technology.

The Killer Feature

You can use public databases to piece together a company's patent portfolio. But good luck calculating its value. ktMINE applies machine learning to resources such as SEC, SEDAR, and other patent offices to provide such insights.

You start by searching for a company or keywords. In my demo, ktMINE's Market Lead of IP Strategy & Valuation Eric Podlogar ran a search for "wireless technologies." Clicking the Agreements tab at the top of the search results displays Royalty Rates Over Time — an interactive bubble chart listing the value of the licensing agreements related to your search. Heat maps and other charts show you which territories and SIC Codes represent the most activity.

View the data for a specific territory or SIC Code as well as by licensors, licensees, fixed payments, etc. The Royalty Rates Summary Chart lists the mean and median value as well as any outliers such as a category killer patent that many companies need to license. Drill down on any group of agreements for their summaries, including licensor, licensee, effective date, grant, terms, etc. You can view the full text of specific agreements that you need to review in detail.

"ktMINE offers significant time savings and unparalleled IP analytics by finding and connecting many types of IP data, such as license agreements, royalty rates, patents, and syndicated news," said David McIntosh, Partner at Ropes & Gray, IP Transactions.

Other Notable Features

In addition to Agreements, ktMINE's search results also include Companies, Patents, Patent Assignments, Trademarks, and News. Save your important searches and receive email alerts.

When searching by industry or technology, you can quickly find companies with your search term in their name, and those with the largest IP activity. Each company has a Company Profile — a dashboard listing its patents, trademarks, IP assignments, IP litigation, M&A deals, and recent news.

You can combine two or more company profiles to help forecast the value of the combined IP assets and assess an M&A deal before any initial outreach. ktMINE also enables you to view other companies that work with a target company, and search by Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) to identify licensing opportunities or litigation threats.

The search results for patents, patent assignments, and trademarks enable you to discover what's hot, and who's doing business together. Similarly, you can search court cases for the docket, information on the original complaint, and patents asserted, and narrow these searches by plaintiff, defendant, judge, CPC, etc.

What Else Should You Know?

"Through ktMINE, we are excited to provide IP lawyers and other professionals with valuable access to royalty rates, license agreement offerings, patent, trademark and mergers and acquisitions deal data that cannot be found anywhere else," said Susan Gruesser, Product Line Director for Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. "It's a powerful platform that quickly connects data sets in ways that other products can't." Learn more about ktMINE.

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.

Capture Valuable Social Media and Web Evidence Before It Disappears

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an on-demand service for capturing social media and other web evidence in accurate and defensible PDF documents (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a practice management system with a large forms library that automatically captures the billable time you spend on document drafting and email, a cloud practice management and accounting system that now includes free credit card processing via LawPay, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Many litigation matters benefit from a treasure trove of potential evidence online thanks to human nature and the ease of publishing on the Internet. However, web pages are notoriously difficult to print or convert to PDF format, and when lawyers do this work they run the risk of being called as a witness to authenticate their screen captures.

Page Vault On Demand … in One Sentence

Page Vault On Demand (Page Vault) is a pay-per-use web-capture service designed for litigation, internal investigations, and other situations that require accuracy and defensibility.

The Killer Feature

Web designers understandably don't think much about letter-size paper when creating websites. As a result, printing a web page or saving it in PDF format often lacks any resemblance to the source. This can harm its persuasiveness when used as an exhibit.

Page Vault delivers PDF files that look like the actual web page thanks to the company's proprietary technology. Lawyer and EVP of Customer Solutions, Patrick Schweihs, showed me some examples. The PDF preserves the web page's layout and graphics, and creates intelligent page breaks that don't cut off any text.

"We've struggled with the best way to easily and defensibly capture websites the same way each time until we started using Page Vault," says Chris Bojar, Litigation Support Coordinator at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP.

Other Notable Features

Page Vault can capture anything accessible on the web, including entire websites as well as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms. "A simple web form request initiates the collection process," Page Vault CEO and co-founder Jeff Eschbach tells me. You enter one or more web page links (URLs), and indicate whether you want an optional affidavit for authentication purposes. You can purchase the affidavit after the fact but Page Vault offers a discount when included with the initial order.

Page Vault delivers each capture with a metadata coversheet listing the document title, capture URL, capture timestamp, web browser used, etc. The optional affidavit incorporates your case caption, describes the collection process, and can be notarized.

Capture just one time, on a recurring schedule, or when a change occurs. If you need web captures to function like an interactive website, Page Vault can deliver ISO 28500 compliant WARC files rather than static PDF files. These files preserve all the interactivity such as links but function offline. Other capture options include videos on YouTube and elsewhere, web page downloads, livestreams, photo collections, etc.

"Our staff leverages the industry's most advanced and trusted web-capture technologies to complete the job," says Eschbach. "There's no new software or difficult procedures to learn." If you need several captures on a regular basis, Page Vault can set up an enterprise account for you with volume discounts. You can even request a custom integration using Page Vault's API for high-volume capture projects to streamline your workflow.

What Else Should You Know?

The quote you receive from Page Vault is exactly what you will pay, not an estimate. Pricing starts at $199. Turnaround time for a free quote is one business day and same day expedited service is available. There's no setup fee or minimum order. Page Vault provides an itemized invoice that you can use for client reimbursement. Learn more about Page Vault On Demand.

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.

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

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.

As a fairly unsophisticated technophile, I find the TechnoLawyer Newswire helps explain new software, gadgets, and other products in language I can understand. Plus, it always provides links to a fuller explanation of the product or service. All in all, a very helpful read for an old lawyer trying to keep up.
- Jack P. Doran, Esq., Law Office of Jack Doran
Advertise With Us


Powered by PeerViews About Us | Advertise With Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
TechnoLawyer • PeerViews Inc., 100 Church Street, Suite 800, New York, NY 10007
Copyright © 2017 PeerViews Inc. All rights reserved.