TechnoLawyer NewsWire
So many products, so little time. TL NewsWire is a weekly newsletter that discusses and links to hot new products and services of interest to legal professionals.
Concise, informative, fun to read, and jargon-free, TL NewsWire enables you to stay on top of more than 225 new products and services every year. We structure each article so that you can quickly understand the function of each product, and zero in on its most important features.

Periodically, we publish special roundup issues of TL NewsWire that focus on a single product category (e.g., ergonomic desks, personalized iPad news apps, etc.). Every December, we publish a special issue listing the most popular new products of the year according to TL NewsWire subscribers.

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Recent Issues

Below you can see some recent issues of this newsletter.

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Equil Smartpen 2: Read Our Exclusive Report

Friday, November 21, 2014

Originally published in our free TL NewsWire newsletter. Instead of reading TL NewsWire here, sign up now to receive future issues via email.

YOUR DIGITAL PAPER MATE

Handwritten notes remain a fixture of legal practice. They have largely remained insulated from the software world much like grocery stores. But it's only a matter of time until software eats every task and every industry. In the case of handwritten notes, software needs a hardware accomplice.

Equil Smartpen 2 … in One Sentence

Announced in September and shipping this month, Ludia's Equil Smartpen 2 is a Bluetooth ballpoint pen that captures your handwritten notes and illustrations in its corresponding apps.

The Killer Feature

An arms race exists between powered ink pens like the Equil Smartpen 2 used on paper and powered styli used directly on a tablet's screen. Previously, both required the presence of your tablet. Powered styli cannot escape this requirement.

However, the Equil Smartpen 2 stores your writing in its onboard memory. You need not have the Equil apps up and running (though you can). Instead, you just need the Smartpen, the Receiver clip, and any paper.

Other Notable Features

Equil Smartpen 2 sidesteps the need for special paper thanks to the aforementioned Receiver. Measuring 3 x 0.5 x 0.9 inches, the Receiver clips to the top of any notebook so that it can record what you write. The pen measures 5.9 x 0.5 inches, and runs for up to eight hours. Both items fit into the included charging case. A full charge takes two hours.

The Smartpen transmits your notes to your choice of Equil Note or Equil Sketch (both free). Equil Note runs on Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. The app's handwriting recognition technology can convert your notes into editable and searchable text. Equil Note connects to iCloud, Dropbox, and Evernote. You can export notes in a variety of standard formats for use elsewhere.

What Else Should You Know?

The Smartpen is pressure sensitive, and supports gestures for controlling functions in the apps. Adding to its portability, the Smartpen uses standard ballpoint cartridges that you can buy in an office supplies store. Equil Smartpen 2 costs $169.99. Learn more about Equil Smartpen 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.

TranscriptPad 2: Read Our Exclusive Report

Friday, November 21, 2014

Originally published in our free TL NewsWire newsletter. Instead of reading TL NewsWire here, sign up now to receive future issues via email.

TRANSCRIPT REVIEW FOR THE IPAD FAN

Preparing reports of relevant deposition testimony used to involve copying and pasting into a word processing document and wrestling with the formatting (this was barbaric enough so let's not even mention paper and highlighters). Dedicated desktop software brought some sanity to this process. However, transcript review is perhaps the most portable task in litigation. Laptops have never worked well on a lap, and have long since ceded the crown as the most portable type of computer.

TranscriptPad 2 … in One Sentence

Launched this week, Lit Software's TranscriptPad 2 is a significant update to the popular iPad app for reviewing transcripts and creating reports.

The Killer Feature

The new version of TranscriptPad is optimized for iOS 8 and runs natively on both 32-bit and 64-bit chips. This means that it'll run fast on older iPads and even faster on 64-bit iPads — namely, the iPad Air, Air 2, mini 2, and mini 3.

Lit Software also redesigned the user experience and user interface. For example, a new tap and hold gesture enables you to more quickly open, rename, duplicate, and delete case folders. You can jump to any page in a transcript by dragging a slider or tapping the page/line indicator and typing a page number.

"Thanks to the power and portability of TranscriptPad 2, reading, highlighting, and creating reports occurs in a fraction of the time desktop software takes," Lit Software Founder and CEO Ian O'Flaherty told us. "No more cutting and pasting or right clicking. No more bouncing back and forth between PC, laptop, and iPad. TranscriptPad 2 combines the convenience of paper with the power of mobile software."

Other Notable Features

The company also overhauled the annotation tools. You'll find a new workflow for editing flags (split, join, and delete), and improved tools for assigning issue codes. You can also highlight and underline testimony. TranscriptPad now places blue dots next to the page/line number to indicate flags that contain notes. Designated page/line numbers appear in bold. The new cases screen features customizable case colors.

After you finish reviewing one or more transcripts, you'll find more export options for the reports you create. You can email reports in PDF, Excel, and TXT formats, or upload them to Box, Dropbox, Transporter, or a WebDAV-compatible file server. You can also print reports directly from your iPad. Importing transcripts supports all the same services, including the ability to use multiple services and navigate among them (useful as a backup or if a client wants to use their preferred cloud service).

What Else Should You Know?

Depositions need not look boring. TranscriptPad 2 has more typeface options, all which preserve the original pagination and layout. Also, 72 possible combinations of folder colors, and icons now exist. An integrated tutorial helps you get up and running (an interactive iBook is in the works). TranscriptPad 2 costs $89.99 (it's a free upgrade for existing users). Learn more about TranscriptPad 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.

pdfDocs 4.1: Read Our Exclusive Report

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers PDF software designed for legal-specific tasks such as deal books and ebriefs (see article below), a PACER alternative that integrates with Dropbox, an iPad app for trial presentations, and an iOS and Mac app for tracking shipments sent via the USPS and more than 240 other carriers. Don't miss the next issue.

PURPOSE-BUILT PDF SOFTWARE FOR LAW PRACTICE

More than anyone else, the legal profession has made the Portable Document Format (PDF) its own. This explains why large software companies that serve the mainstream toss law firms a few bones in their PDF products. However, these products will never match those built from the ground up for the needs of law practice.

pdfDocs 4.1 … in One Sentence

Launched this week, DocsCorp's pdfDocs 4.1 is PDF software designed to help law firms manage their document workflows.

The Killer Feature

Legal teams often need to collect documents from various sources in one place, apply a uniform set of changes, and output a PDF document. pdfDocs has a new technology called Organizer Project that streamlines this process. An Organizer Project is a matter-centric workspace that resides on a local or network drive. You can create as many as you need, and create templates for your staff to ensure consistency.

You can add virtually any document type to an Organizer Project, including email messages and Microsoft Office documents. Thanks to pdfDocs' integrations, you can tap into a variety of sources such as Windows Explorer and your document management system. You can also copy documents from one Organizer Project to another.

Once you've added all the documents you need, you can reorder them, exclude one or more pages or documents, wrap the project within your firm's stationery, apply Bates numbers, headers and footers, and watermarks, etc. Lastly, pdfDocs creates a single document that you can save in PDF, PDF/A, JPEG, or TIFF format. From there you can email the final document to clients, save it to your document management system, etc. You and your colleagues can edit the saved Organizer Project any time.

Other Notable Features

pdfDocs offers other ways of interacting with PDF documents. For example, Single Document mode enables you to open and work with one PDF document. You can edit, annotate, comment, split, sign, redact, stamp, OCR, etc. pdfDocs also enables you to convert PDF documents into Word, Excel, or PowerPoint format, as well as automatically convert email attachments into PDF format upon sending.

Binder Project mode enables you to create closing books, deal books, and ebriefs with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of documents (PDF and other formats). An executive at DocsCorp describes Binder Project mode as "Organizer Projects on steroids." A Binder Project can handle any existing folder hierarchy on a local or network drive or in a document management system. After adding the documents you want, you can rearrange them, brand the Binder Project with logos and stationery sets, use a Word document as a cover page, and apply watermarks, headers and footers, date/time stamps, and security settings.

The Make Binder command converts all the documents in the Binder into PDF format, generating a printable table of contents, cross-document bookmarks, links, and an optional auto launch file for a CD or DVD. You can output to a single PDF file or keep all the documents that comprise the Binder separate. If you create the same types of Binders repeatedly, you can save your settings as a Binder Project Template.

What Else Should You Know?

The new version of pdfDocs sports an interface similar to that of Microsoft Office 2013 aimed at making tasks easier to perform and thus reducing training time. Pricing depends on number of seats you need. Learn more about pdfDocs 4.1.

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.

Time Matters 14: Read Our Exclusive Report

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a legal practice management application with a new take on calendars (see article below), the world's smallest printer, a free office suite for Android and iOS, and a universal Bluetooth keyboard with a built-in stand. Don't miss the next issue.

A PRACTICE MANAGEMENT ICON SETS ITSELF UP FOR THE FUTURE

Your calendar embodies your law practice even if you don't use the dominant hourly billing business model. The blanks on your calendar have nearly as much import as the events, but many lawyers don't take advantage of this fact because they don't use shared calendars that connect to their matters.

Time Matters 14 … in One Sentence

Launched this week, LexisNexis Time Matters 14 is practice management software with a new take on calendars and a new underlying architecture.

The Killer Feature

Time Matters offers several new calendar views and functions. When scheduling a meeting, you can view the schedules of the participants side by side to find an available time. You can then hold this conflict-free time while you obtain approval from each participant.

The new Work Week view displays only those days of the week on which you and your colleagues actually work. Time Matters now displays events and tasks in colors of your choosing on Daily, Work Week, Weekly, and Monthly calendar views. Special dates such as vacations are displayed as all-day events with the date grayed out.

Rescheduling an event no longer requires multiple clicks thanks to drag and drop functionality. Also, you can use the Shift or Control keys to tag or select multiple records.

Other Notable Features

Time Matters continues to offer law firms the ability to create highly automated and customized workflows for client intake, document creation, sending bills, and more. The document management system within Time Matters now includes native support for the PDF, HTML, and XML file formats.

The technology underpinning Time Matters has received a significant upgrade, boosting speed and stability and paving the way for advanced features. One benefit you'll notice immediately is a smoother upgrade process with less downtime.

The new version of Time Matters features improved integration with Juris Suite legal accounting and billing software for midsize law firms (also from LexisNexis). For example, you need not manually update clients and matters in Time Matters when updated in Juris — and vice versa. Billable time and expenses entered into Time Matters appear in Juris Suite in Draft status, enabling the application of compliance rules before posting.

"This new Time Matters version includes a mix of updates and additions for everyone from the attorneys and support staff who use it every day to organize their workdays and get more done, to the IT professionals who play such a big part in keeping firms productive," LexisNexis Software Division Senior Director of Product Management James Paterson told us. "The new Time Matters calendar provides a more intuitive fit for the way legal professionals work every day. The new underlying technology platform has a proven track record of stability and speed, which IT professionals will appreciate."

What Else Should You Know?

Time Matters costs $985 for the first user and $640 for each additional user. This includes the first year of the Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP) subscription. The AMP provides software updates, Time Matters Mobility for smartphone and tablet access, up to 5 GB of storage for the Time Matters Client Portal (secured by WatchDox), live technical support from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ET on weekdays, and on-demand training courses. Learn more about Time Matters 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.

MetaJure: Read Our Exclusive Report

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers document management software that automatically indexes your documents and email regardless of their source (see article below), a Bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad Air 2, software for creating visual documentation such as software training guides, and a task manager for iOS. Don't miss the next issue.

CAPTURE, INDEX, AND SEARCH 100% OF YOUR FIRM'S DOCUMENTS AUTOMATICALLY

An arms race exists in law firms to keep pace with the growth of documents and email. Manual systems may work for a diligent solo but don't scale. Document management systems scale but are not completely automated (e.g., document profiles). And no search software exists specifically for the legal industry. Well, until now.

MetaJure … in One Sentence

MetaJure is automated document management and document search software designed by lawyers for the needs of law firms and legal departments.

The Killer Feature

MetaJure eschews manual document profiles and tags in favor of automation and search. It automatically captures and indexes all email and attachments, work product (documents you create in Word and other programs), and scans. MetaJure CEO Rob Arnold tells us that even law firms with a document management system tend to capture only half of their content versus MetaJure's ability to capture 100%.

Connecting to every program law firms use would be impossible. Instead, MetaJure connects at the hard drive level much like an operating system. This means you can point MetaJure at new data sources such as computers brought into your firm via a client, lateral hire, merger, etc.

MetaJure integrates with ScanSnap scanners. Thanks to the ISIS standard, it also integrates with virtually all other scanners. MetaJure uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to make scanned documents editable and searchable.

"The powerful automation used to store and retrieve the world's knowledge on the web is the gold standard for document management," says Arnold. "Why should lawyers accept anything less inside their law firms? MetaJure eliminates the need for lawyers to be administrative clerks. It also reduces the risk of noncompliance with record retention rules, a leading cause of malpractice claims according to the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Liability."

Other Notable Features

MetaJure offers a Google-like search experience. This means that you can enter natural language searches, and rely on MetaJure to interpret what you mean. If you want more control, you can take advantage of advanced features such as Boolean operators, fuzzy logic (similar spelling), proximity (exact phrases, words and phrases within a specified distance of one another, etc.), and wildcards (similar words). No matter how you search, you can filter your results by document location, file type, and the creation date.

MetaJure is agnostic regarding other document management software. It works with NetDocuments, Worldox, and other profile-based document management systems. You point MetaJure at these data stores just as you would a hard drive. Similarly, Active Directory integration enables MetaJure to index documents in homegrown SharePoint solutions as well as in Microsoft's forthcoming Matter Center. "There's no expensive conversion to pull in legacy data from various repositories," says Arnold.

What Else Should You Know?

It copies all the documents and email it captures onto this server for both redundancy and speed. This means you can also use MetaJure as part of your document retention policy. You and your colleagues access the server via the free MetaJure client software. You can try MetaJure free for 30 days. Learn more about MetaJure.

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
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