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, fun to read, informative, 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.

Return to List of Recent Issues

Lexis for Microsoft Office 4.2: Read Our Exclusive Report

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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

GIVE MICROSOFT WORD AND OUTLOOK A LAW DEGREE

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

Lexis for Microsoft Office 4.2 … in One Sentence

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

The Killer Feature

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

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

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

Other Notable Features

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

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

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

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

What Else Should You Know?

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

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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

EDISCOVERY PROCESSING THAT SCALES WITH YOUR NEEDS

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

Lexbe Native Processing+ (TIFF) … in One Sentence

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

The Killer Feature

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

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

Other Notable Features

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

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

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

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

What Else Should You Know?

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

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Worldox for Mac Version 1.15: Read Our Exclusive Report

Thursday, August 07, 2014

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

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT FOR MAC FANS

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

Worldox for Mac Version 1.15 … in One Sentence

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

The Killer Feature

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

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

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

Other Notable Features

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

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

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

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

What Else Should You Know?

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

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Actionstep 14.7: Read Our Exclusive Report

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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

LEGAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT THAT REFLECTS LAW FIRM REALITY

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

Actionstep 14.7 … in One Sentence

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

The Killer Feature

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

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

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

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

Other Notable Features

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

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

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

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

What Else Should You Know?

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

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Overcast: Read Our Exclusive Report

Friday, July 18, 2014

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

LISTEN FASTER WITHOUT MISSING ANYTHING

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

Overcast … in One Sentence

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

The Killer Feature

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

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

Other Notable Features

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

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

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

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

What Else Should You Know?

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

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

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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