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: 13,587
Your First Name: 
Your Last Name: 
Email Address: 
Create Password: 
Retype Password: 
Alternate Email 
(optional)
Recent Issues
Return to List of Recent Issues

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

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.

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

Thursday, October 04, 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.

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

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.

PracticePanther Adapts to and Automates Your Firm's Processes

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.

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

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.

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 © 2018 PeerViews Inc. All rights reserved.