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.

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SmartTask Walks You Through Legal Tasks, While SmartTask Pro Offers the Ability to Incorporate Your Firm's Own Expertise

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers interactive practical legal guides that you can customize to incorporate your firm's collective knowledge and workflows (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a law firm website design service that includes a library of legal content to save you time, personal injury practice management software with specialized tools for tracking settlements, liens, medical records, and marketing, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Lawyers often perform work within their practice area but outside their comfort zone. This is especially true of junior associates. In these situations, more than two-thirds of lawyers either consult colleagues or run a Google search, neither of which is particularly efficient. Ideally, your firm should have a reference for such tasks capable of tapping into external and internal knowledge.

SmartTask and SmartTask Pro … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Wolters Kluwer's SmartTask is a growing collection of interactive practice guides, while SmartTask Pro enables you to customize these guides and create your own.

The Killer Feature

Unlike competing services, SmartTask doesn't statically list a series of steps on a web page or in a PDF. Instead, steps link to corresponding resources such as forms, government agency websites, and treatises, saving you time. You can download forms in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

SmartTask Pro takes these guides further, recognizing that every law firm's unique culture influences its work product and how it gets created. Accordingly, SmartTask Pro enables you to edit these guides to better fit your firm's workflows. For example, you may have a model document that you prefer to the one in a SmartTask guide, or you may want to add several steps and link to internal resources in your document management system or SharePoint portal.

Custom steps in an existing SmartTask guide display an icon to distinguish it from those created by Wolters Kluwer. You can also create entire SmartTask guides of your own to unlock the many informational silos that exist in your firm, and harness and share this internal knowledge in a manner that increases productivity and benefits clients.

The SmartTask Pro environment resembles a word processor with the ability to create headers, format text, and link to any reference within your firm or on the web. Organizational tools facilitate breaking up complex tasks into multiple, nested steps.

"Attorneys face increased pressure to find new ways to make their practice more efficient," says Dean Sonderegger, Vice President & General Manager, Legal Markets & Innovation. "The SmartTask Corporate Suite provides a full set of resources, including workflow tools, that enables firms to standardize common legal practices, ensuring consistency and efficiency."

Other Notable Features

For some tasks, you may only need help for a specific step. A search bar at the top of each SmartTask guide enables you to run searches. Click a search result to go directly to that step.

Each SmartTask guide is written by a practicing lawyer with applicable expertise. Currently, the SmartTask library focuses on corporate and securities law, including amending bylaws, D&O removal, D&O indemnification, forming and dissolving corporations and LLCs in various states, preparing various SEC forms, issuance of shares, dividends, redemptions, stock purchases, and transfers, and much more.

SmartTask guides in other practice areas are in the works, including cybersecurity, employment, health care, and intellectual property.

What Else Should You Know?

Wolters Kluwer has priced SmartTask and SmartTask Pro to encourage law firms to run it alongside competing solutions. Also, your summer associates can use it for free. Learn more about SmartTask and SmartTask Pro.

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.

Zaliet Considers Building Your Law Firm Website the First Step, Not the Last

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a law firm website design service that includes a library of legal content to save you time (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of personal injury practice management software with specialized tools for tracking settlements, liens, medical records, and marketing, a Microsoft Word add-in that automates document creation and ensures their consistency with firm-wide rules, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

If your law firm has an aging website or no website at all, you have an advantage. You can leapfrog the competition with a new mobile-friendly website built from the ground up to rank well in Google and integrate with social media networks. But what about all the content a website needs nowadays to rank well? Most web designers won't help you with this.

Zaliet … in One Sentence

Zaliet is a website creation and hosting service for law firms that also provides content creation and other marketing services.

The Killer Feature

Zaliet's Basic plan starts you off with up to five web pages, while the Premium and Platinum plans increase it to 15 and 50 respectively. You can write all the content for these pages (and add more pages) if you have the time and inclination. Alternatively, you can get a running start by using Zaliet's Content Library.

Included in the Premium and Platinum plans, Zaliet's Content Library contains professionally written copy for more than 35 practice areas and legal topics that you can use and edit at no additional charge. Practice areas include bankruptcy, criminal, employment, family, immigration, civil litigation, and sports. Topics range from contesting a will to powers of attorney.

The Platinum plan also includes three pages of customized content written exclusively for your firm by The Legal Writers Bureau, a group of former editors of publications such as The National Law Journal. The Legal Writers Bureau can create additional custom content if needed at a special rate for Zaliet customers.

"Your website is your opportunity to tell potential clients who you are, what you do, and why they should choose you over a competitor," says Zaliet CEO Rachel-Leanne Williams. "Good content is an integral part of successful law firm websites."

Other Notable Features

Working with Zaliet begins with a Design Brief, an interactive web questionnaire that you fill out with the help of a Zaliet Website Coach. The Design Brief asks you to upload your logo and photos, choose one of Zaliet's website design styles, create your sitemap, and add material from the Content Library. If needed, Zaliet can help you register a domain name, create a logo, take professional headshots, etc.

Most law firms complete the Design Brief in 2-3 days after which Zaliet creates your website and stages it privately for you to review before going live. Depending on the size of your site, the entire process takes 1-2 weeks. "I can't thank Zaliet enough for all the compliments I receive about the website," says Kate Ashmor, Principal of Ashmor Legal.

All three plans enable you to add features such as a contact form and a live Google Maps image of your office location. The Premium and Platinum plans offer advanced features such as blogs, email newsletters, Google Analytics integration, site translation, and more. Zaliet integrates with LawConnect for a client portal, and RapidPay for client credit card payments.

What Else Should You Know?

If your firm uses LEAP practice management software, you're in luck because LEAP users get the Premium plan for free or the Platinum plan for $115 per month (LawConnect is also included). If your firm doesn't use LEAP, the Basic, Premium, and Platinum plans cost $75, $150, and $265 per month respectively. Learn more about Zaliet.

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.

CASEpeer Promises a Hassle-Free Out-of-the Box Experience for Personal Injury Firms

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers personal injury practice management software with specialized tools for tracking settlements, liens, medical records, marketing, and much more (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a Microsoft Word add-in that automates document creation and ensures their consistency with firm-wide rules, a redesigned international arbitration research service with tools such as Visual Connectors for Boolean searches, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Personal injury practice differs significantly from other types of litigation. Contingency fee arrangements require careful intake screening and monitoring of settlement offers. In between, you need to keep cases moving along, and manage everything from insurance policies to medical records while not missing any deadlines. This calls for specialized software.

CASEpeer … in One Sentence

CASEpeer is cloud practice management software for personal injury law firms.

The Killer Feature

"Without a doubt, CASEpeer is the most intuitive solution for plaintiff's law firms," says CEO Darren Fancher. "From lead tracking to powerful settlement tools, CASEpeer makes attorneys and staff more efficient and effective."

My demo begins with a look at these settlement tools. Essentially your firm's financial pipeline, the Settlement Management dashboard lists all Demands and Offers across all open cases. You can also view settled cases by Checks In, Pending (waiting for check), and Issues (potential collection problem). The top of the dashboard lists totals for each category and your firm's cut. Search for a specific case or client, or filter by attorney to see your cases or those of a colleague.

The firm-wide Overviews dashboard enables you to compare the performance of your team and identify bottlenecks. At the other extreme, a settlement dashboard exists for each client with the details of each demand and offer, and a running total of settlements, liens, costs, and the client's net. This is where you change the status of a demand, and enter information about attorney, health provider, and other liens.

Other Notable Features

Settlement information is just one of many data types CASEpeer stores for each client. Others include defendants, other parties, expert witnesses, photos, discovery, timeline, and much more. Each file's Home Tab contains the most salient information such as the client's photo, case age, statute of limitations, health providers, health bills, police report, lost wages, etc.

The Home Tab also lists Case Tasks and Case Notes. Case Tasks typically reside within a CASEplan, a custom workflow that automatically assigns tasks to a person when a trigger occurs (e.g., send a letter of representation to health providers after intake). You can manually create Case Notes but many are automatically generated (e.g., when you mark a demand accepted), creating an audit trail of all case activity.

CASEpeer prevents mishaps and offers deep analytics. The main dashboard lists the cases with an approaching statute of limitations, inactive cases and their "last touched" date, open tasks, unread messages, etc. The Intake report enables you to compare the value of each of your marketing channels (Internet, radio, referrals, etc.) thanks to the settlement data in CASEpeer. Every contact in CASEpeer exists as its own independent record, which enables you to identify connections. For example, you can view all cases related to an adjustor, doctor, etc.

"CASEpeer has transformed the way my firm operates," says Samuel Mirejovsky, co-founder of Bergener Mirejovsky, APC. "It is a powerful and intuitive tool for any personal injury practice. CASEpeer encourages collaboration, oversight, and accountability. Its robust features have without a doubt increased our efficiency. With CASEpeer we can plan for the future with ease."

What Else Should You Know?

CASEpeer also offers document management, email capture, expense tracking, eFax integration, and the ability to send, receive, and store text messages. The monthly subscription price ranges from $55 to $85 per user depending on the size of your firm. This includes data migration, online training, and technical support. Learn more about CASEpeer.

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.

Word LX Professional Automates Document Creation and Reinforces Firm-Wide Rules

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a Microsoft Word add-in that automates document creation and ensures their consistency with firm-wide rules (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a redesigned international arbitration research service with tools such as Visual Connectors for Boolean searches, a Windows application designed to handle your OCR, PDF, and document comparison needs in one product, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Lawyers spend a lot of time in Microsoft Word — too much of it unbillable. Tasks such as creating paragraph-numbering schemes, tables of contents, and formatting styles involve a seemingly endless number of tweaks. Even after all this formatting, documents often lack consistency across your firm.

Word LX Professional … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Infoware's Word LX Professional is a Microsoft Word add-in for law firms that enforces firm-wide standards for documents and provides timesaving automation tools.

The Killer Feature

Infoware has helped law firms with document automation for more than 30 years. Word LX Professional is its first product specifically created for small law firms. "Word LX Professional provides the editing tools and document customization that only large firms can afford, and makes these available to the solo and small law firm market," says Dan Sharp, CEO and President of Infoware. "It allows for document consistency and formatting efficiencies."

Document consistency begins with Word LX Professional's Template Designer. This administrator tool walks you through a series of steps — uploading your firm's logo, entering the names of every user at your firm, importing clients and others from Outlook or another source, and creating document templates.

Document templates include letter, memo, fax, envelope, and address label. You can also create your own custom templates for other types of documents. For each template, you can tweak settings for logo placement, margins, font, text alignment, and page numbers. Other settings give you granular control over the layout of a template such as placement of your firm's address, contact information, and author and assistant details. You can also omit specific items. For example, if you use preprinted letterhead, you can omit the logo from the letter template.

These Template Designer settings reside in a file that you install on everyone's PC. You can create multiple settings files such as for different practice groups with specific preferences. Users access the document templates from the Word LX Ribbon in Microsoft Word.

Other Notable Features

The Word LX Ribbon also contains a number of important Word functions frequently used in legal documents. Infoware configures these functions to make them foolproof versus using Word's native equivalents. According to Infoware, the ribbon saves users one hour per day on average.

Perhaps most importantly, the Word LX Ribbon enables you to create documents with multilevel numbered paragraphs without having to understand Word's numbering intricacies. Similarly, another tool automates table of contents creation. Other tools enable you to create tables, sign documents, add a document ID, apply watermarks, use firm-approved paragraph styles, and insert contact information from Outlook.

Advanced users or those who work with an administrator can create model templates (e.g., pleadings, leases, wills) that conform to your firm's formatting requirements and which contain placeholders for data. The toolbar's Prompt function walks users through each data field in the document. This eliminates the risk of reusing a document and forgetting to remove another client's data.

What Else Should You Know?

Word LX Professional costs $250 per user per year. "Word LX Professional provides us with the tools to significantly raise the consistency and quality of our documents as well as improve the efficiency of those responsible for creating them," says Elia Associates law clerk Franca Russouw. "Firm branded templates can be easily created and accessed, and documents are now being numbered and styled consistently by users across our firm. We love Word LX Professional." Learn more about Word LX Professional.

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.

Kluwer Arbitration Unveils New Search Tools for More Efficient International Arbitration Research

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a redesigned international arbitration research service with tools such as Visual Connectors for Boolean searches (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a Windows application designed to handle your OCR, PDF, and document comparison needs in one product, practice management software with a growing library of forms and templates, and built-in document assembly and e-filing, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Many deals nowadays involve parties in different countries. In the event of disputes, neither side relishes litigating in the other country's judicial system. As a result, international arbitration has grown dramatically, offering advantages such as multinational enforcement, arbitrators with subject matter expertise, and simpler procedural rules. As with any dispute resolution system, lawyers need a comprehensive research tool.

Kluwer Arbitration … in One Sentence

Wolters Kluwer's Kluwer Arbitration, an online international arbitration research service with exclusive material, has undergone a major redesign that launches this week.

The Killer Feature

Chief among the new features are search enhancements designed to improve accuracy and speed. When using natural language, Kluwer Arbitration predicts what you likely want to search for as you type. Instead of searching all content, you can restrict your queries using filters such as Content Type, Publication Type, or Author. Also, you can search within search results.

Visual Connectors bring Boolean searches into the 21st century. Connectors such as AND and NEAR are visually distinct from your search terms. Click and drag a connector to move its position. Click and hold a connector to make granular adjustments (e.g., NEAR 2, NEAR 10, etc.).

"The key theme coming out of our customer engagement interviews was the need for simplicity in design and function to which we responded with a clean and intuitive user interface," says Managing Director David Bartolone. "The new research experience makes it easy for novice and expert researchers alike to search and quickly zero in on the right information."

Other Notable Features

Without leaving the search results, you can preview a reference by clicking on the matching keyword (the reference opens in its own window). Kluwer Arbitration offers printing options such as font size and whether to include summary information, enabling you to comply with the specific requirements that many arbitration venues impose on exhibits. You can also export references to PDF format or email the link to a colleague.

"Kluwer Arbitration is an enormous database comprising some of the most influential doctrine as well as a high number of awards and jurisprudence from all around the world of international arbitration," says Dr. Christian W. Konrad, partner at international arbitration law firm Konrad & Partners. "It is, therefore, an important and valued asset to our practice and one that we use on a daily basis."

In fact, Kluwer Arbitration is the largest database of its kind. Primary source material includes 500+ arbitration laws, 2,250+ Bilateral Investment Treaties, 1,250+ rules from more than 200 institutions, and 2,250+ arbitral awards. You'll also find 10,000+ court decisions, including 500 from Chinese courts summarized in English.

Secondary sources include more than 230 treatises (nearly all exclusive), and the complete archives of 11 journals related to arbitration. The IAI Arbitrator Tool and IMI Mediator Tool enable you to find and compare potential adjudicators. The Kluwer Arbitration Blog and Kluwer Mediation Blog are free publications accessible from Kluwer Arbitration.

What Else Should You Know?

Created by multinational law firm Clifford Chance for Kluwer Arbitration, Smart Charts offer practice tips. For example, you can find model clauses for arbitration agreements, compare arbitral institutions, and get advice on arcane issues like challenging an arbitrator and sovereign immunity. Learn more about Kluwer Arbitration.

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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