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Tech Product News, Summer Edition

By Joan Feldman

There’s a lot going on in Chicago this weekend, from Lollapalooza to the ABA Annual Meeting and the accompanying ABA Expo. In town and want a peek at the exhibitors’ new offerings for lawyers? You don’t need to be registered for the meeting to visit the expo hall—simply bring a business card.

In this summer edition of Product Beat, we take a quick look at new products of interest to lawyers, as culled from our latest round of vendor announcements:

  • WordRake is “editing software for the world’s hardest working writers”—lawyers. Released this month by WordRake Holdings, LLC, it’s designed to help lawyers write more effectively in less time—and according to the press release, it can edit a 10-page document in under a minute. Founded by lawyer and New York Times best-selling author Gary Kinder, WordRake differs from spelling and grammar programs by identifying unnecessary words, for more clear and concise writing. “We created WordRake to give every lawyer a personal editor that will edit their writing one sentence at a time or the entire document at once; they can accept or reject each suggestion without affecting their personal writing style or tone,” explains CEO Jim Figel. Currently WordRake is an add-on program for PCs running Windows 7, XP, and Vista, using Microsoft Office Word 2007 and 2010-32 bit. The company has plans to eventually release a Mac version. Annual subscriptions are currently $99 per year, with discounts for multiple-year subscriptions, and a free trial is available.
  • Fastcase’s new eBook Advance Sheets service is available for “the world’s most disruptive price: free.” Formatted for the major e-readers, the ebooks will collect judicial opinions from state Supreme Courts and Courts of Appeal, with a new book for each state each month. The service also will cover the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals. The books begin with short summaries of the included judicial opinions, with hyperlinks to the opinions in the book, too. And unlike paper volumes, Fastcase’s eBook Advance Sheets will not only contain judicial opinions marked for publication, but also so-called “unpublished” opinions not designated for publication in the paper print volumes (but which are precedential in many courts, and often contain persuasive authority). The collection launched with decisions of Texas, Florida, Illinois, California, New York, the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court; and it will soon include Advance Sheets for all 50 states and federal circuits.
  • Lexis Advance, LexisNexis’s new legal research service now integrates with Verdict & Settlement Analyzer and LexisNexis eBooks. Content has been expanded across all categories: news, directories, treatise and analytical material, pattern jury instructions and expert witness analysis. The  service now offers greater alignment between online and mobile access for any type of device, with special apps for iPad and iPhone, including matching content types and filters, searches within results, and the ability to highlight and annotate saved documents. By September, the company says, LexisNexis eBooks/Digital Library content also will be integrated with direct cite links to caselaw and other content.
  • The WestlawNext Android App is now available for both Android tablets and smartphones. With the app, users can search all core content with WestSearch legal search engine, use KeyCite to confirm whether cases and statutes are still good law, read and email documents, add notes to documents, and access and add documents to folders. The Android app joins WestlawNext’s other mobile platforms—the WestlawNext interface and the WestlawNext iPad app.
  • Clio now integrates with Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners. As a result, legal professionals who use ScanSnap portable scanners can use the new “Scan to Clio” feature to scan and seamlessly upload documents directly into Clio’s cloud-based document management system. Clio is a cloud-based practice management platform that can be accessed using PCs and Macs as well as mobile devices.
  • Clustify version 3.1 now features the option to automatically ignore email headers and footers to produce cleaner results during the document review phase of e-discovery. Email can be problematic for text analytics because the substantive part of the email is often short, but it may be accompanied by a large amount of unimportant text in headers and footers. That extraneous text can result in software choosing less-informative labels for the clusters, and can cause emails to be grouped together because they share long disclaimers in the footers, rather than because they have something important in common. The new Clustify feature makes it easier to remove the clutter.
  • The Rocket Matters “Uhura” update  (think Star Trek) is the first in a series of small updates. Uhura addresses minor bugs and includes an improved document uploader to allow uploading of files that are up to 10MB in size. Also, media files, including common formats for movies and photos, can now be uploaded and associated with matters. Rocket Matter is a cloud-based practice management software.
  •  LDMonline, the web version of the lawyer reference directory Lawyer’s Diary and Manual, now includes the ability to view and download any listing’s contact information in the form of a standard vCard—plus, users can click a hyperlink back to LDMonline to check for updates to make sure contact data is current. In addition, each address listing in LDMonline now includes a direct link to its Google map, without the nuisance of advertisements, re-entry and other distractions. And a new jurisdiction calculator is included with every subscription, to quickly help users find the county and courts with jurisdiction over a place of interest.
  • Bill4Time, the web-based time tracking and invoicing software, has a new desktop app built in HTML5 that allows firms to track time whether or not users are connected to the Internet. The app resides on the desktop and stores time worked, client data, projects and activities. Then, once back online, the data automatically and securely syncs to the user’s Bill4Time account—accessible via desktop, smartphone or tablet.
  • Thomson Reuters ProView, the company’s e-reader platform, is now available for Android tablets as well as Mac and Windows operating systems. In addition, the latest iPad version includes these new features: an enhanced user interface, a new landscape mode, improved navigation and offline capabilities. Any changes, such as new notes, highlights and comments, are automatically updated and securely stored as soon as connectivity is restored. Plus, content containing embedded files in popular formats, including PDF, Microsoft Word and Excel, can be accessed.
  • ReadySuite version 4.3, from Compiled Services, has a number of improvements and upgrades, including the ability to add annotations and overlays to existing PDF documents without losing the ability to search the PDF. It also has improved speed for faster navigation through documents, enhanced quality checking, and the option to copy source files for images to improve export performance. Improvements to the PDF-endorsing features mark a significant change from past versions of ReadySuite. Users will now be able to add Bates numbers, document identifiers, confidential stamps and metadata fields to PDFs, without losing the underlying text and OCR of the PDF document.
  • Catalyst Repository Systems will announce it’s new e-discovery platform, Insight, later this month during the ILTA Conference in Washington, DC. You can get a sneak peak at the new features during a free webinar on August 10th at 12 noon EST, conducted by Catalyst’s CEO John Tredennick and CTO Larry Barela.

Technology news of your own to share? Please email the editors.

Categories: Daily Dispatch, Legal Tech Reviews, Legal Technology, New Products
Originally published August 3, 2012
Last updated April 13, 2019
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Joan Hamby Feldman Joan Feldman

Joan Feldman is Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of Attorney at Work, publishing “one really good idea every day” since 2011. She has created and steered myriad leading practice management and trade publications, including the ABA’s Law Practice magazine where she served as managing editor for a dozen years. Joan is a Fellow and served as a Trustee of the College of Law Practice Management. Follow her on LinkedIn and @JoanHFeldman.

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