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ALM Media’s Legalweek events in New York, which wrapped up Feb. 1, brought together legal professionals and technology providers to address issues facing the legal industry. In addition to technology, programs covered the business of law, legal marketing, CIOs, and diversity and talent management. Similar to 2017’s conference, ALM Intelligence kicked off Legaltech with a “State of the Industry” session. This year, though, the state is not revolution but evolution.
Consolidation of law firms and technology providers will continue, said senior analysts Nicolas Bruch and Steve Kovalan, but firm failures will also continue because of the volatility of law firm financial conditions. They also observed that firms are diverging regarding their operations, profitability and size, and that the Big 4 accounting firms (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC) will compete directly with law firms and technology providers.
How rapid is the evolution? If your firm is moving with the times and using technology to deliver legal services efficiently and manage the business profitably, the evolution will appear slow and the competition will seem within reach. But if you’re behind the technology curve, the evolution will appear rapid and the competition out of reach.
Takeaway: Acquire and use new technology to profitably deliver legal services. But understand why you’re acquiring it and have a plan to deploy and use it, whether on-premises or in the cloud.
To help you identify technology to consider, here are select product upgrades and news updates from the conference.
Technology as a service (TaaS) provider AbacusNext came to Legalweek after acquiring document automation provider HotDocs in November 2017. HotDocs adds to AbacusNext’s compliance-ready technology in cloud-enabled desktops and SaaS applications in a fully managed computing environment. The acquisition included the HotDocs Market that supplies legal professionals with access to thousands of templates and content populated by publishers and state bar associations.
TheFormTool announced the addition of its Aurora webData family of services, Aurora Sunrise, to its product line of document assembly and automation software, which includes Doxsera DB, Doxsera and TheFormTool Pro. Aurora webData technology collects data using web questionnaires and stores it in supported databases, such as Microsoft SQL or Access. Aurora Sunrise uses the TheFormTool’s decisioning engine and Doxsera DB software to access collected data and other data stored in SQL, Access, Excel and Outlook and automate document production. The company expects Aurora Sunrise will be generally available this month.
iManage announced Extract 3, an enhanced version of its AI data extraction application. With RAVN AI technology, Extract 3 automatically reads, interprets and extracts content from large data sets to improve accuracy and automate tasks. Features include machine learning without data scientists, reusing data extraction models, and integrating with other iManage AI products such as iManage Classify, which organizes document sets into categories to facilitate document review. Extract 3 can be deployed in the iManage Cloud or on-premises.
LawBase partnered with legal management and consulting firm LegalShift to integrate legal project management (LPM) framework BakerManage into LawBase’s namesake case and matter management system. The LPM software features the ability to plan projects and develop statements of work, define team roles and responsibilities, estimate matter costs and track legal spending, monitor budgets and develop workflows to communicate and collaborate with clients. The LPM tools are sold as a component of LawBase or a stand-alone product. Thecompany also demonstrated an integration with Twilio that allows users to send and receive text messages in LawBase.
LawToolBox demonstrated LawToolBox365, which provides court rules, custom deadline templates and a deadline management system to Office 365 via Microsoft’s AppSource marketplace. New features in LawToolBox365 allow users to automatically create an Office 365 Group when a matter is created in LawToolBox to track court deadlines. In the alternative, LawToolBox can attach to an existing Office 365 Group or SharePoint site or track deadlines for a matter without connecting to an Office 365 Group or SharePoint site.
Legal Files Software released a new version of its case and matter management software, Legal Files 10.2. The version has tighter integration with Microsoft Outlook, with an improved ability to access contacts and notes, apply common user settings, and use tasks and calendar functions. Version 10.2 includes new workflow wizards to close calendars and files and delete files. Legal Files customers on maintenance and support will receive the upgrade as part of the program.
NetDocuments came to Legalweek with a head of steam after acquiring matter-based collaboration provider threadKM in November. At Legalweek, the company announced ndMail, cloud-based email management software that allows subscribers to manage matter files in the NetDocuments cloud. With machine learning from matter content and where a user most frequently files specific content, ndMail makes email filing recommendations. The software can map Outlook folders to NetDocuments file locations. NetDocuments will release ndMail in beta in February, with general availability in March.
Rocket Matter paired with Tali, a provider of voice-driven time entry, to allow lawyers to speak time entries to Amazon’s Alexa to generate electronic invoices and payment links in the company’s cloud-based practice management platform. Rocket Matter is gifting Amazon Echo Dots to new customers in February.
StoryCloud, a provider of low-cost, national legal videography, announced a desktop videoconferencing platform allowing lawyers to virtually appear for depositions. The system allows audio and video participation with a PC, Mac, smartphone, tablet or an existing videoconferencing system. It streams live video from the deposition to up to 100 remote participants, who can hear, see and respond to the deposition proceedings.
Tabs3 Software introduced Kurent, a standalone billing program for solo and small firms. Kurent gives solo and small law firms the ability to track time, create invoices and record payments. Dashboards report invoices sent and payment received using charts and graphs. Kurent can send invoices via email and receive payment online via LawPay. It integrates with QuickBooks and costs $26 per user per month when billed annually, or $29 when billed monthly.
Workshare released a salvo of new integrations for its document comparison technology, Workshare DeltaView. Besides embedding in Google Docs and Office 365, DeltaView integrates with HighQ, iManage Work 10 and NetDocuments SaaS document management system.
Cloud-based backup and data protection. Druva supports backup, recovery and lifecycle data management for Amazon EC2, S3, EBS, RDS and Glacier. Data management features include classification, tagging, search and automatically discovering data sources. The company supports information governance features, such as legal hold, review and audit, and provides legal, compliance and analytic functions by enabling e-discovery in backups, images and snapshots. Druva raised $80 million in August and is poised to go head-to-head with incumbent data management providers like Commvault and Veritas that also exhibited their wares at Legalweek.
Migrating data to the cloud. Archive360’s Archive2Azure uses Microsoft’s Azure to manage, secure and search information while keeping data in native formats and encrypting the data using the firm’s encryption keys. It preserves all metadata and tracks information access using a legally defensible audit trail. The archive tool’s case management features include search, review, tagging, legal hold and export to produce documents in CSV, EDRM and XML formats.
E-discovery providers took up the lion’s share of real estate at Legalweek. Besides the product updates from the likes of FTI Consulting (Ringtail 9.4), Relativity (Relativity 9.5, RelativityOne transcript support and active learning workflow) and RICOH Legal (Remlox Cloud with targeted forensic collection), there were several e-discovery announcements of interest to solo practitioners and small law firms.
CloudNine released its Targeted Preservation and Collection product, an integrated feature in the company’s e-discovery platform. With Targeted Preservation and Collection, users can identify, locate and collect electronically stored information (ESI) and automatically ingest and process the collection in CloudNine’s platform. The new tools facilitate workflow from collection to processing and reduce human errors in e-discovery.
Everlaw returned to Legalweek with 42 upgrades since the 2017 show. The upgrades include a customizable data visualizer for document sets, the ability to review and redact privacy data and to analyze more file types in media transcription, and guidance on how best to use predictive coding models. The data visualizer is designed to create interactive visualizations of any document sets to surface content, metadata, predicted relevance, file formats and review activity. Everlaw’s native spreadsheet redaction feature is built into the review platform and automatically identifies dependent cells with the ability to view the underlying formulas or values or redact the cell data. Other new features include uploading documents from cloud-based applications, and production enhancements to select metadata in privilege logs and add bookmarks to pages in StoryBuilder, the company’s case preparation and collaboration tool for litigators.
Ipro Tech announced enhanced features in its cloud platform, Automated Digital Discovery (ADD), which include a new user interface to apply security for self-service reports and ADD review, improved speed for search and production builds and searchable PDFs. Ipro also launched its latest desktop technology, caSE Director 360, to manage litigation lifecycles. The caSE Director 360 is a dynamic dashboard that operates in Eclipse SE 360, Trial Director 360 and Case Story. The company also released the next iteration of its trial presentation technology, TrialDirector (TD) 360, which integrates with Eclipse SE 360. TD 360’s redesign takes fewer clicks to accomplish tasks. New features include exhibit labeling, deposition designations, designation reporting and transcript redaction. TD 360 is purchased separately or with caSE Director 360.
Finally, look for some big things to come from Logikcull. The cloud-based e-discovery provider raised $25 million in Series B funding in January, led by NEA and previous investors OpenView Venture Partners and Storm Ventures.
See you at ABA TECHSHOW 2018, March 7-10, in Chicago!
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