2000 Law Technology News Reader Response Awards
THERE'S NO DOUBT about it: Voice recognition remains the hottest topic in legal technology. For the second year in a row, Dragon Systems Inc. has snared the top spot, based on responses via our Reader Response cards. We also note that Lernout & Hauspie, which acquired Dragon this year, made the top 10.
What else is hot? You remain fascinated with Internet-based tools, especially those that target small firm practitioners. LEXIS Publishing's lexisONE site grabbed the runner-up spot, and you also demonstrated keen interest in the upcoming launch of WestWorks.
Of course, CourtLink made the list. Not surprising, as we're all watching e-filing, wondering if it will ever come to fruition in our lifetime.
We were also intrigued by Richard Harroch's new LawCommerce.com marketing site-- clearly, so were you. You also crave information on how to use software. LTN Editorial Advisory Board member John Treddenick scored a big hit with his Lawyer's Guide to Spreadsheets. Donna Payne's update of her popular Bible on word processing, Word 2000 for Law Firms, kept her in the top 10 for the third year in a row. PowerPoint for Litigators debuts on the list.
The Reader Response Awards wouldn't be complete without at least one entry from the handheld crowd, and this year does not disappoint. The new Palm m100 made the cut, as did one of the niftiest gadgets we've seen in years: the Stowaway folding keyboard.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on the list: your interest in Linux: Corel's Linux OS made the roster.
So without further adieu, here's the 2000 roster!
1. Dragon Systems Inc. (which was acquired this year by Lernout & Hauspie) released the latest upgrade of its legal-specific speech recognition software, Dragon NaturallySpeaking Legal Suite 4.0.
The upgrade "dramatically increased" the program's 250,000-word legal vocabulary. Other new features include improved speech commands for the Internet; reduced training time; and enhancements to take advantage of the improved performance available on Intel Pentium III and AMD Athlon processors.
Users can dictate directly into most applications, including Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect, notes Dragon.
Reader Response card no. 296.
2. LEXIS Publishing introduced its new lexisONE Web site. The site offers free case law, legal forms, and information for small-firm attorneys. It offers five years of free case law, including the complete collection of U.S. Supreme Court cases, and 1,100 legal forms. An Internet legal guide offers 16,000 links to law-related Web sites.
Through lexisONE, professionals also can access the company's enhanced collection of case law, as well as Shepard's citations service, on a pay-per-use credit card system, it says. LEXIS plans to expand content to include client development, practice management tools, news, court calendars, and other resources.
Reader Response card no. 297.
3. CourtLink Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., joined the dot.com frontier in January, when it launched www.courtlink.com. The site offers real-time Internet access to more than 700 federal, state and local court systems, the company reports.
The new service provides an alternative to the company's existing dial-up Windows-based program. Both help users track cases, search multiple court records simultaneously (by name or case number), sort results and order documents online, it says.
CourtLink also announced that it received $15 million in financing from Internet Capital Group. The same financiers had provided $21 million earlier to JusticeLink Inc., and later during 2000, CourtLink and JusticeLink Inc. announced a merger.
Reader Response card no. 299.
4. The National Institute for Trial Advocacy has published PowerPoint for Litigators, by Deanne Siemer, Frank Rothschild, Edward Stein, and Samuel Solomon. The book, which includes a CD-ROM, teaches users to create Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
Reader Response card no. 300.
5. WestWorks, an integrated law practice research and practice management suite, was introduced at the 2000 Legal Tech New York show.
Scheduled to launch in early 2001, it is a joint project of West Group, Microsoft Corp., IBM, and Elite.com. WestWorks is built upon Microsoft Office 2000; Microsoft Exchange; and Elite's new TimeSolv program. It will be used to coordinate legal research, document assembly, document management, case management, time-and-billing, client management, and calendar/docket information.
Reader Response card no. 301.
6. Legal People is a CD-ROM-based training system for legal support staff that combines computer-based technology and proven teaching methodologies. The first release is a three-hour "Introduction to the Law Office," that reviews the basics of the American legal system, legal terminology, law office culture and ethics. Level II, "Essential Law Office Procedures," addresses telephone and e-mail etiquette, calendaring, legal filing, correspondence, time-and-billing, and document production.
Future modules will tackle specific practice areas.
Reader Response card no. 302.
7. John Tredennick, a partner at Denver's Holland & Hart, and a member of LTN's Editorial Advisory Board, is the author of Lawyer's Guide to Spreadsheets: How to Master Excel in Eight Easy Lessions, published by Glasser LegalWorks.
It offers non-technical lessons to help lawyers deal creatively with data and financial information in cases and transactions.
The book teaches how to build a spreadsheet "from scratch," and how to perform "what if" calculations on sheets received from accountants and others.
Reader Response card no. 303.
8. Summation Legal Technologies Inc. has introduced Summation iBlaze, an upgrade of the company's Summation Blaze litigation support software.
It adds Internet functions, which allows lawyers to manage transcripts (including real-time processing), evidentiary documents and process other documents. Lawyers can search Internet-based document repositories, such as Microsoft Access and SQL Server 7.0 databases, advises Summation.
The program also can download summaries and document images for offline searching and review, the San Francisco-based company's explains.
A new interface mimics the familiar Windows Explorer, and a "Chain of Evidence" function allows users to create links between full-text documents and other evidence, it says.
Reader Response card no. 304.
9. Lernout & Hauspie says its latest upgrade of its popular voice recognition software adds enhancements to make the product more intuitive.
L&H Voice Xpress 5.0 includes improved accuracy, as well as support for e-mail, Internet browsing, and chat applications.
It now offers Nothing But Speech (NBS) technology, a filter that eliminates "ummm" and "ahhh" sounds made during typical dictation sessions.
A new "L&H RealSpeak" text-to-speech engine allows users to have text read back b y a "human-sounding" voice, it notes.
Reader Response card no. 305.
10. MyCIO.com is an "infrastructure application service provider" that fights Internet-related security problems, says the Santa Clara, Calif., company.
An affiliate of Network Associates Inc., it is offering VPN ASaP, a line of managed security services designed to deliver fast, simple, virtual private network connections for firms conducting business on the Web. It protects firms from malicious attacks and hacker attempts, says MyCIO.com. The company also offers WebShield ASaP, to provide Internet gateway protection against viruses.
Reader Response card no. 306.
11. More than 30 elite law firms, ranging from New York's Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to Silicon Valley's Valley Venture Law Group to D.C.'s Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering have become charter members of San Francisco-based LawCommerce.com.
The company features an electronic marketplace, and offers technology and communications services for the legal industry, says founder and chair of the board, Richard Harroch. Members, he says, will be able to use their aggregated buying power to reduce costs on purchases of everything from legal software to insurance to temporary staffing to computers.
Reader Response card no. 308.
12. Corel Linux OS is available, for free, as a download from Corel Corp.'s Web site, and in two boxed versions.
The free edition includes Corel Install Express, Corel Update and Corel File Manager. The free version on CD may be purchased for $4.95, plus shipping and handling.
The standard edition offers Netscape Communicator, Adobe Acrobat Reader, WordPerfect 8 for Linux (light edition), Instant Messenger-ICQ compatible client, fonts, and more, it says.
The deluxe edition adds BRU backup software, clip art, games, 30-day installation tech support, eFax Plus service, a user guide, sound drivers and a 3-1/2-inch Linux penguin.
Corel also announced that it is currently developing Linux versions of the entire suites of its flagship products, WordPerfect word processing software and CorelDRAW.
Reader Response card no. 309.
13. There was a lot of buzz at Chicago's ABA TECHSHOW 2000 about a home-grown product from I-DEP L.L.C.
I-DEP 1.0, was previewed at the show, and offers live video and two-way audio; court reporter transcripts; and private messaging to any desktop or laptop PC, using a secure Internet connection.
The service includes Depositions on Demand, which automatically archives each deposition for real-time review.
Founded by Internet marketer Jay Jackson and Julie Furer, an attorney with Chicago's Schiff Hardin and Waite, I-DEP L.L.C. is in first-stage funding and is privately funded.
Reader Response card no. 310.
14. Palm Computing has introduced its Palm m100 handheld computer. It uses Palm OS 3.5 software, and includes Palm's traditional date book, address book, to do list, memo pad, and infrared beaming functions.
New features include a "Note Pad" application that can capture handwritten "sticky notes." These can be linked to alarms to alert users of important times and dates, transcribed into other applications, or synchronized directly to a new corresponding Note Pad function on the desktop software (both Mac and PC compatible). Other new tools include a clock with travel-alarm capabilities, and a new HotSync cable for connecting and sharing data with a desktop computer.
Reader Response card no. 311.
15. Sage U.S. Holdings Inc. is now shipping Timeslips 10, and has also announced the launch of its first Internet-based service.
Designed to assist lawyers, accountants, consultants and other service professionals, it offers time and expense services, allowing creation of customized bills. Users can generate management reports to support budget and accounting processes.
A new "Bank Deposit Slip" function has been added for better payment tracking, says Sage. As part of that feature, a new "General Ledger" transfer to multiple accounts receivable function has been added.
Customers can identify a particular bank as a recipient of a check.
Timeslips eCenter has been created to help users combine the convenience of the Internet with Timeslips features.
Reader Response card no. 312.
16. If your fingers cramp when you try to use the Palm stylus, check out the Stowaway, from Think Outside LLC. It folds out into a full-sized keyboard, allowing users to quickly and comfortably enter text into handheld devices (which plug right into the built-in docking station, no batteries or cables required). The Stowaway is designed to work with both Palm and Handspring Visor devices, says the company, based in Solana Beach, Calif.
Closed, it's about the size of your palm, and weighs 7.9 ounces. It's made of glass-filled polycarbonate and aluminum for durability, notes the company.
Reader Response card no. 313.
17. Access At Law is a book and CD set designed to help law firms maximize their use of Microsoft Access, Microsoft Corp.'s database manager. It offers step-by-step instructions on how to set-up and manage legal-specific databases.
The CD-ROM includes ready-to-use legal databases for case management, firm marketing, basic litigation support, docket/reminder, practice development and more, says Jones-Mack Publishing, of Riverdale, Md.
Reader Response card no. 314.
18. Payne Consulting Group, of Seattle, Wash., has updated its popular training guide for legal professionals who use Microsoft's popular word processing software. Word 2000 for Law Firms focuses exclusively on the features of Microsoft's word processing software that are relevant to lawyers.
It explains the new features and capabilities of Word 2000 and offers hands-on exercises to help users produce quality legal documents in a minimum amount of time, says Payne.
The company specializes in helping law firms migrate to Microsoft Office applications.
Reader Response card no. 314.
19. DATA.TXT Corp. has debuted Time Matters 3.0 for Windows 95/98/NT/2000. The upgrade is available in three new editions: personal, professional, and enterprise. New features include e-mail, mail tracking, phone center, Web research, billing and expense, and matter management software, as well as a QuickBooks link, the company says.
The personal edition is aimed at users who do not need networking and links to other software, says the company. (However, it does link to Palm organizers). The professional edition offers networking and links; the enterprise version runs on the Microsoft SQL Server Version 7 Database, explains DATA.TXT.
Reader Response card no. 315.
20. Much news from Interface Software, of Oak Brook, Ill.: It released its Interaction Time & Billing Collaboration integration tool; opened a London office; and inked a distribution accord with integrators Tikit, Ltd. Mitchell Grossbach heads the U.K./international team. Already on the client roster: Lovell White Durant; Herbert Smith; Lamport Bassitt; and Berwin Leighton.
Reader Response card no. 316.