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December 1999

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1999 Reader Interest Awards

THIS YEAR'S AWARDS confirm that lawyers are still infatuated with voice recognition, mobile lawyering, and the Internet!

Topping the chart: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Mobile Legal Suite; competitors IBM (Via Voice) and Lernout & Hauspie (L&H Voice Express Legal) also make the list. CyberTranscriber's ranking also demonstrates how very much lawyers crave dictating microphones!

Handhelds remain screamingly popular. One of the most exciting releases this year was Hewlett-Packard's nifty little scanner, the HP CapShare 920. And everybody's still wild about StarTac phones.

Also not a surprise: The strong showing by Corel's and Microsoft's same-named Office 2000 suites, as well as Prima Publishing's Word 97 for Law Firms. When push comes to shove, document management is the heart and soul of legal technology. So we can expect to see old favorites such as Hot Docs and the ABA Law Practice Management section's book, HotDocs in One Hour.

Newcomers to the Top 20 include Amicus Attorney IV; Microsoft's Y2K Toolkit; Gateway's Profile desktop PC system; Alumni's PCLawPro and PCLawJr.; and BlumbergExcelsior's Business Evaluation System.

Of course, the Internet is hot, hot, hot. Just look at CT Corp.'s Online Ordering system; InfoSource's Internet Legal Guide; and ClickStamp online postage.

A word on our methodology: We ranked the products by the highest response to a single item in a single issue, from November '98 through October '99. (In a few cases, there were multiple versions of the same product released during the year, in which case we only counted it once.)

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Dragon NaturallySpeaking Mobile Legal Suite
March 1999. Page 1.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Mobile Legal Suite package includes speech recognition software; a pocket-size recorder; comprehensive legal vocabulary support for both Corel's WordPerfect and Microsoft's Word software, a copy of Corel's WordPerfect Legal Suite, and a headset (for use with PCs), says Dragon Systems Inc., of Newton, Mass.

The suite supports Windows 95/98/NT 4.0, and adds "Select-and-Say" functionality to third-party applications, says Dragon. It offers hands-free features for navigating in Windows, enabling lawyers to easily create, edit, and format documents (such as briefs, notes, and correspondence) by speaking into a hand-held recorder, it says.

After users have recorded with the handheld device, the recordings can be downloaded to a PC, using a high-speed serial link and linking software (included in the kit), explains Dragon. The software transcribes the text and can execute commands for formatting and editing, says Dragon.

It was a busy year for Dragon. They just announced another upgrade of the mobile suite, (See this issue, page 5). In our September 1999 issue (Page 1), they introduced the latest edition of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 4.0, with new speech commands for the Internet, increased vocabulary, and reduced training time.

For more information ENTER no. 315 after Clicking Here.

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WordPerfect Law Office 2000
September 1999. Page 1.

Corel Corp. introduced its WordPerfect Law Office 2000 this fall. The legal edition includes five core applications: WordPerfect 9 word processing software; Quattro Pro 9 spreadsheet program; Paradox 9 desktop database application; Corel Presentations 9 slide show program; and CorelCENTRAL 9 information manager.

The suite offers superior integration with older versions of WordPerfect and Microsoft Word, advises Ottawa's Corel, as well as compatibility with electronic filing formats such as PDF, and open standards such as XML. It allows users to convert to the EDGAR file format (to electronically file documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission).

The suite also includes DEAL PROOF SE 1.3, as a result of a partnership with Expert Ease Software Inc.

In other activity this last year, Corel launched Photo Paint 8, and a Linux edition of its WordPerfect product.

For more information ENTER no. 316 after Clicking Here.

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CyberTranscriber for Law
May 1999. Page 1.

Speech Machines, of Redwood City, Calif., has released CyberTranscriber for Law, the latest edition to the company's line of speech recognition services. It enables lawyers to dictate into any telephone or cell phone, and receive verbatim accurate transcriptions quickly, via e-mail, the company explains. Using the service, mobile attorneys can enjoy the benefits of a "virtual secretary" from anywhere, at anytime, by calling a toll-free number and dictating, it explains. The service is available 24 hours a day, and requires no voice training, says the company. Document turnaround is normally under three hours, it says.

CyberTranscriber includes a billing code option that prompts attorneys to enter a numeric code with each dictation, the company notes. Monthly invoices summarize all documents on a per-client basis, it says.

For more information ENTER no. 317 after Clicking Here.

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CT Document Order
August 1999. Page 1.

CT Corp., a division of CCH Legal Information Services, debuted CT Document Order, a Web-based system for ordering business documents. Using the system, lawyers and paralegals can order business organization documents via the Web site.

Document Order employs built-in intelligence to help customers select documents for any entity (corporations, LLCs, LLPs, LPs) for any U.S. jurisdiction, reports CT Corp., which is based in New York. Users can request good standing (or equivalent) documents; certified copy of articles and subsequent documents; tax status letters; annual reports; and other documents, and can place simultaneous orders for multiple juridictions, it says. CT Document Order runs on Internet Explorer 4.0 and Netscape Navigator 4.0 or higher, Windows 95/NT.

For more information ENTER no. 318 after Clicking Here.

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ViaVoice 98
March 1999. Page 41.

IBM's ViaVoice 98 uses natural language commands to create, edit, and format documents in Microsoft Word 97, says IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y. The software comes in three versions: Executive Edition, Office Edition and Home Edition, all offering hands-free correction and editing functions.

On Windows 95/98 systems, where Microsoft Active Accessibility is supported, the executive and home office editions enable users to speak menu commands and file names and activate desktop icons, says IBM. It also includes natural number formatting, where dictated numbers automatically appear on the screen in correct format, including dates, currencies, times, weights and measurements, and telephone numbers, IBM explains.

IBM also offers a legal vocabulary module for Via Voice 98, which includes 25,000 commonly used legal terms.

For more information ENTER no. 319 after Clicking Here.

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HotDocs 5.0 and HotDocs Pro 5.0
December 1998. Page 16.

HotDocs 5.0 and HotDocs Pro 5.0 have been upgraded, with new features to help firms post standardized documents and form templates to the Internet or to a firm Intranet, says Capsoft Development Corp., of Provo, Utah. Users can create interactive templates based on existing word-processor documents, which can be used to generate customized drafts or final versions of the original document, it says.

For more information ENTER no. 320 after Clicking Here.

HP CapShare 920
September 1999. Page 1.

Hewlett-Packard Co. Inc. says its HP CapShare 920 e-copier enables lawyers to make quick, accurate copies of documents with a "swipe" of the hand.

The small, battery-operated, handheld copier can hold up to 50 pages, which can be transmitted to a computer or printer wirelessly or via serial cable. It includes Pagis Pro 2.0 document management software, says HP, from its Greeley, Colo. offices.

For more information ENTER no. 321 after Clicking Here.

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Internet Guide for the Legal Researcher
December 1998. Page 16.

The Internet Guide for the Legal Researcher is written by Don MacLeod, Webmaster at New York's Cravath, Swaine & Moore, advises Infosources Publishing of Teaneck, N.J.

The 450-page book offers detailed information about law-related Web sites, and is designed to help legal researchers and other users solve real world research problems, the company advises.

It covers basic Internet concepts, communications, browser software, and search engines, says Infosources. The guide is divided into federal, international, and state categories.

For more information ENTER no. 322 after Clicking Here.

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HotDocs in One Hour
December 1998. Page 17.

This guide from the American Bar Association's Law Practice Management section is designed to jump start attorneys who want to automate their legal forms using the popular software.

Written by international corporate tax lawyer Bruce Miller, the 64-page softcover book is divided into four 15-minute lessons, says the ABA. It explains step-by-step how Capsoft Development Corp.'s HotDocs software can be used with word processing programs to improve document production, it says.

For more information ENTER no. 323 after Clicking Here.

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Amicus Attorney IV
September 1999. Page 1.

Gavel & Gown Software Inc., of Toronto, says its Amicus Attorney IV case management software is designed to meet the needs of different sized firms from solos up to 200 users, says G&G.

New features include a "Call Center" for telephone traffic management; improved custom reports for business analysis and development; wide area network support; and the ability to do remote updates by modem or the Internet, says G&G. The upgrade also operates significantly faster than prior versions, it says.

For more information ENTER no. 324 after Clicking Here.

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Word 97 for Law Firms
December 1998. Page 17.

From Prima Publishing of Rocklin, Calif., the 486-page softcover Word 97 for Law Firms offers help to legal professionals who use Microsoft's Word 97 word processing software. (The company released its new edition, Word 2000 for Law Firms, this fall. See November 1999, Page 1).

Specific topics include table of authorities, legal numbering styles, conversion issues, pleadings and creating macros, among others, Prima adds.

It is written by the staff of Seattle's Payne Consulting Group, which provides comprehensive training and development services for attorneys, says Prima.

For more information ENTER no. 325 after Clicking Here.

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L&H Voice Xpress for Legal -- Litigation Edition
November 1998. Page 1.

Lernout & Hauspie debuted its L&H Voice Xpress for Legal -- Litigation Edition, speech recognition software that offers vocabulary tailored for trial lawyers, including legal terms, phrases, and acronyms. Voice Xpress is compatible with Microsoft Office applications and offers continuous speech and flexible voice commands for editing and formatting documents, says the company, based in Burlington, Mass.

For more information ENTER no. 326 after Clicking Here.

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Y2K Tool Kit
February 1999. Page 28.

Microsoft's Year 2000 Tool Kit helps identify and repair Y2K glitches in its various software products, says the Redmond, Wash., company. It includes a product- analyzer tool to examine hard disks to determine Y2K compliance.

For more information ENTER no. 327 after Clicking Here.

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Bad Software: What to Do When Software Fails
February 1999. Page 56.

Wiley Computer Publishing has released Bad Software: What to Do When Software Fails, by Cem Kaner and David Pels. The 366-page softcover book covers everything from knowing what to ask for, how to complain, consumer protection agencies, to what to expect from a lawsuit and how to choose an attorney.

Kaner is a development consulant and attorney, whose practice focuses on the law of software quality. Pels has worked in computer and software and support since 1981.

For more information ENTER no. 328 after Clicking Here.

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Gateway Profile PC System
August 1999. Page 1.

Gateway Inc. says its Gateway Profile desktop system is an all-in-one PC that conforms to your space, rather than forcing your space to conform to it.

What appears at first blush to be just a three-inch-thick LCD panel, mouse, and keyboard is the entire system, says the company, based in San Diego. The computer is built right into the thin monitor, Gateway reports.

The system is available with either Windows 98 or NT applications, and pre-installed LANDesk client manager, says Gateway. It has a 15-inch LCD display, and offers a 400 MHz AMD H6-2 processor.

For more information ENTER no. 329 after Clicking Here.

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PCLaw Pro and PCLawJr
November 1998. Page 1.

Alumni Computer Group Inc., of Buffalo, N.Y., has released upgraded editions of its two time-and-billing software programs, PCLawPro and PCLawJr. (The company upgraded the products again this fall. See November, 1999, Page 1).

Last year's revisions added task-based billing, including American Bar Association/Price Waterhouse codes, says Alumni. PCLawPro is designed for firms with 10 to 100 timekeepers; PCLawJr is targeted to operations with less than ten timekeepers, Alumni advises. Reporting features and fields also were enhanced on both versions, says Alumni, and PCLawJr 4.0 added a conversion program to allow easy transfer of information from other time-and-billing programs, says Alumni.

This year's upgrade simplified installation, and added a pop-up "help" button to alert users to problems in data entry.

For more information ENTER no. 330 after Clicking Here.

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Sprint Offers StarTAC Phone
May 1999. Page 1.

Sprint PCS and Motorola Inc. joined forces to offer Motorola's StarTAC CDMA 1900 MHz digital phone. The StarTAC ST7762 phone is 5.5 cubic inches and weighs 4.2 ounces with its extra capacity Lithium Ion battery, they say. It includes Caller ID and VibraCall silent alert, which gently notifies users of incoming calls, says Motorola, which is headquartered in Libertyville, Ill.

The StarTAC phone offers up to four hours of talk time, or 110 hours of standby time, says Sprint, which is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.

The phone has an optional auxiliary battery that can be used to provide up to eight hours of talk time and 220 hours of standby time, says Sprint. Its 64-digit LCD graphic display provides a clear, easy-to-read view of menus, messages and current call information, it says.

For more information ENTER no. 331 after Clicking Here.

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Microsoft Office 2000 Suite.
June 1999. Page 1.

Redmond's Microsoft Corp. launched its Office 2000 suite, available in five editions: standard, small business, professional, premium, and developer. The software is offered in a variety of languages, and all editions include Word, its word processing program; Excel, its spreadsheet, and Outlook, Microsoft's messaging/collaboration program.

Each Office 2000 edition features a variety of applications, such as PowerPoint presentation software and Access.

For more information ENTER no. 332 after Clicking Here.

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Business Evaluation Systems
February 1999. Page 19.

BlumbergExcelsior has introduced its Business Evaluation Systems software, which the New York-based company says can help lawyers evaluate a business in less than an hour.

The program includes a questionnaire for clients. Once the client responses are entered, the program then can generate a comprehensive report explaining valuation methods, the theories used, and conclusions reached, explains the company.

For more information ENTER no. 333 after Clicking Here.

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June 1999. Page 3.

It's been quite the year for Pitney Bowes Inc., which won approval this fall by the United States Postal Service to deliver postage via personal computer.

In September (Page 31), we reported on its ClickStamp Plus and ClickStamp Online products. Prepaid postage is stored in a "Postage Vault" attached to the user's PC, which can be refilled 24/7 via modem.

Last June, we were telling you that Pitney Bowes had just received approval from the U.S. Postal Service for second phase beta testing (in San Francisco) of ClickStamp, which prints a "digital stamp" directly onto envelopes using ink jet or laser printers.

For more information ENTER no. 334 after Clicking Here.

Letter from the Editor

Tech Calendar

The Year in Review

Reader's Interest Awards

Letters to the Editor

Emerging Technologies

Law Tech News

mis@The San Francisco Public Defender's Office

Second Opinions

Small & Home Office

Web Works

Systems Management

Web Watch

Cameras & Accessories

Utilities Roundup

Time & Billing

Speech Recognition

Quick Takes

Practice Tools

Portable Office

Office Gear

Networking & Storage

Mail Box

Litigation Showcase

Library Administration

Industry News

November 1999 Issue
© 1999 Law Technology News