Law Technology News
July 2001
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President's Corner

Tiny BOXLIGHT Packs Big Punch

Tiny BoxLight Packs Big Punch
BOXLIGHT president and CEO Herb Myers
BOXLIGHT Corp. has introduced its XD-10m Multimedia Projector. The unit is ideal for road warriors who "want to travel lightly and carry a big punch," promises the Poulsbo, Wash., company. Based on the reactions of attendees at the recent Association of Legal Administrators conference, where Boxlight demo'd the units, the company may well have a hit on its hands. The tiny projector packs 1024 by 768 pixel resolution, and offers crisp display, even in the unforgiving environment of a tradeshow. The 1100 lumens display allows the unit to be used even in a lit room. It comes with a magnesium shell; built-in manual zoom; USB mouse connection for a remote mouse; and Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology.

Information: Reader Response no. 351.

Summer Sizzlers

Summer Sizzlers: David Nuffer Utah State Bar president David Nuffer became the first attorney to renew his Utah law license online, demon-strating a new program in partnership with Zions Bank.

Summer Sizzlers: The Utah State Bar The state's 7,200 lawyers and judges can receive a TrustID digital certificate from the bank, and then visit a secure "Online Signing Room," powered by iLumin Corp.'s digital handshake technology, to re-up their tickets.

Information: Reader Response no. 348.

Public Hearing: The American Bar Association will hold a public hearing on multijuris-dictional practice, Aug. 3, at 9 a.m., at the Swisshotel, Chicago.

Details: (312) 565 0565.

Litigation Support

CaseCentral Introduces 3.0

SAN FRANCISCO-based CaseCentral Inc. has introduced CaseCentral Enterprise Edition 3.0, the latest upgrade of its Extranet software. It adds new features, including self-service administration tools, says president and CEO Chris Kruse.

The new version better accommodates multiple cases, says Kruse, and allows users to brand case sites with a firm/company name and logos.

Other new features: litigation and collaboration templates; a set-up wizard; master calendaring; and improved data loading.

Information: Reader Response no. 344.

Small Firms

WestWorks Wimpers

WestWorks Wimpers THE HIGHLY touted WestWorks application service provider program for small firms may be grinding to a slow halt, the latest victim (at least temporarily) of the skittish technology climate.

John Shaughnessy, director of corporate communications of parent Thomson Legal & Regulatory, confirmed that West Group has put sales efforts on hold while it monitors the economy. But, he insists, WestWorks has not shut down.

Seventy six firms are using the product. "We have hit our initial target for seats sold in the pilot," said Shaughnessy. And beta testing will continue in three cities (San Francisco, Miami and Houston), he said.

"Product development is continuing," said Shaughnessy. A third release of the platform is due out this summer, as is a third library, on civil litigation.

WestWorks was unveiled at the January 2000 LegalTech show. It is a suite of services and software for small firms, including time-and-billing, legal research, case management, calendaring and document management. Partners include IBM, Elite Information Systems Inc., and Microsoft Corp.

To use the system, firms must have high speed Internet access and adopt Windows 2000, an industrial-strength operating system that was marketed more toward the giants of industry than small business/firm operation. (Around the same time, Microsoft released Windows ME for consumers, who were actively discouraged from buying 2000.)

Nor is WestWorks cheap. For a loaded version, West charges each attorney $132 per month, and that does not include Westlaw access.

Was the Windows 2000 requirement a deal-breaker for small firms? West officials concede that that timing was a key issue.

"Any firm that has to make a new investment in technology in this economy is seriously evaluating whether they can make it for another year," said Steven Daitch, who started WestWorks and left in May to run West's LegalEdcenter continuing education project. Howard Zack, executive vice president, of information and product development, is now monitoring WestWorks.

But the same wait-and-see dynamic is operating with case management and other software, observes Daitch. "As attractive as an ASP is, it's a new investment."

"I don't perceive that there is a technology chill in big firms, but WestWorks was aimed at small and medium firms," he continued. "An ASP is a competitive advantage for small firms; they will come back when they feel comfortable with the economy."

Interviewed last winter for AmLaw Tech, West Group president Mike Wilens acknowledged that WestWorks ran the risk of being premature. "We agree that it's early to be doing this," he said. But he'd rather West be too early than too late, Wilens said.

Enough Handholding?

Others suggest that West was not prepared for the intensive handholding that the small firms would need to install and use WestWorks.

Shaughnessy did not dismiss the observation. "One of the purposes of a pilot is to identify sales, training, and implementation needs, and build a structure to best serve customers in helping to get the product implemented," said Shaughnessy.

"It's very different than selling a customer a legal research product," where West has an entire support structure in place, he said. " I think we've learned a lot about the market," said Shaughnessy.

And yes, in any event, West will leverage the information and experience gained on the project, said Daitch. "We do that all the time."

-- Monica Bay. (Ashby Jones contributed to this story).

I.T. Training and PAS Team Up and PAS Team Up has chosen Perfect Access Speer to provide training for its clients. The partnership is especially designed to help firms with small I.T. departments. Perfect Access Spear offers software education and consulting to law firms and corporations; provides managed I.T. services exclusively for law firms and corporate legal departments.

Information: Reader Response no. 350.

Office Gear

Brother Debuts New Laser Units

Brother Debuts New Laser Units BROTHER International Corp. has introduced three new monochrome personal laser printers. The workhorse printers are ideal for small firms and home offices, offering 15 pages-per-second printing, reports Brother, based in Bridgewater, N.J.

The Brother HL-1440, HL-1450 and HL-1470N units offer 1200 by 600 dpi print resolution, and are bundled with drivers to support Windows 95+ and Apple machines. USB and parallel interfaces are included.

Information: Reader Response no. 349.

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