Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Panic? There's Still Time to Give - and Give Back

The holiday season is a time to show the people in your life they are valued, sending holiday cards and gifts to family and friends. Many businesses choose to include clients and colleagues in holiday gift giving. If procrastination is now turning to panic, don’t worry! There’s still time to send holiday wishes to clients and business partners.

If a holiday card is in the plan, there are several tips to consider:
·        Send a “Happy New Year” card. It’s a great upbeat alternative to the traditional holiday card, and can be sent right up through the first of the year.
·        Send a holiday eCard. Online design applications, such as Paperless Post, offer extensive design selections and tools to customize a message and assure highest rates of delivery. The eCard method is “green,” and can be done quickly. The benefit is that some sites help upload and maintain your contact list, so you’ll be ready earlier next year!
·        Include a photo of your team on the card, whether a print card or eCard. If your clients are distant, they may not see you often, and a photo of the people they work with helps them know you better.
·        If your list is short, consider personalizing each card. A brief handwritten note is always appreciated.

Professional Gifts
As the holidays are rapidly approaching, an online site with direct shipping is probably the best option at this point. First determine which clients will receive a gift. From that, you can decide if you want them all to get the same gift. A tiered system, with small/medium/large items in a gift grouping, may allow some tailoring of the gift to the size of the client team.
Some tips on gift giving:
·        Send something from a business local to your community. Support another local business while sending a unique and memorable gift. Think Seattle smoked salmon, Texas hot sauce, Virginia peanuts.
·        Fine chocolate and coffee are always appreciated.
·        An experience gift can be fun. Depending on the client, an afternoon visit by a masseuse or nail artist could provide a break from work stress, and a bonding experience for the client team.
·        Share your values and make the world a better place. A well-considered charitable donation to an organization that the client admires or is associated with is a thoughtful and meaningful gesture.
·        An important book (that you have read and enjoyed) in the industry or profession, management and leadership arena is a thoughtful way to share your views and values.
·        If the client is a large corporation, there may be restrictions on acceptance of gifts. Consider this, and avoid over-the-top extravagance.
·        In addition to clients, consider a card or gift for those key prospective clients on your target list for the coming year. This is one more opportunity to build a new relationship.

So delay no further! As the old adage goes, “it’s the thought that counts.” With these tips, your card or gift will convey your thoughtfulness and appreciation of your clients this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

CX and Your Website: The 8-Second Rule - by Kim Tidwell @ Edge Marketing

Are you familiar with the term customer experience (CX)? Not just for app developers or folks operating on the fringes of innovation, CX is a pervasive value system that will affect your company’s success. So what exactly is CX? I like Forrester’s definition for its simplicity:

“How customers perceive their interactions with your company.”

Anytime you interact with a customer, whether it is online, in person or over the phone, you are engaging in forming customer experience – good, bad or ugly. Most of us, apparently, feel that we are doing a good job – only, we are not.

According to Bain & Company, 80 percent of CEOs believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. How do companies go about bringing those two numbers closer together? When it comes to your first chances to nurture positive CX – your website and social media profiles – it is important to set your brand ego aside.

Think about this:

“There are only 86,400 seconds in a day. Given that we are universally bound by this limited resource, how can we make things easier, quicker and simpler for our customers?”

This question, posed by MGM Resorts International’s chief experience officer, Julie Hoffmann, at the American Marketing Association’s National Conference in September, is one that you should ask regularly.

In addition, here are two exercises you can do today to positively impact the online customer experience you provide.

How would you describe your organization and its services or products to a 10-year-old?

Visit your website home page. Without scrolling, does it answer this question in under eight seconds? The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a recent study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds.

If a first-time visitor sees only your clever brand tagline, then it is time to make one critical change on your home page. Add a succinct single-line message that communicates your value proposition. A quick web search turned up these examples of effective home page value messages:

·         The easy, fast, affordable way to send money online – from your desktop, tablet or mobile device.
·     Comprehensive, easy-to-use cloud-based law practice management software.
·         Software for automated sales tax compliance. “Sales tax is hard. We make it easy.”

That value message will help visitors confirm their interest in your product or service. Make sure this simple description also lives on your social media profiles.

Within the first eight seconds, visitors should also see one or more simple, low-risk ways to engage with you. An opt-in subscription form, download offer or free trial may extend the visit well beyond eight seconds.

What are the top five questions your prospective customers ask you?

You are sitting on the most valuable insights money can buy – actual customer interactions. Ask your sales team to account for the questions they continually get asked by prospects at the beginning of the relationship. Do you address these questions on your website’s most important pages? How many pages and links does it take to get the answers? Your customers are coming to your website to figure out if you provide a solution for their pesky, nagging pain point. Is there a way to provide relief in fewer interactions?

Sometimes, particularly with B2B, we get caught up in trying to deliver so much information that the most customer-relevant part gets lost or left out. You do not need a new website to make real strides in your CX. Real improvements can result from simply creating headlines and separating blocks of copy and important callouts with more white space.

Your brand is not just a tagline, a collection of bright colors and a logo. Ultimately, your true brand is your customers’ experience of your company over the duration of their relationship with you. Your website is a prominent part of that, so start your CX initiative there.

Monday, July 13, 2015

How the @SupportPayApp Works with Child Support Systems to Help Manage Shared Expenses

After a separation or divorce, parents who live apart may have a child support order or agreement - yet are left to figure out how to manage the process on their own, inevitably leading to conflict and tension. SupportPay (www.supportpay.com), a desktop/mobile app is the first platform to address this need, by helping to standardize the billing and payment process for child support as well as other shared expenses – such as medical, child care, education, and extracurricular activities – that aren’t usually addressed by court orders or state-run payment platforms. SupportPay is private, secure, and fully transparent – making the process of managing & paying child support and sharing other child-related expenses simple and less stressful. 


SupportPay allows a parent to manage the monthly child support payment, as well as easily submit additional expenses and attache receipts. The other parent can quickly review the item, see immediately that the expense is for their child, and make or schedule a payment directly through the platform. SupportPay does all of the calculations, tracking and reminders for parents, so they don’t have to worry or fight about it. The platform stores the complete child support information, and provides a certified record for court or tax purposes. As a result, paying parents can easily see the money is going to their children, while receiving parents clearly demonstrate exactly what it costs to raise them. In fact, SupportPay is so effective in the child support process that parents are 90 percent more likely to pay or receive child support than without the system, according to founder Sheri Atwood.


By Guest Blogger: Supportpay

At Legaltech West Coast, Sample Catalyst's 'Secret Sauce'

McDonalds has its secret sauce. Coke has its secret recipe. And Catalyst has Contextual Diversity Sampling—the "secret sauce" that sets apart its Technology Assisted Review engine, Insight Predict, from any other in the market. At Legaltech West Coast July 13 and 14, attendees will be able to see it in action, with ongoing demonstrations at the Catalyst booth. 

By Guest Blogger: Catalyst Repository Systems, Inc.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Researching new software options can be a daunting task. Learn where to start!

Buying Software? Start By Evaluating Service!


You can practically hear your office hum with productivity when everyone is working – diligently plugging away. You strive to hear that sound every day, but little interruptions can stop productivity in its tracks. That’s one of the things that keeps firms from buying or updating their software. Anytime you start using new software, update to a new version, or even start to use new features in a program, you’ll have questions you want to ask an expert. Not to mention the panic you would feel if your computer or network crashes and you need to get everything back to the way it was. At that moment, having an expert on your team, ready to tackle the problem, is priceless.

You want your concerns understood and a solution presented to you within a reasonable amount of time. You don’t want to wait for an email response, wait on hold for 30 minutes before talking to someone, or end a conversation feeling you haven’t been helped. When evaluating practice management software, customer service is often the last thing on your mind, because you don’t need it right now. But when you have questions, you want to be sure that you can count on your software’s customer service.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you buy.

  1. Who in my office will use the software the most?

    While managing partners are typically the ones who finalize the purchasing decision, they typically are not the ones who use the software most often. In order to purchase the best software solution for your firm, talk to those who will be your most frequent users – paralegals, support staff, billing managers, and practice administrators. They will be in the software every day, so discuss what they need, and make sure they know what resources are available and how to access them.

  2. Is support or training included?

    It is easy to assume that when you purchase software, support and training will automatically be included in that cost. However, this is not the case for all software. Know the resource options available. Can you call in for free, at least for several months, to ask questions on using the software even if there is nothing wrong? Are there manuals, online help articles, training videos, and webinars? More importantly, are they thorough, easy to understand, helpful resources, or are they a waste of your time?

  3. What is their reputation for service?

    If you want to find non-biased opinions on legal software, speak to your local Bar Association for their opinions on various software options. You can also check out legal technology blogs, review sites, and newsletters, such as TechnoLawyer, Capterra, and Legaltech News. If you still want more input on the reputation of a certain software provider, ask other law firms and see what software they’re using and how they would rate the software’s customer support. Going to one of these three different resources will provide you with valuable information to make an informed decision.


    This content is an abridged version of Buying Software? Start By Evaluating Service! by Tabs3 Software. To download the original white paper, visit Tabs3.com/LTStart.

By Guest Blogger: Tabs3 Software

You could be leaving hard-earned money on the table by committing this one billing mistake!

The #1 Billing Mistake Attorneys Make


As an attorney, you meet with clients, deliver the work as promised, and, eventually, you send out a bill. We understand that dealing with bills is not why you became an attorney, but in order to get paid and continue to practice law, you sometimes need to focus on billing just as much as practicing your passion.

The number one billing mistake attorneys make is tardy invoicing. Sending invoices to clients in an ad hoc fashion creates a cycle of problems. Here are just a few of the major pain points that late invoicing creates and how to fix them by creating a timely billing policy.

Brings up unnecessary questions

Don’t put yourself in a position where your clients forget what you were able to accomplish. Something that was clear to your client, like extra fees, might easily have been forgotten. You may often find yourself re-explaining a fee, or worse, offering a discount because the client wants to argue about why something was done. Sending an invoice right when they agree to your fee, or immediately after you resolve an issue, aligns their thought process with your payment.

Leaves money on the table

As we just mentioned, memory plays a factor in billing – for your client and for you. Do you remember every phone call, email, extra half hour at the courthouse, or late nights at the office?

Even the most seasoned professional cannot remember everything. The longer you wait to enter your time and send out invoices, the more likely details will get lost in the process…and by details, we mean money. A lack of timely billing practices leaves money on the table. So unless you can afford pro bono work to your billable clients, don’t let your well-earned money slip through the cracks.

Suggests that late payments are okay

Clients need you start working on their case or project right away, don’t they? Being late with your bill implies you are not concerned with when you get paid, or even worse, makes you look unorganized, which in turn could make the client less likely to refer you to other potential clients.

Creates more work for later

It may seem like you’re saving time by waiting until the end of the week or month to enter your time, but in reality, you’re actually creating more work. Time spent racking your brain trying to remember who and what to bill, combined with chasing clients for money, adds up. These end up being hours that you, unfortunately, cannot bill for.

This content is an abridged version of The #1 Billing Mistake Attorneys Makeby Tabs3 Software. To download the original white paper and learn how to create a proactive billing policy, visit Tabs3.com/LTBM.

By Guest Blogger: Tabs3 Software

We compiled our top six areas you should be monitoring each month.

Top Six Reports We Recommend to Every Attorney

It’s a common scenario: You start the year optimistic, determined to take your billing productivity and practice to the next level. But with the year almost half over, how have you done? Maybe you started out great, but you didn’t quite know what information would help. If this sounds familiar, then our monthly report “6-pack” is what you need. Reports give concrete data for decisions. While qualitative data, or thinking with your heart, is helpful in some circumstances, quantitative data, or thinking with your head, often leads you to the best decisions. By evaluating your monthly performance, over time you can use it as a means to consistently improve your firm’s productivity and profitability.
Remember: even the most seasoned attorney is able to find areas to improve or adjust.
To help you start evaluating your firm’s performance, we compiled our top six areas you should be monitoring each month:
  1. Billable VS. Non-Billable Activity
    You need to know how much of your work is billable and how much is not. The ratio of billable to non-billable time can determine how productive you have been during the past month. Use this ratio to improve the next month and focus on how you can limit non-billable activity. When comparing month to month, and year-to-date, you can see how you’ve improved over the course of the year and where you could still make improvements. Evaluating your billable and non-billable time allows you to assess your overall productivity for the month.
  2. How much your clients owe you
    A law firm cannot be profitable if it doesn’t get paid. That is why it is important to monitor how much is due from every client each month. Imagine if you only checked in on your accounts receivable on a quarterly basis and you realized you have not collected on an invoice that was due three months ago. Because so much time has passed since you last checked in with your client, the uncomfortable conversation that you could have had a month ago is even more uncomfortable now. Chances are, your client won’t remember details of your bill or what a fantastic job you did. By checking on your accounts receivable monthly, you can talk to clients sooner, and avoid walking clients through the details of your efforts months later.
  3. Time spent for flat fee services
    If you work with flat fees, then you should still be monitoring your time to ensure that your fee covers the time you are spending. Let’s say you charge a flat fee of $1,000 for a standard will, but by tracking your time you determine that you are actually spending an average of $1,200 of billable time. Evaluating your billable time can help you make smart changes such as rate adjustments for flat fees.

    This content is an abridged version of Top Six Reports We Recommend to Every Attorney by Tabs3 Software. To download the original white paper and learn about all six reports, visit Tabs3.com/LTSix.

By Guest Blogger: Tabs3 Software

We are celebrating 35 years of providing reliable billing and practice management software.

 35 Tips for 35 Years of Service

We are celebrating 35 years of providing reliable billing and practice management software by bringing you 35 practical tips for attorneys! To view the entire list, visit Tabs3.com/LT35.

  1. Enter Your Time

    Successful firms track each hour because it reveals which matters, clients, and areas of practice are the most profitable.

  2. Make paying easy

    If you want to get paid right away, it helps to give your clients some payment options. Law firms that accept payments via credit card reduce write offs and are more likely to get paid right away.

  3. Keep an eye on your firm’s productivity

    Know the difference between hours worked and hours billed. Hundreds of hours can be spent on a matter, but your bottom line will never improve if that time is never billed.

  4. Bill predictably

    Your billing cycle should be predictable so your clients are prepared to pay for your services.

  5. Protect your data

    Have a regular backup procedure in place for electronic data, and know whether or not the backup was successful.

  6. Manage your email

    Create different folders for various categories, and create rules to automatically filter those emails to their appropriate folder.

  7. Plan for interruptions

    Plan for you and your clients to meet crucial deadlines days in advance so unavoidable interruptions do not devastate a matter’s progress.

  8. Email statements to clients who request them

    If a client tells you that paper statements just get lost in a junk pile, believe them.

  9. Schedule your resources

    Create separate users in your firm-wide calendar for office resources (projectors, laptops, etc.), so you can schedule them for meetings.

  10. Invest in training

    Find a trainer who understands your specific needs so you don’t waste billable time. 

  11. Use what you pay for

    If you purchase software that includes free technical support, use it! Don’t waste an hour of billable time trying to figure out something that technical support could answer in less than a minute.

  12. Automate frequently used documents

    Use automated document assembly for your frequently used documents. Set up a template, and let your practice management software fill in the blanks.

  13. Make time for billing

    If you take the time to keep on top of your billing, you’ll soon find out that you will get paid faster.

  14. Get to know your local practice management advisor

    Most state bar organizations employ practice management advisors who are there to help you succeed! Keep in touch with them and learn from them.

  15. Manage your documents

    Use document management software that automatically names and stores documents in the right place, and makes them easy to find.

  16. Integrate and automate

    You will save data entry hassle and your work life will be happier if your software communicates with each other.

  17. Make sure your office technology is up to date

    When it comes to office software, make sure you’re always using the most recent version so you get the most benefit from the latest innovations.

  18. Keep a short list of good lunch venues

    Know 3-5 venues in your town that provide the right atmosphere for client and networking meetings. Get to know their owners and keep their contact information in your practice management software.

  19. Keep an eye out for great blogs

    Many attorneys blog about their solutions to inconveniences you deal with every day. Subscribe to daily or weekly updates to stay informed.

  20. Use law firm specific trust accounting software

           Over-the-counter software is not always designed to handle the rules of tracking client trust accounts. Don’t risk a suspension by using cheap work-arounds.

By Guest Blogger: Tabs3 Software

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The GPS for every legal matter - Catch us at CodeX Lightning Round & Booth 512

The GPS for every legal matter

Every legal matter is like a journey - it has a beginning, middle and end.  What if every lawyer had a co-pilot to help plan and navigate their legal journeys? A co-pilot that could automatically map out matter specific budgets, timelines and risk?

 " This [would] bring a level of discipline into in-house legal budgeting that hasn't existed before, making GC budget proposals credible and improving relations between in-house legal departments and senior management."                                                                                                                                                                                      Former GC Corporate,                                                                                                                                                           Salesforce.com

Along the legal journey wouldn't it be great if all teams, inside and outside, had up-to-date status on the matter? What if the team could be alerted when tasks take longer than expected, deadlines are missed or costs run over budget? Or if everyone had the same data and tool to analyze the impact of a change in scope and make more informed decisions about altering the plan?  Than the matter would be easier for everyone to manage. The teams could avoid painful budget overruns and arguments. All would be equipped with the tools needed to make adjustments on the fly to keep in alignment with business objectives.

One of the biggest problems facing corporate counsel and law firms today is estimating what a specific matter should cost based on client objectives.  Unfortunately many legal matters routinely run over budget. It's estimated that budget overruns add up to $40 billion a year worldwide.   

We've all witnessed how easily a matter can veer off course. Early in the matter the client has an understanding of the risks, desired outcomes and business objectives. The lead corporate counsel discusses these with the partner in the law firm. The partner communicates to a senior associate who then assembles and informs the team at the firm. Depending upon the size and scope of the matter, multiple firms may get involved. As more time and staff contribute to the matter, it's more difficult keep everyone in alignment with business objectives and to track task plans and budget.

External factors and miscommunications easily lead to matter scope changes that do not get accurately analyzed. The in-house lawyer doesn't have the time or the tools, and often isn't fully informed of the changes in scope until it's too late. No one has time to run what-if scenarios and analyze the impact to risk, cost, timeline.  Tasks and costs quickly get out of alignment with business objectives.

Take for example a patent infringement matter. The client may have a number of potential outcomes and goals. If the plaintiff is a competitor or patent troll the corporation may have a settlement limit in mind, or desire to pursue cross licensing. If the patent impacts a product line within a division of a larger company, the GM of the division may want to settle quickly to avoid distracting the operating team. If the suit is attacking the core IP of the company, the CEO may want to send a message to the marketplace to back off, but avoid a lengthy suit that impacts sales and brand.

In theory the business objectives will drive the size and scope of the matter plan, budget, timeline and resources required. The firm will identify multiple lawyers to support the case. More than one firm may be required. The corporate lawyer supporting the business on this matter has little visibility or time to dig into the details of who does what.

If the business objectives of the client are to stand their ground and send a message to the market, the matter will have a larger budget and more risk than if the objectives are to settle quickly and avoid distraction. But how much more should it cost? How many lawyers and what level of expertise are appropriate, for how many weeks or months or years?

At Align one of our key goals is to make it easier for in-house lawyers to negotiate costs with law firms and keep everyone on the same page. To make it easier to negotiate lawyers need better matter specific estimates such as budget, timeline and risk. We crowdsource legal experts with 20+ years of experience in a practice area or type of commercial transaction to build the models that underpin Align. The models estimate matter metrics based on business objectives, scope and other client driven factors.

A GPS uses transportation models built by experts combined with real-time data to estimate journeys. Align uses matter models built by legal experts combined with real-time data and business objectives to estimate matter specific metrics. Like a GPS Align will continuously update the timeline, flag issues and show the impact of taking alternative routes and side trips (think expanded matter scope and deposing additional witnesses).

One of the things I love about Align is that the user never types in tedious data. The product displays options, the user selects options and the model builds out the details. The lawyer gets matter specific estimates based upon business objectives and other factors such as jurisdiction.

Sound to good to be true? Please visit us and we'll show you Align. We are located in the CodeX Start-up Showcase (512) in front of the Grand Ballroom. email align@alignmatters.com or text 415.317.1537.


By Guest Blogger: Deborah Baron, Align Matters

What if your legal systems could automatically generate budgets, timelines, RFPs & analyze risk?

What if your legal systems had transparency and real-time data to automatically generate accurate budgets, timelines, RFPs and analyze risk?

By Guest Blogger: Deborah Baron, Align Matters

Intralinks Partners with Kira Diligence Engine

 Intralinks® Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: IL), a leading, global SaaS provider of secure enterprise content collaboration solutions, is partnering with Kira Inc.

 Kira Diligence Engine is the leading software for faster and more accurate contract review and analysis. By leveraging the two platforms, the M&A due diligence process is dramatically streamlined through the partial automation of document review and abstraction. As a result, dealmaking is easier and more productive.

“We’re excited about this new relationship with Kira,” said Matt Porzio, vice president of strategy and product marketing at Intralinks. “Together, Intralinks Dealspace® and Kira Diligence Engine help ensure high-stakes transactions are brought to a fast close. The partnership will save our customers time and expense and help prevent costly human error during due diligence.”

Kira Diligence Engine uses machine learning to automate the extraction and analysis of key provisions across contracts that are reviewed during due diligence. Trusted on over $70 billion in transactions worldwide to date, Kira Diligence Engine enables faster and more accurate contract review, which expedites deal evaluation, negotiation, and closing.

“We are delighted with the Kira Diligence Engine software, which assists us in providing great value for our clients by streamlining the diligence process, while maintaining the high quality they expect of us,” said Elizabeth Ellis, Director of Knowledge Management of top-ranked international law firm Torys LLP.

“Intralinks is universally known and respected among corporate lawyers and other dealmaking professionals,” said Kira CEO Noah Waisberg.  “We could not be happier with them as a partner.” 

For more than 18 years, Intralinks has been serving the M&A community to simplify and accelerate the deal process. With the industry’s leading virtual data room, Intralinks Dealspace, Intralinks gives deal professionals the tools they need to help them manage the full M&A lifecycle - to get more deals done, faster.

About Kira

Kira (formerly DiligenceEngine) is a Toronto-headquartered company that helps make review and analysis of contracts faster and more accurate. The company’s software has been trusted on over $70 billion worth of corporate transactions to date, and its clients include some of the world’s largest corporations and professional services firms. Kira was founded by former Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP New York corporate lawyer Noah Waisberg, and Alexander Hudek, who holds a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.  For more information, visit https://kirasystems.com.

Media Contact

Steve Obenski
Kira Inc.
888-710-3454 ​ext 4​

By Guest Blogger: Kira Inc. (Diligence Engine)

Kira Inc Advisor Is Former PLC CEO Jeroen Plink

Kira Inc (formerly DiligenceEngine), the provider of software that makes contract review and analysis faster and more accurate, announced in January the addition of Jeroen Plink to its leadership team. Plink, the former CEO of Practical Law Company’s US operations, will join DiligenceEngine as an advisor and board member, helping guide the company’s expansion amidst rising demand for its platform. Plink led PLC’s US business from its launch in 2008 through to its sale to Thomson Reuters in 2013, at which time it had over 200 employees and nearly 1000 customers.

“DiligenceEngine has been tested and proven on large real-world transactions,” said Plink. “It is a truly revolutionary platform that will permanently change the way corporations and law firms conduct contract reviews. I have been an admirer for some time, and am thrilled to be involved.”

Plink joins alongside a rapid expansion of the DiligenceEngine team, which also now includes Steve Obenski as Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining DiligenceEngine, Obenski was general manager for Thomson Reuters’ business law solutions division.

Clients used DiligenceEngine’s platform on corporate transactions totaling over $70 billion in the past year. “We are adding team members to help keep up with demand,” said Noah Waisberg, CEO. “Last year, the market woke up to the need for a better way to review contracts. We are excited for 2015, especially because we are now supported by such strong new team members.”

By Guest Blogger: Kira Inc. (Diligence Engine)

Beagle's artificial intelligence redfines contract comprehension and collaboration.

Beagle is a Trusty Guide Through the Maze of Contracts

Cian O’Sullivan, IT engineer by trade, lawyer by training, wistfully recalls an occasion after spending years negotiating contracts. “I was having breakfast with a great friend, and he happened ask ‘Cian, can you take a quick look at this contract? We're having a meeting Monday and I want a general idea of risks.’”

O’Sullivan knew that there was no such thing as taking a “quick look” at a contract. But rather than waste a weekend parsing out 90 pages of legalese, he wrote a script to search and highlight key terms so he could identify the three things any lawyer looks for in a contract: who’s doing what, how do you get out of it, and what happens when things go south?

“It took me less time to write the script than to read that 90 page contract,” he observed. And at that moment, he knew he was on to something. Over the next several months, he refined the business goals of his idea, built a very experienced artificial intelligence team, and built a full-fledged application. “The idea is one thing, but to build it properly you need the people who have commitment, expertise, and share of vision.” says O’Sullivan. The result is an extremely intelligent cloud-based tool that any business can use to find key elements of contract in moments, highlight key provisions, collaborate around terms with colleagues and attorneys, and spot negotiable details amid a flurry of “wherefores” and “notwithstandings.”.

Demystifying the law. Contracts are the foundation of business. With the proliferation of End-User License Agreements and other fine print involved in signing up for any online service, they’ve become an essential part of business. But unless you are a lawyer or have unlimited access to one, the contents of these agreements are likely to remain opaque and meaningless at best, not to mention full of nasty surprises if you ever need to invoke their terms.

“If you read every eurla, or terms of websites you go to and it would take 93 days per year?  Who has time for that?” asks O’Sullivan.

As a result, most businesses enter into agreements they don’t fully understand, or waste very expensive time to find important clauses. Small businesses spend big money dealing with contracts, and a huge amount of that is simply paying lawyers to read through pages of boilerplate to spot a tiny number of objectionable or negotiable terms.

From dozens of confusing pages to one simple page.  O’Sullivan emphasizes that designing an elegant user experience was a priority for Beagle. “The whole point is to keep it simple,” he says. The process is as easy as dragging and dropping the contract into the app.

Beagle’s intelligent contract app reads contracts in less than half a second per page and renders even the most complex document into a single page scorecard that summarizes who owes what to whom (responsibilities), who is assuming or waiving liability (liabilities) and how each side can get out of the deal (terminations). In addition, if the contract contains a link to another set of terms, or a privacy policy for example, it is highlighted as an external reference. The contract is visualized in graphic form to instantly show how the different sides stack up.

Clicking each of these sections highlights all the relevant examples from the text. Users can edit, annotate, highlight and translate any section for additional detail or discussion.

Opens up the conversation. “While the analysis is a great tool, the real value is providing an environment for others to share in that analysis.” says O’Sullivan.

Multiple users can work together on the contract in real time, reducing back-and-forth, eliminating version control problems, and literally keeping everyone on the same page throughout the process.

One useful feature is the ability to tag and send specific parts of the contract to different stakeholders, so that people can focus on the areas of the contract most relevant to them without having to wade through the entire document. “You can send part of the contract to your risk manager, part to your operations chief, part to your CFO, and then combine all their feedback into the master version,” says O’Sullivan. It really does save time. Through simple, and intuitive social media inspire tools, a CFO can be asked to approve or disapprove of a clause, and it takes them only 2 clicks.  

It keeps learning. “Contracts are very personal.  What is important to you in an agreement may be very different than what is important to a business down the road.  Beagle is designed to learn about you.  The more you use it the smarter is get.” says O’Sullivan.  When a user engages with Beagle, using the collaboration and annotation tools, it watches, and learns.  If you click dislike on a similar clause a number of times, or tag a particular clause with “Finance”, the system will pick up the pattern and then start to make suggestions.  This is a personalized and adaptive approach to the intelligent contract analysis.

Doesn’t replace lawyers – makes them more valuable. “Something like 70% of small businesses don’t consult a lawyer even when they know they should, mostly due to cost,” says O’Sullivan.

He says Beagle can change that by making it easier for smaller businesses to engage legal services, and get faster and better answers when they do. “When you already have a sense of the contract and know where the real issues are, you’ll have a much better and more productive conversation with your attorney or corporate counsel,” he says.  “We are making it easier for companies and lawyers to engage in micro-transactions, rather than the traditional large retainer, and abyss of the final bill.”

It’s not just a good idea – it’s the law! Beagle is still just a puppy; the Ontario-based company has only been around since November, 2013. But they’ve gotten a big jump-start as part of the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Seattle. “Microsoft has helped us by providing insight into their products, provided mentors, and exceptional go to market guidance. ” says O’Sullivan. 

In the meantime, Beagle is set to emerge from beta with a full-fledged product on the market by late fall, 2015.  While their beta is invitation only, if you ask nice, you will get to take Beagle for a walk.  It’s a web-based product with its own terms of use, privacy policy and end-user license agreement, but luckily, there’s now an app to help businesses get through it all in a flash.  Visit them at www.beagle.ai, email at info@beagle.ai and follow them on twitter @BeagleInc.

By Guest Blogger: Beagle Inc.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning for contracts. How it works.

Can Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Law be Simple?

Absolutley!   When you use sophisticated programing, couple with social media inspired collaboration tools, you get a very simple to use, yet powerful platform.  Beagle literally reads contracts, highlights key information, and provides a feature rich environment to collaborate on.

The best part is the machine learning.  As you and your team use Beagle, it learns about what you like and don't like.  It looks at patterns, and does some crazy calculations to anticipate what you need to look at.  So the more you use it, the smarter it gets.

 Visit Beagle at www.beagle.ai, email at info@beagle.ai and follow them on twitter @BeagleInc.

By Guest Blogger: Beagle Inc

Monday, July 6, 2015

Konica Minolta’s FileAssist solution puts your data storage at your finger tips.

How you store, share, secure and access information
is key to your business’ growth and success. That’s why Konica Minolta’s
FileAssist solution puts your data storage right where you need it—at
your fingertips. Think of us as your own private cloud, letting you store,
share or backup files and data instantly online—and then access them
at anytime, from anywhere in the world, on any device, even from your
MFP. The Konica Minolta FileAssist solution allows you to
collaborate easily and more efficiently, linking people, practices and
workflow all while reducing risk, cost and complexity. It’s just another
way that Konica Minolta gives shapes to ideas—right in the cloud

By Guest Blogger: Konica Minolta Business Solutions U. S.A., Inc.

Clio announces 9 new features at Legaltech West conference.

Clio continues lead among legal practice management vendors by announcing 9 new features schedules to be released in July. These features expand the functionality of Clio, making it even easier for small to medium-sized law firms to manage both the legal and business aspects of being a lawyer.

Each new feature makes it easier for lawyers to track, organize, and act upon information stored in Clio.  Features are not limited to any single device, but instead focus on letting lawyers use their preferred means of accessing their information. Clio maintains development teams that create and improve the features used by lawyers on computers and mobile devices, like the iPhone or Android tablets, with new features being announced across devices.

The new features to be released are:

Matter Budgets — Carefully manage your firm's profit margins by assigning a budget to each matter and track it over time. Get real-time insight into profit margins and greater visibility of productivity by matter. Our Elite customers will receive this feature for early beta access.

Job Titles — Provide greater visibility on your client's bills—display specific job titles on your attorney summary and internal billing reports.

Firm-wide Billing—Batch billing used to be limited by the number of records displayed per page in your Clio account; not anymore. Generate a month’s worth of invoices for every client record in Clio. One-click billing just became a reality.

Sortable Custom Fields — Optimize your data entry activities by ordering custom fields in a way that suits your firm's workflow.

Document Upload Upgrades — Save time during batch uploads by sending each document directly to different matters and categories.

Documents for Android — Easily view documents that are associated with a matter from your Android device for improved productivity and accessibility.

Secure Messages for iOS — Mobile access to all your client communications, including the ability to send, view, and respond to secure messages from clients, co-counsel, or staff.

Notifications for iOS— Stay on top of your Clio tasks using the iOS notification center. Receive a notification when a task is assigned to you or completed.

Zapier for EU—Zapier, the internet automation tool that gives you the ability to integrate Clio with hundreds of other web apps, is now fully available to our UK and EU customers.

Interested in learning more about these features? Stop by booth 416 at Legaltech West to see Clio in action.

By Guest Blogger: Themis Solutions (Clio)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ipro Named as a Careerbuilder® Top Company

Ipro Named as a Careerbuilder® Top Company to Work For

PHOENIX, June 25, 2015 – Ipro Tech, LLC, a worldwide leader in the design of eDiscovery workflow software, today announced that the company has been named as one of the Careerbuilder 2015 Top Companies to Work for in Arizona. The statewide workplace awards program, organized by CareerBuilder® and Republic Media recognizes organizations that are creating quality jobs and work environments in Arizona.

Founded in 1989, Ipro achieved record sales in 2014 and over 35 percent employee growth over the past three years. Kim Taylor, Ipro’s President and COO, believes “Ipro’s success is attributed to its amazing team of employees united around our common goal of excellence. We strive to deliver innovation and value to our customers; and we’re proud to be recognized as one of Arizona’s “Top Companies”. “

Due to its tremendous growth, Ipro recently outgrew its building space in northeast Phoenix and is planning to move by Sept. 1 to a new 36,000-square-foot office in Tempe. The new state-of-the-art space will include a game room, training facility, bicycles for recreational use, and a large outdoor space for grilling and holding Popsicle Friday events that celebrate company and employee successes.

Companies were selected based on a combination of overall satisfaction scores from an Employee Engagement Survey, and evaluation from an Employer Questionnaire covering topics related to HR programs, benefits, leadership, training and workplace culture. Winners were announced today at the “Top Companies” breakfast reception at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix. The list of winners and related stories will appear in a special supplement inserted in the June 28 edition of The Arizona Republic and La Voz on July 12, and online at www.TopCompanies.azcentral.com and www.BestCompaniesAZ.com.

For information on joining the Ipro team, visit www.iprotech.com/careers.

By Guest Blogger: IPRO Tech

DriveSavers eDiscovery & digital forensic solution are legally defensible, repeatable & customizable

DriveSavers eDiscovery and digital forensic solutions are legally defensible and repeatable, customized to control costs and manage individual aspects of the process from beginning to end. Some of the services offered include data recovery, forensic imaging, expert witness testimony and corporate legal services such as litigation management and data analytics. 

By Guest Blogger: DriveSavers Data Recovery, eDiscovery and Digital Forensics

DriveSavers specializes in resurrecting physically failed drives to provide images for investigation

The destruction of evidence is an increasing problem for eDiscovery and forensic investigations. Don’t risk losing valuable evidence.

DriveSavers specializes in resurrecting physically failed drives to provide forensically sound images for further investigation.

Our forensic team has expertise in all types of data storage media and decades of experience making forensic images of functional, physically damaged or mechanically failed devices.

By Guest Blogger: DriveSavers Data Recovery, eDiscovery and Digital Forensics

With posted proof of an annual SOC 2 Type II audit, data privacy is protected at DriveSavers.

With more than 12,000 business partners worldwide serving the financial, healthcare, government, education and corporate business sectors, it’s essential for DriveSavers to ensure the protection of customer data during the data recovery, eDiscovery or digital forensic process.

The control objectives established for DriveSavers annual SOC 2 Type II security audit are designed to satisfy the stringent requirements of the corporate clients and government agencies the company serves.

By Guest Blogger: DriveSavers Data Recovery, eDiscovery and Digital Forensics

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

eShares: Cap Tables & $99/month 409A

eShares is the first and only SEC-registered Transfer Agent for private companies. Our online platform allows companies—from seed stage to pre-IPO—to manage equity electronically with the participation of their shareholders, employees, auditors, and legal counsel.

Our mission is to consolidate private company ownership onto one common electronic registry, and bring a wealth of financial services—previously reserved only for public companies—to all privately held companies.

By Guest Blogger: eShares Inc

At the Very Center of Digital Business

Franklin Data, established in 2001, is an international firm supporting corporations, law firms, government, and educational clients.  Trusted on sensitive and high profile matters, we have an emphasis in digital investigations and electronic discovery and our experience makes the difference when you’re faced with experiential, economic, time, and geographical constraints.



By Guest Blogger: Franklin Data

Monday, June 29, 2015

Data Analytics: Exploring solutions to Management of Unstructured Data

Data Analytics: Exploring Solutions to Management of Unstructured Data

Leveraging information for business benefits is a long standing practice; however, the digital revolution forever altered the landscape under which such analysis was previously performed. Information formerly tracked by the number of files and boxes is now captured in gigabytes, terabytes and petabytes. This is not a mere change in vernacular to recognize digital content, but, from a broader perspective, represents a growth of information once unimaginable in a brick and mortar setting.

Due to the sheer volume of data generated, there is no means by which individuals can analyze all that information without some sort of technological assistance. Yet, technology to date is better suited for generating data, than analyzing it. This is the problem of “big data.”

For the free white paper on Data Analytics: Exploring Solutions to Management of Unstructured Data, download it at http://www.zasio.com/index.asp.

By Guest Blogger: Zasio Enterprises, Inc.

Monday, June 22, 2015

DTI Expands Partnership with Ipro

Ipro Tech, LLC, a worldwide leader in the design of eDiscovery workflow software, today announced that DTI, a global legal process outsourcing (LPO) company providing eDiscovery, managed services, and litigation support, has expanded its use of Ipro products to include Ipro Eclipse. DTI will now offer the online review application with integrated and advanced Technology Assisted Review (TAR) in a hosted environment to its clients worldwide.

Eclipse is part of Ipro’s Automated Digital Discovery (ADD®) workflow platform, which also includes Allegro for early case assessment and eCapture, the processing powerhouse of choice.  Eclipse is a web-based review application intended for enterprise-wide deployment with built-in analytics. It offers an easy-to-use interface with robust production capabilities.

“Our primary goal is to find suitable solutions for our client’s litigation needs. We’ve worked with Ipro for several years and are impressed by Ipro’s service, support, and pricing structure,” said Kevin Jacobs, Vice President Service Strategy, DTI. “By utilizing Ipro’s suite of products, we can offer clients more diverse solutions and add more capacity, speed, and efficiency to our current workflows.”  

“DTI is among the very best of service providers in our industry and we are honored to have our applications be a part of the long-term growth strategy at DTI,” said Kim Taylor, Ipro’s President and COO. “By leveraging Ipro’s fully integrated platform, DTI will be able to further streamline their eDiscovery processes while giving their customers more choices for review.”  

By Guest Blogger: Ipro Tech

BillQuick Legal PR

BQE Software, Inc., a world leader in time billing, project management and accounting software with more than 325,000 users worldwide, announced today the immediate availability of BQE BillQuick Legal 2015.

By Guest Blogger: BQE Software

Former Timeslips User Case Study

Since implementing BillQuick, Haukaas Fish has saved dozens of man hours creating invoices and billing clients.

By Guest Blogger: BQE Software

BillQuick Legal Brochure

With over 325,000 users worldwide, BillQuick is the trusted time tracking and billing solution for professional services firms. Many attorneys and other legal professionals choose BillQuick Legal to streamline their most common time and billing tasks to ensure that no billable time slips through the cracks.

By Guest Blogger: BQE Software

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Epiq Systems to Accelerate Growth of EMS Offering with Acquisition of Iris Data Services

Kansas City, KS (April 8, 2015) – Epiq Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: EPIQ), a leading global provider of integrated technology solutions for the legal profession, announced today that the company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held, Kansas City-based Iris Data Services, the market leading provider of managed services for electronic discovery (eDiscovery). The total consideration for the acquisition is $134 million, subject to certain post-closing adjustments, which would be funded with existing cash and borrowings from the Company’s credit facility. The acquisition is expected to close on or about April 30, 2015, subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions, be modestly accretive to Epiq’s 2015 results and provide a post-closing tax benefit to Epiq of approximately $23 million. Epiq will host a conference call to review the transaction today at 11:00 a.m. ET, the details of which are below.

The Iris acquisition significantly accelerates Epiq’s strategic plan to offer managed services solutions to its existing global client base, while bringing Epiq’s expansive eDiscovery and document review resources to a new client base. Iris President and co-founder Major Baisden will join Epiq as managing director and will continue leading Iris’s operations.

Managed services is an outsourced eDiscovery solution for an entire organization, rather than for a single project. Responding to a growing market need for price certainty and self-service, Iris created an innovative eDiscovery managed services offering. Iris’s platform, one of the first of its kind, delivers best of breed third-party technology integrated with its proprietary workflow, storage, security and evidence management software.

Managed services engagements typically involve multi-year contracts and recurring revenue streams. With over 22 multi-year deals signed in the last 12 months alone, Iris has established itself as the leader in eDiscovery managed services. The swift rise in Iris’s operating revenue and adjusted EBITDA is evidence the legal industry is embracing the managed services model. Iris’s operating revenue grew 52% to $38 million in 2014 from $25 million in 2013, while 2014 adjusted EBITDA grew 42% to $8.2 million compared to $5.8 million in 2013.

“The acquisition of Iris is a significant milestone in our growth strategy. Iris complements our core transactional eDiscovery business and supplements it with an impressive team and a range of new capabilities. We expect this transaction to yield numerous cross-selling opportunities between Epiq’s clients and the substantial base of new clients that we expect will augment our long-term growth,” said Tom W. Olofson, chairman and CEO of Epiq Systems. “Increasingly, our clients want solutions to help them better manage eDiscovery costs and improve their operational effectiveness. Iris’s compelling offering accelerates our ability to address this client need in managed services, an area we had previously targeted as an important growth opportunity. Equally important, the acquisition is a big win for our shareholders as it provides additional long-term growth potential along with a near term bottom-line contribution.”

“Iris and Epiq share entrepreneurial cultures and a commitment to delivering the highest level of client service. This is a great opportunity for Iris to expand its potential by joining the preeminent global eDiscovery leader and a like-minded organization,” Mr. Baisden said. “Our combined client base will reap the full benefits of a robust eDiscovery platform combined with a pioneering managed services offering, as well as access to Epiq’s industry leading capabilities in bankruptcy and class action and mass tort settlement administration.”

The proposed acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Epiq was advised in this transaction by KeyBanc Capital Markets and Sidley Austin LLP.

Epiq and its Board of Directors remain committed to conducting a separate process to explore a full range of strategic and financial alternatives with Credit Suisse Securities as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal advisor.


By Guest Blogger: Iris Data Services, LLC

eDiscovery Managed Services - Year 3: Would You Do It Again?

By R.P. Smith posted Mon, Mar 30, 2015 05:04 PM

Jones Walker officially began a Managed Services partnership with Iris Data Services in January of 2013.  Since that time we have experienced great success with the partnership and have freely shared our story with fellow ILTA members. Now in the 3rd year of our contract, I offer the following points in response to the several questions I have been asked by fellow ILTA members. 

1. Will you have a dedicated team supporting you?

Whether it is a dedicated team or a support pool, make sure you understand the level of support that will be provided as part of the managed services partnership.  Ask for an organizational chart for your support team so you know the players, their roles in supporting you, and where the escalation points are in the event that you need to escalate an issue up the chain.

2. Does your Service Level Agreement ("SLA") address response time as well as follow-up from the initial response?

A standard SLA will address the initial response time (e.g. "We have received your email/request….").  But you will want to request that it also addresses the timeframe for any subsequent updates (e.g. "We are still working on your request and will report back in 1 hour.").  This will likely take some negotiations so that the service provider can ensure that the requested follow-up does not interfere with their internal workflow and support efforts.  Requesting this additional communication provides you with the necessary information to proactively update your internal project teams.

3. Do you receive an allotment of project management hours as part of your managed services partnership? 

If you are allotted PM hours, follow this simple step….USE THEM!!!!  If you do not use PM hours offered as part of your partnership, you are throwing money out of the window each and every month.  These hours can be used for archiving data, creating custom database scripts, etc. 

 4. Will you be processing all data in-house, will the manages services partner process all of your data, or will you have a hybrid approach?

This should be addressed when determining your business needs.  There are so many variables that go into choosing a processing workflow and these can dovetail with your managed services partnership.  Options include processing behind your firewall using your own third-party software (LAW, Nuix, etc.) and transferring only the data that is to be loaded to the service provider, processing within the managed services environment using the features of your review software (if available), or having your managed services partner process using their enterprise level processing tools. Map your workflow and discuss the details with potential managed services partners so you ensure that your workflow is as efficient and economically sound as possible.

5. What level of involvement will you and your team have in the administration of the review platform?

Will you manage each workspace (loading, exporting, producing, troubleshooting) or will the managed services partner handle this for you similar to a standard per-project engagement?  Will you have rights to create/manage user accounts across your platform or will you need to request these services from the provider to the detriment of your monthly PM hours?  Some managed services partners allow you to fully manage your review platform, while some limit the administrative functions you can perform.  Again, this goes back to addressing your business needs.

6. What level of access will you have across the infrastructure of your managed services environment?

Will you have full administrative rights to all the servers in your environment?  If deploying a review platform with a SQL backend, will you be able to log into the SQL server and run queries?  The level of rights granted will depend on the managed services partner, but there are very few who currently allow this level of access.  We chose to have full access for complete transparency.  However, we share this access with Iris Data Services so they are able to keep the servers patched and updated for operations, security, and usability reasons.

7. Which tools/services are available through your partnership? 

Again, this directly correlates to the tasks you will handle internally vs. the tasks you will expect your managed services partner to handle for you (addressed at the onset when determining your business needs).  For instance, if you do not provide collection services in-house, does your managed services partner provide this service?  What if you receive MAC files, Lotus Notes NSF files, etc. -- do you have the necessary tools in-house to process these files?  If you cannot process these in-house, it would be helpful to review historical data and metrics to determine how often you have received these types of files in the past.  Does it make sense to procure the software or would it make more sense to have your managed services partner process these types of files for you?  Although we typically receive NSF files for multiple cases each year, we know that there are nuances with NSF files that are specific to the setup of each client and Domino server. For this reason, we have decided to leave this type of processing to the experts, so Iris processes these for us. 

8. Will you bill hosting costs to the client?

There is no easy answer to this question.  Advice, feedback and buy-in will be required from the head of your litigation department, CFO/COO, CIO, and other senior management in order to determine if a fee structure will work for your firm. 

As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider.  The most important part of the entire process is having a clear definition of your business needs.  Once you have your business needs established, the rest seems to fall into place.  So to answer the question, Yes, we most certainly would do it all over again!  Our partnership has been very successful and we are planning to offer more services sooner than we anticipated because of this success. 

By Guest Blogger: Iris Data Services, an Epiq Systems company

Relativity Innovation Awards Spotlight: New Flavors for Managed Services

April 02, 2015 | Shana Kirchner | Platform StorySeen in the Field


Relativity Fest 2014 introduced the first annual Relativity Innovation Awards, which recognize exceptional custom applications built by Relativity users. One of our inaugural year’s winners, Iris ArcSM—built by Iris Data Services—enables the Relativity Premium Hosting Partner to offer diverse managed services and deployment options to their customers.

Adi Elliott, vice president of marketing at Iris, recently sat down with me to provide his perspective on Iris ArcSM, discuss how it’s affected their business and customers, and provide some tips for others looking to apply for the award.

Shana: What was the problem you needed to solve with this application?

Adi: Arc really came about because e-discovery managed services is our core business and previous to Arc, we had to go to market by offering straightforward infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) setups. Every time a prospect came to us, we had to tell them they’d need their own license of Relativity to get started—and then come to us to spin up in the infrastructure and help them get up and running.

So we saw this segment in smaller firms that wanted access to the technology and our services, but we couldn’t offer them a solution that met their specific needs. We had to take a step back and figure out how to solve that problem. That’s where Arc came in.

How did you decide to solve it, and how did you start?

We had a clear idea of what we wanted as an end result. From there, we set up a conversation or two with kCura so we could get a clear picture of whether or not this was possible—we wanted to clarify that our approach would work, and get their take.

Once we had their input, we had to scope out the development time and decide if we really wanted to embark on this. At this scale, it was a bigger process than we anticipated—but it became clear that we needed to do it.

Has Arc impacted your business the way you expected?

This has been one of the biggest business decisions we’ve made as an organization. Arc deals are our biggest sales pipeline, both in the number of deals and the revenue in it. It became even bigger than we expected. We were targeting a specific segment with this solution, but we found other firms appreciated the flexible options, too.

How can other users identify a problem to solve with a customization, and the best way to address the issue?

You end up customizing your software because there’s something you want to do that can’t be accomplished in Relativity alone. Sometimes you hear requests from users because there’s an expectation they have from using other software, or they want to follow a workflow that’s common in other parts of the legal industry. Users are most comfortable with processes they’ve mastered before—and if they’re used to a specific workflow that isn’t built in, you have the flexibility to do it in the platform anyway. These are reactionary customizations that help make your life easier.

But for us, extensions of what make you unique as a business are what’s really interesting—and I’d encourage folks to go this route. It helps differentiate you, and extends who you already are. What workflows or services make your customers stick with you? What’s your secret sauce for running in-house e-discovery projects?

Once you have an idea, definitely have a quick call with kCura’s custom development team to talk it through. They may tell you that it’s been done and give the solution to you; other times they’ll help you figure out how to accomplish it simply and effectively.

For bigger undertakings, be prepared to make big organizational decisions. Scope it out carefully and decide if you really want to be involved—because once you create it, you’re in the software business, in a way. You’ll need to maintain and update the application, support your user base, stay close to the Relativity roadmap, and plan ahead. Keep that in mind.

What advice do you have for users who want to apply for an Innovation Award?

Based on our experience, I’d say apply with something unique to your organization. A winning customization probably isn’t going to come from a reactionary workflow request. A winner will come from some unique business decision you had to make for your organization. Take a step back, look at your business, and build something that’s completely unique to your processes, the way you use Relativity, or the way you do e-discovery. The other ideas are really important—but they may not be the innovative ideas that are going to win it for you.


We’re excited to see our users getting more out of the platform. Keep an eye on relativityfest.com for more updates on this year’s show, including details on the Relativity Innovation Awards. We'll begin accepting applications for the 2015 awards on April 30.

In the meantime, let us know in the comments how you’d customize Relativity to highlight a unique feature of your business—and don't forget, registration for Relativity Fest 2015 is now open at a special rate.

Relativity Fest Insights

By Guest Blogger: Iris Data Services, an Epiq Systems company

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Continuous Active Learning: How It Works and Why It Matters to Legal Professionals

A recent review of Insight and Insight Predict for the American Bar Association by e-discovery and technology consultant Brett Burney described them as products that “push the boundaries of how technology can help lawyers face the struggling challenges involved in e-discovery.”

Insight Predict is the only commercial product that uses Continuous Active Learning (CAL), a protocol that dramatically simplifies the TAR process. This 3.42 minute video shows how CAL works and why it matters to legal professionals. 

By Guest Blogger: Catalyst Repository Systems

Catalyst Insight and Insight Predict Now Available in Japan and Asia

Businesses in Japan and Asia will now be able to realize the same savings in e-discovery costs and time as their U.S. counterparts, with Catalyst’s launch today in Japan of its next-generation e-discovery platform Catalyst Insight and its industry-leading technology-assisted review tool Insight Predict. The products will be hosted in data centers physically located in Tokyo, where they will be available to businesses and legal teams throughout Japan and Asia.

By Guest Blogger: Catalyst Repository Systems, Inc.

Using TAR 2.0 to Streamline Document Review for Japanese Patent Litigation

Our client was a multinational Japanese company facing a large document production in an international patent dispute. The initial review collection exceeded 2 million documents. After a series of rolling uploads, which continued throughout the review, the population slated for review grew to 3.6 million. Facing millions in review costs, the client sought an alternative to linear review.

Review time was short. The client’s goal was to finish the review in four weeks with a small team handling the project. The documents were primarily in Japanese, with some English in the mix, and many involved highly technical subject matter.

By Guest Blogger: Catalyst Repository Systems

This infographic shows how Here's how Catalyst helped a Japanese client cut review costs by millions

This infographic shows how Catalyst helped a Japanese client cut review costs by millions. 

By Guest Blogger: Catalyst Repository Systems

Catalyst designs, hosts and services the world’s fastest and most powerful document repositories for

Catalyst designs, hosts and services the world's fastest and most powerful document repositories for large-scale discovery and regulatory compliance. For more than 15 years, corporations and their counsel have relied on Catalyst to help reduce litigation costs and take control of complex legal matters.

Catalyst provides secure, scalable multi-language document repositories specifically built to manage Big Discovery. Through Catalyst Insight, its next-generation e-discovery platform, and Insight Predict, its advanced technology-assisted review tool, Catalyst enables corporations to reduce the cost and risk of discovery, achieve greater control and predictability in workflows, and gain greater visibility and accountability across all their matters. To learn more about Catalyst, visit catalystsecure.com or follow the company on Twitter at @CatalystSecure.

By Guest Blogger: Catalyst Repository Systems

Morrison Cohen Increases eDiscovery Capacity through Managed Services with Iris

Kansas City, February 3, 2015 – Iris Data Services, the leader in eDiscovery managed services, today announced that Morrison Cohen LLP, a New York-based commercial law firm, has experienced great results through a multi-year managed services partnership agreement with Iris. Iris provides kCura’s eDiscovery platform Relativity on an Infrastructure as a Service basis, giving Morrison Cohen the ability to scale the platform as needed. Since signing the contract with Iris more than a year ago, the firm has continued to increase the capacity and efficiency of its eDiscovery services.

“Managed services has been a great business decision for our firm,” said Mary Flynn, partner and co-chair of business litigation. “We now host eDiscovery cases of all sizes without relying on external vendors. This partnership enables us to control the process and provide top tier service and value for our clients.”

“I’ve never seen a service provider that engages and partners with us the way Iris does,” said Jason Reid, litigation support manager at Morrison Cohen. “They learned about our practices, values, and culture to such a degree that they have literally become an extension of our team. It’s a solid partnership built on trust and results.”

“Morrison Cohen’s focus on efficiency is a mission that we share at Iris,” said Major Baisden, president of Iris Data Services. “The firm has always offered top-tier legal experience, and their eDiscovery capabilities now exceed that of much larger firms – but without the hefty price tag.”

Before moving to managed services, Morrison Cohen’s large cases would be outsourced to vendors at greater cost to clients. The efficiency and scale Iris brings has allowed Morrison Cohen to use the best tools and technology on all cases, regardless of size. The benefits of this efficiency are passed on to Morrison Cohen’s clients.

About Morrison Cohen
Morrison Cohen LLP is one of New York’s leading full-service mid-size commercial law firms. The firm offers clients top-tier legal experience and senior-level attorney attention at rational billing rates. The Firm provides an array of corporate, capital markets, business litigation, real estate, bankruptcy and reorganization, compensation, benefits and employment, and other commercial, transactional, and individual client legal services, principally to the middle market.

About Iris
Iris Data Services is the leader in eDiscovery managed services. Iris’ suite of products includes Horizon, managed services processing that seamlessly integrates best-in-class applications, and Arc, a private Relativity environment for a fixed monthly fee. Iris’ U.S. headquarters is in Kansas City and its European headquarters is in London. Iris also maintains offices throughout the United States, Europe, India, and China. For more information about Iris, visit www.irisds.com.


Press Contacts

Stephen Long
Morrison Cohen LLP
(212) 735-8677

Lauren French
Iris Data Services
(913) 815-8072

By Guest Blogger: Iris Data Services, LLC

Plauché Maselli Parkerson Picks Iris for eDiscovery Managed Services

Kansas City, February 3, 2015 – Iris Data Services, the leader in eDiscovery managed services, today announced that New Orleans-based law firm Plauché Maselli Parkerson has signed a multi-year eDiscovery managed services agreement with Iris. The deal includes Arc, Iris’ managed services review product. Arc combines the industry-leading review platform, Relativity, with the workflows and backend support to manage eDiscovery of any size.

“Plauché looks to use the latest technology and best practices to serve their clients as efficiently as possible,” said Major Baisden, president of Iris Data Services. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with like-minded people.”

Plauché Maselli Parkerson specializes in insurance and corporate defense. Their purchase of Arc for eDiscovery document hosting and review will provide the tools and workflow to efficiently manage and report on the eDiscovery process. Arc appealed to the partners at Plauché because it levels the playing field for eDiscovery by wrapping workflow and support around kCura’s market-leading eDiscovery platform, Relativity.


About Plauché Maselli Parkerson LLP
Based in New Orleans, Plauché Maselli Parkerson is a litigation firm specializing in insurance and corporate defense. Plauché defends cases on a statewide and national basis, providing the primary defense in products, premises, environmental, automotive/trucking, transportation and natural gas/LP liability claims.

About Iris
Iris Data Services is the leader in eDiscovery managed services. Iris’ suite of products includes Horizon, managed services processing that seamlessly integrates best-in-class applications, and Arc, a private Relativity environment for a fixed monthly fee. Iris’ U.S. headquarters is in Kansas City and its European headquarters is in London. Iris also maintains offices throughout the United States, Europe, India, and China. For more information about Iris, visit www.irisds.com.


Press Contact

Lauren French
Iris Data Services
(913) 815-8072

By Guest Blogger: Iris Data Services, LLC