July 2012
Feature - Document Automation
AU Classes in July
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
FREE Rule 1.15 Webinar
Best and Macdonald Named to PCLaw Board
Article Headline
Ramovs Joins G&G Academic Program Team
Affinity Becomes Rocket Matter Partner
Word Tip of the Month
Georgia Tech CLE Next Month
PCLaw Certificate Expiration Warning
Time Matters Certificate Expiration
iPad Legal Research Apps
Microphones for Dragon
LexisNexis Acquires Sanction
Digital Pocket Memo Firmware Update
Managed IT Services
Green Corner
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Document Automation - Why the Drafting Status Quo Isn't Good Enough   

- Barron K. Henley, Esq. Affinity Partner 

 

Have you ever examined how documents are generated in your office? This mission-critical process is rarely analyzed, although it can almost always be improved. Drafting efficiency directly affects your firm's bottom line, so it certainly merits evaluation.

 

What's Wrong With the Drafting Status Quo?

 

Let's consider the most common drafting approach: using an old document as the basis for a new one. For example, if a lawyer needs to draft a will containing a special needs testamentary trust, she is likely to try to find the last one she drafted as a starting point. Once the source document is found, it is modified as necessary.  

 

Proponents of this approach point out that it is logical, intuitive and fairly quick. However, it has significant drawbacks. For starters, a lot of time can be wasted trying to find the starting-point document. (Sometimes, it is never found.) Furthermore, it is easy to make mistakes such as:

  • including language from the source document that should have been deleted;
  • failing to add language that wasn't present in the source document; and
  • simple clerical errors, as word processor search-and-replace exercises rarely catch everything.

Finally, whether this approach is fast really depends on what you compare it to. It is unquestionably faster than starting a new document from a blank page, but it is also much slower than incorporating document assembly technology into the process.

Affinity University - Classes in July   Affinity University Logo

 

Affinity University is the go-to resource for online training on the legal software you and your team use every day. Focusing specifically on real world tips and tricks, our certified experts provide training on popular Practice Management, Time/Billing/Accounting, Document Management, Productivity Software and even Microsoft Office.  If you "attend" a live AU webinar, you can watch it again within 30 days of the original live date at no additional charge.   

 

Tabs3 - Month End Best Practices  - July 10

Word - Basics - July 11

Amicus Attorney Small Firm Edition 2012 New Features Training ** - July 11

Amicus Attorney Premium Edition 2012 New Features Training ** - July 11

Outlook - Contacts and Calendar - July 12

Worldox GX3 - New Features Training ** - July 13

Tabs3 - Billing - July 13

PracticeMaster - Clients & Matters - July 17

Dragon Naturally Speaking - Basics - July 18

Word - Share and Compare - July 18

iPad for Legal Professionals - July 20

Outlook - Email Management - July 24

PracticeMaster - Contacts & Calendar - July 26

Word - Share and Compare - July 26

PracticeMaster - Contacts & Calendar - July 26


** New AU Classes.  Firms that have recently upgraded to the new versions of these programs will especially benefit from these webinars

In addition to our live AU classes listed above, classes are available "on-demand" for viewing individually as your schedule permits.  Many of our most popular AU classes are available for on-demand viewing as part of discounted bundles. We offer discounted bundles for Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, Amicus Attorney Premium Edition, Amicus Attorney Small Firm, PracticeMaster, and Tabs3.

      

Special Notice to Local Bar Leaders and Members: Contact us to learn more about our local bar program.  Send an email to training@affinityconsulting.com.

EventsUpcoming Speaking Engagements                    

July 19
- iPad for Legal Professionals, Cleveland, OH (Ohio State Bar Association - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

July 19 - Reengineering The Way Default Firms Do Business: The Process Driven Approach, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico (American Legal & Financial Network) - Liz Lamar, J.D. and Erica Fujimoto.

July 26 - Time Management & Technology-Stop The "Time Suck" and Own Your Technology-Don't Let It Own You!, Columbus, OH (Ohio State Bar Association) - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

July 27 - Model Rule 1.15 - Safekeeping Property with a Fully Integrated Time, Billing & Accounting Program - Alex Macdonald, Esq.

July 27 - Time Management & Technology-Stop The "Time Suck" and Own Your Technology-Don't Let It Own You!, Cleveland, OH (Ohio State Bar Association) - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

July 29 - iPad for the CLE Professional, Denver, CO (ACLEA) - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

July 30 - How to Use an iPad to Deliver CLE, Denver, CO (ACLEA) - Paul J. Unger, Esq.
Legal Ethics Free Model Rule 1.15 Webinar - July 27

Model Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.15 requires that a lawyer must hold property of clients, in connection with a representation, with the care required of a professional fiduciary. 

Affinity Consulting Group is pleased to offer a FREE 30-minute webinar on Friday, July 27, at 1 p.m. presented by Alex Macdonald, Esq., to review the obligations placed upon lawyers in Model Rule 1.15.  Alex will showcase how technology helps attorneys remain in compliance with the rules and statutes governing the safekeeping of client property.

For more information and to register for this free webinar, click here.
Steve Best and Alex Macdonald Named to PCLaw Advisory Board
Alex Macdonald, Esq.
Steven J. Best, Esq.

Affinity Partner Steven J. Best, Esq., and Affinity Consultant Alex Macdonald, Esq., have been named to the PCLaw Product Development Advisory Board at LexisNexis.

Only 6 PCLaw consultants were invited to participate in product development advice concentrating on features and fixes for the next version of PCLaw due to be released in 2013.

 

PCLaw PCLaw Version 12 Released by LexisNexis

LexisNexis has released PCLaw Version 12.  It contains a number of product enhancements and new features.  Leading the way is the new Time Entry Advisor.  It watches silently in the background for unbilled documents, events, tasks, and other items.  At the end of the day, it reminds you to complete time entries for those items. 

The PCLaw Mobility service has been expanded to let you determine when colleagues are available for meetings, track ToDo records and mark them complete, and view PCLaw Note records from your mobile device.  In addition, the Calendar has been redesigned to easier use, security has been enhanced, and many other improvements made. 

We are excited about this new version of PCLaw and believe it to be a worthwhile upgrade for PCLaw users.  However, we are currently running live real-world testing of PCLaw 12 to be sure all features and functions, particularly integration with other law office software, work as intended.  Therefore, we advise our clients to delay upgrading to this new version until our testing is complete.  Monitor our Affinity Consulting Group blog or wait for our August newsletter for further upgrade information.  If you have questions, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office.
Jennifer Ramovs Joins Academic Program Team at Gavel & Gown
Jennifer Ramovs, Esq.
Affinity's Director of Education, Jennifer Ramovs, Esq., has joined the Academic Program team at Gavel & Gown, makers of Amicus Attorney practice management software.  The team, run by Gavel and Gown's Darren Braun, assists law school legal clinics and other academic programs with their practice management needs for a fixed annual fee providing unlimited user licenses. 

Jenn will be submitting Affinity-branded instructional materials such as software tips and tricks and webinars to the Academic Program for the exclusive use of participants.
Rocket Matter Affinity Named Rocket Matter Productivity Partner 

At Affinity, we believe the best practice management solution is the one that works for your firm.  Among the options to explore are cloud-based services.  Rocket Matter is a leading online legal practice management and time tracking application for small to mid-sized law firms. Affinity proudly joins Rocket Matter's Productivity Partner program in order to more completely provide cloud-based alternatives to traditional client-server practice management systems.

As a Productivity Partner, Affinity maintains a very high level of communication with Rocket Matter around best practices, cloud-specific "lessons learned," and has access to up-to-date training and technical support. This ensures that every Affinity client receives the most thorough support during their installation and implementation of Rocket Matter. 

If you have questions about Rocket Matter or any other Cloud computing issue, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office.
Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010 Tip of the Month - Table of Authorities Formatting Trick 

Generating a Table of Authorities (TOA) in Word is a common task, particularly for appellate attorneys.  Formatting that table is relatively straight forward, but there are exceptions.  For example, you may want to automatically format the cases in the TOA so the case name up to the comma is on a line by itself, followed by the reporter information and year and the page number on a second indented line below the case name.

There is a simple, but not necessarily obvious, solution.  When editing the long citation in the
Selected text box as you want it to appear in the TOA, simply press Shift+Enter after the comma at the end of the case name.  The reporter information will appear in the TOA indented on the next line below the case name.

Attend our MS Word AU classes this month:  Word Basics is July 11 and Word Share & Compare is July 18 and 26.  
ICLE in Georgia Georgia Legal Technology CLE in August - Register Now!

Affinity Partner Steven J. Best, Esq., and Affinity Consultant Alex Macdonald, Esq. will be speaking at Mercer University School of Law in Macon, GA, on August 24.  The program is called Taming the Technology Dragon.  It is sponsored by Mercer University School of Law, the Macon Bar Association CLE, and the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia.

Steve will be speaking on "The Forecast for Legal Technology - Partly Cloudy."  Alex will be speaking on "Top Ten Technology Mistakes Law Firms Make."

For registration information, contact Nancy Terrill, Coordinator of CLE Programs at Mercer Law School/Macon Bar Association, at (478) 301-2204 or terrill_n@law.mercer.edu.
PCLaw 8 and 9 Certificate Expiration Warning 

Starting on June 30, affected users to see the following message upon logging into PCLaw:

 

INVALID PCLAW PROGRAM FILES - PLEASE REINSTALL PCLAW

 

This issue first occurred three years ago. Most PCLaw users resolved the problem at that time by upgrading to PCLaw 8.20c or 9.31c. However, a small number of users received a separate patch and will be impacted by this issue again. Users still running PCLaw 8.10a, 8.10b, 9.31a, 9.31b can choose from the following options to address the issue:

  • Upgrade to PCLaw 12 (see our notice above about waiting to upgrade to PCLaw 12 until we complete our testing), if the customer has an active Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP).
  • For customers using PCLaw 8.10a/8.10b: Upgrade to 8.20c (no longer supported; however, it will be available to perpetual software-holders).
  • For customers using PCLaw 9.31a/b: Upgrade to 9.31c.

NOTE: Despite the information in the error message, reinstalling PCLaw will not resolve the issue.

 

If you have questions about whether your PCLaw installation will be affected by this issue or how to resolve it, please contact your Affinity Consulting Group office

LexisNexis Time Matters Time Matters 9, 10, and 11 Certificate Expiration Warning

LexisNexis warns that an expiring certificate may cause users of Time Matters 11.1 without SP1, 11 with or without SP1, 10 and 9 to receive an error message when opening Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, and 2010 applications after June 23, 2012.  On affected systems, the following error message will appear:

Security Alert - Macro. Warning: The Digital Signature Has Expired.

 

Customers may not be able to use some of the Time Matters software add-ins for these Microsoft applications. Solutions include downloading and installing new MS Office add-in files for Time Matters software by following the instructions here or upgrading to Version 11.1 SP 1.  For more information, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office.

iPad Legal Research Apps
- Scott Bassett, Esq., Senior Editor, Affinity Publications  
iPad Legal Research
I still do the bulk of my legal research on my laptop computer with external monitors on either side of the built-in screen. That way, I can have opposing counsel's brief and the trial transcript (both typically annotated on the iPad and synchronized back to my laptop) open on the two external screens and my research database open in a web browser on the main laptop screen. But when I need to do legal research away from my desk, there are several iPad app choices, both subscription and free, to choose from.

Read the Complete Article.

Attend our Affinity University iPad for Legal Professionals class on July 20.
Choose the Right Microphone for Dragon Speech Recognition  Samson Go Mic

- Phil Metcalf, Affinity Speech Solutions Specialist 

 

After years of working with Dragon NaturallySpeaking and training hundreds of authors to use the software, the choice of a microphone to talk to Dragon on your computer, whether dictating into a document or speaking commands to your computer, is the most personal choice a client will make.  Each type of microphone has its advantages and disadvantages.  This article will describe what types of microphones are available, including some personal recommendations.    

 

Read the Complete Article

Courtroom Tech LexisNexis Acquires Sanction Solutions

LexisNexis recently acquired Sanction Solutions.  Sanction litigation presentation software provides litigators a single resource to quickly assemble documents, exhibits, transcripts, visuals, and videos.  Those items can then be managed and presented at trial or during ADR proceedings. 

For more information about Sanction or the use of technology in the courtroom, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office.
Philips Announces Digital Pocket Memo Firmware Update  

Digital Pocket Memo and DNSPhilips Speech Processing has updated the firmware in its segment-leading
Digital Pocket Memo handheld dictation recorder.  When combined with Philips Speech Exec dictation software and Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software, the Digital Pocket Memo is the central part of a speech workflow system that will make your law office more efficient and profitable.  The new firmware, version 3.93.001, resolves several issues and is recommended for all Digital Pocket Memo users.

If you would like more information about digital dictation or speech recognition technology, contact Phil Metcalf, Affinity's Speech Solutions Specialist at pmetcalf@affinityconsulting.com.
Managed IT Services Affinity Offers Managed IT Services

In addition to our expert consulting services in the area of law office software, Affinity Consulting Group offers a full range of Managed IT services.  Small and medium-sized law firms can rarely afford a full-time IT staff.  Let Affinity serve as your IT staff - we can manage your technology resources for you and correct any problems, often before you know anything is wrong.

 

For information on the many IT services we can offer your firm, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office. 

Green Corner - iPad Costs Only $1.36 in Electricity Annually
   ipad charging
Apple's iPad has become an immensely popular practice tool for lawyers.  Attend our July 20 iPad for Legal Professionals AU webinar to learn why.  Now there is research showing that, in addition to being a convenient, powerful, and portable extension of our law offices, the iPad also saves energy over using a desktop or laptop computer.  

According to the Electric Power Research Institute, it costs only $1.36 annually to charge the iPad's battery. An
iPad consumes less than 12 kWh of electricity over the course of a year, based on a full charge every other day. With 10 hours of battery life per charge, every other day charging is a reasonable estimate for most users. In comparison, a desktop PC costs $28.21, a laptop PC costs $8.31, and a 60W CFL light bulb costs $1.61 per year in electricity.  
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