Apr 23, 2014

Back Up Your Cloud with ‘Backupify’

Have you ever thought about whether you should back up your law firm’s cloud? If your cloud service goes down or loses files, where will that leave you? A recent report from Forrester Research cautions that businesses should back up their critical cloud data before it’s too late.

Now, a Massachusetts-based company, Backupify, is offering businesses a service that does just that, regularly backing up your cloud data and enabling you to search for and restore lost files.

So far, Backupify works only with Google Apps (the paid business version of Google’s email, calendar and productivity applications) and Salesforce, the customer relationship management tool.  It also provides back up for Facebook business pages and business Twitter accounts.

However, the company recently announced that it will be adding support this year for Box, Dropbox, NetSuite, GitHub, Zendesk, Concur, ServiceNow, JIRA, Asana, Egnyte, Office 365 and Basecamp. It has created a page where you can sign up to be alerted when support is added for specific cloud platforms.

I know that some law firms are using Google Apps for email, word processing, calendaring and document storage. If your firm is one of those, you may want to look into Backupify. It will back up your data up to three times a day and then let you either restore files and folders directly to the user’s account or download them to the desktop.

Set up is easy and basically involves little more than granting Backupify access to your Google Apps account. Your administrator can opt to back up all the users of your account or select only certain users to back up. To restore a file, simply search for it and then click the “restore” button. You can also export a user’s data to a ZIP file for download. The export can be for a specific service, such as calendar, or for all the user’s data.

The cost is $3 per month per user for once-a-day backups and $4 per user for three-times-a-day backups. The $4 version also adds enhanced administrative tools. Enterprise pricing is available for businesses with 250 or more users.

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Apr 22, 2014

First Look: Sony Digital Paper for Taking Notes, Reading and Annotating Docs

Just after ABA Techshow, I published a post listing my picks for the top 10 product announcements at the show. My #2 pick was Sony’s Digital Paper, a remarkably thin (.26 inches) and light (12.6 oz.) tablet-like device with a 13.3 inch, high-contrast E Ink display. You can use it to take handwritten notes or to read and annotate documents. When the device is released in the U.S. next month, it will be distributed exclusively through Worldox and will integrate with the Worldox document management system.

I just received a review unit to test. I’ll wrote more about it later but thought I’d post a quick video to give you a sense of what it looks like and what it does.

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Apr 16, 2014

We Test WordRake’s Beta Version 2.0 on ‘McCutcheon’

When WordRake , the editing program for lawyers, was first released in 2012, I put it to the test against two of the most eloquent writers on the Supreme Court, Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan. If WordRake could improve on Scalia and Kagan, I reasoned, imagine what it could do for the rest of us.

Now, WordRake is preparing to release version 2.0 of its software and it provided me with a beta version. This time, I decided to give Justices Scalia and Kagan a rest, so I turned to the Supreme Court’s controversial recent opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The case provided the opportunity to test WordRake against the writing of three justices: the plurality opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the concurring opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas and the dissent of Justice Stephen G. Breyer. (more…)

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Apr 15, 2014

Avvo Gets Another $37.5 Million in Financing

It’s a good time to be a legal startup, it seems. Just three weeks ago, we reported here that Clio, the cloud-based practice management platform, had raised $20 million in financing. Now comes news that the lawyer directory site Avvo has closed $37.5 million in financing.

This latest round of financing was led by Coatue Management, with additional investment from Benchmark Capital, Ignition Partners and DAG Ventures, according to Avvo’s announcement. Avvo will use the new funding to accelerate product development and marketing and fuel international expansion.

Four years ago, Avvo raised $10 million. Since its inception, it has raised a total of $60.5 million.

Avvo’s announcement includes this statement from Thomas Laffont, a senior managing director at Coatue:

We are excited to partner with Avvo because it is consistent with our strategy of backing innovative leaders. Avvo’s skilled team has built a large user base, supported by a powerful platform, which uniquely positions the company to continue its creative approach to transforming the legal landscape.

It also had this statement from Mark Britton, Avvo’s founder and CEO:

Put simply, this additional capital allows us to accelerate. No matter what we have accomplished to date, we need to help more consumers make better legal decisions and find the right lawyer. We need to build more products that make navigating the legal profession as simple as it should be. Through transparency and ease of use, Avvo has already changed how people find and choose attorneys. It is gratifying to have such high caliber investors share in our vision for transforming legal services.

Avvo was launched in June 2007.

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Apr 14, 2014

Which Legal Sites Did Heartbleed Affect?

You’ve no doubt heard about Heartbleed, the security flaw that exposed personal information at many leading websites. The flaw was in OpenSSL, an open-source version of the SSL protocol that is used to encrypt transmissions between you and a website. The flaw created a vulnerability that could have exposed sensitive information. The vulnerability affected several leading Internet companies, including Google, Yahoo and Netflix.

It made me wonder how many companies that cater to the legal profession were affected. I’ve collected a bit of information here. If you know of others, please let me know or add a comment below. If you are unsure about whether a site was vulnerable, LastPass has a Heartbleed checker where you can enter a URL and sometimes get an answer. For a good overview of Heartbleed, see this New York Times Q&A, Aaron Street’s excellent Lawyerist post, or the Heartbleed site. (more…)

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Apr 12, 2014

Breaking: ‘Estate Map’ is Shutting Down

Estate Map Logo Full Up DownJust 10 months after it launched, Estate Map is closing down. As I described in my review of it last August, Estate Map is a cloud-based tool for estate planning lawyers and their clients. For lawyers, it simplifies client intake and communications. For clients, it provides a portal where they provide information about themselves and where they store important documents and digital assets. (more…)

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Apr 11, 2014

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about BigLaw, Delivered to Your Desktop

Do you work in BigLaw? Wish you did? Or just happen to be a junkie for news about large law firms? If so, here’s your fix. The folks at TechnoLawyer have reworked and relaunched BigLaw, their free weekly email newsletter that endeavors to cover all things BigLaw.

The newsletter now covers what TechnoLawyer calls the BigLaw 300 — the nation’s 300 largest law firms. Whereas it formerly contained only selected articles about large firm business, marketing and technology, the revamped version aims to be far more exhaustive. (more…)

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Apr 10, 2014

Exclusive: Pricing Revealed for Neudesic’s ‘The Firm Directory’

NeudesicIn a post here in February, I reviewed The Firm Directory from Neudesic Pulse, a product I described as like a law firm’s private LinkedIn. The product allows firms to create a searchable, internal directory that captures and manages information about its lawyers skills and proficiencies. It is targeted at larger firms of 200 or more lawyers.

At the time that I wrote that, a company spokesperson declined to specify the product’s pricing, saying only that it “varies based on a number of factors.” This week, Ramin Vosough, vice president of products at Neudesic Pulse, reached out to me to provide more specific information on pricing.

Currently, two pricing options are available, Vosough said:

  • A monthly subscription of roughly $3 per user per month. That number is an average based on a minimum of 200 users and can vary depending on total number of users and other factors.
  • A one-time license fee of $50 per user, for which volume discounts are available.

Since introducing the product at LegalTech New York earlier this year, Neudesic has seen a lot of interest in it from large law firms, Vosough told me. A number of firms are interested in it as a knowledge management tool for capturing and searching its lawyers’ skills and expertise.

As I mentioned in my earlier review, one firm that is using The Firm Directory is Reed Smith. I included a quoate from Reed Smith’s KM officer, Tom Baldwin, talking about the use of the product to capture knowledge. Vosough provided me with another Baldwin quote, this time talking about integration of lateral partners:

We make a significant investment in the acquisition of lateral partners so it’s imperative that we ramp up their integration into the firm and showcase their knowledge and experience in the most impactful way possible. We sell our knowledge, knowing as much as possible about our lawyers and serving it up in an intuitive way is paramount. With the Firm Directory powered by Neudesic Pulse we have the ability to uncover and promote our lawyers’ capabilities throughout the firm and to clients, maximizing cross-selling efforts and achieving better outcomes across the board.

To read more about The Firm Directory, see my original review.

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Apr 9, 2014

Podcast: Should Revenge Porn Be A Crime?

In our last episode of the legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer, we spoke to two activists urging federal and state laws to make revenge porn a crime. This week, we follow-up with two guests who believe such laws would be a serious mistake, because of both their chilling effect on free speech and their needless criminalization of conduct that can be addressed through other means.

Joining us as guests this week are:

  • Lee Rowland, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project and formerly the voting rights counsel with the Brennan Center for Justice, where she successfully represented the League of Women Voters of Florida and others in constitutional challenges to Florida’s 2011 election law.
  • Marc Randazza, a First Amendment lawyer and editor of The Legal Satyricon who represents both adult entertainment companies and private individuals. He is a regular contributor to news sources such as CNN and Fox News, and is a frequent commentator on legal issues to the international media.

In the second half of the show, one of the advocates for criminalization, University of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks, our guest on the first revenge porn show, returns to debate her perspective with Rowland and Randazza. It’s a spirited debate about a difficult topic.

Be sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to Lawyer2Lawyer in the iTunes library or via our RSS feed.

 

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Apr 4, 2014

New App Guides Lawyers (and Others) in the Rules of Golf

GolfCoverLawyers are supposed to be experts at deciphering convoluted rules. But even lawyers can be confounded by the rules of golf. Thus, the golfers among you will be pleased to learn that two lawyers have translated the rules of golf into plain English and made them available through a mobile app, ready to consult whenever a knotty question arises.

Out this week is the mobile version of the book, The Rules of Golf in Plain English, by lawyers Jeffrey S. Kuhn and Bryan A. Garner. Kuhn, besides being a lawyer, is a volunteer USGA rules official who has officiated at a number of USGA championships. Garner you no doubt know for his prolific writing and speaking on language and usage and as editor of Black’s Law Dictionary.

The mobile version was published by The University of Chicago Press together with Ready Reference Apps. The book can be purchased for $9.99 from within the free Rulebook app for iPhone and iPad. (This is the same app I’ve written about before that provides the mobile version of The Bluebook.)

First published in 2004 and with a revised third edition out in 2012, The Rules of Golf in Plain English is the authors’ attempt to bring clarity to golf’s often byzantine rules. Since the original 338-word set of 13 rules written in 1744, the official rules are now more than 40,000 words long.

“Both lawyers and avid golfers, Kuhn and Garner recognized the difficulties that the language of the Rules of Golf created, especially in a sport that expects players to call penalties on themselves,” a press release for the app explains. “By reworking the rules line by line, word by word, they have produced a resource that no golfer—from the duffer to the pro—should be without.”

To purchase the mobile version of the book, first install the Rulebook app. You will then be able to purchase it from within the app.

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