Here is a round-up of notable news from the last couple weeks:
TechnoLawyer has announced its TL NewsWire Top 10 and 25 Products of 2015. Its top pick of the year: pdfDocs 4.1 from DocsCorp, which TechnoLawyer praises as designed specifically for law firms and able to handle all the basics while also providing advanced tools. Winners are picked from among all the reviews TechnoLawyer publishes each year based on clicks by TL NewsWire subscribers.
Speaking of awards, Dennis Kennedy is out with his 11th annual installment of the Blawggie Awards, honoring the best law-related blogs, as determined by Dennis. His pick this year for the best overall law-related blog is Law Technology Today, the blog of the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center. In the category of best new blog, Dennis picks John Simek’s Your IT Consultant.
In other blog news, Jordan Furlong says that he is putting his blog, Law21, on a hiatus for several months. “I’m not shutting down,” he says, and when the blog returns “this site will look very different.” Read his post for more details and stay tuned for further developments.
In research news, there is a new Nexis. LexisNexis has relaunched its signature news and business information service, consolidating all the global versions of Nexis on a single technology platform for the first time. The relaunched Nexis now has multiple language options as well as several new features and capabilities, including easier source selection, a simplified user interface, better sorting ability within folders and search results, split-screen previews and more.
In practice-management news, Thomson Reuters Firm Central has added two-way synchronization with Microsoft Outlook. Previously, Firm Central’s Outlook sync allowed users to create, edit and delete events only in Outlook. Now, users can create, edit and delete calendar events in either Firm Central or Outlook, and have them sync automatically. To take advantage of this functionality, current Firm Central users will have to download a new Outlook plug-in.
Turning now to online dispute resolution, which is something I thought would take off far more quickly than it actually has. Way back in 2001, I wrote an article about services offering ODR, almost all of which are now defunct. That is finally changing, with ODR gaining broader acceptance, as evidenced by the recent announcement by Modria.com that its ODR platform was recently adopted by the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals to provide an online resolution center for cases there. “Taxpayers, agents, and attorneys can now file online, gain instant access to their electronic case files, negotiate settlements, and take actions on cases, all from the convenience of their computers or tablets,” the announcement said. Modria was founded by Colin Rule, one of the true trailblazers in ODR.
Finally for today, the Sony Digital Paper — the not-quite-a-tablet device I’ve written about here, here and here — has released a software upgrade to provide functional improvements, stability improvements and enhanced security. Most notably, the update enables the ability to encrypt the Digital Paper’s internal memory and to use a more complex password. The upgrade also adds support for PDF forms, along with various other improvements.
With that, I wish you all the best of the holiday season. Thanks for reading this year.