Here are some stories of note this week from the world of legal technology and the legal web:

PlanetxlawPlatform aims to make legal services more affordable. A new cloud-based platform called PlanetXLaw aims to help lawyers deliver legal services more affordably to low and moderate income consumers. The platform is unique in that it collects the intake data from a client and then retrieves the appropriate court forms, adds in all supporting documents, and assembles them all for the attorney, according to a press release. The service covers 55 types of legal services commonly required by this segment of consumers. It is available only in Michigan but the company plans to add other states next year. It was founded by Garden City, Mich., lawyer Bert Whitehead IV, who originally used the software in his own law practice.

Calendar enhancements to Firm Central. Thomson Reuters announced a small but useful enhancement to its Firm Central cloud-based practice management platform. The update allows users to set a preference for how matters display in their Outlook calendar or other third-party calendar. There are three options:

  • Display only the event name: “Initial Client Meeting.”
  • Display the matter name before the event name: “Divorce Initial Client Meeting.”
  • Display the client name before the event name: “Sarah Smith Initial Client Meeting.”

Once the user sets a preference, it is applied to all preexisting and subsequent calendar entries. (Firm Central rolled out two-way Outlook synchronization last January.)

lawstudioAn all-in-one workspace for litigation teams. The court-reporting company Veritext has launched LawStudio, which it says is an all-in-one workspace that allows litigation attorneys and support staff to build their case. The platform houses case documents, exhibits, depositions, videos and images in a single repository and provides tools for searching, managing, annotating and sharing files. The company offers a 45-day free trial, after which a single license is $299 a month, which includes unlimited file storage and access from any browser.

patentsviewExplore 40 years of patent data. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has launched a new tools for searching and visualizing 40 years of patent data. Called PatentsView, its allows users to explore technological, regional and individual patent trends via search filters with multiple viewing options. The database links inventors, their organizations, locations, and overall patenting activity using enhanced 1976-2014 data from public USPTO bulk data files. The USPTO says the new tool was developed in furtherance of the President’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government and that it enables anyone to examine the dynamics of inventor patenting activity over time and space while exploring patent technologies, assignees, citation patterns and co-inventor networks.

International database of media laws. A new online database launched by the International Press Institute aims to catalog the world’s legal provisions affecting freedom of the press and expression on a country-by-country basis. The MediaLaws Database has launched with information on defamation laws for countries in the European Union and the Caribbean. Plans are to expand both the geographic coverage of the database and the types of laws it includes. The IPI created the database in part to draw attention to the failure of a number of states to incorporate international standards on freedom of expression in their laws.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.