Search results for the "Legal" tag
Being organized ultimately means less mistakes, getting the work done faster and providing superior service. Whether it is completing a transaction, structuring a businesses or managing a clinical trial are volumes of documents. Having documents highly organized, accessible and online access reduces the voicemails, "lost" e-mail attachments and miscommunication that frustrates any collaborative process. As one attorney commented
“My important clients use the internet for convenience with their other service providers. They bank online, they book travel online, they file taxes online - and I want to be able to provide them with a convenient way to work with me, online! Either I proactively set up online access to key documents for my clients; or wait until they demand it because everyone else is doing it. And since there is virtually no material impact to my practice – why should I wait?”
Last week we discussed the basic concept of “legal cloud computing”. Now, let’s try to gain a better understanding of the concept by addressing the basic components of “cloud computing.”
The concept of cloud computing arises from the interplay of three concepts: IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service).
IaaS can be defined as: “a model in which an organization outsources the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components. The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it.” Amazon EC2 and Rackspace are examples of this type of service.
SaaS can be defined as a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet.” The vendor provides daily technical operation, maintenance, and support for the software provided to their client. Examples include the email service Gmail and the virtual data room service offered by Firmex.
Two weeks ago, thousands of attorneys and other legal professionals descended upon Manhattan to attend LegalTech New York, hoping to catch up on the latest legal technologies and innovations.
The annual LegalTech conference is sponsored by ALM with the goal of helping lawyers and law firms learn about the latest advances in legal-related technology. It features multiple educational tracks focused on a variety of legal technology issues, from ediscovery to knowledge management, cloud computing and social media.
One particularly interesting part of the conference was one the keynote presentations — “I3: The New Convergence of Intelligence, Intuition and Information” which featured a panel including Malcolm Gladwell (link to:http://www.gladwell.com/), the New York Times bestselling author of “Blink” and “Outliers”; Thomson Reuters Chief Strategy Officer David Craig and Dr. Lisa Sanders, New York Times Magazine Diagnosis Columnist and technical advisor to the television program “House, M.D.”
Let’s face it, these days, business air travel is a costly proposition—it’s expensive and takes up valuable time.
And, travel time is only increasing due to the recent attempted terror attack, as widely reported in the press. For example, as explained in a recent Montreal Gazette article:
Massive lines, flight delays and cancellations greeted Canadian passengers traveling to the United States on Sunday as new security measures moved into a second day and another suspicious incident was reported on board a U.S. flight, increasing tensions.
Weather delays aren’t helping matters either, now that we’re in the midst of a long, cold winter, as detailed in this Chicago Sun Times article:
A messy winter storm — which could bring up to a foot of snow…— caused major headaches for travelers…prompting more than 500 flight cancellations at both city airports.
One way businesses can avoid the time suck of costly air travel is to utilize innovative alternatives to face-to-face business meetings, such as video conferencing, screen sharing and online document sharing.
Posted In: Cloud Computing, Legal, SaaS, Virtual Data Room |
Comments: | Tags: cloud computing, legal technology, virtual data rooms, legal, data room provider, deal rooms, legal practice, online documents, data room trends, collaboration, litigation
Because data room performance is important to our clients, we recently released the first wave of our new software architecture to address the growing demands of our customers.
For the past few years, our customers have primarily used our data rooms for M&A deals which are usually made up of around 300 folders containing 5000 documents. However, as our clients are adopting electronic deal rooms for other uses, such as litigation and clinical studies, we decided to adapt to these new requirements. Some of these virtual data rooms might have over 80,000 folders containing more than 100,000 documents.
We’re excited to roll out our new architecture that supports sub second data retrieval, even on these large scale deals. These improvements represent considerable time and money savings for our clients working with multiple small to large transactions. The litigation and life sciences verticals will greatly benefit from these data room improvements.
Posted In: Corporate & Finance, Industry Trends, M&A Transactions, Product, SaaS, Virtual Data Room |
Comments: | Tags: legal technology, virtual data rooms, legal, due diligence, online data room, deal rooms, data room trends, litigation, added value, large projects, m&a transactions
Email security in its current form is inherently flawed and many lawyers are unaware of this disconcerting fact. Most emails are no more than mere postcards, the contents readily viewable by anyone who cares to look.
As each email travels from its starting point to its end destination, it traverses an untold number of servers and can be intercepted and viewed by virtually anyone with the proper technological know-how and desire. A number of states, including Massachusetts and Nevada, already have passed laws or regulations requiring certain types of confidential data to be sent electronically only via encrypted communications. More laws of that nature most certainly will follow, both at the state and federal level.
In my opinion, encryption laws — most of which currently apply primarily to financial institutions — ultimately will incorporate some of the types of client information contained in attorney-client communications, in large part because of rising concerns due to recent large-scale data disclosures.
As discussed last week, the unencrypted email systems used by most law firms are inherently insecure and place confidential client data at risk.
However, there are secure alternatives to email, using cloud computing products, like Firmex online document workspace, that incorporate some form of encrypted client communication into their platforms. These cloud computing platforms provide lawyers with a ready-made solution to the problem of unencrypted, insecure email.
There are a number of products available that allow attorneys to securely exchange large volumes of confidential documents and information with opposing counsel, clients and others. For example, law firms can use secure virtual data rooms such as those provided by Firmex, to collaborate and communicate with other users, manage online due diligence, exchange closing drafts, create digital record books, share litigation documents, and secure client access to important files.
Posted In: Cloud Computing, Due Diligence, Legal, SaaS, Virtual Data Room |
Comments: | Tags: cloud computing, legal technology, virtual data rooms, saas, legal, data room provider, due diligence, online data room, online documents
On March 18th, 2010 ALM Media Events will be holding live CLE events at Virtual LegalTech for the second time ever.
Virtual LegalTech is a fully interactive, online legal technology conference. At the website, the conference is described as:
(A) showcase for the latest hardware, software, tools and services that are moving the practice of law ahead through innovative solutions...VLT's fully interactive virtual environment enables you to do all the things you'd do at a live event: attend presentations and panel discussions, talk with vendors, see product demonstrations, collect information, network with colleagues and get the latest news from the ever-evolving arena of legal technology.
Virtual LegalTech is the next generation of law conferences, offering legal professionals innovative and economical ways to learn about the latest legal technologies while networking with colleagues.
There’s no need to spend money on travel or hotel expenses; you can attend the conference from the comfort and convenience of your office. And best of all -- attending Virtual LegalTech is free for qualified registrants. That’s right, it costs nothing to attend, and in many jurisdictions, including New York, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, and Oregon, you can receive CLE credits for seminars that you watch.
Legal practice management software is a must-have for most law offices. It streamlines the process of handling and managing a case from start to finish. Law case management systems allow busy attorneys to keep track of contacts, documents, and calendaring, among other things, for each case that is added to the system; many offer time tracking and billing features as well.
For most law practices, purchasing practice management software that is well-suited for the size and specific practice areas of the firm is a good investment that saves time and money in the long run.
One decision lawyers must make when choosing legal practice management software is whether to purchase a web-based law practice management system or a traditional desktop system that is installed and housed on the law firm’s server. Once you’ve decided which type of platform you intend to use, you can then narrow down your choices based on the specific features offered by a particular system.
Posted In: Cloud Computing, Industry Trends, Legal, SaaS |
Comments: | Tags: cloud computing, legal technology, legal management software, saas, legal, legal practice, added value, enhancements
The use of a virtual deal room (“VDR”) has become commonplace in modern merger and acquisition practice, replacing the formerly prevalent document room. The advantages of a VDR include reduced cost; reduced security concerns; accessibility to multiple parties simultaneously and 24/7; reduction in actual deal time; and an electronic data trail establishing who saw what and when.
An important consideration in the deployment of a VDR is the question of who will serve as the gatekeeper to the VDR, determining what information is appropriate for posting and what level of security and access to assign to such information.
In our opinion, the Seller’s legal counsel is the appropriate gatekeeper to the VDR. Personnel of the seller, while more familiar with the information, are typically the least familiar with the deal process and potential legal issues posed by the information. They are also the least likely to have the time, with the additional stress of gathering and producing due diligence information already layered on top of their routine daily duties. And while deal intermediaries are certainly the most familiar with the deal-making process, they are not legal counsel and necessarily familiar with the legal issues posed by the information.
Posted In: Legal, M&A Transactions, Virtual Data Room |
Comments: | Tags: legal technology, virtual data rooms, legal, data room provider, deal rooms, legal practice, decision making, m&a, m&a transactions