Image courtesy of Wolters Kluwer
Wolters Kluwer is preparing to resell an online case management system from start-up company Flat Rock Systems.
Flat Rock emerged earlier this year from custom development at Tampa, Fla.-based firm James Hoyer Newcomer & Smiljanich, and connected with Wolters Kluwer through a mutual customer, explained Sonali Oberg, product manager at Wolters Kluwer. The deal was announced in September, and now Wolters Kluwer legal division is making final preparations for a spring 2013 launch, she said.
Flat Rock's service, called Genu (gee-new), will be available to lawyers exclusively through Wolters Kluwer. It will cost $1,500 per seat per year.
Looking farther, after the launch happens, "We really want to integrate into the attorney's daily work and [what] they're doing on an ongoing basis," Oberg said. Genu will integrate with LoisLaw first, and later with IntelliConnect, she added. Meanwhile, at Flat Rock, CEO James Dunham noted that Genu runs through any mainstream browser, and said his team is considering whether to make an Apple iPad application.
Dunham added that Wolters Kluwer has first right of refusal to acquire his company, and that he hopes to target the software for non-legal applications such as auditing and clinical trials.
Kathleen Havener, of Cleveland-based husband-and-wife firm Havener Law, is the mutual client who connected Flat Rock and Wolters Kluwer. Havener said she's been using Genu in various testing phases since the middle of 2011 and that she finds it useful.
For example, when examining open matters, "You know in real time who else on your team is doing what," Havener explained. "You have a column that operates like Facebook," she said. "It allows for the entire team to have their eyes on what's happening at that very moment."
Havener said she feels the price is fair, and that she'd like to see Flat Rock develop features for jury selection similar to the LexisNexis Sanction product, along with quicker document management functions.
Flat Rock's Dunham said he hadn't heard that feedback, but that courtroom-related features are possible for a future version.