Image: Shane Deleers
Following are some notes from LegalTech New York, which was held January 29 to 31 at the Hilton New York.
Equivio has a new product called Themes that plugs into the company's Zoom e-discovery suite. The software is a "content analytics application that identifies themes and thematic relationships across document collections," according to the press release. At LegalTech New York, Equivio demonstrated a version of the interface to Law Technology News. It resembles an email inbox, with a crucial difference an inbox typically shows columns such as sender, date, and subject line. Instead, Themes shows each document's sender, creation date, and a list of important words. The product includes data visualization tools, officials said, noting that Themes is likely to be used for early case assessment. As with Equivio's other products, expect Themes to be licensed and used or resold by other companies.
Similar technologies are found in Attenex Patterns and Ringtail's Document Mapper, from FTI Consulting Inc., and in IBM's Vivisimo. "Concept-based text processing" is one way scientists refer to such applications. Microsoft Corp. has conducted similar research, and there is an open-source application called Katao from researchers in New Zealand.
RECOMMIND'S IPO PROSPECTS
Bob Tennant, CEO of Recommind Inc., told LTN at the show that he hopes to take the company public later this year. Upcoming product announcements related to information governance will help the San Francisco-based software company ramp up for the IPO, he explained. Tennant raised the subject of a public offering in summer 2011, and again at LegalTech New York in 2012, but had not previously put a timeframe on the plan although the current timeframe came with a disclaimer: "No promises," Tennant said.
NEW LOOK FOR CLIO
Clio, an online practice management service from Themis Solutions Inc., has a redesigned user interface. Clios forms have been reworked to increase ease of data entry and to offer in-place data validation, the company said in a press release. A new 'quick-start' sidebar timer now helps Clio users start, stop, and modify timers with a few clicks. Over the next couple of months, the company plans to redesign the entire program, it said.
MAINSTREAM TECH COMPANIES DABBLING IN LEGAL
India-based Tata Consultancy Services has, for several years, targeted international law firms with products such as billing and human resources. (Tata licenses the software from Germany's SAP, which is a European technology powerhouse.) Starting this spring, Tata and SAP plan to target corporate legal departments, Tata product architect Juan Prado said. Representatives from another business giant, Ernst & Young, said their company is looking to add clients' financial data into the list of electronically stored information that could be subject to e-discovery services.
Viewpointe upgraded its information governance software, OnPointe, which manages compliance and discovery requests. The software has new functions for document review assignments, early case assessment, and preservation notifications.
LEGAL RESEARCH RESOURCEFULNESS
DiligenceX is a startup, based in New York, that is developing a searchable database of court hearings and trial transcripts. Its website, DiligenceX.com, is still under wraps, but the company's first product is for the Southern District of New York, business developer director Melina Spadone said. The service will start at $500 monthly, per user, and the price will decrease with quantity, she said. The company probably will expand to state courts that lack PACER (the U.S. Court's Public Access to Electronic Court Records system, which is due for a 2014 upgrade), she added. DiligenceX is affiliated with Boies, Schiller & Flexner Chair David Boies, Spadone noted, declining to elaborate on the relationship.
Symantec Corp. announced layoffs and a reorganization, with modest impact on its Clearwell Systems e-discovery unit. But they gave away cash at LegalTech New York, via a "Cash Cab" contest, where riders are asked questions and win money for right answers. The contest was based on a television show of the same name. GlaxoSmithKline litigation paralegal Chrissy Becker was on a winning team. She and colleagues traveled to the show from Research Triangle Park, N.C. and won $175, which they donated to a Hurricane Sandy relief fund, matched by Symantec.
"They asked four questions," Becker said. The questions weren't terribly challenging: "How many rings are in the Olympic circle?" [five]; What's the priciest part of e-discovery?" [document review]; "Who authored the majority opinion in the Supreme Court's recent healthcare decision?" [Chief Justice John Roberts]; and "Which company purchased Clearwell Systems?" [Symantec], they said. "We didn't actually drive around New York, but they filmed us in the cab," she explained. "I definitely missed my calling for Hollywood. There was a spider crawling up the seat at one point. I almost lost it!"