LexisNexis Buys CaseSoft, ABA TechShow and other musings.

By at 17 May, 2006, 7:46 pm

It’s been pretty hectic the last month and I’ve been remiss in posting. April found me in Chicago for the Practice Management Advisors Meeting immediately followed by the ABA TechShow  and associated events including:  LexThink Lounge, lunch with the makers of Amicus Attorney, dinner with Corel WordPerfect representatives and the 7th Annual Consultants and Technologists Dinner.  Some terrific sessions at TechShow this year and it was nice being an attendee without any speaker or other duties. The vendors’ area was sold out and actually expanded; the majority of the vendors were there offering EDD services and it will be interesting to see who is still standing when the dust settles a year or two from now. Amicus Attorney demonstrated their new Version 7 for the PMA’s. Its use of SmartTags and .net integration is truly impressive. While I’ve always been less then impressed by its “pretty” interface, I have to admit that what I saw made me reconsider the product 9 as well as its new time, billing and accounting program).  I’ve also been impressed by the improvements and stamina of WordPerfect in the latest version X3 (this is really a unique way to call it version 13 without being blatant about it).

 

As usual, TechShow and its associated events was a great opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. Some of the folks I got a chance to spend some time with included:

 

Kevin Thompson

Ernie Svenson

Matt Homann

Jim Calloway

Dan Pinnington

Dan Coolidge

Bruce Dorner

Reid Trautz

Craig Ball

Ross Kodner

Dennis Kennedy

Mark Deal

Tom Mighell

And my fellow PMA’s of course!

 

 

The following week I was speaking at the Civil Trial Counsel of Wisconsin annual conference at Kohler, Wisconsin. April also witnessed the rollout of my program’s  Practice411 listserv in Wisconsin which now stands at over 350 members and growing. Then it was preparation for the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Annual Convention in Madison and the official debut of the Law Office Management Assistance Program. From Madison, I was off to St. Louis the following week for a meeting of the ISBA Committee on Legal Technology and attending its Legal Boot camp seminar on MS Word and Excel for Legal Professionals. I’m now in Toronto for PCLaw www.pclaw.com  training and ready to head back to the States to spend time in the office and catch up on work. However, I came across an interesting bit of news on Tuesday May 16 while in Toronto – LexisNexis has acquired CaseSoft the maker of CaseMap, TimeMap, NoteMap and the rest of the CaseSoft family of products. You read that correctly,  another successful legal software company has been snatched up by one of the legal industry behemoths.

 

CaseMap has taken the legal industry by storm the last few years based on the quality of its products, their ease of use and integration with other products. It hasn’t hurt that the product itself continues to improve and provides a number of useful features including its integral Adobe PDF Creation, ReportBook function and links to TimeMap and other programs. It’s easy to see why many consider this to be the premier cases analysis tool. 

 

Consolidation seems to be the current trend in the legal software industry with Thomson West and Reed Elsevier buying companies and products that they believe enhance their offerings to attorneys. So far, I think that the LexisNexis acquisitions including HotDocs, TimeMatters and PCLaw have proven to be better moves as these products appeal to a far wider user base than ProLaw and Elite. I understand the need for capital to continue funding new product development and can appreciate the owners of these products getting a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor. However, a person does have to wonder if this is good for the industry to lose competition. In many ways this is becoming similar to the soft drink wars between Coke and Pepsi. As these companies continue to grow and absorb smaller companies, do we lose our choices and will they end up being opposite sides of the same coin?

Categories : Blogging | Hmmm! | Legal Software


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