Thursday, January 30, 2014

"App" Help For Lawyers - Takes On Document Management

The "Internet of Things" comes as a next phase in our practical appreciation of the Internet, going beyond webpage interactions and social media. You can call a cab substitute, summon a baby-sitter, or get your online order delivered, all by tapping into a power of crowd-sourced and -outsourced apps, straight from your phone.

Search your phone's app store, and you will discover that pretty much any activity under the sun has its own app for it. Legal profession, though, notably lags in the apps offering.

Not surprisingly, you still can't obtain an attorney the way you can get a babysitter. App developers for on-call attorneys face many obstacles, including the issue of sharing a fee with someone who is a non-lawyer; attorney's risk of binding representation of a "ghost" client; attorney's basic need to review and research the matter before deciding if she can offer competent representation, etc.  Since the "app" means transmitting and storing potentially confidential information online, there is also an issue of protecting it. And if the "app" suggests several attorneys, additional risk arises for avoiding mis-advertisement of joint representation or a joined operation of individual practitioners.

So, customers will have to wait before a fully-funcitonal app for getting an attorney on-the-go will arrive. But attorneys don't have to. The technology is already here to help us in wordsmithing, data-mining, scheduling, billing, cloud-storing, presentation, research. And we can still use the same SideCar to get to the court.

One more task now becomes simplified and more advanced--document management. My friends at Filing Rabbit offer their services for businesses and tax professionals. They get a random shoe-box of documents from a client, sort it all, scan, OCR, and upload to a cloud. Documents become available for clients to view from any online device, to search by keywords, to share with others, or do anything one would expect to do with an online-stored data.  Why not to use this for legal clients' documents?

When I saw their operation, I thought this same service may be handy for lawyers. Client comes with her shoe-box (or a few boxes) of mixed documents and expects us to read and research them all through, sort them, copy, and make them accessible for future references and trial preparation. If this task can be delegated to the FilingRabbit, with assurances of confidentiality, back-up, uninterrupted storage and accessibility for several years, and all other necessary requirements, this would save us a tremendous amount of time and effort, translating to big savings for a client. I am considering it, and thought you might find it useful as well! I asked FilingRabbit and they told me, they will give a discount of one hour free scanning to those new customers, who will mention this post.

Disclaimer: this article may be deemed as advertisement of Owner of is a personal friend of the author. Author of this post has no interest, no shares, and no promise of any commission, in any applications or services disclosed in this article, including FilingRabbit. No outcome or quality is guaranteed. Readers should perform their own research and due diligence before considering to use any of the services or companies referenced herein. Readers are particularly advised to research and follow current California Bar Rules of Professional Conduct and ethics opinions, before making a decision to use any of the services mentioned herein.

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