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Last month I wrote about the sudden and unexpected demise of the client portal that Lexis had built into their Time Matters product by virtue of a relationship with Watchdox (Peering Into the Client Portal). While I was not myself a big fan of this particular integration choice, I recognize that there is an emerging, and rapidly growing, need for a secure and efficient mechanism for sharing documents and related information with clients. Clients today expect this capability from their legal advisors. Having the technology in place to offer this method of communication can provide a significant competitive advantage when competing for clients, in addition to increasing firm efficiency.

file sharingThis month I can report on two promising methods for sharing important information with clients: Legal AnywhereConnect, and a custom Record Replication System my company has designed using Time Matters.

Legal Anywhere, based in Oregon, was founded in 2003. The company’s flagship product, Legal AnywhereConnect, enables law firms and corporate legal departments around the world to share, collaborate and communicate with clients and collaborating parties anywhere, anytime, on any device, with an intuitive user interface. The product integrates nicely with various document management systems (e.g., Worldox, iManage) to offer an efficient and mostly effortless method to securely share documents stored in the firm’s on-premises DMS. Some of the other hallmarks of the product include Active Directory and Microsoft Outlook calendar integration, granular permissions for secure file sharing, watermarking controls, and customizable workflow templates.

Legal AnywhereConnect is much more than just another competitor for the more consumer-oriented services like DropBox and Box.   Through its highly configurable and intuitive user interface, its real-time communication capabilities, and its tight integration with basic software tools like Active Directory and Outlook, Legal AnywhereConnect can easily become a seamless and valued component of your document management system.

Our custom add-on for Time Matters, tentatively dubbed the Record Replication System (RecRep for short) uses the native record replication technology built into Microsoft SQL Server, along with some custom scripts and configuration settings in  the Time Matters database, to allow users to selectively replicate any record, or group of records, stored in the “source” Time Matters database to a second, parallel Time Matters “destination” database, that can be shared with selected  clients and related parties on a case-by-case, record-by-record basis.  For existing Time Matters users, this takes the concept of a client portal to a new level, allowing secure sharing of not only documents stored in Time Matters, but notes, phone calls, emails, and virtually any other record type, including user-defined records. Need your client to review the notes from your phone call with a potential expert witness? Check off a box in Time Matters and the client will see the notes. Unchecking that box will revoke permission and remove the record from the client’s view.

This application has been developed for, and is now being tested by, a specific client (who will remain nameless). Once approved and taken live, we will adapt the product for more generic use via configuration options, user documentation, etc., to be able to roll it out to any Time Matters users who need a persistent, reliable, and secure way to share key information with clients and related parties. We think it will prove especially well-suited for insurance defense work and other corporate, many-matters-to-one-client situations.

Looking for a better way to share sensitive case information with clients and collaborators? We believe client portals will become ubiquitous in the future, and are exploring various ways to deliver the results that they promise. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 877-357-0555 to tell us about your own information sharing needs, and see how we can help you meet those needs.