The Big Guns Are Trimming The Fat

Seems firms that wouldn’t have given a second glance to upstart (read: inexpensive) on-line legal research purveyors five or more years ago are starting to open their eyes. My old firm, Locke, Lord, Bissell & Liddell has adopted a new “find-it-first-using-Loislaw-policy” to cut some of the exorbitant research fees the Big Two (no names mentioned 😉 ) charge for the keys to the kingdom. Check out this internal memo from the blog, Above the Law:

LOCKE LORD BISSELL & LIDDELL FIRM-WIDE MEMORANDUM

In today’s economic climate we recognize that our clients are becoming increasingly sensitive to legal research costs passed on to them as disbursements. In an effort to enable you to reduce the frequency and dollar amount of these charges, the Information Services Department has entered into a firm-wide contract with Loislaw, a legal research service owned by Wolters Kluwer/CCH. Loislaw allows searching Primary Law (cases, statutes & regulations) on the National and State level. A detailed list of the contents of the database is included at the end of this e-mail.

The Houston office has been using this service for several years for both non-billable and billable research whenever possible. It is not viewed as a substitute for Lexis or Westlaw, but as a tool to be used to familiarize yourself with precedent related to new cases or issues or simply to find cases, statutes or regulations. You can then continue your research on Lexis or Westlaw allowing you to complete your research in substantially less time and a lower cost to your client and/or the Firm. The Firm pays Loislaw a reasonable fixed fee for the year and receives unlimited service. You will have the ability to add a client/matter number when you want to bill the client, but will not be forced to do so for non-billable research

The following Guidelines for Legal Research are effective immediately.

* All non-billable legal research involving case law, statutes or regulations at both the state and federal level should first be performed using Loislaw.
* Loislaw should also be used for billable research where appropriate, resulting in a much lower cost to the client.
* If additional research is required on Lexis or Westlaw that research must be billed to a client/matter..
Training Available

Subscribers are referred to the Legal Pro site (http://business.cch.com/legalprotraining) for hands-on, web-based instruction by a Legal Training Consultants. There is also a complete training handbook available on-line at http://www.loislaw.com. I have attached a copy of a Quick Reference Card that should enable you to get started with searching right away. If a number of attorneys would prefer in-house training, we can arrange for that as well.

Immediate Access Available

The link to Loislaw is available on the Information Services Portal Page under Legal Research Links.

Let us know if you have any questions regarding this new service.

Approximately 8 years ago, my own company looked into Loislaw as an alternative to our current research service Westlaw. At that time, we determined that would could not secure the research results as efficiently or effectively as we liked, and opted to stay with Westlaw. I wonder how Loislaw measures up now, especially with the far more attractive fee structure.

Good for Locke Lord for looking for ways cut those costs and, hopefully, pass those savings along to the client.

Texas Lawyer Blog: Locke Lord cuts research costs

Another Great Organizing and Searching Tool for Email: Postbox

Have you ever found yourself frustrated trying to locate that attachment you remember receiving a while back? It’s here somewhere in this vast, highly populated inbox (or one of the subfolders you try to maintain). Enter Postbox: an email client that searches out those photos, attachments and links scattered throughout your messages. Postbox can also handle RSS and newsgroup subscriptions too. It will work with any type of email account. It works like a desktop email client, connecting to your server and downloading and indexing mail while your system is idle, with a push function if you just can’t wait. Enter your search term in the search bar (which supports plug-ins), and away you go! You can select the type of media (images, attachments, links, contacts). There are lots of search criteria to choose from. Going forward, you can assign topics to new mail as it is created, with an auto-completion feature. A “gather” function searches all folders and topics with a related reply and strings them together for you. You can also build a “To Do” list.

Lifehacker has a great synopsis of Postbox, with screen shots. Or go straight to Postbox for the 411.

And best of all, its in free beta right now! Grab some control over that octopus of an inbox today!

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