Nextpoint is proud to once again be part of the ABA Techshow, the best industry event for small and mid-sized law firms to get with the cutting edge of litigation technology. I was a little surprised to find out that the Techshow is now more than 25 years old.
Even at this advanced age, the legal technology industry is still providing new innovations. As noted in Law Technology News, there are some interesting new mobile applications, videoconferencing solutions, and some updates to industry warhorses. The most interesting new product might be Timesteam, an application for computer investigators in a thumb drive. Forensic investigators can store encrypted files while working on an matter in the thumb drive, which maintains chain of custody and keep s files safe in the smallest possible transportable device.
Not Enough Changes for a Quarter Century…
But it was also obvious that a lot of the litigation technology from 25 years ago has not changed very much. For example, Summation and Concordance are still the leading databases for managing electronic records in litigation, both of which first appeared in 1984.
The deeper problem is not just outdated software, but that litigation technology is still deeply divided. Here is our non-comprehensive list of some of the biggest names in litigation technology across the commonly defined phases of litigation.
This is what most legal technology buyers are up against. The installed technology that has been in use for decades is still found in most law firms’ toolkit. The recent wave of consolidation in the industry was supposed to solve some of this fragmentation. But look at LexisNexis, which now owns more than 80 litigation applications, including Concordance, CaseMap, TextMap, and TimeMap. Since Lexis began its acquisition bender, buying some of the best-known applications in the industry, has the situation improved at all? Does any law firm in the world call up Lexis and ask for them to set up a full suite of practice management and litigation software? Probably not.
Can you think of another industry that relies on software that was first popular in the 1980s? It’s no mystery why law firms complain that their litigation software solutions are clunky and don’t coordinate well. It’s because each step of the litigation process is built on a different platform that speaks a different language and was built years ago for a completely different computing environment.
The Future is Now
Nextpoint realized long ago that the cloud platform was the future of computing. There’s a reason why we refer to our solutions as a “litigation platform” and not an application. Our technology is a cloud platform that provides archiving, eDiscovery, and trial functionality. We don’t force users to convert or reimport data every time you move to a different phase of litigation. Your data lives in the cloud platform and users perform the tasks needed in order to move their case along. The ABA Techshow is a great place to see state of litigation technology in one roof. But we have to believe that the next few years of Techshow is going to look a lot different than the last 25.