* The Best New Net-Related Products

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, here is my summary of the coolest new Net-related products I saw at TechShow ’98.

By Erik J. Heels

First published 7/1/1998; Law Practice Management magazine, “nothing.but.net” column; American Bar Association

‘Twas the night before TechShow, when all through the house,
There was stirring and shipping of monitor and mouse,
Business cards were packed in our boxes with care,
In hopes that tech lawyers soon would be there.
The track leaders and planners were all snug in their beds,
While visions of Windy Town danced in their heads,
And the vendors were ironing and starting to unpack,
While all the time thinking “How long ’til we get back?”

Then at the exhibit hall there arose such a clatter,
I snuck down the escalator to see what was the matter.
Past the free goodies I flew like a flash,
As if a gold-medalist in the 100 meter dash.
The glass enclosed Net lab was ready to go,
Sponsored by Verio (my employer, you know…).
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But cool new Net products, but, alas, no reindeer.
The depth and the breath of new products was here,
Like that memorable year-of-the-Internet year.
Good fodder, I thought, for a column or two,
These cool Net products (and most of them, new).

It was then that I noticed that bag at my side,
With official program guide, packed neatly inside.
I read the whole thing, both outside and in,
For the next day this TechShow for real would begin.
The names of the vendors I did circle with care,
So I’d know where to find them when I returned there.
Some names were familiar, and some others were not,
But all of them onto my list I did jot:

See MARTINDALE-HUBBELL, see LPM BOOKS, my list read,
And COUNSEL CONNECT and LJX (who just wed),
And if I’ve mistyped, my sincerest apologies,
For your patience I thank you, this list’s almost through,
LEXIS-NEXIS is listed under cool Net-products, too.

And now comes the hard part, the challenge is clear,
To describe in rhyme all the products listed here.
So if you’ll indulge me, I’ll try to be brief,
And hopefully Web links will provide some relief.

1. With Matthew Bender, you get authors you know,
Like Nimmer and Milgrim and Chisum, and so,
When instant Web-access was what clients did ask for,
Authority On Demand was the logical the answer.

2. Internet e-mail affordably priced,
Most law firms agree, would be, quite nice.
And if you don’t want new networks or Web access yet,
Then Allegro’s AllegroNet may be your best bet.

3. Sometimes it’s easier to demo than describe,
Web-based products with Microsoft technology inside,
Like Corprasoft’s Legal Desktop matter management tool.
It’s for in-house counsel, and trust me, it’s cool.

4. If you like document assembly, and you want the full scoop,
Check out SmartWords from a company called The Technology Group.
Web-based delivery is only the start,
The name is no joke, the product is Smart.

5. If you want to share documents, you really need a plan,
Whether you’re on the Net, or a LAN or a WAN.
With NetRight Technologies’ iManage software,
You can manage edit and print from nearly anywhere.

6. If a network and a server and a modem are all there,
And you’ve decided that these resources ought to be shared,
Then Artisoft’s solution for both Net and for faxing,
Called i.Share and ModemShare may be right for the asking.

7. Shepardize, Auto-Site, Key Words In Context,
Lexis-Nexis on the Web is what’s listed next,
The name is Xchange, and you heard it here first,
Lexis-Nexis on the Web will quench your info thirst.

8. When lawyers need lawyers, there’s one place to go,
The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory we all know,
The part that is missing will soon be complete,
A lawyers.com site, sure to be the one to beat.

9. The last reason to avoid the Web now is gone,
For legal researchers, now that WestLaw is on,
On the Web, that is, yes, it is true, and its neat:
West Group just made your old dial up software obsolete.

10. But my favorite new product, I want you to know,
Is NetEnvelope from NetVoyage, which wins “best of show,”
If you want to share documents but don’t want to use keys,
NetEnvelope’s ease-of-use brings its competitors to their knees.

The 12th Annual TechShow in ChiTown is through,
To Jeff and to David I bid fond adieu,
The meetings, the exhibit hall, and weather quite fair,
Are now but a memory of my brief time there,
So each laying his finger aside of his nose,
David and Jeff brought the show to a close,
They sprang to their rental, to the team gave a whistle,
And away they both flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them exclaim, as they flicked on the headlights,
Don’t forget next year’s highlight SIXTY SECONDS, SIXTY SITES!