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#ABATECHSHOW
PRESENTED BY
The Automatic Law Firm
Presenters
John Mayer: @johnpmayer
Andrew Legrand: @LawB...
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#ABATECHSHOW
John Mayer
•Executive Director - CALI (Center for Computer
Assisted Legal Instruction)
•Deve...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Andrew Legrand
•Small Business Attorney, New Orleans
•2011 Graduate, What Jobs?
•Tech Nerd
•...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Road Map
1. Automation Overview
2. Systemizing Automation
3. Best Tools & Software
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Automation Overview
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#ABATECHSHOW
What is automation?
•au·to·ma·tion - noun - the use of largely
automatic equipment in a syst...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Example
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#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
What is automation?
•au·to·ma·tion - noun - the use of largely
automatic equipment in a syst...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Main Goal of Automation
•Help lawyers create better documents
faster, by supplying “intellig...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
History of
Automation
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#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Systemizing Automation
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Why Should Lawyers Systemize?
•Speed & Efficiency: save time by inserting text
faster
•Cost ...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Book Recommendation
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Key Points
•“We are built for novelty and excitement, not for careful
attention to detail.”
...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
How do you determine which
documents to automate?
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Difficulty
of creating
the Doc
Hard
Easy
Rarely Often
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Creating a System for Document
Automation
(Figure out the “checklist” p
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#ABATECHSHOW
The Process
1. Breakdown long, multi-step processes
into smaller steps (using pen & paper)
2...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Store the Process
•Google Docs: Free, robust commenting and
version tracking
•Google Sites: ...
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#ABATECHSHOW
What kind of documents should
lawyers automate?
•Pleadings: appellate briefs, & district cou...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Practice Specific
Examples
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#ABATECHSHOW
Insurance Defense Litigation
•Request for Extension of Time
•Answer, with option and common
...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Business Formation
•Articles of Organization
•Initial Report
•Operating Agreement
•SS-4 for ...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
How to Automate
Your Documents
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
So how do you decide which
documents to automate?
(Let’s ask Barron Henley)
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#ABATECHSHOW
Barron Henley’s
Matrix
Difficulty
of creating
the Doc
Hard
Easy
Rarely Often
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Barron Henley’s
Matrix
Difficulty
to create
the Doc
Hard
Easy
1. High Value
Start Here
2. Th...
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#ABATECHSHOW
The Automation Process
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#ABATECHSHOW
Overview
1. Analyze the structure of the document
2. Determine the document’s formatting
3. ...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Before we Start…
Some Key Observations
•Yes, creating the system is front-loaded, in
terms o...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Analyze the Structure
•What is the document’s logic?
•What are the commonly encountered
vari...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Standardize the Formatting
Typography for Lawyers - Matthew Butterick
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Typography for
Lawyers
•Type Composition
•Text Formatting
•Font Recommendations
•Page Layout...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
BOLD AND ALL CAPS
as told by Butterick
DON’T CAPITALIZE WHOLE PARAGRAPHS. THIS HABIT IS
ENDE...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Alternatives
•Change Page Layout and Borders
•Add a Heading labeling it Important
•Increase ...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Sample Documents
•Caption Pages
•Motions
•Research memos
•Letterhead & Business Cards
•Resum...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Consider style
•Who is the document being written for?
Draft accordingly.
•Eliminate unneces...
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#ABATECHSHOW
WordRake
•What problem does it solve?
–Every unnecessary word detracts from
the words that a...
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#ABATECHSHOW
WordRake
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#ABATECHSHOW
Keep the System Updated
•Create a “change log”
–What changed?
–Who changed it?
–Why was it c...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Best Tools and Software
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Agenda
1. Formatting
2. Structure & Logic
3. Snippets of text
4. Variable text input, at fas...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
1. Formatting
1. Microsoft Word Styles: more than fonts;
includes auto-numbering
2. Create a...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
More Suggestions
1. Briefs: learn to create a Table of
Authorities & Cross-References
2. Con...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
2. Structure & Logic
•TheFormTool: simple, easy
–URL: bit.ly/FormTool
–TheFormTool - Free
–F...
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
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#ABATECHSHOW
More Suggestions
•HotDocs
–Industry Leader, $$$
•Ultradox
–Integrates with Google Apps
•Webm...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Scrivener
•For complex documents (Books,
Appellate Briefs)
•Mac and Windows
•Free to try for...
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#ABATECHSHOW
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#ABATECHSHOW
3. Snippets of Text
Mac/iOS PC
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#ABATECHSHOW
Key Features
•TextExpander and Breevy are Compatible,
so work across platform
•Sync across d...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Bluebook Perfection
xlars La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §
xlaccp La. Code Civ. Proc. Ann. art.
xlacca ...
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#ABATECHSHOW
What does Andrew use most often?
•Email Address
•Your fax number
•Firm name
•Address
•EIN (a...
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#ABATECHSHOW
Dropdown Options and Dates
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#ABATECHSHOW
iOS “snippet” option
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Other “snippet”
options?
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#ABATECHSHOW
Common, Default Advice
I've received this question so many times that I've created a default...
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#ABATECHSHOW
4. Variable Text Input
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
Text “automation”
using your voice
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#ABATECHSHOW
www.techshow.com
#ABATECHSHOW
bit.ly/DragonPCHome bit.ly/DragonMac
Windows Mac
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#ABATECHSHOW
Difference between Siri and Dragon?
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#ABATECHSHOW
Time Elapsed Typing - 3 mins 58 seconds
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Time Elapsed - 1 mins 55 seconds
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#ABATECHSHOW
Wrap-Up Thoughts
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#ABATECHSHOW
Modern Lawyers must embrace
document automation
(or clients will embrace it w
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#ABATECHSHOW
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#ABATECHSHOW
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#ABATECHSHOW
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#ABATECHSHOW
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#ABATECHSHOW
SAVE THE DATE! March 17-19, 2016
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The Automatic Law Firm

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A presentation by Andrew Legrand and John Mayer at the 2016 ABA Techshow. Learn how to systematize automation, which documents you should automate, and which software will help you create automated documents and snippets of text.

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The Automatic Law Firm

  1. 1. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW PRESENTED BY The Automatic Law Firm Presenters John Mayer: @johnpmayer Andrew Legrand: @LawByLegrand
  2. 2. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW John Mayer •Executive Director - CALI (Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction) •Developed A2J Author •Automated Over 1,000 Legal Aid Forms •Not a Lawyer, Computer Nerd •Inspiration: Huge need for legal aid, not enough lawyers, and help for the self represented
  3. 3. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Andrew Legrand •Small Business Attorney, New Orleans •2011 Graduate, What Jobs? •Tech Nerd •Inspiration: Program a computer, rather than pay an assistant
  4. 4. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Road Map 1. Automation Overview 2. Systemizing Automation 3. Best Tools & Software
  5. 5. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Automation Overview
  6. 6. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW What is automation? •au·to·ma·tion - noun - the use of largely automatic equipment in a system of manufacturing or other production process.
  7. 7. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Example
  8. 8. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  9. 9. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW What is automation? •au·to·ma·tion - noun - the use of largely automatic equipment in a system of manufacturing or other production process. •The use of computers & software to do tedious, but necessary, tasks – usually done by non-attorney employees, secretaries paralegals.
  10. 10. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Main Goal of Automation •Help lawyers create better documents faster, by supplying “intelligence” in the form of built-in document structure, logic, and clauses generated from a checklist •Calculators •Produce consistent decisions
  11. 11. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW History of Automation
  12. 12. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  13. 13. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  14. 14. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  15. 15. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  16. 16. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  17. 17. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  18. 18. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Systemizing Automation
  19. 19. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Why Should Lawyers Systemize? •Speed & Efficiency: save time by inserting text faster •Cost savings: saving time usually lowers overhead •Profit: spend less time on low value, commoditized processes, which allows more time for high-value work (that you charge more for!) •Reliability: automated processes create perfect output every time •Reduce Stress. Let machines do the mundane
  20. 20. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Book Recommendation
  21. 21. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Key Points •“We are built for novelty and excitement, not for careful attention to detail.” •“You want people to make sure to get the stupid stuff right.” •“Checklists provide a kind of cognitive net. They catch mental flaws inherent in all of us — flaws of memory, and attention, and thoroughness.” •“Trained, hard-working, dedicated professionals regularly and frequently make avoidable mistakes. The solution may seem ridiculous in its simplicity… –Use a checklist!”
  22. 22. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW How do you determine which documents to automate?
  23. 23. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Difficulty of creating the Doc Hard Easy Rarely Often
  24. 24. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Creating a System for Document Automation (Figure out the “checklist” p
  25. 25. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW The Process 1. Breakdown long, multi-step processes into smaller steps (using pen & paper) 2. Create a process tree (using pen & paper) 3. Record comments (i.e., citations, cases names, statutes) and changes to the document in place where others can easily access, anytime (e.g. cloud)
  26. 26. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Store the Process •Google Docs: Free, robust commenting and version tracking •Google Sites: An internal Wiki for your team •SweetProcess: online repository for common processes, easy to capture screenshots –URL: bit.ly/SweetProcess •MindMaps: Plenty of Software Options
  27. 27. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW What kind of documents should lawyers automate? •Pleadings: appellate briefs, & district court filings, affidavits •Form contracts: estate planning docs, business formation docs •Internal Docs: engagement letters, tax forms, employee docs, trial and deposition prep •Client letters: common advise that changes based on circumstances
  28. 28. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Practice Specific Examples
  29. 29. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Insurance Defense Litigation •Request for Extension of Time •Answer, with option and common exceptions •Request for Notice of Trial •Initial Discovery •Letters of Representation •Medical Releases
  30. 30. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Business Formation •Articles of Organization •Initial Report •Operating Agreement •SS-4 for EIN Application
  31. 31. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  32. 32. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW How to Automate Your Documents
  33. 33. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW So how do you decide which documents to automate? (Let’s ask Barron Henley)
  34. 34. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Barron Henley’s Matrix Difficulty of creating the Doc Hard Easy Rarely Often
  35. 35. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Barron Henley’s Matrix Difficulty to create the Doc Hard Easy 1. High Value Start Here 2. Then Here 3. Simple Templates 4. Probably not worth it Often Frequency of Production Rarely Opportunity to develop a niche?
  36. 36. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW The Automation Process
  37. 37. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Overview 1. Analyze the structure of the document 2. Determine the document’s formatting 3. Determine the proper style of writing
  38. 38. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Before we Start… Some Key Observations •Yes, creating the system is front-loaded, in terms of effort, time, and cost •Once built, however, it's 95% self managed (only 5% effort in tweaking) •Don’t obsess about perfection; just start by keeping track of drafts (and then fine-tuning them). •Periodic Audit
  39. 39. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Analyze the Structure •What is the document’s logic? •What are the commonly encountered variables? •Other factors that need to be considered in drafting the document? (Formatting, Style, etc) (Figure this out with pen &
  40. 40. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Standardize the Formatting Typography for Lawyers - Matthew Butterick
  41. 41. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Typography for Lawyers •Type Composition •Text Formatting •Font Recommendations •Page Layout •Sample Documents
  42. 42. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW BOLD AND ALL CAPS as told by Butterick DON’T CAPITALIZE WHOLE PARAGRAPHS. THIS HABIT IS ENDEMIC TO LAWYERS, BUT IT’S ESPECIALLY COMMON IN CONTRACTS. MANY LAYERS SEEM TO THINK THAT CAPITALIZATION COMMUNICATES AUTHORITY AND IMPORTANCE. “HEY, LOOK HERE, I’M A LAWYER! I DEMAND THAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!” BUT A PARAGRAPH SET IN ALL CAPS IS VERY HARD TO READ. AND IT’S EVEN HARDER TO READ IF IT’S BOLD. AS THE PARAGRAPH WEARS ON, READERS FATIGUE. INTEREST WANES. HOW ABOUT YOU? DO YOU ENJOY READING THIS? I DOUBT IT. BUT I REGULARLY SEE CAPITALIZED PARAGRAPHS IN LEGAL DOCUMENTS THAT ARE MUCH LONGER THAN THIS. DO YOUR READERS A FAVOR. STOP CAPITALIZING WHOLE PARAGRAPHS.
  43. 43. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Alternatives •Change Page Layout and Borders •Add a Heading labeling it Important •Increase the Point Size
  44. 44. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Sample Documents •Caption Pages •Motions •Research memos •Letterhead & Business Cards •Resumes •Grids of numbers •Contracts
  45. 45. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Consider style •Who is the document being written for? Draft accordingly. •Eliminate unnecessary legalese •WriteClearly.org (for Lawyers) •Readability-Score.com (aim for an 8th grade Level)
  46. 46. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW WordRake •What problem does it solve? –Every unnecessary word detracts from the words that actually convey meaning. –When you remove the unnecessary words, the reader will more readily understand.
  47. 47. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW WordRake
  48. 48. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Keep the System Updated •Create a “change log” –What changed? –Who changed it? –Why was it changed? •Listen to Lawyerist podcast with Barron Henley for more info (The 5% you have to keep
  49. 49. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Best Tools and Software
  50. 50. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Agenda 1. Formatting 2. Structure & Logic 3. Snippets of text 4. Variable text input, at fast pace
  51. 51. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW 1. Formatting 1. Microsoft Word Styles: more than fonts; includes auto-numbering 2. Create a “Style Sheet” for each doc type 3. Read Typography for Lawyers (Matthew Butterick) 4. Get training on use of Styles
  52. 52. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  53. 53. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW More Suggestions 1. Briefs: learn to create a Table of Authorities & Cross-References 2. Contracts: learn to create Table of Contents 3. Print to PDF: with document structure & bookmarks will auto-generate 4. Get training on these skills - lynda.com
  54. 54. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW 2. Structure & Logic •TheFormTool: simple, easy –URL: bit.ly/FormTool –TheFormTool - Free –FormToolPro •$89 one-time license –Doxsera •Form Sets - $129/year –PC Only
  55. 55. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  56. 56. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW More Suggestions •HotDocs –Industry Leader, $$$ •Ultradox –Integrates with Google Apps •Webmerge –Integrates with Clio •MacSimplePrompter –http://www.wordsite.com/products/sp.htm •Different Price Points, Uses, and Integrations
  57. 57. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Scrivener •For complex documents (Books, Appellate Briefs) •Mac and Windows •Free to try for 60 days •$45 one-time license •bit.ly/Scrivener4Lawyers
  58. 58. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  59. 59. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW 3. Snippets of Text Mac/iOS PC
  60. 60. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Key Features •TextExpander and Breevy are Compatible, so work across platform •Sync across devices and share with teams using Dropbox •Works in all your desktop software •Eliminate Typos
  61. 61. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Bluebook Perfection xlars La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § xlaccp La. Code Civ. Proc. Ann. art. xlacca La. Civ. Code Ann. art.
  62. 62. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW What does Andrew use most often? •Email Address •Your fax number •Firm name •Address •EIN (and a dropbox link to my W-9) •Email Signature •Louisiana Secretary of State
  63. 63. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Dropdown Options and Dates
  64. 64. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW iOS “snippet” option
  65. 65. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Other “snippet” options?
  66. 66. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Common, Default Advice I've received this question so many times that I've created a default answer: pay it and avoid any additional penalties. The ticket is a non-moving violation, so it will not be reported to your insurance company. You can try to challenge it, but based on discussions with other attorneys, you'll probably lose and have to pay the fine anyway. You can also appeal that decision to Civil District Court, but the filing fee is about $400. And on the off chance that you win, you still won't get that filing fee back. So unless you want to just fight the good fight, that's not a financially viable option. If you do not pay the fee, the city may boot your car, then add on extra penalties. Eventually, they'll send it to collections, and it could even affect your credit. If you've received more than one ticket, I recommend you contact the city attorney and attempt to negotiate a lower payment. Yeah, that sucks. The most effective thing you can do? Write your city council member (http://www.nolacitycouncil.com/) and complain.
  67. 67. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW 4. Variable Text Input
  68. 68. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Text “automation” using your voice
  69. 69. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  70. 70. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW bit.ly/DragonPCHome bit.ly/DragonMac Windows Mac
  71. 71. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Difference between Siri and Dragon?
  72. 72. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Time Elapsed Typing - 3 mins 58 seconds
  73. 73. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Time Elapsed - 1 mins 55 seconds
  74. 74. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Wrap-Up Thoughts
  75. 75. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW Modern Lawyers must embrace document automation (or clients will embrace it w
  76. 76. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  77. 77. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  78. 78. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  79. 79. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW
  80. 80. www.techshow.com #ABATECHSHOW SAVE THE DATE! March 17-19, 2016

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