Don’t you hate it when an overlooked definition leads to a deal gone wrong, embarrassment or loss of a client?
The practice of law is a field in which diligence, attention to detail and perfection are not only appreciated but required, in particular when drafting contracts or other legal documents. The world around us is moving at such a speed that the demands on any industry are ever-increasing. The legal profession is no longer an exception. Clients insist on ever faster turnaround of documents, near instantaneous responses to their legal questions and lower legal costs, all of which are due to expectations created by a technology boom that has reached virtually every industry serviced by lawyers and an economic recession that has not spared the legal industry. Lawyers are now faced with a “buyer’s market” where they have to do double the work for half the price on a moment’s notice, but at three times the quality just to stay on top of the game; simply put, unless attorneys provide their clients with precisely and accurately drafted documents within a tight time frame, they risk losing their clients’ business in today’s fiercely competitive market.
A software based solution
That’s why LexDye has created the LexDye Definition Tracker (www.LexDye.com). LexDye is a Boston-based software company that specializes in developing analytical tools for better contract drafting. Under the leadership of Sven Riethmueller, a business lawyer who has practiced at top law firms Sullivan & Cromwell and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton and who served as an equity partner at leading IP and technology law firm Foley & Lardner for many years, the LexDye team has excelled at giving lawyers a powerful software that improves the contract drafting process exponentially in terms of accuracy and efficiency.
The benefits to the drafting attorney become obvious as soon as you start using the LexDye Definition Tracker. A far cry from software designed by and for a computer-bound techies, the LexDye Definition Tracker has obviously been developed to closely align with the way lawyers work and draft, making it quite simple and efficient to use – whether you draft a complex merger contract or a simple consulting agreement. Among other valuable features, the LexDye software enables the drafter to catch all drafting errors when it comes to defined terms – an essential task given the practice of modern contract drafting which encourages the use of many defined terms in the contract. Drafting errors involving defined terms can be quite embarrassing and expensive – when a client loses faith in his counsel’s ability to draft an accurate contract. Yet, the reality is that most contracts do contain various errors when it comes to defined terms – the identical term is defined in different sections of the contract draft, a defined term is not actually used in the contract, or only in lower case when the terms is defined in uppercase, or the drafter forgot to define a term that was supposed to be defined and ends up as an uppercase but undefined term in the agreement. Fixing these errors requires time-consuming proofreading for which clients are simply no longer willing to pay.
This is where the LexDye Definition Tracker comes in. Like a combined spell-check/red-lining tool but for defined terms in a contract draft, this analytic tool "dyes" the text of a document to reveal potential drafting errors and to ensure that the draft reflects the contract as intended by the drafter - just like the extraordinarily thorough and diligent associate any law firm wants, whose passion is contract proofing, sans the hourly rate that clients now refuse to pay for proofreading.
A software that does not replace the drafting lawyer
But LexDye does not replace the drafting lawyer; it aims only to enable attorneys and other professionals to gain an in-depth understanding of contracts and other documents during the drafting process. While the software accelerates process and accuracy in document drafting enormously, without the drafting lawyer, the software is useless - which means it’s actually a potential career-booster, a client retention tool and an aspiring rainmaker’s best friend. Simply put, it makes you look better – your diligence and accuracy in contract drafting will make the other side seem woefully unprepared by comparison. You still need to review the analysis performed by the LexDye Definition Tracker of your document and determine the corresponding changes that need to be made to the contract draft. But now the software lets you spot these issues in your draft without the tedium and imprecision of manually proofreading and tracing each term.
Though LexDye’s website (www.LexDye.com) offers comprehensive explanations of the technology and features behind the software, its value is quite simple to understand - LexDye simultaneously saves lawyers time and money while protecting both the legal counsel and his or her clients from human oversights and mistakes that could end up in expensive and time-consuming disputes over the contract and its meaning.
The one problem LexDye has encountered is that the competitive edge created by the accuracy and efficiency of its software may be too desirable; lawyers and firms don’t want to share this advantage. No one minds when the ‘other side looks bad’, and who can blame them? Using the LexDye Definition Tracker to pick up drafting errors in other lawyers’ documents not only adds to your own reputation as an outstanding legal professional, but also makes the other guys look a little sloppy while you look great in front of our client.
At the same time, LexDye is quite affordable in terms of pricing. The LexDye Definition Tracker is available at prices based on a sliding scale (dependent only on the size of the law firm or legal department), including a free trial of the fully functional software, for all those interested. The prices charged by LexDye are quite attractive – even for a solo practitioner, a small law firm, or a legal department. A single-user license is only $79.99 per year and a small business license (for up to 5 users) is only $249.99 per year. The software installs locally and securely. This is not a cloud solution (which would raise all kinds of client confidentiality issues.)
LexDye offers lawyers across the board the opportunity to embrace the advancements of technology and increase the accuracy and efficiency of their work, all the while ensuring their expertise and service remain an irreplaceable part of the process. Document turnaround is increased, errors are decreased, clients are happy and everybody wins - an outcome we're all looking for, provided by a simple yet effective technology that is actually exceedingly user friendly to the drafting attorney.