Lawfice

Introduction

Clawd is a creator of paper-free business solutions. Combining legal expertise with knowledge of the field of artificial intelligence, Clawd has developed an integrated technical solution that, as a standard feature, allows an entity’s documents to be archived with probative value derived from its legal characteristics (The Clawd Legal System) based on the business type and jurisdiction of the entity. Filtered through Clawd’s neural network, documents entering and leaving an entity are incorporated into the Legal Corpus while at the same time populate the Corporate Memory of an entity.

The technical system developed by Clawd has been completely integrated into its application, Lawfice. As well, individuals that want to benefit from the features of Lawfice within the framework of operating their entity, drawn from the power of the Clawd system, can do so simply by creating a personal profile in Clawd (www.myclawd.com). This profile will allow for the creation of a Digital Business Solution in Lawfice (termed an “entity”) which grants access, as an entity user, to the entity’s business activities and corporate memory. The era of the paper-free digital enterprise is now a reality.

Lawfice Application

The Lawfice application is a technical platform for paperless business management, combining features that allow its users to:

  • Collaborate internally, or externally with other entities, on projects and business transactions and to assign actions to be completed within the framework of these projects by users with verified identities;
  • Transform documents by converting them from paper to digital format, following the guidelines established by the Law and applicable ISO Norms in order to preserve the “original” character and probative value of documents;
  • Electronically archive documents and messages from different sources while being certain to maintain the integrity and the availability of the documents throughout their lifecycle;
  • Rigorously manage the access rights to the corporate memory of the entities they are involved in, with high importance placed on privacy and security;
  • Additionally, Lawfice was created to preserve the history of entities. Information contained in the corporate memory of an entity is accessible 24/7. This is important for companies and law firms, as it increases their efficiency:
    • less time is lost searching for documents;
    • collaboration is quick and information can be exchanged immediately;
    • less travel is required and courier/messenger fees can be reduced or even eliminated;
    • information can be accessed and actions can be taken from anywhere in the world, at any time;
    • professionals can provide quicker customer service, improving client relations;
    • many other benefits.

    This leads to greater transparency, efficiency and a paper-free reality.

Lawfice has eight (8) core concepts, which are described below.

Lawfice utilizes digital signatures with a two-step identification process that must be completed before a signature is applied: a user must log in to Lawfice with an individual password, and then the user is prompted to enter their confidential PIN to apply their digital signature certificate to a document. A user must have their identity verified by a professional (lawyer, chartered accountant or a notary) in order to obtain their digital signature. Once obtained, a user can digitally sign documents within Lawfice. This allows Lawfice to certify the user’s identity.

Digital signatures meet the highest standards, and are accepted in a court of law with the equivalent value as that of a signature on a paper document. A digital signature certificate is tamper-proof and easy to verify: it provides the document with probative value, which confirms the digital document as the original. Lawfice also guarantees the probative value by applying its own digital certificate to the document, protecting it throughout its entire lifecycle.

How does a digital signature work?

A user receives a notification, either in their personal dashboard or within the activity dashboard, to sign a document. The user clicks on the notification, and a window opens to allow them to read the document and view the placeholders where their signature and/or initials have been requested. The user can choose to sign the document, or refuse it outright. Should they choose to sign the document, they will enter their individual PIN, and this will apply their digital signature certificate to the document.

Signatures are clearly visible in the final PDF document that is sent to the user once an activity is closed, and signatures and initials can be viewed and verified in any PDF-viewing software. The information is permanently embedded in the digital file, and the process provides the document with probative value that will remain with the document throughout its entire lifecycle.

The Clawd Chain of Trust is a patented system that guarantees the identities of users and entities within Lawfice. Based on how different judicial systems from around the world function and guided by the corporate laws that govern legal persons and companies, the Chain of Trust provides a verified digital identity to each entity created in Lawfice. Therefore, each entity that obtains a level 2 or 3 certification from UnikSign can prove to all external parties they interact with that they possess a legally valid digital identity. Additionally, each entity that obtains a level 3 certification can not only claim that their digital identity is valid, they can also claim to be represented by a board of directors whose members have had their identities ascertained.

UnikSign and its network of trusted representatives (Registration Authorities) guarantee the validity of each certificate issued. These Registration Authorities are composed of lawyers, notaries, CPAs and CAs that are in good standing with their professional order. Building upon the Clawd Chain of Trust, Lawfice has developed a system of delegation of power that exclusively allows the board of directors to assign and revoke the roles of other users within the entity. Finally, providing users with roles allows Lawfice to grant specific access rights to a user based on their role within the entity.

The rights granted to a user shapes their entire experience in Lawfice, from how they can participate in an activity, what actions they can take, to the documents they can access. An entity can rest assured that no individual within the entity, or even an external party, can gain access to information they have not been allowed to view.

This secures information, communication and workflows so that there is no longer a need to assign universal access to information to individuals that should not be granted that right. The only user with universal access is the “Lawficer” that administers an entity under the governance of the Board of Directors.

Templates have been created to facilitate regular actions or processes that are undertaken by an entity. Choose between existing templates such as create a project and sign a document, or have custom templates made that are tailored to the specific needs of your entity. Custom templates follow governance rules; meaning, these templates can only be accessed by specific users within the entity. This prevents unauthorized users from creating and submitting information to be stored in the Filing Cabinet or Minute Book.

The main functionality of Lawfice is the ability to establish a secure space that only certain individuals are invited to, in order to create documents that will have actions applied to them: approve, vote, manually sign or digitally sign. This is called the Collaborative Platform, and it allows a user to create an activity, select specific users, and assign roles.

Users can collaborate with each other from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can work internally within their entity, or interact with other entities or individuals. The identity verification process undertaken by UnikSign guarantees the identities of the individuals and entities you collaborate with, removing the uncertainty and risk of conducting business online with those you have never met in person before.

Lawfice is an integral part of the e-discovery process. Identification of appropriate data and information is the first step in the process; by using the powerful semantic search engine, all relevant information can be gathered with a few clicks of the mouse and will be distributed in accordance with the Chain of Trust. A user can perform searches across all PDF documents in the corporate memory of an entity (Minute Book, Filing Cabinet, Activities or Email Archive), using words or groups of words—the full text of a document will be searched, not just titles, tags or other indexed information. The documents returned in the search result will be limited to the documents classified in folders to which the user has access, based on the rights they have been granted.

Perform an audit trail to discover all the actions undertaken, in chronological order, by a user within an entity. This allows the Lawficer and directors of an entity to verify that users are following proper procedures. By monitoring all tasks and actions, this will help identify any internal security risks or suspicious behavior.

The Audit Trail will provide different kinds of reports, listing all actions undertaken by a user with regard to documents, messages and emails stored in the corporate memory of an entity. These reports can be used during the e-discovery process. This is useful, because it will show how the documents in the search results were created; when they were uploaded, sent or received by email, or if they were approved, had a vote cast or were signed. (In development)

In order to store documents securely, Lawfice has developed the concept of secure and structured vaults to categorize and save information in such a way that only authorized users can view and access this information, depending on their role within an entity. With advanced access rights management, it is possible for the Lawficer of an entity to customize exactly who can see the information and what they are allowed to do with it. There are three types of vaults:

  1. A Filing Cabinet for personal documents and information;
  2. A Filing Cabinet for business-related documents and emails;
  3. The Minute Book to store notices, declarations, by-laws, resolutions, registers and certificates.

At any time, an entity can “import” documents into its corporate memory. Lawfice has the capability to import existing paper documents that have been converted into digital format, according to our published procedures (see Docutrail solution below). The Docutrail procedure authenticates documents and provides them with probative value, archiving them in the Filing Cabinet or Minute book.

Digital Business Solutions

Dashboard

Dashboard

The dashboard provides a user with an overview of the work they need to complete in Lawfice. At a glance, it is possible to see what actions need to be taken; receive invitations to new conversations and activities; respond to administrative notifications for an entity; as well as see new messages in conversations with other users. Flagged documents that need to be classified and archived in a Filing Cabinet or Minute Book will appear in the Transit Zone. All notifications are tailored specifically to the user; due to the Chain of Trust, a user will never receive notifications for information they have not been given access to.

Activity

An activity is the framework where collaboration takes place. A user that starts an activity is called an activity creator, and can choose between standard or customized templates (if applicable); an activity can be as simple as uploading a document to be signed, but can expand to include the creation of many action items with multiple documents to collaborate on, approve, vote, and sign. Complex matters and processes can be managed all within an activity, due to the hierarchical nature of creating action items and sub-items.

With regard to privacy, only designated users are allowed to work on documents that are in-progress, and these users have an area to communicate confidentially within the activity. These users, called contributors, will help the activity creator produce the completed documents. Other users in the activity, called decision makers, will only be able to carry out actions on the completed documents, such as approve, vote or sign. Decision makers will not have access to any of the private communication or background work that went into creating the completed documents.

All of the participants that approve, vote or sign a document will receive digital originals of these documents to store securely in their own personal Filing Cabinet or the Filing Cabinet of an entity they are associated with. The activity creator will need to oversee the administrative aspects of the activity in order to keep it moving forward, but most participants will be able to complete their tasks quickly and efficiently with prompts to take specific actions.

An example of a prompt is when the user receives a notification to sign a contract. The user clicks on the notification, reads the document, chooses to sign it and enters their PIN to apply their digital signature certificate. This process may take only moments, and their role within the activity is completed.

How to Create an Activity

Lawfice Activity Creation Dialog Box

The Activity Center is the area where a user can access all of the current activities they are participating in. To create an activity, the user must set up the activity parameters and select users to join the activity. There are two roles: contributor and decision maker. Contributors upload documents and work on versions of documents until they are completed. Decision makers only carry out actions on completed documents.

Working Session

Working Session Screen

Contributors have access to the Working Session, where all the background work on documents takes place. This is a private space where they can create a hierarchy of items and sub-items to organize the activity. A user creates an item, which is essentially a label to describe the sub-items that contain documents. A sub-item is like a folder and must be created in order to upload a document for the contributors to review. Should changes need to be made, the document is downloaded, worked on, and then a new version is uploaded into the Working Session, allowing Lawfice to track the details of each version created. The contributors can also send messages back and forth regarding the documents. Once the contributors are satisfied, the completed document is pushed to the Workflow.

Workflow

Completed documents are sent to the Workflow, which is a shared space where both contributors and decision makers can view the documents. The activity creator must assign actions to each individual participant—both contributors and decision makers can carry out actions (approve, vote, sign) on documents. A decision maker can participate in the workflow, but will never see the background work and private communication that went into producing the completed documents. Once participants open their notifications, they can carry out their actions and see which participants have already completed their actions. This allows participants to view the status of the activity in real-time, and they can identify tardy users and ask them to complete their actions in order to move the activity forward.

Closing Session

Closing Session Screen

Once all actions have been taken on the document, the activity creator sends it to the Closing Session. All documents are collected and reviewed by the activity cre- ator to make sure they contain the correct metadata, and then the activity creator provides instructions to the Lawficer as
to where it should be archived. When the (public) activity is closed, original documents are sent to the participants. To receive the final, signed documents, all participants must link the activity to their personal account or an entity before the activity is closed. Once participants receive their documents, they may archive the documents in their personal memory or the corporate memory of an entity.

If an activity is created within an entity (internal), the activity’s item and sub-item structure will always remain saved within that entity. If an activity is created amongst users from different entities or between individuals (public), the structure of the activity will disappear from the Activity Center once it is closed, but documents are sent to all participants and the whole activity, including its structure, will be accessible from entities or personal spaces linked to the activity.

Business Center

The Business Center shows the user a list of each entity they are involved in. The Lawficer, under the governance of the board of directors, will decide what role and access rights each user has. What a user can see, as well as the type of activity they can create, depends on their access rights. Documents, items or activity templates they have not been granted access to will be inaccessible. This creates a Chain of Trust—the user will only be able to see and work on sections of the activity they have been granted specific access to.

An entity can have three levels of certification: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. With a Level 1 certification, an entity has a basic structure because it has not been verified by a professional or UnikSign representative. Even with a Level 1 certification, though, all documents are filtered through the knowledge databank of the Clawd Legal Corpus during the upload process. This makes the documents ready for auto-classification should the entity ever wish to upgrade to a Level 2 or Level 3 certification. The documents will be stored in a basic Filing Cabinet for Level 1, but if the entity purchases a structured Filing Cabinet and Minute Book, no additional processing will be needed in order for the documents to be classified correctly within these structured vaults.

An entity with a Level 2 certification, though, has had its information, jurisdiction and business type verified by a professional or by a UnikSign representative. This allows the entity to have a Minute Book and structured Filing Cabinet that is specifically tailored to match its designated business type and jurisdiction. During the auto-classification process, the artificial neural network will be able to filter information contained within documents using a collection of knowledge called the Clawd Legal Corpus, which will ensure they are accurately filed.

An entity with a Level 3 certification has the same features as a Level 2 certification, but includes the highest level of governance available in Lawfice. This is achieved because every director of the entity must have their individual identities verified, and their official role within the entity must be indicated so that a company hierarchy can be created based on official company records and documentation. These directors must approve all administrative changes within the entity; no one user has sole power. This ensures a more democratic and transparent management of the entity.

An entity with this level of certification confirms that a user who signs a document in the name of the entity has done so with the authority of the board of directors, because a role can only be granted to a user by an entity in which all members of the board of directors have had their identities verified.

Each entity has its own unique dashboard, and the dashboard can be tailored to meet the requirements of a specific industry. This allows for administrative notifications, documents in transit to be classified, and activity notifications to be accessible in one place. For example: the Professional – Legal Edition’s dashboard has been customized as a client portal for professionals to access their clients.

All activities that an entity has completed or currently has in-progress will be found in the Activities tab. The user will only be able to access the activities in which they have been added to as a participant.

The Filing Cabinet and Minute Book are structured vaults, controlled by specific access rights, which are used to archive and securely store documents. These vaults are managed by the Lawficer in the Administration tab. Documents can be added to the Filing Cabinet or Minute Book in 3 ways: by undertaking a Docutrail transfer carried out by a third-party service provider; sending a document to the closing session within an activity; or if a user of the entity uploads a document directly into the Minute Book or Filing Cabinet. A regular back up of these vaults is performed on secure servers located in the country where the entity has been created.

The Lawficer is the only user that has full access to the Administration tab within an entity. An entity’s entire history can be controlled in this tab. From standard administration tasks such as invoices and inventory codes, to complex access rights management and audit trail generation—all these tasks can be controlled in the administration tab.

Filing Cabinet

Lawfice File Cabinet Screen

The Filing Cabinet provides an entity with structured folders in which to archive its documents. Essentially, it is an electronic version of the filing cabinets an entity would use to file and store its paper documents. Though the Filing Cabinet comes with a predefined file hierarchy, the Lawficer can create new folders and organize existing folders to customize the Filing Cabinet to match the filing process the entity currently uses to store its information.

The file structure supports up to three levels: a main folder, a sub-folder, and an interior folder within the sub-folder. All documents within a folder are individually labeled and include the date they were archived, as well as the name of the individual that archived the document.

Minute Book

Lawfice Minute Book Screen

The Minute Book has a very formal legal structure for its folder hierarchy, based specifically on the entity’s business type and jurisdiction. This secure vault, though, is meant to replicate a physical minute book that entities of each business type possess. The folder structure specifically matches the format required for each type of business—such as non-profit, corporation, trust, etc. The benefits of having an electronic minute book alleviate some of the problems associated with a paper book. One benefit is that the risk that the book will be lost or stolen is no longer applicable. Another benefit is the elimination of duplicate or conflicting entries. With an electronic book, authorized users can access it whenever they wish. Forms can be imported into an activity, therefore all resolutions can be signed digitally through the activity process, making the Minute Book dynamic and very easy to update.

Administration

Lawfice Administration Screen

The Administration tab of an entity is where the power of Lawfice lies. Data and information that is compromised can cost a company more than just dollars—it can damage reputations, create legal nightmares, or even put individuals at risk. At a glance, the Lawficer can see in the Administration tab exactly what each user of an entity has access to based on the role they have been granted within the entity.

This is where all access rights are managed. Users are added or removed by the Lawficer, under the governance of the Board of Directors, and their roles within the entity are selected. Each individual folder within the Minute Book or Filing Cabinet is controlled in this tab, and the Lawficer can create custom user roles or folders to adapt to the needs of their entity. Access rights to each folder can be customized with the following options: no access, view only, download, or full access.

The Lawficer manages the entity’s information, invoices and inventory codes. Work orders can be opened to request a Docutrail Transfer in order for documents to be added to the Minute Book or Filing Cabinet. Another powerful feature is that an audit trail report can be created for each individual user of the entity, showing the documents or folders a user has accessed, as well as all the work they carried out for the entity.

Docutrail Transfer

An entity can have their existing paper and digital documents transferred to a secure vault in Lawfice (Filing Cabinet or Minute Book) for archiving through the Docutrail Transfer process. Physical documents will be scanned and then automatically classified, depending on the package the entity selects. What is unique about the Docutrail Transfer process is that a digital certificate is added to each document in order to protect its integrity through its life cycle, which allows it to retain its probative value and confirms it as the original.

The user of the entity submits a work order to a Lawfice-approved third-party service provider, and both the user and service provider work together to complete a 7-step process that is transparent and easy to verify. Documents that are uploaded are auto-classified and archived within the proper folders of the Filing Cabinet or Minute Book.

Secure Mail Gateway and Email Archive

Lawfice provides email security, management, archiving and e-discovery so that an entity may preserve its email correspondence and ensure its security.

Encryption

Email is the primary means of communication in the digital age, but information exchanged via email is not secure and is vulnerable to cyber-hacking. In order to provide additional security with regard to email communications, Lawfice allows each user to send encrypted email to recipients located anywhere in the world. The capability to encrypt email meets Federal and State requirements with regard to the protection of Personal Information (HIPAA, GLBA, SOX, etc.) and protects the entity against internal or external espionage. Encrypting email also guarantees the confidentiality of the information exchanged between the sender and recipient, ensuring that only those authorized to see the information will receive it.

Archiving

All emails sent and received by the entity will be archived in Lawfice. It keeps all messages and attachments, adjuncts metadata and digitally signs each email and all its attached documents to guarantee their integrity.

E-Discovery

To retrieve relevant information, the user can employ the semantic search engine to search not only the title or meta tags, but the content of the email messages and attachments in order to find the queried information. Based on access rights granted to the user within the Chain of Trust, the results will be restricted to what they are authorized to see within the entity.

Probative Value (coming soon)

An email sent through Lawfice is given probative value through a digital signature. By digitally signing an email, not only is the sender’s identity confirmed, but also the content of the email is guaranteed to be unchanged after signing. If any changes are made, the signature verification would fail and the recipient would know the message’s integrity has been compromised. It also guarantees non-repudiation: the sender cannot deny that they sent the message because there is a digital path that is encapsulated by the digital signature certificate.

Conversation Center

The Conversation Center allows one or more users to “chat” (send secured messages) with each other through the Lawfice server. This is a more informal method of communication, and simply requires that the user invite one or more participants to converse with them.

Within a conversation, ideas can be discussed and documents can be shared. This could lead to an activity in order to apply an action to one or more documents (approve, vote or sign). The Conversation Center guarantees privacy, confidentiality and security for all conversations.

My Lawfice Space

This is where a user manages their personal Lawfice profile and notification settings. Each user also has a personal Filing Cabinet, a simple vault to store personal documents and information.

Lawfice Professional – Legal Edition

Lawfice Professional – Legal Edition is a special package developed for legal professionals. This allows a professional user to have access, at one glance, to all of their clients and the cases and activities associated with those clients. With access rights controls in place, as well as attorney-client privilege, professionals can undertake projects for their clients and work directly with them, all in one convenient place.

The flexibility of Lawfice Professional allows for a professional to transfer their cases to another professional in the case of a cessation of activities. No information is lost, and the new lawyer can pick up right where the previous lawyer left off by reviewing all the work already conducted for the client, and easily identify the work currently in-progress.

Flowchart for a Professional

Lawfice Professional Edition Flowchart for a Professional

Overview

The Lawfice Professional – Legal Edition solution offers a secure collaborative platform allowing both employees and clients to communicate, internally as well as externally, with complete privacy and confidentiality thanks to our unique Chain of Trust.

This unique control guarantees any document within the system will only been seen by an authorized individual in accordance with the applicable governance rules of the organization. Using tailored workflow templates, Lawfice Professional becomes a sophisticated tool significantly increasing staff efficiency and preventing costly procedural errors. In accordance with the customer’s requirements, the workflow of activities is guided and monitored to meet all ethical rules and organizational requirements. The dashboard gives a bird’s eye view of all activities and their state of completion.

E-discovery capabilities will permit an immediate and complete retrieval of relevant documents with complete traceability. Digital signatures provide all official documents in the system with probative value, and also provide authenticity and non-repudiation to all communications. Last but not least, when you decide to close an activity, this time consuming task will be performed automatically by assembling all related documents in chronological order and archiving the entire file in a secure fashion.

Lawfice Professional – Legal Edition can be deployed as a fully hosted, ANSI 27001 SaaS solution, as a virtual software for installation on your own internal infrastructure, or physical appliances.

Lawfice Professional – Legal Edition has all of the features of the Digital Business Solution, but includes the following unique features:

Client Portal

Lawfice Professional Edition Client Portal Entity List Screen

Within the Pro Dashboard, the professional user can see a list of all the clients they have been assigned to by their firm/company. A link exists between the professional and client—this allows the professional to access their client’s information directly through the Client Portal. With one click, the professional can access the entity of the client to see their Filing Cabinet, Minute Book and the activities they have a role in—depending on the access rights the client grants
to the professional. The professional can update the minute books of their clients in real-time, archive important documents in the corporate memory vaults of their clients, and carry out activities with their clients.

Clients and professional can access the information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the world. This collaboration and transparency fosters enhanced client relations because it allows professionals to respond rapidly and efficiently to their clients, and reduces the time that would be wasted working with paper documents and retrieving information.

Cases

Lawfice Professional Edition Cases Screen

A case is an internal structure that allows a law firm to group multiple activities and information into a master file. Cases have the same structure as activities: a working session for collaborators to communicate with each other and work on documents; a workflow for collaborators and decision makers to apply actions, such as an approval, a vote or a signature, to documents; and a closing session to collect all documents and prepare them to be archived.

The unique feature of a case is that it allows work to be conducted privately and securely within a law firm, but activities with clients can be linked directly to the case so all relevant information remains together. Documents and information that a lawyer wants their clients to see or act upon is added to a linked activity—information that is not to be shared with their clients remains within the case. This allows for a multi-layered approach, and can provide a wonderful hierarchical structure for complex interactions, all occurring within the security of the Chain of Trust.

Lawfice Professional Edition - Anatomy of a Case (flowchart)

Conclusion

With many powerful features under its belt, Lawfice strives to create a paper-free reality that significantly reduces numerous administrative tasks (filing, retrieval, search) but also the high cost that paper imposes on a company (storage, retrieval, search, return to remote storage, etc.). Furthermore, Lawfice will continue to evolve its Legal Corpus into a neural network, capable not only of automatically classifying documents, but also verifying an entity is following the most current laws and regulations that apply to its business type and jurisdiction. Eventually the Legal Corpus will help instruct users to modify actions or documents so that they are in accordance with the law.

You remain in charge of your data

Should an entity wish to terminate their contract with Lawfice, they can easily export their archived documents. Since each document is already in PDF format, all relevant tags, meta information and digital certificates stay with the document for its entire lifecycle, even if it is removed from Lawfice—this information is embedded within the document itself. More importantly, this means that the authentication, legal conformity and probative value will continue to protect the customer, no matter where they choose to store their documents.

In our cloud or in your network

Lawfice is currently a SaaS (software as a service) offered in the Cloud. Each Digital Business Solution can be created in the Cloud or hosted locally in your own private network. The SaaS model is hosted on secure servers located in the USA, UK and Canada. Should an entity wish to self-host, they will need to manage the storage and back up of their files.

Lawfice is a “living application”

Continual enhancements and upgrades are being made to the application; many Lawfice features will continue to expand, and new products and services will be rolled-out. The move is toward an intelligent application that is constantly learning; not only will Lawfice be able to learn a user’s habits, but it may one day be able to advise and alert users to any discrepancies or changes that need to be made in order to follow the laws that apply to their jurisdiction and business type. All upgrades will be seamless, regularly incorporated into the current service.

You can complete a “Docutrail Transfer” of old data and paper documents at any time

Lawfice will allow customers to move toward a paper-free environment at their convenience (before, during or after purchase). With the features and services available, our “Docutrail Transfer” process will make paper a relic of the past.

Functional Specification for Lawfice — October 9, 2016
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