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Amazing True Stories of gwabbit in Action! Merzbach Law Case Study

July 22nd, 2009

Merzbach Law

Merzbach Law has always prided itself on being “business lawyers with an uncommon amount of business sense.” Based in Rochester, New York, Merzbach Law specializes in corporate law with a focus on a sensible, problem solving approach that aligns closely with clients’ business goals and objectives. Founded by Ralph Merzbach in 1998, the firm’s strategic goal continues to be to cover the legal territory that is of core interest to businesses and their owners, and to institutionalize skills, work habits and methods that support businesslike approaches to business law projects.

The challenge

In many businesses, contacts are king. The legal profession is no exception. Ironically, law offices have traditionally housed critical case information and contacts in archaic filing systems requiring searches through files every time information was needed on a client—with no guarantee that the information was the most current. The challenge of keeping information up-to-date can be compounded by multiple lawyers and administrative assistants “touching” the data at various points.

Having previously worked for a large law firm for twenty years, Ralph knew right from the beginning that he didn’t want a 19th century law office for the 21st century. Ralph didn’t want to have information for contacts, billing, case information, etc. entered separately into disparate database systems. Instead, he wanted to create a centralized database to house all client and case information to ensure that critical information was easily available and up to date. His firm adopted a networked practice management database, Amicus Attorney that synchronizes with MS Outlook contacts to serve this purpose. Still, this left firm personnel with the onerous task of entering vast amounts of contact data, and required them to manually update revised contact information.

The solution

merzbach-case-studyEnter gwabbit. gwabbit streamlines the management of new relationships and the updating of existing ones, allowing users to efficiently maintain a centralized current address book without the time-consuming chore of cutting and pasting. The email contact management solution automatically scans incoming Outlook emails, finds new or updated contacts, and instantly transforms them into contact records within the address book.

Ralph felt that gwabbit provided the functionality that he needed to streamline the data flow process at his firm. Acting as a gateway to the law firm’s networked practice management database, Amicus Attorney, gwabbit is often the first point of entry for Ralph’s new contacts. “With any new client, opposing counsel or other contacts, I ask them to send me an email. gwabbit then grabs the new client’s person’s contact information and automatically adds it to my address book. From there, the new information flows into my other databases for case information, billing, etc. Without losing billable time with administrative work or billing clients for menial tasks, we’ve added and updated all of our databases—effortlessly,” says Ralph.

Beyond initiating new contacts, gwabbit is invaluable in keeping all Ralph’s contact information up to date. “I love that gwabbit is always looking for updated information. In my business, contact updates can be critical to the legal services we provide. For instance, we might have a client that requires we use his personal email instead of professional email due to a pending case against a client’s company. With gwabbit, we’re able to update that information quickly across all of out networked databases. Beyond the time savings, it gives me peace of mind that we are always working with the most current information.”

“Our motto at Merzbach Law has always been ‘enter it once, enter it right, and keep it updated in one place’,” Ralph adds. “That’s the only way to run a business with so much critical data. gwabbit has allowed us to make good on that vision.”

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