“Part of our business model is to be an alternative to the huge firms. And in order to
do that, we have a significantly increased level of service. iPhone allows us to respond quickly and accomplish that goal.”
Gaining the edge in intellectual property law with iPhone.
In the highly technical, competitive, and fast-moving world of intellectual property law, Darin Klemchuk and Kelly Kubasta intend to stand out. At their start-up firm in Dallas, they’ve launched what they call “white-glove” customer service. And they’re doing it with iPhone.
“We have a standing order that any client that contacts the firm gets a same-day response,” Klemchuk says. “And having iPhone allows us to meet that service level even when we’re not in the office.”
“Part of our business model is to be the alternative to the huge firms,” explains Kubasta. And with the constant connectivity enabled by iPhone, plus a wealth of legal and business apps that give the firm an edge over its competition, Klemchuk Kubasta LLP is doing exactly that.
“Clients want responsiveness from lawyers,” Klemchuk says. “And lawyers that aren’t responsive are at a disadvantage.” Klemchuk and Kubasta, on the other hand, have the advantage of iPhone.
“Email is the big one for us,” Klemchuk says. “We get emails at all hours, every day of the week. And being able to respond immediately is just critical for our practice.”
“With the iPhone, I never use my out-of-office response,” Kubasta adds. “Because I always have access.” And he means always. Kubasta regularly answers emails from clients in Asia at 11 P.M. and midnight. “It prevents a lost day of time,” he says.
For tracking connections with over 1300 contacts, Klemchuk uses the Spotlight search feature on iPhone 3GS, which allows him to search his entire phone. “If I need to track somebody down that may be associated with a company, or with opposing counsel, I do a search,” he says. “And it gives me the contact info plus any email or Notes I may have jotted down and associated with that contact. So I can react very quickly, on the fly.”
Always on the case
With iPhone, the lawyers at Klemchuk Kubasta LLP are in constant touch with not only their clients, but also the courts. Take the electronic court filing system (ECF), the federal courts’ online tool where lawyers file pleadings and receive orders from judges. With iPhone in hand, Klemchuk and Kubasta can file until literally the eleventh hour—11:59 P.M.—responding to last-minute requests from clients or moves by opposing counsel. And if the judge enters an order, they hear about that, too.
“We get email notifications from the courthouse saying that either a pleading has been filed by our opposition or the judge has entered an order,” says Kubasta. “We get the email on iPhone, and we can click on the hyperlink that takes us through Safari into the ECF system and pulls up the actual document in its native format. So we immediately know what happened in our case. It’s absolutely invaluable.”
“With an app called Patents, I can punch in a U.S. patent number, and iPhone automatically pulls up the patent claim language, the abstract, the cover page, or the figures.”
Apps in the courtroomKlemchuk and Kubasta rely on legal apps, too. They use reference apps like Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; Manual of Patent Examining Procedure; and Title XVII, which is the Copyright Act. And an app called Patents allows them to look up any patent that has been issued in the U.S.
“I punch in a U.S. patent number,” Kubasta explains, “and it automatically pulls up the patent claim language, the abstract, the cover page, or the figures. So if I’m meeting with a client, and they ask about a patent that’s been cited against their invention, I can respond immediately.”
Darin Klemchuk brings iPhone into the courtroom, where he uses the Keynote Remote app, which turns iPhone into a remote control. “I use Keynote presentations in the courtroom to summarize evidence or put up documents for oral argument or examining a witness,” he says. “So I use the Keynote Remote application to see my notes, preview my next slide, and control slide advancement.”
Kelly Kubasta relies heavily on mSecure, a password vault that helps him keep all of his separate passwords and logins safe. “Each federal court that you practice before has a different ECF login,” he says. “So it’s incredibly difficult to remember all of those passwords without an assistant at your side all the time. I use mSecure to maintain those passwords for myself.”
A home-grown app
One recent addition to Klemchuk Kubasta’s “white glove” branding is a custom iPhone app, a marketing and communications tool that gives clients a one-touch way to connect with the firm. In its current version (soon to be expanded), the app is a simple screen with icons that allow a client to call or email Klemchuk Kubasta, or visit their website, with a single touch.
Klemchuk Kubasta’s app was written not by an engineer but by a lawyer at the firm, who had never created an app, or any type of software. She did it with a $140 piece of app-writing software—in under three hours.
The app attracts traffic to Klemchuk Kubasta’s content-rich website, which has been an important tool for them. Even better, it’s a differentiator. “I’m not aware of a single one of our competitors who has its own iPhone app to give to clients,” Klemchuk says. “So it’s another way we set ourselves apart.”
Almost every employee at Klemchuk Kubasta LLP has an iPhone, and that’s been a recruiting boost. “We want to build the best place for the best people to work,” says Klemchuk, “and having iPhone has been a real plus. I think people in the law profession just generally like to work with iPhones.”
Klemchuk counts himself among them. “iPhone is literally plug and play. It works out of the gate in minutes, and you don’t need a manual. So we don’t have to walk the employees through it—and they can even do their own maintenance, no matter what their technical proficiency.”
Parking lot navigator
One of Darin Klemchuk’s favorite apps is G-Park, which helps him find his car in a parking lot. “Imagine walking to the parking garage at 11 P.M. in a suit, dragging a carry-on bag, and it’s 95 degrees,” he says. “And you’re walking and walking and starting to sweat through your suit. This application is great, because it really does find your car.” How? When he parks, Klemchuk clicks into G-Park, which takes a picture of the car and records the location with the GPS. “So basically,” Klemchuk says, “you can GPS your way back.”
Sportscast, courtesy of iPhone
Darin Klemchuk is a college football fan. Thanks to iPhone and the ESPN app, he never misses a game. “During a USC Washington game, I was at dinner at a restaurant in Dallas,” he says, “and they refused to show it in the sports bar. So I watched the entire game via iCast on Safari—and watched Washington win as the clock ticked out.” Recently, he did the same thing at a different sports bar, where all seven televisions were tuned to an Alabama/Florida game. “I watched the Washington/California game via Gamecast through ESPN.”
- 16 employees
- Dallas, TX
- Law & Politics Magazine published in Texas Monthly magazine has recognized several Klemchuk Kubasta LLP attorneys. Partners Kelly Kubasta (2010) and Jim Chester (2008-09) have been named “Rising Stars” and Klemchuk has been named “Super Lawyer” in 2008-2010. Two associates have also been named “Rising Stars.”