Challenge:
Fortenberry Legal, a multi-state, internet-based law firm that specializes in estate planning, living trusts, and probate matters, needed a more accurate and efficient way to handle document transactions. Attorney Jeramie Fortenberry had created his own set of form templates to customize documents manually for each client using the “find and replace” feature of Microsoft Word, coupled with cutting and pasting different sentences and clauses that needed to be included or excluded from each document. While it got the job done, this process was extremely time-consuming and prone to errors.

“A large percentage of our resources were dedicated to endless proofreading to catch all of these little problems that might pop up,” Fortenberry says. “No matter how meticulous we were, every so often, a word would be misspelled, a misplaced clause would show up, a wrong name would appear in the document, the wrong subject/verb agreement or verb tenses would be used, there would be an incorrect indefinite article . . . The list goes on.”

Solution:
Fortenberry Legal started using HotDocs in 2008. The firm quickly observed a drastic improvement in efficiency and accuracy. It also freed up the attorneys’ resources and had a positive impact on their profit margin. With the power and efficiency of document automation by HotDocs, they are now able to make more money per document that is charged on a flat-fee basis, without any cost increase to their clients. 

Verdict:
“I think the biggest benefit of using HotDocs is peace of mind,” Fortenberry says. “I have a document automation system that I can trust, which frees up mental energy to focus on other things. I know that every name, verb, address, phone number, and clause will be correct in my documents. While there’s still some manual tweaking to be done from time to time, I am no longer burdened by all of the more basic issues that used to take up so much of my time.”