Passover – Rabbinical Mandated Spring Cleaning – For the Law Office

Every year, I engage in a little ritual I like to call “rabbincally mandated spring cleaning” – in other words, turning my kitchen over for Passover.  One of the most interesting things about pulling out my Passover dishes and pots each year is that I get to read year old newspapers.  It is always rather comforting to read about some horrific event that was happening in the world a year ago and realize we survived it.  This year, as I was taking out my Passover stuff and glancing over the year-old newspapers, I was struck with a thought.  Everything has a history, even news stories.  And sometimes, things that seem extremely important at one time turn out to be not so important later on.

Software has history.  Especially the software that we use in our daily business life.  And sometimes, in the urge to immediately solve a present issue with fascinating new software, we skip over history.  Let’s say, two years ago, your office installed a up to the minute Practice Management System, such as Time Matters or TABS/Practice Master.  After the pain and agony of initial setup, it was wonderful – a real step forward.  But, fast forward two years and that wonderful practice management software system begins to look as antiquated as last year’s newspaper stories.  You’re ready to move to The Cloud – chuck out the old, in with the new.

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Guest Feature: The Ultimate Paralegal

As we all know, paralegals are an essential component of the legal profession today.  But, there is a drawback – aren’t they just a little bit too “human”.

Still in R&D but very exciting – The Paralegal of the 21st Century from Japan Industries.  21Para, as the prototype is called is more than a robot – it is a completely actualized and optimized Paralegal.  Using a simple in-office procedure, a computer chip is inserted into your Paralegal’s brain.  The chip will allow your Paralegals to bypass the necessity for physical computer and keyboard by becoming computers themselves.

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Time Matters Tip – Integration Broken After Windows Upgrade

This issue has been popping up from time to time. It affects those who are diligent with their windows updates. If you have found that Word or Outlook integration just doesn’t work and gives a cryptic error, try the tips below. The issue is when the TM Plugins for Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) give the following error: “Unable to Load Time Matters Integration.”

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ActionStep – First Looks

In the past few years there have been a number of entrants into the area of Cloud-based practice management.  These companies offer the promise of practice management Nirvana — run your practice on any device, from anywhere with no software installation, no server, and even no network.  ActionStep, which has an installed base in New Zealand and Australia, has adapted its practice management system for the U.S. law market.  I am going through their training curriculum this summer and will be releasing a formal review on TechnoLawyer’s SmallLaw newsletter in September.  For now, here are a few highlights.

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HotDocs-Amicus Master Component Eases Integration

At the last Amicus Consultant’s Conference I demonstrated some innovative ways of improving the way HotDocs and Amicus interact.  A recent post on the LinkedIn user’s group, Amicus Wizards, has prompted me to post some pictures from that demo.  The question was asked why is the HotDocs interview generated automatically by Amicus so long with so many dialogs.  The answer is that the automatically generated interview DOES NOT HAVE any dialogs, it is merely a list of variables that are used in the template in the order that they appear in the document.

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SQL Adventures – Navigating PCLaw Billing Preferences From HotDocs

The answer to the question is “MatterInfoSpareLong2”.  After several hours of searching, calls to former PCLaw product managers and tech support directors, I got the answer I was searching for.  My odyssey had started with a simple request: “Produce a report that combines File details in Amicus Attorney with billing and receivables details in PCLaw.  Having presented a seminar on integrating Amicus Attorney and HotDocs, I thought it a simple matter to integrate HotDocs and PCLaw.

On the surface, it was easy.  In PCLaw there is a MattInf table that stores the Matter information.  You can use the MatterID from within HotDocs to query the SQL database and get file information.  On the MattInf table there is a ClientID that links to information on the primary client, allowing you to pull in client data. For current statistics, there is a MattBal that contains data on each file regarding account balance, receivables, billings etc.

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TotalAttorneys – Cloud Based Practice Management for $1

Total Attorneys advertised practice management in the cloud for $1/month per user.  I recently came across Josh Campman’s review (Choosing Practice Management Software Part 1.5 of 2) and checked out their website  (TotalAttorneys.com).  I have not had a chance to review the offering, but plan to in the future.  For now though, I wish to note that price-points are not what they seem.

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XpressDox Integration With Salesforce

Previously, I have written about XpressDox integration with Salesforce.com and Advologix from a technical side, how from Microsoft Word you can access your template library, launch a template, and pull data from a Salesforce.com based practice management system.  Such approach is very powerful and cost effective.  But it also requires you to have Microsoft Word installed with an XpressDox plugin.

This post, however, focuses on implementation of a completely cloud-based assembly engine integrated into Salesforce.com.  A prototype has been tested and implemented on a client site; however the tool is not yet ready for public distribution.   In this system, a simple button would be added to the Matter object (or any object) in Salesforce.

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Cloud to Desktop – Connecting XpressDox to Advologix

Salesforce is a powerful tool for practice management.  It’s implementation by AdvologixPM brings that power in a digestable form to attorneys.  Until now, your main option for document assembly has been to create basic merge templates.  The DrawLoop addin allowed you to create packages; multiple templates with designated outputs.  But in the end, you were still restricted to Word-Merges.

XpressDox 4.0 introduces the Salesforce.com Data Source Configuration Tool

Now there is another option, XpressDox.  This tool is a power document assembly engine (with most everything you would expect from rival products), but at a very competitive price point.  What I want to show here is live and dynamic connection between the desktop version of XpressDox (NOTE: it also works with the Server version as well).

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