Time Matters Indexer Issues

The Time Matters indexer, on occasion can get corrupted. This abstract explains how to purge and restart the indexer. The text is courtesy of Matt Stone.


  1. Log Everyone out of Time Matters
  2. Find the Index Folder and Rename LNDATA
  3. P:TMW9DataIndexLNDATA
  4. There may be a locked open file. You need to make sure it gets unlocked before you move the file.
  5. Log into Time Matters and leave it open to allow LNDATA to be recreated.
  6. Check for the Icon in the system tray.


  1. File -> Setup -> Program Level
  2. Synchronization -> Activate Time Matters Synchronization
  3. Give it a name: MAIN OFFICE
  4. Log out of Time Matters


Now Go to the Time Matter Utilities

  1. Select the Database
  2. Check box to Reindex Main Database

EPMS: A Tool for Estate Planners and Elder Lawyers

I have generally kept this blog free of product promotions and endorsements (not to mention split infinitives).  Basha Systems LLC has recently added a treasure trove of information to its main website (www.bashasys.com) and a new subdomain (http://estateplanning.bashasys.com) and added products to the web store (http://store.bashasys.com).  I encourage you to look at those sites for your edification and our possible remuneration.  But I should let you know that Basha Systems LLC is in the process of transformation from focusing predominantly on technology consulting to a product development company.  Don’t worry … we will continue to provide consulting services. It pays the bills; its fun; and it gives us ideas for product development.

In the past several years, we have helped launch Interactive Legal Systems LLC’s “Lifetime Estate Planning System,” also known as Wealth Transfer Planning (“WTP”).  We have designed and built a commercially available probate system in conjunction with the Nebraska State Bar Association, which is used in over 120 law firms.  We have served as advisor to the Minnesota State Bar Association in the development of a suite of forms that will soon be made available as a member benefit. We built a “Record Room Management System” and “Litigation File Management System” add-ons for Time Matters.  We are currently developing under contract to ILS a comprehensive elder law planning system for elder lawyers.

And yesterday, we officially launched a new product in conjunction with Interactive Legal Systems.  The Basha Systems “Estate Planning Management System” for the software formerly known as Time Matters® is a complete system for estate planners and soon for elder law attorneys that builds on the best features of Time Matters® and HotDocs®.  The original conception was to turn Time Matters into a data source to feed the client interview in WTP.  Based on discussions with numerous attorneys, the client and spouse contact form styles evolved into a complete estate planning management system built as a feature package on top of the software now known as LexisNexis Front Office powered by Time Matters. If this area is of interest to you (or your clients), please take a look at our new subdomain, and in particular (http://estateplanning.bashasys.com/timematters).

The EPMS system represents hundreds of hours of work for three programmers with specialties in HotDocs®, Time Matters® and Javascript/HTML. And yet, the system can be installed in under 30 minutes, with a live web-based training class to follow immediately.  Basha Systems has taken its own Kool-Aid® and invested substantial “non-billable” hours to produce a high-quality product.  Take a look and let us know what you think.  Or contact us, to arrange a live-demo.

The Day Time Matters Died

The old saw goes: “You don’t appreciate me.  All you do is gripe and complain … But you’ll miss me when I am gone.  That will be my revenge.” During a recent server rebuild, combined with fresh rebuilds of several PC’s that saw came true.  You see, once with got Windows Small Business Server and Windows XP Pro up on the machines, the fun began… Nothing would be complete until “Time Matters” or LNFOPBTM was back up.

For you see … without Time Matters, there was no business, no ability to get at my rolodex, my old emails, my client notes and files.  All work came to a crashing halt.  The fact that is was the weekend before Christmas eve helped in that client demands were low.  But it also didn’t help that LN support was on holiday.

We got the server back up … but did not discover, until Ken Kennedy remoted into our server on Christmas Eve (well … really the morning of Christmas Eve).  If you are reading this, Ken Kennedy, thank you.  Ken discovered we had forgotten to open the TCPIP port 1433 on our SQL Server when we reinstalled it, so that the other machine could see the server.  We also needed to run an orphan user script, not one for the faint of heart.  But this blog is not just a thank you to Ken Kennedy … but rather a humorous look at life without Time Matters.

And so… Monday morning rolled around … No Time Matters.  The funny thing, we needed to reload Time Matters on the Server to get at the SQL utilities to do some testing.  However, the Product ID for our Time Matters was stored …. you guessed it, on the

If Santa had a Practice Management System

If Santa had a practice management system … what would he do?  As the population grows, Santa’s elves have been hard-pressed to keep up with “the List” (you know the one …of who is naughty and who is nice) and provide fast and accurate responses.  The elves have been working overtime (they always do) as the big day approaches. But the List is just too long.  Keeping the list current is a gargantuan task.  Just finding all the parchment and ink requires daily shipments for Ink from India and parchment from Sri Lanka (Yes … Santa is part of the global economy). So … what if we gave Santa a practice management system?  As a non-profit, Santa might even be eligible for software discounts or a NFR license to LNFOPBTM.

Related Link:

So … Let’s look at the situation from a practice management consultant’s eye.  We need status records on 2 billion children.  We need to generate instant reports on who is naughty and who is nice.  With the rise of litigation, some naughty children have been appealing the determination of naughtiness (they don’t particularly like coal). And so, we have needed to open an audit file on each child to keep track of communications regarding each child’s activities.  These notes, of course, are discoverable, so we need some document retention policy.  And given the time it takes to do appeals, the typical 1 month retention policy for emails is too short.

Personally, I think these “coal appeals” are frivilous on two grounds.  First, there is no harm from the determination.  There is no claim on a contingent expectation of generous gifts, particularly where the determination is entirely discretionary; under the arbitration review standard, the one which is applied to coal appeals, no claim should survive (unless the judge has been bribed) on preliminary motions.  Second, it is frivolous, as the supplied coal is far more valuable than any gift that would be supplied by Santa.  With the current price of oil, any kid could take his lump of coal to the nearest savings and loan, and trade it in for cold hard cash.  Coal assets these days are far more value than real estate …. at least the price is appreciating.

So back to Santa’s workshop.  Everyone knows that even frivolous appeals do get litigated, and therefore the data needs to be managed.  And so, Santa and his elves would be better served by a Practice Management system or Case Management System.  My company has produced an Estate Planning Management System for estate attorneys (see link).  We could undertake the Workshop as a client.

We would start them on Time Matters Enterprise. SQL server would be required and some fairly powerful Quad Core Xeon processors. The complexity of the determination of naughty and nice would work with a stripped down basic contact form … in essence a Client Record, since we really have only one Client (Santa). For each appeal, we would open a Matter to track the status and proceedings in the litigation. Each communication and note regarding the “Client kid” would be tracked in the system, whether a note, an email, or a phone call.  We would keep a history of determinations on the second tab, showing the determination for each age up to majority (common … will ya … After ya hit 18 Santa stops keeping tabs).

Then we need to redirect the elves to a proper assessment process.  Let’s have none of these off-the-cuff determinations!  With a Case management system, our process is discoverable.  And the more open the process, the more transparent the method of determination, the less likely appeals will be overturned … hell even get into court.  And so, with the 2008 Santa’s Workshop Management System (“SWMS”), there will be a new regime.  The SWMS includes customized Contact Powerviews that let you review with one click.  Just after Thanksgiving, all notes, calls, events and tasks of each kid as recorded by the busy elves.

This report is printed out; reviewed separately by three elves to make an independent determination.  In the case of any dissenting votes, the report is passed up to a committee of 12 reindeer who decide by simple majority.  In the case of a tie, Santa is called in as the tie-breaker.  All proceedings are recorded in the SWMS.  Once a determination is final, the contact is flagged for the appropriate Santa’s list, and the gift determinations are also recorded and sent to the warehouse of Santa’s Workshop.  With just-in-time inventory processing, these warehouse order are then passed on to the production floor of Santa’s Workshop and then onto the fulfillment provision to get ready for shipment.

We anticipate that with the Santa’s Workshop, the Workshop should easily be able to meet the rising tide of litigation over “Coal Appeals”, and even shut down completely for the January and February mid-winter break from all the efficiency savings.  If you find elves wind-surfing in St. Barts this January … you will know that the Santa’s Workshop Management System is in place and doing its job for happy children around the work.

Why does my email inbox take so long to load

When you open your Inbox it may appear to take up to several minutes to load. Time Matters will seem like it is not responding.  Time Matters inbox is “personal” to each user. The inbox contains both Internet Email and Time Matters emails, as well as attachments. The mailbox can quick get overloaded, even when you appear to have been keeping the list of items in your inbox to a manageable roar. In fact, your mailbox is most likely overloaded. There could be hundreds of emails in the Deleted Items folder. There could be emails in subfolders. All take time to load.

The solution lies in regular dilligence on managing your inbox.

  • Keep the number of items in your inbox folder to under 50
  • Set your mailbox settings to show on email list (not inbox) any records that have been associated with a Contact or Matter
  • Create a folder for List-Server mail and set a rule to automatically move the incoming email to that folder
  • Empty the deleted items folder (right-click on folder and choose empy bin)

Why do my autoentry forms include the wrong task links

Auto entry forms are a hybrid between chains and notes. They allow you to structure your tasks and events, much like a chain. And they also allow you to take notes on your tasks. However, if you convert an outline to an Auto entry form, the tasks associated with the underlying record (not the new record) are link to the outline topics.  It is simple to save an outline as an auto entry form. However, before you do that you should make a copy of the form and then remove the links to any associated records.

  • Make a copy of the outline
  • Remove all links to client and matter
  • Make a generic version of the description
  • Right-click on any outline elements that are linked to a task or event records and disassociate the link
  • Standardize and clean up the language
  • Click on the Save As Auto entry Form

You are now ready to go.

TMSave Toolbar in Word after an Upgrade to TMW6

When upgrading from Time Matters 5 to Time Matters 6, many users will take a wait and see attitude. They will install Time Matters 6, but NOT install Time Matters 5. This is generally not a problem with the database, since Time Matters creates a separate database during the upgrade. However, it is a problem with the TMSave Toolbar in Word which will often continue to point to the old database. The TMSave toolbar and the menu items are inserted into Word via a Startup Template. This template is loaded when Word is loads. There is a TMW5 templates and a TMW6 template. When you uninstall Time Matters 5, it removes the TMW5 template. If you keep both active, you will have a toolbar with links to both databases. Both toolbars will look identical. Depending on which you click first, you will have links to the TMW5 or the TMW6 database.

The solution is to uninstall Time Matters 5. Go into Control Panel and choose add-remove programs. Find Time Matters 5 and click on Remove. This should remove the TMW5 template. Then restart Word. There is no requirement to reinstall Time Matters. In some circumstances, the TMW6 startup template may not have been installed in the first place. In this case you have two options. One is to reinstall Time Matters, but this time choose only Word-Processor links. The other option, is to go into Workstation Setup and click on Word Processor Links or Additional Product links.

The End of Censorship in China and CIC Guidelines

In a recent article in the New York Times magazine, it was reported that China had ended a policy of official censorship of the press.  Said the Chinese Government official. We believe that our journalists are responsible journalist who understand what is in the best interests of China.  As such, we no longer require that all news copy be reviewed by government censors prior to publication. This was exciting news … but it required a reading of the fine print to understand what had happened. And the more I read the fine print, the more I realized that something similar had happened in America, both in the public press and other forums of commercial speech.

What China has done is replace the explicit censorship with voluntary guidelines.  The guidelines focus not on what can and cannot be printed, but on more nebulous understanding of what would be in the “best interests of China”.  In the enforcement of guidelines, China has turned to the “editors and journalists” to self-police.  The editors “know” what types of articles might upset the powers that be, and then “gently” steer the reporters to topics that are “more favored” by the powers that be.  The effect is much happier journalists and much happier bureaucrats.

Gone are the “confrontations” and “adversary” posts that are the usual fairs of relations between the FIRST ESTATE and the FOURTH ESTATE.  By enlisting the FOURTH ESTATE in the process, the rivalry is reduced to the “cutting desk” of the newsroom—a much quiter and less public place.  This is true because the valuable media franchise (TV and major newspapers) are owned by corporate interests that benefit greatly from the Chinese national government.  The corporate interests have much more to loose than getting a few words edited out of a report—their very franchises are at stake.

As a reporter explains in the article—we have a pretty good idea what will be liked and not liked.  So the censors pretty much leave us alone.  It is really easy.  We feel free from close attention to our writing and the government gets out the business of editing news reports.

In America … we have moved to a “corporate-owned press”.  We do not have express censorship. But we do have owners of media conglomerates who care deeply what the current administration thinks about what they right.  This is not new.  In fact. in “Good Luck, and Good Night,” Edward R. Murrow confronted CBS management in his decision on whether to air on his show criticism of Joe McCarthy and his campaign to “out the Communists”.  Then CEO Paley ultimately permitted the series, however at the cost of eliminating Edward R. Murrow’s regular show in place of “more entertaining” and “more profitable” broadcasts.

When it comes to discussion forums, these have been traditionally free from corporate economic “constraints”.  The moderators would review posts to block out spammers (yes they exist), but generally allowed free-spirited debate.  LexisNexis in setting up the Time Matters CIC forums—and they were set up with knowledge, support and consent of the Time Matters division of Lexis Nexis—sought to encourage an atmosphere that was supportive of the Time Matters product suite.  The result was the set of guidelines (developed by a group of “Certified Independent Consultants”—one of whom did a stint as Time Matters Vice-President of Sales).

Let us look at the Guidelines:

The purpose of the LexisNexis Practice Management forum is to establish and maintain an online community where LexisNexis Time Matters, PC Law & HotDocs users and consultants can come together to share knowledge about our Practice Management applications, tailor these applications to individual needs, and develop specialized solutions.

So far so good … My emphasis.

This forum is managed and moderated solely by LexisNexis Practice Management Certified Independent Consultants (CICs) and is for the benefit of licensed LexisNexis® Practice Management customers as well as other CICs. CICs are not employees, agents, representatives, resellers, or contractors for LexisNexis®. CICs are independent professionals whose primary focus is the training and support of customers. LexisNexis® provides the infrastructure to host the forum, but does not participate in the management or moderation of the forum.

Again … the Chinese model of Censorship.  But note that CIC’s do have “resale” rights for software and would qualify as “authorized resellers” under law.  We were required to execute a contract with LexisNexis to be part of the CIC program.

There is no cost for using this forum and a support agreement is not required. However, you must be a licensed user of LexisNexis® Practice Management products and conform to the protocols of the forum to participate.

Note the focus on protocols. So far so good.

In order to establish a positive, constructive environment in which issues can be addressed, all posts are reviewed by the forum’s volunteer CIC moderators before being distributed. Message content will not be edited, augmented, or changed. Messages not in compliance with the objectives of the forum will simply not be posted to the forum by the moderators and individuals who repeatedly attempt to post such messages may have their access to the forum restricted or terminated.

Here is the “meat” of the guidelines.  Keep them positive and upbeat…. or else, rejection, and expulsion from the forum.

Generally, LexisNexis® will not be participating in the forum and participants should not rely on the forum to communicate with LexisNexis® directly. If you have ideas or feedback for LexisNexis® regarding any of the Practice Management products, please follow the procedures established for submitting ideas or comments to the appropriate business unit.

Historically, LexisNexis officials have participated in the HotDocs list, and it was an effective way of communicating ideas to HotDocs developers.  This here gives notice that such a communication method should not be assumed … and in fact, posts that attempt to tell LexisNexis what to do with its product are rejected.  The tradition of posting ideas on the forum by HotDocs developers for discussion would not be in compliance with these guidelines.

Messages should include your name, firm name, city and state, which version of the product you are running, basic operating and computer system information, plus your current status regarding working with LexisNexis® Practice Management technical support (remember, call technical support first). Anonymous or alias posts will NOT be accepted.

This is a favorite … those who don’t edit their signature block to include City and State will get rejected.  It is not enough to just put in your name and return address.

This forum is primarily for getting the most out of the current feature sets and methodologies under existing LexisNexis® Practice Management policies and market conditions.

This is a clear call to focus on the “status quo”—and not what could be done. The next paragraph drives home the point.

This forum is not for discussion on matters not directly related to the use of LexisNexis® Practice Management products. Additionally, because CICs have no control over LexisNexis® product pricing, business practices, customer service, or technical support policies, these subjects are outside the scope of this forum.

Here is the clinch … since CIC’s are powerless … these topics are outside the scope of the forum.  They are deamed “not relevant” to community support.  This was clearly a response to the Elderlaw list where there were rants about pricing of Time Matters (a quite affordable product, given its benefits) and complaints about Technical Support that rose to the level of extortion of Time Matters.  Rather than striking a balance, all these topics are expressly excluded.

This forum is not for editorializing, broad qualitative comments, customer complaints, lobbying for particular features or improvements, or otherwise trying to pressure LexisNexis® into a particular course of action.

If you had ANY doubts about whether discussion of the future direction of the product, this last one makes it clear — not relevant … and to go back to the top, such posts will be rejected and if the poster does not learn, he or she will be expelled.  My query … would discussion of a true “bug” in the product … a feature that doesn’t work … be barred under these guidelines.  More than likely.  Time Matters CICs have received calls from executives at Time Matters who have acknowledged in “bugs” in public posts.

So you can judge … are the Chinese that bad.  Perhaps, it is they who have learned the capitalist way.

Basha Systems releases Wealth Transfer Planning on HotDocs

It has been over a year of hard work, but the new Wealth Transfer Planning, SmartContent Practice System(tm) has been released.  Basha Systems has ported the SmartWord’s based estate planning templates over to HotDocs.  The system features a unique custom interface to HotDocs that supports Firm Preferences, a separate Client and Matter Interview, Profile settings, customizable Templates and customizable Stylesheets.  It represents a “revolution” in the way to handle document assembly.  The efforts of myself, Ian Burrows and Rose Rowland are to thanks.  Basha Systems will be providing ongoing support for the templates as well as extensive customization services.

Well … we are done.  The product has shipped.  Be sure to look through the training videos.

This is an “opus” for which we retain major bragging rights.  We have pushed the envellope for what HotDocs can do, using a number of innovations in data transfer and contextual help.  The system is at once complex and simple.  For those users of SmartWords based system, we have consolidated interviews that often went on for 50 dialogs into coherent single interview of less than 15 dialogs to handle even the most complex estate planning documents.

It has been over a year of hard work, but the new Wealth Transfer Planning, SmartContent Practice System(tm) has been released.  Basha Systems has ported the SmartWord’s based estate planning templates over to HotDocs.  The system features a unique custom interface to HotDocs that supports Firm Preferences, a separate Client and Matter Interview, Profile settings, customizable Templates and customizable Stylesheets.  It represents a “revolution” in the way to handle document assembly.

There are a number of people to thank.  The efforts of myself, Ian Burrows and Rose Rowland at Basha Systems; and the efforts and vision of Trish McLelland and Mike Graham at Interactive Legal Systems who had the confidence, the wherewithal, the stamina and the vision to see the project through.

Basha Systems will be providing ongoing support for the templates as well as extensive customization services. Please feel free to contact us for a demo of the system.  Whether you are considering purchasing the system, or using a system just like it, please give me a call.

Knowledge Hierarchies

This blog evaluates hierarchical knowledge systems from searchable knowledge systems.  As Yahoo is to Google, Westlaw is to Lexis, Blogger is to ExpressionBuilder.  … unstructured information can be useful, but the extra effort to add structure make the information even more useful.

I started blogging in ernest a few weeks ago.  At first, it was a spurred on as part of a marketing campaign to drive traffic to my website.  A suggestion by Neil Squillante that the link in my bio to bashasys.blcgspot.com would go nowhere … since the last post was several months old.

I took the time to think what the purpose of the blog was and where it fit.  I knew I liked to write.  But like most writers, I liked to be read.  So I got to thinking, what could I write that a number of peoples would want to read.  I was not a novelist; no plans for that.  I was not a scientist.  No, I was a technology consultant, a recovered lawyer, an invetirate tinkered.

I set myself a quote of 15 minutes a day … capture one thought in the blog.  Then I started looking at other blogs; to see if there were anyone I would want to visit again.  I found a few.  The best ones I have listed in my blog-roll on the right.  If you have the time, take a look at them.

What I saw was that I needed a focus, an angle.  I know a few things about document assembly and case management.  I have written and lectured extensively on these topics.  I make my living providing consulting services in these areas.  I have taken my hand at helping guide the makers of these products to better understand what tools would be useful to people like me (trying to build solutions for our clients with document assembly and case management software.

It took a few weeks to get focused on the topic.  Then I turned to the tools.  As a lawyer, I was used to structured knowledge.  Legal contracts have articles, sections and headers.  Legal briefs have arguments and supporting facts.  Legal cases have fact headnotes and then facts.  Most of law is structured and categorized.

And yet, when I looked at my blog, I had titles, dates and body text.  Unless you, my reader were to come back every day and read what I had written, the mass of unfocused material would overwhelm.  And, if I strayed off the narrow topics of document assembly and case management, you would have no way of following that thread.

And so I hunted for a new platform.  I found pMachine’s ExpressionEngine.  It supported multi-tiered and multiple categorization of information.  And it sported powerful keyword tagging and search indexes.  Moreover, it allowed you to create custom fields that could be used to provide abstracts or summaries to help you, the reader, decide to read on.

Now back to Yahoo versus Google; Westlaw versus Lexis, and ExpressionBuilder versus Blogger.  All of these tools allow you to find information; run searches.  The latter category focus on boolean searches; choose the right search words, and you will find the articles that contain those words.

The former group, Yahool, Westlaw and ExpressionBuilder give you a hierarchal structure of topics so that one can find the correct topic and drill down to find the articles that are on that topic of interest.  As you drill down, you will see abstracts.  And only then do you see the full articles.  This is the approach I hope to use with this Blog.  I will write in an “unstructured fashion” … stream of consciousness like a typical blog, but as I do, I will categorize and abstract, so that over time, there will come to be a wealth of information on a range of topics.