From the web to the computerized office

Abacus unveils intranet calendar/case software

Abacus Data Systems Inc. has released a new Windows version of its case management and calendaring software, called ABACUS LAW for Windows. This version has several new features that are "Internet-inspired." Built to accommodate interruptions, the program allows the user to leave one window, view another, then return to any prior window using the "back," "forward," or "history" buttons.

"The software automatically hyper-links every calendar entry, case, client and note, enabling you to find anything quickly, and eliminating the need to start at a particular window," said Judd Kessler, president of Abacus. "Bringing this Internet-like technology to the local office network is the most significant advancement Abacus has introduced since automated calendaring of court rules 10 years ago," he said.

According to the company, more than 50,000 attorneys nationwide use its case management and calendaring software in their practices. For further information about this new version, contact Cathy Kenton at 1-800/726-3339, ext. 102.

New program to appraise reporting firm service

DepoNet has introduced the Member Quality Assurance program, created by Tanferani Reporting & Video Services, to assist attorneys in assessing the work of a reporting firm and the individual reporter in recording and transcribing court proceedings. The program lets attorneys rate everything from the professionalism of the reporter to the final accuracy of the transcript.

The attorney, as customer, plays an important role in the operation of the program. Each attorney receives a postage-paid quality assurance card from a participating reporter at the deposition. The card, a brief questionnaire that rates the deposition experience, encourages an honest, timely response from the attorney. The attorney then receives another postage-paid response card delivered with the final transcript, which asks the attorney to rate the overall quality of the transcript.

"Tanferani Reporting & Video Services will receive the important feedback of their customers through Member QA, and use this information to provide their customers with better service at a greater value," said Larry Cooper, vice president for American Network Services Inc., parent company of DepoNet.

DepoNet serves as the third party administrator of the process, while Tanferani Reporting & Video Services concentrates on the quality of the reporting firm process. For more information on the Member QA program, call 1-800/866-0130 and ask for a member relations representative, or write American Network Services, QA program, 6000 Live Oak Parkway, Suite 100, Norcross, Ga. 30093-9739.

A law office on computer

Gavel & Gown Software Inc. has released Amicus Attorney Pro, a new version of its lawyer productivity software which combines the functions of case management, calendaring, time entry, contact management, conflict checking and telephone management in one intuitive program.

The Pro version introduces the "do" button, which not only reminds attorneys about what they need to do, but actually helps them do it, e.g., a "do" call back reminder can dial the person's phone number and log details about the call. The "do" button feature can also be attached to any kind of document or set of instructions. It can draft documents, calculate mortgage payments from a spreadsheet, and implement macros for any task from accessing the Internet to litigation support systems.

Amicus Attorney Pro includes document automation with Capsoft Development's HotDocs and with Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect merge templates. Enhanced case management features include a seamless interface with CompuLaw Ltd.'s Court Rules software for instant docket calculations.

Amicus Team, the network add-on, allows Pro users to work together and share information. For further information, contact Wendy Berry at Gavel & Gown Software at 1-800/472-2289, ext. 226.

Quick document imaging from ISYS/Odyssey 

Law firms that need to quickly make paper documents available online for searching should check out ISYS/Odyssey Development's ISYS Image scanner. Paper documents can automatically be scanned and run through a process where they are named, organized into subdirectories and indexed. Once scanned, users can search the full text and simultaneously bring up the image.

ISYS Image offers several configurable features including optional document profiles or templates for categorizing data and for searching on fields; redaction for blacking out or obscuring portions of an image for security purposes; three resolution settings for capturing more or less detail and for controlling disk space storage; automatic ISYS index updating; and a manual verification mode for validating the accuracy of a scanned image.

For more information, contact Greg Fickas at ISYS/Odyssey Devel-opment at 303/689-9998, ext. 232.

California forms guide from Bancroft-Whitney

Bancroft-Whitney has released California Transactions Forms: Business Entities, a practice-oriented forms set designed to make forms drafting faster and more reliable.

Authored by practicing attorneys, Business Entities includes all the essential forms related to business entities in California, analysis of relevant statutory and case law, and an abundance of "how-to" guidance. Each of its 27 chapters is a complete guide to a specific business area. Business entities also covers new legislation such as the Revised Partnership Act, and offers forms required in rapidly changing areas such as strategic partnering relationships, LLC's, general partnerships and limited liability partnerships.

The product is available in both print and CD-ROM formats. The disk version links with other LawDesk titles including the Witkin Library, Deering's California Official Reports, USCS and the Code of Federal Regulations. Both are priced at $450. For further information, call 1-800/254-5274.

Migrate to Windows 95

As more lawyers migrate to Windows 95 in their practices, West Group has added two new training guides to its Law Office Series: Busy Lawyer's Guide to Microsoft Word for Windows 95, Volumes I and II.

Volume I, authored by Stephen Lief and Alan Pearlman, teaches the basics of Windows 95, while Volume II, authored by Guy Wiggins and David Greenwald, offers intermediate guidance. Chapters include customizing the Word interface to enhance productivity, using AutoText to insert commonly used text into a document, managing files, creating and revising contracts, creating usable forms and templates, and using styles to automate formatting in legal documents.

For further information, call 1-800/779-8090, ext. 74064, or contact the company's Web site:

New document automation tool

Capsoft Development Corp. has released HotDocs Pro, a professional developer's version of the company's document automation software. This new version has been designed to benefit those involved in the automation and distribution of official forms and those who create templates for use by others.

Users can create a template by identifying information in the form or document that changes each time the form or document is used. The information can then be replaced with a "variable." When the template is used, HotDocs Pro asks for answers to variable questions which are used to create a customized form of document. Once a template is built, it can be used again and again to create customized forms or documents.

HotDocs Pro allows users to create lists within lists, hide or dim questions in custom dialogs (question windows), and find and replace text in multiple components and spell check components. The software can be ordered direct from Capsoft for $399. For further information, call 1-800/500-DOCS.

Taking effective depositions

Practising Law Institute's Taking Effective Depositions: Mechanics & Techniques, is the newest addition to its The Interactive Courtroom series of multimedia CD-ROM training tools designed for the legal industry. This disk provides authoritative and practical insight into the nuts and bolts of this critical part of the discovery process.

It features nationally known deposition trainer Henry L. Hecht from the Boalt Hall School of Law. Developed to help lawyers master 20 topics common to the taking of most depositions, it includes such mechanics of the process as timing, notices, subpoenas, obtaining documents, scope of discovery and disposition of transcripts and exhibits.

In addition, lawyers will learn how to tailor their questions and questioning style to fit their purpose, use documents, exhaust the witness' recollection, deal with problem witnesses and counsel, and other techniques essential to a thorough examination.

The disk employs video examples, commentaries by practicing attorneys, references to the pertinent legal rules, and a self-test. For more information on The Interactive Courtroom training series, call 1-800/373-1829, or write the Practising Law Institute at 695 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Wrongful Death-Economist Software

Advocate Software has released Wrongful Death-Economist for Windows, a PC program which performs the economic calculations for damages in wrongful death cases, including lost income, fringe benefits, medical and other damages.

Default values for sex, race, interest-rate (pre-trial), discount rate, growth of future earnings, and growth rate of other future costs are variables which can be changed to fit a specific case.

The program comes with easy-to-follow tutorials and a case-input Wizard. Both economic and toll-free technical telephone support are provided and annual updates keep data and reference works current. For more information, call Dennis Wonn at 1-800/800-1393.