Research, billing, plain old books

Capture Lexis-Nexis research costs automatically

Omega Legal Systems Inc., a provider of financial management systems, has introduced an electronic interface, The Omega Legal System, designed to capture costs associated with Lexis-Nexis research activity.

Time logged by legal professionals is downloaded into an ASCII file and brought into The Omega Legal System where the charges are automatically calculated and billed (to associated matters, if desired). The manual process requires matching attorney research activity with associated matters from the Lexis-Nexis bill and then keying the information into the firmís billing systems for invoicing or tracking.

To establish the interface at a firm, Omega reviews the firmís file layout and sets up a program to read the Lexis-Nexis data. Once the interface is implemented, the administrative staff can capture, access and track activity daily, weekly or monthly.

For more information, contact Sandy Burt at 1-800/356-1339.

Integrated time and billing/case management

Timeslips Corp., developers of the time and billing software Timeslips Deluxe, and Gavel & Gown Software Inc., developers of Amicus Attorney case management software, have formed an alliance to provide a seamless integration between their two popular programs.

The key advantage is that changes in one program will update the other program, e.g., client names and addresses can be entered in one program and automatically appear in the other and activities that take place in Amicus can be instantly transferred to Timeslips Deluxe for billing.

The upcoming release of Amicus Attorney Version 2.6 will have the capacity for seamless integration with Timeslips Deluxe. According to a Gavel & Gown spokesperson, the introduction of this software combination into law firms is supported by hundreds of certified consultants who have received cross training on both software products. These consultants are available to assist users with existing applications integration or competitive product conversion.

Amicus Attorney is jurisdiction-independent legal software designed for private practice and corporate legal departments. Gavel & Gown may be reached at 1-800/472-2289.

Mathew Bender offers California Criminal Law

California criminal defense attorneys can tap the minds of top litigators using the new CD-ROM, California Criminal Law on Authority from Matthew Bender. The CD-ROM guides attorneys through every step of a criminal action, providing substantive analysis, case-winning strategies and procedural guidance.

The disk contains California Criminal Defense Practice, Official California Code of Regulations and California Codes. Additional options include California State Cases (including California Supreme Court cases from 1883 to the present and California Courts of Appeal cases from 1944 to the present) and California Criminal Defense Practice Reporter, available on CD-ROM or in print.

California Criminal Defense Practice, prepared under the supervision of Matthew Benderís editorial consultants, some of the stateís leading criminal defense and appellate practitioners, is a comprehensive work exploring criminal law and procedure designed to complement the work-flow patterns of practicing defense attorneys. Chronological presentation of materials assists in the planning of a clientís defense; outlines help attorneys organize their strategy; and step-by-step checklists provide efficient evaluation of problems and review of all procedures and forms.

California Criminal Law on Authority is suitable for network installation and compatible with Windows applications. All Authority CD-ROMS are designed to take maximum advantage of the industry-standard Folio search engine. For additional information call Matthew Bender at 1-800/223-1940.

Cohelan on California Class Actions

Tim Cohelan is no stranger to heavy-hitting class action law-suits. His current case against Texaco, Shell, Chevron and other petroleum giants alleging price-fixing and antitrust violations is a heated battle in the California courts.

His book, Cohelan on California Class Actions, published by West Group, is a single volume source which explains procedures and provides illustrative forms for defending or establishing class action lawsuits in California courts through a collection of pertinent California cases, statutes and local court rules and essential forms.

Cohelanís belief is that more than 60 percent of all class action mistakes are made during intake interviews, a pitfall he steers practitioners around by providing a better understanding of when to advance a class action. The book also includes appropriate rules governing class certification hearing, types of notice to be given and 200 pages of "road-tested" forms supporting class certification and notice, including forms taken directly from the authorís personal files.

Cohelan on California Class Actions is the first in a series of West Group titles that will comprise The Expert Series. The series will consist of one-volume books focused on areas of litigation practice by California experts. The cost of this publication is $50. For more information, call West Group at 1-800/344-5009.

New release of BNA Income Tax Planner

The latest release of the BNA Income Tax Planner has been updated to handle the alternative capital gains tax and AMT alternative capital gains tax including treatment of midterm gains and losses (also pre-May 7), unrecaptured Section 1250 gain, collectibles gain and small business stock gain (Section 1202).

A new feature called the Securities Transaction Analyzer helps with the planning and recordkeeping and improves the tax professionalís ability to handle Schedule D under the new law. The practitioner simply enters each capital gain transaction and the program figures out all the details, i.e., type of gain, taxable amount and tax.

All of the other major provisions of the act, from new regular and Roth IRA limitations with AGI phase-out to the new child tax credit, have been incorporated into the program. The BNA Income Tax Planner also calculates individual federal income taxes (going back to 1987 ó a great tool to audits), displays results for up to 10 years or cases, handles input from K-1s and 1099s with a complete audit trail, automatically performs quarterly annualization for estimated tax purposes, produces estimated payment vouchers, handles all filing including trusts and estates, and produces reports and graphs illustrating client income distribution.

For further information contact BNA Software at www.bna.com/soft or call 202/452-4453.

Reviews of California arbitrators released

James Publishing has released California Arbitrator Reviews, a unique resource to help California attorneys make educated decisions about the arbitrators hearing their cases.

Authored by Sylvia Phillips, Esq., California Arbitrator Reviews offers comprehensive reviews and biographical information on more than 240 hearing officers. Each evaluation is based on the opinions of at least seven attorneys and covers topics such as personality, demeanor, knowledge, efficiency, evidentiary rules, type and size of awards, proclivities, cost and availability.

The guide is modeled after other successful publications presenting evaluations of judges in New York and California. As stated in a New York Times review of New York Judge Reviews, California Arbitrator Reviews also "tackles the kinds of things lawyers worry about."

California Arbitrator Reviews sells for $125 with a 30-day money back guarantee. To order, call Amy Faessler at 1-800/394-2626, ext. 2935.

James Co. issues Social Security Advisory Service

James Publishing has released Peter Youngís Social Security Advisory Service (SSAS), a quarterly subscription service that includes key Ninth Circuit cases with summaries; rulings and policy changes released by OHA and SSA; details of pending legislation and answers to challenging questions about Social Security; coverage changes, cost of living increases and practice tips.

SSAS has built a reputation as the definitive Social Security resource in the Ninth Circuit and is currently used in every hearing office in the western region of OHA and Medicaid hearing offices in California. The service includes fully indexed Ninth Circuit case annotations of precedent setting cases, summaries of all Social Security and Acquiescence Rulings, the latest SSA transmittals and quarterly updates and newsletters capsulizing recent developments in Social Security.

The author, a leading practitioner and writer in the Social Security field, worked from 1975 to 1981 for the Office of Hearing and Appeals, finishing his SSA career as senior staff attorney in the OHA western regional office.

A one-year subscription costs $195 plus $14 shipping. Orders come with a 30-day risk-free policy with full return privileges. For more information, call Jamesí customer service department at 1-800/440-4780.