New technology for running the office

Modern law office software available

Alumni Computer Group has released PCLaw Version 3, a new 32-bit version of the company's award-winning time and billing/law office management software. Available as both PCLawPro, a full-featured version which handles up to 100 timekeepers, and PCLawJr., a less expensive version for solo practitioners and small firms, the updated version remains intuitive while incorporating a new open database design.

PCLaw Version 3 integrates time/billing with case management, spreadsheet, word processing, e-mail and database capabilities. "The implications of this new integrated approach to information management are invaluable to the practice of law," said Ron Plashkes, president of Alumni Computer Group. "A single entry in PCLaw Version 3 can show up in the lawyer's case manager, the secretary's mailing list, the accountant's spreadsheet and the office manager's spreadsheet. The smooth integration of raw information with the way professionals work brings to software what the one-write system brought to manual accounting 40 years ago."

The user interface of PCLaw Version 3 utilizes both task-oriented flow charts and pull-down menus that are clear and easy to understand. Multiple windows may be open simultaneously and may be repositioned, minimized or maximized as the task demands. An online tutorial, enhanced tips and newly designed manual gives novice users the ability to use the program right away.

Working on Windows 95 or Windows NT platforms, PCLaw Version 3 has a starting price of $295. For more information, contact the company at 1-800/387-9785 or visit the Alumni Computer Group Web site at

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.

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:

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.

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.

The software can be ordered direct from Capsoft for $399. For further information, call 1-800/500-DOCS.

Wrongful death-economist software developed

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.

For more information, call Dennis Wonn at 1-800/800-1393.

Free law school access to online research

VersusLaw Inc., developer of the online legal research service "V.", will make the program available at no charge to anyone affiliated directly with an accredited law school.

V. is the only legal research service on the World Wide Web that provides access to appellate level opinions from all 50 states, all federal circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court in one location. It provides an archival library that goes back to 1950 in a majority of jurisdictions and back to 1930 for its U.S. Supreme Court cases.

Students, faculty members and library staff at accredited law schools are eligible for the free service, which must be used for academic purposes associated with educational responsibilities. There are no fees to the academic institution to underwrite the free access.

For further information, contact Tim Jones, 206/250-0142, ext. 3015. V. is located at