A1-Law / WCFMS Case Management Newsletter June 2001

As you may already know......

A1-Law applies to the Windows Case Management System
WCFMS applies to the DOS Case Manager System

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CAAA Convention
Itís June 21-24 at the Monterey Hyatt Hotel. Iíll be exhibiting there as I have for the past 15 years.  I will be at booth 111.  I'll be previewing the new verision 4.00 at the CAAA convention.  Hope to see you there.

A1-Law vs. Other Case Management Systems
There will probably be 3 other computer exhibitors at the next CAAA convention.  Sometimes attorneys like to look at other systems not because they are necessarily thinking of switching but rather to simply see what else is out there and if there is a good feature in some other system, they may want it in their own system.

Something else to think about if you don't have a case management system and are shopping for one, when vendors say to you, "oh, it will do that."  If it's important to you, make them show you how.

Why do we believe A1-Law is by far the best system?  First, it's "truly" windows based.  It's the only system we are aware of that allows you to pull more than one client card at the same time.  This is important when the phone is constantly ringing and you don't want to have to close out everything you are doing to get the status of another case.

It's also the only system that allows you to have all the injuries on one client card.  This not only helps you to view all the information quickly without flipping from screen to screen but also allows you to easily get an accurate case count.

It's the only system that really does merge all the information onto form letters and court forms without having to retype information more than once.  Also, it's the only system that allows you to quickly retrieve court forms and form letters without having to wait for other programs to load.

And that is only the beginning.

In This Issue
Discussion forums, User Defined Fields and other things.  Want to know more.....Read onÖ.

Did you know...
In A1-Law, you can bring up the Search For A Case window by typing Ctrl-H?

Discussion Forums
One of the benefits of this web site is its discussion forum section.  The idea is that you can post a question and others can respond to it (including myself) which allows everyone to learn from everyone else.  In fact, the more people that utilize it, the better it becomes.

User Defined Fields
Because both A1-Law and WCFMS are truly geared for Workers' Compensation more so than any other case management system on the market today, it's important to realize that you can utilize the User Defined Fields to gear the systems for any other type of law as well.  In fact, WCFMS DOS was so totally geared for workers' compensation law that it is not nearly as flexible for use with other types of cases like A1-Law.  Chances are that you probably won't need the User Defined Fields at all if you only practice workers' compensation law.

One really nice thing about both systems is the following:  let's suppose you also have personal injury cases and you would like to have a few user defined fields for them.  The nice thing is that those fields will only be utilized for personal injury cases and will not be displayed for other types of cases like social security, family law, workers' compensation, etc.  This is a good thing, because it would not make sense to see user defined fields for personal injury in a social security case.

So, how does this all work?  There are basically three parts to user defined fields.  First, of course, there is the setup and the data entry screens at the client card.  When you create a user defined screen for a personal injury case, you don't create a separate screen for every personal injury or social security (etc.) case.  You create a screen for that "type" of case.  Next, there is also the capability to merge these fields into form letters and court forms.  Finally, A1-Law also allows you the ability to run reports off of these user defined fields.  You can also run reports off udf fields in WCFMS, but the only way to do this would be through the LOOP command in form letters.

WCFMS allows you up to 4 screens for each type of case and up to 9 fields per screen.  That's 36 unique user defined fields for every type of case.  

A1-Law does not have any limit at all.  You can have up to 12 fields per screen page and for all practical purposes you can have as many screens as you like for any type of case.  A1-Law also allows you to create combo lists and dropdowns for user defined fields.  You can also restrict access for editing any user defined fields if the staff member logged in does not have access rights.  A1-Law not only allows you to automatically merge user defined fields in form letters and court forms, but also allows you to run reports off those user defined fields.

Both systems allow you to add additional user defined fields as the need arises.  You don't have to add them all when you start utilizing the program.  You can set up user defined fields in both systems from the Configure System Defaults section of the program.

Relating User Defined Fields to Form Letters:  Let's suppose for a moment that you have your user defined fields set up and you want to merge them into a form letter.  Here's an example of how to do that in the middle of a sentence:

In A1-Law, we do this:
Date of Loss:  <<command = userfield,3,4>>

In WCFMS, we do this:
Date of Loss:
\trim(a->line3)

A1-Law:  Some questions may come to mind.  First, what is the 3 and the 4 after the userfield?  The 3 is the page number and the 4 is the field number.  To get the user defined page and field number in A1-Law, do the following:  First, click on the User Page at the client card.  Go to the screen that contains the user defined field you want to merge.  Next, just click on the title of the field and A1-Law displays the page and field number.

Although it's possible to perform mathematical calculations with user defined fields in both A1-Law and WCFMS, we will save that for another newsletter.  If you need that now, feel free to post your specific example on the discussion forum.

WCFMS:  There are only 4 boxes.  Each box has 10 lines (when you include the title of the box.  The user defined fields in box one are from 2-10, box 2 are from 12-20, box 3 are from 22-30 and box 4 are from 32-40.


Next Month
A1-Law just got better............What's new in Version 4.00?


And now for my usual sign-off.......

Until next time, have a great month.