A1-Law / WCFMS Newsletter September 2001

As you may already know......

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

Important Notice
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CAAA Convention
Itís Jan 24 - 27, 2002 at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Resort in San Diego. Iíll be exhibiting there as I have for the past 16 years.  Hope to see you there.

In This Issue
September 11, 2001, A1-Law Update, Newsletter Back Issues, Problems with Email Support, Remote Access Programs & PC Anywhere, Anti-Virus Software, The Discussion Forum, Scanning Medical Reports, Phone Support Questions and Answers.  Want to know more.....Read onÖ.

September 11, 2001
I must comment on this tragic day in American history.   This day brings up a lot of pain and sad feelings in all of us.  My hope is that each of us will do our part to always be aware of our surroundings, "go with our feelings," and report any suspicious activity regardless of where we are.  If we all take responsibility, hopefully, we can prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again..  This day may from time to time seem to overshadow what we do each and every day - but, 

A1-Law UpdateSeveral comments about A1-Law.  First, version 4.00 is almost complete.  It has well over 200 new features.  As promised, you will be able to do pleading directly in A1-Law, spell check with Microsoft Word or directly in A1-Law in either English or Spanish.   There are many many other major new features and modules.

Once again, A1-Law will undergo another price increase November 1, 2001.  This will not affect our current customers.  We have received excellent ideas from some of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the state of California.  More next month.

Newsletter Back Issues
Looking for some back issues?  You'll find them on our web site at http://www.appellsoftware.com

Problems with Email Support
If you send me an Email and I have not replied within 48 hours please send a cc to Appell@AppellSoftware.com.  Better yet, feel free to post your question on the discussion forum so that others can offer their input and suggestions and everyone can learn from everyone else.  You can access the discussion forum at http://www.appellsoftware.com.

Remote Access Programs / PC Anywhere
Better support can be obtained if you upgrade to PC Anywhere with DSL.  Check with your consultant about firewalls and security issues.  Some offices are upgrading from DSL to a T1 line which is even faster.  Most important of all, there is no substitute for a good backup.  Have you done your backup this week?

Anti-Virus Programs, Norton, McAfee
They can tremendously slow down network I/O.   If you find your computer or server to be excessively slow, you may want to consider setting parameters in your virus software to not check dbf, cdx and fpt file extensions.

The Discussion Forum
As mentioned above, the more that use the discussion forum, the greater the benefit to everyone.  I check it regularly and would like to see questions posted there so that everyone can learn from everyone else.

Scanning Medical Reports
This can be done with a light pen for about $150.00.  It may also relieve carpal tunnel.  It's really quite amazing;   you simply trace the pen over the words and it automatically types everything at the cursor.  Therefore, you could be in case activity or extended notes and just scan the paragraphs right into the program.

Phone Support Questions and Answers
This month we will review some real questions that offices sent via Email and the answers provided (names changed for anonymity).  Because these questions were submitted via Email, they may be in all caps although we prefer Email questions to be submitted in upper and lower case.  Also, there are many questions here and some may interest you while others may not.

Find the ones that interest you and learn from them so that you can better utilize the system.  You may even find a question that you submitted.  These questions will also gives you an idea of how others are utilizing the program.  Once again though, next time you are on our web site at www.AppellSoftware.com, check out our discussion forum.

Please keep in mind that if you are a beta tester of our Version 4.00 and your question was regarding this version, you will not see your question here since it does not apply to everyone as of yet.

Question:  How do I insert the case number in a form letter.

Answer:  Here's one way:

<<command = code alltrim(str(case.caseno))>>

Answer:  You can click on the dropdown and type the status in from your keyboard.  You don't have to click the dropdown, just click in the area and type it right in.

Question:  When I search by last name, I get all kinds of names like and not just the client.  Suppose I only want to search for clients.

Answer:  Right.  A1-Law allows you to search for all cases with a specific attorney, doctor, employer, etc.  If you only want to search by client, click the Primary Names Only checkbox when searching for a case.  You can then save these settings for next time by clicking the floppy disk icon in the lower right corner.

Question:  I have two identical employers in the rolodex with the same address.  I would like to delete one of them but I can't.  The program won't let me delete the employer.

Answer:  Exactly.   You have two identical rolodex cards.  The first employer may be attached to 20 cases.  The second might be atached to 30 cases.  If you deleted the second card, then you would not know who the employer is for 30 of your cases.  So, A1-Law won't let you do it.  Now, what you can do is switch those 30 cases to the first rolodex card.  If you do this, then the first rolodex card (the first employer) is now attached to 50 cases and the second rolodex card (the same employer) is now not attached to any cases at all.  Now, A1-Law will allow you to delete the second rolodex card.  Detaching and attaching 30 cases from the second to the first card would be very time consuming.  So, A1-Law allows you to do this automatically through the Case Consolidation feature in the rolodex.

In order to consolidate two rolodex cards into one first double click on the rolodex card you want to save.  This edits the rolodex card.  Click the Details tab and you will see the Card No at the bottom of the screen.  Click Cancel and then click one time on the rolodex card you want to delete to highlight the card in the grid (no need to edit this card).  Next, click the Other Features button (Alt-O) and select Case Consolidation.  Enter the new card number which is the card you want to save.  A1-Law will then move all the attached cases from the old card to the new one.  You will then be able to delete the old card.

Question:  We've installed A-1 Law on our network: so far so good but am having trouble on one work station.

We've inserted the correct path (here: H:\A1Law) to the A-1 Law folder
in the link to network utility but on attempts to run the program from
that work station, error message reads: "Invalid network path specified
in LAWLOC.ini file: path: C:\A1Law. Run link computer to network utility
in the A-1 Law Suite"

I've repeatedly run the link to network utility and specified H:\A1Law
but the same message gets kicked back.

Any suggestions??

Answer:   C:\A1LAW indicates that A1-Law is not looking in the proper place for your shared files since you have specified H:\A1LAW as the shared drive.   Run the link computer to network program again and make sure there is exactly one space on both sides of the = sign after the NETDRIVE command. Example:

NETDRIVE = h:\a1law

not like this: NETDRIVE=h:\a1law
not like this: NETDRIVE =h:\a1law
not like this: NETDRIVE= h:\a1law
not like this: h:\a1law
not like this: NETDRIVE h:\a1law

Hope that helps.

Question:  I have about 8 form letters that I prepare when I do a new intake.  Can I do this automatically?

Answer:  Yes.  Use the merge command.  For example, call form letter number 10 - INTAKE PACKET and if it were to merge letters 1-4, you can insert this in the letter:

<<command = merge 1>>
<<command = page>>
<<command = merge 2>>
<<command = page>>
<<command = merge 3>>
<<command = page>>
<<command = merge 4>>

Now, you press one button to print form letter number 10 and it automatically prints all your letters necessary for a new intake.  The same thing can be applied to settlement or anything else.

Question:  Whenever I try to load a WC form. I get an error message that it cannot locate (or load) a filter. The irritating thing is that even though the
error message box has an X, I cannot get rid of it and have to exit the
program using program manager in windows.

Hellllp please

Best regards

Answer:   First, should I assume the problem is only happening on one computer? If so, let's first try and re-register one of the controls.  First, quit out of A1-Law. Next, 

Click on Start, Run and type

Regsvr32 c:\windows\system\ofmctl.dll

and click OK. Does it say Succeeded? If so, go back into A1-Law and try to print WC forms. I'm assuming to problem is only with WC court forms (ie: the DOR) and not other standard form letters (ie: depo letter).

Question:  How do we print a summary list of the form letters we have in A1Law?

Answer:   If you have the beta update for version 4 go to the Edit form letters tab, Right click on the printer in the form letters window (it's kind of at the bottom middle to left corner in the form letters window). Click the Summary - Print Form Letter titles. If you don't have the latest beta update (sent to a few offices for testing) then I can upload it if you have PC Anywhere with DSL or you can wait a few weeks for the Version 4.00 update which is almost complete.

Question:  What is the command to include a client's telephone number in a form letter?


<<command = getparty,1>><<command = code trim(card.home)>>

Question:   Other Stuff: We love the rolodex!!  We love printing our form letters now and especially the ability to edit them before we print them. 
Also, it is so GREAT to be able to pull names from the party list to include them in the letters and/or envelopes. What a time saver!

Answer:   Great. Envelopes are even BETTER -- MUCH BETTER in the latest version to be released shortly.

Question:  FYI:  As I mentioned once before, almost everyone in our office has their own printer.  One person in particular was having an awful time 
trying to print in A1Law or in Word Perfect.  Her computer would 
freeze up constantly.  Our computer guy, was getting pretty impatient with her because he went to the lengths of getting her a better computer. When even that didn't work, he of course, blamed either the operator or A1Law. Incidentally, she has a HP laser printer. It is the oldest one in the office and is probably five years or older.

Her problem was finally solved when our computer consultant's assistant decided to check the internet to see if her model printer had any driver updates available. Once the recent updates were made, she has had
NO problems since.  Interesting, huh?

Answer:   Not interesting to me as I am aware that HP drivers do have some bugs in it.  Obviously if it freezed up in both A1-Law and Word Perfect....you can't blame A1 but people do. But, I am aware of the HP driver problems.

Thanks and I'm glad things are working out well. Just wait till you see the new version.

Next Month
More questions and answers.

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

Until next time, have a great month.