A1-Law / WCFMS Newsletter November 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
A1-Law Version 4.00 completed.  The New Support Forum.  More Questions and Answers, other things.

A1-Law Version 4.00 Complete
All of the newsletters thus far will be contained in the new version 4.00 help files.  Several comments about A1-Law.  First, version 4.00 is complete and we are just finalizing the help files and documentation.  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.

A1-Law has had yet another price increase as of 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.

The New Support Forum
As mentioned above, the more people 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.  I am receiving a lot of questions via Email which should be posted first at the discussion forum so that everyone may contribute.  I check the support forum daily.  I don't think people realize yet the true value of the support forum.  For more information, see the Support Forum.

Questions and Answers

Question:  How do I do a document in Word and save it to an A1 case?

Answer:    Please be more specific. Do you mean you want to type the document in Word and then attach it to A1-Law when designing a letter so that you don't have to retype everything? Or, do you mean you want A1-Law to create the word document, automatically merge everything and attach that document to A1-Law?  Ideally, you should do as many letters as possible in A1-Law.  It's more efficient that way and since version 4.00 now allows you to do pleadings, there's almost reason at all to use anything else.

Question:  Will Macros work in a closing letter with the upgrade with Spellcheck?

Answer:    Yes.  Version 4.00 allows has a built in spell check and also allows you to use the one in Microsoft Word.  But, since not everyone has Word, we have provided a built in spell check in both English and Spanish.  Macros will work in a closing letter.

Question:  Previously you had told me to use the get party command for our closing 
of letters since many of our form letters are used by different secretarys. 
I didn't understand the get party command at that time so you told me to 
simply put a merge letter 100 (100 being blank for now) command in the form 
letter. I did that. Now I need to work out the closing by either using the 
get party command, or pausing the letter at that point and making macros for 
closing for the secretaries to use at that time. Can you help me with that?

Answer:    I recall telling you that you can automatically have the letter insert the attorney who is handling the case, the secretary handling the case or the user who is signed on. It can insert their name or their initials. The getparty is useful for automatically entering the party to send the letter to and/or the cc as follows:

<<command = getparty,ask Select party or parties>>

The staff command will allow you to automatically enter the initials in the closing.  For example:

<<command = staff,attyh>>/<<command = staff,thisuser>>

Question:  I forgot to mention something. I primarily use the font Univers for writing 
letters in A1. The funniest thing happens. I pull up A1 and everything is 
fine, then all of a sudden, I go to make a new letter and that font doesn't 
exist. I used the font from the bottom of the page by the question mark for 
adding merge codes. Is there something I am doing wrong?

Answer:    It may be a minor bug that has been corrected in the latest version to be released shortly. You can highlight the section of text that was merged before printing the letter and change the font.

The other possibility is that it's not a bug and you just need to insert the text right before the end of the document (at the last sentence in the document, press Enter and then start typing the new information).

Question:  My captions do not line up properly.  I get something like this:

Re: John Doe vs Wimpy Electric
WCAB No: SAC 123456
Claim No : 0011ABCD
DOI : 1/31/01

I want something like this:

Re:                  John Doe vs Wimpy Electric
WCAB No:    SAC 123456
Claim No :      0011ABCD
DOI :              1/31/01

Answer:    It all has to do with where you set your tabs in the form letter. It's VERY important to remember to hit the TAB key after the RE: and also put a tab before the WCAB No, the Claim No and the DOI. Just insert one tab. A1-Law should insert and format the caption automatically.

This is the IMPORTANT ONE to notice to try and help you understand how tabs really work. When you click the caption button when editing a caption at the Caption sheet of the client card, A1-Law automatically inserts and formats the caption for you (it doesn't matter if it does not look right in the caption sheet, the important thing is that it will look right when printing letters). Now, you will notice that there is ONE tab after WCAB No:, one tab after CLAIM No: and one tab after DOI. However, IF (and this is a very important if) the first tab stop after the DOI is BEFORE where the Claim No: ends then A1-Law inserts the date of injury at that tab stop (just like any other word processor). So, the important thing is to align the first tab stop for the DOI after the NO: in WCAB NO:. I'm not sure if all this is making sense. Therefore, what you should do is just print a test letter like above and if everything is off and does not align properly, highlight the entire caption with the mouse and then drag the first tab after DOI on the ruler bar to the right (past the WCAB NO: and watch what happens. Everything should align properly. Then, as you drag the tab, you will see at the left side of the ruler bar where you have dragged it to (in inches). Note how many inches that is. Then quit out of the test letter and go back to the main letter with the <<command = caption>> in it and align the tabs the same way as you did in your test letter and you are done.

Let me know if you have any questions about this because once you set this up right it should save a lot of time. There's no reason to have to edit anything in the caption when you print letters from your templates.

Newsletter Back Issues
Looking for some back issues?  You'll find them on our web site at http://www.appellsoftware.com. They will also be included in the help file in Version 4.00.

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 support  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.

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.

Next Month
More questions and answers.

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

Until next time, have a great month.