A1-Law / WCFMS Newsletter December 2002

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CAAA Convention
Itís in Jan in San Diego at the Del Coronado.

As you may already know, I will be at the CAAA convention Jan 16-19. There will be a one hour A1-Law user group Friday from 9-10. Please feel free to join us (attendance may be limited to 100 people). Also, feel free to join us anytime for our 24 hour / 7 days a week user group at the Support Forum on the web at www.AppellSoftware.com where questions and answers are posted all the time.

In This Issue
New DOR Court Forms, Palm Pilot Integration, Street Maps, Verifying Your Backups

New DOR Court Forms
It has come to my attention that the WCAB as of 1/1/03 now requires two new forms:

1. The DWC WCAB 9 (rev 1/1/03) Declaration of Readiness to Proceed.
2. DWC Form 4 (Rev 1/1/03) Declaration of Readiness to Proceed to Expedited Hearing (Trial).

This new update Version 4.4.0 should be available by late tonight 12/31/2002. Please visit my website at www.AppellSoftware.com and look for the Version 4.4.0 link.

Street Maps
The latest version 4.3.9 has every street in the state of California and you may easily print a "street map" with it.  You will need to "map data" which is available via remote access or soon on the web.  Feel free to inquire for more information on this feature which some are already using.

Palm Pilot Integration
This is now on very high priority.  We plan to integrate calendaring, case activity, tasks and the rolodex all with the Palm.  You will soon be able to just check off the cases you want "synced" with the Palm before you leave the office (and that is only the beginning).

Verifying Your Backups

Once again, it appears that one of my clients thought they were doing backups and they were not.  They even have a computer consultant - however, that is not relevant to the integrity of their backups.  It would seem that everyone finds out just how reliable their backup system is when they need it the most.

Here is a simple suggestion - have the person who does your backups, create a CD with the backup.  Next, have them install the backup from a CD onto your laptop.  Pull a few client cards and make sure all the data is there.  This also has the advantage that you may take the laptop anywhere you like and you may view all the information (don't change it since at the present time there is no way to put changed information on the laptop back into the main file server). 

Backup is just so critical - call it "cheap insurance" and yet too many offices underestimate its importance.  What could have taken less than 10 minutes for this office is now going to cost thousands to try and re-enter information of which some may never be able to be recovered since a lot of information today is just not entered into the physical file.

The New Support Forum
The support forum is still probably the most undervalued service that we have to offer because not too many use it.  But, those that do have the potential to learn more about the program and how others are using it than they otherwise could.  You may visit the forum anytime and read messages and learn questions that others are asking and view answers to those questions.  You are free to post your replies as well to questions or start a new thread and ask your own question or questions.

Once again,, the more people that use the discussion forum, the greater the benefit to everyone.  The Support Forum will now automatically send you an Email any time you check the box to send Email for any replies to the thread you post on.  I automatically receive an Email for any posts on the forum.

Advantages to using the forum
First, it's a great learning tool and everyone can learn from everyone else.  You may learn a lot by just randomly reading interesting posts on the forum.

Second, it's possible that someone else may answer your questions before I even read the post.  Also, others may share how they utilize A1-Law in that situation.  I don't think people yet realize the true value of the support forum.  For more information, see the Support Forum.

Third, you may click the Search hyperlink at the forum and search for a "key word."  Since your question may have already been posted and asked by someone else on the forum, you may be able to immediately find the answer to your question rather than have to wait for an answer.

Newsletter Back Issues
Looking for some back issues?  You'll find them on our web site at http://www.appellsoftware.com. They have also been included in the help file in Version 4.00 up to November 2001.

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?

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

Until next time, have a great month and have great safe and happy New Year.