Your legal practice runs on rules, and we think your calendar should too. In fact, we want you to feel so secure and organized that we developed an intelligent, automated calendar that notifies you of any changes, deadlines, and helps you focus throughout the case lifecycle. So, we asked Zohra to teach you about our rules in this week’s Free Training Fridays.

 

 

Video Transcription

Hello everyone and thank you for joining today! My name is Zohra Ghanimat and I am a sales engineer at AbacusNext. Today we are going to go over Abacus Court Rules for AbacusLaw. Before we begin here are some housekeeping notes: feel free to ask questions throughout the webinar and I will answer them in the order that they were received. Again, this is going to be a live, 15-minute webinar followed by 15-minute Q&A. Thank you so much for joining me today!

I am going to go live and bring up the AbacusLaw case manager software. So, Rules are basically a timeline of the latest generic events. Rules can be reused to schedule a series of related events automatically. Using a rule, the user can schedule a single trigger event, and AbacusLaw will automatically schedule the other related events in the series. Not only can users save time, but also all the dates are accurately calculated, and the user can get automatic recalculation of any rules if a date changes.

Some of the benefits of Abacus Court Rules for AbacusLaw are that the rules are seamlessly integrated with your case management software. This ensures that the user is focused throughout the case lifecycle while eliminating mistakes and user errors. The system automatically schedules those rules, and since it integrates with Microsoft Outlook, you will be able to see reminders, appointments, and tasks in your Microsoft Outlook.

It doesn’t matter if you're working from home, or you're outside of the office, you will get that peace of mind that your Microsoft Outlook calendar is integrated with all of your information. Also, since you will have access to your calendar no matter where you are, the Rules set is always up-to-date. It also doesn’t matter if you’re looking at federal, state, or local rules – we make sure they are updated when you need them.

And whenever there are updates, we will notify you. In fact, we generally notify you of any updates on Wednesdays (just make sure you haven’t opted out of our emails and you won’t get them!)

Abacus also provides customization tools that are built in as part of your Rules feature. So not only you can get the court rules that we provide, but you also have the customization tools so you can always go into the program and create your own set of casework law rules.

I'll go ahead and show you what that looks like. So in order to access your Database (it's under Setup) File>Setup>Rules. Here is your Rules Database.

This database is visible to all staff members in your law firm. The package you get is based on your specific state and federal or local rule set. It is all stored in your Rules Database, so you can come in at any time and view and modify them. You have all the tools as an administrator. Also, the Customization Tool is on the right-hand side.

If you want to create your own set of casework rules for new cases that you are bringing in, such as this one I have created as a sample, go to New Case Rule and click Add to add a new rule. And then, as you can see here, you can Add Reminders. In this example, I have a total of 19 reminders, and I can add an additional one if I like to. Once you add a new rule you can give it a simple description (for example: what the reminder is about,) and the number of days that the system should alert you (for example, remind me for 15 calendar days in a row). You can definitely make it dependent on other events.

You also have the reporting tools to generate reports at any time to capture revenue, and Abacus provides you that under File>Reports, and then you can run a report on your AbacusLaw events calendar because the rules-based calendaring is tied to the larger calendaring system. So, you'll be able to see those upcoming reminders and events that you have scheduled using the rules-based calendaring on the right-hand side, as for as it's going to be synchronized with your Outlook, so you can see it there as well.

When you're scheduling a rule on your calendar you can Right Click on the screen, and then you can Click Add Events From A Rule. Here, Abacus automatically pulls up your list of rule sets. So let's say I am scheduling arbitration hearings. I can Select Rule Set, and then I have all the rule sets for the state of California. I can give the starting point. I can also Assign It Using A Who Code. Who Codes gives which user at your law firm you want to assign this appointment event to. So, I can choose to schedule it for all the staff members in my law firm, or I can individually go in and select the users, the group of users that you want to schedule this for.

As you can see it's now asking me to tie this event to a contact, and as well as to a case. So as you can see here it automatically calculates it, and I do have another option here. If I want the system to give me pop-up alarm windows as a reminder, and text messages, or as an email reminder. Abacus does have the ability to give you additional alarms and reminders. You can also capture your time. So the benefit of having had Abacus Court Rules for AbacusLaw is not only you will get those alerts and reminders, and it ensures that users are focused throughout the case life cycle, it also allows you to capture your billable time. As you're entering, you can capture your time and you can mark it as a bill. Once you mark it Associated Bill, and then it's going to capture your time on the billing and accounting module automatically.

So as soon as I click "Save," it automatically schedules it. It's giving me a pop-up: "You're scheduling an event that is associated with a rule. Are you sure you want to continue?" I want to say "yes." And then this screen is giving me a list of, a previous of everything that Abacus scheduled. So these are a total of 19 events. It shows me specifically which day and time it falls under, as well as it shows whose calendar it will fall under.

I have the ability to edit before I Click Done. Or if I want to delete some of these events I can do that right now. But as soon as I click "done," it will automatically put it on my calendar. Also, Abacus makes sure that if those events and reminders fall on a holiday, they've got the system preferences where it gives the user a pop-up to automatically reschedule it if it falls on a weekend or on a holiday. So the system takes care of that for you.

Okay, so this wraps up our Abacus Court Rules for AbacusLaw demonstration, so I will go into our Q and A session and then I will also, you know, just go ahead at this time. If you have more questions, feel free to chat me those and I'll be happy to answer them.

Q & A

Which rule sets are available right now, in AbacusLaw as well as Amicus?

For both our case management software, for AbacusLaw as well as with Amicus, we do provide the same set of rules, and those rule sets are currently on our website. So, if you went to Abacusnext.com and then click on AbacusLaw Rules you'll be able to see a set of, the available sets of rules that we are providing. And they're currently developing more rule sets for different states.

Is there a limit on the number of events that I can add to a rule set? If I add a new event and add that in my database, is there any limitation in the number of events?

You can add as many reminders, as many appointments under this section that I'm showing you on the screen. There's no limit.

Can I run a report to get a list of my upcoming hearings?

Absolutely, yes. So Abacus provides you a free set of templates that you can run, and you can apply filters. So for example, here under File>Report>Click On Events Calendar, I can Click On Events Calendar, and then I can select from the calendaring format that Abacus provides. Abacus provides block reports, column reports, as well as other formats of reports. All I have to do is just select the report and then "apply query," which is filters. And that filter you can specify as "I want to run this report by this specific interval for this user, and as well as all upcoming hearings." You can definitely do that. As an output, you can print it out, you can send it to yourself as an email, you can export it to different files.

Will everyone in my firm have access to the court rules that I am purchasing?

Yes. Absolutely. And those are under File>Setup>Rules. And all the rules that you purchased will all be here. And all the users, every single user that will have access to Abacus will be able to access the rule sets.

How often does Abacus update their, these rule sets?

The rule sets are updated whenever they are, the rule sets are updated by the court system, we get a notification a month in advance, and then we go and update the rule sets. And then whenever they're available an administrator in Abacus will get alerted. Also our marketing team sends notifications via email to let the users know that their rule sets have been updated. So we update those whenever there are updates available by the court system. 

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