Archive for Amicus

Amicus Attorney Software Changes – Updated

A few months ago Gavel & Gown, the maker of Amicus Attorney software was acquired by the owners of Abacus. At that time things continued as they had been, with the exception of Ron Collins at the helm of Gavel & Gown. Now big changes have been announced. You should be getting formal notification but here are the high level changes.

Amicus Attorney Small Firm and Credenza software are being discontinued. This is not a big surprise as Gavel & Gown had been encouraging users to move to Amicus Cloud or upgrade to Amicus Attorney Premium, and development on these products had slowed in recent years. If you are using either product, please contact us for a no obligation discussion of your options. For 30 days, free migration is being offered to Small Firm customers. The 30 days is effective starting today (August 12). For users of Credenza, 60 days after your August 2016 renewal date the data will become read only.

For users of Amicus Attorney Premium edition the announcement is that, effective immediately, Amicus Attorney Premium edition will only be available on a subscription basis. This means if you want to upgrade, or add licenses to your current version, you must move to the subscription basis. The subscription version will include Amicus Advantage support and Amicus Anywhere access. Users of Amicus Attorney Premium with a subscription for 10 or less users will be able to run on their own on premises server. Larger firms will need to run on Abacus Private Cloud.  We are happy to speak with you about how these change will impact your firm and to provide pricing.

This  announcement is new and information is still developing. Please call Caren at 203-254-7736 for specifics on how it impacts you.

Amicus Attorney “merges” with Abacus

You may have seen the article about the merger of Abacus and Amicus. We have been told that it will have no impact on the Amicus Attorney products at this time. If you would like to discuss the announcement, please contact me and I will be happy to have a no cost discussion about your specific situation.
If you would like to read the full announcement, please go to http://www.abacuslaw.com/resources/blog/abacus-data-systems-and-amicus-attorney-join-forces-transform-practice-automation

Amicus Attorney 2016 Premium Released

Gavel & Gown has released Amicus Attorney Premium 2016. We expect a new release for Amicus Attorney Small Firm to follow in the near future.
Premium 2016 has a host of great new features that customers have been asking for. Users will benefit from expanded document management whose power is significantly greater thanks to being integrated with their practice management solution, as opposed to stand-alone tools. Version control and document previews are just some of its new features. The ultra-secure Amicus Client Portal now offers more extensive means for client collaboration, with unlimited custom fields allowing easy matter opening, data collection and sharing of any information that is appropriate to the client’s case. The billing component of Amicus Premium also received a number of enhancements refining its capabilities and further streamlining billing process making them effortless and highly intuitive. There are many more features as well.
If you would like more information on Amicus Premium 2016 please contact us or visit the website at www.amicusattorney.com.
If you are thinking of upgrading, we will help you get the right solution at the best price.

Should I switch from Amicus Small Firm?

If you are currently using Amicus Small Firm edition perhaps it is time to think about a change. I am not suggesting you get rid of Amicus! What I am suggesting is a platform change.
Gavel & Gown has three practice management offerings – Amicus Small Firm, Amicus Premium and Amicus Cloud. While support for Amicus Small Firm is not going away, it’s not getting much in the way of new features and functions. All of that is going to Amicus Cloud and Amicus Premium.

So first you should decide if the time to move to the cloud is now. The transition from Amicus Small Firm to Amicus Cloud is relatively easy. In addition to the features you know and love you will get billing, exchange integration, much improved precedents and powerful document assembly capability. Plus with Amicus Cloud you never have to worry about backups or upgrades, they are all taken care of in a secure environment.

But not everyone wants to go cloud. For those who prefer to stay on the desktop you should look at Amicus Premium. Amicus Premium offers improved communication internally and externally. First there’s the client portal. This offers secure document sharing with your clients. If you are currently using Dropbox or a similar service to share you might want to read the license agreement. Client portal is easy to use and portrays the professional image your firm wants their clients to see. If you do want to keep using Dropbox, Amicus Premium offers integration.

Amicus Premium also offers improved integration with Exchange so that your calendar and contacts are always in sync with your devices. There is also an option for automatic synchronization of calendar and contacts with Google.

Granular security insures that everyone can do their job but data is protected where appropriate. You can keep users from seeing data they shouldn’t see or changing data.
With AmicusAnywhere (part of Amicus Premium with a maintenance plan) you have access to most of your data from anywhere that you have Internet access. This gives you cloud capabilities while maintaining the desktop environment. You can also easily enter your time from anywhere you have Internet access with AmicusTimeTracker. No more excuse for forgetting the time. But just in case, there’s Time capture to review what you’ve done that has not yet been billed.

Amicus Premium offers unlimited custom fields. Because it is SQL based you can use SQL Reporting Services to create all kinds of reports. There’s also Amicus Premium Billing for tightly integrated billing and integration with QuickBooks.

You’ll be pleased by how comfortable you will be in Amicus Premium. It is the same structure and approach to practice management as the Small Firm Edition, with a similar workflow and interface. There’s also a cleaner, more modern interface available.

If you’re thinking it’s time for an upgrade we can help you decide what’s right for you and thenhelp you get there.

Note: AmicusAnywhere, TimeTracker and Client Portal require an active maintenance plan.

Do you need a Client Portal?

What is a client portal and why do you care? Is is worth upgrading your software for this feature?

Read our article in the Intuitive Accountant “Client Portals are the rage, but are they right for you?

Synching with Google

Do you sync an application like Amicus Attorney with Google? Gavel & Gown published the following information today regarding the link. This impacts anyone who syncs Amicus Attorney calendars and contacts with Google. it may also impact those who sync other applications with Google. Thank you to Gavel & Gown for the pro-active information. If this impacts you, please work with your consultant or your software vendor to determine how to proceed.

THIS MESSAGE IS IMPORTANT TO ALL THOSE WHO SYNCHRONIZE THEIR GOOGLE CALENDAR WITH AMICUS ATTORNEY PREMIUM.

The Google Calendar synchronization with Amicus Attorney Premium has been interrupted by Google cutting off the “API” that it uses. The synchronization of Calendar items between Amicus and Google stopped functioning on November 17, 2014.

What’s an API? An “API” is a programming term meaning a set of routines, protocols and tools used in software to control operations, connections, etc. Software companies release their API publicly so other software developers can design their own products to use those APIs in connecting to their software. Most APIs are maintained for many years for purposes of backward compatibility, but Google has initiated a “deprecation policy” whereby its APIs are completely replaced, apparently annually on a go-forward basis.

What does this mean to you if you currently use the Google Calendar sync feature in Amicus? You should not rely on your Google and Amicus Calendars being automatically synchronized for any items entered on or after November 17th, 2014. Appointments entered or changed in Amicus will not be reflected in Google, and vice versa. This also means that any appointments entered into Google through a smartphone or tablet after the 17th will not be reflected in Amicus.

What are my alternatives for Calendar synchronization? Amicus Attorney Premium features a Contacts and Calendar link with Microsoft Outlook on your desktop. You may be able to connect your Outlook to Google, and Amicus to Outlook (see below), and then maintain a connection, as Amicus would then be connecting to Google through Outlook. Alternatively, you may consider switching from Google to Microsoft Exchange, which in our opinion provides a superior experience in virtually all respects. Amicus Attorney Premium 2014 has a superb and reliable link with Exchange.

(If you use Google Apps for Work, Education or Government you may be able to synchronize your Google Contacts and Calendar items with Microsoft Outlook using Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook. For more information see https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gappssync. Note Google has not indicated how long it will support the Google Apps Sync for those customers and this sync is no longer supported for other customers.)

If you do not wish to use Outlook or Exchange synchronization, then in the short term calendar items must be entered separately and manually in Google and Amicus.

Is the synchronization of Google Contacts affected right now as well? No. But Google’s deprecation policy will affect the synchronization routines of your Google Contacts after April 2015.

Is Amicus the only product having this issue? No – almost everyone is. Practice management software companies and others synching with Google Calendar are alerting their customers and scrambling to make changes to adapt to what has happened.

When will Amicus Attorney Premium be able to connect directly to Google again? The changes Google has imposed are significant and will require major development effort. Amicus Attorney Premium 2015 will support the new Google APIs for both Calendar and Contacts. This will be available in a matter of weeks – early January 2015.

Google’s decision to adopt a one-year policy for the life-span of some of its APIs leaves us as a software developer in a difficult position. We will maintain support for synchronizing Google Contacts and Calendar with each new release of Amicus Attorney Premium. If you rely on Google Calendar or Contacts and want them synchronized with Amicus, your best option going forward will be a maintenance subscription, so that you can always have the latest version of Amicus using the newest Google APIs.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We would be happy to discuss with you more details of what Google has done – just call Amicus Support at 1-800-472-2289.