[teknoids] Amicus Attorney vs. Time Matters vs. ?

Robert Larmon rlarmon at law.usc.edu
Tue Apr 25 17:42:08 EDT 2006

Hey Andy, Thanks for the info.

Amicus is fairly inexpensive yearly ($1000 for software and support) but I
don’t know how much Time Matters would cost.  I’m a little disinclined to
investigate Time Matters only because when Lexis or West grab a company they
don’t seem to do much with it.

Amicus has had some legacy issues which is why we're looking into
alternatives.  We're also looking at building a system that does a backup in
realtime or as close as possible.  In case of a RAID-memory failure, which
we had last week, it caused about a 2 hour data gap from the last backup
during our clinics' busiest time of year.  Hopefully Amicus moving to SQL
will help with that.

Robert Larmon
Assistant Director for Network Services
USC Law School
rlarmon at law.usc.edu
From: teknoids-bounces at ruckus.law.cornell.edu
[mailto:teknoids-bounces at ruckus.law.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Adkins
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 1:37 PM
To: teknoids at ruckus.law.cornell.edu
Subject: Re: [teknoids] Amicus Attorney vs. Time Matters vs. ?

Here's my 3 ½ cents worth.
I've worked as a consultant to the legal profession for about 16 years; only
recently have I taken on a dual role as the Director of Technology here at
the law school. Most of my consulting gigs still focus on computerized case
management systems and I have plenty of clients who use these two systems
(as well as a plethora of others).
Amicus Attorney & TimeMatters are THE 2 most popular case management systems
for small firms. There are also several law schools that are using it in
their clinics.  Both should work equally well, depending upon the specific
requirements of the clinic.
Both provide the basic CMS functions: Contact database, Case database,
Diary/Notes (for both contacts and cases), Calendaring (including
integration with OutLook) with ticklers, Document Generation (including
integration with Word, WP, Hot Docs), and reporting. 
In a nutshell, Amicus Attorney is easier on the eyes (it uses a day timer
look) and if your users are not that computer savvy, will probably find it
easier to use. TimeMatters takes a more database look. But IMO, is more
"powerful" than Amicus, does more, and is more customizable.
Without getting too specific, Amicus Attorney allows some customization on
the data input screens, the tickler (part of the rules-based calendar), the
documents (boilerplate templates), and reports. However, TimeMatters has
more customizable features, allowing you to customize more of the screens
(for example, Criminal Clinic will have different data input screens than
Family Law Clinic). 
The biggest problem with either of these systems within a law school is
maintenance and support. Who within the law school will install, integrate
and maintain the system? Keep in mind that faculty and clinic staff will
remain the same, but the students will change every semester/year; someone
will need to do the training on the system for the new users. Software
maintenance usually includes software updates/patches, but may also include
some customization. 
Now, having said all that...
Amicus Attorney is still owned and maintained by Gavel & Gown, a Canadian
company, the original developer. 
TimeMatters was recently purchased by Lexis-Nexis. So TimeMatters has gone
from a small company into the large corporate environment; everything
changes when you move to this environment, including support, training,
maintenance, etc. 
Don't know if I've helped or made things worse, but if I was looking at
these for my law school, I'd focus on what the end user wants first, then
how the law school would support it second. If the law school wants to
install this type of system, then it needs to make sure there is support
available for it at the IT level. Either one will work. 
Andrew Z. Adkins III
Director, Legal Technology Institute
Associate Director, Technology Services
University of Florida Levin College of Law
P.O. Box 117644 | Gainesville, FL 32611-7644
(v) 352-273-0765 | (f) 352-392-3005
adkins at law.ufl.edu | www.law.ufl.edu/lti

>>> rlarmon at law.usc.edu 4/24/2006 6:08:43 PM >>>
Dear Teknoids,

Has anyone used both?  Any preferences?  Any other product that does the
same thing but better?

We will be evaluating Amicus 7 just out, but our faculty have heard some
good things about Time Matters.  Any feedback would be very helpful.  


Robert Larmon
Assistant Director for Network Services
USC Law School
rlarmon at law.usc.edu

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