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There are many different ways to record time spent in and out of the law office — on clients, on firm administration, on pro bono, on continuing legal education or whatever else is appropriate — but if there is one principle to which all law-office-management experts seem to subscribe, it is that it is vital to record that time. Timeslips has, for years, been one of the most popular programs used for recording law-office time, but it clearly works better if you spend most of your practice time in your office, rather than in the library or hearings or client offices. TimeReporter for Timeslips Deluxe is a program for the Palm and work-alike handhelds that lets you record your time, as you are spending it, wherever you happen to be. INSTALLATION TimeReporter for Timeslips Deluxe Version 9 or 10 comes on a CD-ROM for your main computer. After installation, the program leaves about 900 kilobytes of program files, including the 148 kilobyte application that loads into the Palm and the Conduit program that handles data synchronization. After installation, we placed our Palm III into its cradle and pressed the HotSync button. (The program claims to work with almost any version of the Palm even an early Pilot 1000 with the one megabyte upgrade.) The HotSync routine proceeded as usual and loaded the TimeReporter. The next time we HotSynced, the TimeReporter Conduit downloaded the client list, matter list, time-activity list and expense-category list from our Timeslips 10 database to the Palm. RECORDING TIME AND EXPENSES After clearing the HotSync display, we clicked on the TR4TS icon to launch TimeReporter. The Palm opened to a screen which, we discovered, could be used to display time or expenses slips previously entered into the Palm. As we had yet to enter anything, we could only note control lists enabling the user to filter and sort existing slips by date, client and type. We tapped the “new” button, selected “time” and could review a new time-entry slip. Task, client and reference lines came with dropdown menus showing all of the items on our task, client and reference lists, respectively. To get to the correct entry in a long list, we entered the first few letters of the entry we wanted, and the TimeReporter list began with that entry. It was easy to start a stopwatch for the time entry, just as we did on our desktop machine, as we entered the description of the work performed. As the time passed, the program displayed a time line reflecting the elapsed time. The stopwatch continued running even if the Palm switched off because of inactivity. If we terminated TimeReporter to run a different program, TimeReporter asked if we wanted to turn off the stopwatch or whether we wanted it to continue to run. It was also possible to enter time directly, without using the stopwatch, although the TimeMap feature doesn’t work very well in that case. Billing-rate information is apparently not a part of the TimeReporter database, so the program does not show the billable value of the time spent. The expense slip works much like the time slip, but because the user can enter both item cost and number of items (12 paperclips at $2 each), the program can compute a $24 “value.” When you complete a time or expense slip, the program brings you back to the main screen, displaying a one-line representation of the new and all prior slips. Tap on the line for a particular slip, and you move to that slip, for editing purposes. The next time you HotSync your Palm, in addition to the other data transfer the Palm and desktop have transferred in the past, the TimeReporter Conduit uploads time and expense slips on the Palm to the Timeslips Deluxe database on the desktop computer. The Conduit gives an option of downloading a new set of client, matter and task information so the Palm will have the latest information. If you have entered a client, matter or task type that is not contained in the main Timeslips database, the Conduit leaves it on the Palm. After our first real HotSync, we launched Timeslips 10 on our desktop machine, and all of the times that had been on our Palm were now on our desktop machine. The time entries now had time rates, attached, selected in according to the rate rules set up for the particular client, timekeeper and task. We found we had to clean up some of the description information — spelling things correctly on the Palm is sometimes more difficult than on a desktop — but otherwise, the slips were ready to bill. CONSIDERATIONS We found it very convenient to take our time and expense entry computer with us both in and out of the office; you just cannot run a stopwatch while moving from a court appearance to a closing to a deposition unless you have the computer with you. The price is reasonable; Iambic’s upgrade policy charging a sixth of the full price for the upgrade is fair. If you’ve learned to depend on your Palm for calendar, contacts and the latest news, you’ll find TimeReporter an excellent match. COOL JOINTS We’re not in the personal injury business but have occasionally written about computer products used to help lawyers, juries and judges visualize what goes on when a body part runs into trouble. More than a decade ago we spoke of BodyWorks, which illustrated various systems of the human body, in beautiful, if low-resolution, color. Four years ago we reported on Clark Boardman Callaghan’s Attorneys Medical Advantage, clearly a step up from BodyWorks, and specifically designed for the “evaluation, preparation and presentation of medical issues.” We were blown away, however, with the electronic renderings of the nerves, muscles and ligaments surrounding various joints of the body presented by Primal Pictures Ltd.’s human anatomy series, all computer-generated from tightly controlled MRI scans. After spending some time with a couple of the CDs in the series, we have a much better understanding of what is involved with carpal tunnel problems and exactly what went wrong with Kerry Wood’s shoulder. The programs installed automatically from the CD-ROM but had the irritating habit of insisting on installing Windows Media Player, no matter how many times it had been installed before. The Interactive Hand, and presumably all of the series, requires a relatively modest, by today’s standards, 800 x 600 256-color display and Pentium processor. The program draws data from the CD-ROM as it runs. Most striking is the three-dimensional model, which may be rotated and stripped of skin and supporting members and can also be represented as a cross-section MRI view, when desired. A linked text display explains what is being viewed at any given time. Images can be exported to a built-in, customized slide show. The programs come with built-in quizzes and can be used for medical education, but a lawyer will use the programs both to develop his own understanding of joint problems being litigated and to develop a presentation to help education a client or a trier of fact. The series currently includes the aforementioned shoulder and hand discs, and foot and ankle, knee and hip, as well, at $250 each. (Ask for discounts when you order.) The material we received speaks of a $300 per trial royalty, but there is no specific license agreement requiring payment of such a fee. The programs are easy to set up and use; we think that anyone interested in exactly what goes on in one of the joints covered would find the series well worth the time and expense required to use them. SUMMARY AND DETAILS � TimeReporter for Timeslips Deluxe makes it very convenient for confirmed Palm users to enter time and expenses into their Timeslips database, whether in or out of the office. TimeReporter for Timeslips Deluxe. Requires IBM PC running Microsoft Windows 95/98/2000 or Windows NT 4.0, with three megabytes of hard-disk space, Palm III to Palm VII or work-alike down to Pilot 1000 with one megabyte upgrade. Price: $119.95. Upgrade from versions for earlier versions of Timeslips, $19.95. Iambic Software, 12 South First St., San Jose, Calif. 95113. Phone: 800-730-5370. Fax: 408-367-1606. Web: www.iambic.com. E-mail: [email protected] � Primal Pictures’ Interactive Joint series present vivid representations of various joints of the body, for any lawyer who seeks either to learn or to teach a jury about how the various joints work or don’t work. Interactive Hand 2000, Interactive Shoulder. Price: $250. Royalties required for use at trial. Requires IBM PC or compatible with Pentium Processor running Microsoft Windows 95/98/2000 or Windows NT 4.0, 256-color, 800 x 600 display, CD-ROM. Primal Pictures Ltd, Tennyson House, 159-163 Great Portland St., London, W1N 5FD, UK. Phone: +44 (0)20 7637 1010. Fax: +44 (0)20 7636 7776. Web: www.primalpictures.com. E-mail: [email protected] Barry D. Bayer practices law and writes about computers from his office in Homewood, Ill. You may send comments or questions to his new e-mail address [email protected] or write c/o Law Office Technology Review, P.O. Box 2577, Homewood, Ill. 60430.

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