We have used Amicus Attorney for years. I have always loved the awesome graphics of the program, and the potential it carries. I have always loathed the technical support, and the dubious upgrade process. In my mind Gavel & Gown software, the vendor of Amicus Attorney, has a nasty habit of releasing annual upgrades with only modest little tweaks, then discontinuing reasonable support for earlier iterations of the software. They have also in the last year or two introduced a completely ridiculous annual maintenance plan. They release buggy software, then you have no choice but to spend hundreds of dollars for a support agreement. This strategy is even more offensive in that new product upgrades come with no support! Even if you pay several thousands of dollars to upgrade, you then have to pack on hundreds of dollars more to get the new software to work! That is why I have version 2008 running, even though there is a version 2009, and a version 2010.
I have put up with this shoddy way of doing business for years because of the overwhelming thought of converting to a different system. However, Gavel & Gown has finally crossed the line. We use AA in conjunction with a court rules calendaring program from Compulaw. In the first week in November I received an e-mail from Gavel & Gown that there were going to be problems with the Compulaw add-on because of changes that the Federal Courts have made regarding how dates will be calculated. The theme of the message was "stay tuned." This is important because date and rules calendaring is one of the main reasons we use case management software.
That stay-tune message came about ten days later when I got a letter from Gavel & Gown. That letter explained that date and rules calendaring in any pre-2010 version of Amicus would not work after November 30, 2009, and the only solution would be to purchase the 2010 version. Absolute Piracy! Here's a flip of the proverbial bird at you Gavel & Gown.
Last week I plunked down more than $6000 to purchase an entire new software system from Abacus Law. The software is installed, and we are now waiting for the vendor to schedule our data conversion from Amicus to Abacus. I know that is going to be a challenging and frustrating exercise, but we really have no choice. Gavel & Gown has painted us into a corner, and now we have to work our way out.
Thank you for visiting the Family Law Lawyer Tech & Practice blog. My name is John Harding. I am a family law lawyer practicing in Northern California. Long ago I realized that I could practice law more effectively and more efficiently (i.e., better and easier) by availing myself of the technological tools that are out there. I also learned that a successful law practice requires successful marketing. Hardware and software working together make me a better lawyer, and make my life easier. Marketing helps to bring in the business necessary for professional survival. By this blog I hope to share the tips, tricks, and technology that I have learned about so that others may benefit!