October 2010

New York State Bar Family Law Seminar Follow-Up

Easy Soft had a chance to exhibit our EzSupport- NY software on Friday October 22nd, at the New York State Bar seminar in Long Island.

The seminar filled every seat in the house, where family law attorneys gathered to analyze and discuss the changes in New York Domestic Relations law

Effective October 12, 2010, New York residents can file for no-fault divorce. The new legislation resulted in many new forms attorneys now have to prepare for no-fault divorces, such as the new Temporary Spousal Maintenance and other updated divorce forms.

To address the changes in the law and help New York family law firms automate preparation of required paperwork, Easy Soft has updated EzSupport-NY. We learned from talking with attorneys at the seminar that EzSupport-NY is a welcome solution for dealing with the new paperwork and simplifying their divorce practices.

Rick, Vice President, at Easy Soft LLC, had a chance to share his thoughts with visitors at Easy Soft’s exhibitor table. Rick explained, “One common failing is that many firms select a product without adequately analyzing the requirements for their family practice.” He outlined examples where law firms automate part of their work with one software program, part with another and handle other aspects manually, and end up complicating their practice management instead of helping it.

We are pleased to report that the many attorneys and paralegal’s who have seen an EzSupport-NY demonstration or have used the program were impressed with the robust, easy to use interface and are anxiously awaiting the program’s upcoming release of the New York Net Worth Statement and other divorce forms.

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Top 10 Legal Billing Pitfalls – Mistake # 1 That You Can Avoid

Pitfall # 1 – Data Integrity and Security

Finally, the most common and the most dangerous legal billing pitfall —failure to protect data integrity and implement secure measures.

Law firms generally aren’t tech savvy. In small to medium-sized firms, it’s common to find a hodge-podge of bookkeeping procedures. No matter how your legal billing is setup, the biggest threats to your system are data integrity and security. At a minimum, you must ensure that:

  • Billing software requires password protected logins to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Your software allows you to customize user permissions to limit access to different aspects of your billing operations.
  • Your firm performs comprehensive data back-up daily.

Many firms do back-up data routinely, only to find out later that they were not backing up all the files they really needed. Keep your file structure organized. Perform back-ups daily and test your back-ups periodically by “retrieving” the data and checking to see that you have all the critical files.

Find out more about Easy TimeBill, software designed to help you avoid all the top ten legal billing pitfalls. Download a free trial today.

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Easy Soft at 2010 New York State Bar Seminar, Uniondale, NY, Long Island

Friday, October 22, 2010 – New York State Bar Seminar, Uniondale, NY, Long Island Marriott from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Legal software developer Easy Soft will exhibit EzSupport NY, a comprehensive program that automates New York divorce paperwork preparation, such as Temporary Spousal Support Worksheet, Statement of Net Worth and more.

New York State Bar Seminar: Matrimonial Law: New Legislation, Counsel Fees, Relocation & Ethics in Uniondale, NY

The seminar is co-sponsored by the Family Law Section. An expert panel will review and analyze the new legislation that

  1. Allows “no fault” divorce
  2. Changes the procedure for setting awards of temporary maintenance while a divorce is pending
  3. Creates a presumption that a less moneyed spouse in a divorce case is entitled to payment of attorneys’ fees
  4. Makes changes pertaining to issuance of orders of protection
  5. Changes to the law regarding child support modification. The panel will discuss how the new laws will change your practice. Get details at NYSB

Location:

Long Island Marriott

101 James Doolittle Boulevard

Uniondale, NY 11553

(516) 794-3800

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New York’s New Temporary Maintenance Worksheet

A Solution for Family Law Attorneys

With the recent changes in New York Domestic Relations Law, effective October 12, 2010, determining temporary spousal maintenance is no longer a guessing game. Divorce attorneys now need to prepare a five-page worksheet (eight pages with instructions) that determines which spouse would pay maintenance and temporary maintenance amount the court is being asked to award.

New York’s Temporary maintenance formula itself is not too complicated and is based on a party’s net income (limited to $500,000/year). However, attorneys must exercise care in calculating net income (gross income less deductions). You will need to account for all income and deductions allowed, otherwise you are likely to arrive at an incorrect amount for net income, and hence the wrong temporary maintenance award.

Occasional users can fill in the required worksheets from court website

To help New York family law attorneys who regularly handle divorces, Easy Soft has developed EzSupport-NY,a practice specific product that automates important aspects of New York divorce paperwork preparation, such as:

  • Automatic calculations and generation of the new temporary maintenance guidelines worksheet
  • New York Statement of Net Worth
  • Child support worksheets and common state specified divorce forms
  • Correspondence and other matrimonial litigation documents

EzSupport-NY is ready today. Find out how the program can increase your divorce practice productivity. Download software trial now.

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Top 10 Legal Billing Pitfalls – Mistake # 2 That You Can Avoid

Pitfall # 2 – Losing Track of Trust Funds

Law firms often select a billing system without adequately analyzing their trust bookkeeping requirements. While attorneys understand the importance of complying with stringent trust account bookkeeping rules, they frequently don’t grasp that many billing and trust activities function like a bicycle built for two.

A standard practice for most law firms is collecting client payments in advance (retainers) for legal services. Depending on the nature of your cases, types of fees and relevant state laws, retainers might be deposited in a firm’s operating account or in a trust account.

As you weigh the advantages of an integrated billing & trust accounting system, do not forget that it’s not enough for the system to track retainer funds in trust accounts. Trust funds are strictly client funds that follow special accounting rules. Thus, the billing-trust accounting system must also provide required trust bookkeeping safeguards.

Trust accounting is a fundamentally different bookkeeping concept that must support monthly bank statement reconciliation, produce three-way reconciliation statements, general ledger balances with details about the portion of funds that have cleared/not cleared the bank, prevent common trust bookkeeping mistakes such as, co-mingling with other ledger cards, duplicate check numbers, etc.

If your legal billing and trust accounting software are integrated, you will notice a significant increase in operating efficiency and you can avoid Pitfall # 2.

Download and try Easy TimeBill. Add the optional Easy Trust module for seamless integration and manage all aspects of your time tracking, billing and trust accounting in one easy to use program. No need for a separate installation.

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Updated Real Estate Documents Library

Preparing documents for a residential real estate closing follows a similar process from one closing to another. Law firms that use Easy HUD significantly improve their closing process workflow, when they integrate a Real Estate Documents module with Easy HUD.

It gets better. Easy Soft just updated our Real Estate Documents library, which now includes over 200 high quality forms. The new version of the Real Estate Documents module makes generation of real estate documents such as letters, deeds, affidavit of titles, state documents, title documents a breeze. Using a common set of data in the software, the HUD settlement statement and other closing documents are all readily available in final form.

Technology is a real boon to fixed price legal services. With added RESPA complexities, it has never been a better time for real estate lawyers to focus on efficiency and automation of repetitive tasks.

Put technology to work for your firm. Attend Total Real Estate Closing Automation, a webinar for law firms – Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT Offered only three to four times per year, the webinar is normally priced at $99 per attendee. Enroll today and attend free!

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