Legalmaster Webinar: Retainer Accounting and Split Billing

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018, 11am Pacific time

These are two features (among many others, of course) at which Legalmaster particularly excels.

If you receive money from clients prior to performing your services, you should take advantage of Legalmaster's Retainer Accounting features. They provide much better reporting and cleaner looking bills than unapplied over-payments.

One splits a bill if more than one client is paying a share of your fees and costs on a matter. While it's very common in insurance defense practices, it occurs elsewhere, as well. Legalmaster's split billing feature lets you enter your fees and costs once, but creates separate statements for each client who is to receive a bill and maintains a separate receivable account for each of them.

Please contact us if you would like to attend. The class will last an hour or a bit over. Our fee is $77.50 per connecting workstation.


Legalmaster'77 was released on May 2nd, 2017.

Here is a list of most, but certainly not all, of the enhancements. We highlighted in red the ones we think are particularly cool. Some items appear in more than one category. We tried to give credit to whoever suggested the feature; please forgive any omissions. Call or e-mail if you'd like to know the upgrade fee for your configuration of Legalmaster modules.

Account Status Screens



Transaction entry






Matter entry screen





We released Legalmaster'76 on July 11th, 2016. Below is a list of most of our enhancements. If we remembered who suggested a change, we indicated his or her name and firm in parentheses. Please accept our apologies if we omitted you.

Account Status screens

Transaction entry





Electronic billing


Help file


July 30, 2015

We will be shipping Legalmaster'75 beginning August 17th, 2015. Here is a list of most of our enhancements. If we remembered who suggested a change, we indicated your name and firm in parentheses. Please accept our apologies if we omitted you.

You may upgrade from any earlier Windows version of Legalmaster to Legalmaster'75 in about 10 minutes. You do not have to convert any data.

Main menu screen


Account status screens

Transaction entry/alter

Posting to History

Remote Transaction Data Entry

Table of Employee Billing Rates

Revenue Allocation MIRC


Case Entry

Conflict of Interest

Electronic Billing


September 4, 2014

We will be shipping Legalmaster'74 beginning September 15th, 2014. Below is a list of most of the significant enhancements. Those of you who we think suggested a feature are indicated in parentheses. We apologize to any of you we omitted.

You may upgrade from any earlier Windows version of Legalmaster to Legalmaster'74 in about 8 minutes. You do not have to convert any data.

The Stacker


Client entry

Matter entry

Transaction entry

Billing Generator

Remote Data Entry

Electronic Billing

Delphi Rewrites


March 8, 2013

We are delighted to announce the release of Legalmaster'73. Here is a list of many, though not all, of our new features. If we remembered who suggested an enhancement, his or her and firm name are in parentheses at the end of the item description. Call or e-mail for clarification or for prices.


We think the most exciting changes to Legalmaster have to do with the production of billing statements. We spent almost four years working on this part.

Remote Transaction Data Entry

It's our guess that the Remote Transaction Data Entry module gets more use by our clients than any other part of Legalmaster. Thousands, of not tens of thousands, of transactions are entered every day. As a result, with so many users, many of them attorneys, we get lots of calls and e-mails with suggested enhancements.

Account Status screens

In the past few releases we have been trying to make the account status screens a one-stop shopping center for the billing process. In earlier versions we let you run the billing generator and print any statement for a matter.

Transaction Entry/Alter

Posting to and Unposting from History

MIRC (Management Information Report Control - Legalmaster's report writer)

Electronic Billing

Other stuff


October 15, 2010

We are pleased to announce the availability of Legalmaster'71. Below you will find a list of many of the new features. Call or e-mail for clarification or for prices.

You may upgrade from any earlier Windows version of Legalmaster to Legalmaster'71 in about 5 minutes. We require no conversion of data.

Account Status screens

Transaction Entry/Alter


Cases Entry

Conflict Searches

Remote Transaction Data Entry


October 14, 2009

Here is a list of many of the features we have added to Legalmaster'70 along with brief descriptions of how they might be useful to you. Call or e-mail for clarifications should you find these descriptions too terse or insufficiently limpid.

You may upgrade from any earlier Windows version of Legalmaster to Legalmaster'70 in about 5 minutes. We require no conversion of data. Call or e-mail for prices.

Transaction entry





Remote Import

Account Status

Electronic Billing


October 29, 2008

Here is a list of most of the features we have added to Legalmaster'69 along with brief descriptions of how they might be useful to you. Features which fall into more than one classification appear under each appropriate heading. Call or e-mail for clarifications should you find these descriptions too terse or insufficiently limpid.

You may upgrade from any earlier Windows version of Legalmaster to Legalmaster'69 in about 5 minutes. We require no conversion of data. Call or e-mail for prices.

Transaction entry

Client entry screen

Case (Matter) entry screen

Account Status screens

Statement Characteristics Table


Other reports

Billing Generator

Remote Transaction Data Entry

Generic Import

Employee table

Case management



Delinquent Account Tracking



November 5, 2007

Our newest Legalmaster rendition includes quite a few enhancements. Some are small changes that make Legalmaster easier to operate, others are much more profound. We will be adding more features over the next few months. Watch for e-mails.

Transaction entry

We have added six more options to the right click menu when you check multiple unbilled fees or costs.

1) Change all of their dates.
2) Change all of their employees.
3) Delete all of them.
4) Put them all or take them all off hold.
5) Copy them all to another matter.
6) When you move groups of fees, you have the option to have Legalmaster recalculate their billing rates.

When you move fees between two matters, Legalmaster supplies as a default the same client code for the matter you're moving to as the one you're moving from.

If you attempt to unbill an invoice to which current period credits (payments, adjustments and/or retainer transfers) have been applied, you are given the option to unapply automatically all such payments and delete the adjustments and retainer transfers in one fell swoop.

You may create installment cost transactions in a manner similar to the way you have been able to create installment fee transactions.

The alter audit trail is now written in Delphi.


We have added an option to revalue your currency. We have clients in Venezuela whose Bolivar is to be devalued by a factor of one thousand on January 1st, 2008.

Account Status Screens

You may apply unapplied cash directly from the account status screens.

You may unpost from history an invoice directly from the A/R Ledger card or open-item screen.

You may print a single invoice that shows all of its fees and costs as well as the payments, adjustments and retainer transfers that have been assigned to it. What results is the balance on that individual invoice.

Generic Import

If you import an activity code (an electronic billing concept) and that code has a corresponding description in the Activity Code table, Legalmaster inserts that description at the beginning of the transaction's description (following the task and activity codes, of course).


You may now import Legalmaster Conflicts data from any tab-delimited file, which means that you may import data from Excel.

With this addition, Legalmaster now lets you import client data, matter data, fee and cost transactions and conflicts data from Excel and many other databases. Converting to Legalmaster from other products has never been easier.

Delphi reports

We used two languages to write Legalmaster, Delphi (Borland's Windows development tool) and SBW (Super Basic for Windows). All of the screens are in Delphi and, at one time, all of the reports were in SBW. For a number of reasons, we have been rewriting all of the reports into Delphi. The advantages for you are greater speed, more fault tolerance and more flexibility. For example, reports written in Delphi automatically resize themselves to fit on your paper; if you print a report in landscape, as opposed to portrait, Legalmaster uses a larger font.

In our previous release, Legalmaster'67, we rewrote into Delphi MIRC for Cases, the Transaction Input Audit Trail and all three of the Ledger Card reports (A/R, Retainer and Trust). Now we have added MIRC for Transactions, Calendar MIRC, A/R Aging, A/R Balancing, WIP & A/R Summary, the Transaction Alter Audit Trail and Pre-bills.


After you export a batch, Legalmaster sets the default transaction date back to the system date.


You may print the data for just a single timekeeper in the Missing Time Report.

We have added a "totals only" option to the A/R Balancing report and the WIP & A/R Summary report. If you select this option Legalmaster prints only the grand totals and, if you sort the report by Client Coordinating Attorney or Responsible Attorney, their subtotals, as well.


You may delete all members of a list in one fell swoop.


You may now close matter notes from your keyboard as well as with your mouse.


We have added many options to the Pre-bills screen in the Table of System Options to let you tailor the contents of your pre-bills to a greater extent that even before. In addition to the dozen or so options already available we added

1) set top, bottom, left and right margins. Now you may punch holes and bind any way you want.
2) the ability to sort fees by date, employee or grouping code (Letra, this is for you.)
3) include or exclude

a) the A/R ledger
b) A/R totals
c) A/R Aging Summary
d) WIP and A/R Summary
e) Trust activity and balance
f) Retainer activity & balance

As a result, you may make your Pre-bills much more terse. In addition, since Pre-bills are now written in Delphi, you may increase the font size merely by printing them in landscape.


October 3, 2006

Two years in the making, Legalmaster'67 is ready for delivery. Most of these enhancements were requested by you, our clients. We've tried to give appropriate credit; please forgive us if we omitted your name from your suggestion.

This list is not exhaustive. We will also be adding a few more features over the next few months which will be provided for no additional charge to users of Legalmaster'67.

Clients and Matters

You may type up to 3000 characters of "notes" associated with a matter. If assigned to a matter, these notes pop up automatically whenever you identify a matter on the case screen, the transaction entry screens and the account status screens. They also pop up on the Remote data entry screen, but, unlike the other locations, you may not alter them there. (Requested by the Lepper firm of Walnut Creek, CA)

You may import clients into Legalmaster from any tab delimited file. That means you may import clients from an Excel or Lotus file. We added this feature to assist new Legalmaster clients converting their data from other software.

Transaction entry

When you enter a client level payment Legalmaster now has the ability to search for the oldest invoice(s) belonging to all of the client's matters, instead of paying each matter in full before moving on to the next matter. (Requested by many firms)

You may select multiple fee or cost trans for one matter and move them or no-bill them all at once. (Requested by the Dietrich firm of Fresno, CA)

You are prevented from entering or altering a trust debit that exceeds your trust balance. (Demanded by the Wisconsin State Bar)

We've added color cues to the transaction entry screens to reduce the likelihood that you enter a cost when you meant to enter a fee.

You may specify the date to be assigned to an explicit "automatically distributed" set of write-ups or write-downs. Previous versions automatically assigned the ending date of your transaction date range to these entries.

If you've assigned notes to a matter, whenever you enter the matter code on the transaction entry screen, its notes are automatically displayed. You may alter or add new notes for any matter here.


When you print an old invoice you may print either today's date or the original billing date in its header. (A frequent request)

We've rewritten all three of the ledger card reports (A/R, Retainer and Trust). Though this change has many benefits, what you're going to like best is that those reports automatically change their font size to fit your paper.

Generic Import

The Generic Import Table now permits you to list an unlimited number of devices from which you may import data. Previously you were limited to six. (Requested by the Pryor firm of Fort Smith, Arkansas)

You may import fee and costs transactions from any tab delimited file. That means you may import fees or costs that you entered in Excel or Lotus. We added this feature for attorneys who prefer to keep track of their time on a spread sheet as well as to assist firms converting transaction data into Legalmaster from other software.

MIRC for Cases

You may include fields that are calculated from other fields. This is a major enhancement. For example, you might add a new calculated field called "credits" as the sum of payments and applied retainer transfers, thus showing you in a single number how much has been applied to a case's or client's receivable. Another example might have you show the percentage change of this year's receipts as compared to last year's.

You may now specify for any fee or cost field whether you want to reflect "invoiced" values, "not invoiced" values or both. Earlier versions always reflected both.

You may range on Responsible Attorney in such a way that Legalmaster will find a match regardless of whether you stored the RA as either RA1, RA2 or RA3.


You may have Legalmaster automatically assign any or all Responsible Attorneys and or your Client Coordinating Attorney to a new calendar entry. (Requested by the Stahl firm of San Jose, CA)

Interest calculation

If your state's usury laws allow it, you may now compound your interest. Since this option is in the Table of Statement Characteristics, you may select the option for some matters, but not others. (Requested by the Allen firm of Sacramento, CA)

Account status

A new button at the bottom of the A/R ledger card and the open item screens allows you to print whatever invoice you've highlighted, current period or history. You may also indicate whether you want today's date or the original billing generator date to appear at the top of the bill. (Suggested by over 100 clients)

If you've assigned notes to a matter, whenever you enter the matter code on the account status screens, its notes will be automatically displayed. You may alter the notes here. You may also add new notes for any matter here.


Remote users are able to read, but not modify, each others' unexported batches. (Our inference from a request by the Klingenberger firm of Fresno, CA)

Remote users are able to read, but not modify, case notes.

We are accepting orders for this new release now. As long as you're upgrading from an earlier Windows Legalmaster version, the entire process may be done via e-mail. We will bill you at the same time that we send you the upgrade. Your upgrade fee depends upon what configuration of Legalmaster modules you have, how many concurrent users you have and what Legalmaster release you're running now. You'll have to contact us for prices.


October 17, 2005

Legalmaster's Remote Entry module is useful for firms who want many people to be able to enter fee transactions and want most of them to do little else. We've added a few very useful new features to a spanking new version; here are some particularly attractive ones.


March 31, 2005

We are now shipping Legalmaster'65. Here are some of the features we added. Two of them, the second and the fifth on this list, were the most frequently requested enhancements we have received in the last five years.

Case MIRC: You may set column widths on alpha fields thereby allowing you to fit more data on a smaller page. This feature is now available in all five of Legalmaster's MIRC's.

Transaction MIRC: If you sort a report by date, you may request subtotals by calendar month, calendar quarter or calendar year. You may also request to see only the subtotals; i.e., you may suppress the detail. The example below shows how many hours Frances recorded as software support for each month of 2004. Prior to this release this information would have required running twelve separate reports.


Revenue allocation MIRC: You may set column widths on alpha fields thereby allowing you to fit more data on a smaller page.

Case management MIRC: Case management MIRC's may include alpha and code data from the billing database.

Transaction entry: You may run spell check on your entire batch at one time as well as one transaction at a time.

You may exclude closed cases from the drop-down list. Each user on a network may set this independently.

Held transactions are easily distinguishable on the list/alter display.

You may isolate held transactions in list/alter.

Remote: You may run spell check on your entire Remote batch at one time or one transaction at a time.

You may omit closed cases from the drop down lists.

Electronic billing: You may now use the same task and activity coding scheme for both LEDES and Litigation Advisor. The software has a new option to insert Litigation Advisor's brackets. (Available May, 2005)

Case management: You may import and export templates from one database to another.

You may merge case management data into a Word document.

You may spell check your text fields.

Case management MIRC's may include alpha and code data from the billing database.

The fee for this upgrade depends upon your configuration of Legalmaster modules. Contact us by phone or e-mail for details.


The fee for this upgrade depends upon your configuration of Legalmaster modules. Contact us by phone or e-mail for details.


November 7, 2002

We will soon be shipping the next version of Legalmaster, what we're calling Legalmaster'63. The migration to it is quite simple; users of our last DOS version, Legalmaster'97 may even convert directly to it. The upgrade fee is a function of which modules you have, your number of timekeepers and your number of concurrent users.

Some of the new Legalmaster'63 features:

Phenomenal Speed Increase for Legalmaster'61, '62 and '63

February 28, 2002

A few weeks ago a client called us with an unusual error. We fashioned a solution that called for them to install a small file in their Legalmaster program folder and we e-mailed them the file. About two hours later they called to thank us; their error had disappeared and, more significantly, a report that had taken one hour to print two days previously now ran in three minutes!

We scrambled for a technical explanation of this astonishing development and, of course, came up with one. As a test we sent this same small file to about a dozen clients. All of them reported similar results; reports run from three to ten times faster!

We have put this file on our web site so that any of you may benefit from this discovery. Here's what you must do.

This is going to get a little technical, so have the appropriate person deal with it.

  1. There is a file in your Legalmaster program folder. The file's name is NETWORK.BIN. Open it with Notepad or Wordpad.

  2. The file begins with a number followed by a string of characters. The characters are either NOVELL, DOSFB or NONET. If you have a NONET file, you're finished with this project. You have nothing more to do. Otherwise...

  3. Exit from Notepad or Wordpad without saving the file.

  4. Run and time some Legalmaster report.

  5. Download from our website a file called 61ENV.ZIP. Unzip it. You will find that it contains about a half dozen files. Copy the file named NETWORK.NON into your Legalmaster program folder.

  6. Get everyone out of Legalmaster.

  7. Rename your existing NETWORK.BIN to something like NETWORK.OLD.


  9. Run the same report that you ran in step #4 and see if it's any faster.

  10. Share your results with us. E-mail to support@legalmaster.com


August, 2001

After thousands of programmer-hours and hundreds of luke warm pizzas, we have completed our latest masterpiece, Legalmaster'62. Requiring no data conversion whatsoever from Legalmaster'61, this painless upgrade adds quite a few useful and time-saving features. All you need do is download the most current version of Windows Legalmaster from our web site and copy a small file which we e-mail to you into your Legalmaster program folder. The cost of this upgrade depends upon what configuration of Legalmaster modules you're using. Contact our offices to find out your fee. If you are still using Legalmaster'97, you may convert directly to this new version.

While these features are available today, we will be adding a few more in the coming months. They will be accessible to any Legalmaster'62 user for no additional charge. We are excited about one particular enhancement suggested to us by Dena Rafte, a client and Legalmaster dealer from Houston. We call it "Missing Time at a Glance." It displays what looks like a monthly calendar. In each date box are displayed the actual and non-billable hours of the timekeeper of your choice.

General Issues regarding Legalmaster for Windows

July, 2000

We began shipping the 32-bit Windows version of Legalmaster in August of 2000. Experienced Legalmaster'97 users should have little difficulty with the new version, since we retained the same terminology and concepts. We think you'll be pleased with the new screens, especially transaction entry and MIRC. We've added spell check and a timer to the time entry screen. We offer a new feature called "grid view" to clients and matters, allowing you a birds-eye view of all of your client and matter data.


The installation takes about five minutes and is done from a CD. If you are running on a network, you must undergo a one minute installation at each station from which you intend to access Legalmaster.


The data structure for Legalmaster'61 for Windows and Legalmaster'97 for DOS are virtually identical. We have added some "keys" to the new system to take advantage of some cute Windows functions. The Windows version requires that your data be moved to a new folder so that these new keys may be inserted. This is a one-step process which takes about two to four minutes per megabyte of your data. When it's complete, your old Legalmaster'97 is still present and unaffected.

If you are converting from our DOS version, we recommend that you install and play with the Windows version while you continue to bill with Legalmaster'97 for one or two billing cycles. This will give you ample "leisure" time to gain familiarity with the screens, make sure your printers are working, etc, etc.


All Windows software is more demanding than DOS software. We recommend that you run Legalmaster'61 on a high megahertz Pentium with at least 64 megabytes of RAM.

Our Pricing

As is common with our upgrades, the fee to migrate depends upon your configuration of modules, your number of timekeepers and your number of concurrent network users. If you call us, we'll walk you through the formula and provide you with a precise cost.

The Manual

July, 2000

Legalmaster's manual is available now on our web site. Just go to Download Legalmaster and follow the instructions. This manual conforms to standard Windows help conventions - hyper text look-ups, index, contents.

Maintenance Releases

July, 2000

We keep the most current version of Legalmaster software and our manual on our web site to make it easy for you to stay current. While you cannot run the software on the web site unless you have first installed the system from the CD that we send you via mail, you may read the complete manual as soon as you download it.

Calendaring with Court Rules


While Legalmaster's calendar software has been quite well received by those of you using it, it lacks one feature that many of you have requested, namely, the ability to store rules of the courts and calculate events based upon these rules. We are now offering a product that does just that and quite a bit more. That product is called Vision Docket; it is manufactured by a company called Compulaw.

Compulaw has been manufacturing law office software almost as long as we have (over 20 years). They specialize in calendaring. (It has always been our belief that the best products come from companies that limit their focus.)

Compulaw's Vision Docket can import Legalmaster client and matter information via a Legalmaster data format MIRC report. The ability to produce such a report is built into Legalmaster'97. As a result, you don't have to reenter all of your client and case information.

Vision Docket is available in both 16 bit and 32 bit Windows versions. Rules are available for over 200 courts. Since they change so often, rules are sold on a subscription basis. Although they vary in price, most are $99 each per year.

To celebrate this relationship, we are offering our clients a discounts on Compulaw's products - 20% on the software, itself, 5% on the rules.

Quickbooks Interface


Quite a few of you are using LIBRA, or Platinum accounts payable software and Legalmaster's Import module to send advanced costs from A/P to billing. We now have yet another option. We have noticed that many of you are Quickbooks users. One of our clients figured out a way to take Quickbooks' invoice data and export them as Legalmaster costs. As a result you may enter invoices into Quickbooks Accounts Payable and export them as costs advanced to Legalmaster's Import module.

You need three things for this capability; viz., Legalmaster'97, our Import Module and a special ($50) conversion program. Call us for details.

Import Trust Transactions


A new Legalmaster feature gives you the ability to import transactions that you wish to have treated as trust debits. This is part of a more general change to the Table of System Options. A new field lets you specify the transaction type of data you import (Fees, Indirect or Direct costs or Trust debits). This feature also lets you convert generic Cost records in our old '93 Import format into either Indirect costs or Direct costs.