How are rules priced?
The vast majority of our subscriptions are annual, with average per court costs ranging from $132/yr. to $300/yr., depending on the number and type of courts in the subscription. With some partner integration’s there may be nominal one time charges to cover optional module fees, setup, integration support, and training. There are also discounted packages available based on state or other volume discounts.
If you would like an estimate, please send the list of courts desired, and the calendar you are using, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or your contact at the partner company. The more specific you can be in terms of courts, the better.
How are the court rules kept updated?
Building and monitoring court rules is our core business. We use a combination of proprietary technology and legal staff to build and maintain our rule sets. Because CalendarRules is cloud-based, it can provide updates to customers in real-time, without any interaction required by end users.
CalendarRules is the only rules provider that makes updated rules available to the end user in real time. Courts generally announce updates in two ways:
- Many updates are published for comment, with a scheduled effective date. We make these updates in our staging environment and release them to production on the effective date. Thereafter, any subscriber to that court is automatically in compliance with the new rules.
- Sometimes a court will publish rule changes with an immediate effective date or for the next day. CalendarRules is positioned to make these changes effective immediately so the end user does not have to apply any updates. As soon as we update the production server, all subscribers are automatically up-to-date.
How do I make sure I am using the latest version of the rules, where do I download them from and how do I apply them?
You don’t! Subscribers do not have to download or apply anything to update the rules. Our system is designed so that you are always automatically using the latest version of the rules. For example, let’s say as of December 1 the rule adding 3 days for electronic service changes from adding 3 days to not adding any days. As soon as we update the 3 to a 0 on our production server, all subscribers are automatically up to date, without doing a thing, it’s that simple. The next time an event is calculated with an electronic service type selected, the calculation will not add 3 days. What if that rule is retroactive, and the events calculated before December 1, adding the 3 days, need to be re-calculated? See question immediately below.
How do rules changes affect events on my calendar?
As part of your subscription, we record every Trigger and Event used in your subscription. If we update a rule which relates to a trigger or event you have used, we set a flag on your account indicating such. Most calendar systems we integrate with check this flag every night, and if true, provide you with a notification email or other warning so you can easily recalculate the event, delete the event, or in some cases add a new event under the trigger in question. Most rule updates are effective moving forward, and only apply retroactively where “just and practicable”, which is rarely the case. Attorneys need to make this decision on a case by case basis.
Does CalendarRules handle court-observed holidays?
Yes. Each court has holidays defined through the year 2049, so the calculations can exclude holidays, or roll, based on court-specific holidays and rule definitions.
What happens when a user changes a trigger date?
This is up to the calendar software, but generally when a user changes a trigger date, for instance a trial date gets continued for 30 days, the rules generated events may have to be recalculated. In this situation the calendar system can resubmit the trigger for recalculation of the existing events. Frequently, some of the calculated dates have been changed by stipulation since they were originally created; making the rules generated date “irrelevant”. So the user can pick and choose which events to update, add, or delete.
Can we customize the rules?
Yes, a little, depending on the software used. CalendarRules provides a means of remembering the events users do not create. Users cannot modify existing events or calculations, but users can “remove” events. One of the often-perceived problems with using rules is that many users believe that rule sets are over inclusive in terms of the number of events. In some cases the rule itself, while it may designate a calculation, is actually arcane and irrelevant to some practitioners. Maybe the rule relates to an esoteric and never used motion for example, or maybe the event is created to show the last day to do something by fax, which a firm never does and they don’t care about. These types of events are perceived as creating clutter on the calendar. In order to address this issue, when a user creates a new docket and gets back a list of rules based events, they will have the option to not create certain events.
Our partners (Calendar systems) can take advantage of functionality in our API to “remove” these events from future calculations as well. Over the years, we have determined that arguing about these types of events with lawyers and docketing staff is futile. One lawyer’s irrelevant arcane stupid rule – which never gets used – is another lawyer’s absolute requirement. So as a general rule, we err on the side of inclusion, with a good dose of balance.
What are the Benefits of Using Rules?
- Double Checks calculations: number/type of days, holidays, and service type ramifications
- Ensures all necessary events are considered
- Expedites data entry and recalculation
- Promotes consistency
What sets CalendarRules apart from other rules providers?
We believe there are at least three areas where we excel, because of our unique and sole focus on court rules. These areas include: content, responsiveness, and price.
Content: Our corporate mission is to provide the most complete, thorough and up to date rule sets possible, without creating clutter or distraction. This requires significantly more effort and analysis than those who ascribe to the “more is better” philosophy. It’s faster and easier to build rule sets by simply including everything, without thinking about how relevant or useful a particular event is in the real world. This is why one of the most common complaints from attorneys about other rules systems is too much clutter on the calendar. We are very intentional about balancing complete and thorough against clutter, in order to keep the clutter down. Even so, we recognize that sometimes one lawyers required event is another lawyers clutter, so if a user thinks an event we have “clutter”, we have a way for the firm to remove events from our rule sets just for their subscription.
Responsiveness: Building, delivering, and updating rules is much like painting the Golden Gate Bridge; as soon as you think you’re done, the other side needs work, or it’s time to start over again. It never ends. Because of our experience over 20 years in this area, we were able to design and build a system which makes it very easy (fast) for us to build, add to, or modify our rule sets, and most importantly seamlessly deliver them to subscribers.
For example, if a court changes a rule calculation on a pretrial deadline, effective immediately, from say 30 days before trial to 40 days before trial, we can make that change in our system in under 1 minute, click one button, and thereafter any subscriber using our rules is up to date, automatically, without doing a thing.
But there is more to it than just fast technology and timely rules updates, there is also customer service. This is where CalendarRules really shines. We are a small privately held business, driven entirely by recurring subscription renewal revenue, which means we have to keep our customers happy to keep them coming back. We have now grown to over 750 law firm subscribers, answering questions and supporting rules in many environments, from large firm docketing departments to solo practitioners and state and governmental agencies. All we do is build, deliver, update and support court rules, and we are proud to say we do it very well through a mix of technology and personal customer service.
Price: We price things the way we wanted to pay for them when we were practicing law and consuming services: clearly and fairly. Our pricing is based primarily on the number of rule sets needed. If a firm needs rules in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Marin Counties, that firm will pay more than the firm that just needs rules in Los Angeles. We discount the per rule set price as the number of rule sets needed goes up (aka volume discounting). The last variable is size and complexity of rule set.
The vast majority of rule sets are considered standard, but occasionally there are specialty rule sets like probate which cost slightly more, and there are few very large and complex specialty sets where we might change $750 or $1,000, but this is always clear, and generally well worth it for those firms that need them. We do not charge to build a new rule set unless it’s custom, and if you add a court during your subscription year, we prorate it into that year, so you have one simple renewal each year. For example, if you add a court that costs $150/year (which is pretty standard) 6 months into the year, we will bill you $75, and add $150 upon renewal the next year, if you keep the court on renewal.