Law Office of Peter Cusimano, Barrister & Solicitor
Business Lawyer · Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Macintosh as a Solution for
the Small Law Office

©1996, Peter Cusimano, LL.B.
May 11, 1996
http://www.cusimano.com/lawyers/

1. Introduction

Traditionally lawyers have been content to leave the issue of computers to someone else to handle, that person usually being a technology "expert" who knows virtually nothing about the practice demands of a law firm. In today's changing legal environment, more and more lawyers are setting up shop by themselves as sole practitioners or in a small practice group either as partners or in association. As a result, lawyers are turning to the use of technology to help them manage their practice in the most cost-effective manner.

Considering the large expense involved in implementing a computerized law practice, lawyers must educate themselves on technology. Unfortunately, the typical lawyer (i) does not have time and/or (ii) does not understand the technology to properly set up a functional system to assist them in their practice.

The goals & objectives of the sole practitioner or small firm setting up the ideal computerized legal practice are as follows:

  1. a computer that is easy to learn and easy to use
  2. easy to set up
  3. network capability in order to access common client documents and precedents and to share hardware such as a printer
  4. availability of functional legal software such as legal accounting software and practice management software
  5. integration with the DOS/Windows world

Most law firms continue to use MS-DOS based computers and many are upgrading their systems to use Microsoft Windows 3.11 or Windows 95. However, more small firms (and some large firms) are instead adopting the Apple Macintosh system for a variety of reasons.

The Apple Macintosh has always been considered to be a great computer system however many people overlook it simply because (i) they believe Macintosh computers are more expensive than comparable Windows machines or (ii) everyone they know uses DOS/Windows machines. However, in many situations the Macintosh is a better solution for the small law firm and should be considered in implementing any computer system for a law office.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the hardware and software currently available for implementing an ideal computerized small law office using the Apple Macintosh ("Apple" and "Macintosh") based on the foregoing goals & objectives.

The state of hardware and software technology is constantly changing. I recommend that you make the best choice possible from the currently available options in order to suit your needs. I also recommend that you select the choice which is expandable or upgradeable in the future.

2. Hardware

Apple has been repositioning its entire line of computers around the PowerPC which is the latest technology in central processing units. The PowerPC was jointly developed by Apple, IBM, and Motorola. Apple was the first to implement the PowerPC. IBM and Motorola are preparing to also adopt the technology for the retail market.

(a) Desktop Macintosh Computers

The desktop Apple Macintosh computers of interest to the small law firm are as follows:

(i) Plus, SE, Mac II, Classic II, LC, Performa 4xx, Quadra, Centris models (680x0 Series)

All of the models in this series of Macintosh computers are based upon one of many 680x0 central processing units, namely the Motorola 68000, 68020, 68030, or 68040. Generally, the higher the number, the faster the computer.

Law firms that purchased Macintosh computers over the past few years usually have one or more of these computers. These models have since been discontinued, however, they are still in operation and capable of running most, if not all, of the software currently being sold for the Macintosh (except software exclusively written for the Macintosh PowerPC as discussed below). Although these computers are useful for word processing, they are relatively slow (as compared to the PowerPC), when using recent versions of software and the latest version of the operating system.

If you already own one of these computers, you may want to consider upgrading the memory and adding an accelerator card to increase the speed of the computer. Accelerators typically upgrade the computer from a 680x0 central processing unit to a PowerPC central processing unit thereby dramatically increasing the speed of the computer. An accelerator ranges in price from $999 to $2,199 depending on the computer.

(ii) Performa 580CD (68040 Series)

The Performa 580 uses the Motorola 68040 central processing unit (roughly equivalent to an Intel 80486 Windows based computer in terms of speed and power) which is now considered old technology. Within 6-8 months this model will no longer be sold on the retail market. However, for most small law office uses, the Performa 580 is a viable system and should provide good service for many years. In addition, the cost is relatively low, being under $2,000 to purchase a complete system.

(iii) Performa 5200, 6200, 7200 (PowerPC Series)

The PowerPC is the latest technology offered by Apple. The company is constantly repackaging their computer systems such as offering modems in some models or larger capacity hard disk drives in other models. Typically, the Performa 5200, 6200 or PowerPC Macintosh 7200 will satisfy the needs of every lawyer. All of these PowerPC models are in the same price range. There are some differences between the models which should be considered in light of your needs. The distinguishing features of the 5200, 6200, and 7200 are as follows:

5200: - monitor and main unit are all in one unit

  • 500 MB hard disk drive
  • built in 14.4K modem for Internet access
  • 1 expansion slot
  • no Ethernet port for high speed network capability
  • built in LocalTalk for low speed network capability

6200: - monitor separate from main unit

  • 1000 MB hard disk drive
  • built in 14.4K modem for Internet access
  • 3 PCI expansion slots
  • no Ethernet port (option but must remove modem)
  • built in LocalTalk for low speed network capability

7200: - monitor separate from main unit

  • 800 MB drive
  • no built in modem (optional)
  • 3 PCI expansion slots
  • built in LocalTalk for low speed network capability
  • built in EtherTalk for high speed Ethernet network capability

There are also intermediary models, the Performa 5300, 6300, and 7500, which are more powerful versions of the Performa 5200 and 6200 respectively with more memory, larger capacity hard disk, or faster operation. In addition, there are super fast Macintosh computers (Performa 8500 and 9500).

(iv) Macintosh Clone Computers

Several companies manufacture Macintosh clone computers that have been approved by Apple. Generally these computers are aimed at the high-end graphics market, however, as more and more companies become licensed, low cost Macintosh clones may appear on the market within a year.

(b) PowerBooks Series (190, 5300, Duo)

Laptop computers are portable and as such are advantageous if you travel to court, want to work at the law library, work at a client's office, or wish to work at home.

Apple currently offers several laptop computers: (i) the PowerBook 190 laptop which uses 680x0 technology, (ii) the PowerBook 5300 series laptop which uses PowerPC technology, and (iii) the PowerBook Duo which is a hybrid system being a laptop computer and a desktop computer (to fully use the hybrid requires the use of a "docking" station, external monitor, and keyboard). There is a rumour that Apple is scheduled to discontinue the PowerBook 5300 series of laptops sometime in the summer of 1996 and replace it with a faster, cheaper line.

Some of Apple's laptop computers offer colour capability and various memory and hard disk size configurations. If you are considering buying any laptop computer you should be aware that compared to a desktop computer: (i) the keyboard is slightly smaller, (ii) a track-pad is used instead of a mouse (although a mouse can be easily attached), (iii) the viewing screen is smaller although an external colour monitor can be added to all the laptops (including the black and white models). Entry level laptops cost approximately the same as their equivalent desktop models. Typically Ethernet networking capability is an option.

(c) Networking Options

A network allows two or more computers to be connected together to share resources such as a hard disk or printer. As such, the ability to network computers is rapidly becoming a must have feature on every office computer system.

A networked system allows lawyers to share work, create a common set of precedents, share hardware such as a printer, and facilitate communication using interoffice e-mail.

Networking Macintosh computers is very easy and very inexpensive to implement compared to doing it with a DOS or Windows system. There are two primary networking methods in the Apple system: (i) LocalTalk, and (ii) EtherTalk. Generally, LocalTalk is a relatively slow networking system that uses inexpensive telephone extension cords whereas EtherTalk is a relatively fast networking system that uses Ethernet cables.

To network two Macintosh computers using LocalTalk you need to buy 2 phonenet connectors (approx. $25 each) and a telephone extension cord (approx. $6). The phonenet connectors plug into the back of each Macintosh and the telephone extension cord is used to connect the phonenet connectors to each other. Under the Chooser (found under the Apple-menu), you have to mark "AppleTalk" as "Active". Under the Sharing Setup control panel, you have to select "File Sharing". From now on when the Macintosh computers are turned on, the Macintosh computers will be networked.

One or more printers can be added to the network and printing can be done from any of the computers on the network. Such a process is not easily facilitated on a DOS / Windows system.

A file server is a computer on the network whose sole function is to act as a central storage computer. Typically all your files are stored on the server. The server can be a dedicated machine (that no one actually sits in front of) or can be one of the computers on the network that someone also sits in front of and uses. The software that allows a Macintosh to act as a file server is AppleShare which is included as part of the Macintosh system. AppleShare allows you to restrict access to certain documents, folders, and disk drives on the network, and allows you to have password protection. There are three file server design structures:

(i) Peer-to-Peer Distributed File Server Approach

Under this setup more than one computer on the network is used as a file server. A particular file server can be dedicated or can be simultaneously used by a user. This approach allows each lawyer to keep their files stored on their particular computer and each computer has access to the other computers on the network.

(ii) Non-dedicated Single File Server Approach

Under this setup, one computer is used as the server and a user also uses that computer. This approach is useful if an office has older machines (i.e.: slower and small hard disk) and also has a new machine that is relatively faster with lots of hard disk space that someone will use.

(iii) Dedicated File Server Approach

As one increases the size of the network (i.e.: 5 or more computers) a dedicated server should be used. Advantages to using a dedicated server are: central storage, easy to do backups, access by anyone or restricted access no matter whose computer is on or off. Generally the speed capacity of the network is the bottleneck factor. Most Macintosh computers will function reasonably well as a dedicated file server.

Apple's networking system is set up such that a dedicated server is not required. In a small networked environment using only 3 or 4 computers a dedicated server is usually not required; however, a dedicated server will allow the network to operate at a faster speed.

(d) Printers

The primary factors in choosing a printer are: (i) price, (ii) speed, (iii) print quality and (iv) networking capability. Since law is a very paper intensive profession, speed and quality are essential. Generally, the more expensive the printer, the more features that are offered. The ability to network the printer either on a LocalTalk or Ethernet network should be a feature on the printer.

There are two choices of printers that are viable for the small law office: (i) laser printer and (ii) ink-jet printer. Laser printers are generally more expensive than ink-jet printers. To justify the increased cost, the print speed is generally much faster and the print quality is better. It is important to note that you do not have to use a printer manufactured by Apple. There are other companies that manufacture printers that are compatible with Apple's computers.

(i) Laser Printers

Apple manufactures its own line of laser printers called LaserWriter printers which are available in a variety of models. Apple's LaserWriter Select 320 is an economy laser printer for under $1,000. It prints at approximately 4 pages per minute and can be shared by several Macintosh computers in an office using a LocalTalk network. The LaserWriter Select 360 is a more industrial strength printer for approximately $1,700 that prints 2-1/2 times faster at 10 pages per minute, can be connected to a LocalTalk network, connected to an EtherTalk network using extra software, and can also be connected to a Windows/DOS computer either separately or at the same time as a Macintosh.

Other popular laser printers such as Hewlett Packard's HP LaserJet series printers can be connected to the Macintosh. Some HP LaserJet models are particularly designed to work with the Macintosh LocalTalk network (e.g. HP LaserJet 5MP).

If you purchase a laser printer manufactured by a company other than Apple, then you should ensure that PostScript (a printing language) is included or available as an option. PostScript provides more capabilities when using graphics and fonts which is useful for creating a firm newsletter and which may be required for some software packages that print legal forms such as Polaris forms.

MacLaser Biller Cost Recovery Software is a print utility program (visit the company's web site at http://www.maclaser.com/) which allows you to easily specify a client file reference every time you print a document in order to keep track of the number of documents printed for that particular client reference matter. If you want to charge for laser printer charges as is usually done for photocopy disbursements, this program is very easy to use and can be a worthwhile investment.

(ii) Ink-Jet printers

Apple has is its own line of ink-jet printers: (i) the black-and-white StyleWriter for approximately $350 and (ii) the Color StyleWriter for approximately $550. Canon has the BJC-210 and BJC-4100. Epson offers the Epson Stylus Pro and Hewlett-Packard offers the HP DeskWriter 600, 660C and 850C printers. Some of these printers offer LocalTalk (StyleWriter 2400 and the Epson Stylus Pro) and the Epson Stylus Pro has an Ethernet option. The HP 850C can connect to both Macintosh computers and DOS / Windows computers.

The price of an ink-jet printer is relatively low and the quality of print is acceptable for a sole practitioner or a small law firm. Although the resolution of some newer ink-jet printers may be higher than laser printers, the print quality is not as good because ink soaks into the paper causing a reduction in the output quality. In addition, speed is poor because of a slow print mechanism, serial-port bottlenecks, and a dependence of the Macintosh's own processor to process the print output.

(e) Fax-Modems / Internet

Apple is currently including a 14.4K fax-modem with its Performa 5300 and 6200 computers.

A modem will allow you to access: (i) Internet E-mail, (ii) Internet World-Wide-Web, and (iii) QuickLaw and Canadian Law Online (note: you must sign up separately with these services and pay an additional on-line service charge).

Apple Remote Access software such as Timbuktu Pro permits you to dial-in to your office using a Macintosh from a remote location outside of your office such as a client's office or your home in order to access your network. This feature allows you to retrieve and send documents between your office Macintosh and the Macintosh you are using to dial-in to the network. You can also print to your office printer from a remote location.

The fax capability of the fax-modem allows you to send and receive faxes from the computer. Some modems including the ones shipped with the Performa 5300 and 6200 come with software that allows voice mail capability. You should be aware that a fax-modem cannot be used to fax a document that is not stored on your computer or in electronic form on a network. For example, with a fax-modem you cannot fax a page photocopied from a textbook because a fax-modem does not have a mechanism to physically scan in a piece of paper.

Apple sells Internet server versions of some of their computer models giving you everything you need to set up a dedicated Internet web site server.

(f) CD-ROM

CD-ROM's give you the ability to read very large amounts of information on a compact disk that looks identical to music-CD's. Canada Law Book now offers the Canada Statute Service and the Ontario Statute Citator Service on CD-ROM's. In addition, Western Legal Publications offers its digest of civil and criminal cases from the four western provinces on CD-ROM. Carswell offers the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest, Canadian Abridgment, a corporate package, family package, estates package, and tax package on CD-ROM; however, they are available only for DOS / Windows systems and are not yet offered for Macintosh computers although it may be possible to access these CD-ROM's using additional software.

Obtaining publications on CD-ROM allows a small law firm to compete with the large firms in a cost effective and efficient manner without requiring large amounts of physical space to store the equivalent publications in paper form.

(g) Newton

The Newton is a hand-held computer from Apple that is an enhanced electronic notebook. The Newton allows you to perform the following tasks: (i) maintain an address/phone book, (ii) maintain an appointment / to-do calendar, (iii) keep a note pad, and (iv) control your personal finances using Pocket Quicken. Information is inputted by way of a special pen that allows you to hand-write on the screen and the Newton will translate your handwriting into electronic printed text.

Several add-on software/hardware packages add further functionality to the Newton including: spreadsheet, database, travel/expense assistant, Internet Email (Eudora), pager with messages, and connectivity to a LocalTalk printer and to Macintosh and Windows computers for data exchange. The Newton is now in its third generation with the Newton MessagePad 120 being the latest and most advanced version of the Newton.

(h) Scanner for OCR

A scanner permits physical text-based documents on paper to be transferred into electronic word processing documents through the use of optical character recognition (OCR). For example a scanner is very useful in the situation where you have a long document such as a precedent agreement which you wish to type into your computer. Rather than wasting valuable hours typing in the document, a scanner can input the document in a relatively quick, easy, and accurate manner. The OCR is not 100% accurate and documents must be subsequently spell checked and physically reviewed to catch any errors.

Some scanners can be used on both Macintosh and Windows systems such as the Hewlett Packard HP ScanJet 4; however, only the software and cable for one or the other type of computer is included in the box when you buy the scanner. You will need to purchase scanning software and a connection cable for the opposite type of computer if you want to use it with both types of computers.

3. Software

(a) Operating System

Copland is the code-name for Apple's next generation operating system due out in late 1996 or early 1997.

One new feature Copland will offer that is of interest to lawyers is a "view by content" feature that allows you to enter words you want to search for in all documents on your computer or the network. Copland then creates a window that contains all documents with the words, along with a ranking of how closely the document fits your search request. You can save any view window and have it automatically update with any new or changed documents.

To take full advantage of Copland, a PowerPC will be required. For those planning to buy 680x0 (i.e.: 68000, 68020, 68030, 68040) based Macintosh computers, in the April 1996 issue of MacWorld magazine it is reported that Copland will not run on PowerPC upgraded 680x0 Macs or 500-series PowerBooks. Apple will introduce a 680x0 version of some Copland technologies, such as the interface, but there will be no true multitasking or multithreading as in the PowerPC version of Copland.

(b) Word Processing Software

There are three major players in the word processing market for the Macintosh: (i) Microsoft Word for the Macintosh from Microsoft, (ii) WordPerfect for the Macintosh from WordPerfect Corporation (now owned by Corel Corporation), and (iii) ClarisWorks (or MacWrite Pro) from Apple's Claris Corporation.

The price of these three word processors varies widely. ClarisWorks is already included with some Performa models (e.g. 5200 and 6200). All three of these word processors are great word processors and will satisfy the needs of every lawyer. Microsoft Word and WordPerfect for the Macintosh essentially offer the identical features found on their Windows' counterparts. Documents written using the Windows version of these word processors can be read using the Macintosh versions and vice versa.

(c) Legal Accounting Software

There are several solutions for the Macintosh legal accounting. These software packages are created by Canadian companies and typically offer all the same features found in comparable Windows packages such as PCLAWjr. Software solutions range in price from approximately $1,500 to $2,500. Various packages worth looking into include:

  • Legal-Acc from Legal-Acc software systems.
  • Brief Accounting from Pan Pacific Professional.
  • Timesaver (and Integra Legal Manage-ment) from Powersoft Innovations Corporations.
  • Active Office Law Manager from Chrysalis Software (does not work on a network).
  • Managing Partner from Scaramella & Hoofnagle [tel. 609-424-2100]. (this package is made in the United States)

In my law office, we use Brief Accounting, which we have found satisfies our accounting needs including trust accounting; however, the package does not currently offer an accounts payable ledger.

(d) File Management / Personal Information Manager Software

There are several software packages available which provide efficient client file and practice management tools for lawyers including: (i) Amicus Attorney, (ii) DateBook, (iii) Claris Organizer, and (iv) FileMaker Pro.

The ideal software package for lawyers using the Macintosh is Amicus Attorney which is created by Gavel & Gown Software in Toronto. Amicus Attorney is highly recommended because it offers the lawyer an integrated legal organization system that co-ordinates client files, contacts, to-do lists & appointments calendar (great for ticklers), phone call tracking, and docket input. The package was created by a lawyer and it is specialized and catered for ease of use by lawyers. Amicus Attorney's docket information can be imported by the various Macintosh legal accounting software packages. Amicus Attorney can import information from Claris Organizer.

DateBook and Claris Organizer are generic to-do & appointment calendar software packages. Claris Organizer is included for free with some Macintosh computers such as the Performa 5200, 6200 and 6300. Although these packages are not law specific like Amicus Attorney, they are still useful packages for the lawyer with a limited budget.

There are not many legal databases created for the Macintosh computer. However, FileMaker Pro 3.0 is a simple to use relational database package that is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses interested in easy to create database solutions. The package comes with many general templates (i.e. non-legal) that you can re-design to your own needs. For example a simple database can be created to keep track of client information and print mailing labels or custom file folder labels for client files.

(e) Specific Legal Software

Many vendors are now offering electronic versions of forms used in the various areas of law including estates, power of attorney, real estate Polaris forms, landlord-tenant act, and civil litigation. For example, Dye & Durham offers a software package of the forms contained in the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure. These forms are prepared specifically for Microsoft Word for the Macintosh.

In addition, there are numerous software packages to assist lawyers using the Macintosh. The following is a very brief list of some of the packages available:

  • DivorceMate is a family law package that is written for the Macintosh.
  • TrialMaker Litigation Support Database from Trialmaker Software [tel. 617-334-3367] allows preparation of summary of facts and evidence that relate to all the issues in your case.
  • Standard Form Will from Pan Pacific Professional allows automated document creation for standard or custom form wills.
  • Tortex/Injury from Economica calculates Lump-Sum values of future losses in personal injury cases.
  • Alcotrace from Alcotrace simulates blood alcohol concentrations from user provided case specifics.

Most of the precedents designed for WordPerfect 5.2 for DOS / Windows based computers can also be used on the Macintosh computer. For example, the O'Brien's precedent disks (from Canada Law Book) can be read directly by the Macintosh and opened by Microsoft Word or WordPerfect for the Macintosh.

4. Integration with DOS / Windows Marketplace

Most lawyers are hesitant to purchase a Macintosh computer for their law office since they believe that most other lawyers and companies are using DOS / Windows systems and they erroneously believe that they will not be able to exchange electronic documents. It is important to note that Macintosh computers are capable of being integrated with DOS / Windows systems.

(a) MS-DOS Disk Read/Write Ability

All recently purchased Macintosh computers come with the ability to read and write to and from diskettes formatted for DOS / Windows. As such you can easily transfer word processing documents between DOS / Windows and Macintosh if required.

This feature can be added to older Macintosh computers by using one of many software packages on the market. Very old Macintosh models such as the Macintosh Plus and the early versions of the Macintosh SE cannot read or write to and from diskettes formatted for DOS / Windows.

(b) Networking

A Windows based system can be connected to an AppleTalk network by using Personal MacLAN Connect 5.51 from Miramar Systems [tel. 805-966-2432 and sales@miramarsys.com] or COPSTalk for Windows 1.2f from CoOperative Printing Solutions (COPS) [tel. 770-840-0810 and sales@copstalk.com]. These programs work with Windows-95 but at this point do not offer full access to Windows-95 specific capabilities such as long file names; however, upgrades should be available during 1996.

(c) Cross-Platform Software Compatibility

Most major software manufacturers now offer both Macintosh and Windows versions of their software. For example, versions of Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, and FileMaker Pro are available for both the Macintosh and Windows. Files created on the Macintosh can be used by the same program on Windows and vice versa.

It is important to note that some software manufacturers only offer a Windows version of their software. However, as discussed below, this is not a problem.

(d) Software Solution: SoftPC

The Macintosh uses the 680x0 or the PowerPC central processing unit whereas DOS/Windows computers use the Intel 80x86 (i.e.: 80286, 80386, 80486) or Intel Pentium or compatible processor. The result is that software programs exclusively written for the Macintosh will not work on a DOS/Windows computer.

On the other hand, for those who need to run a DOS or Windows 3.11 program, Insignia Solutions offers a software package called SoftPC which allows you to easily run DOS and Windows 3.11 on your Macintosh without adding any extra hardware.

You can actually run software and cut & paste data between a DOS/Windows application and a Macintosh application. For example, in our office we have used the Windows-based real estate package ExperText to quickly generate search letters. Once created, the DOS file that was generated by ExperText was opened in WordPerfect for Macintosh for integration with our letterhead template.

In our office we have version 1.0 of SoftPC running on a PowerPC which allows us to run DOS/Windows software at a speed equivalent to the speed of an 80386 computer. However, version 2.0 of SoftPC has now been released and has been written specifically for the PowerPC. It is said that version 2.0 runs software at a speed equivalent to the speed of an 80486 computer.

(e) Hardware Solution

The best solution for running DOS/Windows on the Macintosh is to purchase a third-party plug-in-board that has an actual Intel 80486 or Pentium processor on it. The only draw back to this solution is that these boards are so expensive that one might as well purchase a complete DOS/Windows computer. The integration is excellent and the ability to run DOS/Windows and Macintosh software at the same time may justify the cost.

5. Conclusion

In the last few years the Macintosh has come a long way and is now an ideal computer for the lawyer who wants an easy to use computer system. Although the selection of legal software is not as great as what is available in the DOS/Windows environment, the software that is available for the Macintosh is generally of superior quality. If sacrificing selection is the price to pay for the benefit of using a computer effectively in a law practice then the Macintosh is the better alternative. Some lawyers will insist on using DOS / Windows because that is what everyone else is using. Such lawyers may end up buying a system which they underutilize since it is not as easy to use as a Macintosh. Therefore, while Windows / DOS users spend hours figuring out how to get their computers to do what they want, Macintosh users will be able to get on with the job at hand and concentrate on doing legal work without having to become computer experts. Personally, I would never go back to using a DOS/Windows system after being exposed to the Macintosh.


Peter A. Cusimano

Law Office of Peter Cusimano, Barrister & Solicitor, North York, Ontario

E-mail: lawyer@cusimano.com, Internet: http://www.cusimano.com/lawyers/

Telephone: (416) 222-0588

Peter Cusimano received his B.Sc. in 1989 from the University of Toronto and his LL.B. in 1992 from the University of Windsor Law School. He articled at the North York law firm of Grubner, Krauss & Frankel. He was called to the bar of Ontario in February 1994 and soon after started a law firm located in downtown North York. Peter makes extensive use of the Macintosh in his practice including using several small firm practice oriented databases which he designed and created using FileMaker Pro. While at law school, Peter was the President of the student council, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor. Peter is a recipient of the John W. Whiteside Q.C. Award for contributions to the Faculty of Law.

Peter has over 15 years of computer experience including experience with Apple II, Macintosh, DOS, Windows, and PowerPC computers. He initiated and operated several electronic bulletin board systems including Toronto Net-Works from 1982 to 1986 which was one of the first PC-based systems in Toronto. His work with computers has been featured in the Toronto Star, Toronto Computes, and Toronto Sun newspapers.

Peter is an instructor at the Law Society of Upper Canada, Computer Education Facility. He teaches lawyers how to use computers in the practice of law. Peter also provides computer consulting services including the development of Internet web sites which have won numerous awards. His own web site has been profiled in The Lawyer's Weekly and the Canadian Bar Association's The National magazine. He is a collector of metaphysical-surrealist artwork and he enjoys Toronto Blue Jays baseball and attending the opera.


Revised: November 11, 2015.
©Peter Cusimano, 1995-2018. (www.cusimano.com)