Skip to main content
Est. 1995

HomeGAPI History

The History of Gapi
Est. 1995

I began practicing law in 1993 as a solo attorney when the internet was running on 1200 baud modems. The internet was super slow and cumbersome but many of us saw the World Wide Web as a means to communicate and share information in a format that was unheard of before.

I joined the  Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers computer committee. At that time most lawyers were just learning how to send and receive emails. Our goal was to help share information among lawyers. Mike Shapiro and Jim Altman and I, worked on the first listserver for GACDL. It ran under Jim's desk on an old 486 machine. 

After realizing what a great resource a listserver was, I created GAPI that was nothing more than an emailing service. Although GTLA had not created one yet, I wanted to create one that was screened so that only Plaintiff's lawyers could share. That became known as GAPI.

I wanted more, but I had no idea how to HTML code writing, other than in very minor details. So I kept studying and found that FrontPage coding was easy enough, but still hard to manipulate. Members would often email me their files and I would upload them manually. I could never get a membership package to work.

I even offered LOIS Case management Software for free. I worked out other types of deals with legal providers over the years, but Lois was the most gracious to us.

I changed the appearance of Gapi as often as I could, but not as often as it was needed. This 2001 Version was my first attempt at learning to photoshop and create my own graphics. But again, I still had difficulty connecting the dots.

The listserver was still effective as our most valuable resource, but I wanted a "home" for Plaintiff's lawyers to comfortable share everything. I just didn't have the time to learn it all.

2003 I wanted a new look. I created a bunch of tables and then set the color scheme. I sold very little subscriptions to advertisers. I wasn't really interested in marketing Gapi. I just loved it as a resource, and although I've spent thousands of hours, and tens of thousands of dollars, it has come back in droves, as the information I received from members, made up for all of the costs.

2005 again, little changes. I dropped my advertisers, since it was too much to really track, and didn't like to bill for a product that I never really believed was marketable. 

2009 was the Nukem Software days. I worked with a developer for weeks and months. But just like dozens of other developers had done, he promised me a Ferrari, but always gave me a Yugo. It had a lot of nice features. But none that I really wanted. 

2013, I hired a hosting company to help me set up the listserver on his server. We ran with a Work Comp and a PI listserver. But again, he only could help me set up the basics.

Last few years, my site has gone semi-dormant. I took down all of the files and I hoped to again find the right software to run the site, but I went through so many.  I searched and argued and learned so many new software programs.

I was using TIKI WIKI for six months, but after that long of a time, I again dropped it because it could not do what I wanted it to do.
DGroups, Onlinegroups, Plushforums, Fudforums, Community kit, Membernation, Memberclicks, Tendenci, Membermax, Memberplanet, Npogroups, Higher Logic, Groupsite, Cmnty, Forumbee, JomSocial, Groupspaces, GoLightly, BigTent, Memberstars, Netbeans, Tiki Wiki, Easymemberpro, Wishlistmembersite, Timberlake, Omni-secure, A-member, PHPmembers, MagicMembers, Membersplus, Membernation, Yourmembership, PPSD2, Mail-list, Socialgo, Mzinga, Liveworld,, Socialengine, Ripple6, Trill, Netvillage, Lithium, Global Park, Igloo, Ingagenetworks, Plone, Hoopla, Hall, Ning, Mindmixer, Discourse, Drupal, etc. etc. etc.

I have literally having been looking for years to find a developer or a platform that could do all the things I wanted, and to do so intuitively.

In 2018 is the beginning of what I hope will be an improved platform that will allow us to do so much more.

But what can this new website do?
1. I wanted to keep the simplicity of a listserver.

2. I wanted a Forum's section, where we could search for past communications

3. I wanted the Forum and Listserver to "Sync". Which means you can use your listserver and forum interchangeably. What you post to the forum will generate an email and your emails will generate a forum post. 

4. I wanted members to be able to upload and download files, and for members to "Vote" and comment on those documents.

5. I hope to have a Verdict/Settlement Questionnaire set up to collect information from members in a few seconds and a few clicks. 

6. I wanted to set up Surveys and Polls so members can acquire instant data from relevant inquires.

7. I wanted members to be able to give and receive Referrals through Gapi. 

8. And I wanted to set up additional areas for members,  including Criminal/Divorce/Business to be used by those that practice in other areas of law.

9. Create a Paralegal Area where paralegals can go communicate with each other.