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Ten Ways to Have a More Constructive Conversation with Your Clients

In the context of a conversation between an attorney and a client, effective communication occurs when both the attorney and the client feel they have been heard.  For example, at the outset of representation, a client is often looking for confirmation that their lawyer understands what the problem and desired outcome is.  Similarly, a lawyer [...]

How to Avoid Problems with Third Party Payors

A lawyer called me wanting to discuss third-party payors because his representation of his client had just ended, and he didn’t know what to do with the excess funds that remained in trust.  In light of that call, I thought it worthwhile to cover the basics because if one lawyer has taken the time to [...]

9 Ways to Protect Your Firm and Clients from Current Cybersecurity Threats

The COVID-19 pandemic forced most law firms to conduct business in ways they had not done before.  Many firms were forced to transition to work from home on short notice and were required to make the transition without ample time to consider best cyber practices.  This situation is not ideal for law firms as lawyers [...]

How To Start Drafting an Electronic Document Retention Policy

I suspect more than a few law firms, particularly in the solo/small firm space, have yet to take the necessary time to draft and write up a well-thought-out Electronic Document Retention and Destruction policy. It really is an easy task to overlook, if for no other reason than the low cost of digital storage space [...]

Why Agreeing to Rent Out Your Law License May Not Be the Best Idea

Solo and small firm lawyers continue to occasionally call in wanting to discuss a business opportunity that has come to be known as a “license rental” business model.  In short, these lawyers are being offered an opportunity to affiliate with an out-of-state law firm or occasionally a non-lawyer owned company, both of which are wanting [...]

How to Write a ‘Closing Your Practice’ Letter

Occasionally a lawyer will reach out to me wanting clarification on what should be covered in a letter notifying active clients, whose matters the lawyer will be unable to complete in time, that they are closing their practice. Here’s my response. Ordinarily these letters will inform each client of any relevant time limitations or time [...]

Two Letterhead/Advertising Missteps You Don’t Want to Make

I’ll admit that advertising missteps rarely garner much attention from those who enforce the Rules of Professional Conduct. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise because, truth be told, complaints about what some firm is doing with their advertising campaign almost always come from competitors. Disciplinary complaints filed by consumers of legal services upset with [...]

What You Learn at the Office Stays at the Office — A Support Staff Confidentiality Primer

Trust, which is built upon a lawyer’s ethical duty to keep all information relating to the representation of a client confidential, is the hallmark of the attorney-client relationship. Think about it. A confidentiality rule makes sense because it’s an excellent way to encourage prospective clients to seek legal assistance when called for and to help [...]

How to Recognize When Rationalizations and Creative Lawyering Aren’t the Answer

I’ve heard all kinds of crazy comments from lawyers over the years. For example, during a CLE event with a state bar’s ethics counsel sitting next to me on a speaker’s panel, two lawyer attendees tried to convince others in attendance that the panel’s position on conflict of interest resolution was clearly wrong. They stood [...]

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