Stephanie Kimbro, co-founder of Virtual Law Office software and a virtual law office owner, says in her book “Virtual Law Practice” that “mainstream legal professionals who have preferred to stick with more traditional law practice methods can no longer turn a blind eye to this change if they wish to remain competitive.”
For lawyers providing bankruptcy assistance to consumers and small businesses, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz v. United States in March provided some much-needed clarification on their obligations under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. A recent CLE, “Are you a Debt Relief Agency? The Consequences of Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz v. U.S.,” brought together a panel of experts to discuss the Court’s ruling and its implications.
In the past few years, ethics scandals have led to stricter rules for lobbying, making it increasingly important for companies engaged in such activities to pay close attention to compliance. In the CLE program “Demystifying Government Affairs for the Corporate Counsel,” moderator Jennifer A. Lee, a former associate with Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Mueller & Naylor LLP in Marin County, Calif., along with speakers Constance Campanella, Cleta Mitchell and J. Scott Hardin, discussed how companies can best comply with the laws on government affairs work.
Why should companies care about claims being made about their products in social media? According to advertising law expert Andrew Lustigman, companies should care because there is potential liability surrounding those claims.
With the struggling economy shrinking law firm budgets, diversity programs are sometimes the first to go. Law firms may cut diversity-related initiatives without realizing the negative, long-term effects. A diverse bench and bar stimulates trust in the law from a public perspective. From a business standpoint, diversity can contribute to your firm’s bottom line.
With the capacity for storing thousands of books, periodicals and documents, electronic reading devices are increasingly relevant to lawyers. The ABA Journal reported that the Practising Law Institute is publishing some of its continuing education books for the Kindle e-reader. West is following suit, making its key content accessible on a variety of mobile devices More recently, blogger Sharon Nelson shared how a fellow lawyer is using his Kindle to show judges demonstrative evidence in court.
Expert witnesses can make or break a case, but many lawyers inadvertently destroy their experts’ credibility. In the teleconference “Ten Ways That Attorneys Kill Their Own Experts,” panelists discussed common bad habits of lawyers that derail their experts and the ways to avoid them.
“Clients are customers, and customers are more knowledgeable, more diverse and more demanding. They are kings and queens of the new economy,” said Stuart A. Forsyth, keynoter at the 2009 Fall Leadership Meeting of the Section Officers Conference. Forsyth, principal of The Legal Futurist, said the practice of law is changing rapidly and its future is being shaped by client demands.
While it may seem as if every law firm is struggling and reducing staff, many firms remain stable and some are even excelling—we just don’t hear about them in the news. How are they accomplishing their success? Julie A. Fleming, founder of Life at the Bar LLC, answered the question during a recent CLE program, “Seven Secrets Every Lawyer Must Know to Thrive, Even in a Recession.”