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Three Tips for Handling the Difficult Decision to Downsize

In a perfect world, law firms would always continue to grow and there would never be a need to reduce attorney or staff head count. However, with the changing market for legal services, many law firms have been forced to...more

Three Tips for Avoiding Social Media Conflicts

While most attorneys recognize the value of social media in promoting their practices, attorneys do not always apply the same level of care when using social media in a supposedly personal capacity. However, recent...more

Steps for Limiting Liability as Local Counsel

Many litigators have either sought or served as local counsel at least once in their careers. Litigators with national practices may work with local counsel more often than not. Those with niche practices based in specialized...more

Three Considerations of Document Proposal

Reviewing and revising a law practice's document retention and disposal practices is an aspirational goal for many law firms. Indeed, setting such a policy can be quite difficult. One reason is that the rules of professional...more

Code of Law: If You See Something, Say Something

The legal profession's system of self-governance relies in part on what is effectively an "honor code" for attorneys. Specifically, when an attorney becomes aware of misconduct by another attorney, many states require that...more

Four Reasons Law Firms Change Insurers

A law firm may find that renewing its legal malpractice policy with the same insurer year after year is advantageous for a number of reasons. For example, the law firm and insurer may build a strong working relationship, and...more

5 Fundamentals of Collecting Fees

It pays to implement an effective billing system—literally. On the front end, having a system in place increases realization rates because it gets money in the door. On the back end, fee disputes and related malpractice...more

The high cost of incivility in the legal profession

From day one, law schools stress the importance of budding lawyers' personal reputations. They counsel their students to act professionally and to treat professors and classmates—their future colleagues—with respect and...more

Avoiding common law firm cybersecurity pitfalls

Cybersecurity often causes trepidation among attorneys simply because attorneys lack understanding of the nature of online risks and how to protect themselves. As evidenced in Part One of this series, law firms appear to be...more

Service on outside boards has its risks

Attorneys are often eager to serve on boards of directors of outside organizations and with good reason. After all, membership on a board can increase the attorney's visibility, create connections that lead to new business...more

Take a work-free vacation without compromising quality

As we enter the legal profession's unofficial vacation month—August—lawyers are reminded of the positive impact of time spent away from the office. Studies regularly confirm that vacations are important both for attorneys...more

Make sure your emails don't turn into evidence

Sometimes the first notice of a legal malpractice claim is a demand or a complaint. However, attorneys or law firms often become aware of a claim through threats from the client during the course of a representation or...more

Exercising attorney-client privilege over in-house communications

Law firm in-house counsel privilege is once again in the news, with New York joining other states, including Georgia, in upholding the attorney-client privilege for in-house counsel communications. ...more

Don't wait for the new year to close old files

Most attorneys and law practices generally understand which clients are no longer clients and which matters should be closed. Although closing files is not complicated, it typically only happens if there is a concentrated...more

Attorneys must be precise in representations to court

On May 19, Judge Andrew Hanen of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a scathing order criticizing the conduct of several Department of Justice attorneys defending the federal government against a...more

Cybersecurity, Part 3: Identifying solutions

Cybersecurity issues are constantly evolving. Indeed, even since the first article in this series was published, it was announced that plaintiffs law firm Edelson PC has already filed a privacy class action lawsuit against a...more

Cybersecurity, Part 2: Firms should avoid these common mistakes

The idea of cybersecurity may be foreign—or even frightening—to many attorneys. However, as evidenced in Part One of this series ("Cybersecurity: You Can't Afford to Ignore It Anymore," April 25) law firms appear to be the...more

Cybersecurity: You can't afford to ignore it anymore

In late March, newspapers confirmed that a Russian hacker named "Oleras" targeted 48 law firms (most of which are Am Law 100 firms). Oleras planned to hack these firms to secure confidential and highly valuable insider...more

Effective calendaring and email systems prevent claims Whoops – Legal Malpractice Prevention

Computers and technology have changed every aspect of the modern law practice. Email, for instance, has completely transformed the practice of law. Electronic communication is instantaneous, continuous, and ubiquitous. It is...more

Beware of informal relationships and conflicts

Conflicts of interest can be complicated and risky. They can be impediments to taking on new business and can also lead to high verdicts in legal malpractice cases. Virtually all attorneys know to run conflict checks for new...more

A few words of caution for partners and associates

Most attorneys are aware that they have duties to act ethically in the practice of law. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to determine where that obligation extends beyond the attorney's own conduct. For partners, some...more

How an attorney should handle a mistake

Although there are steps that attorneys can take to reduce the likelihood of making an error, mistakes still happen in the course of an attorney-client relationship. An attorney might miss a tax lien during a title...more

Attorney impairment is on the rise; here's how to fight back

Attorneys work long hours under intense pressure. Because stress levels are high, attorneys often look for ways to blow off steam, leading to a "work hard, play hard" motto for those in the practice of law. When months of...more

Casual Advice Can Be Binding - Whoops – Legal Malpractice Prevention

Virtually all attorneys know that the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit certain conflicts of interest. Yet, almost daily, the legal media report large settlements or verdicts involving legal malpractice claims premised...more

Top tips for firms hiring contract attorneys

With rate pressures and expenses mounting, law firms are looking for new ways to make ends meet. One area that seems to be exploding is the use of contract, or freelance, attorneys. Often, these attorneys are willing to apply...more

12/16/2015  /  Contract Attorneys , Legal Ethics
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