Professional Practice Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Professional Practice issues written by leading professionals.
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Knock-Out Depositions!

Hailing from South Philly as I do, Rocky Balboa has been a hero of mine since I was a little girl. In my tween years I became obsessed with Rocky, and boxing in general, reading up on Rocky’s own hero, Rocky Marciano (whose...more

Third Circuit Rejects Class Certification for Widener Law Grads

A panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals refused to allow class certification for a group of Widener University School of Law Graduates who allege that the law school inflated postgraduate employment rate statistics in...more

Susan E. Rich: A Legacy of "Firsts"

Susan Elliott Rich is a legend at Baker Donelson. In fact, she holds all of the "firsts" – first female shareholder, first woman to be an Office Managing Shareholder and first woman appointed to the Firm's Board of Directors....more

IT and Legal Walk into a Bar: Why Strong Interdepartmental Relationships are a Must in E-Discovery

The E in E-Discovery requires expertise in tech as well as law, and the most successful in-house legal teams bring those disciplines together. Legal professionals become more technology savvy. IT team members begin to...more

My Class Action Checklist

For a number of years now, I have enjoyed successfully resolving complex class action matters. The cases are challenging, the counsel astute and the results rewarding....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

The Case for the Mid-Sized Law Firm: A Conversation with Ed Winslow

Brooks Pierce partner, Ed Winslow, in conversation with Kathryn Whitaker on the legal industry past and present, law firm leadership, and the virtues of MidLaw versus BigLaw....more

After Action Assessments: A cornerstone of prevention

Preventing legal problems from ever occurring does not happen serendipitously.  It is a matter of design, intention and execution.  In Life at the Speed of Prevention, we will devote a number of posts to the design of a...more

Lead Change or Hang On for Dear Life

Change is. Years ago, many people debated whether the legal industry was changing. Truth be told, the debate was silly. Change is. The only question is the speed of change. It used to be slow. It took years to move from...more

Tips for Maintaining a Positive and Productive Attorney-Client Relationship

Retaining legal counsel can be overwhelming for many clients. The attorney-client relationship frequently begins at a difficult time in a client’s life. As lawyers, we are charged with not only helping clients work through...more

Have your clients had their legal checkup?

In August 2014, the ABA's Commission on the Future of Legal Services set out to improve the delivery of, and access to, legal services in the United States. (Report on the Future of Legal Service in the United States, p.4) ...more

Compensation (Re)Design for Law Firms

The good people at Ark Group recently published a new book, “Compensation (Re)Design for Law Firms,” edited by Soo Darcy. I was invited to contribute a chapter, entitled “Incentivizing the New Normal.” As regular readers...more

Only 105 Days Until E-Discovery Day! It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning How You’ll Celebrate

One of the main themes that came out of Exterro's 2016 Judges Survey was that e-discovery competency was significantly lacking amongst attorneys and other e-discovery practitioners. As one attorney put it, “Litigators tend to...more

Stress Busters

Stress related to international depositions is a recurring topic in this blog. But stress is a daily hazard for the busy paralegal, with or without international depositions on the horizon. Deadlines, unending paperwork and...more

What 401(k) Plan Sponsors Shouldn’t Forget

It’s easy to forget things. Heck, half of the things my wife tells me to do is forgotten by the afternoon. My wife often suggests that I keep a list of things I need to do so I don’t forget. Of course, I forget to keep lists....more

Attorney mom of special needs child chooses law, motherhood

GableGotwals attorney Ellen Adams put her firm's family friendly policies to the test eight years ago when she delivered a child with special needs. Adams was given all the time and flexibility she needed to balance her...more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Affirms Right of Former Trustee to Represent Lender in Foreclosure Under Deed of Trust

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion addressing whether a conflict of interest exists when a trustee under a deed of trust initiates a foreclosure proceeding and later represents the lender in that...more

New Model Rules Make It Unethical to Discriminate

As I have for over a decade now, I attended the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting last week serving on the ABA’s House of Delegates – the organization’s main governing body. My exact position is actually State...more

The Right Time to Visit a Client

When discussing client relationships and client service with law firm leaders, we are often asked a question I find surprising: When is the best time to go visit a client? Before delving into the answers to that...more

Business Development Education is Key to a Law Firm’s Success

A key component of my position as Director of Marketing and Business Development at a law firm, is to educate. As many new attorneys in private practice quickly realize, marketing and business development are generally not...more

CFPB Presents New Regulatory Requirements for Third-Party Debt Collectors

On July 28, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an outline of proposals and alternatives under consideration for regulating debt collection practices. The outline’s release triggers the formation of...more

How Lawyers Can “Get a GRIP” on Collaboration

This post is targeted to Leaders – to all you Practice Group Leaders, Project Leaders, Team Leaders, and even Firm Leaders – whose role is to get assorted performers to pull together effectively in harness. But you followers...more

Subway Adopts Novel Approach to Stem Wage and Hour Claims

Subway is one of the largest franchisors in the world, with over 26,000 restaurants in the United States alone. It is also in one of the industries most prone to wage and hour claims, a fact reflected in both Department of...more

Legally Speaking: A Transforming Legal Marketplace and its Impact on Business

Like many industries worldwide, the legal world finds itself in an era of transformation. After decades of rapid growth, the demand for traditional legal services has slowed enormously since 2008. A number of factors drive...more

CFPB Presents Significant New Regulatory Requirements for Third-Party Debt Collectors

On July 28, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an outline of proposals and alternatives under consideration for regulating debt collection practices. The outline’s release triggers the formation of...more

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