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Legal Ethics: US and England Compared

The perception of attorneys in the US is dismal. The perception of the legal profession in the US is unfortunately unfavorable in general. A 2007 Gallup Poll looking at “unfavorable attitudes” showed that only advertising executives (58% highly unfavorable) and lobbyists (42% highly unfavorable) more

One Reason Why You Never Want to Get Lazy With Your Time Keeping

This post is directed toward those of you who fail to accurately record your time on a consistent basis throughout the day, day after day. I know it can be a hassle but there are really good reasons why this should be a priority. Now I could start lecturing and talk about the studies that more

The Ashley Madison Hack and its Lesson for Attorneys

I am going to assume that you, dear reader, had no personal information leaked as a result of the Ashley Madison hack. In addition, let’s set the curiosity response aside because, of course, who didn’t wonder that if they could look at the list would they recognize anyone? With worry and more

Does Your Business Need a BYOD Policy? Yes!

Businesses of today are finding it necessary to implement well-thought out BYOD policies. In this age of mobile devices and nearly instantaneous information gratification and communications, the notion of work productivity has greatly expanded. Unless you choose to shut down your personal more

How to Avoid the Legal Fee Suit Counterclaim

You finish a client matter. You believe you did good work and got a good result for your client. Then, as sometimes happens, you are forced to come to grips with the reality that this client has stopped making payments and now owes you quite a bit. It should go without saying that you deserve to more

Why You Should Never Say Never to Malpractice Insurance -The True Cost of “Going Bare”

I will admit I honestly don’t understand why a lawyer would ever decide to not buy a malpractice policy; but many lawyers do just that and the reasons I hear are many. Some try to justify their decision by declaring that malpractice premiums are beyond affordable. They’ll tell me “just look at more

Who’s Steering the Ship? Managing the Business Side of Your Firm

I have always felt that my law school education missed one key component because a comprehensive course on how to manage the business side of a law practice was never offered. Trust me, I had my fair share of missteps early on in my career and a course like that would have helped. Yes, I do more

ALPS 411 Blog Digest - February 2015 Edition

Why the Use of an Engagement Letter Should Never be Optional By Mark Bassingthwaighte Engagement letters seem to be one of those documents that most attorneys intellectually appreciate the value of but often underutilize. This letter simply isn’t in consistent use day to day and the excuses run more

ALPS 411 Blog Digest - January 2015 Edition

6 Steps to Propel You Forward in 2015 By Susan Cartier Liebel“Learn from the past, prepare for the future, live in the present.” ~ Thomas S. Monson   Unless you are prescient, not every single thing you did when you opened your solo/small firm practice was 100% spot on. You may have had more

When Does Legal Outsourcing Become Fee Splitting?

Thank you to Wilton H. Strickland, Esq. of Strickland & Baldwin for this post (his second) to ALPS 411. Legal outsourcing has been around in one form or another for a long time; however, its growing popularity in recent years has drawn more people’s attention to it, giving rise to a host of more

Why Delegating Work is a Smart Decision

We all have a few family stories that never seem to die. One of mine involves an extended family member who didn’t file his personal taxes for a number of years. Don’t misunderstand me, the tax returns were finished. He just never took the time to review the work of the tax preparers he had hired more

Try Not To Fall Into The Comfort Trap

I suspect it would come as no surprise to learn that many of the files that come our way after a malpractice claim has been reported come up short in terms of thorough documentation. If we had found in those files what should have been there, a number of claims would have been resolved far more

Getting It Right with Client Selection

Years ago during a visit with a solo attorney, we were discussing the importance of effective client screening when I learned that this attorney’s approach was to look at the shoes potential new clients wore. He swore that you could tell a lot about a person by their personal preference in more

Don’t Run With Assumptions When in a Co-counsel Relationship

Co-counsel relationships are sometimes formed “on the fly” meaning that no thorough discussion as to who will be responsible for what ever occurs. This can be disastrous if both attorneys assume the other will meet a critical deadline and as a result a deadline is actually missed. It can get more

Never Let Them See You Sweat

Who remembers the advertisement for deodorant with the memorable line, "Never let them see you sweat." (I know, I'm dating myself but when a line is memorable, it's memorable.) I was reminded of this recently when I had a small construction job priced out by a builder. I know times are difficult more

New Free E-Zine - New Math, New Money

ALPS partner Attorney at Work has just published a lawyer's guide to the changing business of law. There’s been a lot of talk about big changes in the legal profession. But when the shift starts making popular media headlines and legal academia begins to fuss, you know the change has arrived. more

Remember, It's Not Your Money!

Theft of client property remains a serious concern for the legal profession, but trust account problems aren't just about rogue lawyers. The real problem is that far too often an attorney was less than diligent about maintaining proper and appropriate financial practices in the office and more