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Practice Management

When Passwords Fail - A Personal Story

Sometimes married couples see things differently and the only way to resolve the tension is by finally deciding to agree to disagree. That’s how things played out in our home for a number of years on the issue of passwords. My wife seemed to view my focus on computer security and passwords as...read more

How to Identify the Potential Clients You Really Should Say No To

Everyone makes a bad decision now and again. Unfortunately, if the bad decision was agreeing to take on a client that you really should have said no to, life just got a little more complicated. In short, you have likely signed up “a problem client.” When this happens, some will recognize the bad...read more

Don’t Minimize the Importance of Managing Your Side of the Attorney-Client Relationship

Over the years, numerous articles have been written on how to successfully manage attorney-client relationships. Typically, these articles emphasize effective and thorough communication skills, maintaining a professional presentation at all times and in all work spaces, learning all you can about...read more

If You Failed to Document It, It Never Happened.

  Please, can we just acknowledge that lawyers as a group are terrible when it comes to properly and thoroughly documenting their files? Of course, not you, but all the other lawyers out there sure are. You wouldn’t believe how bad it can get. I say this because with almost every claim we handle we...read more

Yes, Virginia, There Really are Accidental Clients

I will share that I can appreciate a well-crafted cocktail; but I can also assure you that when I am in a situation where such beverages are being served, I never allow myself to get involved in a conversation about someone else’s legal problems and I strongly encourage you to do the same. Let me...read more

When Nonprofit Boards Come Calling

Look, I get it. An opportunity to sit on the board of a local nonprofit is finally yours for the taking. Better yet, it’s a charitable cause you strongly believe in, the opportunity will allow you to get you name out there, and one would expect that the new contacts made will lead to new clients...read more

HOW MUCH PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERAGE DO I REALLY NEED? Part II – Deciding What Policy is Right for Your Firm.

In Part I of my blog, I went through the issues you should consider when deciding how much insurance your firm needs. Part II will go over the features and benefits you should understand as you evaluate your existing insurance policy or shop for a new carrier. First and foremost, take advantage of...read more

What You Need to Know Before Buying Malpractice Insurance

I have yet to read an insurance policy that I would consider a great read. So let’s admit it, insurance policies are rather boring. I suspect few of you have ever really taken the time to read completely through your homeowners or auto policy. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this as long as...read more

How Much Professional Liability Insurance Coverage Do I Really Need? Part I - Looking at Your Firm from a Claims Perspective

The practice of law has evolved dramatically over the last 25 years with the explosion of technology.  Technological advances have made the practice of law easier and increased its complexity. Society, firms, and attorneys are behaving radically differently. Associates rarely stay at a firm longer...read more

ALPS and SpeakWrite partner to serve policyholders

SpeakWrite offers cloud-based transcription service to ALPS customers. ALPS, the nation's largest direct writer of lawyers' malpractice insurance, and SpeakWrite, a cloud-based transcription service, have partnered to extend SpeakWrite’s service to ALPS policyholders. With typists based across the...read more

How in the world can you not know who your client is?

From time to time I get involved in conversations with lawyers who have called in with a question or concern and as we talk through the situation it becomes clear that part of the problem is the lawyer doesn’t seem to know who his client is. These are the times I find myself thinking “How in the...read more

Again with the Metadata? Enough Already!

I have been writing and lecturing about metadata for years. (And in case you have forgotten, metadata is the “hidden” information about the electronic documents we create that we’re all supposed to be worried about.) I guess for some of late, I’ve run on with the topic long enough because a few have...read more

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)...read more

ALPS 411-May 2016 Blog Digest

  Free Ezine: The New Associate’s Guide to Business Development By Kiffin Hope Big firm or small, there’s a single question the partners in any law firm ask about a young associate: “Is she a keeper?” And, while legal skills count, it’s clear they’re thinking: “Can she bring in clients?” Help has...read more

How Long Do We Need to Keep Our Closed Files?

As a risk manager, this question is the one question I’m asked more than any other and I get it. Although my wife is a physician, she had to deal with the same issue. We were paying to store her closed files for years after she left private practice and we both breathed a sigh of relief when that...read more

How To Best Fill Out An LPL Policy Application

Filling out applications for Lawyers’ Professional Liability Insurance is about as appetizing as eating that fruit cake your great Aunt Reitha sent you for Christmas. While well meaning, and a “good” source of fruit, for me at least, it’s never what I was hoping for. Regardless of fruit cakes,...read more

How To Prepare For A Meaningful Law Career

Guest post by Ron Fox, Esq. of Career Planning for Lawyers. I continue to be quite concerned about how we got to this point (my 50th year in the legal profession and my 30th year providing career advice to lawyers and law students) where an extraordinary high percentage of lawyers are dissatisfied;...read more

How to Manage the Risks Associated with Substantive Errors

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability has been providing a statistical analysis of claims data collected from various lawyer-owned and commercial insurance companies for years. One number that I consistently pay attention to has been the number of claims...read more

Two Essential Skills to Achieve Greater Work-Life Balance

Your automatic creative mechanism is teleological… it operates in terms of goals and end results. ~ Maxwell Maltz How committed are you to achieving any of the goals you have set? There is a difference between being interested in achieving something, and stopping at nothing to do everything in your...read more

Learn How To Be A Lawyer Under Fire

If you commit to a 40-hour work week in the beginning of your solo practice career, unless you have hip pocket business, you will see most of your weeks will be marketing and legal education and very little billing. In time the ratio will change from 80/20 to 20/80 only because you must always have...read more