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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 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 more


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 more

Should You Try Mediation Most of the Time? Yes.

Disputes happen. Frankly, if disputes didn't happen, most lawyers (solo or otherwise) would be out of business. Whether you're in an active battle because a client didn't get paid or was (heaven forbid) injured, or are looking at a contract and determining the likely impact of certain clauses more

ALPS 2016 Top Mobile Apps for Lawyers

Must have apps to start the New Year off productively Hello from ALPS. It’s our pleasure to present you with our annual survey of apps that will help make lawyers more productive and efficient in the age of mobile and digital. Some apps from our previous posts are included, but they have 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

ALPS 2015 Top Mobile Apps for Lawyers

It’s been a while since I’ve surveyed the landscape of mobile apps for lawyers, but here we go again. Some apps from my previous post are included, but they have undoubtedly been updated for both functionality and security on the go. This is not an exhaustive list nor am I ranking them. These more

Of Course It’s Fine to Say Goodbye to Clients, Just Don’t Let Your File Go with Them

When I first came to ALPS I was surprised to learn that we do have firms, who after reporting a claim, are unable to provide a copy of the subject file. Believe it or not, they didn’t keep it. While the reasons vary, generally we find that the attorney or firm simply didn’t think that maintaining 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

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

"Shortcuts to Avoid-Ten Practice Tips" - New Guide from ALPS

A malpractice claim is not a good thing. Even knowing this, lawyers too readily allow themselves to say this or that time saving shortcut is warranted. If, however, you fail to periodically remind yourself of the importance of follow-through, such shortcuts will eventually become engrained more

How To Throw Away A Decade of Good Client Relations With One Letter

Unfortunately, all professionals, doctors, lawyers, accountants, will tend to undervalue good client relations. They underestimate the good will created, fail to put a price tag on it and don't own where they might have gone wrong when a long term client relationship fails. While this is not 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

Do Law Firms Still Need legal Secretaries?

In this article I discuss the law firm support position of legal secretary. Recent efforts to understand and better manage this position have been marginally successful, but much more can be done. Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the position, which has historically comprised 50% more

I Work Like This, Because?

While out on a walk, I briefly overheard part of a conversation about weddings. What caught my attention was this comment: “Why do people spend so much time and money on their wedding and so little on their marriage?” That question struck a chord with me. Now I’m not one to say don’t more

Top Smartphone Apps for Lawyers

Hi, I'm Kiffin Hope+. As the Social Media Community Manager for ALPS, I cruise a lot of law blogs (blawgs) and discussion groups each day. Recently, I’ve been paying particular attention quite a bit to comments about smartphone applications for lawyers. These applications run the gamut of more

Warning: New Android Malware Jumps from Phone to PC

Lawyers, if you are using an Android device, this story should make you take notice. A new form of Android malware can travel from you phone to your PC, opening files on a computer, collecting contact info, snag photos, and more."Two Android apps, Superclean and "a twin brother," DroidCleaner, more

Free Resources for the Legal Community from ALPS

In 2011, ALPS formalized its commitment to education and risk management with the advent of ALPS Educational Services (AES). With over two decades of working in all phases of the professional liability insurance industry — from underwriting to sales, to marketing and education — there are more

Mediation and Solo Construction Practice

Wow! My second post here at ALPS 411. I was thrilled to be invited back and decided to follow up my last post on solo construction practice in the cloud with a more specific post that is near and dear to my heart as a construction attorney here in Virginia. Namely mediation and how it can more

Problem Clients and the Lessons They Teach

When discussing past malpractice claims or disciplinary matters with attorneys, I often hear statements along the lines of “I knew I shouldn’t have agreed to take that client on” or “That was one of those no good deed goes unpunished situations.” Effective risk management begins with more