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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

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 Avoid Blowing a Statute of Limitations Date

Allowing a statute of limitations (SOL) to run on a client matter has always been a common malpractice error and I really don’t see that changing. One would think that with the rise of computerized calendaring systems there would be a decrease in the frequency of these types of errors....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

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

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 undoubtedly...read more

What’s Wrong With Assuming Everything Will Turn Out Just Fine?

Everyone makes assumptions every day. As I see it, doing so allows each day to progress with some level of predictability and efficiency. Most days I assume my wife will return home for dinner at her usual time, all my tech will function problem free, and that if I need anything from anyone at the...read 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 be...read 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 are...read more

Getting Started Solo - A 2-part webinar series

In this two-part, 3-hour program, the presenters will identify and discuss the principal issues that an attorney should address in going through the process of establishing a solo practice. A sampling of the takeaways attendees can expect to receive include a basic understanding of malpractice...read more

Watch Out for These Common Conflict of Interest Traps

I’ve spent years trying to encourage solo and small firm lawyers to develop and consistently use a formal conflict checking system that tracks all of the information best practices currently dictate. In all honesty, I will admit that I have had limited success in this endeavor. This doesn’t mean I...read more

Why the Use of an Engagement Letter Should Never be Optional

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 the gamut. I often hear “Repeat clients would be offended,” “They take more time than...read more

Don’t Kiss Off the Importance of Closure Letters

I continue to find that the use of a letter of closure varies greatly firm to firm as well as between attorneys within the same firm. The excuses that I often hear include “we do a lot of flat fee in and out kinds of things here and the effort simply isn’t worth it,” “I’m not about to say good-bye...read more

I Believe First Impressions Matter. Do You?

Like you, I’ve been a consumer for years and the older I get the more I’ve come to recognize the impact of first impressions. They really do matter. I can only speak for me, but these days if I am forced to interact with a pushy sales person when first entering a store, I often leave and rarely...read more

How Much Is This Case Worth?

How Much Is That Case Worth? In consulting with clients about how to handle their ediscovery, I have learned that one of the first Early Case Assessment (ECA) questions needs to be “How much is the case worth?” It does not take long for the eDiscovery costs to mount to startling amounts. And,...read more

You Don't Need to Be Rich to Do ediscovery - Part 2

Now I See Them! Getting a handle on the various electronic files that can appear in even a relatively small collection of electronic data can be a challenge. There is a huge pot of alphabet soup for the many drawing/image/photo file types, sound and video files, various text files, different flavors...read more

You Don't Need to be Rich to do eDiscovery - Part 1

What Do I Have? “Litigants can spend upwards of $18,000 to collect, process and review a single gigabyte of data,” according to Benedict Hur and Matthew Werdegar in September 2014’s issue of Corporate Counsel in "3 E-discovery Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore." Actually, I am sure they can spend...read more

How to not be yet another Victim of Ransomware

A few weeks back, attorneys from two different firms spoke with me about being hit with a particularly nasty ransomware attack. In each case the firm's files were encrypted by CryptoLocker and thus unavailable. Both firms experienced about four days of down time, meaning they had no access to their...read 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 a...read 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...read more