Podcast category: Best Legal Practices

ABA Journal: Asked and Answered

How lawyers can use social media responsibly to promote their clients’ cases

Social media is an easy (and often free) tool that litigators can use to share their clients’ stories. But how much is too much, and what if you post something that you’ll regret later?

In this month’s Asked & Answered podcast, we speak with Anthony C. Johnson, a plaintiffs personal injury lawyer who previously owned a search engine optimization and marketing company. He shares with moderator Stephanie Francis Ward some ideas about using Twitter, Facebook—and even Instagram—in a mindful manner.

Anthony C. Johnson, an Arkansas plaintiffs personal injury lawyer, is a partner with Johnson & Vines. Johnson is a former SEO/SEM/Web-development company owner who was featured by the ABA Journal as one of “America’s Techiest Lawyers” in 2012.

Ringler Radio

Inside the Connecticut Bar Association

 

From its creation in 1875, the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) was instrumental in developing and improving court rules and providing quality educational and networking opportunities for its members. Today on Ringler Radio, host, Larry Cohen welcomes the 2014-2015 Connecticut Bar Association President, Mark A. Dubois and Executive Director of the Connecticut Bar Association, Douglas S. Brown, to spotlight the CBA, its mission, membership and the various programs offered through the CBA.

Visit Ringler Associates to contact a consultant in your area about structured settlements.

Un-Billable Hour

Lawyers, Turn Your Clients into Fanatics

Consumers and clients believe customer service has become increasingly bad, yet most businesses believe their customer service is above average. Lawyers are certainly not exempt from this. However, in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and smartphones, unhappy customers are able to share their bad experiences to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people in real-time. So how do law firms, solo lawyers, and other businesses combat this influx in technology and potentially harmful online information? There’s no trick, loyalty program, or hack that will work. Lawyers, and all other people providing service, will just need to create a good experience for their clients and customers across the board.

In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews customer service consultant Peter Shankman about how clients are changing the way they respond to bad service, the part technology plays, how businesses should respond to this change, and his view for the future of online reviews. Shankman begins by explaining the change in the way businesses have sold their products and services for the last 60 years. With the advent of the internet, people are more skeptical of advertising, and are able to connect with each other and interact in real-time. If one unhappy client shares his/her experience on social media, hundreds of people will see it. Shankman discusses transparency and genuine apologetic responses as the effective ways for lawyers to respond to these bad client experiences. However, in order to make clients fanatics, lawyers need to simply communicate with them and treat them with respect, and the client will brag about the good service to others. In the next four years, Shankman expects even online review sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor to become less relevant to business reputations than social media sites like Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. The most important point, Shankman emphasizes, is to consistently treat your clients decently and with respect. When your customer has an amazing experience, they will want to share.

Peter Shankman is an author, consultant, entrepreneur, and the owner of several multi-million dollar companies. He speaks to companies all around the world about how to provide amazing customer service and how to take advantage of the social conversation economy that he believes will be driving the global commerce engine over the next 100 years. Shankman has worked with hundreds of well-known companies and brands, as well as many other companies around the world. His newest book is Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.

ESI Report

Data Preservation, Legal Holds, and Civil Litigation

When an organization or business suddenly finds itself in the middle of a civil litigation case, it is often overwhelmed with discovery requests. Most companies don’t have the tools or processes in place to deal with collection and data preservation and encounter expensive and time-consuming issues when responding to requests for information. What is a legal hold, would your organization be able to initiate a defensible legal hold, and when can data be confidently deleted again? It is very important to understand the discovery process and implement and enforce effective systems for data preservation now in order to reduce future costs of potential litigation.

In this episode of ESI Report, Michelle Lang interviews experienced e-discovery expert Cathleen Peterson about why data preservation is crucial to the discovery process, how to create a defensible legal hold, how to take account for emerging technologies, and when it is ok to delete data. Peterson explains that the fundamental challenge of data preservation is balancing the burden and the benefit. Failure to preserve means trying to recreate access to the data, an incredibly expensive and time-consuming process that raises questions about the effectiveness of the council or credibility of the client. Alternatively, well-preserved data can facilitate a well-managed litigation, control costs, result in an outcome that serves the client, and create the least disruptive litigation flow. A legal hold, Peterson explains, involves giving all potential parties who may have relevant evidence notice that litigation is in existence or anticipated. This includes employees, third parties, the IT department, or any person who may have accessed the information. She discusses how organizations need to implement a data governance system, enforce it across the organization, and update it yearly to account for changes in technology. Once the case is dismissed, the legal hold should be formally lifted and the data deleted so that future cases are not complicated by old data.

Peterson is a senior vice president at Kroll Ontrack, where she leads the consulting and advanced review services teams. She was the Legal Director at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and councel at WilmerHale. Cathleen has deep experience in all-things ediscovery, including records management, collection and preservation strategies, technology assisted review, and regulatory compliance.

Legal Toolkit

Success in Your Remote Workplace

Whether it is from a coffee shop, home office, or library, more people than ever are working remotely. This includes employees at a law firm or business, but many of the principles could be applied to a solo lawyer working at home. The benefits of working from a remote office include shorter commutes, potentially flexible work hours, saving money on office space, and having the best employees for the job regardless of locale. Drawbacks include production-based judgement on employees, isolation issues, and a reduced opportunity for learning directly from coworkers. Despite these drawbacks, many companies are now allowing their employees to work remotely. If this is your company and you are already working from home, or thinking about starting to do so, what are the main considerations and best practices to put into place?

In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Heidi Alexander interviews Tim Baran, a remote employee at a cloud-based legal software company, about the benefits and drawbacks of working remotely, the hardware and software needed, and how to overcome the core issues that many remote lawyers encounter. Baran discusses how the benefit of bringing the work to the employee often outweighs the inability for those workers to interact with and potentially mentor other employees. By spending more time with friends and family, getting involved in industry associations, and going out for lunch, he explains, remote employees can avoid emotional isolation. This advice applies equally to solo lawyers who often do not have a lot of personal contact. Alexander and Baran then go over the practicalities of working remote. While you only need a computer and a phone as hardware, there are many useful apps for practice management, organization, communication, reading and writing, social media, and even encryption (see episode notes for a list of products mentioned).

Obviously, it is important for a remote employee to stay connected with their office and other employees. Baran recommends regular video meetings, daily standups, visits to the home office, communication even with non-urgent matters, and even a fun video activity that includes the whole company. The more communication the employees are able to have, he explains, the more opportunities for feedback, connection, and therefore productivity. At the end of the podcast, Baran gives some succinct but very thorough general productivity advice to all employees, whether remote or not. His systems include: touch everything once, keep a checklist, set a pomodoro timer, develop consistent habits with a calendar, plan the night before, and Alexander adds that the Getting Things Done (GTD) process by David Allen has worked for many lawyers.

Tim Baran is the Community Manager for Rocket Matter, a cloud-based legal software company that makes a law practice management tool. Previously, Baran ran his own CLE company, and has worked in library services at a law firm, a law school, and for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

Paralegal Voice

A Day in the Life of a Senior Paralegal

Marilyn Wass ACP, CAS is the Senior Paralegal at Lopez McHugh, LLP, a nationally recognized plaintiffs law firm that takes on pharmaceutical companies, nursing homes, insurance companies, auto manufacturers, and the manufacturers of defective medical devices. Her job includes an incredible amount of responsibilities both over time and day-to-day. Being a Senior Paralegal for a firm like Lopez McHugh is one of the most prestigious positions in the paralegal world. How did Wass reach this position and what challenges does she face?

On this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Marilyn Wass about the responsibilities of being Senior Paralegal, how her career began and evolved, and specifics about caseloads and technologies. Wass explains her many responsibilities in more detail. She manages the Junior Paralegals and Case Managers, overseeing their workload and making sure assignments are understood and completed in a timely manner. Additionally, Wass oversees and reviews work on the Lipitor mass tort case including ordering medical records and answering discovery. Finally she spends most of her time on estate work and settlement litigation, creating settlement packages for up to 100s of clients. She has to schedule time to talk to clients and government agencies like Medicaid and Medicare.

After describing her job description, Marilyn Wass goes into the evolution of her career. She explains how she went from a temp job in a law firm to Paralegal school at UCLA. She had interest in working for small firms in the medical field and for lawyers who wanted to teach her about litigation and other skills necessary to move up in the litigation field. She talks about the biggest challenges she faces in her position including prioritizing various jobs and keeping clients happy. In the second half of the podcast, Voisin and Wass discuss the software Lopez McHugh uses and how training is done. Overall, Wass advises paralegals to learn litigation in school and to seek out areas of legal work, not just available jobs.

Stay tuned to the end when Vicki Voisin answers questions sent in by listeners. You never know when another paralegal has the same question as you.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA and ServeNow.

Special Reports

ABA Law Practice Division: Robert Young on Highlights From the Fall Meeting

The Digital Edge host Jim Calloway interviews Robert Young about the 2014 American Bar Association Law Practice Division Fall Meeting. Young explains the rebranding of the division from the law practice management section of the ABA and the four core groups now included: marketing, technology, finance, and law firm management. He suggests that every lawyer be a member and gives some examples of available resources from the Legal Technology Resource Center. Robert Young has been a personal injury defense litigator for 25 years and is the current Chair of the Law Practice Division.

Special Reports

ABA Law Practice Division: Brett Burney on the Techshow

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews ABA Techshow Board Chair Brett Burney at the 2014 ABA Law Practice Division Fall Meeting. Burney explains how the Techshow is a 2½ day conference focused on providing lawyers with technology information. He encourages all lawyers, legal professionals, and law firm employees to attend to learn about technology such as iPads or going paperless on an individual level from devoted speakers. Burney and Colletti also discuss the Expo Hall setup, his board’s contribution to the event, and succession planning. In Addition to being the Chair of the ABA Techshow Board, Brett Burney is Principal of Burney Consultants LLC, and is very active in the Mac-using lawyer community.

 

Special Reports

ABA Law Practice Division: Tom Bolt on Membership and Benefits

New Solo host Adriana Linares interviews Tom Bolt, Chair Elect of the American Bar Association Law Practice Division at the 2014 Fall Meeting. Bolt discusses the all-encompassing nature of the division including legal marketing, management, finance, and technology, and opportunities to network nationally and internationally. The division is expanding local outreach to law schools and local communities and he is pleased with the connection to the Women Rainmakers Board. As Chair-Elect, Tom Bolt has many ideas about the future of the Law Practice Division in 2015.

 

Special Reports

ABA Law Practice Division: Paulette Brown’s Advice for Women Attorneys

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews President-Elect of the American Bar Association Paulette Brown at the 2014 ABA Law Practice Division Fall Meeting. Brown explains the concepts from her speeches at the ABA Women Rainmakers Mid-Career Workshop and the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association. She describes the need for female attorneys to not conform to expectations and seek out leadership roles within the legal profession. Brown also emphasizes the importance for all lawyers to find a balance in their lives including sleep, family, and finding something that helps clear the mind. She then gives her experience with the ABA, interaction with the current President William Hubbard, and why young lawyers should be involved. Paulette Brown has been a lawyer for 38 years, worked for Fortune 500 companies, owned a firm for 15 years, and is now a partner in the Morristown, New Jersey office of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP. She has been involved with the American Bar Association since she graduated from law school.

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