Lawyers often focus on how they can use technology to improve the efficiency and quality of their legal services. However, technology has additionally started to change what people in other professions provide to their clients, even to the point of changing the meaning of “services.” Professionals are now creating products that provide revenue in the form of royalties, thereby exceeding what can be made in billable hours. These include books written about new forms of technology, tax guides, answers to common questions, convenient apps, and even software. Is this a “Big Idea” that lawyers should also be considering as they think about the ways they might use technology?
In this episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedyand Tom Mighell discuss how lawyers might begin “productizing” services, some ideas about how to create successful products, and the legal and ethical implications of providing this information. Kennedy explains that products such as books or apps providing tips on marketing, finance, general management, or technology are valuable to lawyers. Most often, the lawyer or firm has already done the research required, and simply needs to create a means for selling it. Kennedy recommends several ways lawyers should get started: analyze what other lawyers are doing successfully, look closely at the strengths within your firm, and learn by trying certain products even though they might fail. Mighell points out that the concept of creating products out of your firm is not a simple process, rather it requires a lot of thought and should not be gone into as a whim.
After the break Kennedy and Mighell ask anyone who thinks they might be the right candidate to write a book providing information on technology for lawyers to reach out and let them know. They emphasize that many lawyers underestimate their own level of experience and offer to provide subject ideas. Tweet @DennisKennedyor @TomMighell or click the link below to download a proposal form. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
When a law firm breaks up or a lawyer leaves to start a new practice, there are always clients, contingency arrangements, and hourly cases to split up. It is important to know what ethical steps a lawyer or law firm should take when parting ways. If the firm splits up, who has the rights to the name, brand, clients, or even client files? How can both parties ethically allocate unfinished business, accounts receivable, or unsettled contingency prearrangements? An ethical and professional split is inevitably beneficial for the future of the law firm and the lawyer.
On this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon D. Nelson and Jim Calloway ask legal ethics expert Tom Spahn about the proper way to professionally deal with the various situations that arise when a law firm splits up. He explains that lawyers and their firms should remain civil and open to negotiation before the lawyer has left. Firms have run into trouble while trying to penalize leaving employees on an individual basis. He discusses the ethically proper way to deal with unfinished business doctrines, document retention programs, and fiduciary duties to clients. Due to technology, there are new issues to consider including digital files or property ownership of domain names. Overall, however, Spahn emphasizes that every partner has a continuing duty to make sure every client is adequately served.
Tom Spahn, often known as “Mr. Ethics” in Virginia, practices as a commercial litigator in the Tysons Corner office of McGuireWoods. He has served on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professionalism, and has spoken over 1,200 times on ethics and other topics in the United States and abroad.
Heidi Alexander, co-host of The Legal Toolkit on Legal Talk Network, interviews Jack Newton about his featured presentation, “Delivering a Cloud Experience” at Mass LOMAP’s 4th Annual Super Marketing Conference. In the presentation, he explains how cloud technology such as client portals, online document review, secure live communications, and online billing can improve how lawyers market their client experience. Newton is the founder and CEO of Clio, a company that provides web-based practice management systems and client collaboration platforms for small- to mid-sized law firms.
The non-consensual posting of nude or sexual media by one person of another is known as Revenge Porn. Many victims report that this practice has had detrimental effects on their lives. Of those surveyed, 90 percent are women and 49 percent say they’ve been stalked or harassed. Despite the growing number of reports, most states’ laws do not address the issue. On this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams interview victim-advocate Dr. Holly Jacobs, a victim of revenge porn herself, and Professor Mary Anne Franks, both of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. Together, they discuss the technical aspects of various states’ laws that allow some types of posts while forbidding others. Many factors and technicalities, including who took the picture, how the image or video was obtained, and who posted it, can dictate whether posting the item was illegal. Tune in to this very special episode to learn what individual states and the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative are doing to combat Revenge Porn.
Dr. Holly Jacobs is the Founder, President, and Executive Director of Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, which is the parent organization for the End Revenge Porn Campaign. She is a national commentator and writer on the subject and holds a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. While pursuing her graduate degrees, Jacobs became a victim of revenge porn and has since dedicated her life towards providing resources and advocacy to victims of online harassment.
Professor Mary Anne Franks is the Vice President of Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School and prior to her teaching career, obtained both her Masters and PhD in Modern Languages and Literature as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. As part of her continuing efforts with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, she works with state legislatures to draft legislation against non-consensual pornography.
If you had bought $1,000 worth of Bitcoins in 2010, you would have $2.4 million dollars today. The anonymous, Internet-based currency has seen an exponential rise in value and popularity since its inception in 2009. This raises legal questions regarding the legitimacy, the legalities, and what lawyers need to know about this new currency. In this edition of Lawyer2Lawyer hosts Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams invite Bitcoin experts, attorney Lowell D. Ness and journalist Kashmir Hill, to provide some answers and a foretelling of the e-currency’s future.
Ness is a partner of the nationwide law firm Perkins Coie which has extensive experience in virtual currency. The firm’s Virtual Currency Report Blog, which Lowell regularly contributes to, provides a legal outlook on the state of bitcoin and the market. Lowell’s practice focuses on high-growth emerging companies and involves venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, and private placements.
Senior Online Editor of Forbes, Hill is a privacy pragmatist with an interest in the intersection of law, technology, social media, and personal information. Former editor of Above the Law, she has been following the Bitcoin story from the start, and will be releasing an e-book documenting Bitcoin’s rise later this year.