RSSArchive for April, 2011

April 2011 - Increasing the Bottom Line Edition

April 2011 – Increasing the Bottom Line Edition

Highlights from the “Money” issue of the Contra Costa Lawyer include articles on thriving in ‘interesting’ times (M. Sue Talia), maximizing profits (Andy Ross), starting your own business (Steve Gizzi), how technology can improve your bottom line (David Pearson), starting lawyer-client relationships (D. J. Hartsough), and elements of a successful website (Jessica Gore)

How Multitasking Burns Money and Ruins your Brain

How Multitasking Burns Money and Ruins your Brain

As a busy family law attorney, I can tell you that many things consume my time. Here are my top ten time-burning, schedule busting activities: 10. Reading 12 emails from the same client anguishing over who has the right to walk the dog this weekend (generally sent between 2am and 3am) 9. Explaining to clients […]

Thriving in “Interesting” Times

Thriving in “Interesting” Times

There is an ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” I think most would agree that things have gotten a lot more interesting for us in recent years. Many of our clients are struggling, which means that many of us or our colleagues are feeling the fallout. Whether you are thriving, struggling, or […]

Maximizing Profits: Practical Tips Concerning Your Written Fee Agreement and Interactions with the Client

Maximizing Profits: Practical Tips Concerning Your Written Fee Agreement and Interactions with the Client

The purpose of this article is to recommend practical tips concerning the decision to represent a client and after that decision is made, to recommend important provisions for your fee agreement.  These provisions can help protect both you and the client, while at the same time preserving and increasing your profits.  Additional practical advice concerning […]

Anyone for Hanging out a Shingle?

Anyone for Hanging out a Shingle?

The job market for attorneys is so challenging right now that the majority of recent articles in the ABA Journal have focused on law firm layoffs and unemployed law school graduates suing their law schools for misrepresenting job prospects. Many who are qualified to practice law, but are unable to secure employment, decide to hang […]

How Technology Can Improve Your Bottom Line

How Technology Can Improve Your Bottom Line

By now, there are hopefully few, if any, practitioners without at least a computer and printer in their office. The advent of office technology has been a blessing and a curse. Time cycles for preparing documents and responding to clients has rapidly decreased first with faxes and now with email, texting and instant messaging. This […]

Starting Lawyer-Client Relationships

Starting Lawyer-Client Relationships

Nowhere is the phrase “Start with the end in mind” more profound than when entering into a lawyer-client relationship.  This critical first phase has more to do with planning than the proper application of statutes or the knowledge of applicable case law.  It also may be more important to both the client and the attorney […]

What makes a website successful?

What makes a website successful?

It’s all about first impressions… It’s a given: in today’s Internet-driven culture, people turn to the web first to research their legal issues. When looking for an attorney, you can expect that most users will typically visit at least a dozen websites before deciding whom to call. So, how do you ensure that your website […]

Social Networking and Legal Ethics: How Do They Coexist?

  The new world of social networking brings with it a whole new landscape of ethical questions. Imagine an attorney who writes a blog about how spouses should divide up property upon divorce. In response to his post, a reader sends him an email. In the note, she divulges very personal information about herself, her […]

Interview with Eric Samuels of David M. Sternberg & Associates

Eric I. Samuels is an associate with David M. Sternberg and Associates in Walnut Creek, CA. With more than 25 years of experience, the law firm specializes in Real Estate, Probate, Bankruptcy, and Business Litigation. Learn more at http://www.davidsternberg-law.com/ Eric I. Samuels, who joined David M. Sternberg & Associates five years ago, has been an […]

The Ethics Corner: When and How to Withdraw

Dear Ethics Corner: I have a client I will call Servco.  Servco has been my client for five years.  They have always been a client who pays promptly and I have never had to battle them over fees, until now.  It must be the economy, but they now “nickel and dime” me on every bill.  […]

The Top 10 Ways the Court Can Save You Time and Money

Although these are very challenging times, the Court continues to look for ways we can streamline procedures or enhance our ability to process documents and payments for everyone’s benefit. Below are the top 10 ways the Court can/will save you time and/or money: Current Efforts: The use of “Court Call” to make routine telephonic appearances: […]

Keeping it

In the world of tax, it is about keeping it, not making it.  We share our revenues with Uncle Sam (and Uncle Jerry).   Last December, Congress and the President made history with the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act, an amazing collaboration of the parties which took us all by surprise. So […]

Five Ways Attorneys Can Increase Their Billable Time – While Actually Working Less

Attorneys know that effective time management is the key to maximizing personal productivity and firm profits. The numbers tell the story and it all boils down to time management. If you bill for your time directly or on an hourly basis, diligent timekeeping is something you must do in order to get paid for all […]

What are the warning signs that tell you when it’s time to get out of a case?

When the client wants to pay the retainer over time. Remember that old saying “The most money I ever made on a case is the one I didn’t take” – Matthew Guichard; Guichard, Teng & Portello The client starts telling me about all these attorneys (without naming any names) who achieved the client’s desired outcome […]