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The Information Exchange
A Sole Practioner/Small Firm Section Publication
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Law Office Technology Well Received
Online Presence Important for Small Firms
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November 2009
Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section Board of Directors
Chair: Steve W. Hardy
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Scott E. Atwood
Secretary: L. Katherine Adams-Carter
Treasurer: David Michael Lilenfeld
Immediate Past Chair: Glenn Lyon
Newsletter Editors
James A. Attwood
Clark A.D. Wilson

James A. Attwood
The Hon. T. Jackson Bedford, Jr.
Monroe J. Feldman
Ronne G. Kaplan
William J. Piercy
Bryan C. Ramos
David G. Richards
Beth E. Rogers
Janis L. Rosser
Robert G. Wellon
Clark A.D. Wilson
Upcoming Events
November Breakfast and Community Food Bank Drive 
November 19, 2009 - 7:30 am
"Domain Name Disputes"

Speaker: Douglas M. Isenberg, The GigaLaw Firm
Location: Buckhead Club, 3344 Peachtree Road

Please register online or return the registration form

We are collecting food items to donate to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  Please bring two of the following items that the Food Bank has requested:

Peanut Butter
Canned Tuna
Canned Beans
Canned Soups, Stews and Pastas
100% Fruit Juice
Canned Fruits and Vegetables
Macaroni and Cheese Dinners
Whole Grain, Low Sugar Cereals
Law Office Technology:
Power Up Your Practice 
December 8, 2009 - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
6 CLE/1 Ethics/2 Trial/1 Professionalism

  • Offers a context for and an opportunity to discuss the implications of law office technology making you accessible 24/7
  • Presented by the Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section and Atlanta Bar CLE
Location: State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta Street

Please register online or return the registration form 

Judge Warren Davis Speaks at the October 22 Luncheon
On October 22, 2009 Judge Warren Davis of the Gwinnett County Superior Court gave the presentation "Professionalism - Developing Strategies for Various Professional and Ethical Dilemmas."  According to Judge Davis, attorneys should master four skills of ethics and professionalism:  (1) the ability to recognize ethical and professional dilemmas; (2) the ability to form sounds judgments; (3) the ability prioritize values; and (4) the ability to implement judgments, which requires cultivating personal and interpersonal skills and habits, communication, honesty, courage and prudence. 
According to Judge Davis, however, too many attorneys fall into the category of "Rambo litigators."  He discussed their characteristics.  A Rambo litigator will rely upon personal insults, ignore the law and facts, use discovery for intimidation, and focus on the trial lawyer rather than the clients, their cause, or the law.  

Christopher T. Graham Speaks at the October 15 Breakfast
october breakfast spsf 2009On October 15, 2009, Christopher T. Graham of the Graham Private Client Law Group gave the presentation "Chasing Assets Hidden in Business Entity."  The presentation focused on how to protect assets and legal entities from creditors.  According to Mr. Graham, these issues generally arise in the context of marital estate cases, alimony and child support, and post-judgment collections cases.  Mr. Graham also discussed alter ego, piercing the corporate veil, and trusts.
Time is an important factor in determining whether assets are protected.  Assets are more secure if transfers are performed and trusts are created well before a creditor asserts a claim.  Accordingly, people with significant assets should take steps to protect them before they face litigation or creditors' claims. 
September 24 Section Luncheon Meeting  
spsf Oct 2009 luncheonThe SPSF members had an opportunity to get to know each other a little more at the September lunch meeting.  Each member in attendance was given more than the normal 10 seconds to explain his/her practice and what he/she likes to do when not practicing law.  This type of meet-and-greet is a proposed annual event, so please do not miss out in the future.

Rob Huestis Speaks at the August 27 Luncheon  
spsfOn August 27, 2009, Rob Huestis presented "Ethical and Other Issues in 'Of Counsel' Positions."  First, Mr. Huestis discussed the American Bar Association's Formal Opinion 90-357.  Second, Mr. Huestis addressed malpractice issues regarding of counsel relationships.  Third, Mr. Huestis made suggestions about drafting of counsel agreements and about dealing with clients while representing them in an of counsel capacity. 
According to Formal Opinion 90-357, a lawyer may use an of counsel designation with another law firm or another attorney if "the relationship between the two is a close, regular, personal relationship and use of the title is not otherwise false or misleading."  Based on this definition, Mr. Huestis identified the "four principal patterns of such relationships":  (1) the part-time practitioner, as with part-time judges and government officials; (2) a semi-retired partner, as with lawyers of the firm who remain available to assist the firm's clients on a consulting basis; (3) the probationary partner-to-be, as with a lateral hire who is beyond the level of an associate and who may "make partner"; and (4) the permanent of counsel lawyer, as with a lawyer who is not expected to make partner, but who will continue as a long-term attorney, on a permanent of counsel basis.  

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Jackie Hutter Speaks at the August 20 Breakfast  
spsf august 2009Jackie Hutter of The Hutter Group LLC discussed "How Innovative Small Firms and Solos can Use Social Media Marketing to Gain Clients on a Shoestring Budget".  Social Media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can help small firms and Solos create a large presence on the web without significant investment.  25% of Americans currently use online services for legal information and this number is likely to increase with the population of Generation X and Y users becoming more reliant upon the web.  The presentation stated that with clients less likely to seek large name brand law firms, it is vital for solos and small firms to have a presence that markets their skill set and abilities.
Jackie stated that marketing through social media is an ongoing process and is not a one shot deal.  Participation is vital in order to maintain your exposure online.  There are a variety of providers who can design and implement a social media program for you, however, nobody is an expert and it is imperative that you keep the content updated.  A good idea is to set up a Google Alerts to monitor who is talking about you and what they are saying.