Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section

The Information Exchange
A Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section Publication
In This Issue
Upcoming Section Events
Starting and Growing a Law Firm Seminars
The Section Presents First Cloud Computing Webinar
Bob Littell Discusses Netweaving
Joseph Scott Presents Calendaring as a Risk Management Strategy
Aviation Alert From Hardy Law
Notification of Employee Rights under the National Labor Relations Act
Managing Big Risks in Small Firms
Announcements
Classifieds
The Information Exchange is Looking for Articles of Interest
Quick Links
 
October 2011
Newsletter Editor: 
Clark A.D. Wilson
 
Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section Board of Directors
 
Chair: David M. Lilenfeld
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: L. Katherine Adams-Carter
Secretary: James A. Attwood
Treasurer: David G. Richards
Immediate Past Chair: Scott E. Atwood

Members-At-Large
The Hon. T. Jackson Bedford, Jr.
Timothy M. Curtin
Monroe J. Feldman
Frank G. Goldman
Ronne G. Kaplan
William J. Piercy
Rachel Platt
Beth E. Rogers
Thomas L. Walker
Robert G. Wellon
Clark A.D. Wilson
 
Thank you to our Annual Section Sponsors

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events
Mark your calendars for these upcoming Section events
 
Please check your emails and www.atlantabar.org for updates.
Details are subject to change.
 
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Section Breakfast
Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 7:30 am


"Ten Laws for Creating Work/Life Balance"
How To Maintain A Personal Life While Succeeding with
Your Practice.
 
Speaker: Linda Zuk
President, Registered Corporate Coach & Facilitator,
Fast Forward Process, www.fastforwardprocess.com 
 
Location: Buckhead Club
3368 Peachtree Road NE
 
Please register online or return the registration form.
 
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Section Fall Social
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 5:30 pm
 
Complimentary beer, wine & hors d'oeuvres and
live jazz band!
 
Location: First Citizens Bank
3300 Cumberland Blvd
4th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30339
Please register online or return the registration form.
 
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Section Luncheon
Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 12:00 pm
 
"Supercharge Your Practice: 10 Tips to Improve
Your Business"
 
Speaker: Justin Miller
Independent Small Business Consultant
j.miller.justin@gmail.com 
 
Please register online or return the registration form.  
Starting and Growing a Law Firm Seminars
Presented by Atlanta Bar CLE and the
Sole practitioner/Small Firm Section.
Sponsored by Microsoft.
Two seminars - attend one or both!
 
Times:
8:15 am - 12:00 pm
for Starting a Small Law Firm
1:00 pm - 4:45 pm for
Growing a Small Law Firm
Lunch is provided for those attending both programs.
 
CLE credit: 3 CLE hours/1 Ethics
each seminar

Early registration: Register by October 26 and receive a $20 discount. Don't forget your 2011-2012 CLE coupon
for $75 off!
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How to START a Successful Law Firm On Purpose
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 (8:15 AM - 12:00 PM)

Thinking about starting a law firm & want to get better at it faster, with fewer mistakes?
 

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How to GROW a Successful Law Firm On Purpose
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 (1:00 PM - 4:45 PM)

Already running your own small law firm & want to take it to the next level more predictably? 
 
The Section Presents First Cloud Computing Webinar CLE
At noon on September 21, 2011, Ms. Jessica Galusha of Peach New Media welcomed the registrants to the SP/SF Section's first webinar-Cloud Computing 101.  David Richards then introduced the presenters:  (1) Nancy Duhon and Rob Nordyke on the nuts and bolts of cloud computing; (2) Steve Hardy on the legal and ethical considerations surrounding cloud computing; and (3) David Lilenfeld and Steve Hardy to speak about their experiences employing services that are available in the "Cloud."
 
Nancy Duhon first described what it means to "go to the cloud."  Cloud computing means using software or storing data on a service provider's computer rather than your own computer, with access to the data or software over the internet.  Nancy addressed the benefits and the detriments of cloud computing for a sole practitioner or a small law firm.  She also raised the issues that a sole practitioner or a small law firm must address when deciding what cloud-based services to employ.  Nancy reviewed some of the applications that are commercially available today that she or her clients have used.  

Read the entire article
Bob Littell Discusses Netweaving at the September 15th Breakfast


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Good things happen to those people who MAKE good things happen."  "When you open a door for someone else, you never know who YOU will meet as a result."  These two mottos are central to Bob Littell's method of building business relationships that he calls NetWeaving.  Section members learned how to apply his principles to their own lives and careers in Littell's September 15th breakfast presentation.
 
NetWeaving is more than networking - it is a method of building trusted relationships by connecting people you meet with other people you know in ways that will benefit both sides and address their needs.  Littell identifies three skills sets that come together in a successful NetWeaver.  First, one must be a connector of other people, keeping their needs, problems, and opportunities in mind rather than just one's own.  Second, one must position oneself as a "no-strings-attached" resource for others and a "go-to" person.  Finally, one must constantly strive to connect with persons who are "best of breed" at what they do and can be a part of a NetWeaver's Trusted Resource Network.
 
Joseph Scott Presents Calendaring as a Risk Management Strategy at the September 22nd Luncheon

At the September 22nd SPSF lunch meeting, we welcomed Joseph Scott, Esq, who presented "Calendaring as a Risk Management Strategy."  Mr. Scott first offered some troubling statistics regarding calendaring.  According to the American Bar Association, calendaring mistakes are the number one cause of malpractice claims.  And, troublingly-relevant to our section, sixty percent of these calendaring claims are filed against attorneys in small firms.  Mr. Scott then discussed products which can assist attorneys, especially those in small firms or solo, to maintain accurate calendaring.  For example, SPSF members are encouraged to visit www.deadlines.com.  This website offers calendaring and deadline assistance twenty-four hours per day and has experience with all US jurisdictions and governmental agencies.  Payment offerings vary.

Mr. Scott also offered some tips to minimize risk when calendaring important deadlines.  It is important to know what rules exist in a specific jurisdiction.  This can include particularities, for example designated holidays not recognized elsewhere.  If possible, your firm should have a firm-wide centralized calendaring system accessible to all who need it.  And, in the event of power outages or weather disasters, the firm should design a disaster recovery and/or business continuity procedure.  SPSF section members are encouraged to visit www.deadlines.com and review the detailed information and helpful white papers related to calendaring.

Aviation Alert From Hardy Law
Aviation LitigationA troubling trend may be spreading from other countries to ours: the criminalization of violating Federal Aviation Regulations. In this issue, I discuss a recent U.S. example
of that, the first I have heard of here, and what it can mean to business aircraft users.
 
I also address the debate on short-form vs. long-form aircraft purchase agreements - whether it is better to enter into a short-form aircraft purchase agreement and work out issues if and when they arise, or take time to address issues in advance that may or may not arise during the sale process.
 
UPDATE: Notification of Employee Rights under the National Labor Relations Act
On August 25, 2011 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a final rule called "Notification of Employee Rights under the National Labor Relations Act". The rule was to be effective 75 days from publication, putting the effective date as either November 9, 2011 or November 14, 2011 (the NLRB put out a press release creating some confusion on the effective date).  However, the NRLB just released a notification that the effective date has now been delayed until January 31, 2012.
 
In summary, the rule requires covered employers to notify employees of their rights to engage in organized activities (concerted activity) and apprises such employees of their rights to raise complaints concerning terms and conditions of employment. For instance, the notice states that employees have a right to:
 
Managing Big Risks in Small Firms
Although calendaring may not be the most glamorous or exciting aspect of practicing law or working in a law firm, it is undoubtedly one of the most critical tasks performed.  Based on the most recent study by the American Bar Association, Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims, calendar related errors are the leading cause of legal malpractice claims, accounting for over 34% of all claims filed.  Smaller law firms are at an even greater risk, with over 70% of claims being filed against firms with five or fewer attorneys.  Perhaps even more alarming, is that legal malpractice claims increase during tough economic times, so now is the time to implement and/or audit your current calendaring practices to ensure you don't find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit.
 
With these statistics in hand, it may come as a surprise that many law firms (and most smaller practices and solos) do not have a formal, proven process when it comes to managing their calendars and litigation related deadlines. In some cases, it's an issue of economics that prevent the purchase of a calendaring system, but in many other scenarios, it simply boils down to a lack of information and knowledge about tools or software to help automate the process and avoid costly mistakes.  
 
Announcements

megaphone

A limited number of unemployed lawyers may attend SP/SF Section events at no charge.     If you would like to attend one of our events, please email      Tanya Windham.

Section members may now place free classified ads in our Newsletter. Please email Clark Wilson for further information.
Classifieds
Exective Office Share 
- Phone and Internet Service Included
  in Rent
- 1 large window and one inside office
- Perfect for a Lawyer & Paralegal  
- Class A+ building (Resurgens Plaza) at
  a fraction of the cost of signing a
  direct lease. 

Includes: use of reception area, conference room, large break room, copier/scanner, fax, internet, unlimited long distance.

Conveniently located in Buckhead adjacent to MARTA; easy access to 400/75/85. Walk to restaurants & Lenox Mall. 

Contact: Debra Schwartz or Jay Rollins, 404-844-4130.

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Space for Rent
Morningside - Ansley area
 
Available Offices: 2 small approx. (10x12) and 1 large (18x15) window office available for rent in converted house on 2nd floor.  Phones, high speed dsl, parking, etc. Some referral & association cases possible. Negotiable.
 
Contact: Monroe Feldman, 404-881-0800
 
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Vacation Property Available for Rent
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Palmetto Dunes Ocean Resort: 2BDR, 2BATH recently refurbished villa: sleeps 8.   Flat screen TV in lounge (55"), two more in bedrooms (42" and 36"), WiFi throughout.
 
Superb location overlooking golf course with adjacent private community pool and tennis courts, kayaking on canals, large network of trails, and short bike ride from outstanding beaches. Perfect for families, golfing or tennis retreats. 
 
Contact: Clark Wilson, (770) 984-2300
 
The Information Exchange is Looking for Articles of Interest
typewriter newsThe Information Exchange is looking for articles of interest to the SPSF Section. 

If you would like to submit an article for publication, please email the editor, Clark Wilson.