Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog


Should You Sue 'Judgment Proof' Defendants?

As with so many legal questions, the answer to whether to sue a judgment proof defendant is this: it depends.

That's because, in part, there are lawyers on both sides of the issue. So if you are an attorney, you can blame your profession for being part of the problem.

In any case, the question is serious enough to answer before waiting for a judge or jury to decide if it was worth it to sue a judgment proof defendant.

Expand Your Immigration Practice, Learn Deportation Defense

One man's crisis is another man's opportunity.

It's a harsh saying, but better than "one man's trash is another man's treasure" when it comes to immigration practice. At a time when America no longer raises a lamp to the wretched refuse, immigration lawyers have a greater opportunity to change lives.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has launched an initiative to combat the Trump administration's policies against immigrants. It is an opportunity for attorneys to engage and learn deportation defense.

Are Traditional Law Firms Going Extinct?

After seven years at one firm, an attorney realized it was time to move on.

The reason: the firm's chief rainmaker was no longer bringing in business -- because he died. Soon after, the law firm expired as well.

It's a snapshot of the law business that every lawyer has seen one way or another. It also illustrates how the traditional law firm may be going the way of the dinosaur.

The Rooney Rule: Are Law Firms Punting on Diversity?

You don't have to be a football fanatic to know what it means to punt.

If you know what the Rooney Rule is in football, however, you might know more about hiring in football than in the law. In a nutshell, the rule is the practice of considering minorities for coaching positions in the National Football League.

Now put that rule to work at BigLaw and you're in the game. That's the idea anyway at thirty law firms that say they will consider at least two women or attorneys of color when hiring or promoting.

Providing pro bono legal services isn't always the easiest sell for attorneys. After all, you didn't sink that much time and money into law school just to give your time and expertise away for free, did you? And times are tight in the legal industry -- you're probably thinking that every pro bono client is a missed opportunity for some much-needed income.

But times are tight for everyone, not just lawyers, and an attorney's commitment is to provide legal service for those who need it, not just those who can afford it. The challenge is how to make doing good work in the community work well for your legal practice.

Xbox 360 Case Kills 'Death Knell' Strategy

If you were playing 'Call of Duty,' what would be the point of pausing the game right before taking a lethal hit?

If your strategy was to come back later to try some new move, you were still going to die. The game won't let you avoid an inevitable death.

That's kind of how things played out in the U.S. Supreme Court in Microsoft v. Baker. Here's what happened to the plaintiffs, who claimed their Xbox 360 consoles scratched their game discs.

Classic, Plain-Language Writing Tips

The plain language movement in legal writing started in the 1970s, about the time Plymouth rolled out the hemi-powered Barracuda.

And you know what they say about old cars? Some say they don't make them like they used to. Others say they are just old.

In any case, there is something to be said about classic cars and basic writing. When practicing law, it's crucial to continually refine the readability of your legal writing.

Justice Gap Widens: Low-Income Americans Face Battle for Legal Help

At the end of each day, Elinor's disabled daughter had to crawl four flights of stairs to their apartment.

It took more than an hour to get in and out of her building to attend school. She spent 30 minutes sliding down the steps just to reach the wheelchair stashed under the stairwell.

But by the grace of legal aid, Elinor was able to fight for a ground floor apartment without losing her $700 rent-control rate. That kind of help may not last, however, given the current political climate concerning legal aid.

When to Request Judicial Recusal?

If your judge wants to hold you in contempt, you might want to request judicial recusal.

But if you haven't made the request before such an ominous turn of events, you have probably waited too long. Trying to toss a judge off your case as a last ditch maneuver can be like tossing a grenade: if you don't throw it far enough ... well, yeah.

Judges generally have discretion whether to recuse themselves from cases. So unless you can show they have an unfair bias early on, you are usually going to get what's coming to you.

Advising Clients on the Do's and Don'ts of Keeping an Injury Diary

It's an adage that some clients seem to know instinctively: put everything in writing.

But before your personal injury client writes too much, sit down and discuss some of the do's and don'ts of keeping a diary.

It's the kind of thing that could make or break your case because you never know who's going to read it. Here's a checklist: