Strategist - FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog


A man cannot have two masters. But a legal matter can, at least when those two masters are co-counsel.

You've probably heard horror stories about co-counsel situations; anecdotes about overbearing, intolerable co-counsel, about attorneys who steal all the work, or lawyers who are inept, sabotaging your chance for a big payout. (We could go on.) But working with co-counsel doesn't have to be difficult, if you do it right.

You should use notes during a trial. After all, you don't want to forget an important issue or lose track of your train of thought.

But don't let notes become your crutch. If you're looking down at your notes every few seconds, you're doing it wrong.

Maybe you helped Donald Trump close a deal on a New Jersey shopping mall. Or maybe he consulted you, way back when, for some legal advice. Now he's running for president and you want to speak out -- without revealing anything too confidential, of course. Can you?

Of course, for the vast majority of us, this is simply a hypothetical. But for some lawyers, it's a very real question -- and some lawyers have started talking publicly about their time with Trump, raising very real questions about the ethics behind discussing former clients, even when you don't reveal any non-public information.

How Do You Respond to 'You Cost Too Much'?

Something that many solo attorneys hear perhaps all too often is the interjection: "You cost too much!" We're sure you've heard this one before.

Even with the advancement in technology making a fair number of attorney services quickly obsolete, there are still a great many tasks that should only be handled by a competent attorney. Here are a few tips for handling sticker-shocked clients.

Four years ago, Congress passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, which removed barriers that keep the public from providing capital to startup businesses; equity crowdfunding was about to be legalized. Then, just this May, the SEC's "Regulation Crowdfunding" rules went into effect. Suddenly, every regular Joe and Jane can become an investor in new companies.

It's one of the biggest changes to securities law in decades, and it could result in a lot of small time investors, and small companies, needing your legal guidance.

Lawyers Should Prepare for Two Seasonal Divorce Spikes

Are you a family lawyer that handles divorces? If so, the findings that were presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association may be of interest of you. Apparently, divorce could have a correlation with the seasons.

It's old news that divorces spike after the winter holidays. But the new findings indicate that there may be a second seasonal spike.

Hiring a Remote Freelance Lawyer: Is It Right for Your Practice?

Like it or not, hiring in-office lawyers is slowly going the way of the dodo bird. Remote hiring is in. More and more, attorneys are finding themselves mobile rather than sitting down in an office. This is bad news for lawyers looking for stable employment, but as they say -- one's tragedy is another's cause for celebration.

Keep in mind a few factors before you go out to hire your first freelance attorney.

'Go ahead and move for sanctions against opposing counsel,' they said. 'What's the worst that could happen?' they said.

Well, an attorney at the Minnesota law firm Messerli & Kramer, "the worst" was having their sanction motion turned against them -- not by the opposing party, but by the judge.

You've brought some fresh blood into your firm. But if your new associate is new to the law, they come to you not-fully-formed. What are you supposed to do with this unshapen lump of lawerly potential? Mold it, of course! And that takes training.

If you're looking to set up an associate development program (and if you have fresh associates, you really need a training system) here are some ways to get it done.

Cross-Examination Tips That Will Help Your Case

Many litigators have described the process of cross-examination as one of the more satisfying aspects of courtroom litigation. It's easily one of the more combative components of being in court, and certainly a crucial one at that. If you impeach the right witness and thoroughly discredit the other side's case, you can not only seal a case, but have fun doing it.

Of course, cross-examination is only fun when you're winning. Below, we'll get into the basics of cross examination and hand out tips that will help you craft your next one.