Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Lawyers Are 'Chronically Under-Performing,' Survey Finds

If you're sitting at your desk waiting for the phone to ring, that's usually not a good sign.

It could be that you are not busy enough, and you know what that means. A new survey of law firm leaders confirms what you may have feared.

According to legal consultancy Altman Weil, 75 percent of nearly 400 respondents at large firms said their lawyers are not busy enough. Smaller firms reported similar numbers.

Most said that probably means more lay-offs, pay-cuts, and alternative hiring.

Selling Without Really Selling: Easy Sales Tips for Lawyers

A new client arrived at my office on a motorcycle and parked next to mine.

We talked about our rides, then went inside to talk business. In that first meeting, I told him he would need to deposit a $25,000 retainer. He gave me $50,000.

There was no sales pitch -- obviously no haggling. We were more like friends, and he wanted me to do a good job.

If you don't really like to sell, then try just being friendly. Here are some more tips:

Prenda Copyright Troll Disbarred, Faces Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

For John Steele, who now has been disbarred for his part in a copyright-trolling scheme, it could have been worse. He could be dead, like his law partner.

Actually, it does get worse for Steele. He is awaiting sentencing on fraud and money laundering charges. When it rains, it porns.

It all started with an ill-advised plan at the Prenda Law firm to upload copyrighted porn to file-sharing sites and then sue the people who downloaded it. The plan worked famously for a while as the defendants promptly paid to avoid court and public humiliation.

Emergency Roadside Kit for Trial Lawyers

It may sound like a tool for ambulance chasers, but actually an emergency roadside kit for trial lawyers is a good idea.

There's nothing as rookie as having to borrow a pen from the bailiff or a notepad from the clerk in the middle of a trial. It's not a good look to have your tablet or computer -- with all your files and research -- run out of battery power in the middle of a presentation.

For those days on the litigation road, may we suggest a few things to put in your emergency roadside kit?

Should Jurors Be Removed for Crying?

After a police dog named Rocco was stabbed to death, jurors at the trial of his accused killer listened to a recording of the dog barking.

It was too much for one juror, who started to cry. The defendant's attorney asked the judge to remove the juror, but the judge refused and an appeals court affirmed the ruling.

"The showing of emotion, in and of itself, during upsetting testimony, does not require juror dismissal," the Pennsylvania appeals court said.

The court said the judge also instructed the jury not to be swayed by emotion, bias, or prejudice. But do jurors always separate their emotions from their deliberations?

To Co-Counsel or Not to Co-Counsel ... What's the Question?

Deciding whether to engage co-counsel really is not a question in some cases.

For example, if you are admitted to practice in one state and you need to file in another, there's no question. You have to associate with local counsel.

But if you have the option to bring in an attorney on a case in your own jurisdiction, then that is a question. Here are some answers:

Does Marijuana Insurance Policy Cover Wrongful Death?

If marijuana insurance were available anywhere, you would think it would be in Colorado.

Colorado was one of the first states in the country to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Since 2012, it has been a boon to business there -- including businesses like insurance that support the marijuana industry.

But it is insurance after all, and exceptions may apply. That's the question in a wrongful death case involving a man who allegedly went crazy after eating marijuana candy and then killed his wife.

Myths About Lawyers Working From Home

Maybe it's a generational thing, that some lawyers still believe certain myths about working from home.

A generation ago, perhaps "working at home" meant you were a homemaker or perhaps not working at all. It was more a euphemism for being out of work, disabled or retired.

Those ideas are so 20th Century. Yet even today, in the Internet Age, there are false assumptions about lawyers who actually do work from home.

How Safe Are FDA-Approved Drugs? New Study Confirms: Not Very Safe

Many drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration are not as safe you might think.

According to researchers, about one third of the drugs that are FDA-approved have safety issues later on. That results in recalls, warnings added to boxes, and notices about health risks.

For consumers, it means checking twice before you swallow once. For lawyers, it means mass torts, products liability and failure-to-warn.

How to Start a Part-Time Law Practice as a New Lawyer

Sur, yu can start a law prac part-tim.

If you understood that last sentence, then you know what I'm saying: "Sure, you can start a law practice part-time."

But it is going to be missing a few things -- like hours during the day -- so you'll have to fill-in some blanks to make sense of it. Here are a few pieces of advice: