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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.

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.

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.

Competition for Pricing Legal Fees Heats Up

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just the competition for pricing legal fees heating up?

If you have started to sweat over the pressure to cut fees, you are not alone. Ninety-five percent of the lawyers in a new survey said they expect more price competition, and fully three fourths expect more non-hourly billing and alternative fee structures.

The competition -- from legal service providers, technology firms, and others -- is rising. Nearly 400 law firms in the national survey say it reflects a permanent change in the law business.

Profitable Niche Markets for Lawyers

Willie Sutton, Jr., the quotable bank robber, explained his professional motivation the best.

Asked by a reporter why he robbed banks, Sutton replied: "I rob banks because that's where the money is."

Not saying that lawyers are like robbers, but when it comes to finding a niche, they go where the money is. Here are some profitable niche markets for lawyers:

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.

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:

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:

Measuring Lawyer Performance: What's the New Normal?

If you scratch your head when you hear about the "new normal," I get you.

What happened to the "old normal"? Who said there is a "new normal"? And when it comes to law practice, is anything normal?

If only it were so simple. But with all the changes in the law business, there actually are new ways to measure lawyer performance. They made the new normal, and we just have to get used to it.

New Group Helps Women Lawyers Open Law Firms

Women have closed the gender gap in law schools, and they are gaining in the attorney ranks. But they are far from parity in law firm ownership. Nicole Galli, who left BigLaw to found her own law firm, wants to see that change. Leading a new group called Women Owned Law, she said it will take some effort.

"I think that there is a real difference between being a woman lawyer and a woman entrepreneur," she told Big Law Business. "There are differences between practicing law and having your own practice ... and there are huge differences between running a law firm and running another business."