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When it comes to housing and development, there is plenty of uncertainty right now. Will mortgage rates continue to rise? What will happen to affordable housing tax credits? What's in store now that Dr. Ben Carson could be taking his neurosurgery skills to the Department of Housing and Urban Development?

We don't have a crystal ball, but we do have one of the best ways to keep up with the latest housing and development news: Thomson Reuters' Housing and Development Reporter, a comprehensive newsletter published 24 times a year, covering the latest developments in housing and development.

Are Solo Lawyers Entrepreneurs?

There is a debate raging among lawyers about whether solo practitioners are entrepreneurs. But come on now, in the immortal words of Rodney King, "Can we all just get along?"

As Black History Month reminds us of the more divisive issues of our times, are we really debating the entrepreneurial nuances of law practice? With apologies to Allen Iverson, we're talking about practice! We're talking about practice! We're talking about practice!

Somewhere between the sublime and the ridiculous -- which is the internet -- legal minds are dissing each other about the difference between a lawyer who hangs out his shingle and a person who bakes cupcakes. Here, mercifully, is a summary:

Consider the traditional law firm service model officially disrupted. According to a new study, a sizable majority of companies are now using some sort of "alternative legal service provider," moving away from the classic model where a firm guides every aspect of a legal matter.

In today's legal market, "consumers of legal services find themselves beneficiaries of a new and growing number of nontraditional service providers that are changing the way legal work is getting done." And it's not just companies that are getting nontraditional legal services from a variety of providers. Firms, too, have begun integrating alternative legal services into their practices, the report finds, both as consumers and providers of the services.

When President Trump issued his executive order barring visitors, immigrants, and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries, hundreds of lawyers rushed to major airports, where they set up camp and begin filing lawsuits and habeas petitions on behalf of those detained.

Maybe you were one of them. Maybe you want to be one of them. If so, here are a few resources to help you out.

Court OK's Class Action Over PACER Fees

Maybe sometime in e-history, a government worker thought the cost to access a court document electronically should be roughly the same as the cost to print a page.

At least for Public Access to Court Electronic Records: PACER charged 7 cents a page in 1998. The fee increased incrementally thereafter, and today it is 10 cents a page.

It's about the same you pay to copy a page at the courthouse copy machine, which is stocked with paper by the court. Except for one incongruence: PACER users pay for their own paper when they download and print documents.

Maybe this observation doesn't exactly explain the problem with PACER, but there is a real problem with its fee schedule. A federal judge has certified a class action against the federal government for allegedly overcharging users for access. It's the fourth case in a recent spate of claims against PACER fees.

3 Tips for Handling Juror Questions

In a way, handling juror questions is like handling judges' questions.

The question may give you cause for concern, especially if the answer will hurt your client's case. Or it may give you hope because the answer will lead to a favorable result.

In any case, juror questions are important indicators in a trial and should be welcome. Questions show that jurors are engaged and want to know more about the case. It is also important to think about how to handle them.

We're a week into 2017 and you're already regretting that new gym membership. Your plans for a "Drynuary" (that's a booze-free January) probably won't survive the weekend. And those thoughts about making your life more hygge-full? Forget them. (Please, let's all forget hygge.)

Stop wasting your time on silly resolutions and unattainable life changes. Instead, let's use this time to focus on things that really matter: making your practice better. Here are seven resolutions we think solo practitioners should adopt for 2017.

Tips for Advising Lottery Winners

Admit it, you too have dreamed about winning the lottery. It's OK. Everybody who has purchased a lottery ticket has dreamt about it. Even if you didn't dream about the lottery with a scratch ticket, as a lawyer you probably imagined winning that one big case or getting that golden client. Yeah, that lottery.

Whatever your dreams, it is more realistic than you may think to spend some time thinking about the lottery. Because chances are, you will have a client who wins it one way or another. Some lawyers have actually carved out a practice for such clients.

Three Tips for Preserving Electronic Evidence

Everybody knows discovery -- including electronic discovery -- can be a virtual hole into which many lawyers have disappeared and for which many clients have paid dearly. But if there is a necessary evil in modern law (besides opposing counsel) it is the need to preserve electronic evidence.

So here are three obligatory tips, linked to some icebergs of information about eDiscovery.

Tips for Using a Third Party to Help With Your Job Search

If you're looking for an attorney job, maybe you should stay away from the headhunters because you'll need that head in the future. I speak from personal experience because my head was hunted once by a job recruiter and I barely got out alive.

To be serious, job recruiters surely provide a valuable service to law firms and companies looking for specific lawyers. That's why they get the big bucks, which headhunters apparently charge for finding those attorneys. It's typically a 30 percent contingency fee of the new hire's salary.

Carol Kanarek, a lawyer, psychotherapist, and author, explains that search firms are used only by those law firms and companies that are seeking lawyers with very specific expertise. "Consequently, if you are seeking a change in practice focus, or are looking for a non-legal job, a search firm won't be able to help you."