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The health care industry continues to be reshaped by changes in federal law and technological developments. Health care companies are merging at greater rates and putting more attention towards corporate governance. Patients are starting to receive their first video consultations and turning to health care apps.

Many of these industry developments have legal implications that will directly influence health law practitioners this year. And you don't need a crystal ball to see what those issues will be. Bloomberg BNA's Health Law Reporter's 2016 outlook is good enough, outlining the major issues that will face lawyers and the industry in the year ahead. Here are the highlights.

Hoverboards were 2015's Cabbage Patch Doll or Tickle-Me Elmo -- that is, the gift to get this holiday season. The self-balancing platforms on wheels (think Segway's, but without anything to hold on to) are everyone's favorite new toy. That is, when they're not dropping you on your back or bursting into flames.

And now, lawyers want in on the fun too. Here's why the New Year may be the year of hoverboard liability.

The home health care industry is thriving. Fueled by an aging Boomer population and the desire of many patients to be treated in their own residences, the at-home provisioning of nursing and therapist care has become a $30 billion industry, with 12,000 Medicare-certified agencies.

That industry growth has lead to an increased need for attorneys experienced in Medicare reimbursement, industry regulations, and old-fashioned litigation. As a practice area, expect to see home health care law grow as quickly as the population grays.

Pros and Cons of Taking Small Claims Cases

For most lawyers, the question of whether or not to take >small claims cases will inevitably come up. Many "successful" lawyers will simply dismiss these cases as being a waste of time. By definition, these small-ticket cases simply represent potential opportunity costs of bigger and more monied cases.

But small claims bring value in place of the money they don't. These cases can be a good way for attorneys to build up valuable courtroom experience while providing a service that many clients wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. Mike Vraa from Lawyerist collected a number of points that attorneys should consider when taking on small claims cases.

You just finished a new client's estate plan and were blown away by how much wealth she's amassed from her dog washing on demand app startup -- and she's looking for investors in her next project. Or maybe a prospective client comes to you for help incorporating a new business. He's got a great business plan, a lot of experience, but not enough cash to cover legal fees.

Should you invest in that Uber for pet grooming? Can you help out your incorporation client by exchanging legal services for an ownership stake?

Need some new toys, architectural models, or maybe an undetectable gun? No need to take a trip to the store. For a few hundred dollars, you can pick up a consumer-grade 3-D printer and start printing out everything from Japanese flutes to Adidas sneakers.

For lawyers, 3D printers could also be pumping out new clients and extra billable hours, as consumer 3D printing leads to increased intellectual property disputes.

The door between public service and private industry is a revolving one. Examples abound of regulators who join the industries they once supervised and ex-politicians who made millions as corporate lobbyists. Lawyers are no special case. Plenty of attorneys leave practice for public service, only to return after a few years.

Eric Holder is the latest through the revolving door. After six years as Attorney General, Holder announced recently that he will be returning to his old firm, Covington and Burling. What can lawyers learn from this transition -- and should they seek to emulate it?

Growth is good, right? More clients, more money, more opportunities for your business. Yet, for many lawyers, growth can be a headache, if not a nightmare. If you're running a small or boutique firm, growth can disrupt a carefully calibrated work-life balance, lead to extra overhead, and put you even farther behind on your obligations.

But not if you're doing it right. Smart growth, which focuses on planned, strategic expansion, can help you avoid many of the pitfalls that can occur when you simply add client upon client. Here's how:

Is It Ever a Good Idea to Provide Free Legal Work?

Clients gripe all the time about how expensive lawyers are, and the rise of Google means that everyone's a lawyer, which only makes matters worse ("why am I paying you $300 an hour when I can look up the statutes myself?").

There are, of course, times when lawyers can and should provide legal work for free -- and times when they shouldn't.

5 Awesome Mom Lawyers

You did get your mother a gift for Mother's Day, right? Well, you've got limited time: It's Sunday, and if you wait too long, the florists will be out of flowers and you'll have to buy a Whitman's Sampler from CVS.

To inspire you into appreciating your mother, let's take a look at five awesome mothers who also happened to be lawyers (or is that lawyers who happened to be mothers?).