Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

June 2011 Archives

Portland Firm Sponsors Naked Bike Ride: 'We've Got You Covered'

Portland's naked bike ride recently roared through town last week, with thousands of au naturel participants.

So, what was this festive occasion best suited for? Inebriated naked bicycling? Or, law firm marketing?

Surprisingly, maybe the latter. At least if you're a law firm looking to gain some publicity.

Famed NY Judge Jack Weinstein Visits Property Dispute Homes

In a fit of curiosity, legendary Brooklyn federal judge Jack Weinstein hopped in a minivan last week, and, armed with an entourage, took a trip to the property at the center of a $1,000,000 lawsuit.

Known for presiding over some of the largest mass tort cases in history, and conducting proceedings in a slightly informal style, Judge Weinstein told litigants that he likes "to get a feel for a case and see what it's really about."

Should this be encouraged?

Casey Anthony Trial Judge Admonishes, Threatens Lawyers

The defense has repeatedly claimed that Casey Anthony was molested by both her father and brother, often insinuating that one of the two men is the father of Caylee.

When Baez brought this up in front of the jury, Judge Perry scolded the attorney, reports Reuters. He was told to brush up on "good faith questions."

An FBI DNA expert had already confirmed that neither of the men had fathered Caylee.

It gets worse.

Law Firm's Free Divorce Offer Makes Headlines

The old adage that any publicity is good publicity may be true - especially in the realm of law firm marketing.

Okay, so maybe that old saying needs a bit of work. Certainly, losing cases wouldn't be good publicity - but advertising something kind of controversial, like free divorces, might be something that can help push a firm into the public limelight.

One British firm, Follett Stock Solicitors, is doing just that. The firm is offering free divorces so long as couples contact the firm before a June 30, 2011 deadline.

Flash Cookies $2.5 M Privacy Settlement Approved

Last week, a federal judge approved a settlement in a major "Flash cookies" lawsuit, which alleged that use of the data technology in online advertising violates the privacy rights of millions of internet users every day.

Quantcast and Clearspring, the two major internet marketers named in the suit, have agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle the claims, $2 million of which is being distributed to universities and research groups analyzing online privacy issues.

The rest will be paid to plaintiffs' attorneys for fees and expenses.

Calif. Courtrooms Closing on Budget Cuts: Will Yours Close Next?

In California, court budget cuts have become a grim reality.

San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein has announced some very bad news - around 40% of the court's staff will be laid off, accounting for more than 200 employees.

And, around 25 courtrooms will be closed, reports the Courthouse News Service.

LawyerUp Promises Emergency Attorney as Fast as Pizza Delivery

Ever feel like your clients wish you could magically appear to their aid within minutes of a call? LawyerUp attorneys do.

The relatively new service promises, for its subscribers, that they'll be able to get a lawyer to help them within 15 minutes - the same time frame that you can get a pizza delivered.

Attorneys can sign up to be listed on the LawyerUp site for free. Users who want a lawyer delivered in 15 minutes or less, however, will need to pay up.

Divorce Mediation Lawyer Sets Sail: New Office is a Yacht

California divorce attorney Dennis Cohen has made perhaps the most enlightened and jealousy-inducing real estate decision ever made by a member of the legal profession:

He decided to move into his very own yacht office.

Docked in the Marina del Rey harbor in West Los Angeles, Cohen's 57-foot yacht, appropriately named Concordance, serves not only as an office for his divorce mediation practice, but also an alternative means of income during these tough times.

That's right--the Daily Breeze reports that he rents out his divorce mediation yacht office on weekends for romantic getaways.

When a Law Firm Gets Scammed: Must Insurer Defend, Indemnify?

What does your law firm insurance cover? Does it cover e-mail scams?

That's right - those strange e-mail scams that you always see popping up in your personal inbox from those Nigerian nationals asking you to help them with their inheritance that was left to them by their great great uncle that they can't get to without your help... Yes, those scams.

A New York court has ruled that a law firm's insurance policy does in fact cover work done for these "clients," as one firm found out the hard way.

From Fla. Governor to Law Firm Pitchman

"The People's Governor" is now fighting "for the people" at Morgan & Morgan, a personal injury firm in Florida.

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist recently joined the firms' ranks in a dual role: attorney and pitchman. While not every law firm will be able to land a former governor, law firm marketing is essential to drive business, and sometimes finding a suitable pitchman for the firm will do wonders.

Crist seems happy with his new job. "It's an honor to promote the firm," Crist said in an interview, as reported by the WSJ Blog.

Top 3 Tips on Conducting Client Surveys

As an attorney, client surveys can provide invaluable feedback for your firm and for your own legal practice.

Are you curious to know if your clients like you? If they are happy with the work you've done? Some lawyers are skeptical about surveys, thinking that clients might think that they're just one extra hassle.

However, giving clients the opportunity to give you feedback can actually be a positive thing for clients. Clients may want to have the option to give more input on the services they have been receiving.

Here are the top 3 tips for conducting client surveys:

The ABA has announced its 54th annual Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts, recognizing outstanding work fostering public understanding of law and the legal system.

This year's recipients include six Silver Gavels and two honorable mentions, selected from nearly 200 entrants.

A short description of the honorees:

1. Bloomberg Markets Magazine: David Evans, Senior Writer, for three stories on life insurance companies' profit from death benefits owed to service members' families, "Fallen Soldiers' Families Denied Cash as Insurers Profit," "Veterans Agency Made Secret Deal Over Benefits," and "Taxpayer-Funded Profits."

Our immigration courts need more resources urgently, says Karen Grisez, chair of the ABA Commission on Immigration.

Grisez' concerns will sound familiar to every immigration practitioner.

Noncitizens removed from the U.S. have increased 450% in the past 12 years, from 69,680 in 1996 to 393,289 in 2009, Grisez said.

"Our immigration system is in crisis, overburdened and under-resourced, leading to the frustration of those responsible for its administration and endangering due process for those who appear before it," Grisez said in her written testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this week.