The 10 most popular posts of 2014 on FindLaw's Strategist blog ran the gamut -- from things you could learn from Frank Underwood to a judge beating a public defender (not in a battle of wits; like, with his fists).
Did your favorite post make the cut? Read on to find out. (Note: My favorite post -- about lawyer typography -- came in at No. 12. But I got it in here anyway!)
- Get Ready Now. Gift Ideas for Administrative Professional's Day -- How do you show your admin that you care? With a gift, of course. Suggestions include a spa day or a catered lunch. (Why do Gabriella Khorasanee's gift ideas always seem to involve lunch?)
- Guy Court Attire 101: Neckties or Bow Ties? -- Bow ties may be cool among a certain subset of time-traveling aliens, but in court, they can make you look like a tool. When can you pull off a bow tie?
- 5 Grammar Mistakes Lawyers Make -- Should I capitalize "court"? Shouldn't I capitalize it? Relax. We've got your back in this look at some common grammar foibles, including whether your client "pled" guilty or "pleaded" guilty.
- 5 Mistakes Lawyers Make With Business Cards -- Boy, lawyers make a lot of mistakes. In this edition of "don't do this," we advise you to make your business cards normal and legible. Cut the QR codes and NFC whatever; stick to your contact information on card stock that's heavy enough to survive in a pocket.
- Learn From Frank Underwood: 5 Legal Lessons From 'House of Cards' -- Kevin Spacey's fiendish South Carolina congressman has some good advice for lawyers that doesn't involve killing people, like using the media to your advantage and eating barbeque for breakfast.
- Lawyer Suspended for Celeb Photoshop Pics in Best Disciplinary Ruling Ever -- Are you friends with Natalie Portman? No? Then don't Photoshop her into photos with you and then post them on your law firm's website. It's an affront to good taste, and the California State Bar doesn't seem to appreciate it, either.
- Courtroom Etiquette 101: Speaking to Judges -- Basically, be super polite, always call the judge "Your Honor," and apologize for everything. Canadians would do well in court.
- The 'F U' Response Letter: Two Examples for Inspiration -- How do you deal with a frivolous lawsuit looking for a quick settlement? If you're SCOTUSblog co-founder Tom Goldstein, you use well-reasoned legal analysis, strategically peppered with profanity.
- Awkward: Judge Beats The Crap Out of Public Defender in Court -- Florida? Of course it is. Where else would a trial judge challenge a public defender to a fight in the middle of court? And where else would the PD agree? (Our blog post even includes courtroom video of the incident.)
- Mistakes Attorneys Make in Naming Their Practices -- In addition to sounding dumb, firm naming mistakes can lead to a phone call from the state bar. For example, you can't use "and Associates" if you're the only lawyer in the firm.
- (BONUS!) 5 Decorations You Don't Want in Your Law Office -- On the subject of dumb things, avoid these decorations in your law office. Wow, a plaque celebrating the one-year anniversary of you being admitted to the bar? That must have taken a lot of work -- you know, just existing for a year.
Armed with this cavalcade of advice, here's to a more mistake-free 2015.