Law Firm Marketing & Management

Everyone wants their case to be dismissed, or at least to be acquitted at trial. In many cases, getting off the hook completely is entirely possible. If the evidence is not so strong, or the police have violated your rights in a serious way, then hoping for dismissal or acquittal is not unreasonable at all. However, courts do not just dismiss cases once criminal charges have been filed without a very good reason. In some cases, taking a plea bargain may be the best strategy for minimizing the impact the charges could have on your life. Before you consider changing
Continue Reading When to Consider a Plea Bargain

Question:
I am the managing partner of a twelve lawyer firm in Dayton, Ohio. We are a first generation business litigation boutique. We represent mid-size companies and handle multiple matters for these clients. We  have seven equity partners and five associates in the firm. Three equity partners were the original founders and the other four were made partners later on. All seven partners originate client business and have significant books of business. Three founding partners are in their early 60s. We have had little success in succession planning and it seems that the three partners are reluctant to let loose
Continue Reading Law Firm Succession – Incentives for Partners to Transition Clients

On Tuesday, August 9, the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates formally adopted Resolution 402, which reaffirms longstanding ABA policy adopted in July 2000 that sharing legal fees with nonlawyers and the ownership or control of law practices by nonlawyers is inconsistent with the core values of the legal profession. The Resolution was sponsored and proposed by the Illinois State Bar Association. Additional sponsors included: the New York State Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, and the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division. The Resolution was also
Continue Reading American Bar Association’s House of Delegates Adopts Resolution on Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms and Sharing Legal Fees With Nonlawyers, Which Was Sponsored and Proposed by the Illinois State Bar Association

Violence is all too common in Chicago. The city is known for having constant struggles with violent crime, often including a disproportionate amount of homicides and shootings. Attempts to crack down on violent offenses are underway – and you do not want to get caught in a wave of prosecutions against those accused of committing them. If you have been charged with an assaultive offense, it is important that you understand what your particular charge actually means. You may find that your charges seem incredibly aggressive or are far too severe in regards to what actually happened. In many cases,
Continue Reading Understanding Your Violent Crime Charges

Working with other states and entities across the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) is the co-sponsor of a proposed Resolution and Report in the ABA House of Delegates that seeks to reaffirm longstanding ABA policy adopted in July 2000 that sharing legal fees with nonlawyers and the ownership or control of law practices by nonlawyers is inconsistent with the core values of the legal profession.

A goal of reaffirming the existing ABA policy is to provide guidance within the ABA as various groups consider possible changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and other policy
Continue Reading Illinois State Bar Association Co-Sponsors Proposed American Bar Association Resolution and Report on Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms and Sharing Legal Fees With Nonlawyers

I was walking my dog the other day when we stopped at the park. We lingered about and I let the dog do his thing while I talked to some of the other dog owners. I noticed a couple of things. The kids who were actively playing with other kids seemed to belong to parents who were also socializing with other parents. When something such as a cry or yell from a playing child alerted a parent, the parent would rush over. If the child had done something to misbehave, they would be disciplined. If the child had fallen and
Continue Reading I was walking my dog the other day when we stopped at the park.

Being Mindful; it is a phrase that is part of our lexicon. Despite its commonness, it at times can be conceptually difficult to understand, or implement. What does it mean? I know what it doesn’t mean; getting riled up when a call comes in from opposing counsel regarding an issue you think shouldn’t be an issue, your outburst to your computer to an unrealistic demand from a client, or walking to court and not having looked up once from your phone because you are too busy firing off responses to emails just to get them out of your inbox. When
Continue Reading Why mindfulness?

What is mindfulness and why is it important?And how does it relate to law?Well, when we stop and think about it, it has the ability to permeate every aspect of our lives, because our lives are a series of interactions between ourselves and other people.And the Practice of the law is also an interwoven and often complex series of interactions between people: litigants, lawyers and the court.Every interaction we have has a greater impact than we often times realize.For example, something as simple as a phone call. Imagine the person on the other line is having a bad day. You can tell the person
Continue Reading Mindfully practicing in our practice

Getting charged with a DUI can be frightening. If you find out that you have been charged with a felony DUI, the situation is even direr. Felony charges can carry more than a year of prison time should you get convicted. While most DUIs are charged as a misdemeanor, even a first DUI can lead to felony charges in the wrong circumstances. Or, repeated DUIs can be charged as a felony. In some cases, it is possible for an attorney to help have your charges reduced back to a misdemeanor or dismissed. A lot will depend on the specific
Continue Reading What Is the Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony DUI?

We previously talked about how the pressures and stresses of the profession can affect our mental health and well-being. What can be done, as a profession, and individually, to combat stress, and make attorney well-being a priority?

For one, stakeholders and employers need to acknowledge and accept that stress is abundant in our practice. This first step is beneficial to start addressing well-being. There should be a general understanding that there is a difference between normal stress and stress that can become unhealthy. Make it okay to talk about, without fear. One of the reasons we sometimes fail to get
Continue Reading Lawyer well-being part II

As lawyers, we get to help find solutions and assist our clients navigate our systems of law. Lawyers work hard to serve their clients and shoulder much responsibility in doing so. The practice of law can be stressful, given the nature of what we are tasked to do on a regular basis. But stress in our profession has been on the rise for some time. Why? There is the obvious answer, the pandemic that landed on our doorstep and that we have all struggled to navigate since 2020. But there is more to it. Well-being issues in the practice did
Continue Reading Lawyer well-being

The pandemic has changed the way we work. “Normalcy” such as going into an office, commuting by public transportation to work, grabbing a coffee, and collaborating in person has been completely upended and in a state of flux. The transition from office life to remote work to now hybrid work has created uncertainty and anxiety in many professionals I know. Making space for our well-being has never been more important. What can be done to increase well-being? For one, exercise can help raise our endorphins and give us energy to help us feel better. Set times for regular breaks. It
Continue Reading Working well-being into our workdays

We are very close to summer. Many of us may have already undergone a spring-cleaning session, but I say why limit it only to a specific season. Incorporating regular seasonal cleanings makes decluttering much more manageable. A “spring cleaning” ritual can help us get rid of items that no longer serve us. But how many of us focus on a mental cleanse along with the physical clean-up? Studies show that decluttering leads to reduced levels of stress and anxiety. It feels good to organize and tidy up our physical spaces. The simple act of straightening up provides immediate visible results
Continue Reading Making Space for Mental Decluttering

Being charged with a crime you did not commit can be a nightmare. One of the most common offenses that innocent people are charged with is domestic violence. It is shockingly easy to be arrested for domestic violence based on a false accusation, often by an angry romantic partner. There are a number of reasons that people make these false accusations. It is extremely easy for a simple fight between a couple to spiral out of control. Perhaps a neighbor called the police because they heard yelling and the police arrested you for lack of a better solution. Or
Continue Reading What to Do After a False Accusation of Domestic Violence

Question:
I and another partner are the owners of a seven lawyer family law practice in Chicago suburbs. We started the firm twenty years ago after leaving behind a partnership in another firm. Of the other five attorneys there are three non-equity partners and the rest are associates. I am sixty three years old and my other partner is sixty. Both of us are beginning to think about retirement and how we are going to transition out of the practice. Two of the non-equity partners are well seasoned attorneys, have major case responsibility, and bring in client business. We have
Continue Reading Law Firm Succession – Equity Partnership – Process for Admitting Equity Partners

Drivers of commercial vehicles, including long-haul trucks, delivery vehicles, and other vehicles driven for work-related purposes, put significant time and effort into obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Since this type of license is a requirement for certain occupations, the loss of a CDL may affect a person’s ability to continue earning an income, and it could cause significant financial difficulties for them and their families. Because of this, drivers will need to be aware of CDL violations that could affect them, and they will want to respond promptly to traffic tickets or other issues that could affect their careers.
Continue Reading When Can Traffic Violations Lead to the Loss of a CDL?