Law Firm Marketing & Management

When you hear the word “fraud,” you may imagine some form of theft or deceitful behavior. Fraud is often generally defined as “any act in which one person intentionally misrepresents an existing fact to another in order to induce the other person to act or to gain something of value.” It is important to note that there can be many actions that may be considered a type of fraud. In some cases, an individual may not even know what constitutes this type of crime. Illinois law defines seven categories under which criminal charges of fraud can be filed. The penalties…
Question:  I am the firm administrator of a 16-attorney firm in Kansas City, Missouri. We, like many other firms, have done our best to face up to the challenges presented by COVID-19. For several months, attorneys and staff worked remotely from home offices using the internet, telephone, and video conferencing as the primary means of communications with clients and the office. To our surprise, it worked fairly well, but most of the attorneys were glad when they were able to return to the office. We have been having discussions as to the long-term impact of COVID-19, both in the short…
Question:  I am a solo practitioner in Southern Indiana. I have been practicing law for 43 years and I want to retire next year. My practice is a general practice firm although approximately 80% of my work is estate planning and estate administration. I am the only attorney in the firm and I am assisted by one paralegal that has been with the firm for twenty years. She plans on working for another ten years or so and will need a future home. I am not sure whether there is any practice value, whether I should just close the practice,…
The state of Illinois takes traffic violations seriously, since disobeying traffic laws can lead to car accidents with injuries. Certain infractions can result in criminal charges, and a motorist losing his or her driving privileges for a period of time. This can cause great hardship if a person relies on driving to get to and from work to support his or her family. Depending on the offense, an individual may be able to obtain an occupational license, which allows him or her to drive to designated places at specific times for employment or school. However, if a driver operates his…
Question: I am a partner and a member of a three member management committee in a eighteen attorney firm in Chicago. During the past year we have discussed conducting an offsite long range planning retreat in the fall that would include the partners and other attorneys in the firm. We have never done this before so this would have been a new experience for us. However, with the COVID-19 crisis we have cancelled our site reservations and are wondering whether we can still conduct our retreat remotely? Any thoughts you have would be appreciated. Response: Sure you can. I suggest…
Question:  I am the owner of a six-lawyer law firm in San Diego, California. Our firm is a business litigation boutique firm. I founded and formed the firm nineteen years ago. The other attorneys are all associates of which one has been with me for over ten years, one over five years, and the other three less than two years. I am 56 and still plan on working another ten to fifteen years. However, I don’t want to lose my senior associates and I want them to be around in ten to fifteen years to take over the firm, I…
Question:  I am a member of the executive committee of a 14-attorney firm in Houston, Texas. We have 10 partners and four associates in the firm. Seven of our partners are in their 60s and we have done nothing to prepare for the succession and transition of our senior partners and have concerns whether we will be able to continue as a firm. Where and how do we start? Response: You need to begin to have some serious discussions with your senior partners as to their retirement goals and timelines and determine how close together their exits will be. Can…
Laws are put in place throughout the United States to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens. Here in Illinois, property crimes are taken seriously, and they can result in significant punishments depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. There are many different types of criminal offenses that are categorized as property crimes, such as vandalism, trespassing, burglary, robbery, and home invasion. Although it may seem like home invasion would just be entering a person’s home unannounced, it actually involved more than that and can result in serious consequences. That is why it is essential that anyone accused…
Although recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois this year, there are still many other drugs that are classified as illegal in the state. These include cocaine, LSD, heroin, Methamphetamines, and Ecstasy. In addition, owning or carrying certain drug paraphernalia can result in serious criminal charges. The consequences of a conviction can be severe, from fines to a lengthy prison sentence, not to mention a stain on your record. Many people may not know that simply having an item that is used to ingest or make a drug is a crime. If you or someone you know is facing any type…
Question:  I am a sole owner of four-attorney, boutique litigation law firm in Chicago. I am 52 years old and looking for a long-term succession strategy for my firm. I have been approached by a large Chicago national firm involving merging my practice with their firm. We have had several meetings and they have provided me with an initial proposal. I have spent many years building my law firm, and, by merging with a large law firm it seems that I am not really receiving any value for goodwill. What are your thoughts? Response:  It is normal to exchange equity…
Question:  I am a partner in a small law firm in Northern Virginia. We are a four attorney firm with two equity partners and two associates. We are interested in acquiring a solo practitioner’s practice that is 60 years old and ready to retire. What are the issues that we should be concerned with before we spend a great deal of time on this matter? Response:  I understand your concern and reason for asking for my thoughts. You must immediately determine the nature of the clientele that you would be acquiring and whether the seller is interested in remaining with…
Chicago has been named one of the most dangerous cities, with extremely high crime rates. Turning on the news each night, you likely see devastating videos of gun violence leading to lost lives. While it is no secret that Chicago has more than its fair share of violent crimes, statistics show that property crimes actually make up 76 percent of criminal offenses in Chicago in 2018. As a city known for its crime, it is important to know what actions constitute the most common offenses if you are a Chicagoan. Knowing who you can turn to if you find yourself…
Interested in joining your peers in the legal blogging world but don’t have time to set up and maintain a blog of your own? LexBlog can help! Twenty is LexBlog’s new and completely turnkey blogging platform. It is being offered to ISBA members as part of LexBlog’s national #Blog4Good campaign, which aims to aggregate and showcase pandemic-related legal information. Blogs on the new Twenty platform are now easier for ISBA members to set up and use. As an added bonus, they’re free during the first six months and are only $39.99 per month after that. ISBA members who purchase a…
Question:  I am a member of a three member management committee in a sixteen lawyer boutique litigation firm in downtown Chicago. The firm has been in business for over forty years. We have sixteen lawyers in the firm of which ten are equity partners and six are associates. The original founders are retired and we are in second generation. Until five years ago all partners were involved in all aspects of firm management. At that time we made the decision to put in place a three-member management committee that was charged to handle certain aspects of firm management with the…
Crimes can consist of various actions, some of which do not always involve physical confrontations. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in 2018, 15 percent of all fraud complaints were related to identity theft. Overall, 33 percent of U.S. adults have experienced identity theft at some point in their lifetime. It can be relatively easy to find people’s personal and sensitive information on social media and networking sites, which can make them targets for phishing and imposter scams. Identity theft basically means representing yourself as someone else for financial gain. This offense is considered a form of fraud,…
Question:   Our firm is a four attorney estate planning and probate specialty practice in Fresno, California. We are in our 15th year of practice. In addition to word of mouth referrals from past clients as well as referrals from attorneys and other professionals, seminars has been a major source of new business for the firm. In fact, for the last several years seminars has been our number one source of new client business. As a result of COVID-19 we are no longer conducting seminars and we have concerns that this is going to have a major negative impact on our…