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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of November 6, 2012

LawBiz(r) newsletter

Another week, another trek. Last week, we were in Washington, D.C. and the airline called 4 times to suggest we leave a day early before SANDY hit. This week, we took our Airstream trailer to Paso Robles, CA, for wine tasting and cycling. Not only did I get in a bike ride, but I also finished another chapter in my new book, Life After Law - coming soon!

This month, we've discounted Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Planning for Law Firms, to $45. Created by Executive Directors of 17 large firms that suffered as a result of 9/11, their insight into the planning process is unique and will help you prepare as much as possible for a future disaster - one that might be catastrophic, like SANDY, or not so catastrophic but still serious.

If you are in San Francisco on November 12-13, 2012, I'd welcome having breakfast with you. Please contact me directly.

Ed signature

Should Clients Take Charge?

Clients in the World of Medicine
The world of medicine is being transformed by the world of technology. Patients are beginning to do their own research on the Internet, are better prepared when first going to the doctor of their choice, and are insisting on being part of the team deciding what treatment they should begin.

Clients and Their Legal Budgets
This is a lesson that the marketplace is increasingly teaching to lawyers, through client insistence that lawyers budget their matters. Too many lawyers still dismiss the importance or practicality of involving clients in preparing a budget for their own cases. Typically lawyers feel that too many contingencies crop up that a budget can't anticipate, or that a budget would constrain their quality of service, or that a budget is just a client ploy for a cheaper fee. If clients, and especially corporate clients, ever accepted such reasoning, they certainly don't today. Every General Counsel reports to a CEO whose life is governed by budgets, and requires the same of GCs and the matters they handle. That includes every major litigation and transaction. Outside counsel must understand this requirement, or the General Counsel will get someone who does.

Involve the Client in Budget Decisions
While no lawyer wants to lose control and direction of an assignment, making the budget a collaborative process by accepting informed client judgment can benefit both sides. An assistant general counsel for a major corporation told me that once she saved her company nearly half a million dollars in one litigation by working with outside counsel to develop a budget of both events and money. For example, the number of depositions desired by outside counsel was reduced by the general counsel. The law firm was concerned over potential accusations of negligence or malpractice if one of the canceled depositions might have proved to be a key information source. The client responded by accepting responsibility for the reduced number of depositions. She believed she was taking a reasonable business risk, something her corporate organization did every day in its sales and production departments. The result was agreement, lower costs and a successful engagement - the objectives of any budget.

Create a Budget and Share It with the Client
Creating a budget shows clients - whether they are individuals, small businesses or corporate counsel - that you are sensitive to their needs, and reinforces that you are providing a service of value and not just a block of hourly time. Just as doctors can benefit from patient involvement in planning a treatment, so can lawyers benefit from accepting informed client judgment for effective budgeting. The result will be lower costs and a successful engagement.

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Planning
for Law Firms

Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Planning for Law Firms

Special Price:


until Dec 1

Softcover or eBook
(reg. $67)

It isn't a question of if your firm will face a disaster but when it will. How will you and your people respond?

To Order: 1-800-837-5880 or order online at

This volume gives you the critical steps, including:
- The essentials of a comprehensive recovery plan
- How to create a team to plan the firm's response
- Where legal ethics and disaster planning intersect
- Must-dos to safeguard and support your people
Learn more.

In this issue:

Should Clients Take Charge?

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Planning for Law Firms - Special Price: $45

Video: Cash Flow Needs

Featured Video
Ed Poll on YouTube video

YouTube LawBiz Forum
FaceBook Twitter

What Clients Are Saying:

"I felt 'stuck,' but I didn't know how to market myself to clients or to other firms. Ed provided a solid rounding of me to evaluate my current situation and a platform from which I could start growing my own practice."

San Francisco, CA

"I look at Ed as my business partner now-my once a week essential business meeting to take the pulse of my practice. During our one-hour phone conversations, we hash out the larger and smaller business challenges of my law firm. I always come away from those conversations enlarged, challenged, and sometimes even quite shaken, but with the tools necessary to move forward down the path he and I are constantly redefining for me and my firm."

Northern California

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
©2011 LawBiz® Management. All rights reserved.

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