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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of December 31, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

I'm pleased to note that California's AB 1371, known as the Three Feet for Safety Act, becomes law in 2014. California is the 23rd state to establish a minimum buffer zone around bicycles that ride on public roads. It's about time! Motorists passing a bike must allow at least three feet of space between the car and the bike, or slow to a safe and reasonable speed.

As a cyclist myself, I know how dangerous the roads can be; in 2011, I was hit by a car making a left turn, failing to yield the right of way to me. The driver just didn't "see" me. This literally changed my life and I still feel the impact of that accident. Drivers passing too close is one more problem behavior on the roads, especially with new hybrids that make little or no sound of warning as they approach.

I will be in San Francisco on January 18, 2014 and would welcome the opportunity to meet with anyone in the area. If you wish to have breakfast with me in the downtown area at 8 a.m., please contact me at for further details. Best wishes for the new year and I look forward to meeting you.
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Paths to Success in 2014

As we begin a new year, a question on many minds is what defines success? I submit that the answer lies, not in earning more money or racking up more billable hours, but in moving your professional life down as many of these paths as possible.

  • Do what you love. Passionate, satisfied attorneys perform better, deliver higher quality legal services and get better results for their clients. They feel better about their career and themselves. Attorneys who are not happy need to refocus.

  • Put the client first. In any successful business, the customer is number one. For lawyers, this means treating every client like your only client. Grateful and appreciative clients will always be there when this attitude is genuinely felt.

  • Be a problem-solver. Instead of just reacting, look ahead for solutions. Too many good attorneys are so busy with immediate concerns that they cannot look forward for ways to solve future problems.

  • Never stop learning. Successful attorneys always continue their education and take more than the minimum CLE requirements. It is impossible to know everything in any one field of endeavor, but you should continue to learn new trends and update old thinking.

  • Develop business competency. It's important to speak the language of business clients, not offer just shallow chit-chat about the family or golf. Advice from a lawyer who knows the client's business and industry builds the client's trust and confidence.

  • Treat colleagues as clients and integrate your practice with others in the firm. An outstanding and underused source of new business is your own colleagues and the variety of relationships that they have with the outside world. The more people who have a stake in your success, the greater it will be.

  • Make yourself invaluable by going the extra mile and providing a service that clients feel they must have. Know your clients' business and anticipate their future problems. Suggest articles or webinars on new business trends and don't charge for it. When you become truly invaluable to a client, you will always compete successfully for their business.

  • Treat everyone - clients, colleagues and contacts alike - with the same respect you wish to receive. The truly successful person never has to worry about the comments made by others when out of earshot.

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Los Angeles, CA


Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management

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