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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of June 10, 2014

LawBiz(r) newsletter

"Life happens to you while you're making other plans." This is a phrase often quoted by my wife. And, how true it is. I don't like the phrase, "Live each day as though it were your last." I do think that we can expect that the sun will come up tomorrow. Rather, I prefer: "Get the fullest out of each day that you can." With that, any regrets we may have will be small.

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When It Rains, It Pours

Two feet of rain in twenty-four hours is more than any area can reasonably handle, and this was quite evident at the end of April when the Florida panhandle was pummeled with rain. Across the border, Alabama fared moderately better: a mere twenty-one inches of rain that day. Floods, power outages, and even death ensued.

This scenario is not an isolated one. Disasters happen frequently, everywhere: Hurricane Sandy, 2012, a tornado in Missouri in 2011, a flood in the Mississippi River Valley in 2011, wildfires in California in 2007, etc.

Disasters can be disastrous for law firms. Firms can lose their offices, libraries, computers, furnishings, equipment, client files-and quite possibly their clients.

Disaster planning is important, but the real issue is disaster repair: making a recovery that ensures the survival of the firm.

One of the primary ingredients of disaster repair is communication with associate lawyers, staff, vendors, clients, the courts, and others who make your business work. Be truthful and credible and convey that the crisis is being handled properly and that the firm will do its best to take care of needs and concerns.

Depending on the severity of the disaster, disaster repair could, in fact, mean starting the law practice all over again, possibly in a completely different geographic area.

Returning to business as usual after a disaster also involves a host of practical issues. To resolve or move along all current cases or work in progress, you may need to get a continuance or reschedule a deposition. You might want to refer some or all cases to another lawyer or firm. You will undoubtedly need to disburse funds for rent, payroll, insurance settlements, new office arrangements, supplies, and much more. That means giving top priority to the collection of existing accounts receivable and securing an emergency bank loan.

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Ed Poll has simplified the mystical process of operating a law practice so that anyone can be more effective with his/her clients and become more profitable. He walks you through the business planning process in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step format. Learn more.

"I would like to thank Ed Poll for his recommendations in the Secrets of the Business Law and The Profitable Law Office Handbook. I had already implemented several of the recommendations suggested in his Secrets of the Business Law even before reading your book and it was nice to know that I have been doing some things correctly. I intend to implement many of the other recommendations he has made, and I am recommending his books to several of my colleagues." - John C. Mullin, Jr.


When It Rains, It Pours

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