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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of June 18, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

Today, it is time for me to talk about my grandchildren. Two will come to Los Angeles in July and I'm looking forward to taking one to American Girl to increase her wardrobe and the other to the Lego store for a safe way to build things for the future. Over the weekend, another grandson played in a regional water polo tournament. His team won their matches and that qualifies them for the Junior Olympics in July, which I definitely plan on attending. The other 8 grandchildren are all doing well, each in his/her own way.

The American Bar Association will hold its annual meeting in San Francisco; I plan to attend. If you want to join me for another of my regional breakfasts on Friday, August 9th, let me know and I'll send you the particulars.
Ed signature

Of Bricks, Mortar and Law Practice

Most clients still expect a lawyer to have a physical office, and office space and related amenities speak loudly and clearly to clients about the firm itself. Similarly, that office space for the great majority of solo and small firm practitioners is tied to the state where the lawyer passed the bar exam and entered practice. Yet as Internet and wireless technologies continue to build a virtual practice world, making lawyers themselves more mobile, the importance of a bricks-and-mortar location seems less significant. Two recent ethics developments reinforce that idea.

In the state of New Jersey, according to a January pronouncement by the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Rules of Professional Conduct no longer obligate New Jersey attorneys to maintain a traditional bricks-and-mortar office as a condition for practicing law in that state. However, the ruling does not whole-heartedly endorse virtual offices. New Jersey lawyers must still:

  • Ensure "prompt and reliable communication" with clients, other attorneys, and courts, such as a telephone service staffed during ordinary business hours, or a promptly returned voicemail or email service;

  • Be available for mutually convenient, in-person consultations if clients request;

  • Designate an actual location for inspection of files and records, hand deliveries, and service of process, including registration for service with the Clerk of Courts.

And as a final point, lawyers licensed in other states who practice in New Jersey still must maintain a physical office in the state.

For lawyers nationwide the ABA has expanded the concept of admission by motion, in which an experienced lawyer applies for admission to the state bar association of a new state "by motion," provided that the lawyer has graduated from an accredited law school and has passed the bar in at least one state. In 2012 the ABA House of Delegates approved a model ethics rule revision such that lawyers seeking to practice in a new jurisdiction through admission by motion need to have actively practiced law for only three of the past five years rather than five of the last seven years, particularly benefitting younger lawyers. The revision urges jurisdictions that have not adopted the model rule for admission by motion to do so. Greater use of admission by motion could make the whole admission process more flexible - in keeping with the increasingly more fluid practice of law.

Selling Your Law Practice and Life After Law
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With an eye on balancing the professional and personal fronts, Ed guides readers through the steps:

  • Choosing retirement on your own terms

  • Determining the value of your practice and its sale price

  • Transferring client and rainmaking responsibilities

  • Negotiating the sale more effectively

  • Charting an exit from a multi-partner firm

  • Strategizing the sale or closure of a practice

Learn more.

In this issue:

Of Bricks, Mortar and Law Practice

Selling Your Law Practice AND Life After Law...55% OFF!

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What Clients Are Saying:

"Ed helped me assess my situation and cut to the core issues that needed to be dealt with to improve it. Ed's no-nonsense approach to setting and achieving goals helped me get on track. I can recommend Ed to anyone who's ready to come to grips and take charge of their practice or career."

Horan, Lloyd Law Offices

"I wanted assistance from someone outside the firm: an expert who knew and understood the practice of law, business development and marketing, and law firm dynamics, ethics and politics. I needed someone who knew the practice of law to give me good and solid advice on how to raise my professional profile in the legal community and within the firm and to address challenges associated with working in a law firm environment. Through Ed's invaluable coaching and no-nonsense approach, he enabled me not only to stay employed at the firm, but to make partner and have a future with the firm. Since I began working with Ed, my family has noticed the positive effect on my confidence level, goals, and direction. My wife has been supportive of Ed since Day One."

Los Angeles, CA

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
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