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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of June 21, 2011

LawBiz(r) newsletter

We've now traveled more than 1200 miles and visited our first site, the Oregon Bar's Solo & Small Firm Section in Portland. By the time you read this, I will have visited two other bar associations. I can say, without reservation, that these lawyers are outstanding practitioners. It was a hoot talking with them and exchanging ideas on how to be more effective in dealing with clients.

Technology Update: Today, I needed to scan a document and then print, sign, scan, and resend it. I was so excited, like a little kid, when it all worked to perfection. The key piece of equipment was the Fujitsu Scanner, portable model 300. This scanner and the printer make it much easier for me to be away from my home office. Living in SteSpot, our Airstream travel trailer, is easy with the right mobile equipment.

Join us as we travel ... See our calendar at and Facebook ( If your bar association has failed to respond to my invitation to do a presentation, tell them to contact me. We'll "keep on truckin'," hoping to see you on the trail.

Our next presentations:

Fri, June 24 - Missoula, MT

12pm - Managing Client Expectations (Florence Bldg, Governor's Room)

Fri, July 8 - Denver, CO

4pm: The Metrics of Financial Performance (Colorado Bar Association)

Don't forget to look up our sponsors, Fujitsu ScanSnap and Lexis Hub. Thank you.

Ed signature

Phone Pet Peeves

How well are you using your phone?
Traditional landline telephones seem almost quaint and antiquated technology when compared to today's cell phones and smart phones with their multiple functions and hundreds of thousands of "apps." Yet the phone remains at the core of your firm's ability to serve clients. How well you use even the most advanced mobile phone technology deter- mines whether that technology is properly addressing the firm's needs.

Cell phone misuse
That brings us to the issue of cell phone misuse. That there is legal liability from misusing a smart phone - above all while phoning or texting while driving - is shown by the many state laws criminalizing these activities. Lawyers who think such restrictions don't or shouldn't apply to them should remember the example of a lawyer from a large West Coast firm who several years ago struck and killed a Virginia pedestrian when making a business call on her cell phone while driving. The lawyer was ordered to serve a year in jail, surrender her law license and pay $2 million in damages. The firm also paid a major settlement under its insurance policy.

Annoying those around you
The other problem is sheer common discourtesy. Cell and smart phone users often seem so absorbed with their "apps" and the less than important conversations they hold that they become oblivious to all else and annoying to everyone else. They are drivers who hog the left lane while driving at half the speed limit, ignoring and disrupting everyone else on the road. If you're honest, do you see yourself in any of these cell phone behavioral pet peeves?

  • Shouting conversations as loudly as possible, presumably to show off wit or importance (and doing the opposite).

  • Letting a mobile phone ring time after time anywhere that it is disturbing and annoying to others in the same space (such as the theater or medical office).

  • Interrupting a current call to get another rather than letting the incoming one go to voicemail.

  • Thinking that Bluetooth earpieces create a look of technical sophistication, while in fact they appear to be straight out of an old Star Trek episode.

  • Walking and talking - but failing to avoid walking into others while doing it (and always looking down at one's feet).

Lawyers should maintain professionalism at all times
Such behavior is bad enough when done by multitudes on the street or in an airport. For lawyers it is inexcusable. In the practice of law we should never forget that we are dealing with human lives. The law cannot be a profession unless we ourselves maintain professionalism and deal with others as we want to be dealt with.

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In this issue:

Phone Pet Peeves

3-Dimensional Lawyer

Video: What Are Clients Looking For Anyway?

Featured Video:
Ed Poll on YouTube video


LawBiz Forum

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What Clients Are Saying:

"We started trial today... (The) short conversation we had about the case ... prompted a fabulous opening/closing statement for me... You sparked a great visual argument for me which I have confidence in... Thank you."

MO, Los Angeles, CA

"I have been working with coaches for the past couple of years concerning my business, and the thing that I particularly like about working with Ed Poll is his 25 years of legal background. He has a keen insight into the ramifications of practicing law and he seems to be genuinely concerned about my business."

FSB, Attorney At Law
Birmingham, AL

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
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