What Darth Vader, Alcohol, and Unbundling Mean for Lawyers

by Mike Mintz on February 10, 2011 · 2 comments

in martindale.com connected

Here’s what you missed on martindale.com Connected.

Resources for Learning About Unbundling

Stephanie Kimbro is leading the charge for our late April theme week on unbundling legal services, which she defines as “a form of delivering legal services where the lawyer breaks down the tasks associated with a legal matter and only provides representation to the client pertaining to a portion of their legal needs.  The client accepts the responsibility for doing the footwork for the remainder of their legal matter until it is completed.”  Leading up to the event she will publish her new ebook “Serving the DIY Client” as semi-exclusive on martindale.com Connected (only two other small groups are seeing it for educational purposes prior to publication).

Join the group to check out her resource list for unbundling legal services, and keep up-to-date on the April event.

Top 50 Blogs – Environmental Law & Climate Change

Karen Yotis writes: “For the first time, LexisNexis Environmenal Law & Climate Change Community will recognize the thought leaders who share their expertise–and their divergent points of view–with the online world, by awarding an honorary designation to the Top 50 Blogs for Environmental Law & Climate Change.”

Leave a comment on her post about which blog you think is the best out there for environmental law and climate change.

Looking to Promote and Highlight YOU

This is a Connected members only post (private group).

We want to start doing a semi-weekly Member Spotlight in Connected, and wanted your opinion on what you would like to know about other members.  The initial idea is to send a questionnaire consisting of 5 questions to select members.  As these are returned to us, we will draft them into a short spotlight article to be published in our Connected Pulse news area and promoted throughout the community.

Check out the 5 questions and suggest your own (private group – membership request required and happily granted).

Korea Leading the Way for Asian Environmental Reform?

Tee L. Guidotti writes: “Korea is moving in contrary but smart direction comapred to other countries. It seems to be aggressively regulating itself, adopting REACH before it has to is undoubtedly a way to ensure that its exports will have an advantage with the European Union.”  His comments are starting a discussion on whether Korea can influence it’s Asian neighbors.

What do you think: will better environmental and working conditions result?  Add your take.

Newsletters: Worthwhile or Waste of Time?

Norman Clark posts about a recent discussion he had with a group of law firm partners about the value of firm newsletters.  He writes:

About half of the group said that their firm’s newsletter was worthwhile overall; but the other half argued that it was a complete waste of time and resources.  Research that our firm, Walker Clark, LLC, has done on this topic suggests that both factions are approximately correct.

Six points are enumerated from the research on this topic by Norman’s firm, and you will be surprised to find out that whether your newsletter is valuable or not depends mostly on positioning.  Shelley Dunstone posted a follow up conversation on this topic a separate thread in the rapidly growing group Thought Leadership for Lawyers.

Comment on Norman’s blog or join the conversation going about whether newsletters are worthwhile or a waste of time.

Death Grip Loosening on Law Firm Hiring?

Lori Sieron has started a discussion in the Lawyer Career Center citing statistics that show “indications that the recession’s grip is loosening for many law firms”  According to her post, “[i]nformation was gathered from 100 large and medium-sized US and international firms,” with firms in Los Angeles citing a 4% gain in demand, “followed by Chicago and Houston.”  Can balance to the Force be far off?

What is happening with demand for legal services in your city?  Tell us on the thread.

If the Shoe Fits, Tweet It (as long as you don’t mention #Egypt)

Community Manager Joe Walsh posted about Kenneth Cole’s Twitter blunder.  For those of you who do not know, the shoe designer posted a controversial tweet that sparked backlash and ultimately a taking down of the post.  Joe writes:

[Kenneth Cole] made a PR blunder of epic proportions when he personally tweeted the following on the @KennethCole account in the midst of the ongoing unrest in Egypt:

“Millions are in an uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC” (the link in the message directs people to the online store for the lines Kenneth Cole New York and Kenneth Cole Reaction)

Amidst angry feedback, Cole immediately took the tweet down and apologized twice on the company’s Facebook page. In today’s 24/7 news environment, this incident will, or already has, faded away, but there are important lessons to be taken away from it.

See what those lessons are and tell us what you think about a lawyer’s duty to clients when they tweets something stupid.

Social Media Buzz Kill: Legal Snags for Marketing Alcohol Online

I wrote this post about a recent CNET article that discussed the difficulty alcohol brands are having in using social channels to market their products.  My focus was on the legal departments or outside firms that advise these brands.  ”[L]awyers advising alcohol brands who use social media campaigns need to consider and plan for the backlash that can come from violating a state advertising law related to company’s online advertising activities.  According to [expert Ted] Zeller, it’s a tremendous hurdle from a legal perspective.”

Share your ideas about how savvy lawyers should avoid getting tied up in battles with states over these brands.

Case Summary Alert: E-Discovery’s Greatest Hits

Every litigation professional should be a member of the prolific group Applied Discovery.  I’m not just saying that because these guys are part of the Lexis family.  Every week Renee Barrett (connect with her – she needs more people in her martindale network!) posts great materials on behalf of Virginia Henschel, Jon Resnick, and other leaders in the e-discovery world.  Her latest post discusses the interest that has arisen in cross border discovery issues, and she proceeds to an important case summary of a recent decision by Judge Posner.  She writes on behalf of Virginia Henschel:

It is not often that we see an opinion dealing with the “flipside” of discovery, namely a decision dealing with discovery obligations emanating from a foreign jurisdiction. Judge Posner of the 7th Circuit has reviewed the denial of applications pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 1782 seeking to compel discovery of documents for use in trade secrets litigation pending in Germany. Heraeus Kilzer, GmbH v. Biomet, Inc., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 1389 (7th Cir. Jan. 24, 2011).

Find out what he decided, and join the Applied Discovery group to access weekly e-discovery snapshots, other case summaries, and more.

You Outsourced Our Work WHERE?!?

Responding to ever-increasing pressure to control legal costs, law firms and corporations alike have turned to a proven cost-saving method employed in many other aspects of business — outsourcing.  This opportunity has spawned a burgeoning and global legal process outsourcing (LPO) industry that employs tens of thousands of people and generates hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of revenue a year.  But when work that is being outsourced involves the practice of law things can get prickly.  How do you ensure quality?  What are the ethical risks?  How do you ensure sensitive data are secure?

To address these and other important questions martindale.com® Connected is hosting a complimentary webinar on February 23rd from 2:00 to 3:15 p.m., Eastern Time, titled “Legal Process Outsourcing:  Ethics & Efficacy.” The faculty will include uniquely qualified speakers who will explain the attractive savings involved with LPO, as well as best practices for avoiding the considerable ethical harms of poorly executed outsourced projects.

Register for the webinar today.

Stop Boring Us With Your Power Point: Six Tips for Lawyers

Another post of mine from this week, discussing just what it takes to design presentations like a pro.  From my post:

Most business presentations using Power Point are terrible, with lawyers ranking high on the offender list.  For some reason Power Point has conditioned the average user to believe that “compelling” means using some geometric text boxes to frame your 10 bullet points and two graphs in 8 point font on each slide.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Anyone can change their presentation style if they stick to the golden rule: images tell and stories sell.

The post goes on to give six practical tips for creating good Power Point presentations that will wow the audience of any lawyer.  More importantly, I ask for YOUR tips on how to make a great presentation … so what are they?

That’s it for today’s Connected Round Up.  Members can get in on these discussions and more by clicking the links and commenting.  Non-members can check see all these discussions, but need to register to comment – it’s 100% free.

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