On a beautiful Monday when many readers may be on vacation, enjoy this terrific piece on Presidents Day.
February 16, 2015
September 15, 2014
This Wednesday, September 17, we get another in a popular series of analyses from the recent U.S. Supreme Court Term.
Organized by the State Bar CLE folks, it will include the thoughts of Judge George Anagnost as moderator, as well as panelists ASU Law Professor Paul Bender, Arizona Summit Law Professor Dave Cole, and attorney–scholar Bob McWhirter.
As they describe it:
“This symposium will review significant cases for the October 2013 Term including the Hobby Lobby and the Town of Greece case. The program will feature scholars on the Court focusing on cases presenting important questions of law, comments on individual justices’ legal perspectives, and a preview of petitions for certiorari for this coming October Term 2014.”
More information is here. I hope to see you there.Follow @azatty
July 7, 2014
How do you visually preview your events? Not at all? Maybe you need a new plan.
I became a convert to the in-person conference about a decade ago. That’s when I attended some events that provided an educational experience that could not be replicated in a webcast or podcast.
Many people agree with that sentiment. But far too few use all available channels to tout their upcoming event. Among the channels that are underused? Video.
But today’s thumbs-up goes to the Federal Bar Association. Many of you attorneys who practice in federal court may already be FBA members (and if not, you should consider it).
On July 11, the FBA hosts its Women in the Law Conference. You can read more about it here.
If I were in DC later this week, I would attend. But in the meantime, thank you to Stacy King, the FBA’s Deputy Executive Director, for sharing the organization’s video touting the conference. Here it is:
Well, if there’s one thing all my conference experience has taught me, it is to replicate the best ideas you see floating around. So congratulations to the Federal Bar Association for a terrific video; hello to wideo, a portal I will grow familiar with as I muddle through creating my own video.
Is anyone else planning to make a video in the near future? Let me know if you try wideo. Let’s get people looking even more at our content.Follow @azatty
February 12, 2014
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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to be in Los Angeles—which I really like, before you start with the grimaces. But maybe my pleasure came partially from the fact that I was not driving. The few times I had to travel about the freeway system, battle-weary cabbies did it for me.
My passenger status allowed me the luxury of looking at my surroundings as they flew by in a blur. But L.A. traffic jams also allow a more relaxed view of Southern California, and that is when I got to see my share of vanity license plates.
A strange thing, the vanity plate. Many (to me) are merely inscrutable, making me wonder why someone would spend money on an inside joke. (Of course, I’m famously clueless about deciphering the words. Years ago, I gazed at a plate, muttering, “Flaming Oz?” over and over. Until my daughters realized I was being dense, not funny, and they kindly informed me the plate meant “flamingoes.” Which was still stupid, but whatever.)
Well, this past weekend, I saw one of my favorite attorney plates ever. As we drove east on the 10 out of Santa Monica, traffic ground to a near-halt as we entered the lane to head south on the 405. And that’s when a gorgeous black Porsche 911 Carrera slipped in ahead of us. It took me a moment to stop savoring the vehicle itself and for me to glance down at the plate: “Mns Rea.”
Even in the required shortened form, I understood immediately we were behind Mens Rea. Can’t recall law school? Well, it’s that quotable bit of Latin that refers to criminal intent, a necessary element to establish guilt.
Why a lawyer would gleefully holler “malice” from his plate, I don’t know. But it seems to fall in nicely with the humblebrag, the sly sharing of mundane personal information that covertly tries to toot your own horn.
Not impressive enough that the driver’s in a Porsche? Well, he (or she, I couldn’t tell) is also happy to let you in on the secret that a successful lawyer career paid for that machinery from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.
What do you think of vanity plates? If you catch a photo of one that makes you laugh—or seethe—send it to me at email@example.com.Follow @azatty
February 11, 2014
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It’s still early in the year, so legal experts continue to offer predictions about the path of 2014’s legal economy. Today, I share a rather good report, this one from Georgetown Law School, specifically its Center for the Study of the Legal Profession. Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s titled “Report on the State of the Legal Market.” (Legal profession experts should begin hiring great headline-writers; they really should.)
I will let you dig into the blissfully brief (15-page) report. But I share just two of their charts so you can see the trajectory we’re on.
The first chart is in regard to legal demand:
And the second table I share reflects the continued gap between hours worked, hours billed and (gulp) hours collected on:
And I must offer a hat tip to the ever-watchful Katie Mayer of The Artigue Agency Public Relations for spotting the WSJ article. Thanks, Katie!
I continue to stumble across the notion that the challenges in the legal market center around the need for changes in approach and imagination (says the guy no longer in practice; easy for me to say). But I urge you to look at a previous post in which a change in view led to increased service delivery, increased client satisfaction—and, we assume, increased profitability.
Of course, that related to the medical profession. But who knows; we may learn something.Follow @azatty
December 10, 2012
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Has NAFTA been a success or a failure? The answer to that affects not only free trade, but the willingness of leaders to back future treaties.
That thought occurred to me as I read an article about the North American Free Trade Agreement. The story in the Tucson Sentinel points out what may be true about any such agreement: Some like it, and others don’t. As the article opens:
“Two decades after a pact initiated here created the world’s largest free trade area, economists are calling the North American Free Trade Agreement a resounding success, crediting it for fueling unprecedented trade and creating millions of jobs in the United States.”
“The agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, ratified 19 years ago Saturday, also made two of Texas’ land ports among the country’s busiest and delivered a multitrillion-dollar cumulative gross domestic product for its member countries.”
“But unions and consumer-advocacy groups say NAFTA has had negative effects in Mexico and the U.S. They say that resulting outsourcing and lower wages have hurt the United States’ domestic economy and that Mexico’s rural industries have destabilized.”
Unlike many other treaties, though, NAFTA was a high-profile battle—not entirely resolved—and it affects us right here in the United States. That element, probably more than anything else, distinguishes it from the mass of agreements that Americans may barely notice. And that lack of notice is what may often give political cover to Senators exercising their advice and consent; Americans barely notice international affairs, especially those far from our shores.
But maybe the NAFTA effect is having a worldwide impact. That occurred to me as I read some fascinating and well-executed analyses of an important international development: the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.
The analyses were published last week in the New York Times, and they included voices on both sides of the debate. The lead piece was by Georgetown Law Visiting Professor Catherine Powell, and here’s how it opened:
“Tuesday’s vote on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities was a disappointing moment for the U.S. Senate. Turning its back on a bipartisan approach to assuring disability rights forged under the landmark 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, which was signed by President George H.W. Bush, the Senate capitulated to the worst fear-mongering tactics related to individual choice and American sovereignty. Neither would have been limited by this treaty.”
You can read all the viewpoints here.
A hat tip to Suhrith Parthasarathy, a writer on the legal blog of Thomson Reuters, who brought my attention to the New York Times package. (You can follow him at @Suhrith).
There may be a lot of reasons for the failure of agreement on the Persons With Disabilities Convention. But perhaps the queasiness about international treaties goes back a few decades, to NAFTA, ratified 19 years ago.
What do you think? Has one close-to-home pact that had public backlash soured Senators on agreeing to politically charged pacts?Follow @azatty
October 11, 2012
I am in Denver this week (my first time here; can you believe it?), where I’m attending a great communications conference. While here, I am pleased to be leading a panel on how to manage the avalanche of content that seems to overwhelm us (rest assured, our actual title is much nicer than that).
Whenever I travel for work, I try to find great ideas to steal learn from. And that’s what takes me to an award-winning blog site: Solo in Colo.
I invite you to look it over. The website, created by the Colorado Bar Association (“Colo”) aims to give voice to the wealth of solo-lawyer knowledge and experience. (The Colorado and Denver Bars are also hosting this week’s national conference, so they’re talented and generous!)
I am used to my own avalanche of content that I must create, curate, rewrite and post. But even given the horrorshow that is my daily calendar, I am in awe of this site. It includes a breadth and depth of value that continues to amaze long after they launched it.
What do you think? Should the State Bar of Arizona take on such a task? Do Arizona’s lawyers—particularly its solos—have any wisdom to impart? (That’s a trick question. They do.)
In what I am sure is no coincidence, the Denver conference includes as a speaker Merrilyn Astin Tarlton, of the great website Attorney at Work. She will speak on (Re)Building Your Blog:
“Using the real-life example of Attorney at Work, Partner/Catalyst Merrilyn Astin Tarlton shows how to create and manage a multi-author blog. She will discuss building readership, creating interaction, creating presence, content development, daily blog management and more. Plan to take good notes so you can head home with a plan to launch or spruce up your own bar blog.”
Any site whose slogan is “One Really Good Idea Every Day” and that manages multiple contributors is worth stealing learning from. Here’s to great ideas!
I return from the Mile-High City Friday evening, laden down with a treasure trove of “borrowed” ideas (and a smile that comes from cooler weather). But I’d like to hear your take on SoloInColo and Attorney at Work, and what you think of getting more voices “out there.”Follow @azatty