Header graphic for print
In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Monthly Archives: February 2010

A Customer Service Failure

Posted in Client Service

I just concluded a stay at a Four Seasons Hotel.  When checking out, I was stunned to see two $100 plus charges for phone calls.  When I inquired about the charges, I was told that the first minute of each call is $8 and each subsequent minute was $3.  The rates are not listed on… Continue Reading

Fee Sharing is a necessary part of joint venture work

Posted in Commentary

I’ve written before about the great value clients can receive when firms work together for the client’s benefit.  But I have not written about this from a fee-sharing standpoint, and I have certainly not written about this as well as my friends Dave Bohrer and Michael Kallus at Confluence Law Partners.  Check out their post… Continue Reading

A return to the good old days? Dream on.

Posted in Commentary

From the January 2010 McKinsey Quarterly: Even though cost containment remains a high priority, many respondents worry about the sustainability of the cost reductions and are only somewhat confident that their companies are adequately prepared for even bigger cost challenges, which they expect in the coming year. These are among the findings of a survey… Continue Reading

A court hearing with 5 attorneys

Posted in Commentary

  My partner just returned from court.  All by his lonesome.  This was a multi-party extravaganza, but one of the parties was represented by 5 attorneys.  Count them–one for each finger.  One for each day of the work week.  How many spoke?  Just one.  To visualize this, raise your hand with all fingers extended.  Then… Continue Reading

Do AFAs create the same bad incentives as hourly billing?

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

My recent post Discounts: It’s like putting off necessary surgery drew this thoughtful comment, which I believe merits a response. First, the comment: Although you suggest that hourly billing law firms which discount will merely increase the number of billed hours to prop up their bottom lines, there is no evidence to suggest AFA firms… Continue Reading

Intelligence. Experience. Wisdom.

Posted in Commentary

Regular readers know that I am an NPR guy.  I was listening to Scott Simon this morning on the way home from the gym.  Scott had been off the air for a bit while undergoing surgery, and he made some comments at the end of today’s show: It wasn’t until after Dr. Edward Benzel, Chairman… Continue Reading

Perspective.

Posted in Commentary

Amid the cacophony of our daily lives, from politics to fee structures, I was given pause yesterday when told that Valentine’s Day is the 20th Anniversary of this iconic photograph, taken by a camera on the Voyager 1 spacecraft.  Earth from 4 billion miles away. 

Discounts: It’s like putting off necessary surgery

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

  I started looking at some tweets this morning and saw an interesting one by "@jayshep" –Twitter-speak for Jay Shepherd, where he cites to an article (sub. req.) on discounting hourly rates.  The article quotes Jay as saying "It’s incredibly easy to get discounts."  I am intrigued, and continue reading: “I’ve talked to many in-house… Continue Reading

What will help you make your business people happy?

Posted in Commentary

When dealing with in-house counsel, there are some questions you always need to ask.  This is one of them. Your in-house clients have clients too.  Frequently, they run the business.  They can influence your contact’s career path, compensation and life.  You need to do what you can to make sure your contact’s interactions with the… Continue Reading

Team Building

Posted in Commentary

One of the things I hated when I worked in an Amlaw 100 firm was the relentless pressure to "sell" the virtues of other practice areas, as if every partner and every practice area was of elite quality.  When the partner or practice area was of elite quality and the client had a need in… Continue Reading

Illinois Privilege Law: A Trap For The Unwary

Posted in Commentary

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin just published a short article by my colleague, Reeghan Raffals, on Illinois courts’ narrow definition of the "control group" entitled to privilege and Illinois’ rather restrictive choice of law rules used to analyze privilege issues.  Those considering litigating in Illinois are well-advised to understand the significance of the rule before… Continue Reading

Customer Service In Action: A Great Story

Posted in Client Service

Kayak.com is a way cool company.  If you travel and want to choose amongst the best options, rather than having the choice made for you, it is the best place to go.  But that’s not why I am writing this post.  My partner Nicole Auerbach shared this great article about one of Kayak’s founder’s, Paul… Continue Reading