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Category Archives: Commentary

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Still Thinking: More Things I think I think.

Posted in Commentary, General

Random thoughts from over the past weekend. People like recently-fired PGA President Ted Bishop, who was fired for referring to professional golfer Ian Poulter as “a little girl, “make me long for a return to the days of  Mark Twain (“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved… Continue Reading

Rule 1: Clients get to decide

Posted in Client Service, Commentary

Some things make my blood boil.  Consider these quotes from Part 4 of Pam Woldow’s recent 4-part series, Cutting Corners (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).  The series discusses whether use of Legal Project Management and Legal Process Improvement encourages lawyers to cut corners.  Part 4 includes reader feedback and Pam’s response to… Continue Reading

Bingham’s demise should make everyone wonder about their own situation

Posted in Commentary

Bingham McCutchen is following the Dewey/Howery decline to oblivion.  It seems people are surprised.  They shouldn’t be.  Some number of major firms are the “low end” that create the mediocre industry average numbers that are reported.  But surprised they are, and that always surprises me.  So you can see why this brought a smile to… Continue Reading

An Interesting Thought About Resumes

Posted in Commentary

The following is a quote from Mark Horstman, one of the principals of Manager Tools, in his most recent Things I Think I Think. (I am a huge fan of Manager Tools’ podcasts, which I strongly recommend.) We take grief frequently for recommending one page resumes.  People say they “hear” that longer is what is… Continue Reading

Shame on you NFL, Baltimore Ravens

Posted in Commentary

By now, everyone has heard that Ray Rice has been cut by the Baltimore Ravens and had his laughable two game suspension increased to “indefinite”.  And the increased punishment is being lauded by sports pundits everywhere.  All of this only shows how little the NFL, the Ravens and the sports punditry care about domestic violence… Continue Reading

Some things I think I think

Posted in Commentary, General

Do you remember Andy Rooney?  He used to do commentary on 6o Minutes.  Big, bushy eyebrows.  But the thing I will always remember is when he would ask “Did you ever wonder….?” and then go into some offbeat topic.  My question is when did people stop thinking? When you are walking in a busy airport,… Continue Reading

The Three P’s Shortchanges What’s Necessary to Bring Value To Clients

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

I ran across an interesting article in Attorney at Work, Trends in Legal Pricing and Project Management. The article reported on the recent P3 Conference offered by the Legal Marketing Association.  The three P’s are pricing, project Management and process improvement.  Having just written a book that covers these topics (and more), I was interested… Continue Reading

Life without email? Maybe.

Posted in Commentary

Fascinating article in today’s Wall Street Journal, A Company Without Email? Not So Fast.  The article features companies that have tried to do their work without email and addresses how hard it has been to accomplish that goal.  But what really got my attention was this: Email usage is “exploding,” said Gloria Mark, a professor… Continue Reading

Ten ideas for better depositions

Posted in Commentary, General

  I recently became involved in a case where all the depositions had already been taken.  The opposing lawyers were partners in a very large, very well-known law firm.  And my predecessors on the case came from a firm with a recognizable name.  The case was pending in Federal Court, so the depositions were all… Continue Reading

Partners can no longer claim to be victims

Posted in Commentary

The principal victims of this phenomenon have been those lawyers who become trapped in the culture of short-termism. That culture is especially rampant among the prestigious big firms, where, as a group, lawyers are the unhappiest. Steven J. Harper Victims. The word conveys a sense of passiveness-something happened to a person.  And for a while,… Continue Reading

10 Value Questions Inside Counsel Should Be Asking Themselves

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

1.   Has your management mandated (or gently suggested) that you reduce your spend on litigation? Would it be a good career move if you achieved a reduction in total spend? 2.   Do your law firms spend more than the established budget? 3.   In 2013, were you unpleasantly surprised by a bill you received from litigation… Continue Reading

Now this is a mission statement

Posted in Commentary, General

Everybody wants the next great thing. Even us. So we are a music store, who became an airline, who became a soft drink company, who became over 200 different businesses all over the planet united by one simple common thought: We want to do what’s never been done before. We want to create stuff that’s… Continue Reading

BigLaw tries to sell the Brooklyn bridge

Posted in Commentary

Just ran across an article in Today’s General Counsel on choosing between litigation and arbitration.  There are many factors that go into a decision to pursue one or the other, but this paragraph caught my eye: Moreover, the inability to obtain full discovery can be considered a cost, not a benefit of arbitration.  While it… Continue Reading

Simple questions a client can ask to expose dirty little secrets

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Everyone claims to offer fee structures that are alternatives to the billable hour.  Frequently, these “alternatives” are nothing more than estimated hours x hourly rates, plus “a little cushion.” So clients should ask: 1.  How did you determine your alternative fee?  What metrics did you examine?  What factors did you consider?  What experience did you… Continue Reading

Making the most of meetings–Bill Clinton style

Posted in Commentary, General, People, Places and Blawgs

  Scott Curran, the Deputy General Counsel of The Clinton Foundation (yes, that Clinton Foundation), was this year’s first guest speaker at Valorem’s “Lunch With a Cool Person.”  The mug  presented to Scott confirms he is, in fact, a “Cool Person.”  Scott was incredibly gracious with his time and his insights and ideas, and my… Continue Reading