“It’s my client.” “I get the billings.” Even the magnanimous say, “I”ll share the billings.” In court, you often hear lawyers refer to “my client.” Each own of these assertions of ownership weakens everyone involved. Most lawyers believe it strengthens them, especially in any intramural fighting over control and billing. It doesn’t. Everyone knows. Saying… Continue Reading
Trial lawyers see a case as a story. They are constantly thinking about the story and why the jury should care about it. Litigators see a case as a series of motions and briefs, depositions and documents. The stuff litigators see as the point of a case is just a road to the end.
In Part 1 of this post, I noted how law firms had become so adept at creating “noise” about various topics, focusing on client service and alternative fee arrangements. In Part 2, I identified 5 questions a General Counsel could ask to help separate signal from noise so she or he would know who is… Continue Reading
In Part 1 of this post, I noted how law firms had become so adept at creating “noise” about various topics–client service and AFAs for example, they they effectively drowned out any signal on these topics. Much of what firms have to say about these topics is nothing but gibberish, but it accomplishes the objective… Continue Reading
I was reading this interesting Fast Company article about what the 2016 Presidential candidates talk about when speaking of income inequality. This statement was interesting: Does all of this talk about inequality render the term meaningless? Especially at a time when wealthy donors have unprecedented sway on elections, the idea that government must work to… Continue Reading
A lot of people have asked why we chose this name for our prevention platform. I wanted to answer those many inquiries. My new partner Jeff Carr, the iconic former General Counsel of FMC Technologies, sometime ago defined the four stages in the evolution of law. The first stage is what Jeff refers to has… Continue Reading
Richard Susskind wonderfully described the 4 stages of change: Stage 1: “What you’re saying is worthless nonsense.” Stage 2: “What you’re saying is an interesting but perverted point of view.” Stage 3: “What you’re saying is true but quite unimportant.” Stage 4: “I have always said so.” There is truth in what Richard says, and… Continue Reading
This just caught my eye. The data – some $18 billion in legal invoices – suggests the largest law firms have modified staffing models and reassigned IP litigation work to more junior partners in an effort at cost control. Are we to believe that more junior partners are better lawyers than more senior lawyers? This… Continue Reading
There are certain mistakes made by doctors or other healthcare professionals that result in the need for further treatment. An example is sponge that is left behind during surgery, which generally necessitates further surgery. Insurance companies and government payors have determined that mistakes like these are easily avoided and refuse to pay for the second… Continue Reading
Uttered by PaleoLaw MPs when the subject is diversity and gender equality. (PaleoLaw explained here.)
One of the most-watched TED talks is by Simon Sinek. Called “Start with Why,” Sinek compellingly argues that why an organization exists is more important to its success that what it does or how. Sinek offers Apple as an example, demonstrating its ability to enter and remake markets including music, MP3 players, cell phones and… Continue Reading
Words matter. I have chosen mine poorly. I am here to correct my ways. For the longest time, I have written critically of “BigLaw,” as if size itself was the problem. To be sure, most large law firms suffer from the problem, but so do many smaller law firms. The problem goes beyond size. The… Continue Reading
Everyone says they are committed to client service. Here is the truth: No one has the chutzpah to speak as candidly as Rhett, but there’s the truth.
I can’t even make stuff like this up. Lawyers and invoices are a toxic combination, but the AmLaw 200 firms that are responsible for these examples have people who are supposed to prevent the lawyers from revealing their invoicing stupidity. Here a couple of my favorite illustrations from an article too good to pass up:… Continue Reading
When it comes to assessment, this is what most people think of themselves: But the reality is this: So people delude themselves. When the makers of a product win some trials and lose some trials, how many of the… Continue Reading
War Games 1983 The ultimate service–help eliminate the need for your service.
I just read something that made me say “wow, that is soooo wrong.” Out loud. Here is what I read (from Today’s General Counsel, Jun/Jul 2015, p. 42: Compounding the problem is the fact that most complex cases are unique. An estimate based on past experiences may not be applicable. Furthermore, litigation is unpredictable and… Continue Reading
According to Bloomberg BNA, Honeywell General Counsel Katherine Adams has determined that e-auctions are the ticket to lower legal fees. For those unfamiliar with the process, an e-auction is where the the corporate counsel throws chum in the water and the pool of sharks start thrashing around trying to feed on the skimpy morsels being… Continue Reading
I make no secret of the fact that I have looked to Steve Jobs for ideas and inspiration. I found this Fast Company article on the Evolution of Steve Jobs to be fascinating. The discussion of his evolution as a collaborator was terrific. As he steered Pixar through the many difficult periods that preceded the… Continue Reading
Have you ever read an email and wondered to yourself, “what’s the point?” Then you get to the end and realize there is no point. Or the point is something totally different than what you thought. When this happens, it’s annoying. Did you ever wonder if you annoyed anyone with your emails? You should. And… Continue Reading
I am honored that my recent post, Timekeeping Company argues lawyers using AFAs still need to keep time, has been selected by the editorial team of SmallLaw, as its SmallLaw Pick of the Week. SmallLaw is a popular email newsletter for solos and those who manage and work in small law firms. This recognition was… Continue Reading
One of the great things about non-hourly billing is that it frees you from the tyranny of timesheets. You stop thinking about billing and start thinking about results, about outputs, about deliverables. That approach is an anthema to the many vendors who specialize in products that help lawyers find more time to bill to their… Continue Reading
Some people speaking with style. Some put you to sleep. Most law firm websites are the latter. Law firms are so afraid of offending someone that they fail to capture the hearts of anyone. We’ve tried to be the former, to let our personality come through in our website. We believe it is better for… Continue Reading
Many firms have created a job for “pricing.” The reason for doing so is that firms don’t have much experience with non-hourly billing, but clients are demanding non-hourly fee arrangements. Since the firms want to make the same or more money on such engagements, they deploy a resource to help make sure the price offered… Continue Reading