Law Practice Management and Technology Section

News from the Section

  1. Chair's Message
  2. Did You Know . . . Tech Tips?
    1. Top 10 Social Networking Tips
  3. Did You Know . . . ?
    1. Marketing - Tips for Creating Some Discipline
    2. Wage and Hour Claims by Interns/Externs
    3. Legal Materials Available Online
    4. Senate Bill 213 - Juries: criminal trials: peremptory challenges
  4. News from The State Bar
    1. Formal Opinion No. 2015-193 (eDiscovery of ESI)
    2. Public Comment
    3. Bar Exam
    4. Forms Page on the State Bar's Website
  5. The Bottom Line/eTBL
  6. Educational Opportunities
    1. Self-Study CLE in Legal Ethics for Members of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section
    2. CYLA 10-Minute Mentor
    3. Annual Meeting - October 2015
    4. Online CLE
    5. Your Help is Needed
  7. Executive Committee News
    1. Executive Committee Resources - Another Benefit for LPMT Section Members
    2. 2015-2016
    3. Executive Committee Members - What are they doing?
    4. News from LPMT Section Members:
    5. Opening, Growing and Managing a Law Office.
  8. Future State Bar Annual Meetings
  9. Benefits for Members

1. Chairs Message

Dear Members-
Nyanza Shaw, Chair, LPMT

It was my honor to present a program at the Solo and Small Firm Summit in Newport Beach, California, in June along with my fellow LPMT Executive Committee member, Mari Frank, Esq. First, I'd like to say that the conference is excellently organized by the State Bar and is an incredible resource for solo and small firm attorneys so if you have not attended in the past I would encourage you to attend next year.

Our program was entitled "Professional Competence: Balancing Control of your Life and Practice." The emphasis in our program was to share ways in which all of us on a daily basis can be more mindful and therefore more focused, alert, and energized and therefore more productive and happy in our practice. Along with actually leading the attendees in some physical and mental exercises, we shared the following tips that may also be helpful to you in balancing control of your life and practice.

  • Be organized
  • Make a to do list for office and home
  • Take mini-breaks throughout the day
  • Make use of technology for efficiency, but don't let it rule your life
  • Have "focused sessions" at work, eliminate all distractions and work on one task at a time
  • Set specific times to check emails/social networking
  • Delegate efficiently and utilize your support network
  • Take time to unwind or engage in a mindfulness exercise such as meditation or working out
  • Make time for Family and Friends!

Mari and I will also be presenting a program at the Annual State Bar Meeting on Thursday, October 8th from 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. entitled "Competency and Consciousness through Mindfulness" where we will continue to explore these topics. Hope to see you in October in Anaheim!

As always, we want the eNews to be your forum, so if you would like to submit an article or have a suggestion for a topic for us to cover please email me at Nyanza@shawesquire.com or contact Patty Miller, Chair of the eNews Subcommittee, at pemiller@grunskylaw.com

Nyanza Shaw, Chair, LPMT
nyanza@shawesquire.com (email)

2. Did You Know . . . Tech Tips?

Top 10 Social Networking Tips: Marketing and PR social networking best practices

Amy JuersBy Amy L. Juers, MBA
Reprinted with permission.

Now is the right time to get involved in social networking marketing, however understanding which sites offer the most appropriate venue for your company may be a mystery. Paring your company's goals with the platform and strengths of select social networking sites can equate to an increase in conversions, a.k.a., shortened more effective sales funnel.

Investigating your options, preparing a strategy, and making the commitment to consistency of effort is what it will take to be successful, which is the same approach you may have had to take in a host of other business initiatives. Simply jumping in for the sake of getting your feet wet is not a strategic social networking tactic.

Do research to gain an understanding of your options, match options with goals, and consider launching initiatives through multiple outlets. Slow and steady wins the race. Social networking is here to stay, develop a strategy and set the wheels in motion to take advantage of all this has to offer.

Consider these marketing & PR social networking best practices READ MORE

3. Did You Know...?

(a) Marketing

Sally J. Schmidt Tips for Creating Some Marketing Discipline

By Sally J. Schmidt | May 28, 2015

Source: http://www.attorneyatwork.com/creating-marketing-discipline/

Reprinted with permission.

When coaching attorneys, I ask them to identify their biggest marketing and business development challenges. Their issues run the gamut from not enjoying cocktail parties to recently having relocated.

Some of the issues they name are legitimate obstacles that need to be overcome. However, in many instances, the problems I hear are things like these: READ MORE.

(b) Wage and Hour Claims by Interns and Externs

Neil PedersenAvoiding Exposure to Wage and Hour Claims by Interns and Externs

By Neil Pedersen

Private law firms that take on unpaid interns and externs need to be careful. Many industries are seeing an uptick in lawsuits by former interns and externs claiming they should have been paid, should have been provided with required meal and rest periods and otherwise treated as employees, not the volunteers they were touted to be

The general rule in California is that any person that "suffers or permits" another to perform work for them is an employer and the California Labor Code will apply to that relationship. An internship or externship falls outside of that general definition only if the workers attain the special status of trainee or intern who performs some work as part of an educational or vocational program.1 Unless the internship is set up to fall within the exception to the general rule, an intern is nothing more than an employee with a different label attached to him or her, and all of the laws related to how to treat an employee applies equally to that intern. Thus, unless the internship is clearly within the legal exception to the rule, the intern has the right to be paid, the right to meal and rest periods, the right to accurate and timely paychecks and pay stubs, and all other rights of an employee. The intern cannot be asked to waive those rights; any attempt to procure a waiver would be void as a matter of law. READ MORE

(c) Authenticated Electronic Legal Materials Online

Electronic Legal Materials Available Online

By Anne Bernardo
Director, Tulare County Public law Library

As of July 1, 2015, the California Constitution, the statutes of the state, and the California Codes, are available online in authenticated form at leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. California's effort to adopt the Uniform Electronic Material Act was led by the advocacy of law librarians, Michele Finerty, McGeorge School of Law, Judy Janes, UC Davis Mabie Law Library, David McFadden, Southwestern School of Law, and Larry Meyer, Law Library of San Bernardino County and LPMT Advisory member. The team's outstanding work in fact will be recognized with the Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award at this year's American Association of Law Libraries annual meeting. READ MORE

(d) Senate Bill 213 - Juries: criminal trials: peremptory challenges

Attorney Perry Segal has alerted us to Senate Bill 213 which was introduced by Senator Marty Block on February 11, 2015. The Bill is now making its way through the committees in the Senate and Assembly. SB 213 would change the number of peremptory challenges allowed in some criminal misdemeanor cases from 10 to 6, for an experimental six-year period. A peremptory challenge is used to dismiss a juror whom a prosecutor or defense attorney suspects, but cannot prove, is biased. There has been much discussion both for and against the change. Former State Bar President Luis J. Rodriguez and Jeff Adachi, the elected public defender of San Francisco, wrote an article, "Changing jury selection is bad for justice," which appeared in the Sacramento Bee on July 15, 2015. [http://www.sacbee.com/opinion /op-ed/soapbox/article27159892.html] An editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on June 21, 2015, "The problem with peremptory challenges to jurors."

[http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-peremptory-challenges-in-misdemeanor-trials-ab87-20150621-story.html]

Read the complete bill HERE.

4. News from The State Bar

(a) Formal Opinion No. 2015-193 - Discovery of Electronically Stored Information

Attorney Perry Segal discusses Formal Opinion No. 2015-193, recently published by The State Bar of California Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC).

On June 30, 2015, COPRAC published Formal Opinion No. 2015-193, addressing a hypothetical attorney's ethical duties in the handling of "discovery of electronically stored information" (eDiscovery of ESI).

The Opinion is advisory only and not binding. Authorities consulted for the Opinion include, Rules 3-100 and 3-110 of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California, Business and Professions Code § 6068(e) and Evidence Code § 952, 954 and 955. Federal Rules of Evidence are also cited. READ MORE

(b) Public Comment

The State Bar of California has several items out for public comment (see below). The Bar is seeking comments on (1) an opinion regarding an attorney's ability to disclose client information, and (2) an opinion on "puffing" or posturing by an attorney during negotiations.

Learn more about these items out for public comment by clicking on the titles below. Be aware of the various deadline dates if you want to submit comments. Should you feel that the LPMT Executive Committee should submit comments on behalf of the LPMT Section members, please contact Amy Williams, Chair of the Rules Subcommittee at aawlaw@earthlink.net.

Title Deadline
Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 12-0007 (Puffing in Negotiations) Sept. 23, 2015
Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 13-0005 (Publicly Available Confidential Information) Aug. 27, 2015

PLEASE NOTE: Publication for public comment is not, and shall not be, construed as a recommendation or approval by the Board of Trustees of the materials published.

(c) Bar Exam

At its July meeting, the State Bar Board of Trustees voted unanimously to shorten the Bar Exam from three days to two. This change is effective with the administration of the July 2017 exam. We will bring you more information as it becomes available. You may have seen the tweet sent out by the LPMT Section on July 27 announcing the change. The tweet was picked up by "Above the Law," and imbedded in their story and credited to the Section. The article was their #1 article for the week. Shares of the tweet have exceeded 28,000+ as of August 3. Wow, the power of social media!

(d) Forms Page on the State Bar's Website

The State Bar has recently redone its forms page on their web site. The page contains a ton of information that lawyers would want to access. Learn more at http://calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/Forms.aspx.

5. The Bottom Line/eTBL

August Combined Issue

To better serve the membership and give us an opportunity to gather additional beneficial articles and information to share with you, the Executive Committee has decided to combine the articles to be published in the June issue (which has been delayed) with those in the August issue of The Bottom Line for one combined expanded issue. The articles scheduled to be in the expanded issue due out in August will include the articles set forth below and will also feature two articles offering MCLE self-study credit:

The Rise and Potential Fall of the Hourly Rate, by Ed Poll

Associate Development: Optional or Essential? by Tom Garberson, Esq.

MCLE Self-Study Credit-1 hour: Managing Clients' Expectations, by Neil Pedersen

What Lawyers Need to Know about the New Beta of Microsoft Office, by Jeff Bennion

MCLE Self-Study Credit-1 hour: Going Digital: Now is the Time to Convert Your Practice to a Paperless Environment, Part One, by Neil Pedersen. [Part One focuses on the primary reasons why the change will be helpful and necessary. Part Two, to be published in the October issue, will provide a step-by-step approach on how to make the change. ]

Articles for publication are welcome. Send them to mike.fenger@ceb.ucla.edu or to Section Coordinator, Kristina Robledo (Kristina.Robledo@calbar.ca.gov), to be reviewed by the editorial committee. Obtain the Guidelines for submitting articles from the Section Coordinator

Archived Articles: Archived issues of The Bottom Line can be found in the Members' Only section of the LPMT website going back to October 2011. Prior to that date, you will find only a table of contents for past issues. Some past issues may still be available. Contact Section Coordinator, Kristina Robledo (Kristina.Robledo@calbar.ca.gov).

6. Educational Opportunities

(a) Self-Study CLE in Legal Ethics for Members of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section

As a benefit of Section membership, The State Bar is pleased to offer four hours of MCLE credit in Legal Ethics -- enough to fulfill your requirements in this subfield! Just watch the selected programs, and keep a record of having done so in the event you are audited for MCLE compliance.

(b) CYLA 10-Minute Mentor

The California Young Lawyers Association has assembled a series of mentoring videos which are posted at: HERE. New videos are being added all the time.

LPMT Executive Committee member, Neil Pedersen, recently recorded two videos which will be posted to the web shortly:

  1. Time Management for the Busy Attorney
  2. The Paperless Law Office: Using Technology to Maximize Efficiency and Profit

Other videos by LPMT Executive Committee members/advisors are set forth below.

Mari Frank - Successful Negotiation and Mediation in Your Practice

Peter Brewer - Evolving Your Solo Laws Practice: Daring to Become a Firm

Perry Segal - Today's Technologies and Maintaining Client Confidences 101

The hash tag for the CYLA Mentoring Videos is, #10MinuteMentor, should you wish to retweet any of the videos.

(c) Annual Meeting -- October 2015

My Annual MeetingThe State Bar Annual Meeting will be held in Anaheim on October 8 to 11, 2015. The State Bar is in the process of announcing the programs, to be presented at the Annual Meeting. The programs set forth below will be presented by the LPMT Section. More detail about each program will be in the September eNews. Make your plans today to attend the Annual Meeting for networking and education and also enjoy the many attractions and activities in Anaheim and the surrounding area. READ MORE

(d) Online CLE

View the Online CLE catalog to find webinars and programs presented by the LPMT Section or which contain practice management topics. Also find articles from Section publications, including The Bottom Line, to obtain self-study MCLE credit. Several articles from past issues of The Bottom Line have been placed in the Online CLE catalog and offer MCLE self-study credit.

(e)Your Help Is Needed

One of Chair Nyanza Shaw's goals this year is to involve more Section members in the activities of the LPMT Section. Get involved and be a part of the educational opportunities provided to the LPMT Section members -- Join the Executive Committee in planning future educational events, including webinars. Let the Education Committee know what topics or subject matters you want to have covered in future educational events and webinars. Volunteer to do a webinar or speak at a future event.

Please provide your thoughts and suggestions to the Chair of the Education Committee, Kurt Obermeyer at kobermeyer@legalmanagementsolutoins.com or LPMT@calbar.ca.gov. Let Kurt hear from you with suggested topics or a proposal to present a webinar or program.

7. Executive Committee News

(a) Executive Committee Resources - Another Benefit for LPMT Section Members

The members of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section Executive Committee have a broad range of knowledge that can help you run your practice more efficiently. Reach out to these members if you have questions or need guidance. The members of the Executive Committee have expertise in many areas, including technology, practice management, finances, human resources, ethics, and more. Send your requests for assistance or questions to LPMT@calbar.ca.gov or use the newly-created Twitter hash tag, #AskLPMT.

(b) 2015-2016

Watch for the September eNews to learn who the officers of the Executive Committee will be for 2015-2016. The newly-appointed members of the Executive Committee will also be announced in the September eNews following their approval by the Board of Trustees.

(c) Executive Committee Members - What are they doing?

(1) Perry Segal: Past Chair and current Special Advisor, Perry Segal, has been appointed to the Cyberspace Law Committee of the Business Law Section. Congratulations, Perry!

(2) Tangela Terry: Past Chair Tangela Terry has been appointed to serve on the Executive Committee of the Criminal Law Section commencing after the Annual Meeting in October. Congratulations, Tangela!

(d) News from LPMT Section Members:

Members, let us know what you are doing so we can include your activities and accomplishments in our next eNewsletter. Let us hear from you (LPMT@calbar.ca.gov).

(e) Opening, Growing and Managing a Law Office

Opening a Law OfficePurchase the State Bar’s two publications, The California Guide to Opening a Law Office and The California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law Office (official hash tag #GrowLaw) to assist you in running and growing your law practice. Your Executive Committee members are contributing authors.

Growing a law practice can be a lawyer's most rewarding and challenging professional experience. The goal of this book, is to make it less challenging and more rewarding. It picks up where The California Guide to Opening a Law Office left off, exploring challenges of growing a law practice in detail.

Chapters include:

  1. Introduction and Road Map to Using the Book
  2. Managing a Law Office
  3. The Financial Dimension of Growth: Increasing Revenue and Profits
  4. The Human Dimension of Growth: Increasing the number of lawers, professionals, and staff
  5. The Client Dimension of Growth: Increasing the number and type of clients
  6. The Georgraphic Dimension of Growth: Marshaling physical resources
  7. The Technology Dimension of Growth
  8. Planning for the Unexpected

Cost: $99

This is the companion volume to The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law Office, described below. As a sole practitioner or the head of a small firm, you must act as so much more than just CEO; you also must also wear the hats of Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Director, Chief Technology Officer, and more. The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law Office is your personal executive team.

You can purchase both books in the Sections Bookstore.

8. Future State Bar Annual Meetings

2015: October 8-11, Anaheim
2016: September 29-October 2, San Diego
2017: August 24-27, Anaheim
2018: September 13-16, San Diego

9. Benefits for Members

The July/August eNews included detailed information about how members of the LPMT can take advantage of discounts.

  • Time59
  • AB Unlimited
  • Lexology®
  • TechnoLawyer®
  • LawBiz®
  • ShareFile
  • JumpStart Genius®
  • CEB®
  • Inventus

For detailed information about vendor benefits, go to the Members Only Section under Special Offers and Discounts.

Contact Us

Law Practice Management and Technology Section
The State  Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-538-2520
FAX 415-538-2368
lpmt@calbar.ca.gov

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