Law Practice Management and Technology Section

News from the Section

  1. Chair's Message
  2. Did You Know . . . Tech Tips?
    1. Domain Names
    2. Visual Privacy Hacking
  3. Did You Know . . . ?
    1. Time Management Tip - Enforcing No Interruption Times
    2. Tips for Small Law Firms to Thrive in the Online Era
    3. Working with Your Paralegal
    4. Changes-Notary Public
  4. Future of California's Court System -- Survey
  5. The Bottom Line/eTBL
  6. Educational Opportunities
  7. Executive Committee News
  8. Future State Bar Annual Meetings
  9. Benefits for Members
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. Links in this Issue

1. Chairs Message

Dear Members-

Nyanza Shaw, Chair, LPMTWe are committed to providing value to you, our members. Along those lines, we hope that you enjoy this edition of the eNews. Our intention with this publication is to provide you with valuable information and news that will help you manage or enhance your practice, and maybe even teach you something new.

The other goal is to keep you abreast of the great things we have going on that benefit you. Please be on the lookout for the December issue of The Bottom Line which is our annual MCLE issue. It is that time of the year where everyone is pushing to complete their MCLE requirements and this issue is full of MCLE self-study articles that will help you do so. Those of you in Group 2: Last names beginning with H-M; please remember that you must complete your MCLE requirements by February 2, 2015!!

We'd also like to share news, accomplishments, and announcements about our members in the eNews, please feel free to share such items with our eNews Subcommittee Chair Patty Miller at pemiller@grunskylaw.com, and also contact her if you would like to submit an article or a tip for the eNews.

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

2. Did You Know . . . Tech Tips?

(a) .LAWYER and .ATTORNEY Domain Names

Past Chair Perry Segal has informed us that new .LAWYER and .ATTORNEY domain names are available to licensed attorneys and law students.

Recently, .LAWYER and .ATTORNEY domain names became available. They may be purchased the same way one purchases .COM/.NET/.ORG domains, through your regular provider. Note: to purchase one of these domains, you will have to specify your licensing body and their contact information.

Students: Although you may purchase these domains in advance of being licensed, we recommend not using them until you are officially licensed as you may run afoul of your State Bar ethics rules.

(b) Visual Privacy Hacking

Mari Frank, a Special Advisor to the LPMT Executive Committee, offers tips to protect your office from visual privacy hacking. Watch for the December issue of The Bottom Line/eTBL to learn more on this topic from Ms. Frank.

Tips to Protect Your Office from Visual Privacy Hacking

By Mari J. Frank, Esq., CIPP

As lawyers we have a duty to protect client confidences and privacy. To address the privacy vulnerabilities while you are working at the office or remotely, take proactive steps to protect your clients and your practice. Here are some tips to protect your clients' private and confidential information:

    1. Create a visual privacy policy for the office. Then train, test, reward, and enforce best practices.

    2. Use privacy filters and privacy screen protectors for smart phones, computers, tablets, and other electronic devices. (For example, 3M manufactures removable privacy screens for computers and all electronic devices that black outside views and allow only the user to see the screen. Nosy neighbors will only see a blank screen. You can use traditional privacy filters with the 3M ePrivacy Filter, a facial recognition software which alerts users to onlookers, for visual privacy from virtually every angle.) Your privacy policy should require that privacy screens on devices be utilized at least while working in public places and where unauthorized persons can view screens.

    3. Utilize passwords or secret design codes on your smart phone and other devices. Change your passwords often and after every instance of using public kiosks, in the event you could have been shoulder surfed. Be aware of your surroundings and where you are accessing sensitive information. Position your hands, body, and devices to avoid intrusive onlookers.

    4. Institute "timeouts" for computers and electronic devices and implement privacy settings. Lock electronic devices when not in use, activate screen savers, and set up a secure vault for remote access. Set up devices so that you may remotely erase them in case of loss or theft.

    5. Implement encryption for sensitive data and utilize dual or multiple authentication practices for decryption. All parties must have the "key" to authenticate. Redact the information that needs to be secured before distribution.

    6. Make sure you have shredders issued to all attorneys and personnel and place them next to copiers, fax machines, scanners. They also should be a prerequisite for all who qualify to telework or qualify to use secure remote network access.

    7. Attach visual exposure security warning labels to all low threat tech and tech-related devices such as scanners, printers, file cabinets, waste containers, video conferencing equipment, etc.

    8. Operate on a strong "need to know only" policy when replicating or distributing information that needs to be secured. Adopt a "Not in Plain View" policy for desktops, conference rooms, mobile settings, teleworkers, and remote activities.

Our clients depend upon us to safeguard their confidences and protect their private information from being seen by the wrong persons. Sensitive data displayed on a screen is vulnerable to viewing, either by "shoulder surfing" or by advanced optics used by sophisticated hackers. Technology is rapidly improving. The result will be more powerful mobile devices capable of containing mega confidential data easily accessible in public areas and facilities. Visual privacy is a crucial concern and sensitive data on screens and in plain view must be protected from risk of exposure by passers-by. Visual privacy controls, such as privacy filters on computers and mobile electronic devices, along with visual privacy policies outlining specific actions, procedures, and best practices are vital to protecting confidences in the evolving practice of law.

About the Author:
Photo of Mari FrankMari Frank is an attorney-mediator in private practice in Laguna Niguel, California. She is a Certified Information Privacy Professional, radio host of Privacy Piracy airing on 88.9 FM in Irvine (www.kuci.org/privacypiracy), and immediate past Chair of the Privacy Committee of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section. She is a qualified expert witness on privacy cases, a Fellow with the Ponemon Institute and a member of the Visual Privacy Advisory Council. She may be reached at Mari@MariFrank.com.

3. Did You Know...?

(a) Time Management Tips

Executive Committee Member, Neil Pedersen, brings us another time management tip, from "Ten Steps to Better Time Management for Busy Lawyers," part of the curriculum for his law practice management class at Western State College of Law. The seventh segment offers tips for managing your time with "no interruption periods" throughout the day.

Enforcing No Interruption Times
By Neil Pedersen

In this segment in the regular series of notes on time management, we discuss a common sense approach to managing your most valuable asset - your time. A common lament heard from lawyers after a long day of work is frustration over not getting done those one or two things they started the day intending to complete. Interruptions simply ate away that time otherwise intended for the target project.

While no set of rules to work by will guarantee an attorney will not find other priorities during the day to take him or her away from an intended project, often it is not items with a higher priority that will distract the practicing attorney from their goal for the day. Enforcing a defined "no interruption" period during the day will give you a fighting chance to complete that task you wish to complete on any given day. Here is how it works.

When creating your day plan1 designate a defined period of time during the day where you will not be interrupted. This could be as little as an hour, or as much as several hours.

Instruct your staff of your intentions - they are not allowed to interrupt you unless the office is on fire. Do not take phone calls during this time. Turn off any audible notifications of messages received, such as email receipt tones on your computer and your tablet. Set your mobile phone to silent or airplane mode. Use the restroom before you begin the allotted time.

Get your coffee or soda or water beforehand. Be sure everything you need to perform the desired task is on your desk before you start. Then, close the door, close the blinds, and get to work.

According to research conducted by Nielsen, "Even a one minute interruption can easily cost a knowledge worker 10 to 15 minutes of lost productivity." 2 A full two hour block of time without a single interruption is golden to an attorney. You will be surprised just how productive you can be in a defined "no interruption" part of the day. Try it. You will wonder why you have not done it before.

Over the years, technology advances have supercharged our practices and our lives. From dynamic software platforms and high speed hardware to mobile devices and powerful apps, technology is not only helpful but mandatory in a successful law practice. This technology can create amazing efficiencies as well as time-draining vacuums in our daily efforts. This note provides some suggestions about how to make technology work for you and not against you.

Tip #1: Manage your email for maximum efficiency

The introduction of email into our practice has, as suggested in some of my prior time management tips, created the ability to move otherwise more time consuming calls and letters into this more quick and efficient device. However, email is also perhaps the single greatest reason for time loss and interruption of our time.

In Pavlovian-like response to the characteristic tone that tells us we received an email, most attorneys will interrupt almost any train of thought or project to turn to the computer to see what it is. This interrupter must be managed. Recognizing it is a significant interrupter is a good start. Turning off the "you've got mail" tone altogether is another helpful move. Planning defined periods of the day to receive and send emails is critical in any attempt to manage your own time, as opposed to allowing others manage it for you.

Finally, an in-box with thousands of emails is as bad as a desk stacked high with unnecessary papers. Keep the in-box clean. Have separate folders set up for each client and other source of emails and move emails into those folders. Have a plan to clean up your general in-box at least once a week, perhaps on Friday before the end of the business week. The end of the day each day is even better.

Tip #2: Use the cell phone and tablet to take advantage of "down time"

Down time can be anything from time sitting in the car during your commute, to waiting outside a courtroom, to sitting in your dentist's office waiting for a cleaning. While using this down time to listen to the radio, or read a magazine, might be a good idea for your mental health, it is also a good time to get things done when you are otherwise doing nothing productive. Holding off on some phone calls for the commute to and from work are a great way to capture more time. Batching emails conducive to answering on your tablet can also preserve your desk time for those projects you can only do there. Planning ahead for your predictable down time will help you make it productive.

Tip #3: Use productivity tools that are available

Technology is advancing faster than a busy attorney can keep up with. Most of this technology is targeted at making our lives more efficient. Therefore it is incumbent on each of us to stay on top of what is new. So how do we do that? Let others do it for us, of course. It is far too time-consuming to try out each new app and software application and hardware device. However, there are those out there doing that and telling us about it. With some regularity there are articles and seminars and webinars and blogs on the very subject of new technology for lawyers. Commit to one or more of these sources and stay on top of the changes. If you do not stay on top of it, you will fall behind. The farther you fall behind, the less competitive you will be and the less efficient you will be, costing you more of your most valuable asset.

Tip #4: Don't let the toys create time-sapping problems

There is a dark side to technology. The techie junkie can find himself or herself so deep in trying the new "toys" that they allow their time to be siphoned off into a void. The non-junkie can find themselves spending far more time than they wish trying to learn the new device or app.

Be cognizant of the use of time with new technology. Set defined periods of times - like a weekend day - for introduction of new technology into your life, whether it be a new mobile phone, a new cloud-based practice management product, or a new printer. If you are not tech-savvy, have an IT specialist on speed dial for assistance. Although there is cost associated with this help, never forget that the hours you are spending have substantial value to the firm, and you are bleeding off the firm's most valuable asset whenever you waste too much time with uncooperative technology.

Endnotes

1. For a complete discussion of creating a day plan, please see my prior note on this technique in the November-December 2013 E-News.Back

2. "Interruptions in the Workplace - Their Impact on Organizational Productivity and the Bottom Line," McCready (January 10, 2012) NetIntegrity (http://netintegrity.net/blog/blog/interruptions-in-the-workplace-their-impact-on-organizational-productivity-and-the-bottom-line/) Back


About the Author:
Neil PedersenNeil Pedersen is the principal of Pedersen McQueen APLC, a firm that represents employees who have been subjected to workplace harassment, retaliation and discrimination.  Neil, a 25-year litigator, also teaches Law Practice Management and Technology at Western State College of Law and is a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section. He can be contacted by phone at (949) 260-1181, or by email at npedersen@pedersenlaw.com.  

(b) Tips for Small Law Firms to Thrive in the Online Era

LPMT Executive Committee member, Neil Pedersen, alerted us to the following article by Carolyn Elefant.

5 Tips for Small Law Firms to Thrive in the Online Era
By Carolyn Elefant

The legal field is undergoing a period of disruption with the Internet dramatically changing the way legal professionals communicate, research, attract new clients, and manage their businesses. For the most part, technology has made life more efficient for the small firm lawyer, giving them access to resources once limited to the big firms.

Yet what technology gives us, it also takes away.

Small firm lawyers are increasingly feeling squeezed by online legal companies offering legal packages for wills, incorporations, claims cases, and more for a fraction of the traditional cost. Trying to compete with an online service on price is a race to the bottom, and small firm lawyers can't build a sustainable practice for themselves and their clients that way.

While the Internet has displaced some professions like travel agents, we shouldn't let the same thing happen in the legal field. If there are no solo lawyers and small firms, who is left to take on more complex cases the average person might encounter? What options would be available for the mom-and-pop shops trying to manage their business?

The good news is that small firms are still in a strong position alongside online legal services, as long as they can innovate and articulate their value. Here are five ways to do just that:

Make sure clients are comparing apples to apples

The marketing departments for online providers like to show the lowest price possible, often for the barest of services, then they upsell customers on additional services, many of which would be included in an attorney's basic fee.

For example, filing for an EIN with the IRS is an additional charge with an online provider, while this task would be included in most lawyer's incorporation package.

When you are discussing costs with a client, make sure they understand exactly what they get for the money. Once they start comparing apples to apples, the cost differential between you and an online legal service narrows considerably.

Stress confidentiality

Confidentiality is one of the cornerstones of the attorney-client relationship, and lawyers have ethical and legal obligations to protect their client's data. Lawyers handling matters like family law, estate planning or bankruptcy are routinely entrusted with personal information on client assets, bank accounts, medical bills and property that marketers would love to get their hands on. Non-lawyer providers can re-sell this information to third party vendors, and for some that's actually part of their business model.

Give your clients online convenience

As a small firm lawyer, you can't expect to compete with LegalZoom or RocketLawyer if you make your clients drive hours to your office for each meeting. In the digital age, you need to leverage technology to make each stage of the process as convenient as possible for your clients.

After all, clients who use services like LegalZoom aren't DIY'rs per se; rather, they've chosen to pay money to avoid the hassle of finding forms and filling them out on their own. Lawyers who can offer this level of convenience through online appointment scheduling, billing, signatures, document sharing, and virtual meetings, can capture clients who are willing to spend money but don't necessarily want to wait three weeks for an appointment at an office 20 minutes away.

Provide personal value-add services

An online legal service isn't going to be able to provide the same level of hands-on service as a personal attorney. One strategy is to offer annual audits to ensure that clients' legal documents are valid even when the law and circumstances continually change.

You can offer audits at no charge then have clients pay for any necessary changes. Or, you can charge a modest fee for annual audits and give clients a discount for any changes. This annual "service plan" strategy will give your business a nice stream of revenue to help even out the inevitable ebbs and flows in your business.

Be forthright

At times, a client may not need your services. For example, when a client needs a basic incorporation or DBA filing, they might be better off turning to an online legal service (or just filing directly with the state).

Don't be afraid to point them in this direction. It will strengthen your relationship, as clients will realize you have their best interests in mind. The same client who turns to an online service for basic business formation will need to use your expertise to handle an employee contract, trademark application, or other more complex legal needs.

The bottom line

The success of online legal providers brings to light the fact that clients are looking for low cost, convenient services for their legal needs. The key is to ensure that online services supplement the legal services for the general public, and not replace them altogether.

Small firm and solo lawyers have an important role to play in our legal ecosystem; it's time to innovate and communicate your unique value, so your business can thrive for generations to come.

About the Author:

Carolyn ElefantCarolyn Elefant is an attorney, author, and founder of myShingle.com. She spoke at the Clio Cloud Conference in Chicago, September 22-23, about the rapidly-evolving legal technology landscape.

Source: Posted by The Clio Team on September 12, 2014. http://www.goclio.com/2014/09/12/5-tips-small-law-firms-thrive-online-era/

(c) Working with your Paralegal

In the CEB Blog, attorney Julie Brook, provides tips for working with your staff, including paralegals, in the following article which was posted on October 20, 2014:

[This material is reproduced from the CEBblog™, Ten Tips to Working Better with Your Paralegal, (http://blog.ceb.com/2014/10/20/10-tips-to-working-better-with-your-paralegal/) copyright 2014 by the Regents of the University of California. Reproduced with permission of Continuing Education of the Bar - California. (For information about CEB publications, telephone toll free 1-800-CEB-3444 or visit our Web site, CEB.com).]

10 Tips to Working Better with Your Paralegal
By Julie Brook, Esq.

noneAttorneys spend a lot of time working with support staff, particularly paralegals, but get no training in law school on how to successfully navigate this important relationship. Here are some tips to help you get the most effective assistance from your support staff.

First off, know what you can and can't ask of a paralegal. A paralegal can't provide legal services directly to a client without being under the direction and supervision of a lawyer, law firm, or other entity that employs or contracts with the paralegal. Bus & P C §6451. Among the specifically banned activities for paralegals are giving legal advice, representing a client in court, and drafting a legal document for anyone other than the supervising attorney. Bus & P C §6450(b).

Your paralegal can be an invaluable asset and ally, but don't expect him or her to be a mind reader. If you make assignments and expectations clear, and get confirmation that the paralegal understands what's expected, you'll get the most useful assistance with the least frustration.

Here are ten tips for working with paralegals (and other support staff):

  1. Provide background information. Most individuals understand an assignment better if they're able to appreciate how the assignment fits into the overall case and objectives.
  2. Describe the result expected. It's frequently helpful, for example, to provide a copy of a similar product, pointing out strong and weak aspects.
  3. Provide time guidelines. Tell the paralegal how much time to devote to the assignment. If the guideline is only an estimate, indicate that. Direct him or her to inform you if significantly more time is required than was initially anticipated.
  4. Set priorities. Inform the paralegal about the relative importance of the assignment and whether it should be placed ahead of or behind other matters previously assigned. If there's a conflict with an assignment received from another attorney in the office, contact that attorney to work out the priority between the two projects.
  5. Set a date for completion. Make sure the project deadline is clearly stated and reasonable.
  6. Direct the paralegal to potential resources. These resources should include other attorneys and files that have addressed similar problems.
  7. Delineate the paralegal's responsibilities. Make clear the division of decision-making between you and the paralegal.
  8. Discuss the assignment. Give sufficient detail to ensure an understanding of the assignment and an opportunity to raise any questions.
  9. Keep in contact. Inform the paralegal at the outset how and when you'll check on progress—and then do it!
  10. Be respectful. Paralegals are professionals and should be treated as such. Both the relationship and the work product will suffer if you forget this last, but critically important, tip.

Consider putting everything in writing—creating a written assignment sheet with much of the information suggested above can be very useful.

For advice on the many things they never taught you in law school about implementing law office procedures, turn to CEB's California Civil Procedure Before Trial, chapter 1.

About the Author

Julie Brook, Esq.Julie Brook, Esq., is the legal Blog Manager at CEB - Continuing Education of the Bar and primary writer of the content for the law blog (CEB blog). Prior to working on CEB's social media, Ms. Brook worked as a Legal Editor at CEB for 15 years. In her work as a legal editor, she wrote for the Civil Litigation Reporter and edited material for a variety of civil litigation titles.

(d) Changes -- Notary Public

County Recorder's Offices throughout the State are alerting law offices to Senate Bill 1050, effective January 1, 2015, which requires a change to the notary acknowledgment, jurat and proof of execution forms. Additional language is required at the top of the acknowledgment, jurat and proof of execution as follows:

A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.

This language will be required for all documents signed and notarized on or after January 1, 2015. As of January 1, 2015, Recorder's Offices throughout the State of California will be rejecting any documents that do not contain the language. If the document was signed before January 1, 2015, it will be accepted for recording so long as it meets the current applicable statue.

Revised forms (acknowledgment, jurat and proof of execution) are available through the National Notary Association.  All law offices will need to update their forms on the computer between now and the 1st of the year.  All staff members will need to be cautious if they pull up a form on their computers which may not have the most current notary form with the additional language.  And, if you are a notary, obtain updated forms for use commencing January 1, 2015.

See http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB1050 to read the full Senate Bill (Chapter 197, Statues of 2014); see also the Secretary of State's website at http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/legislation/2014.htm#notary

4. Future of California's Court System

The Commission on the Future of California's Court System is asking for input from the folks that use the Courts so the Commission is focused on today's most pressing priorities. The Commission's request for your assistance is set forth below. Please take the survey and provide your input by December 5, 2014.

From the Commission on the Future of California's Court System

Please see the following message from Justice Carol A. Corrigan and Justice William R. McGuiness, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Commission on the Future of California's Court System, requesting your response to the Commission's survey.

TAKE THE SURVEY

Please feel free to share the e-mail and survey link with your members and executive staff. We encourage you to provide a link to the survey on your website and in your section's newsletter.

Your time and assistance is greatly appreciated in this endeavor. To learn more about the Commission, please visit the Commission's page at http://www.courts.ca.gov/futurescommission.htm.

Sent on behalf of Justice Carol A. Corrigan, Chair, and Justice William R. McGuiness, Vice-Chair, of the Commission on the Future of California's Court System

As you know the Chief Justice has created the Commission on the Future of California's Court System to help meet current fiscal challenges and ensure that our justice system is as effective, efficient, and responsive as possible. We need your wisdom to help in this effort.

Please take a moment to give us your ideas by completing the survey available at the link below. Your assistance will ensure that the Commission is focused on today's most pressing priorities. Your experience will inform recommendations to help the branch meet the challenges and opportunities of the times. Your creative thinking is critical to our work.

Survey responses will be compiled and provided to the Commission for review. To complete the survey, simply go to https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=141513973254. The survey will close on Friday, December 5, 2014. Please refer any questions to FuturesCommission@jud.ca.gov.

Thank you for your response.

Very truly yours,

Hon. Carol A. Corrigan, Chair
Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

Hon. William R. McGuiness, Vice-Chair
Administrative Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal,
First District Court of Appeal, Division Three

5. The Bottom Line/eTBL

Future Issue

The December 2014 issue of The Bottom Line will be the annual all-MCLE issue. Read all of the articles and submit the quizzes, and you can earn up to 6 hours of self-study MCLE credit. The following topics will be discussed:

01 - Visual Privacy Hacking: How Are You Protecting Client Confidences?
By Mari J. Frank, Esq. CIPP

02 - Easy Fixes to Protect Yourself from Cyber Security Threats
By Jeff Bennion, Esq.

03 - Lawyers and Legal Technology: Savvy or Safety
By Richard Wagner, Esq.

04 - Retainer Agreement Basics
By Patrick Mahoney, Esq.

05 - Protect Your Firm From Disqualification:  Screen New Employees
By John D. Sager, Esq. and Donna W. Low, Esq.

06 - Stress and the Legal Profession in the 21st Century
By Jack Kenefick

Submit articles for publication in The Bottom Line 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) Free CLE for your Membership in the LPMT Section

Four hours of MCLE credit in Legal Ethics is available to you as an LPMT Section member.  Satisfy your requirements in this subfield. http://lpmt.calbar.ca.gov/#freemcle

(b) LPMT Webinars

For all programs and webinars previously presented by the LPMT Section, check the Online CLE catalog. Many are available for viewing and offer MCLE credit.

(c) Future LPMT Webinars

The Education Committee has scheduled the following webinars in January 2015. Neil Pedersen will be presenting a series of webinars, Attorney as Employer, on the following topics:

Attorney as Employer Series - Becoming an Employer for Attorneys
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 12 pm-1 pm

Attorney as Employer Series - Avoiding Common Types of Employer Liability for Attorneys
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 12 pm-1 pm

As soon as more webinars are scheduled, they will be announced in the eNews or by separate eblasts.

Members, 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. One of Chair Nyanza Shaw's goals this year is to involve more Section members in the activities of the LPMT Section.

Please provide your thoughts and suggestions to the Chair of the Education Committee, Kurt Obermeyer at kobermeyer@legalmanagementsolutions.com or LPMT@calbar.ca.gov. Topics and subject matter for the educational programs to be held in 2015 (Solo and Small Firm Summit and the Annual Meeting) are determined in early Spring 2015. Let Kurt hear from you by February 1, 2015, with suggested topics or a proposal to present a webinar or program.

(d) Online CLE

View the catalog to find programs presented by the LPMT Section or which contain practice management topics, 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. 


7. Executive Committee News

(a) Introducing and Welcoming Two of Our Newest Members to the LPMT Executive Committee

MARTIN L. DEAN, President
Essential Publishers


Martin DeanAfter receiving his Doctorate in Law from the University of Wisconsin, Martin Dean began his legal career as a trial attorney for the Federal Government. Subsequently, his private practice has encompassed trial, labor, entertainment, real estate and business law.

His quick wit and consumerist outlook won him the title of The Legal Eagle for CBS-TV in San Francisco where he appeared on more than 70 episodes. Subsequently he moved to ABC-TV, appearing for several years as the Lawman, again dispensing consumer oriented legal advice.

Dean's fascination with computers began when he bought a word processor for his private law practice and wound up learning not only word processing but also programming.

The result of Dean's first adventure in software development was the Select Word Processor. Dean launched Select Information Systems, and saw his products included with microcomputers manufactured by Xerox, NEC, Altos, Victor and DEC amongst others. During his tenure at Select, which went public, he invented three other award winning, highly rated software products for the office.

Dean, now the president of Essential Publishers, a 25 year-old software company, invents software for California attorneys, including Essential Forms ™, Essential Filing ™ and Essential Courts Premium ™. He is the author of two Rutter Group Deskbooks™: Managing Litigation© and Preventing Malpractice©, and the CEB Action Guide: Meeting Statutory Deadlines: During and After Litigation©. He has contributed more than 100 technology and law practice management articles to both print and online publications. He has taught litigation management as an adjunct professor of law at Golden Gate University Law School and the University Of San Francisco School Of Law.

He has served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association in San Francisco hearing high technology disputes, as a Special Master for the State Bar of California with a specialty in high technology evidence gathering, and has been the technology lecturer for the State Bar of California, and for many other bar associations for more than twenty-five years. He currently spends his spare time making furniture, sailing, and designing new law office software for his company in San Francisco.

RALPH G. MARTINEZ, Legal Advisor and Trial Attorney

Ralph G. MartinezRalph Martinez is a trial and transactional attorney with a lengthy history of experience in civil, commercial, and real estate transactions and litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. His current firm, Martinez Law Office, Inc. in Laguna Hills, specializes in Real Estate, Title and Business Litigation, Business Formation, and Commercial Transactions in the real estate, light industrial and high-tech industries. He is also an Independent Trial Value Analyst and assists in evaluating settlement value and trial value of litigation cases; and he drafts reports and litigation analysis for title companies, private individuals, and entities.

Prior to forming his own firm, Mr. Martinez was a principal at Hunt, Colaw & Adams, Inc. in Santa Ana; an associate at Harbin & Miller in Santa Ana; an associate at Clifford, Jenkins & Brown in Bakersfield; had a solo law practice in San Diego; was a partner at Lazarian, Sivas, Martinez & Vanian and also at Hurst and Martinez, both in San Diego; and was an associate with Stephen H. Lazarian, Jr. in San Diego.

Mr. Martinez is a member of the State Bar of California, the Federal District Courts for the Southern, Central, and Eastern Districts of California, and the United State Supreme Court. He is also a member of the Orange County Bar Association; a Past Board Member of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association; Past President of the San Diego County Christian Legal Society; Past Board Member of the Kearny Mesa Federal Credit Union; Past Founding Board Member of the Christian Conciliation Service of San Diego; Adjunct Professor of Communication at Bakersfield Community College; Past President/Elder at Mount Soledad Presbyterian Church in La Jolla; a member of the San Clemente Presbyterian Church in San Clemente; a member of Daniels Inn of Orange County; a member of Toastmasters International; past Chairman of the National Board of Trustees, International Students, Inc.; and a member of the California State Bar Committee on Law Practice Management and Technology.

Mr. Martinez graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Azuza Pacific University and earned his Juris Doctor at California Western School of Law, graduating in the top twenty percent of his class. He was also the Executive Editor of the California Western International Law Journal. In addition, Mr. Martinez has authored many published articles which have appeared online in eZine and The Bottom Line.

Mr. Martinez's personal interests include words/language; emerging technology, public speaking; family interests; racquet games; casual golf; Angels baseball; history; music; cymbidium orchids; strategy games; bowling; antique/collectable cameras; theatre; philosophy/theology; and comparative culture.

(b) Liaisons to LPMT Executive Committee

The following professional organizations have a liaison serving on the Executive Committee:

California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA) - Matthew Sagum
Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) - Michael Fenger
California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) - TBD
Law Libraries - Anne Bernardo
Legal Secretaries, Incorporated (LSI) - Mary S. Rocca, CCLS

In addition, Michael Colantuono will be the liaison from The State Bar Board of Trustees.

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

(1) Vice Chair, Kurt Obermeyer, President/CEO of Legal Management Solutions, Inc., was interviewed on Lawpreneur Radio on October 27, 2014, and discussed law practice management. He was also able to promote The California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law Office. Listen to the interview and read the summary http://lawpreneurradio.com/kurt-obermeyer/

(2) Executive Committee member, Peter Brewer, Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer was also interviewed on Lawpreneur Radio earlier this year. He discussed his experiences evolving from an employed associate to his own sole practice, and the growth of his office to its present five-attorney firm. Listen to the interview and read the summary http://lawpreneurradio.com/?s=brewer%2C+peter

(3) Past Chair, Perry Segal, will continue his service to the Council of Sections, serving as Co-Chair in 2014-2015. Perry will serve with co-chair, Mark Ressa, a past chair of the Family Law Section. Perry will continue to bring representation from the LPMT Section to the Council.

(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 Office Purchase 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.

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

9. Benefits for Members

Benefits Available for Members

For detailed information about these benefits, go the Members Only Area under Special Offers and Discounts.
  1. MyCaseTechnoLawyer Free one-year subscription to TechnoLawyer Archive

  2. MyCase web-based practice management software

  3. Abacus LawReceive your complimentary copy of Dangerous Law Practice Myths, Lies and Stupidity now from Abacus Law

  4. Avvo IgniteAvvo Ignite is a new comprehensive, cloud-based marketing automation and website suite offered by Avvo.com

  5. Teris TERIS state-of-the-art technologies for ediscovery

  6. ClioClio -- Practice Management Simplified

  7. Time59Time59 -- Web-based time and billing software designed for solo lawyers

  8. LexologyLexology: Timely law-related articles brought to your inbox daily. 

11. Acknowledgments

Special thanks to those who have contributed to the October issue of the eNews -- Tangela Terry, Neil Pedersen, Perry Segal, Carolyn Dillinger, and Patty Miller

Members of the eNewsletter Subcommittee are to be acknowledged and thanked for their contributions and efforts in producing 6 issues of the LPMT eNews this year. They are: Peter Brewer, Heather Edwards, Prashant Kumar, Cynthia Mascio, Patty Miller, Neil Pedersen, Ed Poll, Neil Quateman, Derick Roselli, Nyanza Shaw and Yvonne Waldron-Robinson.

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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