Law Practice Management and Technology Section

News from the Section

  1. Chair's Message
  2. Did You Know . . . Tech Tips?
    1. Cell Phone Etiquette
    2. 4 Reasons Small Businesses Should Migrate to the Cloud
  3. Did You Know . . . ?
    1. Getting Started as a Lawyer
    2. California Charities-Donors
    3. Practicing Mindfulness
  4. News from The State Bar
    1. New Standards for Attorney Discipline Adopted
    2. Public Comment
  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. Solo and Small Firm Summit - June 2015 "Strategic Solutions for Lawyering and Business Management"
    3. CYLA 10-Minute Mentor
    4. LegalTech® West Coast 2015
    5. Annual Meeting -- October 2015
    6. Online CLE
    7. Your Help Is Needed
  7. Executive Committee News
    1. 2015-2016
    2. Executive Committee Members -- What Are They Doing?
    3. News from LPMT Section Members
    4. 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

In this issue of the eNews, we have several great articles that we hope will not only help you in your practice, but also with your work-life balance. Author Rachel Wagner gives us some tips for workplace cell phone etiquette. I think many of these tips are also good to follow when using your cell phone in your personal life as well. There is also an article by Andre Lavoie about why small businesses should move to the cloud. I have utilized the cloud for many years, whether with Google Drive or my office's more significant cloud storage, and it has been very beneficial in helping me run my practice and keeping me more organized. Also, as mentioned in the article, it helps attorneys and business owners reduce costs. That is something I believe we are all looking to do. Finally, author Mari Frank writes about mindfulness. I know some of us are still not exactly clear on what mindfulness is and this article does a great job of describing mindfulness and provides great tips on incorporating mindfulness in our lives. Again, this can help your practice and better enable you to achieve work-life balance.

Please make sure and check out the Member Benefits section. We are excited to announce several new member benefits, and we hope that these tools and resources will be beneficial to you in your practice.

We hope that you enjoy and get something out of all of the news, info, and articles in the eNews. As always, we want this to be your forum, so if you want 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?

(a) Cell Phone Etiquette

Workplace Cell Phone Etiquette -- 7 Smart Tips

By Rachel Wagner

Good cell phone etiquette is a must in today's technology-driven workplace. And, it's part of good business etiquette and office courtesy. Most people don't intend to be rude on their smartphones. They just aren't intentional about using these indispensable devices in a respectful, inoffensive way. Unfortunately, many companies still do not have policies on smartphone use in the workplace, which leaves it up to employees to feel their way across uncertain terrain.

But, smartphones and manners are compatible. Here are seven easily doable tips to help raise the bar on workplace smartphone etiquette.

7 Business Etiquette Tips for Cell Phone Users in the Workplace
  1. Give 100% focus to the person in front of you. Don't interrupt a face-to-face conversation with someone -- in the hallway or in the employee lunchroom--by taking -- a call or texting. The question to ask yourself is this, "What impression am I making when my attention is diverted to my phone?"
  2. At a business lunch, a mobile device shouldn't be part of the place setting. Keep it stashed in a jacket pocket, handbag or briefcase.
  3. In meetings, avoid "reading under the table." Most people know to turn their phone to silent in a meeting. However, it's not the occasional phone ringing that's so annoying. It's the people who scroll through their emails, check their Facebook page, text, tweet, or check sports scores -- in their lap. People notice this more than you think. It's not only distracting and discourteous to the speaker, but also to those around you. Also, paying attention to your messages instead of the meeting sends a signal that the people in the room are not important to you. And that's a dangerous message if those people are clients, or have power over your job or career path. You want to appear engaged and a team player. If you are expecting an urgent call, mention it before the meeting begins and then excuse yourself and step away when you take the call. In longer meetings, wait until a break to check emails and phone messages.
  4. Have a professional ring tone. Whether it's your personal cell phone or one issued by your company, a professional ring tone is important to convey a professional image of you.
  5. In a cubicle, turn your mobile device to silent. It's annoying and distracting if your phone rings and you're there, but it's more irritating to coworkers if it rings and rings when you're away from your desk. Let voice mail take the call if you step away for a cup of coffee or a meeting.
  6. Take personal calls in a private place. Hearing someone talk loudly on a cell phone, especially about personal business is distracting and discourteous to coworkers trying to do their jobs. It's best to go to an empty conference room or other private location to make a personal call. And do keep personal calls to a minimum so that you don't appear unfocused to your team or your boss.
  7. Never use your cell phone in the restroom. This is not the place to share personal or confidential company or client information. You never know who might be in listening range.

If you make it your personal challenge to use these etiquette tips, then collectively your workplace will enjoy greater cell phone etiquette. And that's something that everyone will appreciate.

Source: www.etiquettetrainer.com/cell-phone-etiquette-workplace (Monday, April 15th, 2013)

About the Author:

Rachel Wagner is a business etiquette consultant, trainer and speaker specializing in etiquette and protocol issues facing today's business professional. Rachel is trained and certified as a Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant by the renowned Protocol School of Washington® in Washington, D.C. She is the founder and President of Oklahoma-based Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. Armed with over two decades of experience as a teacher and workshop speaker, Rachel provides professionals with the business etiquette tools needed to communicate with confidence, power and poise. Read Rachel Wagner's complete resume at www.etiquettetrainer.com/rache-wagner

Cell Phones and Driving

Woman with a cell phoneReminder to California drivers using cell phones -- all California drivers are prohibited from texting. California's anti-texting law is set forth in Vehicle Code Section 23123.5, Electronic Wireless Communications Device: Prohibited Use.

In addition, all California drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones while driving. If handheld cell phones are prohibited, then what's permissible? The most common options are:

  • abstinence (don't use a cell phone while driving)
  • speaker phone
  • use a Bluetooth wireless device
  • use a wired headset
  • install a car kit

Novice drivers in California -- drivers younger than 18 -- are prohibited from all cell phone use.

Source: www.nolo.com/legal and www.drivinglaws.org

(b) 4 Reasons Small Businesses Should Migrate to the Cloud

By Andre Lavoie

Graphic representing Cloud ComputingCloud computing can mean big changes for small businesses. Those changes have been realized by many of today's small-business owners, from tech startups in the heart of Silicon Valley to urban and small-town mom-and-pop shops.

Today, 37 percent of U.S. small businesses have fully adapted to cloud computing, and a 2014 Intuit study predicts that percentage will more than double to 80 percent by 2020. The cloud is redefining the way small businesses do business. Here are four reasons small-business owners should consider migrating to the cloud:

  1. Lower costs
    One of the most obvious benefits of moving everyday business to the cloud is that it can provide small businesses with significant savings. For starters, cloud computing fully utilizes hardware. Virtualization increases the value of physical server hardware, meaning businesses can do more with less.

    As a result, small businesses will see a decrease in rack space, power usage, IT requirements, etc. That means lower installation, maintenance, hardware, upgrade and support costs. For small businesses, especially, those savings are invaluable.

  2. Better collaboration
    Collaboration is made easy in the cloud. The ability to save and access various files through the cloud enables employees to easily work from the same master document. Cloud collaboration tools, such as Google Drive, allow users to upload, edit and comment on documents, which makes for better workplace collaboration. Additionally, employers can opt to limit what employees can access.

    Not to mention, being able to access files through the cloud makes it easy for small-business owners to track and manage individual progress on assignments. How's that for efficiency?

  3. Increased flexibility
    One of the most alluring benefits of cloud computing is being able to access work-related files and information from any device in any place at any time. We live in a mobile world. Long gone are the days where files are stuck on a single server on a single computer.

    As the workplace begins to cater to more remote workers and flexible working arrangements, being able to access work materials, when not at work, is essential for employees. Not only does cloud computing make it easier for employees to work outside of the office, it makes it easier for small-business owners to manage their business at any time of day, from anywhere.

    What's more, increased mobility and flexibility in the cloud can lead to additional cost savings. For instance, small-business owners can opt to implement BYOD (bring your own device). Employees can work on devices they already own and are comfortable with, such as tablets and laptops -- even their smartphones (to each their own, right?).

  4. Greater integration
    Adopting a cloud-based business solution creates multiple opportunities for integration -- and simplified integration, at that. Cloud-adapted small businesses have the option of integrating with various cloud-based providers.

    Small businesses can take advantage of specialized services that integrate with back-office operations, from human resources to marketing to accounting. These opportunities for integration give small-business owners more time to focus on the more critical areas of business.

Andre LavoieSource: www.entrepreneur.com/article/245784 (May 05, 2015)

About the Author: Andre Lavoie Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder, ClearCompany Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent-alignment platform that aims to bridge the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees' work around a company's vision and goals

3. Did You Know...?

(a) Getting Started as a Lawyer

Attorney Aastha Madaan sets forth nine essential tips to assist new lawyers in developing a well-managed practice, in her article below.

The New Attorney: Nine Essential Tips What should you keep in mind when just getting started as a lawyer?

By Aastha Madaan

The first year of practice can be intimidating.There is a steep learning curve, and we don't always have the luxury of a collegial atmosphere with the tools and resources that law school provided. As I navigated my first year of practice with a small firm, I learned some tips and tricks that solo practitioners and small firm attorneys use to manage their time and business better. A well-managed practice allows attorneys to focus on the important things, and continue to grow. Below, I have shared some tips that I picked up, and some secrets I learned from those wiser than me. I hope you find them as useful as I did.

  1. Be Organized
    In everything you do. In solo or small firm practice, we often do not have the luxury of preorganized systems, including calendaring, computer files, paper files, resources, articles etc. Develop systems early on in your practice. Have a consistent system for naming and creating file folders for each client. This will come in handy when you are searching for a document in a crunch for time. Similarly, develop a system of calendaring appointments, court dates, filing dates, and self-imposed deadlines and reminders, and make sure it is backed up. I find it useful to maintain a day planner in addition to the online calendaring system so I don't miss any important court dates or client appointments.

  2. Write Everything Down!
    Or type it, but keep a record somewhere. If you have a conversation with a client, a mentor, or a colleague about the specifics of a case, write a quick memo or note in the client file. Later on, when you are wondering why you took one course of action over another, this will be a lifesaver. I quickly learned not to be shy about asking clients or colleagues to slow down over the phone so I can type what is being said.

  3. Become a Collector
    Solo practitioners and small firms often have limited access to large legal databases, form books, and other resources. So when you come across an article that demystifies a civil process, or has good tips and guidelines, print it out and put it in a binder that is organized by tabs and/or save it in your computer.

  4. Start a Form Bank
    This goes for all types of documents, from your client retainer agreement and motions, to discovery requests, responses, and correspondence for different purposes. The quicker you draft a good document, the quicker you move on to the next project. Having a good draft of a document as a starting point and a refresher saves time and gives you a head start.

  5. Find a Mentor
    We hear this all the time. Of course it is a good idea to have someone that will pick up your call when you have a question, or be willing to review a document you're filing for the first time, or talk strategy with. It is easier said than done to find a mentor. Unless you spent a lot of time cultivating a close relationship with an experienced attorney during law school, it is difficult to find someone who is willing to put in the time to mentor you. Local bar associations generally have sections for different practice areas. I recommend going to the section meetings, and speaking with a solo or small firm practitioner in your practice area that has a more flexible schedule than someone that works for a mid-size or large firm. Section meetings are generally more intimate, and easier to navigate than general bar association meetings. A solo or small firm practitioner will also have relevant tips for your practice. Offer to take her to lunch, be positive, and leave a good impression. Offer to help them with their research or drafting if they need it, in exchange for their time.

  6. Be Nice
    To everyone. Solo practitioners and small firm attorneys don't often have a slew of paid attorneys to assist with their work, but being nice can bring unexpected rewards in unexpected places. If you lease executive suites, spend some time talking to the staff and setting yourself apart from all the other faces they see all day. And a smile in the morning can only help to brighten up your day.

  7. Set Boundaries
    And follow them. As a solo or small firm attorney, your clients may often come from personal references, like family and friends. They are still your clients; if you are not already connected via social media, avoid it. Be friendly, but respectful. Also, let them know about attorney-client privilege if they seem concerned so they know that you will not be discussing any aspect of their case with the person that referred them.

  8. Talk Money
    Due to the personal nature and intimate setting of a small firm practice, you will often speak with your clients directly, unlike in large firm practice. As awkward as it may be to talk to an aunt's best friend or your boyfriend's uncle about fees, make sure they know. You are in business, and they know it. Let them know that you will send itemized bills at certain intervals. If you are charging by the hour, avoid quoting a price or a certain number of hours. Unexpected tangents do come up in legal work, and you don't want to end up doing a week's worth of work free of charge because you went over the time you quoted.

  9. Join Bar Associations!
    These include your local bar associations, and national bar associations like the American Bar Association. Bar associations usually have a section for young lawyers, and different practice areas. They often offer a lower membership price for young lawyers, and some really great discounts on legal services, like research and billing tools. Keep in mind that fellow new attorneys will be rising up with you, they will be your opposing counsel, and they are your colleagues, so getting to know them and forming relationships early in your career is really beneficial.

About the Author:

As the owner of Madaan Law, Aastha practices in the areas of estate planning and business law. Aastha strongly believes that an informed decision is the best decision, so she takes the time to explain the legal process and answer any questions for potential clients. Aastha is an advocate for access to affordable legal services to everyone, no matter their financial status, and she is dedicated to providing diligent and compassionate services to her clients.

Prior to founding Madaan Law, Aastha worked with a boutique business law firm where she practiced business litigation and provided legal advice to small businesses. She learned the ins and outs of future planning for individuals and businesses, and uses her litigation knowledge to help her client avoid costly and often irreparable mistakes. Aastha graduated from Whittier Law School with a concentration in International and Comparative Law. While at Whittier Law School, Aastha gained valuable experience through her internships with the Superior Court of California in Santa Ana, California District Attorneys Association in Sacramento, and several other government and non-profit entities. She received her Bachelor's in Arts in English Literature from University of California, Irvine.

Aastha enjoys traveling, cooking, art, and community work. She has several leadership positions in the American Bar Association. Aastha's roots are in India, and she speaks fluent Hindi and Punjabi.

Permission to reprint the article was granted by the author. The article first appeared online in the GPSOLO eReport, a publication of the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division in November 2013.

(b) California Charities-Donors

Past Chair Perry Segal has alerted us to an LA Times article discussing a recent decision by a federal appeals court that would require charities that raise money in the state to disclose the names of major contributors.

In 2014, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris ordered nonprofits to disclose the identities of donors who contributed more than $5,000 in a single year. The disclosures, however, were only to the attorney general's office, not to the public too.

California charities must disclose the names of their major contributors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on April 24, 2015. The Los Angeles Times' Maura Dolan reports that the Center for Competitive Politics lost the argument that its First Amendment right to the freedom of association is violated by the reporting requirement. David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics, said the group planned to appeal. "We think the decision is wrong and threatens First Amendment speech rights, he said in a statement.

Read the entire article: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-charity-court-20150501-story.html

(c) Practicing Mindfulness

Special Advisor Mari Frank recently presented a program on Practicing Mindfulness in Your Law Practice and shares her article on the topic with LPMT Section members.

Competency and Mindfulness in Your Law Practice

By Mari Frank, Esq. CIPP

No one can deny that lawyers have a demanding vocation. Most of what we do involves dealing with high conflict disputes involving adversaries. Even if we serve as neutrals, we may be considered challengers by parties involved the cases. We have been taught to analyze the past and strategize for the future. So it can be difficult for us to stay totally aware and be in the present. With the need to be totally updated about our clients and cases, we often subject ourselves to information overload with data bombardment from our tethered electronic devices No wonder we are often stressed!

We can decide to make changes in our approach to life to lower our stress levels. Resolutions to eat healthier and exercise help, but to become more effective, gain greater clarity, and improve our consciousness and relationships, practicing mindfulness provides more dramatic transformations. Mindfulness is the act of being completely aware, fully awake, and staying conscious of the present moment. When practicing mindfulness, we are open and receptive to what is happening without judgment, or thoughts of the past or future.

Mindfulness allows us to be where we are and focus only on what is presently happening. We become observers of our emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Mindfulness also involves acceptance of what is happening (whether we like it or not) as we tune into what we're sensing. It gives us time to think through how we wish to proceed. If we are angry but mindful, we won't immediately react in the fight or flight mode emanating from our reptilian brain. To respond from our higher self, we consciously direct our mind to be become aware of our breathing, our thoughts and emotions before we respond to a frustrating or hostile situation. We can use our mammalian brain to let go of rehashing the past challenges or imagining a negative future.

Right now- stop and remember a time that you were totally focused on the moment without extraneous thoughts. Perhaps you were skiing, zip-lining, surfing, holding your newborn, mesmerized by a movie, or watching an exciting football or basketball game. We know what it feels like to be absolutely absorbed in the present moment, but how often do we pay attention to what we are doing during our normal day?

Consider practicing mindfulness. There are several studies (available from the author upon request) that provide reasons to practice mindfulness.

The following are some easy ways to start practicing mindfulness:

  1. Start your day earlier to engage in mindful breathing

    Set your alarm 15 minutes early and get up, go to the bathroom. Then find a quiet comfortable chair for at least 10 minutes, just pay attention to your breathing. If a thought comes in, let it go and re-focus on your breathing. Set a gentle timer on your smart phone so you don't have to worry about time. Finally when the timer goes off, take a final deep breath and let it out, stretch and tell yourself that this will be a great day. You may wish to do this again before you go to sleep, telling yourself that you will have a restful night.

  2. Practice being aware of simple habits

    Each morning be completely mindful of at least one habit you do as you get ready for your day. For example when brushing your teeth, feel the toothbrush massaging our teeth and gums, notice the taste of the tooth paste, watch the faces you make in the mirror while brushing. Or drinking your coffee slowly, consider the taste, the temperature, the color, the buzz you may feel! Pay attention to every physical act feeling our body and staying focused as you engage in a simple daily action.

  3. Really listen to your family, friends and clients, opposing counsel and others

    Look into the eyes of whomever you are conversing. If you are on the phone, close your eyes or at least abstain from multitasking. Listen to each word and focus on what they are saying intently enough so that you can repeat back exactly what they have said in active listening you mirror positively what you heard. (i.e.: I heard you say that you had a tough day with your client because.......). Stop yourself from judging, preparing to respond, or thinking of your own challenges. Be present- it is a gift to those who are speaking. It shows respect and will enhance your relationship. Further it helps you better understand what you need to know-especially if speaking with new clients or opposing counsel.

  4. Savor your food, your environment

    As you eat a meal, slow down and feel the food in your mouth- taste the various flavors and notice the textures. Notice the trees and sky when you are driving to work. Pay attention to the décor in your office. Is it cluttered or neat? Are you comfortable? Really notice your significant other -- his/her hair, clothes, smile, and body language -- without judgment or criticism. Just be an observer. Of course it never hurts to give a compliment to your loved ones and friends.

  5. Focus on being in the present moment when planning

    As lawyers, we plan and create to-do lists and strategize for the future. As we do this we can be mindful of how we are focusing. Are we comfortable with the plan- is it congruent with who we are? What is our conscience telling us? Are we being genuine? Have we listened to our "gut" or our intuition?

  6. Have an attitude of Gratitude

    Be grateful for your clients, staff, family and friends and look for the positive things they do. At the end of each day tell your significant other or family 3 things you are grateful for. That will force you to focus on the good things in your life. You can always find something to be thankful for. You can be grateful for the blue sky, the family pet, the comfort of a home, the smiling face of your child, the kindness of a friend, or even that you have food to nourish yourself etc. The more you say thank you to family, staff, clients, and others, the more they will feel appreciated and reciprocate. Showing genuine gratefulness gives us joy, and increases oxytocin in those we thank, and in turn boosts our endorphins too.

  7. Enjoy each moment of life

    We all know that our time in our present incarnation is limited. None of us can escape our ultimate destiny -- and we never know when our time is up -- so being mindful and aware of all we are doing is our way of savoring life. Just as we may be totally engrossed in enjoying a fabulous desert, that is how we can focus on our daily life. As you drive to work, look at mountains, lakes, oceans, flowers or other natural beauty around you. If you are stopped in traffic, be mindful of the time you have to just be in the moment and notice things around you. Take time to do something you enjoy doing each day. Make time to listen to music, enjoy your loved ones, turn off the news and find a happy, or comedic movie. Turn off the TV, put down your smart phone and take a walk in nature. Read an uplifting book or do something creative.

Our profession is stressful and as we consider enhancing and maintaining our professional competence, we need to practice mindfulness. To create balance in our lives and our law practice mindfulness improves our emotional intelligence, our memory, our anger management, and our professionalism.

About the Author:

Mari FrankMari Frank, Esq. has been an attorney/mediator in private practice in Laguna Niguel since 1985. She teaches negotiation and mediation at Brandman University and is a mediator for the Civil Mediation Panel of the Orange County Superior Court, the OC Bar and QDR Services. She hosts the radio show, Prescriptions for Healing Conflict which airs on KUCI 88.9 FM in Irvine every Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. www.conflicthealing.com. Mari is Special Advisor to the Executive Committee of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section of the State Bar of California. .

4. News from The State Bar

(a) New Standards for Attorney Discipline Adopted

The Board of Trustees, on May 8, 2015, approved a revised set of standards for attorney discipline, the first significant changes since the guidelines were adopted in 1986.

The revised, nonbinding standards describe a number of new categories of offenses for which attorneys can be disciplined: representation of adverse interests, breach of confidentiality, fee-splitting with non-lawyers and frivolous litigation. In the preceding version of the rules, these offenses had fallen under a catchall provision.

Learn more about the changes: http://www.law360.com/legalethics/articles/653938

(b) Public Comment

The State Bar of California has several items out for public comment (see below). Among those items is a proposal to increase the required MCLE hours from 25 to 36 and requiring that at least 12 of those hours be relevant to an attorney's practice area. Several members of the Board of Trustees have expressed their belief that this proposed change is a public protection matter. Complete details regarding this request for public comment can be found at: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/AboutUs/PublicComment/201509.aspx. Submit comments no later than Friday, June 26, 2015, to MCLEPublicComment@calbar.ca.gov.

Learn more about the other items sent 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.

Proposal Deadline
Proposal to Increase the Required MCLE Hours and Require that a Specified Number Be Relevant to the Attorney's Practice Area June 26, 2015
Proposed Amendments to Guideline 8.4 (Library Content), Guidelines for Accredited Law School Rules June 18, 2015
Comprehensive Study of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California June 16, 2015
Revision to State Bar Rules Title 6 re Access to State Bar Records June 16, 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.

5. The Bottom Line/eTBL

June Issue: The June issue of The Bottom Line/eTBL will include the following articles:

  • Managing Client Expectations During the Attorney-Client Relationship, by Neil Pedersen
  • The Rise -- and Potential Fall -- of the Hourly Rate, by Ed Poll
  • Associate Development: Optional or Essential? by Tom Garberson, Esq.
  • What Lawyers Need to Know about the New Beta of Microsoft Office, by Jeff Bennion

Additional articles may also be included, and one or more articles will be designated to offer MCLE credit.

The eTBL Subcommittee welcomes submissions, as well as ideas for articles. You can 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 Area 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.

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. Note: an updated selection of programs which qualify for free MCLE credit in Legal Ethics will be posted in March 2015. Access the programs in the Members Only Area.

(b) Solo and Small Firm Summit - June 2015 "Strategic Solutions for Lawyering and Business Management"

June 18 - 20, 2015
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa
900 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Earn up to 10 Hours MCLE Credit (Includes Legal Ethics, Competency Issues & Legal Specialization).

You can now REGISTER ONLINE for this program. For more information, including a full program lineup, see California Solo and Small Firm Summit.

LPMT Executive Committee members will be presenting 5 programs at the Solo & Small Firm Summit to be held in Newport Beach, June 18 to 21, 2015. The programs cover time management, the paperless office, disaster planning, software tools for preparing your case for trial, and balancing control of your life and practice. The programs are scheduled as follows:

(4) Time Management for the Busy Attorney
Thursday, June 18, 2015, 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Time is an attorney's most valuable asset. This presentation is filled with practical tips and procedures to assist the busy attorney to prevent the loss of time to predictable interruptions, and to maximize their productive time during the day.

MCLE: 1.0 Hour General
Speakers: Neil Pedersen

(6) The Paperless Office - Using Technology to Maximize Efficiency and Profit
Thursday, June 18, 2015, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

This program offers a practical, step-by-step guide on how to convert your offi ce to a digital environment. Learn various efficient approaches to access those files remotely, and other efficiencies created by digitizing documents in the office. Topic matter will include security measures to assure confidentiality and access in the digital environment.

MCLE: 1.0 Hour General
Speakers: Neil Pedersen

(10) Earth(quake), Wind, Fire & Flood: Disaster Planning for the Law Practitioner
Thursday, June 18, 2015, 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Four things are certain in life: death, taxes and disasters. The fourth? The disaster won't manifest itself in the way you expect nor when you expect it. This program broadens your perception of what a disaster is and - should one occur - guides you through preparing and planning for continuity in your law practice.

MCLE: 1.0 Hour General
Speaker: Perry L. Segal

(18) Low Cost and Free Software Tools For Preparing Your Case for Trial
Friday, June 19, 2015, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

This program will offer valuable practice management tools to reduce stress through balancing control of your life and practice. Attendees will learn how to analyze and diagnose the danger signs of substance abuse, skills for de-stressing, and ways to handle challenging and stressful communications in the legal environment.

MCLE: 1.0 Hour Competency Issues (formerly known as Detection & Prevention of Substance Abuse)
Speakers: Mari J. Frank; Nyanza Shaw

Please mark your calendars today and make your reservations to attend the Summit to network and learn. The Summit features POWER Networking Events, Legal EDUCATION Classes, Business Management Courses, and More - all Designed to Promote a THRIVING Law Practice.

The Twitter hash tag for the Solo Summit will be #SoloSummit.

(c) CYLA 10-Minute Mentor

The California Young Lawyers Association has assembled a series of fifteen mentoring videos (plus a couple of intros from CYLA members) which are posted at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNgOYDlJUcKSWB1GJEeqI5g/videos

Topics covered by the videos include depositions, attorney civility, successful negotiations and mediation, how to select clients, staying healthy and mentally competent, etc. Three LPMT Executive Committee members/advisors made videos for CYLA: Mari Frank, Peter Brewer and Perry Segal. Links to their videos are below.

Mari Frank -- Successful Negotiation and Mediation in Your Practice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erFgx7dGTYg

Peter Brewer -- Evolving Your Solo Laws Practice: Daring to Become a Firm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtbw6yhQiSc

Perry Segal -- Today's Technologies and Maintaining Client Confidences 101 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e50k-nUVWdw

As the leader in technology for the Bar, the LPMT Executive Committee has created the quite-obvious hash tag, #10MinuteMentor, should you wish to retweet any of them.

(d) LegalTech® West Coast 2015

LegalTech® will hold its West Coast trade show in San Francisco on July 13-14, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Relocating to San Francisco will enable LegalTech® to be closer to the many innovative technology companies in the Bay Area and the growing number of law firms and corporations in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Register today for the educational sessions and then visit the Exhibit Hall to get hands on practical information for improving your law practice management. Learn more at www.legaltechshow.com. The Twitter hash tag is #LTWC15.

(e) Annual Meeting -- October 2015

State Bar Annual Meeting

The State Bar Annual Meeting will be held in Anaheim on October 8 to 11, 2015. Proposals for programs to be sponsored by the LPMT Section have been submitted by members of the LPMT Executive Committee. As soon as The State Bar announces the programs, we will provide that information to you. It's not too early to start making plans to attend the Annual Meeting. Make it family a vacation with Disneyland and other fun activities close by!

The Twitter hashtag for the 2015 Annual Meeting will be #CalBarAM15, For information as it becomes available, see Annual Meeting.

(f) 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.

(g)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) 2015-2016

The Executive Committee met recently to recommend new members to the Executive Committee. As soon as the recommendations are approved by the Board of Trustees, the new appointees will be introduced to you. The Executive Committee also elected officers for 2015-2016 which will also be announced as soon as they are approved by the Board of Trustees.

(b) Executive Committee Members -- What Are They Doing?

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen is an Executive Committee member who is very active in educating lawyers about practice management and technology. He has been teaching his three-unit Law Practice Management and Technology Course at Western State College of Law for the last four years, a course he co-created. Neil was selected as a speaker for the Solo and Small Firm Summit, and on June 18 will be presenting two programs, Time Management for the Busy Attorney, and the Paperless Office: Using Technology to Make Your Office More Efficient and Mobile (see Item 6(b) above).

Neil was also the author of the management tips column which appeared in the eNews last year. He offered practical tips for managing your practice. He has also written articles for The Bottom Line. He is a full-time principal in the law firm of Pedersen McQueen APLC. Neil's many contributions to the LPMT Section are of great benefit to the Section members.

Mari Frank

Mari Frank is currently serving as a special advisor to the Executive Committee, having completed her term as a voting member. Mari was recently profiled in the Daily Journal in an article titled, Mediator encourages parties to not dwell on past wrongs. She focuses on what she calls "mindfulness," and encourages parties to find desired solutions. Mari has been a frequent contributor to the eNews with her privacy tips, and her article, "Competency and Mindfulness in Your Law Practice" is included in this issue. Mari also made a CYLA mentoring video on Successful Negotiations and Mediation in Your Practice. [see Item 6(c) above]. Mari and Executive Committee Chair, Nyanza Shaw, will be presenting a program at the Solo and Small Firm Summit on Saturday, June 20, 2015, titled," Professional Competence: Balancing Control of Your Life and Practice." [see item 6(b) above] Mari continues to contribute articles to The Bottom Line and eNews, as well as present programs for the LPMT Section. Mari's support and contributions to the LPMT Section are very beneficial to the Section members.

(c) 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).

(d) 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 May/June eNews included detailed information about how members of the LPMT can take advantage of discounts.

Discounts include:

  • Time59 -- Time59 is web-based time and billing software designed for solo lawyers. Use Time59 to record billable time and expenses, create invoices, and keep track of payments.

  • AB Unlimited -- 15% off discount for a a marketing resourgce agency, specilizing in promotional products and event graphics.

  • Lexology® -- Lexology® is an innovative, web-based service that provides company law departments and law firms with a depth of free practical know-how that would be impossible to produce internally.

  • TechnoLawyer® -- A Member Benefit Worth $100. Subscription to the TechnoLawyer Archives for one year.

  • LawBiz® -- Edward Poll, J.D., M.B.A., CMC, advises law firms and their leaders on practice management, business development, and financial matters.

  • ShareFile -- ShareFile is an easy, affordable secure file transfer system, client extranet, and mobile editing tool designed specifically for law firms to allow legal professionals to securely access any document, from any device, any time.

  • JumpStart Genius® -- JumpStart Genius® by InnovPro Solutions, Inc. is an online software program to help attorneys and law students design, start, and manage their law firms.

  • CEB® - CEB® is pleased to continue to offer rebates to members of participating State Bar of California sections.

Inventus - Inventus is a consulting practice focused on helping organizations effectively manage the legal discovery process.

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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