January/February 2017

News from the Section

  1. Chair's Message
  2. Did You Know . . . Tech Tips?
    1. Productivity-Boosting Tech Tips for Your Law Practice
    2. ITK [In the Know]
    3. Taming Microsoft Word's Paragraph Numbering Feature
  3. Did You Know ....Articles?
    1. LexisNexis to Retire lexis.com Service, Upgrade Customers to Lexis Advance Legal Information Solution Over Next 12 Months
    2. Changes in the Law - Effective January 2017
    3. Changes for Notaries Public
  4. State Bar News
  5. The Bottom Line/eTBL
  6. Educational Opportunities
  7. Executive Committee News
  8. Member Benefits

1. Chair's Message

Chair's message imageThe future of the operational structure of the LPMT Section, and indeed all the State Bar Sections, is facing major overhaul.  No-one knows how it will end up.  I suppose it bears some analogy to the colonies’ ambitions to secede from Britain.  The two concepts that so far have the most traction are, one, that the Sections should function together under a non‐profit, Sections‐only 501(c)(6), that could cooperate with the Bar on many activities and programs, but would organizationally be free of governmental agency impediments.  The other concept is to pass legislation that would give the Sections a governmental agency status.  I have no idea how things will end up, but I am conscious of the discomfort caused by the uncertainty.

Mark Twain is credited for saying, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.”  Indeed, change is usually uncomfortable.  People continue in bad habits because there is comfort in established ways of doing things, even when those ways are not productive.

So, as we look to the future and wait to see how things will shake out, I urge you to maintain optimism.  You are all familiar with Albert Einstein’s famous quote that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Change is inevitable, and should be welcomed because it is the opportunity for innovation, creativity, and improvement.  If you don’t like how things are, change it, and if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

I believe each of you is doing a part in shaping the future of the State Bar, and of the organizational structure of its sections, by being a member and participating in the sections.  If the future of the State Bar and the sections is important to you, get more involved.  Participate in material ways.  Then if things turn out to your liking you can give yourself credit, and if things turn out otherwise you will not have yourself to blame for lack of trying.  As Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Thank you in advance for your anticipated contributions to making life better for all of us.  May you be blessed with good health and good fortune in 2017.

Peter N. Brewer, Esq., Chair, LPMT
peter@brewerfirm.com

2. Did You Know . . . Tech Tips?

Productivity-Boosting Tech Tips for Your Law Practice

By Joan Feldman

Lawyers’ utilization rates and productivity measures have been hot topics since Clio announced it will release its first “Legal Trends Report” later this month. Among the most stunning revelations will be the finding that, on average, a mere 22 percent of solo attorneys’ time is billable each day. (That’s two hours!) And that number only begins to improve slightly as the firm size increases to five to seven lawyers.

Where Does Your Time Go?

In anticipation of the report’s release, we asked four practice management experts for their best tech tips to boost productivity and ensure more of your time is profitable. Here’s good advice from Natalie Kelly, Courtney Kennaday, Erik Mazzone and Nora Regis — state and local bar advisors who assist solo and small firm lawyers every day.

Natalie R. Kelly: Tactics to Eliminate Wasted Time

Solo and small firm lawyers often struggle with productivity, so the utilization rate numbers being reported are not that surprising. Lawyers not seeing better utilization numbers, regardless of firm size, should maximize their use of technology tools to produce work more efficiently.

By dissecting work being done, you can determine where shortfalls lie. Determining if non-billable time being spent during the day is income-producing or not — sort of like identifying good fat and bad fat in our diet — and actively converting non-income-producing time to billable time is a start down the path toward increased productivity and higher utilization rates. Wasted time can be cut through better calendaring, better use of support staff, more efficient email management and faster document production.

Here are some standout tools and tips for each of those areas:

Calendaring.  Manage events with products like Doodle and WhenIsGood.net to help save time when working with groups; make sure phones and calendars are synced; and use advanced calendaring tools for getting items to the calendar. Try LawToolBox.com or products like JuraLaw to integrate court rules into your firm’s calendars.

Staff utilization.   Practice the rule of delegating to the lowest paid — but qualified — person when handing out assignments. Also, praise staff for a job well done, and if they are more organized than you, seek their help arranging the bigger-picture items for you. Don’t forget to introduce your staff and their role on the client’s new team to save time by reducing back-and-forth communication when answers are sought.

Email management.  Products like Unroll.me, SaneBox, The Email Game and Mailstrom all work to help with stuffed inboxes, but before the inboxes even get stuffed, you can use all of the sorting, searching, storing and archiving options in the program. Using Categories and Flags in Microsoft Outlook is a good example of effective email management.

Document production.  Document assembly is popular now, and so the tried-and-true systems for quickly generating documents while storing and reusing vital information move back to the forefront of legal productivity tools. Don’t forget to review templates and forms to see where this powerful technology can better assist with getting things done. Check out TheFormTool, Doxsera, HotDocs (Marketplace in some circles) and Pathagoras.

The process of monitoring and changing work habits toward more productivity need not be done in one day, but just getting started is a great first step!

Natalie R. Kelly (@NatalieRKelly) is Director of the Georgia State Bar’s Law Practice Management Program and a past ABA TECHSHOW chair. Natalie is a certified consultant for multiple legal software applications, and speaks and writes extensively on law office management and technology.

[Go to the full article at https://www.attorneyatwork.com/productivity-boosting-tech-tips-for-your-law-practice] for additional tips offered by Courtney Kennaday (“Find a Better Way to Recharge”), Erik Mazzone (“‘Boxed Time’ Approach to Improving Productivity”) and Nora Regis (“Speed Up Your Computer”).]

About the Author
Joan Feldman is Partner/Editorial at Attorney at Work and publications consultant at Feldcomm. An editor and writer, Joan has created, steered and contributed to myriad leading practice management and trade publications, including the ABA's Law Practice magazine where she served as managing editor for a dozen years. Joan is a trustee and fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, and a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism. Follow her @JoanHFeldman and on Google+.

ITK [In the Know]

By Martin Dean

This is my take on passwords. If your password looks like this: 1234567 or this: asdfgj, then don’t bother reading any further. You’re not even trying.

My password epiphany occurred several years ago when I woke one morning in my hotel in New York, opened my iPhone, and had 741 bounced messages. When I left New York 3172 deleted bounced messages later, I had learned two things: My password (of twelve years) had been compromised, and that there is no bulk delete in iOS.

Since that day, I’ve used a password manager (choose one: LastPass, Dashlane 1Password, or many others). For the last 3 years I’ve used Dashlane for all of my passwords. And if you haven’t already learned about them, simply put: these little treasures will gladly create for each site you visit, and after the first login they will fill in all needed login information and a unique hard-to-crack password for each and every location you go to. So, in truth, the only password that I need is the one that opens Dashlane each time I reboot. And for that password I always choose a “passphrase”. The criteria for my “passphrase” are that it must be, first and foremost, something that I can actually remember (what a concept). For example I’ve chosen: “TheHornBlows@Midnight” (allegedly the worst movie ever made), Don’tHitMeOnMyShot (a family heirloom) and other memorable phrases from my extensive past—you should do the same. Make sure that they’re more than 10 characters, and use at least one non-alpha character. And for heaven’s sake, write them down and give them to someone who is likely to survive you.

But if you won’t do a password program like one of these, the least you can do is to divide your passwords into security categories:  I’ve divided my passwords into three categories:

(1)  The “Who Cares” category:   These are for sites that I won’t visit often but require a login and password. Other than my login info, I never leave any data on these sites –weather, movie listings, and baseball scores. Here, I always use the same (but not stupid) password.

(2)  The “Me” category:  Anything that relates to me personally – money, banking, credit cards, investments, secret plans for world domination – always deserve a passphrase, and to be even more secure, a different passphrase for each major account. What’s wrong with a bank account only passphrase “YourMoneyORYourLife.  Not one I’d forget logging onto my bank. Then there’s what can be the hardest category:

(3)  “Client Data.”  This category is very different because you are likely to be storing large amounts of data, and it’s likely to be client data, not your own, commensurate with the requirement that you protect your client data “to your peril” you need to be as careful and creative as you possibly can. If it’s likely that more than one person has this password, your risks of loss are even greater. So, whether you send client data to DropBox (try BoxCrypt), or even your own local or cloud server, this is the time for a grown-up password (15 characters, two non-ascii characters, upper and lower case – you’ve heard this all before). And I hate to say this, but if someone else also uses this password, change it (no matter how complicated it is), every 90 days, or when that employee leaves – whichever comes first,

I mean it!

So why not start the New Year by starting with your category 3 risks. Spend a lunch hour (perhaps with a paper notebook into which you can secrete your new choices), and get busy.

But, wait, there’s more to this story

But for now you’re In The Know.

image of Martin DeanAbout the Author
Martin Dean is the president of Essential Publishers, a 25-year old software company which 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 is currently serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section.

Taming Microsoft Word's Paragraph Numbering Feature

imageBy Deborah Savadra

The way Word has constructed paragraph numbering—a twisted combination of fields and styles—makes it difficult to customize numbering to your preferences and easy to screw up somewhere along the way. If you are going to use Word’s native paragraph numbering function rather than installing an add-on like The Payne Group’s Numbering Assistant or SnapDone’s SnapNumbers, you will want to be armed with basic knowledge and some snafu-busting techniques for the inevitable disappointments.

The Basics

image of basics window

Starting an auto-numbered paragraph is deceptively simple. See those buttons on the top row of the Paragraph section of the Home tab? The left-most one is for bullets; the next two to its right are for numbering and multi-level numbering, respectively. Simply click the button to toggle the feature on, or click on the drop-down arrow on each button to select a specific style. If you don’t like any of the delivered choices, you can click Define New to set your own.

If you use multi-level numbering, use the Increase/Decrease Indent buttons on the Home tab (just to the right of the numbering buttons in the Paragraph section) to change the numbering level of a particular paragraph. The numbering of subsequent paragraphs will self-adjust.

Making Adjustments

The first thing you will notice is the paragraph will not be indented the way you want. Microsoft has its own ideas about how your paragraphs should look, but you can override them. The quickest way is to right-click on the paragraph number you just created and choose Adjust List Indents from the menu that pops up.

If you are using the basic one-level paragraph numbering, you will get a small dialog box in which to make your adjustments:

image number 2

“Number position” is what it sounds like: how far from the left margin the number should be placed. “Text indent” is how far from the left margin you’d like your paragraph’s second and subsequent lines to wrap. Most people choose Tab character for the follow number with value, although you can also choose Space or Nothing.

If you are using multi-level numbering, the Adjust List Indents dialog box is more complex:

The values for number position (here called “aligned at”), text indent and follow number with are in the Position section at the bottom. With multi-level numbering, you also have easy access to settings that control the type of numbering at each level, the characters before and after each level’s numbers (period versus parenthesis), and the list number style (1, a, I, etc.).

Restarting/Resetting Paragraph Numbering Sequences

You can control whether your next paragraph number continues the current sequence or starts again at 1 within that same right-click menu. If one of your numbers gets out of sequence, simply right-click and choose Continue Numbering. If you want to force the number back to the beginning (say, you’re switching from interrogatories to requests for production), choose Set Numbering Value (which will also give you the option of continuing the previous list).

Adding Space Between Paragraphs

With the numbered paragraphs shown above, there is no extra spacing between the paragraphs. That’s easy to fix. Go ahead and type out at least part of your first numbered paragraph, then go to the Page Layout tab and adjust the value of Spacing After in the Paragraph section. Still no extra space? There’s one more setting to check. Click the launcher arrow in the lower right-hand corner to go to the Paragraph dialog box, uncheck the box next to “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.” Click OK. That paragraph and all the remaining numbered ones will have more breathing room.

Placing an Unnumbered Paragraph in the Middle

You will occasionally want to place an unnumbered paragraph in the middle of a sequence, but the moment you hit Enter, another paragraph number pops up. No worries. Simply toggle paragraph numbering off by pressing the paragraph numbering button you used for the previous paragraph. (If you use the button’s drop-down, choose None as the numbering scheme.) Unfortunately, the paragraph settings won’t revert to Normal here; it’ll usually have the paragraph indented 0.25. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+Q to strip paragraph settings out, then revise the formatting as you wish.

When you are ready to re-start numbering, you can use the technique above, or you can do what I do (which I think is faster): place your cursor inside a numbered paragraph above, click the Format Painter (the paintbrush icon on the Home tab under Clipboard), then click on the line where you want to restart numbering. Using Format Painter this way solves several paragraph numbering problems (the number sequence, indents, and inter-paragraph spacing) simultaneously.

Making Your Own Paragraph Numbering Scheme

Starting with Word’s default settings and tweaking from there becomes tiresome around the umpteenth time you have to do it. The only cure for that is to make your own numbering scheme, complete with all the number/prefix/suffix/paragraph spacing settings you want.
As far as detailed instructions go, I can hardly do better than Microsoft MVP Shauna Kelly’s master tutorial (see the “Create a list style” section).

It’s a Trade-off

If automatic paragraph numbering is this much trouble, why do it? Frankly, in some situations—a short set of paragraphs will probably remain static throughout editing— simply typing the numbers in as text makes more sense. But if you want the increased flexibility that automatic numbering can give you during the editing process, these tricks are worth learning.

image of Deborah SavadraAbout the Author
Deborah Savadra is editor and chief blogger at Legal Office Guru. Her 22-page Fast Formatting Fixes guide can solve virtually any Microsoft Word formatting problem in two or three keystrokes. You can follow her on Twitter at @legalofficeguru
@legalofficeguru
legalofficeguru.com

Source:  https://lawyerist.com/91553/taming-microsoft-words-paragraph-numbering-feature/

 

3. Did You Know....Articles?

LexisNexis to Retire lexis.com Service, Upgrade Customers to Lexis Advance Legal Information Solution Over Next 12 Months

LexisNexis® announced on 12/19/16 that it will retire its legacy online legal research service, lexis.com® and will move U.S. legal professionals to the company’s Lexis Advance® solution.
Launched in 1997, lexis.com is considered a comprehensive online legal research service.  LexisNexis launched its next generation legal information solution, Lexis Advance, several years ago. Since then, the company has continually enhanced the product by integrating its collection of legal, news, business and public records content and by adding analytical tools and access to new solutions not available on lexis.com.
Additionally, Lexis Advance users will see enhanced functionality for tools and resources they are familiar with on lexis.com. For example, compared to lexis.com, Lexis Advance offers:

  • Expanded Shepard’s® Citations previews and validation tools;
  • A wider selection of alerts with streamlined management;
  • Work folders and links to maximize sharing and collaboration with colleagues; and
  • Advanced data analytics and visualization capabilities.

More information about the change from lexis.com to Lexis Advance is at www.lexisnexis.com/Advance-Your-Research.

Source:  Anne Bernardo, Director, Tulare County Public Law Library, Visalia, email  abernard@co.tulare.ca.us; http://www.tularecounty.ca.gov/lawlibrary

Changes in the Law - Effective January 2017

Here is a sampling of some of the new laws that Californians woke up to in January:

Minimum wage, equal pay and paid parental leave: The statewide minimum wage goes from $10 to $10.50 an hour for businesses with 26 or more employees — a rate that will rise to $15 by 2022. Under another law, Assembly Bill 1676, an employer can’t pay a woman less than her male colleagues because of her prior salary. Assembly Bill 2393 gives up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all K-12 and community college employees, including classified workers and community college faculty. (Senate Bill 3, Leno)

Use of Wireless Electronic Devices: Motorists are no longer permitted to hold a wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle. Rather than holding the device, it must be mounted in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver. Another option is to affix the device to the dashboard in a place that does not obstruct the driver’s clear view of the road and does not interfere with the deployment of an airbag.

The law does allow a driver to operate one of these devices with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the finger, but not while holding it. (Assembly Bill 1785, Quirk)

motorcycle art

Motorcycles: Current law does not change; lane splitting by a motorcyclist remains legal if done safely. This bill defines lane splitting as driving a motorcycle, which has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. The bill permits the CHP to develop lane splitting educational safety guidelines in consultation with other state traffic safety agencies and at least one organization focused on motorcycle safety. (Assembly Bill 51, Quirk)

Driving under the influence - Ignition Interlock Device: Starting in 2019, a driving under the influence offender will be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a specified period of time in order to get a restricted driver license or to reinstate their license. The law also removes the required suspension time before a person can get a restricted license, provided that the offender installs an IID on their vehicle. The law extends the current four-county (Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare) DUI IID pilot program until January 1, 2019, at which time all DUI offenders statewide will be required to install an IID to have their license reinstated. (Senate Bill 1046, Hill)

Gender-neutral bathrooms: While North Carolina waged a proxy war in its restrooms over gender identity, California quietly went in the opposite direction. Assembly Bill 1732 requires all single-toilet bathrooms in businesses and public agencies to be gender neutral.

Consumer protection: Landlords will be prohibited from showing, renting or leasing a vacant unit that they know has a bedbug infestation. Rental car companies won’t be able to rent out cars subject to a manufacturer’s recall until the vehicle has been fixed. (Assembly Bill 551)

Children’s safety: Schools already have strict rules for athletes who may have suffered head injuries — such as removing the athlete for the rest of the day and keeping them sidelined until they have been cleared by a licensed health care provider. Assembly Bill 2007 extends those rules to youth sports organizations, along with training for coaches on concussions.

For a complete list of laws, bill information and California Legislature information go to: leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/

Sources: Digital First Media archives, California Highway Patrol, Department of Motor Vehicles, The Associated Press, California State Legislature, CalChamber

Changes for Notaries Public

Effective January 1, 2017, California notaries public will undergo a variety of changes. One such change (the result of Assembly Bill 2217) raises the fees notaries may charge for some notarial acts for the first time since 1994—effectively enabling notaries to charge 50% more than previous maximum fees. Perhaps the most impactful of the fee increases is that notaries may now charge $15 for taking an acknowledgment or affidavit, or administering an oath or affirmation. This fee previously maxed out at $10. For more information on all of the potential fee increases, go here.

Another change enables a notary to electronically notarize any electronic real property document that meets the requirements of Government Code Section 27201. Previously, notaries were only able to electronically notarize three specific real property documents—thanks to Assembly Bill 2143, this limitation has been removed. Read more.

Assembly Bill 2566 impacts certain identification requirements—expanding the list of acceptable credentials to include a consular ID document and an identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government, as well as removing the requirement that a foreign passport be stamped for entry into the United States by the USCIS. Full details can be found here.

[Source:  http://www.parasec.com/news/alert/alertarchive/alertJan2017.html]

4. News from The State Bar

(a)  Ethics Opinion – Blogging by an Attorney:    Special Advisor and Past Chair, Perry Segal, alerts us to the latest ethics opinion issued by The Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, Formal Opinion No. 2016-196, discussing under what circumstances is “blogging” by an attorney a “communication” subject to the requirements and restrictions of the Rules of Professional Conduct and related provisions of the State Bar Act regulating attorney advertising?  Read the full opinion at http://ethics.calbar.ca.gov/Ethics/Opinions/2009176toPresent.aspx

(b) MCLE Reporting

Good news for attorneys in compliance Group 3 (N-Z) -- you have an additional month to report meeting your MCLE requirements for the period February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2017.  The deadline has been extended to March 1, 2017.

(c) Public Comment    
The State Bar of California is calling for comments on proposed amendments to the State Bar rules regarding the items set forth below.  This is your chance to weigh in on the proposed changes.   

Jan. 31, 2017: Proposed amendments to the State Bar rules regarding 1) member record; 2) minimum continuing legal education; and 3) providers of continuing education services

Do check the Public Comment section on The State Bar’s website for additional information and for new postings.

If you feel that the LPMT Executive Committee should submit comments on behalf of the LPMT Section members to a particular item out for public comment, please contact Amy Williams, Chair of the Rules Subcommittee at aawlaw@earthlink.net.

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

February Issue

Editor, Michael Fenger, has announced that the following articles will be in the February issue of The Bottom Line

  • Essential Law Firm Management Metrics, by Clayton Dodds
  • Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation, by Katie Patterson
  • Power of Preparation, by Mari Frank
  • Electronically Stored Information (ESI), by Cari Pines
  • It Takes More than a Dumpster to Build a Digital Law Library: 12 Critical Components for Digital Law Library Transformations, by Jean P. O’Grady

Several of the articles will be offering MCLE credit.

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

Future Webinars

The Education Committee is developing several webinar series for presentation.  If there are any topics that interest you, let us know and we'll work on putting a program together for you.  If you would like to contribute to an MCLE self-study article or a webinar, please contact the Education Chair, Jeff Bennion, at jeff@jbennionlaw.com.

Webinar for Law Office Support Staff

Legal Secretaries, Incorporated (LSI) will present the following online class in 2017.  Click on the link to learn more.  Your staff is encouraged to participate.

March 13, 2017 – April 24, 2017 

Overview of California State Court Discovery

ABA Techshow - 2017

Bringing Lawyers & Technology Together

Save the date for ABA TECHSHOW 2017.
March 15-18, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago.

TECHSHOW is your chance to hear - and meet - the industry's top technology experts.  Learn more:  http://www.techshow.com/

CYLA 10-Minute Mentor

The California Young Lawyers Association has assembled a series of mentoring videos which are posted at: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNgOYDlJUcKSWB1GJEeqI5g/videos.  New videos are being added all the time.

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

Neil Pedersen – Time Management for the Busy Attorney

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfRhVyRIvEM

Neil Pedersen – The Paperless Law Office:  Using Technology to Maximize Efficiency and Profit   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjmZzcalCoM 

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

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

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.

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

7. Executive Committee News

Recruitment for Executive Committee Members

The Law Practice Management and Technology Section (LPMT) Executive Committee is seeking members to step up and serve on the Executive Committee. Applications are now being accepted.  The online application, is available on the appointments page of the State Bar's website. The volunteer positions carry a three-year term, and the application deadline for appointments to the LPMT Executive Committee was January 27, but it has been extended. Submit your applications now. The Board of Trustees will make the appointments next summer.

The LPMT Section works to improve the quality of law practice through effective management techniques and technology and these efforts are lead by members of the Executive Committee.  Areas of focus include:

  • administration, financial management, time management, marketing a law practice, systems and procedures, computer software and hardware, information security, and effective use of internal web platforms as well as external public presence on the Internet.
  • conducting MCLE webinars and live programs on the above topics.
  • interfacing with local bar associations, law librarians, legal secretaries, paralegals and other law-related associations.
  • offering substantial discounts to its members who attend legal technology conferences and a special members-only area of the State Bar website.
  • publishing an electronic newsletter, The Bottom Line, which will celebrate 38 years in publication in 2017 and is one of the oldest and most respected publications devoted to law practice management and technology issues. Each issue includes approximately half-a dozen in-depth articles including one article that qualifies for CLE credit.

Committee communications are conducted electronically through a listserv, and each member must have an email address to receive committee meeting notices, agendas, reports, etc. Section participation is a factor considered in the appointment review, as is a demonstrated expertise relating to law practice management and technology issues. Lawyers throughout California who can meet these requirements and who can make the time commitment are encouraged to apply.

For questions regarding section requirements or how to become more involved in section activities, please contact the section's staff administrator or chair.
Meetings per year: 4 (plus conference calls)
Chair:  Peter N. Brewer, Palo Alto 
Staff contact:  Kristina Robledo 415-538-2467

Submit your application now to join a group of very dedicated members working hard to bring information, educational opportunities, newsletters, etc., to the LPMT Section members.

New Members Join the LPMT Executive Committee

New voting members were welcomed to the Executive Committee meeting at the State Bar Annual Meeting in October 2016.  During the year we will introduce you to these new members.  You met Jason Peterson in the November issue.  In this issue we introduce Clayton Dodds, and welcome him to the Executive Committee. 

image of Clayton DoddsClayton Dodds is the Director of Marketing at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer, a boutique real estate and lending law firm located in Palo Alto, California. In this capacity, he oversees the firm’s marketing, advertising, client service, and business development initiatives. Clayton serves many leadership roles with the Legal Marketing Association, including Member-at-Large for the Bay Area steering committee, planning committee member for the LMA Technology Conference/West, and 2017 chair of the LMA West region communications committee.

Clayton is a passionate advocate for technology, and is especially interested in the business, management, and economic implications of new law firm technology. Recently, he has presented about small firm online marketing at the 2015 LMA Tech Conference, marketing automation at the 2016 LMA Tech Conference/West, small firm marketing strategies at the 2016 LMA Texas Think Tank, and will be presenting at the 2017 LMA Annual Conference. Outside of work, Clayton is actively involved with the FIRST® youth robotics program, serving as a judge, mentor, and organizer for the FIRST® Tech Challenge and the FIRST® Lego League programs throughout Northern California.

Clayton previously worked for a technology incubator associated with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL) and Sandia National Laboratory (SNL), focusing on the application and commercialization of new technologies. He also previously worked at Nolo Press, the legal book publisher. Clayton graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma with two degrees – one in Political Science, with a focus on Constitutional Studies, and one in Entrepreneurship. While in college, Clayton worked as an intern for the university’s Corporate Engagement Office, which was responsible for developing, managing, and maintaining technology partnerships between corporations and the University.

Mr. Dodds believes that the entire legal system is better served through improving law firm management. Improved client service — from the first contact to last — increases satisfaction for clients and improves the overall perception of the practice of law. Efficient law firm processes improve the delivery of legal service, which cuts waste in the legal system and achieves fair and just outcomes for clients. Effective use of technology lowers costs and creates workflow efficiencies, ensuring that law firms can achieve suitable profits without driving up legal costs to clients. Clayton looks forward to utilizing his business management training and his passion for technology and client service to serve the members and advance the mission of the Law Practice Management and Technology section of the California State Bar.

Contact information: Clayton Dodds, Director of Marketing, Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer, (650) 327-2900 x21; clayton@brewerfirm.com

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).

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.

8. Benefits for Members

Make the most of your membership in the LPMT Section by using the following vendors who are offering discounts to LPMT Section members.

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