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Guest Articles

May 8, 2015

Tropical storm warning issued for parts of the Carolinas

MIAMI (AP) — A tropical storm warning has been issued for parts of North and South Carolina as Ana approaches the U.S. coast. The storm formed nearly a month before the Atlantic Hurricane season officially kicks off. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Friday that Ana’s maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph […]

Jan 22, 2015

SC panel advances bills on open records law

COLUMBIA— A Senate panel has advanced two open records bills following state Supreme Court rulings last year that dealt blows to traditional practices under the state’s Freedom of Information law. One bill sent Thursday to the Judiciary Committee would require public boards to post agendas for their meetings at least 24 hours beforehand. The other […]

Jun 17, 2011

We should see our clients in their native habitat

I recently read a newspaper story in which a doctor talked about her reaction when she happened to meet a patient at an airport, where the patient worked. The patient was out of the context of the examining room and the doctor was taken aback, at first not recognizing the patient. The experience of seeing the patient as an individual in a work environment gave the doctor an entirely new perspectiv[...]

Jun 17, 2011

Authenticity: An elusive key to successful marketing

Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner once wrote: “A person is really three things: who you think you are; who I think you are; and who you think I think you are.” Since none of us have control over how others see us, we believe the quality that makes us the person we are perceived to be is the level of authenticity with which we conduct ourselves in the world.

Jun 3, 2011

If you’re not objecting, you may not be protecting the client

A New Yorker cartoon has a young lawyer saying to an upset client, "Oh, I don't object much. As lawyers go, I'm pretty laid back." Conventional courtroom advice is that juries don't like objections; it makes you look like you are trying to hide something. Like most things conventional, this advice isn't worth much. Besides, if you are really trying to hide something at trial, an objection is[...]

May 27, 2011

Future Tech: Looking ahead at the technology changing law practice

Twenty-five years ago, law practice looked very different from today. Consider the accoutrements that a lawyer in 1986 did not have: • A laptop computer • A tablet computer such as an iPad • A cell phone • The Internet • Online research (although the firm might have a new Westlaw or Lexis terminal in the firm library) . • Email. What the 1986 lawy[...]

Apr 29, 2011

New ASTM energy standard to impact commercial real estate transactions

The growth of renewable energy in the U.S. has been subject to inconsistent public policy at both the federal and state levels. This lack of predictability creates difficulty for investors looking for long-term stability, which is needed to justify the often significant capital investments associated with most renewable energy systems. Despite this uncertainty, one renewable energy that continu[...]

Apr 29, 2011

Dicta From Desa: Flat wrong on flat fees

The incredible generosity of members of the South Carolina Bar continues to amaze me. I am a member of the South Carolina Association of Ethics Counsel (SCAEC), the brainchild of my friend Steedley Bogan, who suggested about 10 years ago that those of us who defend lawyers in disciplinary proceedings should form an alliance to work together to improve the lawyer disciplinary system. Steedley creat[...]

Apr 25, 2011

Coach’s Corner: Your lease is a strategic planning tool

I received a call from a lawyer wanting to know what percentage of his gross revenue should be allocated to rent and whether his percentage was in line with other law firms. I cited one study that put the average at 9 percent, but his comeback was that another consultant said the average was 12 percent. Such generic numbers totally miss the point on two levels. First, they allow lawyers to think t[...]

Apr 18, 2011

Guest Commentary: The greatest practice management tool ever … possibly

I am generally an early adopter of technology, and, admittedly, a bit of a gadget snob. I can't believe this little gem escaped my radar for almost two years. I've just purchased my first Livescribe Pulse Digital Smartpen. As a compulsive note-taker, this pen changed my life (sounds ridiculous, I know) and it will change the way you practice law. Professional note-takers like lawyers and paralegal[...]

Apr 18, 2011

Coach’s Corner: What makes a law firm a good place to work?

Every law firm is, or should be, a team, with lawyers, staff and support personnel committed to a team effort for providing the best possible service and work product for the benefit of clients. Involving everyone in the office so that they feel a sense of inclusiveness, understanding their roles and looking forward to exercising them, creates a better and more successful firm. At too many law fir[...]

Apr 8, 2011

Duty of confidentiality applies at unexpected times

By THOMAS SPAHN, Dolan Media Newswires [email protected]   Every lawyer realizes the strength and breadth of our profession’s duty of confidentiality. Most lawyers know that the duty lasts forever. Many of us include threatening disclaimers whenever we send an email, warning accidental recipients that they must not share the email with anyone else. Yet lawyers […]

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