Everything TECHSHOW – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

I Want It All!

I had hoped to offer readers a post to all 2015 ABA TECHSHOW tweets, but after cultivating about 1800 from Saturday and Friday’s sessions, Storify crashed.

The Bad News

The Storify script failed and the story was lost.

The Good News

I still have my TECHSHOW Tagboard. If you’re a Flipboard fan, I’m betting you’ll like it.

Tagboard

Access Tagboard here or click on the image above.

  • Click on the “Latest” button (top of the screen, left) to show the most recent cultivated tweets.
  • To see more, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on “LOAD MORE.”  Repeat if you dare.

TECHSHOW 2016

Already excited about 2016?  You should be!

2016 ABA TECHSHOW

Next year it falls on St. Paddy’s Day.

St. Patrick's Day

All Rights Reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis

 

 

60 Sites in 60 Minutes – 2015 TECHSHOW

Yesterday I presented a compilation of the popular 60 Apps in 60 Minutes (iOS edition).  Today’s post is dedicated to 60 Sites in 60 Minutes – another excellent presentation from the 2015 ABA TECHSHOW.

As before, thank you to the helper monkeys at Storify for helping me to share these sites from Brett Burney, Mark Unger, Dennis Kennedy, Hon. Herbert Dixon, and Debbie Foster.

Access the 60 Sites in 60 Minutes compilation here or click on the image below:

60sitesin60

Looking for everything TECHSHOW – the good, the bad, and the ugly?  Check out my #tagboard. All Rights Reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis

 

60 Apps in 60 Minutes – 2015 TECHSHOW

60 Apps in 60 Minutes is always a popular presentation at the ABA TECHSHOW.  This year, I used Storify to cultivate the top apps recommended for iOS devices by the esteemed Jeff Richardson, Joe Bahgat, Tom Mighell, and Adriana Linares.  If you’re an Android believer, check out Jeff Taylor’s blog The Android Lawyer for Droid Apps.

Access the 60 Apps in 60 Minutes compilation here or click on the image below:

60Appsin60

Tomorrow’s post:  a compilation of 60 Sites in 60 Minutes.

Looking for more?

Jeff Richardson will publish a full list of iOS apps on iPhone JD this week.  If you’re a Windows mobile app user, contact Ben Schorr.  Still a Blackberry believer?  Dan Pinnington can hook you up.

All Rights Reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis

 

Advantages of Being a Rural Attorney

beverlym:

What kind of practice suits you best? The big city offers a built in client base, but it also comes with built in competition and higher overhead costs.

You owe it to yourself to at least consider the option of a rural practice. You might be surprised that many rural attorneys enjoy better quality of life, a greater sense of community connectedness, and make more money than their city counterparts.

The 2012 Oregon State Bar Economics of Law Practice Survey revealed that one quarter of all attorneys statewide planned to retire, cut back, or leave the practice of law by 2017. For the Oregon coast region, the number was 45% – almost half.

We are midway through this five year period and the exodus is well under way. In December 2014 and January 2015, the Oregon State Bar processed a record number of voluntary resignations.

Rural areas in Oregon have traditionally been under-lawyered. This is becoming more true, especially on the coast, as the attorneys who reported they would leave the profession make good on their promise. All of this is good news if you are setting up a solo or small firm, especially if you consider putting up a shingle in rural Oregon.

Originally posted on NWSidebar:

Five reasons for becoming a rural attorney from three rural Washington attorneys.

View original 559 more words

Pro Se Adversaries – Tips for New Lawyers

Dealing with a pro se party raises a number of reasonable concerns:

  • The pro se could misconstrue what I say
  • The pro se may regard me as his or her lawyer
  • The pro se could sue me for legal malpractice

Communicate in Writing Whenever Possible

When you communicate verbally, a pro se can misremember your words, misconstrue your meaning, or even deny the discussion occurred.

When you communicate in writing your words are documented.  It becomes impossible to “misremember” or deny what you said.  Yes, written communication can still be misconstrued, but there is less likelihood of this happening.

Use a 3-Way Disclaimer

  • “I don’t represent you.”
  • “I can’t give you legal advice.”
  • “If you have questions, hire a lawyer.”

Every pro se communication should include this type of disclaimer.   If the pro se party later argues you had a lawyer-client relationship or attempts to assert a legal malpractice claim on the grounds that you failed to protect her interests, you will be in a better position to defend yourself.

Be a Broken Record

The 3-way disclaimer must be used every time you communicate with a pro se.  Does it become repetitive?  Perhaps, but that doesn’t matter.  Some pro se adversaries “get it” from the beginning; some “get it and forget it;” some never “get it.”  This doesn’t mean the pro se is purposely trying to make your life more difficult.  But it does underscore the value of redundancy.

Practice Tips Beyond Pro Se Communication

For more tips on how to work with pro se adversaries, peruse the following:

[All Rights Reserved 2015 Beverly Michaelis]

Finding Lost Wills

Occasionally we field calls at the PLF from lawyers or members of the public looking for a lost will.  If you find yourself in this position, here are some excellent tips, courtesy of the Washington State Bar Association:

People frequently contact WSBA for help with finding a relative’s will, or finding the attorney who wrote it. This can be a real challenge, particularly when many years have passed since it was written.  While WSBA does not keep wills, we can provide some tips for finding them.

If you have the name of the attorney who drafted the will, contact that person first. You can get the lawyer’s contact information from our Lawyer Directory.

Tips for Finding a Will

Some or all of these tips might help. Keep in mind that you don’t want to trespass when trying to find a will. If in doubt, contact the personal representative for the estate.

  • Speak with other family members or close friends. These people often know if a will exists and where it might be.
  • Contact the deceased’s bank(s) to find out if they kept a safe deposit box. Most banks have simple procedures for gaining access to a safe deposit box in the event of a death.
  • If you have the authority, check the deceased’s files, computer, lock box and safe.
  • Check address books or email programs for attorney names. They may have prepared the will or referred the deceased to someone else. You can look up current contact information for attorneys in our Lawyer Directory.
  • If the attorney who prepared the will no longer practices or you cannot find him, call other probate attorneys in the vicinity. They may know who took over the practice, and whoever took over the practice may have the wills.
  • Contact the probate court in the counties where the deceased lived to determine whether the will was registered.
  • Contact a probate attorney for help. These attorneys have access to networks of other probate attorneys in the state, one of whom may have the will you are looking for.
  • We do not keep records on who takes over an attorney’s files when they retire, or provide legal advice of any type.

How Oregon departs from these practices

More Tips from the WSBA

On a related topic, see Do You Keep Original Wills? Best Practices Say No.  We concur!

All rights reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis

 

Multi-tasking is a Myth

Four years ago I was inspired to write Attention Divided: Avoid Multi-Tasking.  multi

In that post, I shared the following:

My name is Beverly and I’m a recovering multi-tasker.  Like others of my ilk, I used to take pride in my juggling skills.  I believed that tackling two or three tasks simultaneously was a sign of efficiency.  Boy, was I wrong!

The truth is we just aren’t wired for multi-tasking.  Research shows that when we attempt to switch our attention back and forth we take 50% longer to finish a task and make up to 50% more errors. In the worst case scenario, multi-tasking can literally cost us our lives or at a minimum, our dignity.

I encouraged lawyers to stop the insanity and suggested 8 specific action steps to resist multi-tasking:

  • Control distractions – like the annoying pop-up: “You’ve Got Mail!” or push notifications on your smartphone or mobile device.  In fact, turn your smartphone OFF occasionally.
  • Give yourself a break from social media and the Internet.
  • Set boundaries for reading and responding to e-mail and texts.
  • Schedule a specific time each day to make and return phone calls.
  • Advise clients of your business practices – office hours, availability by phone, ability to accommodate unscheduled appointments.
  • Embrace “single tasking.”
  • Ditch the guilt.  Much of the reason we feel compelled to multi-task is because we believe it is expected of us.
  • Respect each other’s time whenever possible.  “Do You Have a Minute?” almost always translates into a much longer interruption.

In this month’s issue of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin, I was thrilled to see Elizabeth Ruiz Frost’s article “Mental Shrinkage: The Many Costs of Multitasking.”  I couldn’t agree more with the title and the points made in Frost’s article.  If you haven’t read this month’s issue of the Bulletin, I urge you to do so.  Take a few minutes to read Frost’s article and ask yourself: is this me?  Do I see myself in these scenarios?  If the answer is yes, consider implementing the 8 point plan above.

All Rights Reserved 2015 Beverly Michaelis