March Issue of In Brief Now Available

The March issue of In Brief is now available on the Professional Liability Fund Web site.  Articles include:

Multnomah County New and Improved Civil Case Management Process
Multnomah County Circuit Court new civil case management rules became effective February 1, 2012, for cases filed after that date.  The new rules and procedures were proposed by the court’s Civil Case Management Committee to (1) improve access to justice using civil jury trials; (2) streamline court operations and reduce the amount of time court staff spend processing civil cases; and (3) generate more predictable trial dates…

Reporting Responsibilities Under Medicare
In the ever-changing field of enactment and interpretation of Medicare statutes, the following is a very brief synopsis of the responsibilities tasked to attorneys and insurers by the Medicare Secondary payer Act (MSPA) and the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA)…

“America Invents Act” Changes Face of Patent Law
On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (Act), which has been called the largest patent reform measure since the 1952 Patent Act and effects sweeping changes in how patents are prosecuted and enforced…

The Key to Business Planning: Put It in Writing
Many attorneys are not convinced that having a written business plan would help their practice.  Some respond that their work plans itself.  Many say that they do some kind of planning either daily, weekly, or monthly; they just don’t put the plan in writing…

Proposed Changes to the UTCR
The Uniform Trial Court Rules (UTCR) committee met on October 14, 2011, to review proposals to amend the UTCR…

Using Voice-Mail in the Office
If used properly, voice-mail can be a very effective way to communicate with clients.  To avoid telephone tag, make sure your greeting covers all the bases…

Check Scams Become Even More Sophisticated and Generally Have No PLF Coverage
Over the last few years, many lawyers have fallen victim to various financial scams.  These scams generally involve the lawyer being given a check for a large amount of money, often without having to do a lot of legal work … If you fall for a scam of this nature, beware that it is most likely not covered by your PLF plan…

Tips, Traps, and Resources
Addresses tips, traps, and resources relating to construction law, domestic relations, tax law, state court closures, clarification of filing fees, 2011 Oregon ethics opinions, and Best of PMA 2011 blogs.

Cases of Note
Reporting on holdings affecting civil procedure, attorney fees, consumer law, real property/foreclosure, torts/statute of limitations, and insurance law.

To Catch a Voicemail Thief

How many ways can a thief steal from you or your law firm? A break-in is probably the most obvious.  Lifting a briefcase or laptop comes to mind, as does hijacking an IP address or hacking into your computer system.  But what about your phone system?  How could a thief exploit voicemail?  Turns out, it’s pretty easy. 

If you never changed the default password for your system or use simplistic passwords (1234 or the like), you may find yourself owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in phone charges. 

Deborah E. Gillis of the Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia brought this fraud to my attention.  Firms in Ontario and Nova Scotia have been targeted.  Read Deborah’s article here.  Learn more about security at the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center and how to create strong passwords to protect ALL your valuable systems.

Copyright 2010 Beverly Michaelis