Articles Posted in Managing Your Practice

This is one of the best articles I have read in a long time, coming from a man who I have cited often but never met:  Max Kennerly.

A short sample:

At these pre-trial events [hearings, pretrial conferences, etc.], the only thing stopping a lawyer from looking the judge in the eye and telling him or her an outright lie is that oath the lawyer made to the government years ago.

The Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure have been amended to permit pleadings, motions, discovrey and briefs to be served via email.  Here is the new rule:

Here is the text of Rule 5.02(2):

(a)  Service upon any attorney may also be made by sending him or her the document in Adobe PDF format to the attorney’s email address, which shall be promptly furnished on request. The sender shall include language in the subject line designed to alert the recipient that a document is being served under this rule. On the date that a document served under this rule is electronically sent to an attorney, the sender shall send by mail, facsimile or hand-delivery a certificate that advises that a document has been transmitted electronically. The certificate shall state the caption of the action; the trial court file number; the title of the transmitted document; the number of pages of the transmitted document (including all exhibits thereto); the sender’s name, address, telephone number and electronic mail address; the electronic mail address of each recipient; and the date and time of the transmission. The certificate shall also include words to this effect: "If you did not receive this document, please contact the sender immediately to receive an electronic or physical copy of this document." The certificate shall be sent to all counsel of record.

More and more of the communications between lawyers are conducted by email.  For the most part, I approve of the change and, indeed, I proposed and served as the principle author of the new rule of civil procedure that allows for the service of papers in state court via email. T.R.C.P. Rule 5.02(2).  I rarely see the need for letters between lawyers anymore, and use letters only to communicate on very substantial matters (settlement demands, inadequate discovery response letters, policy limit demands, etc.).  Even then I tend to have the letter attached to an email for immediate delivery.

That being said, communicating by email presents a host of problems.  Therefore, I was happy to see this post by Rita Gunther Mcgrath that offered up "Rita’s Rules for Email."   Here they are (in bold), with my comments and additions:


1.  Meaningful subject lines that tell the reader what to expect.  Don’t say “Thursday’s meeting” as your subject.  Say “followup expected by client from Thursday’s meeting.”   (My case management program inserts the case name in the subject line.  To help find the emails later in my CMP, I put the subject of the email in the first line of the email and start the text two lines below it.  Given the layout of my CMP email screen, I can see the first twenty or thirty letters of each email and enhance my ability to find the email when I need it.)

The Garretson Firm Resolution Group has issued this report on the status of reporting personal injury and wrongful death claims and the need for the utilization of medical set asides.

The bottom line:  starting October 1, 2010 insurers will be required to gather certain information about claimants asserting personal injury and wrongful death claims and share that information with Medicare.  More importantly, there is no rule going into effect that requires parties who settle liability claims to calculate a “set aside” amount that the injured claimant must spend on injury-related care before Medicare picks up the tab again.  

Here is the Garretson Firm’s recommendations for claimant’s counsel:

Ok, so this post  is not about tort law.  But it is information that tort lawyers (or their assistants) can use.

Sometimes it is handy to create a demand letter or another document and use hyperlinks to allow the reader to quickly and easily view other documents that will be of assistance to the reader.  

This blog post from Acrobat for Legal Professionals explains how to do it.

Stark & Stark’s Pennsylvania Law Monitor has a nice post about the impact of Facebook on personal injury litigation.  

An excerpt:

The Internet and social networking sites have changed the face of litigation in this country. However, there are some precautions that you can take to protect yourself, short of boycotting the Internet all together. First, be careful in reviewing the photos and posts on your social networking site. Remove anything that you would not want an insurance company lawyer to see that could help them defend against your case. Next, check your privacy settings which enable you to block certain people from seeing you on a particular site (Facebook allows this). It is also helpful to search your name in the search field and see what comes up to make sure it is acceptable (it is advisable to do this on Google and YouTube as well). Finally never accept friend requests or respond to emails from people you do not know.

Brian Tannebaum is a Florida lawyer who handles bar grievance cases and shares information on the subject in his blog, My Law License.   He has been kind enough to share an e-book with us called  "I Got A Bar Complaint" that is both informative and entertaining.   The book discusses the Florida grievance process, but includes tips that will benefit lawyers around the country.