Law Practice

Florida Court Conducts Jury Selection Over Zoom

Florida Court Conducts Jury Selection Over Zoom

With the pandemic continuing to rage in the late summer of 2020, courts continue to adapt all over the United States. Florida’s courts have been operating under emergency guidelines since a March 13, 2020, order suspended jury trials and implemented other actions to restrict potential virus spreading activities in Florida state courts. Some jury trials have resumed in parts of Florida using remote teleconferencing technology for all or part of the proceedings. As a way to assist in planning how to safely resume jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County, Florida, recently conducted a jury trial...

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NY Law Professors & Deans Support Diploma Privilege

NY Law Professors & Deans Support Diploma Privilege

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major dilemma for the Supreme Courts and State Bars of almost every American jurisdiction, as well, more importantly, tens of thousands of recent law school graduates. The quarantine has caused the cancellation of the traditional summer July bar exam. Although most jurisdictions have rescheduled their bar exams and made provisions to administer them online, many legal scholars, professors, lawyers, and judges have spoken out for licensing these recent graduates based on diploma privilege. Professors in New York have called for states to extend licensure based on diploma privilege. The 15 deans of law schools located...

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Location And Legal Office-Space Options: Sharing Space

Location And Legal Office-Space Options: Sharing Space

For attorneys, there are a variety of good reasons to share office space with their peers. Not only are there obvious economic benefits such as sharing rent, staff, office equipment, and other expenses, but there are valuable opportunities for client referrals, relationship-building, and mentorship. In this scenario, attorneys share just about everything - furnishings, equipment, personnel, supplies, and resource materials. Generally, in an office-sharing arrangement, the practitioner subleases with other practitioners, sharing common areas such as a lobby, kitchen, conference room, and any other shared section of the office. The responsibility of managing the space is shared, thus providing the flexibility...

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New Lawyers Must Invest In Their Mental Health

New Lawyers Must Invest In Their Mental Health

Lawyers are typically perceived as successful members of society who are smart, strong, and resilient. This perception of success is often based on the notion that they (supposedly) earn a lot of money. Despite what many members of the public may think, many lawyers secretly struggle with various mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, and addiction. Young lawyers must invest in their mental health and develop habits and routines that allow them to consistently deal with and release stress effectively. More concerning is the fact that many lawyers face these various mental health issues regularly and often fail to find help because they...

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Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Attorneys file a vast number of motions over their careers. Motion practice is the most common courtroom experience in a legal services practice. The submission of a motion pre- or post-trial enables a party to approach a court directly and request it to perform some specific action, such as a ruling on a legal issue. Motions may be filed at any stage of a criminal, civil, or even an administrative proceeding, and they may request almost anything. At its most basic, a motion is a request for an order. Whether an extensive, detailed, voluminous motion for summary judgment or a paragraph-long...

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Writing An Engagement Agreement: Contingent Fees

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Attorneys must meet all statutory requirements and rules of ethics when drafting attorney-client fee agreements. if an attorney fails to comply with any provision of the California statutes applicable to such agreements, the fee agreement becomes voidable at the client’s option and the attorney is only entitled to a reasonable fee. A fee agreement, including all attachments, is confidential and legally privileged. Typically, attorneys provide those legal services reasonably required to represent clients. They should take reasonable steps to keep clients informed of the progress of their matters, and to reasonably respond to their inquiries. If any court action is filed,...

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Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Attorney-client engagement agreements, the contract describing and governing the relationship whereby an attorney provides legal services to a client, should always be in writing. Attorneys in California are encouraged to draft their own agreements or modify existing samples provided their iterations do not conflict with California Business and Professions Code §§ 6146 et seq. or the Rules of Professional Conduct. Per the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, MR 1.5(b). fee arrangements should be communicated in writing unless the attorney regularly represents the particular client. The exception is court-appointed cases, where court rules and statutes will define the scope of the attorney’s...

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How To Write A Contract – The Essentials

How To Write A Contract – The Essentials

A 1L’s first contracts class is often an intimidating experience, if not just because the 1L saw “The Paper Chase” a few weeks or months before starting law school. Once we get over the initial realization that our Contracts professor is not as heavy-handed as Professor Kingsfield but just as competent, we wrestle with what a contract is and what a contract is not. At some point, we wonder how these documents, often voluminous with endless provisions of legalese, even get drafted in the first place by mere humans. To be candid, many lawyers never write a contract technically from scratch...

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Location And Legal Office-Space Options: Conventional Space

Location And Legal Office-Space Options: Conventional Space

Location, location, location! Location is everything when it comes to real estate. Location is everything especially when it comes to commercial real estate, and this includes law offices. Lawyers have many options when becoming sole practitioners and opening a new office. Each space and location provide amenities and conveniences both with associated advantages and disadvantages. Lawyers starting a new practice must be sure to examine the written lease for each space option and understand clearly what they are receiving and what they are not receiving. It is always a good idea for new practitioners to compare various leases to ensure they...

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Identifying Your Client Base

Identifying Your Client Base

Not every lawyer can be all things to all people. An important component of an attorney’s success is not necessarily having as many clients as possible but finding and attracting the right clients. This not so simple task begins with a lawyer identifying the ideal client base for the firm. Is it even possible that a lawyer has an “ideal client” base? To start, some evaluation should be undertaken to determine this. Ask the following questions: What makes someone part of this client base? What does your ideal client do for a living? Where are potential clients located? How do they...

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