Hamptons Legal – The Daily Detail

News, Service & Small Practice Management

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Who’s Really a Lawyer & Where

Posted by pbsweeney on May 18, 2007

About 40 states maintain online databases regarding attorney bar status, primarily for consumers who want to find out if an individual they are dealing with is really a lawyer.  But often times, as attorneys, it’s worth a look to see if your opposing counsel is really licensed to practice in a particular court venue. Is He Really a Lawyer is a simple page consolidating links to all the 40 state databases currently available, and it is consistently updated. (While you are there, check that your own status and info is correct!) It saves a great deal of hunting.

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Posted in Business, Ethics, internet, Law, Practice Management, Research, work | Leave a Comment »

Ah, the hilarities…

Posted by pbsweeney on May 16, 2007

“When Ravalli County, Montana, fined itself $350 because one of its truck drivers committed a loading violation, it paid the local lawyers hired to prosecute AND defend the county, $1,175.00.”

from Lawyers & Other Reptiles by Jess M. Brallier

Posted in Business, Ethics, Humor, Law, Law Lit, Life | Leave a Comment »

Estate Planning Strategies – Crisis Pending

Posted by pbsweeney on May 9, 2007

At HamptonsLegal we had read in Forbes & various journals, of a trend toward patenting tax loop holes, but we did not realize the extent to which the patent office has apparently been extending its reach in this area. We’d love to hear from our readers about any litigation pending or thoughts on this trend.

“Imagine, before sitting down with your client to advise her about her legal options, having to consult the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site to determine whether someone else already owns the patent to the course of action you want to suggest.

If that’s the case, you’ll have to pay the patent holder so your client can take your advice. But the patent holder also might refuse to sell you the license, limiting your client’s legal options. Then what? Welcome to Dennis Belcher’s world.

In 2004, Belcher—a trust and estate attorney in Richmond, Va., with three decades of experience—learned that patents had been issued on certain estate planning strategies for minimizing taxes. At first, he says, “I thought it was absurd that someone could patent an estate planning strategy.” But now, “I realize how dangerous this matter is, and I follow the topic for professional protection and to keep my clients out of a patent lawsuit.”

For good reason. Since issuing its first patent for a tax strategy in 2003, the Patent and Trademark Office has issued at least 52 patents covering specific tax strategies. Another 84 published applications for tax strategy patents are pending.”

To read this article in its entirety from the ABA Journal, click here….

Posted in Business, Ethics, Law, Practice Management | Leave a Comment »

Educating the New Litigation Client

Posted by pbsweeney on May 2, 2007

Often, one of the most challenging jobs of any attorney is to educate a new litigation client in being a client of a law firm. Many clients appear for the first time as the result of crisis situation for which they need assistance, and in many cases are hiring an attorney for the first time in their lives. Clients come in completely unaware of the extent of their roll in their own matter, how fees work, how a case is managed, and what are reasonable expectations. Clarity on these issues is very important not only to overall success, but also as it relates to retaining that client for the future.

Spending time on these issues during an initial consultation and during regular follow up thereafter, promotes a sense of partnership for the road ahead. The better your fundamental work here, the easier it will be to create movement in the case through client cooperation, and the happier your client will be even if the inevitable outcome is not in their favor.

The first thing a client needs during an initial consultation once rapport and confidence have been established, is fee sensitizing, as we like to call it. Litigation is expensive in a way that many clients cannot seem to fathom. It makes no sense to them that a 25K rip off will likely cost them the same amount of money to recover, and is simply not worth it. There is little understanding that 50K is a starting point for serious work, so that often even an exaggeration on the costs is a better approach than talking minimal numbers. If this realistic communication about fees is not adequately established, there’s really no point in taking this client on. You’ll only end up spending valuable billable time sorting it out later, or lose the client in the long term, neither of which helps to grow a practice.

Posted in Business, Law, Practice Management, work | Leave a Comment »

$11,000 an Hour? I’m Worth It

Posted by pbsweeney on April 12, 2007

“Willie Gary, a Florida attorney whose personal Boeing 737 has an 18-carat gold bathroom sink, claims Motorola owes him at least $11,000 an hour for work on a lawsuit against the company.

But he’s pushing for more — twice as much — because Motorola violated a court order in defending the suit. And today a Fort Lauderdale judge will decide whether he gets his wish. ”

Gary petitioned Circuit Judge Leroy Moe to approve the fees that will total some 24.3 million dollars. To read the Bloomberg story in full, click here. We’ll keep you posted on this one!  And the next time a client complains about the bill, we can say, “Just be glad you didn’t hire Willie Gary.”

Posted in Business, Ethics, Law, News | Leave a Comment »

H2-B Visa Cap Reached for 2nd Half 2007

Posted by pbsweeney on March 27, 2007

USCIS announced on March 23 that the H2-B visa cap for the second half of 2007 has been reached. If your petition is dated after March 16, 2007, you are out of luck. To read the full press release, click here.

Posted in Business, Federal Spotlight, Immigration, Law, Practice Management | Leave a Comment »

Ease End Networking Luncheon

Posted by pbsweeney on February 19, 2007

SAVE THE DATE:
MARCH 7TH, 2007 at 12:30 p.m.

STONEWALLS RESTAURANT
(AT THE CHERRY CREEK GOLF COURSE)
967 REEVES AVENUE, RIVERHEAD, NEW YORK 11901
631-506-0777

Cost: $26.00 Per Person
Includes Soup or Salad, Entrée and Dessert, Coffee or Tea and Tax and Gratuity

RSVP by March 2, 2007
Jennifer Maloney (631) 208-1063
jmaloney@tellusabstract.com

Posted in Business, Local Cases of Interest, Suffolk Courts | Leave a Comment »

AOL Fraud Trial Finale

Posted by pbsweeney on January 31, 2007

The vastly under-reported AOL fraud trial in federal court is finally drawing to an end, with closing arguments begining yesterday, and arguments for the defendants set for today.

As the dot-com economy collapsed in 2001, executives at America Online allegedly conspired with a now-defunct technology firm in Las Vegas to inflate revenue, using secret side deals and backdated contracts to deceive investors, prosecutors said.

The government made its closing argument Tuesday at the trial of two midlevel AOL executives and a senior officer at Las Vegas-based PurchasePro. The trial has stretched more than three months, one of the longest trials in the history of the federal courthouse in Alexandria, known as the “rocket docket” for its dispatch in handling cases. For a great trial notebook 101 story filed by Matthe Barakat, click here… A fascinating tale of the mind boggling mechanics of corporate fraud.

Posted in blogging, Business, Ethics, Federal Spotlight, internet, Law, News | 1 Comment »

More Time to Win

Posted by pbsweeney on January 19, 2007

And the answer is yes, to those of you who wrote asking if we could extend the deadline for entering to win a $20.00 Starbucks gift coupon for the best tip of the new year to improve your practice operations. We’re extending to January 30th, so share the wisdom! Have a nice latte or lunch on us and everyone is happy.

Posted in Business, Law, Life, Practice Management, work | Leave a Comment »

Best New Year Tip Contest – Win a $20.00 Starbucks Gift Certificate

Posted by pbsweeney on January 8, 2007

Some of us relish the turning of the year; the end of holiday and associated obligations and the end of “wait till after the holidays” laments and delays. Some of us dread returning to the problems that are still sitting around from last year.

So what’s the best way to start the year off? Take a running jump into the work and let everything sort itself out? What about a little review and revise? With the end of the old year fresh in our minds, why don’t we address some of our old or chronic complaints and see if this year might find us in a different place when the year runs out again.

Hamptons Legal says, what’s your best tip on starting off the work year fresh? What have you instituted in your practice that has solved a chronic problem or annoyance? Or what are you trying right now to make the year better? Win a $20.00 Starbucks gift certificate for sharing your tip with the rest of us! Post your tip in the comment section and Hamptons Legal Staff will select one winner to receive a $20.00 Starbucks gift certificate and three winners who will receive a $5.00 certificate for honorable mention. Be sure to provide an email address so we can get the prize to you! Contest closes January 18th, so enter now folks.

Posted in blogging, Business, Humor, Immigration, internet, Law, Life, News, Politics, Practice Management, Real Estate, Research, work | 3 Comments »

Florida Pornament Debate

Posted by pbsweeney on December 20, 2006

“The selling of sexually explicit tree ornaments called “Pornaments” at a chain of novelty stores across Florida has led a Miami lawyer to ask stores to stop sales, or else face legal action. The nine ornaments — spoofs portraying Mr. and Mrs. North Pole, reindeer and Frosty the Snowman in sexually risque positions — are selling for nine dollars and are on display on public shelves.” More…

Meanwhile, of course, the ornaments are almost sold out. I guess ecstatic snowpeople and reindeer strike some people as just silly and funny, rather than dangerous.

Posted in Business, Humor, Law, News | Leave a Comment »

forms.gov

Posted by pbsweeney on December 18, 2006

Forms.gov, where have you been all my life? Wading through US government agency websites to find a specific form has been one of my personal pet peeves, as the design and usability is often perplexing, to be polite about it. Enter forms.gov, which is a sweet portal that allows one to enter any US government form number or a logical keyword or two, and generate a search that spans the vast reservoir of extent federal forms. There are options to search by category, agency or most frequently requested. The results are very clear and simple in thier presentation with a nice clean look. A welcome change from the results one is used to wading through on, say, the IRS website. Forms.gov, my only regret is that it’s taken us this long to meet!

Posted in Business, Law, Practice Management, Research | Leave a Comment »

New Google Patent Search

Posted by pbsweeney on December 16, 2006

The recent slaying in Chicago last week of a patent attorney and 2 colleagues by a client who thought his idea was being stolen, only makes the beta premier of Google’s new patent search engine even more welcome. Now instead of trying to mastermind a patent search on the US goverment site, (good luck with that), regular folks can find some clue as to whether their idea is a winner by using the new Google Patent Search. It won’t replace an attorney’s work, but so far there are 7 million patents online and counting. Hamptons Legal sees one of the big benefits to attorneys will perhaps be the reduction of clients who walk into their offices with unrealistic expectations for an idea and have taken their passion around the bend of normal. Maybe some of this will be nipped in the bud with a simple search in a very accessible data base.

Posted in Business, Law, News, Practice Management, Research | Leave a Comment »

H-2B Visa Cap Update

Posted by pbsweeney on December 8, 2006

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced yesterday that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated 33,000 H-2B visa cap for the first six months of Fiscal Year 2007. According to the USCIS, petitions for H-2B workers who enter after April 1, 2007, will continue to be processed, until a “final receipt date” is announced. To read the USCIS announcement in its entirety, click here.
Companies who need to bring workers in before April are out of luck unless they are returning workers. It’s extremely important to motivate clients to start early and use premium processing!

Posted in Business, Federal Spotlight, Immigration, Law, Practice Management | Leave a Comment »

New Federal Electronic Discovery Rules

Posted by pbsweeney on December 1, 2006

Major revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure take effect today, Dec. 1, 2006, including rules regarding discovery of electronically stored information. Highlights include early notice of potential electronic discovery, protection of the parties from undue burden of associated costs of EDD, privilege and work product protection, authorization of subpoenas to include electronically stored information and more. To read the full revised rules click here…

The impact for businesses also is clear regarding storage of electronically produced information. Purging of company emails on a routine basis or those companies who use a tape back up system in which tapes are written over periodically, will be committing in effect, virtual shredding. A big no-no.

Posted in Business, Federal Spotlight, Law, News, Practice Management | Leave a Comment »