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    Archive for June, 2010
    WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION
    Saturday, June 26th, 2010

    ♫ Stand by your belief and have faith in this sound
    You know that you can always turn it around
    Feel the rhythm and its healing remedy
    Listen to the sweet melody
    Feel the rhythm and its healing remedy
    RISE TO THE CHALLENGE! ♫

    Songwriters: Miah Camacho, Aulakh,; Anirudda Das, Sanjav Tailor, Savale Rajput, Steve Chandra; Ahmed, Joh Pandit; recorded by: Asian Dub Foundation.

    Bob Denney

    Bob Denney

    Once again it is time for Bob Denny of Robert Denney Associates, Inc. [bob@robertdenney.com] to report on What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Legal Profession. With Bob’s kind permission, we are reproducing his latest report here:

    In our 2009 year-end report, we said 2010 “will be a year of continued challenge and change.” It is proving to be so although the challenges may be greater than the changes. We cannot cover all the developments in this Update. These are the ones we believe are the most significant – or interesting.

    PRACTICE AREAS

    Hot

    • Health Care. Of course, involving many areas: regulatory, transactional, employment, et all.
    • Bankruptcy. Still. Pre-packaged bankruptcies are raising the temperature even more.
    • Trusts & Estates. The temporary lifting of the “death tax” is raising the temperature here too.
    • Regulatory. In many industries, not just health care, banking and finance.
    • Commercial Litigation. Particularly “bet the company” cases, patents and labor.
    • Employment Law. That’s why major L&E firms are opening new offices.
    • Emerging Companies. It is surprising but the number of former big company executives starting new businesses hit a four-year high in 2009 and continues to increase. (more…)
    Posted in Business Development, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Trends | Permalink | 3 Comments »
    Succession Planning: “The Next Generation”
    Sunday, June 20th, 2010

    ♫ I know his journey ends never.
    His Star Trek will go on forever…♫

    Music by: Alexander Courage, lyrics by: Gene Roddenberry.

    Starship

    Sooner or later, every firm must deal with the issue of succession planning. Given that the ‘boomers’ are all nearing retirement age, this is a looming – and lurking – issue for most firms.

    This issue can arise in several ways. One major way this issue comes to the forefront is the lease for the office is coming up for renewal. At that time the partners who really don’t wish to keep practising for another 5 years refuse to sign onto the lease. This throws the partnership into a crises and most likely leads to the firm going ‘supernova’ – the firm explodes and a group of partners leave (usually the ones with the biggest book of business) and the remaining ones are left to try to pick up the pieces (or most often, simply close the doors and turn off the lights on their way out).

    More subtle ways of this occurring happens as major keystone partners start to leave – one by one – until what is left is a shell of the former firm. This is death by a thousand cuts as the major income earning assets of the firm depart leaving only the liabilities of the old firm in the hands of those remaining. (more…)

    Posted in Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    Is the Justice System Ill?
    Saturday, June 12th, 2010

    ♫ Hold you in his arms yeah, you can feel his disease
    Come together, Right now, Over me..♫

    Lyrics and Music by Lennon & McCartney.

    There is a conference going on in at Duke University School of Law on May 10/11. Judges, lawyers and others are going to be gathering to see if they can ‘fix’ the US federal civil justice system.

    Seems that they see a bit of problem:

    “To prepare for the meeting, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System canvassed chief legal officers and general counsel who are members of the Association of Corporate Counsel from around the country. Fifty-five percent agreed the civil justice system is “too complex,” while 97 percent agreed that it is “too expensive.” In addition, 80 percent disagreed with the statement: “Outcomes are driven more by the merits of the case than by litigation costs.”

    This sounds eerily familiar, considering our new BC Supreme Court Rules coming into effect on July 1. One can ask: If the same symptoms are felt in different jurisdictions, perhaps all of the jurisdictions are feeling the same disease? (more…)

    Posted in Law Firm Strategy | Permalink | No Comments »