My Shingle

February 2005

What NOT to Put In A Retainer Agreement

February 28, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

As we at MyShingle have said many times, a retainer agreement is one of the most important tools that we lawyers have to protect ourselves from unscrupulous or troublesome clients.  It should be obvious though that lawyers can’t use the retainer agreement to protect themselves by cutting off their clients’ rights to file a grievance.  […]

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Fabulous Resource from the Texas YLA

February 28, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Kudos to the Texas Young Lawyers Association for this innovative project,, an online library of video presentations on topics like substantive law (mostly Texas, but some, like the talk on Ten Tips for Federal Court, can apply more broadly), ethics, building a firm and personal development.  Here’s the Press Release (2/28/05) that further describes […]

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Supreme Solos

February 28, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

October marks the Supreme Court’s return to the bench after summer recess.  But for the past four years, it’s also marked the Supreme Court group admission of roughly thirty solo attorney from all over the country and members of the ABA’s Solosez listserve.  The group event was devised by Maryland solo, Terry Berger who continues […]

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What’s Worse – A Lying Lawyer or A Stupid, Greedy One?

February 26, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

In this bizarre story, Attorney Punished for False Promises, Adam Kovac, Daily Herald (2/26/05) concerning a disciplinary action brought against attorney Cynthia Sutherin who duped her co-workers into joining what turned out to be a fictitious law firm, I couldn’t help wondering whether the wrong attorney had been charged.  After all, if  Sutherin’s conduct, i.e., […]

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Elder Law – A Niche Practice

February 26, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Matt Homann at The Nonbillable Hour had this recent post about the potentially emerging field of Retirement Services (which might range from errand running services for older people, consulting on new career opportunities and fund management and legal services) to address the needs of the country’s older population.  Along those lines, here’s an article, Elder […]

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Tips for Leaving Solo Practice

February 26, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

There’s plenty written – both at MyShingle and elsewhere – about the right way to start a law practice.  But there’s also a right way to close one down when a solo decides to move on to another position.  The attorney described in this article, State details misconduct charges, Rick Hepp, Star Ledger (2/23/2005) took […]

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Change of Pace

February 25, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Hey readers, I’m dispatching this post from a computer at the Washington College of Law Library of American University in Washington D.C.  I’m posting from here just to show that I can but also to make this point.  For solo and small firm lawyers, the law library can serve as an antidote to the isolation […]

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Dennis Kennedy Sees Prospects for Small Firm and Solo Lawyers Better Than Ever

February 23, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

With so many large firms starting to jump on the blog bandwagon, I often feel discouraged about the prospects for solo and small firm lawyers’ ability to keep up.  After all, though we may be experts in our practice area and have knowlege to share, we simply don’t have the associate manpower of a larger […]

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Small Firm Does Pro Bono

February 23, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Bob Ambrogi reports here on the pro bono work of a two attorney firm, Moran and Gottlieb and links to this story about the firm in the Poughkeepsie Journal.  Subsidizing their pro bono work with revenues from paying clients, Moran and Gottlieb maintain a free telephone hotline to field questions from anyone who cares to […]

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Online Litigation Tips

February 23, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Via Jim Calloway comes a link to  Dave Swanner’s guest post at Legal Underground entitled “Twelve Ways Technology Can Make You A Better Trial Lawyer.”  There’s some great advice here for both new and seasoned attorneys who have full time litigation practices or just dabble in trial work from time to time.

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