LMA Launches Interactive Web Site to plan 2010 Conference

The Legal Marketing Association has launched an interactive web site where members can comment and make suggestions for next year's annual conference on March 10-12 in Denver.

Marketers can join a LinkedIn Group to discuss the conference.  More than 200 people have joined and discussions are already underway regarding keynote speakers and how vendors can help. There also a Twitter page with 56 followers where people can comment, if you only have 140 characters to say.

I myself have rejoined LMA, where I was absent for too long.  My hope is to get back into circulation and meet the new young generation of marketers. Join us, and help make the conference the best it can be.

LMA Annual Meeting March 2010 Denver




Now Available: White Paper on Thinking Like a Rainmaker

Most attorneys misunderstand how to network, when to join an association and how to become a rainmaker. They think rainmakers are not born. But in fact, they are trained. Furthermore, rainmakers are not just those charismatic lawyers with thousands of contacts. They are lawyers with targeted contacts and a network of strategic business alliances.

That's why I've released the white paper, "Thinking Like a Rainmaker - Crafting Your Personal Marketing Plan." This study takes you through a systematic, professional and proven approach to creating a personal marketing plan – just as rainmakers do. The Store manager decided to offer a temporary price reduction! Get $10 off the regular purchase price of $75.

Michael Cummings, business development expertMarketing expert Michael G. Cummings and I, both founders of Apollo Business Development, cover how you can leverage your existing professional skills to build a personal sales force of clients, understand the client’s business pain and co-market your way to landing new clients and additional work.

Purchasers will receive this white paper in PDF format via email.

Specific topics we cover:

  • Eight steps for marketing like a rainmaker.
  • How to turn your clients into your personal sales force.
  • How to create intense business partnerships inside and outside your firm
  • How to recycle your marketing efforts to save time and double impact.
  • How to get referrals and clients by joining just one business group this year.
  • How to improve your professional reputation.
  • How to take control of your career and your destiny.
  • How to succeed in a difficult economy.

Would you spend $65 so that you could learn how to take home an additional $100,000?  Put your success under your own control. Don't put it off -- purchase your copy today.


Economic Indicators are Positive for Legal Profession

New research shows that 3% growth is on the way for law firms, layoffs are dwindling and the Index of Leading Indicators finds that the recession appears to be nearing an end. 

UPDATE: Housing prices increase. Houses have finally become cheap enough to lure buyers. That, in turn, is stabilizing prices, generating hope that the real estate market is beginning to recover. For the first time since early 2007, a composite index of 20 major cities was virtually flat, instead of down. “We’ve found the bottom,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic, a data firm.

The release of the surprisingly strong Case-Shiller Price Index, compiled by Standard & Poor’s, followed earlier reports that sales of existing homes rose last month for the third consecutive time, while sales of new homes rose in June by the largest percentage in eight years.

An industry forecast by First Research Inc. shows that growth in the legal sector stabilizes in 2009 and turns into 3% growth in 2010. Legal Services Growth, law firm marketing





Layoffs slowing down

The torrent of law firm layoffs has slowed down according to Lawshucks.com.  As of July 17, 2009 -- 11,265 people working in law firms have been laid off in 2009 (4,220 lawyers and 7,045 staff).  

Layoffs ramped up in January, February, and March, and then plummeted in the second quarter. The pace slowed (relatively speaking) in April and May, with more than 1,000 people laid off in each month. In June, layoffs slowed even further, likely the result of the arrival of summer associates and the run-up in the stock markets.

Recession’s end is near

Finally, the July 25, 2009 New York Times stated, “The American recession appears to be nearing an end.”

The index of leading indicators, which signals turning points in the economy, is rising at a rate that has accurately indicated the end of every recession since the index began to be compiled in 1959.

For the full story, visit the LawMarketing Portal.

Word Of Mouth is a Much Stronger Influencer Than Social Networking

Stephanie Molnar, WordPlace MediaStephanie Molnar, CEO of WorkPlace Media, says "When it comes to influencing brand perception and purchase decisions... social networking... has a long way to go."

A recent Harris poll also supported this assertion, says the report, showing that word of mouth is a much stronger influencer than social networking. When a group of adults were asked about their information-gathering process for the most recent purchase they made,

  • 21% of Harris poll respondents cited "face-to-face with a person not associated with the company, such as a family member, business colleague or friend."
  • 12% cited a phone call with someone similar
  • 4% mentioned using "public online social-networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace"
  • 4% mentioned "private social networking sites, such as customer communities"

According to additional findings from the WorkPlace Media survey, Facebook was the clear winner in terms of users:

  • 89% of respondents reported having a Facebook account
  • 40% MySpace
  • 31% LinkedIn
  • 18% Twitter


A study, recently released by WorkPlace Media, outlines some of the hurdles facing major brands as they attempt to harness the worlds of Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, to create an impact with consumers.The study, which polled office Internet users, found that 55% maintained at least one social networking account. However, of those respondents, only 43% reported accessing their social networking accounts at work, and even for those with access, 78% reported spending less than 30 minutes per day on their site(s).

Time Spent on Social Networking Sites at Work (% of Respondents)

Time Spent

% of Respondents

Less than 30 minutes


30 minutes


1 hour


Open all day


Source: WorkPlaceMedia, May 2009

The overall impact of a brand's presence on social networking sites was shown to be minimal in terms of impact and perception. 96% of respondents said their opinion of a product brand did not change if that brand had no presence on a social networking site, and only 11% of social networking users reported following any major brand through a social networking site, and just 12% of respondents said their opinion of a brand changes if that brand maintains a social networking presence.

Social Networking Impact on Brand Perception (% of Respondents)




Follow a brand's social network account



Opinion changes if brand has no presence on social media site



Opinion changes if brand has significant presence on social media site



Source: WorkPlaceMedia, May 2009


Readers of this Blog Get $200 Discount on CMO Forum

Law Firm chief Marketing Officers ForumReaders of the LawMarketing Blog are entitled to a $200 discount when they register for the CMO Forum coming up on September 15-19 in Chicago at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel. 

Just Use Promo Code LMN and Save $200 when you register online.

Law Firm CMO Conference Overview

Come learn how to get ahead of the curve in the economic recession and stay to network with your peers. Once again, you will have the opportunity to hear the front page news from Chief Marketing Officers and Marketing Directors. Come discuss the real life issues that are facing Chief Marketing Officers and Marketing Directors today. This conference is geared towards addressing the concerns of small, medium and large size law firms particularly in this economic downturn.

Topics to be covered will include:

  • What to make of all the new technology tools – from Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, texting, websites – what’s an overwhelmed marketer to focus on? What is everyone else doing – 59% of lawyers have a profile on an online social network, and at least 500 lawyers are twittering.
  • Don’t be a victim of the recession! Make your 2009 resolutions to be one of the firms standing tall after it’s over.
    Please visit "10 Money-making Business Development Resolutions for the New Year" to learn more.
  • Integrating marketing (advertising, public relations, firm brochure, directory listings, website) with business development (responding to RFPs, preparing lawyer teams going out on a pitch, identifying strategic targets and client visit programs).
  • Guarding the firm’s Crown Jewels – Strengthening and expanding relationships with your most important clients.
  • The marketer as firefighter: How to keep a strategic focus when there are dozens of small fires to put out.
  • How to create a proposal center and increase your firm’s “win rate” on RFPs
  • Finding the Holy Grail of marketing: Effective cross-selling.
  • How to target and crack a large new account.
  • How to motivate and activate your lawyers to do business development.
  • Listening your way to new business - It’s time to STOP pitching and START asking questions.
  • Persuasive tactics to get the budget you deserve.
  • How NOT to structure the marketing/business development staff – and examples of successful org charts.
Who Should Attend?

  • Chief Marketing Officers
  • Marketing Directors
  • Executive Directors
  • Business Development Officers
  • Partners in Charge of Marketing
  • Members of the Executive Team faced with crucial marketing and business decisions

I'll see you there!incisive mediaAmerican Lawyer


C O - C H A I R S

Larry Bodine, Esq.
Apollo Business Development

Katherine Miletich
Marketing Director, Chicago
Sidley Austin LLP


For additional information, please contact:

Rachel Lewyn
For sponsorship information, please contact:

Rob Hafiz
For marketing information, please contact:

Cheryl Kahan-Radhuber







Study: Facebook use cuts productivity at work

Survey finds 77% of Facebookers use the social networking site while on the job

Only a few months after one study found that Facebook users tend to get lower grades in college, another study has found that the social networking site might not be earning good grades in the workplace as well.

Companies that allow users to access Facebook in the workplace lose an average of 1.5% in total employee productivity, according to a new report from Nucleus Research, an IT research company. The survey of 237 employees also showed that 77% of workers who have a Facebook account use it during work hours.

And "some" employees use the social networking site as much as two hours a day at work, the study found. Nucleus Research did not say how many workers fit into that category, but did note that one in 33 workers surveyed only used Facebook at work.

Of those using Facebook at work, 87% said they had no clear business reason for using the site.

For the rest of the story visit Computerworld.


Law Firms Spend Less on Branding, More on Business Development

Leigh GeorgeAccording to branding expert Leigh George, legal marketers are talking about spending less money on traditional brand awareness marketing and investing more time and money into business development and attorney coaching.

"Once the work stopped falling into their laps, a realization set in: attorneys don’t know how to market. They need to be taught business development skills – and fast – in order to hold on to existing clients and meet prospects. But something more is going on beyond the commitment to generating new business. What we’re seeing is not simply a change of focus from traditional brand awareness marketing to business development, but a rise in an entirely new kind of branding for law firms," she writes on the LawMarketing Portal.

  • Cummins & White, LLP, a 16-attorney firm with two offices in California, has devoted itself to client outreach activities. It has increased spending allowances for meetings with clients and referral sources and opened those up to any attorney who is interested in business development.
  • Bingham McHale, a 140-attorney firm based in Indianapolis, doubled its coaching budget.
  • Green & Seifter Attorneys, PLLC, a 30-lawyer firm in Syracuse, New York, has shifted dollars away from print advertising and reallocated those funds to a business development consultant who works with a handful of attorneys one-on-one and with another ten in monthly group meetings. Not only is the program a success, having already paid for itself in new business, but it’s paying dividends. Kathleen Ryan, director of marketing and public relations at the firm, has seen “an increase in confidence and in traditional business development techniques like articles, referral development, [and] speaking engagements.”

For the full story, visit the LawMarketing Portal at http://bit.ly/5NzX1.


Which Industries to Target Now in Law Firm Marketing

There are 16 industries that law firms should target in the current recession -- and most of them are in health care and education. These are the industries that have been hiring employees from December 2007 through June 2009, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Companies in these industries are, in my opinion, likely to have legal work and have the fund to pay for lawyers.

The growing sectors include: home health care services, oil and gas extraction; federal, state and local government; ambulatory health care services, offices of physicians, education services, health care, outpatient care centers, coal mining, hospitals, computer systems design, management and technical consulting, nursing care facilities.

Growing Industries, law firm business development

Industries that are shrinking and thus may not make good targets contain no surprises: auto, construction, furniture, home furnishings, manufacturing, architecture, finance and insurance, retail and guess what: the legal profession.

Shrinking industries, law firm business development


Major Bank Insists on E-Billing, Innovative Pricing and Diversity

In addition to pushing firms to be more flexible and competitive on fee arrangements, the Barclays Bank has rolled out an e-billing system across all 11 of its panels, and asked all of its newly-appointed panel firms to sign up to a range of diversity initiatives, according to an article in Legal Week.

The bank has more than 1,700 branches in the UK and some 2,000 more in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the US. General counsel Mark Harding confirmed that he has asked all of the firms on its main panel, as well as those on its 10 specialist panels, to confirm to the bank their diversity and inclusion policies, including details of how they measure and manage diversity.

The move expands on Harding's policy, introduced in 2006, to ask main advisers Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Lovells and Simmons & Simmons to supply the information.

The diversity program is one of a number of initiatives Barclays has introduced as part of its latest review in order to cut costs and strengthen relationships with panel firms. The e-billing is designed to allow the bank to more closely monitor external legal costs.

Harding told Legal Week: "Through the panel process we have naturally reviewed projected rates and have focused on firms that are not only competitive but that can also demonstrate innovation in the way that they approach a range of pricing arrangements."


Two Weeks Left to Nominate Your 2009 Rainmaker of the Year

Do you have what it takes to win this year?Nominate a top rainmaker at your firm, or yourself! The editors of Originate!, the monthly business development newsletter, in association with Legal Sales and Services Organization (LSSO), announce this year's competition to identify and honor top business getters in the law.

Anyone can submit an entry on behalf of a top rainmaker they know in one of these categories, and there is no entry fee this year. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday July 31, 2009. Entry forms and additional information are available online at www.pbdi.org/originate. Or just click the program title.

Winners will be announced in the newsletter and receive a handsome award for display in their offices, plus gain publicity in nationally distributed press releases.


Originate! Newsletter & Legal Sales and Services Organization
Present the 2009 Rainmaker of the Year Awards

Click Here for an Entry Form.
Entries now being accepted. Deadline is Wednesday, July 31h. No fee required.

Who were the top “rainmakers” in the law this past year, and how did they do it? To find out, the editors of Originate!, the monthly business development newsletter, in association with Legal Sales and Services Organization (LSSO), announce a competition to identify and honor top business getters in the law.

According to the editor-in-chief Barry Schneider, “We want to recognize the accomplishments of those lawyers who have geared up to bring in business and applied themselves to make it happen. And we want our readers to learn from those who have been particularly successful this past year.”

The newsletter is now soliciting entries from lawyers, firms, marketing specialists, recruiters and advisors in five categories:

  1. Associate
  2. Small firm lawyer (30 or fewer lawyers)
  3. Partner – transactions
  4. Partner – litigator
  5. Woman Lawyer

Anyone can submit an entry on behalf of a top rainmaker they know in one of these categories, and there is no entry fee this year. The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 31, 2009.  Entry forms are available online: just click here. Winners will be announced in the newsletter and receive a handsome award for display in their offices, plus gain publicity in nationally distributed press releases.

A panel of independent judges with expertise in legal business development has been assembled by the Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO): Martha Fay “Marty” Africa, Managing Director of Major Lindsay & Africa consultants; Gabe Miller Esq., General Counsel of The Law Offices of James Sokolove; and Catherine MacDonagh, Esq., President of LSSO.The judges will determine the best of the best among the submitted entries.

Boston-based LSSO uniquely focuses on sales, service and process improvement in the legal industry, and sponsors the annual RainDance conference on business development. Elizabeth Cuzzone, a Co-Founder of LSSO, is Director of Business Development for the award-winning law firm Goulston & Storrs in Boston. She said, “With sales and marketing now so critical to the careers of individual lawyers and the vitality of law firms, we know how important it is for the best to be recognized and share what they do.”

The editors of Originate! will profile each of the winners and publish their stories in the newsletter’s anniversary issue in September. The articles in that issue will be open to the public. To see the 2008 winners, and read their stories, go to the September 2008 Anniversary Issue.

For your entry form, just click here.


Companies Want Law Firms to Help Them Increase Revenue and Cut Costs

Mark Clemente, law firm marketingThese are turbulent times for corporate clients, which are struggling with management changes, workforce voids caused by layoffs, worries about cost-reduction initiatives and keeping pace with competitors.

This creates an excellent opportunity for professional firms -- including law firms -- to capture their outsourced work by showing companies how to increase revenue growth, decrease operating expenses, and demonstrate their expertise in the client's line of business, according to a new 80-page survey report, "Consulting & Professional Services Firm Hiring by U.S. Middle-Market Companies."

"The ongoing makeover of the business models of many companies is a notable finding in this study," said the author of the report, Mark N. Clemente, Editorial Director of Clemente Communications in Glen Rock, NJ. "In the near-term, companies will be exploring all manner of corporate growth opportunities to transform themselves in an effort to either realize cost-reduction synergies or to support wholesale shifts in strategy. Legal, financial, and strategy experts will invariably be required for those companies pursuing mergers, corporate combinations, and other deal-based growth opportunities," he added.

Clemente is a consultant and author of five books and journal articles on marketing, business communication and corporate development. The research is an X-ray into the factors that cause corporate clients to hire law firms. The study surveyed executives at 250 middle-market companies.

hiring law firms

For the rest of the story, visit the LawMarketing Portal at www.lawmarketing.com

The LawMarketing Portal has obtained a $100 discount off the purchase price of the study especially for our readers. Simply visit http://www.clementeonline.com/research_reports.html for further information and how to order your own copy of the report, which has an official price of $495.  LawMarketing Portal readers can buy the report for $395 -- and save $100 -- by using the code LMP2009 when ordering the report.


Dim light on law firm recovery: A lot of law firms with too many people and not enough work

From the Boston Business Journal by Lisa van der Pool


Are law firms finally climbing out from the bottom of a deep, deep abyss? Possibly. But if so, it’s going to be a long journey.

Citi Private Bank’s quarterly report on the Managing Partner Confidence Index notes that while the last six months have been trending down, that pattern was snapped during the second quarter of this year.

“Managing partners are much less pessimistic about the broader economy and the legal market, and there’s a sense that the worst is behind them. MPs are more concerned about the financial health of their own firms, especially with regard to expenses,” states the report, which was released last week.

The report also notes that managing partners expect the general economy to recover faster than the legal market or their individual firms. Indeed, managing partners expect growth over the next 12 months to be negligible, according to the report.

Firms continue to deal with a sluggish legal market and “slowed collection cycles and continued client demand for discounts.”

And layoffs at law firms are far from over. More than one-third of the managing partners surveyed expect to slash non-equity lawyers in the near future and one-in-four “anticipate shrinkage in the equity partnership,” according to the report.

“I certainly would agree that the economy is recovering slowly,” said Jim Westra, managing partner of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s Boston office. “I think the demand for legal services will pick up, but improvements will be tempered by excess capacity. There are a lot of law firms with too many people and not enough work. I think that a lot of firms are going to have to retrench and reduce head count to sustain an acceptable level of profitability.”


July 2009 Issue of Originate Newsletter now Online

The July issue of Originate! - the business development newsletter - explores how you can be more resourceful in your business development, not just by using a particular marketing method or firm asset, but by looking at smart ways at hand to reach those people you want as clients or do more for those you already have...and taking action to make results happen.

Lead Article: The Art of Closing: Six Rules of the Game - Pt 2 of 2

Ask for the business. Get closure.  Deal with obstacles. In a selling situation, there’s a lot to think about. But maybe you’re thinking too much, and not building up your instincts. Here two attorneys Kevin Chern, Esq. and Damon Cheronis, Esq. explain six powerful business development rules about making the sale, and how you can tone your reflexes. Part 2 of 2

Turning Seminars Into Billable Work: Designing it Right

It seems to be so easy to put on a winning seminar or workshop, one that actually generates new legal work, not just good feelings. But Michael Cummings has seen so many lawyers produce little for their time and money. In the first of this several part series on how to gain new business from a seminar, he explains the right way to design one.

Getting Business via Online Networking: The Three Best Ways to Launch Yourself Online

Online networking is no substitute for face-to-face business development.  But it is an easy way to gain  extraordinary results for yourself in awareness, contact making, lead generation and relationship building.  Sure, there are a lot of ways to waste your time in online social activity, observes Larry Bodine, Esq.  Instead, just focus on these three methods to make the most impact on your business getting, and here's how.

Best Practice Tips

Remedies, not Diagnoses: Do Something About Client Problems

What if your doctor discovered something unsettling, but did NOTHING about it? That’s what lawyers do all the time, laments Darryl Cross, when they talk about problems their clients might be facing, but fail to offer active solutions.  If you want to bring work in, offer treatments and solutions to what ails your clients and prospects.

Doctor, Send In That Summer Intern. Stat!

If you think about business development in all you do, you’ll often find ways to get value from resources and opportunities that others waste. Andy Havens examines a rarely considered asset, the summer associate, and suggests a variety of ways to add value for the associate, your clients and you

Transforming Associates from Bees to A's in Marketing

Larry Bodine, Esq. applauds the change in approach to deploying and compensating associates at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. With bonuses and support aligned to business development success, associates can reinvent themselves from worker bees into owners ready to generate work for themselves and the firm

Relationships Unbound: Stop Holding Back Your Networking

Everyone talks about the value of networking, but too often lawyers hold themselves back with misconceptions about what networking means, how they will be judged by peers and inaction. Thom Singer lays out these common constraints on success, and advises how to unleash your networking potential.

Visit http://www.pbdi.org/Originate/ to see all the articles in the July issue.


Media Post: Forget Twitter, Go Back to Email Marketing

Ian McCollum RazorfishIan McCollum, the technical manager | eCRM Solutions with Razorfish, writes in the Email Insider blog that Twitter is an overrated fad, and that smart marketers are returning to good old email marketing:

Everywhere you turn there is Twitter -- CNN, NASA, operating rooms, corporate home pages, and even the toilet (twitter.com/shwittering). Twitter has been deemed the next revolution in one-to-one communication, giving the customer a voice and making the corporation "human," enabling real-time interaction.

Let's look at some numbers:

So the majority of Twitter activity is 5% of its users, that is 910,000 users, tweeting less than once a day. I don't think that constitutes a revolution in real-time dialogue. I don't think it even justifies more than a casual mention in social media strategy. Yet it is the basis of many marketers' social media conversation.

Twitter's usage numbers are not putting a dent in numbers like the usage statistics for email - 90% of Internet users spend 87% of their time online reading email! The interesting phenomenon is that billion-dollar corporations are jumping through hoops to respond to tweets -- yet they are still OK auto-responding to emails with, "we will get back to you in 48 hours," or not responding at all. Responding to email should be your first social media strategy.

There is a lesson to be learned here. There is limitless opportunity for real interaction with your customers sitting right there in your email database. What strategy do you have in place to react to responses to your email campaigns? Is it the "noreply@bigcompany.com" reply-to address or the auto-responder stating "this address does not accept incoming messages?" Imagine seeing that reply coming back to every @bigcompany tweet!

If you have jumped on the bandwagon and developed a strategy to react to Twitter, you can take that strategy and apply it to email. You can route email campaign replies to a real inbox with a real person monitoring it and taking appropriate action. They can actually respond to the emails received. Granted, this won't be a public interaction, so no one but you and the customer will see it happening, but you can be sure that people will tweet about actually getting a human response to an email sent to your company.


83% of Law Firms Fight Recession with Business Development Training

The following is excerpted from the July 2009 report "Delivering Value-Added legal Services in Challenging Times," published by Robert Half Legal, a specialized staffing service reachable at 800.870.8367 and www.roberthalflegal.com

Altman Weil's survey of general counsel found that 75 percent of legal departments anticipate budget reductions in 2009. "In this economy, the number-one priority is to keep the clients you've got," says Larry Bodine, a business development advisor based in Glen Ellyn, Ill., with Apollo Business Development and editor of Larry Bodine LawMarketing Blog, a professional law marketing blog. "Customer service is the way to do it.”

"You can't take your clients for granted," observes Harley L. Winger, partner at the Calgary-based firm of Burstall Winger LLP. "With consolidation, there will be fewer clients, and the ones there are will be doing less fee-­generating work, unless they're going into receivership. Law firms don't have as much work as they once did, so as a firm, you know the competition is talking to your clients.”

business development training

Business development is urgent priority

The slowdown in business caused by the challenging economy has prompted many law firms to seek new clients. Some firms see their marketing departments as a cost center, however, and given diminished prospects for revenues, have decided to cut back on the budget allotment for new business development. For instance, a recent survey conducted by the Legal Marketing Association revealed that in 2008, firms spent less on marketing in the third quarter than they did during the same period in 2007.

But other firms view business development as an urgent priority. "This is the time to redouble efforts at business development," says Terrence Russell of Ruden McClosky. "Law firms will have to do their best to get out there and gather clients that are holding their own, are well-managed and are likely to weather this storm.”

For the full story visit the LawMarketing Portal


Mixed Martial Arts Law Blog goes Live

David Nelmark Mixed Martial Arts Blog One of the most inventive and novel lawyer blogs went live yesterday: David Nelmark's Mixed Martial Arts Law Blog

No, David is not a raging ultimate cage fighter.  In fact he's a charming, mild-mannered associate at in the Des Moines, Iowa, law firm of Belin Lamson McCormick Zumbach Flynn. A Stanford Law honors grad and former federal court clerk, he helps individuals and businesses protect their brands, image and ideas and enforce their rights in court when necessary.

David Nelmark, Des Moines attorneyDavid has been an MMA fan for 15 years and plans to harness his journalism background to make the blog a clearinghouse for all things related to MMA law -- including issues that pertain to promoters, fighters, venues, vendors and broadcasters.

He's already blogged about a criminal case, a lawsuit and a critique of a local lawyer who is utilizing the case of an injured fighter to tout tort reform.  I call the Belin law firm "the Cravath of Iowa" (where I grew up, coincidentally), and it's a firm of valedictorians, law review editors and Ivy League law grads. I give the firm a lot of credit for cleverly finding a niche in this fast-growing sport.  You can find his blog at http://www.mixedmartialartslawblog.com/


Employment Law Litigation Goes Through the Roof


FY 2008








National Origin






Retaliation - All Statutes



Retaliation - Title VII only









Equal Pay Act



Total Charges



Discrimination claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year rose to the highest in the agency’s 44-year history, after a Supreme Court ruling that changed the way complaints may be filed.  This area of practice has been building all year -- see Law Firm Marketing Should Focus on Employment Law

A record 95,402 claims were filed during the year ended Sept. 30, the EEOC said. That was 15% more than in 2007, and represents a burgeoning area of law practice.

“The EEOC has not seen an increase of this magnitude in charges filed for many years,” acting agency Chairman Stuart Ishimaru said in a statement. “While we do not know if it signifies a trend, it is clear that employment discrimination remains a persistent problem.”

The surge in age-related claims signifies that layoffs caused by the U.S. recession have started to affect workers with seniority. Several recent EEOC claims have settled for between $350,000-$800,000 and an additional $130,000 - $150,000 in attorney fees, according to Michelle Binks, a Chicago human resources examiner.

“It’s possible we have yet to see the full impact of the recession on discrimination charge filings as the economy continues to spiral downward since fiscal year 2008.” In short, it looks like we may be headed toward another record-breaking year in which more than 100,000 workers file discrimination charges," said EEOC spokesperson David Grinberg.

To read the full story, visit the LawMarketing Portal at http://www.lawmarketing.com/pages/articles.asp?Action=Article&ArticleCategoryID=58&ArticleID=899


Online LawBiz Forum Launches

Edward Poll, law firm marketing, business developmentNationally recognized law firm management expert Ed Poll, has launched www.LawBizForum.com, an online destination for lawyers, sole practitioners, partners, managing partners, of-counsel and in-house counsel.

www.LawBizForum.com will promote discussions on how lawyers can deliver their services more effectively and efficiently to their clients, such as management, marketing, technology and finance, and others. LawBiz® Forum is a place where the legal community can exchange ideas and techniques in order to improve the personal and professional lives of its members.


“Law is an honorable profession. Only lawyers are given the unique responsibility in the United States Constitution to help those accused of a crime, a fundamental right guaranteed to all citizens,” remarks Poll. “This helping, caring nature of the legal community sometimes is forgotten by the psychological, social, and economic pressures facing lawyers, and I created this forum so that we can care for each other.”


LawBiz® Forum will have several levels of membership. All visitors to the site can review the discussions at no cost. However, members will be able to contribute to the discussions, participate in exclusive webinars, and have online access to Poll’s books and audio products.


In addition to LawBizForum.com, Ed has a popular YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/LawBizGuide), and has also started to use Twitter as a way to reach out to the cybersphere. You can follow Poll at twitter.com/lawbiz.



Ed Poll is a consultant who helps attor­neys and law firms increase their profitability, advising them on issues of internal operations, business development, and financial matters. Ed has 25 years experience as a practicing attorney and has also served as CEO and COO for several manufacturing businesses.