Check out the video: "It's time to Ban Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts!"

Watch the video I recorded today with renowned personal injury attorney Mitch Jackson on the topic:

“It's time to Ban Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts!”

Suppressing legitimate claims

 

Consumers can sign the petition to stop forced arbitration of consumer disputes at: https://www.change.org/p/revoke-corporations-license-to-steal-stop-forced-arbitration

These sneaky arbitration clauses are the secret weapon of big banks and corporations to sidestep the American court system, to suppress legitimate claims from being filed and to make sure that the consumer loses.

What I’ve described is not the paranoid raving of a fringe group. It’s the studied conclusion of the U.S. Government. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reviewed hundreds of cases over a two-year period and concluded that arbitration clauses are a raw deal for consumers.

“Forced arbitration is among the most serious threats to Americans’ financial security and has denied justice to countless victims of Wall Street’s unscrupulous behavior,” said Lisa Blue, president of the American Association for Justice.

“Revoke Wall Street’s license to steal,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director of Americans for Financial Reform. “Just by opening  bank account or accepting a credit or debit card, you should not have to give up your basic legal rights if you are ever ripped off. This practice has been gone on too long. It needs to stop.”

Comparing litigation to arbitration

  • Corporations win 93% of consumer disputes in arbitration. In 1,060 arbitration cases filed with the American Arbitration Association in 2010 and 2011, consumers won their claims in 32 cases or obtained debt forbearances in 46 cases -- a win rate of 7%.

  • In those 1,060 cases, consumers recovered only $400,000, while corporations got decisions requiring consumers to pay $2.8 million.

  • In comparison, consumers win billions in court. Over a five year period, on average, 32 million consumers in class action lawsuits were eligible for $2.7 billion in cash, in-kind relief, expenses and fees in cases brought against corporations.

  • An average of $200 million per year was paid out to consumers from these class action settlements.

LSSO Announces First-ever Legal Industry Sales & Service Awards

 - Winners to be awarded at the Legal Sales and  Service Organization’s 12th Annual RainDance Conference on June 10th in Chicago –

 

The Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO), an organization for law firm leaders responsible for developing the sales and service strategies that will shape their firms’ futures, announces its first Sales and Service Awards for the legal industry.

 

The awards – Sales & Service Team of the Year and Sales & Service Executive of the Year – will recognize both the individual and team efforts that played a significant role in helping retain and grow its firm’s revenue through a specific sales achievement during 2014. The awards sponsor, Berbay Marketing & Public Relations, will present the awards at LSSO’s 12th Annual RainDance Conference, the senior-level conference for today’s law firm business development and service leaders, to be held June 10-11 in Chicago, Illinois.

 

“The sales and service roles continue to expand and play an ever-increasing role in driving law firm success,” says Silvia Coulter, LSSO Co-founder and Principal ofLawVision Group. “The awards underscore the importance of these fields and acknowledge innovative and effective efforts in client sales, service and retention initiatives.”

Submission Process

All full-time, in-house law firm professionals may apply for the awards.

 

The Sales & Service Team of the Year Award will be presented in up to three categories:

·         Small firms – up to 100 lawyers

·         Mid-size firms – 101-500 lawyers

·         Large firms – more than 500 layers

 

The Sales & Service Executive of the Year Award will be presented in up to two categories:

·         Sales or client service team firm leader.

·         Sales or client service team manager supporting the firm’s leader, and possibly responsible for a client team program, office or practice.

 

Applicants must describe a specific sales achievement where the sales team or executive played a key role in retaining or growing the firm’s revenue.  Entries will be reviewed by a panel of experienced legal sales and service professionals and be judged on creativity, resourcefulness and degree of impact.

 

Applications are due on or before April 17, 2015. Applications can be accessed here. Contact kim@legalsales.org if you have questions on the submission process.

  

Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) provides law firm business development and service professionals with effective sales and service strategies, focused on helping them to bring in new business and to develop and retain clients through outstanding and competitive service delivery strategies.

 

LSSO's annual RainDance Conference is the central focus of the organization and is for firm leaders who have ever-greater responsibilities for business development and client service strategies to shape the future of their firms. 

 

Legal Sales and Service Organization
Website: www.legalsales.org/
Email: kim@legalsales.org

 

Law Practice Management Blueprint for Hiring and Training Employees

Register now for the A-Z Law Practice Management Blueprint, March 6, 2015, The Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort.

By Ken Hardison

Are you tired of unproductive employees who lack motivation and constantly cause drama in your office? Do they have too much time on their hands or are they just simply not a good fit?

Truth be told, it’s not always the employee. The majority of lawyers don’t have a clue about how to hire superstar staff. Better yet, they don’t effectively train the staff they do hire. There is rarely any real in depth training for new hires in law firms. What I see more often than not, is a new employee being told to shadow another employee for several days and then being thrown out in the waters and made to sink or swim.

Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. Like I said, in depth training and superstar hires are not the norm for law firms.

What’s worse is that even if new employees manage to half way learn their jobs, getting maximum or even above par productivity out of them is next to impossible. It goes without saying that managing employees and lawyers is by far THE biggest headache when it comes to running a law firm!

Solve your Employee Problems

What if I told you I have found a lawyer who has cracked the code and is willing to share the secrets to solving all of your employee management problems? Sounds too good to be true, I know, but listen…this lawyer took his law firm from 0 to 27,000 cases in a little over 10 years. He presently manages over 200 employees and only handles disability cases. Now, as some of you may already know, disability cases are low margin and staff intensive. To be profitable, keeping employee productivity high and costs low is imperative.

This lawyer, Ken LaVan, has made the impossible possible! I have been asking Ken for years to share his secrets for hiring, motivating and keeping highly productive employees. He has finally agreed to unlock his vault and reveal the secrets that have catapulted and transformed his firm into one of the largest Disability Law Firms in the nation. Ken agreed to do this with only one condition: Only the real deal…No theory. Well, you know me – I am a practical, nuts and bolts type of guy – give me meat – save all the fluff for someone else! So, needless to say, I was overjoyed when he made this request.

A-Z Law Practice Management Blueprint

As a result, we are going to do a one day interactive workshop. This one day event will cover not just hiring, but training and motivating new employees along with how to hold them accountable. Below are a few of the practical nuts and bolts topics to be covered:

  • Step-by-Step Checklist for New Hires
  • Creating Job Descriptions
  • Creating an Employee Handbook
  • Establishing Benchmarks
  • How to Create and Utilize an Onboarding Training Manual
  • Productivity Tracking
  • Motivation Techniques
  • Keeping Employee Morale High
  • Creating an Organizational Chart
  • How to Create a Mission Statement
  • How to Interview Applicants Without Getting Fooled
  • How to Deal with Toxic and Problem Employees
  • How to Create a Salary Structure for Staff that Motivates Them to Excel
  • How to Properly Fire an Employee
  • And Much Much More!

Any of the above look like something you could benefit from?

Register now for the A-Z Law Practice Management Blueprint, March 6, 2015, The Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Every attendee will leave with forms, manuals and templates Ken LaVan and myself use every day in our practices. These forms alone are worth the price of admission! Most mid-level corporations would charge $10,000-$20,000 for an event like this. $5,000 would not be a bad deal. But what if I told you your price is only $597? That’s right. Only $597. But there is one caveat…we only have 50 seats. Once they’re sold, we will close registration. The event is on March 6th 2015, so act fast!  

Federal Court Throws Out Florida's Advertising Rules on Use of Past Results

Court Throws Out Florida’s Lawyer Advertising Rules on Use of Past ResultsAs reported on Law Practice Advisor:

Blasting the Florida Bar, a federal judge threw out state ethics rules that ban the use of past results in lawyer advertising in indoor and outdoor display, television and radio media. The court held that the rules were unconstitutional and in violation of the First Amendment.

The landmark ruling on December 12, 2014, is a complete rejection of the Florida Bar’s obstinate efforts to suffocate lawyer advertising in a state with 68,500 attorneys. The court granted the plaintiff law firm’s motion for summary judgment, and went on to enjoin the Bar from enforcing Rules 4-7.13 and 4-7.14, which said use of past results is misleading.

The plaintiffs developed, at great expense, an advertising campaign featuring information regarding past recoveries for clients. The ads include a TV segment animated with a cartoon car accident, a courthouse and dollar signs drawn on a dry-erase board. With an attorney voice over, it depicts the words:

“COLLECTED OVER $50 MILLION FOR THEIR CLIENTS IN JUST THE LAST YEAR! 
Gross proceeds. Results in individual cases are based on the unique facts of each. 

Ruling totally in favor of the law firm, the court ruled there is First Amendment protection for lawyer advertising as commercial speech. It noted that the ethics rules in 44 states impose no blanket restrictions on references to past results.

It noted that the US Supreme Court’s decisions involving commercial speech have been grounded in the faith that the free flow of commercial information is valuable.

For more, read Court Throws Out Florida’s Lawyer Advertising Rules on Use of Past Results.

Demographics of Today's Largest Law Firms

The law firms with the most minorities, women, associates, partners and total lawyers are showing in this new infographic from ALM Legal Intelligence. You may be surprised to see that the firm with the most lawyers is not the firm with the most US lawyers.

Law Firm Demographics in Today's Legal Industry

Print is not dead, because it is more satisfying

Cool Tools catalogDefying conventional wisdom, a founding editor at Wired magazine has pinpointed the formula for succeeding with a print publication in the face competing online alternatives.

“There is something about having that large expanse of real estate in your lap, something about the [print] format, that is extremely satisfying,” says Kevin Kelly. “Having many different things you may be interested in on a page, as opposed to a single thing surrounded by ads as it is on the web, leads to the formation of different connections and leads to a different experience,” he tells the New York Times.

The Internet has demolished the business models of many print publications, ranging from encyclopedias, to newspapers to magazines. According to the NYT, advertising pages for weekly magazines fell 2% from 2012 to 2013, and biweeklies saw a 5.3% decline. More than half the magazines published fewer issues last year.

Yet the print version of the website Cool Tools sold out its first printing immediately, a second printing will go on sale next week and a larger third printing is underway.

Here is the secret to success for a print publication:

  • It is exceptionally-edited. Like the pages of Wired magazine, there are many bite-sized nuggets of interesting information to choose from on the pages. Each one contains a perfectly told story that is hewn to fit its space exactly.There are no walls of text, run-on sentences or sloppy grammar. "Americans lead poorly edited lives," the NYT notes, and it is refreshing to see organized attention to detail.
  • It is highly-designed. Each page features color and black-and-white photos, line drawings and tint blocks of differing sizes. Palettes changes from page to page. Graphic elements are juxtaposed. There is plenty for the cones in your eyes to enjoy.
  • big smile kittenThe combined effect is to make you feel good. As the NYT says of Cool Tools, "Having it in my hands made me happy." It's like savoring a multi-part dessert which you explore in minute detail. The feeling is like nestling in with a good read for as long as the coziness can hold your attention. It captures your imagination like a nice dream that makes you want to stay in bed Sunday morning.
  • It can be shared. You can give a person a book, but you can't do that with an e-book on a Kindle. Sharing means you get to talk about what you've read and enjoy comparing notes. Nothing beats getting a new insight into something you just read.
  • It is practical. People like reading something that can be put to use immediately in their own lives. "Practical" can involve showing you how to make something, demonstrating a method to get something done or giving you a tip on how to live healthier. I'm not discounting reading for entertainment, because nothing is better than doing something for fun. But a practical article will cause you to get a highlighter and start underlining sentences.

When I read that "print is dead" I think only of The Onion's article saying, "the declining medium passed away early Thursday morning. The influential means of communication was 1,803."

 

Infographic: How to Rank Higher in Google Search Results

Pay attention to your home page and your bio, according to BrandYourself.

  • Bad First Impression: 1.5 Billion names are searched everyday in Google but people generally don’t look great on their first page.
  • If you want to look better, you need to choose your profiles wisely: For example, LinkedIn is the best social network for rankings, while WordPress is the highest ranking personal site builder. Even more interesting, popular pages like about.me really have trouble ranking high.

breaking down a person's Google search results

Exclusive Interview with Santa's Lawyer

Merry Christmas to you my friends. Enjoy this interview from the Lawyers.com video locker. Our news team had seen all the dialogue with Santa...but no one had ever thought to interview his lawyer. Now you can find out:

  • WHY was Santa was busted?
  • WHAT endorsement deal was he offered?
  • WHAT is elf Noel's problem?

Ha Ha Ha and Ho Ho Ho from Wolf Greenfield

One of the continuing pleasures of working in law firm marketing is the annual holiday greeting from the Boston intellectual property law firm Wolf Greenfield. Not only did I get to hear from the warm and lovely Sally Crocker (only the cops call her Sara) but I also got their delightful 2014 calendar.

Of course you can read it online but I just love the physical, paper calendar with the nail hole in it so I can tack it up over my computer monitor (see below).

In years prior you could Plant Wolf Greenfield's Holiday Card and It Will Grow, get magnetized with
A Holiday Greeting with "Stickiness", or just enjoy their wackiness when Wolf Greenfield Deals Humor to Market IP Law.

Merry Christmas and Long May You Run, Sally Crocker and your merry band of colleagues.Happy 2014 from Wolf Greenfield

Get in on the 12 Days of Deals from Lawmarketing.com

LawMarketing.com kicks off its very first '12 Days of Deals'

Stuff your stockings with discounts and deals to grow your law practice from LawMarketing.com. Each day, starting today to Tuesday, December 24th, LawMarketing.com will feature a deal of the day which will include a free gift or a popular item at a 25% savings.

For example, today's deal is a free copy of Top 10 Techniques to Law Firm Success White Paper (a $75 value). This authoritative research identifies the 10 most effective techniques that are absolutely must-do initiatives and will lead to law firm marketing success. Everything in this white paper is based on pragmatic experience and empirical data that was obtained directly via a survey of 377 marketing directors and marketing partners in a variety of capacities.

How does this work?

Top 10 Techniques to Law Firm Success White Paper - FREE Copy ($75 valueSimply visit Lawmarketing.com/12-days-of-deals and enter your details in the online form. A new deal will be delivered to your inbox at 8 AM.  If you like the deal, click through on the email to claim it. 

All deals will be available for the duration of the 12 Days of Deals event. If a deal doesn't interest you, you'll get the new deal in your inbox the following day.

¡Feliz Navidad! Fröhliche Weihnachten メリークリスマス
Veselé vánoce, С Рождеством, Vrolijk kerstfeest and Mutlu Noeller