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March 2010

Should You Include Business Contacts In Your Facebook Friend List?

Facebook has morphed from a personal tool linking personal friends to a mission-critical business tool which ties you to your business community of friends. 

Facebook2 I have often heard it said that you shouldn’t be sharing your personal information with business associates.  Of course, this is old school thinking, tied to the premise that our business relationship should be kept to “how are the wife and kids….” 

But let’s examine all the things that you’re missing if you don’t have a robust community of business associates 'friended' on Facebook:

And BTW:  Feel free to send me a friend request to my Facebook account here. I would be happy to add you....

Continue reading "Should You Include Business Contacts In Your Facebook Friend List?" »

Former Partner of the Greenberg Traurig Law Firm Charged with Overbilling Client

Lawyerstealing In Martha Neil's recent ABA Journal article, Mark McCombs, a former partner of the Greenberg Traurig Law firm was recently let go and brought up on criminal charges for allegedly over-billing a client in excess of $1 million.  Here are some excerpts from the article: 

Mark McCombs, 50, is accused of taking advantage of longstanding professional and personal relationships with officials in Village of Calumet Park and charging more than $1 million since 2003 for work that wasn't performed, reports the Chicago Tribune. If convicted of the felony, he could be sentenced to six to 30 years in prison.

The Northwestern University School of Law graduate is no longer listed on the firm's website, but a 2002 Greenberg Traurig press release details his background and governmental practice at the time he began working at Greenberg Traurig's office in Chicago.

His Martindale-Hubbell listing says the village honored him by designating a "Mark McCombs Drive" in recognition of his leading role in redeveloping the commercial corridor along Ashland Avenue and Vermont Street.

A Chicago Sun-Times article provides further details about the alleged overbilling scheme and how it was discovered. In addition to overbilling, it says, McCombs is accused of charging a higher-than-authorized hourly fee.

Here is the link to the full article on the ABA Journal website:  "Greenberg Traurig Partner Charged With Overbilling Client By $1M to Gain Prestige in Firm"

Did You Know That Blogging Builds Credibility with Your Adversary?

Lawyer adversary The benefits of blogging have been long discussed.  My law firm built its eight-lawyer practice over the last five years on the foundation of its niche content in specialized practice areas such as internet law, online trademark and copyright infringement and internet company representation.

Currently, we are contacted by approximately 150 to 200 new prospects each month.  Twenty to thirty of these prospects become new clients.

But do you want to know what is even better than that?  Publishing your expertise on your blog gets instant street cred with adversaries.  We all do it.  In fact, it’s the first thing we do.  We Google our adversaries name to find out who they are.  When they find hundreds or thousands of results dealing with the very issue you are arguing about on behalf of your respective clients, you immediately have the upper hand.  They know you know exactly what you’re doing.  They know there’s no bullshit that’s going to get by you.  The fact that you work for an eight-person firm, as opposed to a three hundred-person firm, becomes irrelevant.

Lawyer Escapes Blackberry While On Vacation.

Here’s an interesting ABA Journal story by Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple entitled, “Lawyers Wrestle with the Constant Pull of 24/7 Technology”.
Byrd “I was just completely relaxed,” says Byrd, an associate at Greenebaum Doll & McDonald who typically carries his BlackBerry on family travels. The Arkansas vacation was a stark contrast to the previous summer, when Byrd spent a family trip to New York City checking for new messages on the hour.

Other Articles:

2009 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report
Virtual Escape