Tuesday, March 29, 2005

~ keep the records you're required to keep ~

The Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal (yes, now we need a whole periodical dedicated to one regulation!) details the law related to document retention. The current issue topic, Preservation Perils: Updating Your Corporation's Document Retention Policy for the Digital Age tackles the vexing problem of staying on top of all those electronic records. The concern is not just retention but preservation, which is increasingly a problem as the storage media change.

At least 92 percent of all business information is generated in digital form.

The total number of electronic records produced on the planet is expected to double every 60 minutes over a 10-year period.

Approximately 1 in 20 companies have battled a workplace lawsuit triggered by employee email.

Read the complete post!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

~ business blogging - avoiding pitfalls ~

Your corporate clients or their employees need these guidelines and tips to minimize exposure to litigation when blogging on the job.

Read the complete post!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

~ privacy predicaments catch gumshoe's eye ~

Finally, a media account of the field of investigations AND the topic of privacy that reflects well on all private investigators. The Contra Costa Times profiled yours truly, with a frontpage article titled, Privacy predicaments catch gumshoe's eye (free registration required!). The online version doesn't appear on the front page or even post the fabulous photo! [I can mail or email you a pdf version.]

Thanks to Dan Laidman, the reporter, who obligated me to spend hours with him at cafes, drinking coffee. On the issue of privacy...

"I definitely encourage people to take action to protect their access to information," she said.
A key theme of the blogs is that privacy concerns should not lead to the across-the-board restriction of information. Thompson says there is a distinction between a licensed investigator's work and that of a firm like ChoicePoint, the data-gathering company currently embroiled in scandal because it apparently sold personal information -- including data on some 30,000 Californians -- to criminals posing as legitimate businesses.

Thompson notes that when she tracks someone down at another's request, such as a birth parent or former romantic partner, she gives the client's contact information to the person she finds and not the other way around.

"If people want to make a bridge," she said, "we act as intermediaries."

Yesterday the New York Times ran a piece titled, Investigators Argue for Access to Private Data, that gave some visibility to the investigator's point of view on the current debate on restriction of commercial records.

Blogs that mention this article: The Open Society Paradox

Read the complete post!

~ too much employee turnover at law firms and businesses ~

Al Nye the Lawyer Guy brought to my attention a useful series on employee turnover at lawfirms, at Alan Maven's site. Lowering employee "churn" is dependent primarily on the company's or law office's relationship with its managers.
When the store managers were better chosen, better equipped and better encouraged, they provided an environment where the overall employee churn dropped by a third.

The analysis is derived from the functioning of Domino's Pizza but Mavens nicely draws a parallel to lawfirms and asks readers to provide any experience to the contrary.

And yet law firms do almost nothing in terms of training, equipping and rewarding their partners in terms of their roles as managers of associates and employees. In fact, I don't think I am aware of ever having heard of a firm that had, as part of their partnership track, a requirement that associates undergo any kind of training in personnel, project or group management.

Ron Hyndman, a Canadian attorney, adds a cynical comment, no doubt drawn from his own observations within a large firm.
The incentive to manage well just isn't there. Their incentive, as they see it, is to do whatever it takes to jack up earnings today, so that they increase the draw tomorrow. "The long term? heck, in the long term we're all dead."

Read the complete post!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

~ electronic discovery - some of what you need to know ~

Electronic discovery is hot. And so are its errors.
According to a survey of recent published decisions, negligent e-discovery conduct has been sanctioned in all 12 federal judicial circuits. The potential sting of that statistic is somewhat eased by the realization that those sanctions have generally been limited to assessments of attorneys’ fees and costs, rather than case-killing pleading strikes or testimony preclusion.
The three most common errors are preventable: putting a hold on destruction of documents, establishing a system to implement discovery requests and promptly reporting problems to the court.

Keep up with news, issues and products related to e-discovery at this site. The current issue of Business Law Today has an article on how to properly preserve and dispose of data. Electronic data discovery issues are addressed in a series of articles in this ALM supplement.

Read the complete post!

~ free good advise for your law practice ~

There can never be enough good advise. Especially if you're free to pick and choose. MyShingle explores the nitty gritty of evaluating a new client and factors to examine to determine if they or their case have just the right mix.

You may not want to reinvent yourself, as this article suggests but you might find some fresh ways of looking at marketing.

Graze through the Top 12 Hurdles of small practice marketing. Each dilemma is addressed by a different expert. Here's the list.

Why Marketing Is So Difficult*
12. "I prefer to focus on my work."
11. "It is not the fun part of the practice of law."
10. "There is such intense competition."
9. "I have a very narrow specialty practice."
8. "Modesty."
7. "Lack of follow through."
6. "It doesn't come naturally. I'm not trained to think in this area."
5. "Potential clients already have satisfactory counsel relationships."
4. "I"m lazy, inert and insecure."
3. "No time, no money, no contacts."
2. "Only poor people know me."
1. "It requires more congeniality than I'm used to."

Get added to the free ezine of the lawyer who's a marketing guru.

Read the complete post!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

~ ChoicePoint then Westlaw then... ~

I previously reported on the ChoicePoint debacle, which is now spilling over into the data collection companies that primarily serve attorneys. Now is the time for The American Bar Association, the Trial Lawyers and hundreds of other associations of attorneys to join with investigators and the information industry to voice our shared concerns for halting identity theft while maintaining our access to databases with social security numbers, for legitimate legal and business activity. Here's some of the pending Federal legislation that impacts the legal field.

Westlaw on hot seat after ChoicePoint's security woes
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Westlaw finds itself in the middle of an intensely
growing debate over consumer identity theft and the safety of personal information, following the disclosure last month by financial data warehouse ChoicePoint of a massive security breach affecting thousands of people.

Read the complete post!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?



A Legally Inclined Weblog