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RECORDKEEPING

Use weekly financial reporting to keep partners aware of cash flow

A Vermont manager has found that running the financial reports weekly instead of monthly is an easy way for the partners to stay always aware and in control of what’s…


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RISK MANAGEMENT

Four bad financial habits that may increase your policy premiums and your malpractice risk

Ineffective billing and collections practices affect more than the bottom line. They ultimately may determine what the firm has to…


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OVERTIME RULES

Pop Quiz: How well do you understand the new FLSA overtime rules?

Sandra Hoyle-Smith, SPHR of B2 Management & Consulting recently gave a webinar to Law Office Manager subscribers outlining the new FLSA (Fair Labor Standard’s Act) overtime rules and how…


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REDUCING MALPRACTICE SUITS

How and why you need to carefully screen cold calls from potential new clients

What’s your firm’s process for dealing with a potential new client? What happens when someone sends the firm an email asking for a quote for a real estate transaction or when a frantic caller leaves a…


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TECHNOLOGY

Buried by paper? Time to crawl out and go digital

In a report dated August 9, 2012, Linda A. Halliday, the Assistant Inspector General for Audits and Evaluations of the Department of Veterans Affairs, called for immediate action to address the “Risks Associated with Veterans Claims Folder Storage, Building Integrity, and Employee Safety at…


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AUTOMATING PROCEDURES

Why you should consider automating your client screening process

What’s your firm’s process for dealing with a potential new client? While large law firms may have sophisticated systems of vetting potential new clients that include detailed conflict of interest searches and approval committees, Edie Zimmerman of Legal Software Solutions, suggests your consider automating your screening process.
“Some practice management databases allow the ability to create endless custom fields to capture the exact answers to the exact questions deemed important by your firm.”
With the right software, Zimmerman says…

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CONFLICT CHECKING

Nine traps to avoid when checking for conflicts

Before a law firm accepts any new file, it must first ensure that no conflict of interest exists. Yet, despite having stringent conflict-checking procedures, conflicts of interest are still a serious problem for many firms. How do your procedures stack up? Do they address these common mistakes?
Any firm knows a conflict of interest can result in bad things.
Disqualification from a matter, termination by a client, nonpayment, disciplinary actions, malpractice allegations and even criminal prosecutions can result from failure to identify conflicts of interest in even…

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INSIGHT

Dealing with workplace accusations? It’s time to investigate

By Steve M. Cohen  bio
In dealing with your office staff, allegations of wrongdoing are never something you can ignore. Whether the charge involves sexual or racial harassment, bullying or something else, they must never be ignored. Never.
Remember, an allegation by itself is neither fact nor fiction. It is simply a statement made by someone within your organization. In many ways, how you handle it can be as important as the facts themselves.
Ignoring an accusation leads to more problems
If an employee makes an allegation and is ignored, multiple problems arise. Consider two examples: the first is a charge of sexual harassment and the second…

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COMPLIANCE

FLSA continues to be a potential pitfall for many organizations

By Steve M. Cohen  bio
In the rush of managing an office, it’s easy to overlook significant pitfalls that can cause major problems.
One of these pitfalls is the Fair Labor Standards Act, an area that managers and partners often overlook until they face a problem. I strongly suggest using caution to avoid problems and penalties.
Until a few years ago, the law’s impact was not too dramatic. From 2004 to 2008, a total of only 3,000 FLSA-related cases were handled by the federal Department of Labor. But during just the first six months of…

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RECORDKEEPING

Four records management errors that can get your firm into trouble

Managing the firm’s business and personnel records goes beyond setting a simple timeline for record retention.
Time is only part of the picture, says records management professional Diane K. Carlisle, CRM. Where most offices fail is not in missing the timelines but in mismanaging the records.
Here she sets out elements of record management that administrators need to be aware of—and follow.
Carlisle is deputy executive director for ARMA International, a professional association for record and information…

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