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WORKING WITH LAWYERS

How to write a readable memo

An office memo has only one purpose, and that is to send a message as quickly and as clearly as possible. Here’s how to do just that.
• Use wide margins and spaces between the paragraphs. That makes the page easier to look at, and if it’s easy to look at, people will read it. By contrast, picture a page filled top to bottom with type. Nobody wants to wade through that.
• If there are several points, bullet them and put spaces between them. That makes them easier to understand, because the reader can digest one point at a time. It’s not even necessary to…

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RISK MANAGEMENT

Malpractice claims are on the rise, and here’s why

The threat of malpractice looms larger now than when the country’s financial picture was less gloomy.
The poor economy is bringing more and different types of suits, says one malpractice insurance carrier.
It’s due to several reasons, starting with the fact that attorneys are accepting work today that in better times they would have turned down.
Swimming in unknown waters
Taking on work outside the firm’s experience and legal competence is a tremendous claim cause, says Vernon Barclay, founder of the Thaxton Barclay Group, a Tampa professional liability insurance provider.
Yet with business slow and competition high, attorneys are doing exactly…

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COMPLIANCE

An ever changing policy on using social media

“The reality is that people are going to use social media.”
So more than two years ago, the 65-attorney firm of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein took the position “that we were going to be tuned in to social media to promote business development,” says Frederick J. Esposito, Jr.,CLM, CFO and director of administration at the firm’s New York City office.
And with that decision came the task of setting standards for using it.
At that time, there were very few guides for the firm to follow, he says. The only applicable information was the rules of ethics regarding advertising. So he researched the benefits and risks of social media, gave a seminar on the findings to the attorneys, and began to develop the…

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COMPLIANCE

Retaliation gets broader and more expensive and is hitting all offices

What’s the single greatest employment law risk employers are facing?
Retaliation. The EEOC reports that retaliation claims have been on the upswing for 10 years and now sit at the top of the list of employment law matters. Heightening the issue is the fact that an employee can cry retaliation – and the firm can have to pay out a lot of money – even if the complaint supposedly causing the retaliation is found to be groundless.
Almost all offices are at risk. While some types of retaliation claims are limited to employers with a certain number of employers, others apply to all employers, regardless of size, cautions attorneys and…

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