Other Legal News

/Other Legal News

Paperless Work Flow For Law Practice

Almost every article you read about "going paperless" has the same disclaimer: paperless means less paper, not the elimination of paper all together. As lawyer, paper is a fact of life (a fact I toil to change). Switching from a paper-more law practice to a paperless law practice requires some effort and determination. It is not always easy to make the change — there will be some upfront work involved and troubleshooting as you perfect your system — but the goal is to gain long-term efficiencies. Thus, you need to take a long-term approach in implementing a paperless law practice. Before you take the plunge into going paperless, you need to lay some groundwork. In a previous post, I went over the importance of having a standardized file naming convention. You should figure out a naming convention out before you scan a single document, otherwise you (or your staff) will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to rename all your newly digitalized files. Get it right the first time. Also, when going paperless, you should start from day zero, i.e., don't try to go back and digitize all your old paper files. The exception may be to digitize active matters, but what's been done is done — we're looking forward, and don't want to waste time correcting the past. Once you have a file naming system figured out, the next step is to setup a paperless work flow for turning your paper documents into digital ones, and getting them filed where they need to be. Obviously, a document scanner is key here. Document Scanner In my office, I use a Fujitsu ScanSnap [...]

File Naming Conventions For Paperless Law Office

With more and more companies and law offices going paperless (or at least trying to — remember, it is paper-less, i.e., less paper), it is increasingly important to have a standardized file naming convention. Each type of law firm is different in the types of cases it handles, so you will need to create your file naming system accordingly. My office handles a lot of litigation matters, so I have created a file naming convention that allows me to quickly name and identify important documents that have been scanned in (or received digitally) and filed electronically. A standardized file naming convention is important, because if your documents are haphazardly named, then it makes it more difficult for you and your staff to locate a document quickly. Spending needless time searching for a document frustrates one of the main goals of a paperless filing system: efficiency. If you are looking to implement a file naming standard in your practice, I have included some of the basic structure I use that may serve as a helpful starting off point for you. Sample Folder Trees For Litigation Firm The first step is to setup the file directories for your office, and I use a system of subfolders to organize my cases. Thus, the parent folder for all my files is simply named "Client Files". Inside that folder, I have four subfolders named as follows: "_Open Files", "Closed Files", "Archive" and "Temporary". I use an underscore for Open Files because I sort my files by name, and the leading underscore ensures that my "Open Files" folder is always at the [...]

Goodbye Zite, Goodbye Mailbox

This has been a disruptive month for me in terms of technology I rely on every day: two of my favorite and most frequently used software applications have been or are being discontinued. Sigh. The first application, Zite, was officially shutdown on December 7, 2015. This had been a long-time-coming, as Zite (previously owned by CNN) was purchased by Flipboard back in March 2014. The deal gave CNN an advertising partnership with Flipboard, and the companies agreed to phase out Zite as a standalone application. While Flipboard looks like it has some potential, it lacks the simple user interface and familiar feel that I had grown accustomed to with Zite. This isn't necessarily a huge hit for me in terms of my business, but Zite was my primary means of digesting daily news. And despite having ample notice that Zite was being discontinued, my search of a suitable replacement was unsuccessful. While I downloaded countless apps over the course of the year to replace Zite, there really isn't a good replacement. I will miss you old friend. The second application, Mailbox app, is being shutdown early 2016. The death of this app required more immediate attention as I, like many other professionals, rely on email in my daily life and need a good email client on my mobile devices. I had used Mailbox since it came out; securing one of the coveted early adopter spots (I recall being in the fist 10s of thousands — the list had quickly grown to hundreds of thousands with new users being allowed to download the app on a rolling basis as [...]

Wood Burning Regulations

A Need To Regulate Residential Wood Burning Pollution http://stromainlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/St.-Romain-Risk-Assessment-Paper.pdf

How To Prepare For The Initial Consultation With Your Attorney

Prepare for the Initial Consultation If you are dealing with a legal matter and have taken the initial step to schedule a consultation with an attorney, you’re off to a great start. Hiring an attorney as early on in your case is essential to getting the best representation you can. Meeting with an attorney as soon as possible not only ensures that deadlines aren’t missed, but it also gives your attorney more time to understand the issues and help you reach the best possible resolution. When you’re meeting with your attorney for the first time, it’s important to come prepared. The better prepared you (the client) are for the initial consultation, the better able your attorney will be able to answer your questions and dive right into your matter. Having everything ready from the outset can also save you money, as it will take your attorney less time to work on your case. This is especially true when your attorney is billing by the hour. Below are a few things to remember that will help you get the most out of your initial consultation with your attorney. Gather and organize all relevant documents. Spend some time collecting all the documents related to your legal matter and organize them in a way that makes sense. When collecting documents, it’s better to include too much than too little; your attorney will be better able to decide what is and isn’t important. You should also make copies of these documents before your meeting, so you have a copy ready to give to your attorney. Note: some [...]

How To Write An Effective Demand Letter

Make sure your demand gets the attention it deserves. I love a carefully drafted demand letter. They are a great way to put the opposing party on notice that you are pursuing a claim against them, and are a low risk/low cost way to potentially resolve complex issues before having to file a formal action with the courts. That said, not all demand letters are created equally. Where a well-written demand letter can help both sides move on with their lives, a poorly written demand letter can cause unnecessary conflict that costs both parties time and money. If you are pursuing a claim against an individual or business and are considering opening with a demand letter, I've put together a couple helpful pointers below to ensure that your demand letter is effective as it can be. Of course, I am also available to help you craft an effective demand letter. Whether you need a new demand letter written from scratch or seek comments/edits on a letter you already drafted yourself, contact me today to learn how  St. Romain Law can help you. Demand Letter Tips Address a specific individual. Do not address your demand letter to "Dear Sir/Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern." It may take a little extra research to determine who is the appropriate person to send the letter to (usually the Registered Agent on file with the Secretary of State if you're sending your letter to a business entity), but it is a critical detail that cannot be overlooked. Unless your demands are directed to a specific individual with authority to act on the letter, it's unreasonable to [...]