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Guest Articles

Mar 12, 2018

State lawmakers roll out proposals for judicial appointment system

By Dylan Castellino State courts are the workhorses of our judicial system, and a recent special legislative session highlights the significance of reform in North Carolina. Studies show about 95 percent of all cases nationwide are initiated in state courts, with that number even higher in North Carolina. Senate members of North Carolina’s Joint Select […]

Jun 3, 2011

Future Tech: Looking ahead at the technology changing law practice

Twenty-five years ago, law practice looked very different from today. Consider the accoutrements that a lawyer in 1986 did not have: • A laptop computer • A tablet computer such as an iPad • A cell phone • The Internet • Online research (although the firm might have a new Westlaw or Lexis terminal in the firm library) . • Email. What the 1986 lawy[...]

May 6, 2011

Medicare ACO regulations designed to deliver care efficiently

One of the most eagerly anticipated provisions of the Affordable Care Act is the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program, Section 3022 of the Act, which is now known as the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released long-awaited proposed rules surrounding ACOs on March 31. The proposed rules were published in the Federal Registe[...]

May 6, 2011

When he paid tribute to the strong, Jerry Butler got it wrong

In "Only the Strong Survive," a song of my youth, Jerry Butler (aka the Iceman), sings about the importance of being strong in a budding love relationship. The sentiment by the Iceman may be right about love. But the title, taken from what many believe Charles Darwin, author of "The Origin of the Species," surmised, is wrong.

Apr 29, 2011

Guest commentary: New ASTM energy standard to impact commercial real estate transactions

By MARK J. BENNETT, Dolan Media Newswires [email protected]  The growth of renewable energy in the U.S. has been subject to inconsistent public policy at both the federal and state levels. This lack of predictability creates difficulty for investors looking for long-term stability, which is needed to justify the often significant capital investments associated with most […]

Apr 29, 2011

Can non-lawyers own a law firm?

By ED POLL, Special to Lawyers Weekly [email protected] Given that Model Rule 5.4 prohibits firms from selling equity shares in law firms to non-lawyers by stating that a lawyer shall not share legal fees with a non-lawyer, the answer to our title question has always been a clear no. Now, however, there are more reasons […]

Apr 21, 2011

Legal Currents: Useful iPad apps for the tech-savvy lawyer

A friend of mine from my Public Defender days who still works at the PD's office recently emailed me and asked to write an article about iPad apps for lawyers. I was happy to oblige - especially since I regularly write about topics like this at my blog, the Legal iPad ( First off, before you purchase any apps, spend some time with your iPad, think about your workflow and decid[...]

Apr 21, 2011

Coach’s Corner: Your lease is a strategic planning tool, make use of it

I received a call from a lawyer wanting to know what percentage of his gross revenue should be allocated to rent and whether his percentage was in line with other law firms. I cited one study that put the average at 9 percent, but his comeback was that another consultant said the average was 12 percent. Such generic numbers totally miss the point on two levels. First, they allow lawyers to think t[...]

Apr 18, 2011

Coach’s Corner: What makes a law firm a good place to work?

Every law firm is, or should be, a team, with lawyers, staff and support personnel committed to a team effort for providing the best possible service and work product for the benefit of clients. Involving everyone in the office so that they feel a sense of inclusiveness, understanding their roles and looking forward to exercising them, creates a better and more successful firm. At too many law fir[...]

Apr 8, 2011

Guest Column: The greatest practice management tool ever … possibly

I am generally an early adopter of technology, and, admittedly, a bit of a gadget snob. I can't believe this little gem escaped my radar for almost two years. I've just purchased my first Livescribe Pulse Digital Smartpen. As a compulsive note-taker, this pen changed my life (sounds ridiculous, I know) and it will change the way you practice law. Professional note-takers like lawyers and paralegal[...]

Apr 1, 2011

Coach’s Corner: Dissolution should not be a firm’s only contingency

Clients clamor for alternatives to hourly rate billing because they want lawyers to have an incentive stake in the outcome of a matter. This is the case with contingency fees, where lawyers get a flat percentage of the value earned for the client. Contingency fees are often used in litigation, from personal injury cases to high-stakes corporate disputes.

Apr 1, 2011

Commentary: An FHA loan that includes rehabbing costs

America's housing inventory is ballooning with foreclosures and abandoned homes. Short sales, where owners sell their homes for less than what they owe, are commonplace. Also commonplace is that these homes typically need repair or updating. In the last several years, borrowers seeking construction or rehab loans found out that they were hard to come by or that you had to have 20 percent down or e[...]

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