eDiscovery Fundamentals CLE

Despite the increased importance of eDiscovery in today’s legal world many attorneys still don’t even know the basics… what’s ESI??? How do you respond to a litigation hold? What are native files?

What is ESI??

If you’re a trial attorney and you don’t know what ESI is… then you need to take this CLE course!

In today’s electronic world, being prepared to properly respond to eDiscovery demands can make or break your client’s case – and your litigation budget. In this CLE course Alex Marjanovic and Greg Mahoney show you the most efficient way to respond to eDiscovery by discussing the key terms you need to know to get results, litigation holds and the three primary methods that firms are currently handling e-discovery. To access the course please click here: eDiscovery Fundamentals.

Three Primary eDiscovery Methods

Alex and Greg also review the three primary eDiscovery methods and  provides a cost benefit analysis and the potential for sanctions with each of the three methods (1) Review on your computer (2) Review hard copy of ESI and (3) Review in database. The analysis of the three methods is conducted with the use of a sample data set that could be found in any litigation matter today.

Alex Marjanovic is the Managing Partner of Sales at Epiq, a national and international provider of electronic discovery services, with responsibility over the Southwestern States of the U.S. He has had extensive experience with electronic and paper-based discovery and related litigation production/discovery matters over the past 14 years. Greg Mahoney is the Director of Legal Solutions at Epiq Global. He collaborates with law firms, government agencies and corporations throughout the eDiscovery process.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

Alaska (AK)

Arizona (AZ)

California (CA)

Connecticut (CT)

District of Columbia (DC)

Illinois (IL)

Maryland (MD)

Massachusetts (MA)

Michigan (MI)

Missouri (MO)

New Hampshire (NH)

New Jersey (NJ)

New York (NY)

North Dakota (ND)

Pennsylvania (PA)

South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in Illinois and around the country. For more information about CLE in Illinois please click the following link: IL CLE.

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What New CLE Courses Do YOU Want To See???

It’s probably no secret to you that we get extremely busy around the end of the year and through January and into the February.  That’s because a number of states have December 31 deadlines and California has a January 31 deadline.  As we approach the New Year, we are rounding out our taping schedule for 2018.
As we book our last few tapings of 2018 I ask you – what CLE courses do you want to see added?  Let us know what you want to see added and we can look for great courses wrapping up 2018 and starting off 2019…. wow, I can’t believe we’re talking about 2019 already.

Get Your CLE Done: Keep Your Law License!

When we first started Attorney Credits, our idea was to bring you quality CLE at a great price, in a convenient online format.  We know that attorneys are busy professionals – you don’t need to waste your time and  money completing CLE courses.

Falsely Certifying CLE Compliance 

Countless attorneys have been fined and or suspended for failing to complete their MCLE requirement.

At the end of the day, we also help you to keep your law license.  That’s because if you fail to complete your CLE – or worse yet, lie about compliance – it can cost you your law license. For more information about CLE courses and bundles please click here: Attorney Credits.

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New CLE on Document Fraud in Elder Abuse Cases

One of your favorite clients is Pearl, who you’ve helped with some real estate and estate planning matters when her husband of 55 years passed away. Even though she’s in her eighties, she’s still sharp as a tack. One day she calls you frantically because her checking account is suddenly overdrawn and she thinks that her housekeeper might be to blame.

Document Fraud in Elder Abuse Cases

People who take advantage of senior citizens will often forge checks, alter deeds and attempt to change wills.

While many people think that it mainly consists of physical abuse, elder abuse is more often times a crime of financial abuse where relatives, caretakers and “friends” take advantage of the elderly. An experienced document examiner, Mike Wakshull has seen altered wills, attempted stock transfers, suspicious checks and homes sold with forged real estate deeds. To access this course please click here: Document Fraud in Elder Abuse Cases.

Using case examples from his own practice, he will highlight:

  • Knowing the telltale signs of faked signatures
  • The importance of exemplars
  • Fluidity vs. tremor
  • Examining the unique attributes of a signature
  • The tools used to examine documents

A court-qualified forensic document examiner, Michael N. Wakshull has been involved in the Forensic Document Examination arena since 1983 and belongs to a number of Document Examination Associations.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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Colorado CLE: Reporting Your CO CLE Courses

Colorado attorneys must complete 45 CLE hours each 3 year compliance period – including 7 hours of ethics.[1] To fullfill your duties, you must report all Colorado CLE hours to the Colorado Office of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education.

Colorado CLE Course ID Number

To report your completed CLE hours, you will need the course ID number for the course. The course ID will be listed on the Certificate of Completion.

Please use the online Colorado CLE affidavit system to enter the course ID number and report the CO CLE hours that you’ve completed. Please contact Attorney Credits or visit the following page for more information about Colorado CLE compliance: CO CLE.

[1] The first Colorado CLE compliance period starts on the date of your admission to practice law in Colorado. You compliance period ends on December 31 of the third full calendar year following the year of your admission.

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FL CLE: 30 CLE Hours or 33 CLE Hours??

The Florida Supreme Court approved a new rule on 1/1/2017 requiring Florida attorneys to complete technology-related CLE courses. If your Florida CLE compliance is due in the next couple years you don’t have to worry about it.

FL CLER – Technology Requirement

The first Florida attorneys that need to complete 33 hours – including 3 hours of technology – have compliance dates starting in December 2019.

Only if your compliance deadline ends in December 2019 (or later) then you must complete 33 credit hours every 3 years. Five of the 33 credit hours must be in approved legal ethics and 3 of the 33 hours must be in approved technology programs. Please click here to see more information: FL CLE.

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How Can Small Law Firms Grow Today?

The changing legal landscape invites a different approach to law practice.

We have all heard the legal industry is changing. Lawyers compete for clients, experiencing how access and affordability are two barriers that seem to be pervasive. Whether a lawyer is relatively new to the profession, or has been practicing for many years, the thoughts of how to maintain and grow a successful practice is or should be on the mind.

So how can small firms grow today? The old tested methods of networking, advertising, and referrals certainly would still hold true, but in today’s world, it seems more is needed. Clients tend to want easy access to their attorney, coupled with reasonable fees, and a sense of consistency or branding. While this may sound obvious in theory, in practice, as a general statement, it doesn’t work so well.

Access

While office building set ups may be comfortable for lawyers, anecdotally clients share that riding up an elevator, waiting in a reception room or conference room, and then finally meeting with a lawyer in that setting can often be “overwhelming” or “intimidating.” Traditional law practice set up lent itself to such an environment, but as society has changed, it appears a sizeable number of consumers and small businesses prefer being able to pull into a one level parking lot, walk into a retail setting that is still professional, and have access to an attorney – even if to just to briefly meet to set up an appointment.

Reasonable Fees

Many firms offer options of flat fees, hourly fees, and hybrids, but few, if any, publish some or all of them on their websites. Clients have perceptions of fees being exorbitant, sometimes rightfully so, which is why transparency up front, with full disclosures as to how a fee can increase or change form (flat to hourly) builds credibility, and may increase the likelihood of a client choosing you.

Consistency or a Brand

Today, society loves brands, probably more than ever. Of course, one firm in and of itself can create a brand, having various locations can serve to enhance a brand and peoples’ desire to frequent it.

While anyone can arguably make a cup of coffee, we have Starbucks. While anyone can arguably make a sandwich, we have Subway. And while anyone that is trained on tax preparation, can prepare taxes, we have H&R Block. Law firms can benefit from consistency, not necessarily in the practice of law itself, as every case is technically unique, but in the business of law. Having an expectation that a common name, a certain look and design of the firm, and defined levels of client service, can give clients a sense that there’s credibility, and that it’s a brand that they want to employ.

In general, it seems people have a sense of security or an expectation with a brand-and yes, even service brands. We know that you can not control the services of a dentist, a hairstylist, or an accountant/tax preparer, but the business framework within which they operate can be. As described above, the consistency that can come from branding can be very important to gain business and have it repeat.

Example of a Solution Encompassing Access, Affordability and Branding

An example of one answer to the challenge of access, sharing reasonable fees, and affordability is providing consistency through branding as part of a law firm franchise system.

Legal Value Firm®, a Torrance, California based law firm has done just that. Now in its fifth year, Legal Value Firm is a full-service law firm of attorneys, offering a wide range of practice areas, for mostly flat fees, in professional space in a shopping center. This paradigm has offered clients a whole new alternative: easy access and affordable legal services in a branded, neighborhood Legal Value Firm. Currently, Legal Value Firms are being offered in Arizona, with other states pending (legalvaluefranchise.com).

Founding attorney Joe Donnini states, “Law practice is definitely changing, and the timing is perfect to redefine access and delivery of legal services. With our new shopping center concept, we have positioned our brand to be a solution of the future for many consumers/small businesses and attorneys, too.”

How Does Franchising Work?

As a way to grow a law firm, franchising will offer education, training and support on client development, marketing, operations and overall business management. Attorney franchisees will be able to use their independent judgment in their practice of law, and still be in business for themselves but not by themselves.

Prospective licensed attorney franchisees may be relatively newly licensed attorneys, seasoned attorneys that want to convert their practice or operate it in addition to Legal Value Firm, or larger firms that want to capture more market share (analogous to hotels that have various brands under their portfolio).

Franchising is not the answer for every attorney, but certainly can be for many. In Legal Value Firm’s experience, some of the challenges described in this piece that lawyers face have been minimized or overcome. For example, there are numerous occasions where clients will sign up for an engagement simply because they frequent the shopping center-or it does happen where people engage the firm on the spot for a pressing matter. Capturing more market share is something that can be harder in a traditional setting with a traditional practice operation.

So while change can be inevitable, choices are increasing for small law firms to grow their business. Franchising is one choice that is poised to evolve as the future does. For more information about franchising click here: Legal Value Firm.

This is a guest post from attorney Joe Donnini. Joe is an experienced attorney, entrepreneur, educator, and business consultant.  Having a diverse background has positioned Joe to gain perspective in multiple industries on many matters.  Joe has assisted clients in key areas of business creation, development, operations, and finance.

AZ CLE: Report AZ MCLE Compliance by September 15

Arizona attorneys must complete at least 15 hours of AZ CLE each compliance period, including at least 3 hours of legal ethics. The 15 required hours should have been completed by June 30.

Report AZ MCLE Compliance By September 15

  • Arizona must annually submit proof of meeting their MCLE requirements by September 15.

Once you complete the 15 hours you are not, however. Arizona must annually submit proof of meeting their MCLE requirements on the form provided by the State Bar by September 15.[1] Online filing is also available beginning in mid-July. For more information about CLE in Arizona please click here: AZ CLE.

[1]  In addition, a blank affidavit is provided in the September edition of the Arizona Attorney magazine issued in mid-August.

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NJ CLE: New Jersey CLE Compliance Groups

Every New Jersey attorney is permanently assigned to one of two compliance groups for NJ CLE purposes. One compliance group reports each year. New Jersey attorneys that have birthdays that fall between January 1 to June 30 are in Compliance Group 1. Attorneys whose birthdays fall between July 1 to December 31 are in Compliance Group 2.

  • Compliance Group 1
    • Birthday between January 1 – June 30
  • Compliance Group 2
    • Birthday between July 1 – December 31

Please note that New Jersey attorneys must complete at least 24 credit hours of NJ CLE each two year CLE compliance period. Without a medical or non-resident CLE exception, New Jersey attorneys are limited to completing 12 of the required NJ CLE hours through online and downloadable CLE courses. Please click here for more information about CLE compliance in New Jersey: NJ CLE.

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New CLE: Tips to Avoid Ethical Violations and Malpractice Claims

What can you do to avoid a legal malpractice claim or grievance from the state bar? Most of the time it’s not rocket science, there are many basic things you can do to limit your exposure.

Practicing Ethically

How many times do you have to be told to communicate with your clients? Well, it’s still not enough for some attorneys because numerous lawyers still get in hot water for failing to call, email or text clients and keep them in the loop.

Brooks Schuelke will help keep you out of trouble by discussing the key elements of malpractice law, 10 tips to avoid ethical violations, what you can do if a claim is made against you and possible insurance coverage. To access the course please click here: Ten Tips to Avoid Ethical Violations and Malpractice Claims.

Brooks will also cover:

  • Negligence
  • Breaching a fiduciary duty
  • Privity
  • Defining who you represent
  • Defining the scope of the representation
  • Communicating with clients
  • Saying you’re sorry
  • Calendaring, doing business with clients
  • Suing clients for fees
  • Screening clients
  • Conflicts checks
  • Reporting your claim to your insurance carrier
  • Purchasing legal malpractice insurance

Brooks has been a trial lawyer since 1995. His practice has focused on the representation of individuals and small businesses injured by others. This practice includes personal injury litigation and legal malpractice litigation.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in Texas and around the country. For more information about CLE in Texas please click the following link: TX CLE.

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