Monthly Archives: June 2018

MN CLE: June 30 Minnesota MCLE Deadline

Minnesota attorneys take note, the Minnesota CLE deadline is about a week off! If you’re CLE compliance is due you must complete and report 45 hours of Minnesota CLE courses every 3 years. As part of the 45 credit hour requirement Minnesota attorneys must also remember to complete 3 hours of legal ethics and 2 hours of elimination of bias each 3 year reporting period.

Minnesota CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 3 years
  • Compliance Deadline: June 30
  • Reporting Deadline: August 31
  • Online Credits Hours Allowed: 15

Minnesota attorneys who are at the end of their 3 year compliance cycle must complete the 45 hour requirement by June 30. You must report your CLE compliance before August 31. You can report CLE hours and check CLE transcripts through OASIS on the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education website. For more information about CLE in Minnesota, please click here: MN CLE.

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IL MCLE: Complete 30 Illinois CLE Hours by June 30

Many Illinois attorneys are rapidly running out of time to complete their mandatory CLE requirement. If your last name begins with A-M, the you must complete your IL MCLE in EVEN numbered years.

IL MCLE Compliance

  • Compliance Deadline
    • June 30
  • Reporting Deadline
    • July 31

That means if your last name starts with A-M you must complete the 30 mandatory Illinois CLE hours by June 30. To access more information about the the IL CLE requirements, deadlines and Illinois MCLE compliance packages, please click the following link: IL CLE.

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New CLE on Cell Phone Forensics for Attorneys

With billions of cell phones and apps out there, the amount of ESI generated by cell phones is overwhelming to many legal professionals. So overwhelming that many attorneys simply ignore smart phones, the best source of evidence because it tracks the user’s life.

Cell Phone Forensics & Electronically Stored Evidence (ESI)

We get it – you are an attorney not a computer genius. But if you are ignoring evidence on smart phones and apps in your cases, you are ignoring a virtual treasure trove of electronic information that can greatly benefit your client at trial.

In this CLE program, highly-rated instructor Lars Daniel will use case examples from his digital forensics practice to highlight the proper way to forensically acquire cell phone evidence. Lars will mainly discuss the collection, acquisition, analysis and examination of electronic evidence on smartphones and challenging the evidence. To access the course please click here: Cell Phone Forensics for Legal Professionals.

Lars also address the following topics:

  • “Thumb forensics” by first responders
  • Logical & file systems
  • Deleted & destroyed data
  • Manual examinations
  • Google Maps & network
  • User accounts
  • Internet searches & history
  • Call logs
  • SMS & MMS messaging
  • Installed apps
  • Power events
  • The user dictionary
  • Google is watching & listening
  • Timelines
  • Affidavit highlights
  • Video verification
  • Fakes messages are real
  • A spoofing (fake texts) case example

A digital forensics expert, Lars Daniel has attended over 250 hours of forensic training and has worked on over 500 cases involving murder, child pornography, terrorism, rape, kidnapping, intellectual property, fraud, wrongful death, employee wrongdoing and large scale e-discovery collections, among other case types.

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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New CLE on eDiscovery Fundamentals

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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New CLE: The Role of Trial Lawyers in Protecting the Public

When a company equips 11 million of its cars with software to cheat federal emissions tests and standards. When a former star athlete takes his own life at 43 due to a traumatic brain injury suffered while playing in the NFL. And when a terrorist group rams two planes filled with gas into the World Trade Center and into heart of New York City and America – trial lawyers are there to protect the public and our Democracy.

Trial Lawyers Protect Our Democracy 

Many in positions of power do not like the scrutiny that litigation brings. These powerful interests seek to close the doors of the justice system to the public. They want to dismantle a legal system that is the envy of the world.– David S. Casey

A renowned trial lawyer who has tried hundreds of high profile cases and class actions, David Casey has been at the forefront of the fight to protect the public for over the last forty  years. In this CLE course, David highlights the infamous cases he has litigated and the trial bar’s role in protecting the public and democracy. To access the course click here: The Role of Trial Lawyers in Protecting the Public.

David will discuss:

  • The Exxon Valdez litigation
  • Tobacco litigation
  • Wells Fargo’s collateral protection insurance litigation
  • Apple litigation regarding slowing phone speeds
  • CTE & the NFL
  • Tony Gwynn & smokeless tobacco
  • The Battling Bastards of Bataan
  • The September 11 Victim Compensation Fund

A third generation attorney, he joined his late father David S. Casey Sr.’s firm in 1976, after working as a prosecutor for the San Diego City Attorney’s office. With dozens of high profile verdicts and settlements achieved over a nearly 40-year legal career, he is well on his way to attaining his father’s – who tried more than 700 jury trials – legendary status.

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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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.

New CLE on How Firms Can Increase Gender Diversity

Virtually every large law firm and publicly held corporation claims it is committed to gender diversity. Yet, most gender diversity programs have accomplished very little in the way of significant change.

3 Steps to Increase Diversity in Law Firms

Progress toward gender diversity depends on three key actions:

(1) Specifying specific numerical goals

(2) Providing meaningful financial incentives to achieve them

(3) Adopting and enforcing a clear strategy for how that is to be done

Join Andi Kramer and Al Harris for this thoughtful and poignant program about overcoming gender bias in the legal profession to create a more successful and profitable law firm. Andi and Al will mainly address why diversity benefits law firms & organizations, the gender achievement gap in the legal profession, what men can do and what legal organizations can do to end gender bias. To learn about what steps you can take to create a more diverse firm, please click here: What Men & Organizations Can Do to Close the Gender Achievement Gap in Law.

Further topics covered in this CLE course:

  • The moral & business rationale for diversity
  • Unconscious & implicit bias
  • ABA Model Rule 8.4(g)
  • Blind auditions
  • Thinking slow
  • Getting involved
  • Valuing difference
  • Hiring & assignments
  • Professional development
  • Compensation & promotion
  • Leaves & retention

Andrea S. Kramer is an attorney and a partner in the international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery, LLP. The managing partner in the Chicago office of Nixon Peabody, Al is a frequent writer and lecturer on the financial markets, financial regulation, corporate governance and diversity in the legal profession.

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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Arizona CLE: September 15 CLE Reporting Deadline

Arizona attorneys have annual CLE requirements as part of the mandatory Arizona MCLE requirement. During the compliance period, each Arizona lawyer must complete a total of 15 credit hours of Arizona CLE, including at least 3 credit hours of professional responsibility or legal ethics. The annual AZ CLE compliance period for Arizona attorneys runs from July 1 to the following June 30.

Arizona CLE Compliance & Reporting

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: June 30
  • Reporting Deadline: September 15

Arizona attorneys are also required to report completion of their AZ MCLE requirement each year by September 15. Arizona lawyers must submit proof of completing their AZ MCLE requirements annually on a form provided by the State Bar of Arizona.[1] Alternatively, Arizona attorneys may also use the blank affidavit that’s located in the Arizona Attorney magazine issued in mid-August to report compliance with the Arizona MCLE requirements.

When is the Arizona CLE affidavit due?

Unless exempted, Arizona attorneys must file the CLE affidavit annually by September 15.

Please be aware that the State Bar of Arizona does not certify CLE providers nor courses. However, Attorney Credits is a national provider of CLE and currently offers CLE courses in 48 states. We are Approved Providers of CLE in a number of main states including California, Illinois and Texas. Arizona attorneys have also completed thousands of CLE credit hours through Attorney Credits by completing our interactive online and offline CLE courses. For more information about CLE in Arizona please click here: AZ CLE.

[1] The online electronic affidavit is made available on the State Bar of Arizona website beginning in July.

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NJ CLE: Complete 24 Hours by December 31

New Jersey attorneys! Be advised that you must complete at least 24 hours of NJ CLE every 2 years. Please note that New Jersey has two different compliance groups.

Compliance Group 1

If your birthday fall between July 1 to December 31, you are in Compliance Group 1.  Complete 24 hours by December 31, 2018.

Attorneys in Compliance Group 1 must certify their New Jersey CLE compliance in each EVEN numbered years. If you are a Group 1 attorney that you must complete your 24 required hours by December 31, 2018. For more information on New Jersey CLE please click here: NJ CLE.

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New CLE Course on Avoiding and Obtaining Discovery Sanctions When Dealing with ESI

You’re involved in international litigation representing a local company that sold high tech electronic equipment to an English firm. As soon as discovery starts, the English company claims that four key employees no longer work at the company and they can’t locate their smartphones, laptops and other company devices. With the help of your expert, you eventually realize that all four people are still employed at the company and you get a termination order from the judge due to their dishonesty.

ESI – Discovery & Sanctions

Julie Thorpe-Lopez was not an expert on eDiscovery when the case began – and she wasn’t an expert when it finished either. But she was savvy enough to “know what she didn’t know.” With the help of eDiscovery expert Ryan Maxwell, she was able to leverage an incredibly favorable outcome for client in what looked like a losing case.

In this CLE course, Julie Lopez and Ryan Maxwell will detail how to obtain ESI in eDiscovery and how to avoid sanctions when producing ESI. Julie and Ryan will mainly discuss the attorney’s duty to preserve ESI, ESI best practices and sanctions for failing to properly handle electronically stored information. To access this course please click here: ESI Basics: Avoiding and Obtaining Discovery Sanctions.

Julie and Ryan will also discuss:

  • Scoping
  • Documentation
  • Defensible collection
  • Potential testimony
  • The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)
  • Questionnaires/interviews
  • Data sources
  • Metadata
  • File systems
  • Defensible discovery
  • Motions to compel
  • Motions for sanctions
  • Using a discovery referee
  • Hiding electronic evidence

Julie Thorpe-Lopez is a Partner with Tatro & Lopez, LLP, and mainly represents clients who’ve suffered personal injury as a result of motor vehicle collisions, elder abuse and medical malpractice. Ryan Maxwell directs Epiq’s team of computer forensics analysts in southern California and manages the purpose-built computer forensics laboratory which he designed and established.

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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