How to Make a Workers’ Compensation Claim

An employee can make a compensation claim- when he receives an injury at his workplace. This right is ensured to the employees with workers’ compensation insurance. It is highly beneficial for both an employee and his employer. This insurance includes medical bills and living expenses of an injured employee.

If you are an employee working in a private firm, you should know well about it. As an employee, you must be aware of your rights ensured through this insurance coverage. If you are not well aware of your rights, you can collect information from different sources. You can talk to a doctor and defiantly an attorney. This is highly necessary for protecting the income of employees- when they are injured severely.

To make the claiming process easy and favourable for you can consult with a work accident solicitor. This will make the job easier for you. A workers’ compensation attorney is specialized in providing you with the right solution. He can advise you, guide you and finally file a case for a compensation claim. In a court, he will take the total responsibility to represent you and convey your messages in a right and systematic way. It will definitely increase the chance of your victory.

Given below are the tips to make your workers’ compensation claim:

Visit a registered medical practitioner

This is the first step for making your workers’ compensation claim. Visiting a government recognized hospital or a medical dispensary is always advisable. Get a thorough check-up and collect all medical documents as the proof or evidence of your injury.

Report to your employer

Meet your employer and report him about your injury. Don’t forget to tell him that you have received injury during your working hours. Ask him for recording all papers in the employer’s accident book. If your employer agrees to keep your case in the employer’s accident book, get a proof from him.

Collect all proofs and details of an eye-witness

This is the very important step. Here you should take all records, copies and details of an eye-witness to claim your rights properly and strongly.

Consult with workers’ compensation attorney

This is the final step. Here you should talk to a work accident solicitor to receive proper guidance. He can guide you the right ways after checking your records, copies and all papers concerned to your workplace injury.

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney always helps injured employees receive their company benefits. He can assist you to find the right doctor and settle the matter with your insurance company. If necessary, he can represent you at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

5 Types of Legal Support You Might Need

Many times, the court system will supply what you need, but don’t assume they will. If you’re working with a court that’s unfamiliar to you, find out what support and services they have in place and what you’re expected to supply.

Here are a few types of legal support you might need for your next case, why each is important and the silver lining of having to secure them yourself:

1. Court recorder: This is one type of support courtrooms often supply for you. However, that’s only if it’s required for your specific case – if it’s not, it might be a good idea to secure your own. You’ll want a court recorder so you can go back and listen to testimony, make sure you have facts correct and perhaps prepare for your next step.

2. Court videographer: Videographers who specialize in courtroom cases are rarely required by courthouses. A picture is truly worth a thousand words, so combining the skills of a videographer with a voice recorder helps ensure you have all testimony captured. These videographers are also skilled at editing, thereby saving you from wading through hours of litigation looking for what you need. If you decide to hire one, you may also want to use him or her when prepping for your case.

3. Transcriptions: Having an official court transcript is sometimes preferable to a video. But you don’t want to have to wait for the court to send you a copy. You need to be able to get transcripts back quickly, and in the format you need. For example, maybe a few key people need the transcripts emailed to them ASAP, while others may want them uploaded into a secure cloud storage space for easy access. If you’re in a hurry, the stakes are high and you want to be sure, hire your own.

4. Video conferencing: The odds of everyone being able to physically gather in the same space when you need them to are slim. Don’t miss the testimony of that expert witness just because you’re in different time zones or your schedules don’t mesh. Video conferencing allows you to meet virtually at whatever time works for everybody – without the need to travel or commute.

5. Meeting space: Meeting space/conference rooms are critical when prepping for court proceedings. The space should be equipped with the latest A/V technology, including video or phone conferencing. It should be quiet, secure, private and have comfortable furnishings. A professional staff, including an A/V tech, should be available.

No matter what your role is in a case, from attorney to paralegal, having the right tools and support is paramount to success. It can help you optimize your time, efforts and money, so look into hiring your own professionals to support you with your important legal case.

The Lemon Law And Its Importance

Any buyer who has invested in a car recently would highly benefit with the lemon law as it is designed to protect your rights as a buyer. If you have recently purchased a new vehicle and are facing a lot of issues with it then the Lemon law can come to your rescue. Any individual invests their hard-earned money in buying a vehicle and when the car that you bought with so much anticipation gives you endless trouble then it is truly heart breaking. You as a buyer deserve to be treated with respect and also deserve a product that is worth your investment. The law helps you get your rights. A car is deemed a Lemon when it gives you a lot of trouble right from when it is new making it beat the purpose it was bought for. Being unreliable and unsafe to travel in and if it is also within the warranty then it is surely called a lemon. Before proceeding further you would have to see if the problem is big or minor.

A defective vehicle is eligible for a replacement or you may sometimes be provided a refund. You may also apply for a refund of the repair expenses. In case of a case being filed you would require all the documents as evidence and so it is very important that you save them all. Thought the dealer is required to be cooperative, they may not be helpful sometimes and that is why you need evidence to prove that you are right. However, many a times you see manufacturers coming to terms and settle the issue out of court itself.

There have been positive and negative experiences going into arbitration. Most people are not satisfied as they do not get a solution to their problem. Some states even allow for a Lemon claim to be made after the warranty period provided the buyer has made an attempt to repair the vehicle within the warranty timeframe.

If you are taking to the legal means you need to ensure that you have all the information and knowledge so that you would not be played with. This is why it is vital that you hire a good lemon law attorney with experience. A reputed lawyer would be able to provide you with proper advice so as to help you get the deserved compensation. If your case is genuine this Lemon law will surely bring you justice as it was designed to protect the common man.

How Important Is It To Have Legal Protection?

Do you know that under indigent representation, you may have to partially reimburse the court for the cost of legal services given to you? You can often avoid costly and complicated issues if you consult a lawyer before you have a legal problem. Also, there are other advocates who can assist people with their legal and non-legal situation even when they are arrested. Above all, make sure you get legal information and advice from experienced attorneys. There are many people who simply cannot afford to hire an attorney, and the need for legal services among the poor is overwhelming.

In a lot of case If you are under 60 years of age and seeking help for yourself or your family, and you may qualify for free legal assistance. So, legal assistance is available, often at a reduced cost or no cost, depending on your legal situation. If you have a low-income and need legal services try contacting you State legal aid office for individuals. Now business owners should always be connected to a source of legal protection. There are lots of reasons why a small business might need legal assistance. In light of our current economic climate, and economic downturns, small businesses are facing increasing financial challenges. And trying to address these challenges without legal advice could put the small business and your livelihood at greater risk. Acquiring the help of an experienced small business lawyer will more than offset the potential cost from harm that can fall upon your business if you don’t deal with legal issues properly.

No matter what if you know that you’ll need legal representation whether individual or business it’s always best to get legal advise from lawyers in your state. Deciding whether to hire an attorney or represent an individual or a small business should be carefully thought through clearly.

As unexpected legal questions and situations arise every day and by having good law firm on your side is a good idea. Moreover, you can get set up to have access to a high-quality law firm with a plan as little as $20 a month. From real estate legal issues to document reviews, speeding tickets to will preparations, and more, from high-profile attorneys who will be here to advise you with any legal matter – no matter how traumatic or how trivial it may seem. Those law firms that are paid in advance sole focus is on serving you, rather than billing you. With a good legal plan you will be protected and empowered to worry less and live more.

Legal Disputes of the Future

Who owns food? Who pays for this accident? Who owns my face? Who owns the Arctic? Who owns the Pacific Ocean? Who owns the sky? These sound like some ridiculous questions at first glance but let’s take a second look at the future through the Great Karnak’s trusty crystal ball.

Who owns food?

Let’s start with this one, since it has, more or less, already taken place. A small landowner in Nebraska named Bill parks his tractor in the shed after a long day of work in the fields. He wipes sixteen hours worth of sweat off his brow while he opens his mail. All bills. Two men in dark suits approach him at the front door and hand him a subpoena. The farmer opens the subpoena, quite surprised to learn he’s being sued by a major U.S. corporation for copyright infringement. It’s a huge settlement they’re after – in the millions. He doesn’t have one tenth of what they’re asking in damages. Since he sits on a tractor most days, he hasn’t got the faintest notion how he could be named in a suit for copyright infringement. He’s certain they’ve got a case of mistaken identity and places the document at the bottom of a pile of correspondence, making a mental note to consult his lawyer about what to do with the nuisance suit.

Rest assured, it’s no mistake. The large U.S. corporation spent millions in developing a strand of DNA for corn that is resistant to a pesticide they also own. When you buy their corn seeds and use their pesticide for your crops, you’ll get excellent results. They copyright the strand of corn DNA they worked to develop. To protect the investment in DNA research they hire over seventy-five corporate lawyers to aggressively prosecute copyright ‘thieves’. They have to establish a legal precedent that attracts a lot of publicity; they intend to branch out into other food stuffs, such as eggs that last longer on the shelf, wheat that produces heavier grain, chickens that add weight quickly, beef that responds to their brand of steroids in cattle foods. The list is endless, and it’s all going to be done by protecting copyrighted DNA strands.

Bill consults his country lawyer about the suit, explaining that he has stolen nothing in his life from anyone. The lawyer does a bit of researching and discovers he’s opposed on the brief by some of the best legal minds in history, paid for by a Dow Jones multinational. He first explains to the multinational that his client doesn’t know how the patented corn seed got into his fields. Possibly the seed cleaning company that strips seeds off Bill’s corn for next year’s crop has intermingled patented seeds with his. He tries to offer a settlement but this is not what the corporation wants. They want a trial. They wish to establish for the record that they’re prepared to sue if anyone grows their corn without paying them for the seeds.

Bill and the country lawyer lose the case which costs him more than he can pay in damages and legal costs. He appeals. The appeal also loses right up to the Supreme Court since copyright law is sacrosanct in the U.S. Intellectual property, in this case a section of DNA, is property protected by the highest court in the land. Bill’s house, farm and equipment are sold at auction to the highest bidder, and the proceeds given to a multinational worth more than a quarter trillion in market cap. The proceeds don’t cover the cost of one of the lawyers for one year, but they’ve earned an important victory – they own food.

Who pays for this accident?

Late June, 2016. A new electric car with one occupant is proceeding along a Florida highway within the speed limit. Up ahead, a tractor trailer crossing the pavement at an intersection blocks the way. The driver, who has the vehicle on ‘auto-pilot’ is reading work-related files and doesn’t see the upcoming collision; he trusts his car will react properly and put on the brakes, as advertized. The software or hardware on the car malfunctions, the result is that the car smashes at full speed into the trailer blocking the road, disintegrating the car and killing its occupant.

Within hours of learning of the crash, the vehicle manufacturer issues a statement: ‘Neither the auto-pilot nor the driver saw the tractor trailer in the blinding sun’, trying to diminish responsibility by including the driver’s inattention to the road. A sharp lawyer advises the family of the deceased to sue, since, by definition, he was not the driver; the car company’s software was driving. The driver of the tractor trailer is found blameless because it was possible to avoid the accident, just as every other vehicle did in this situation.

The impending lawsuit sends shivers down the corporate world’s spine. Will they be forced to halt production of their cars? Offer compensation in the billions as GM or Ford experienced? Will it affect future car sales? Will there be expensive recalls? Their very survival hangs in the balance on the outcome of this legal battle. The car company uses as its indemnity the disclaimer every software user accepts before they can switch on the ‘auto-pilot’. Use at your own risk, they say, just like all software. If a calculator gives you the wrong answer, is the calculator manufacturer to blame if you make a wrong bid on a billion dollar tower construction and lose your shirt because of it? No, it’s the user’s responsibility to check all calculations.

Not so fast, says the family’s lawyer. I present to you as evidence sales material from the car company showing people in these cars on ‘auto-pilot’ busily reading files related to work, texting on their phones, eating sandwiches and coffee, streaming movies. The company has promoted the auto-pilot as reliable, in fact more reliable than humans. The manufacturer, in order to sell the product, has accepted the responsibility for the safety of its passengers, or users, by heavily implying that users can relax while the software guides them safely to their destinations. It’s the car company that killed their client, no one else, by encouraging the car buyers to trust the software to the extent that they don’t have to pay attention to the road ahead. Why else would you buy it?

Insurance companies are prepared to fund the legal challenge to a successful outcome. They want a clear definition of who’s at fault before they begin underwriting any more policies. Driverless car manufacturers are rushing headlong into the intersection of Lawyer and Technology Streets with their eyes closed. Keep watching this space, you’ll never see a bigger smash-up.

Who owns my face?

Brad Pratt is a famous movie star. His wife Angie Groaner is too. They’re fed up to the teeth with being filmed by paparazzi. Brad is filmed in public toilets. Angie is filmed at the doctor’s office. What gets them most upset is they’re captured on film with their kids. They don’t have a moment to themselves, not even after they move from the U.S. to the outskirts of London, England. Every time they walk past a newsstand they look the other way so they don’t have to read headlines about themselves in stories they didn’t sanction. Angie especially deplores the stories depicting her children as alien babies. Paparazzi invade their lives every waking, sometimes not waking, moment.

That’s the price of fame say the news organizations. Bullpoop, says Brad, and I’m going to come up with a way to stop it. Unbeknownst to the so-called ‘news’ media, Brad and Angie consult with the best legal minds and come up with a solution: trademark their faces.

A trademark is the copyright of an image related to the conduct of business, and since Brad and Angie’s faces are their business (worth millions), they’re well within their rights to trademark their mugs. They take a 360° view of their faces and deposit them with all the necessary paperwork at every major trademark registration office throughout the world.

They can’t wait for their first lawsuit to prove the concept. Soon, a tabloid prints the story, ‘Brad and Angie Have Alien Twins’. The photographer and Celebrity Ogler are served with an invitation to attend court in every country in which they publish.

The photog is a nobody with a camera. He’s paid up to a quarter of a million dollars for candid shots depicting Brad on the toilet or Angie in a dress shop changing room. He explains that Celebrity Ogler paid him to take these pictures on a spec basis. The more revealing and damaging the photo, the more they get paid, so anything goes, regardless of the rules of common courtesy or decency.

The publisher, Celebrity Ogler, claims that the two famous people made their millions by being in the public eye, and if it weren’t for news and tabloids, the couple would be living in anonymity. They benefited from free publicity for their rise to stardom and now it’s simply inconvenient to them. They also argue in most countries, it’s their constitutional right to publish news stories related to anyone, regardless of their position in society. What if they were guilty of murder, could we be prevented from displaying their pictures on newspapers?

Pratt and Groaner’s legal team argues that their trademark, central to their business of making films, has been used without their permission and that both the photographer and the publisher have profited using someone else’s copyrighted image. These magazines are not reporting ‘news’; they rely on sales of their tabloids based on the already established popularity of their subjects. Now that they have trademarked their faces, the defendants have profited off someone else’s popularity and their image.

The court rules in favor of the plaintiffs. They’re awarded damages and any further use of their trademarked images can only be done by permission. It will be a very long time before Pratt and Groaner give permission for strangers to take their picture. A new business for trade-marking faces is spawned.

Who owns the Arctic?

In the 1850’s a British expedition to find the Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean goes missing for over a hundred years. Fast forward one hundred and fifty years. Due to global warming the ice pack has melted and it is now possible to sail year round through the Arctic Ocean.

Oil is discovered outside the new economic exclusion zone and Canada protests the invasion of oil drilling wells from the U.S., taking the case to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. Canada claims sovereignty of the Artic to the North Pole. The U.S. says, ‘See you in court. No one can own an international waterway.’

Who owns the Pacific Ocean?

In a mirror image incident in the Pacific Ocean in international waters off China, barges filled with earth drop millions of tons of rocks and slurry to create a small land mass. The Chinese fill enough of the ocean to create a tiny island in the Pacific large enough to plant their flag. They then declare an economic exclusion zone of two hundred miles in all directions and begin drilling for oil.

The American navy sails through the disputed waters. Certain of the rightness of their cause, China begins sending belligerent diplomatic notes of protest to the United States and the United Nations. The U.S. does not recognize their sovereignty in an international waterway by the artificial creation of a land mass. The Chinese are ready to start a war and take pot shots at the U.S. navy in what used to be international waters. Tensions come to a boil before the case can be heard in international courts. The Chinese threaten to begin a war with the U.S. over the issue.

The U.S. responds by entering trade agreements with India and setting up manufacturing facilities for a wide range of consumer items, directly competing with cheap Chinese labor. Twenty years after the shift to India, the U.S. and its allies block all further Chinese imports.

Who owns the sky?

Fred and Harriet are having dinner in their isolated country home. They’re having Fred’s favorite recipe – Mulligatawny soup. An object crashes through the roof and kills the couple outright. Upon investigation, the object belongs to Grooble, a technology firm developing driverless cars. One of their satellites, while repositioning itself to a new orbit, received an incorrect set of coordinates from the controller and crashed back to earth, landing on hapless Fred and Harriet, and the soup tureen. The pieces of wreckage found clearly indicate the ownership of the fallen satellite. Fred and Harriet’s heirs file suit.

The ownership of a piece of land includes the space above and below it, with no defined limit. If you wish to build above the land five hundred stories high there can be no legal objection to it. The plaintiffs argue that their property rights are infringed at any altitude and Grooble was encroaching on the couple’s right to ownership of their property, even though the satellite might have been hovering six thousand miles above them. Since the satellite owners accept the premise that the hardware might malfunction for any number of reasons and come crashing back to earth, they knowingly encroached on property they do not own.

The Grooble Corporation argues that international agreements have determined space (defined as 62.5 miles altitude) to be outside the purview of local property laws. The heirs of the property owners claim that once the satellite re-entered the atmosphere, it was no longer subject to the laws that govern space and are therefore seeking damages afforded them by local property rights, the same as they would if an airplane dropped on their house.

Looking back we find it hard to believe some of the cases that were heard to defend people’s rights and property. The Scopes trial of the Twenties comes to mind, which defended an educator’s right to discuss evolution. A divisive question for its time, a mere ninety years later, it’s almost irrelevant, replaced by the new issues that arise with the advent of technological discovery. The conflicts these new challenges create will burn brightly in their time, setting one against the other in tumult and violent upheaval until, just like all issues, the unveiling of new eras and new civilizations will make them pass into irrelevance. But is mankind now changing too quickly to adapt to new situations? For instance, will we pollute and kill all marine life in the oceans before we can develop legal frameworks to stop it? Will a country poison the atmosphere for the rest of the world? Will nations figure out a solution to global warming before it’s too late? Will DNA continue to be copyrighted preventing food from being grown by private citizens in times of starvation? Will space be cluttered with so much debris as to make it unusable? Legal disputes of the future are extremely difficult to predict but their outcomes greatly impact our societies.

Finding The Best Legal Resources And Services

Injuries that are the result of an accident or mishap are often a more serious matter than many victims might realize. Even seemingly minor injuries can result in considerable expense due to medical costs, lost wages and other concerns. Working alongside a qualified and experienced attorney can ensure that those who have been involved in an accident or who have suffered harm are more likely to obtain a successful ruling or verdict should they elect to take legal action.

Filing a suit or claim can be a complicated undertaking, especially for those who have little to no experience in dealing with the legal system. Sitting down with a professional in order to discuss the nature and circumstances of an accident is often the first step in ensuring that effective action can be taken. Those who elect to work without assistance or who choose to settle for the services of a lesser attorney could be missing out on much more than they might realize.

Prompt action is often required in order to ensure legal efforts are more likely to produce a satisfactory result. Failing to act swiftly, putting off or delaying the process or discounting the importance of seeking effective legal services and representation at the first opportunity can all prove to be very costly mistakes. Prospective clients who choose to retain the services of a professional attorney without delay may enjoy greater advantage in their future efforts.

Not every firm, service or legal professional may be able to provide the quality and range of services that clients may require. Dealing with an attorney who lacks the right background or who may have only limited experience may prove to be a far greater misstep than many clients might have imagined. Ensuring that they will be working with only the best attorneys and services is one concern that accident victims and those who have suffered injuries should never leave up to chance.

With so many different service providers, firms and options to choose among, just knowing where to begin the search for an experienced attorney can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. Lacking a clear picture of the options and choices that can be found may leave prospective clients overlooking resources that may be better suited to their situation and needs. Conducting a little research may ensure that more effective decisions can be made.

Online information is often very helpful for those seeking legal assistance. Spending a few minutes online is often all that is needed in order to discover new options or begin comparing different choices. Failing to outline their options or to assess what each has to offer is a common mistake that has left many clients unable to take advantage of the superior services, resources and assistance that only the best legal professionals may be able to offer. Making the correct decision when it comes to selecting an attorney may be of paramount importance.

Scheduling a formal consultation is a very important part of the legal process. Sitting down and discussing a the details of an accident and the injuries suffered may provide clients with a wealth of useful information. Getting a better feel for what an attorney has to offer can also be essential for ensuring that the right legal assistance is able to be found and selected.

Dealing with the wrong personal injury lawyer can be a much more serious mistake than many clients might have imagined. Legal professionals who lack the skills, understanding and resources needed to better assist their clients may prove to be little more than a liability in the days ahead. Seeking the assistance that only the best firms and attorneys can provide ensures that clients will be better equipped to deal with a legal case, suit or proceedings.

How a Private Investigator Could Help Improve Your Retail Business

If you’re the manager or owner of a retail company, you’ll know how important the customer-facing role of a shop assistant can be. When it comes to your customers, interaction with your staff could make or break their first impression of your business – and a good first impression could secure future visits.

In any business, building meaningful relationships with clients is what will set you apart from your competitors and enable you to deliver a memorable service. But when that service is memorable for all the wrong reasons, that impact on your customer could be detrimental to the success of your business as a whole.

The saying goes: a customer who has had a good experience will tell one person, whereas a customer who’s had a bad one will tell ten. This may be a generalisation, but there is truth behind the statement. The power of reputation is undeniable, and with complaint platforms more accessible than ever, yours could make or break your business.

If you have multiple staff in your employ, it may be difficult for you to keep track of how they are all performing – especially if you own multiple retail outlets. Even with a manager in house, you can’t always trust someone else to share your personal vision of how your company should deliver customer service.

This is why many business owners and managers enlist the help of so-called ‘mystery shoppers’ to allow them to see how their employees perform when they are not around. A mystery shopper can provide you with a full report of their experience as a ‘customer’ in your retail outlet, as well as the performance of individual employees.

Mystery shopping services are also delivered by private investigators that will go above and beyond to provide you with proof of their experience in store. This may come in the form of photographic or DVD evidence, or both, along with a comprehensive written report of their findings.

The reason many professional business owners opt for private investigators to keep an eye on their staff is that they are highly experienced in covert surveillance, so are discreet and will appear natural. They are also able to offer high-tech equipment, which will provide you with watertight evidence of your employees’ behavior.

The service can prove especially useful if you suspect an employee of breaking the terms of their contract or of stealing from the business. A personal investigator could provide you with enough evidence to follow through with disciplinary action.

Mystery shopping can also be incredibly valuable for staff training, showing your retail environment in action. You will be able to help employees to see where they are excelling in their performance, and where they may need to improve.

Some private investigators can also conduct test purchases on behalf of business owners to establish evidence of brand infringement or the sale of counterfeit goods. Many PIs perform these services at trade shows, markets and retail outlets in order to obtain evidence of wrongdoing.

If you’re interested in enlisting the help of a private investigator, start by searching online to find a private detective agency in your area. You will need to make sure that the company offers some sort of mystery shopping service, so call to speak to an adviser if you can’t see this service listed on their website.

Before committing to anything, be sure to read through the company’s privacy policy and terms and conditions. You will want to make sure that your information is handled in the strictest confidence. It’s best to discuss your concerns with an adviser to gain insight into how private investigators operate.

How Lawyers Can Mindfully Cope With Changes Coming To The Legal Profession

The legal profession is facing an avalanche of change in the way it conducts its business. We think we are used to change because that is the nature of law. We live in the changing world of courts, business, technology and legislation. Now we are also experiencing a world where books are being replaced by eBooks, where DVDs are being replaced by live streaming, hotels by renting rooms in people’s homes, taxis by Uber and bank loans by peer to peer lending.

What Is Changing For Lawyers?

The following five trends are impacting the legal profession:

Outsourcing: This trend has already impacted other professions such as accounting and is now impacting the legal profession. Some paralegal and litigation support tasks such as coding and document review are being outsourced saving you time, money and the need to have some skills.

Artificial Intelligence: Legal research has been done online for some time and already reduces the amount of time it used to take to research. But the quality of what is available to us in terms of legal research is about to change exponentially with the advent of artificial intelligence. Legal software will only become cleverer at predicting rulings, conducting research and recommending courses of action. Although it will make our roles much more efficient, it will also come with a whole new set of challenges in the way we invoice clients and how we ensure the advice we are giving is correct and up to date. We will still need to know whether something has changed in the last few days which won’t have been incorporated in the predictive software at the time we are giving advice.

Social Media: It has now become part of how we market our legal services, how we recruit, how we conduct research into the people we are recruiting and how we gather evidence to support our client’s position. It will only become more so in the future.

A Multi-Generational Workforce: For the first time in history we now have four generations working side by side in the legal workspace. We have traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X and generation Y working together. People are now working longer and it means in some places there is a generation gap of over 50 years between the youngest and the oldest employees. This requires levels of tolerance, understanding and communication we might not be used to.

Alternative Billing Models: The traditional billable hours model was not popular with our clients and was seen as rewarding inefficiency. As intelligent software becomes more commonplace, it will bring about further changes to the traditional billable hours model. The value of our advice will no longer bear much relationship to how long it took us to provide it.

Global research by Deloitte has found other issues from a worldwide survey of legal clients. Nearly half of all legal service providers interviewed indicated that regulatory compliance, mediation and arbitration and litigation were growing areas in their businesses. However, the same researchers also found that loyalty to a law firm was no guaranteed. More than half (55%) of those interviewed said they had recently reviewed their arrangement with their legal supplier or would be doing so within 12 months.

Deloitte also found that what people wanted from their law firm was now changing. Instead of pure legal advice, clients also wanted their lawyers to have more industry, commercial or non-legal expertise. They thought it would be helpful if they had digital, data, privacy & cyber security skills and if they were more proactive with their knowledge sharing. This may eventually result in law firms having partnering arrangements with other professions so that client needs can be more fully serviced.

Interesting Changes That Have Already Happened

What changes have I already seen professionals undertake? Here are some:

A not for profit family law firm where profits are either donated to a suitable charity or put back into to the organisation or staff, rather than being paid out to partners as profits.
The use of emoticons in correspondence by one law firm because putting a happy face at the end of an email makes sure the other party knows you aren’t looking to escalate a dispute.
The formation of strong networks with other professionals who might refer work to you or vice versa. These networks might contain anyone from accountants, bankers, financial planners, insurance and stock brokers to health professionals. You can form these networks on an informal basis, or with regular monthly meetings where you all invite your clients to come along to a meet and greet.
One firm has a ‘digital festival’ every six months to keep clients up to date on relevant technology and any relevant legal issues or risks associated with using or not using it.
Apps which help people track what stage their file is at (eg text alert when search sent off to a government department or when lease sent to tenant), when their next meeting is, the government bodies they will need to contact for different issues etc.
Strategic positioning of law offices into non-traditional physical locations such as health or innovation hubs.

How Do We Mindfully Cope With This Amount Of Change

Lawyers are traditionally conservative. We have a way we are using to being perceived, a way we dress and speak, a way we expect our office furniture to look and a standard approach to how business is done… pretty much, the way it always has been. Now we are being asked to shake things up and make changes to the way we do business if we are to stay relevant.

Change can be a good thing. If you are old enough to remember black and white TV, cassette tapes you had to wind with a pencil when they broke, floppy disks or fax machines you will know what I am talking about. Have you ever sold your house? Did you engage in a frenzy of cleaning, throwing out, moving furniture to new places and repairing things you had put up with for years. After it was all done, did you stand back and look at this sparkling house and wonder why you ever thought selling and moving was a good idea? Your legal practice could probably benefit from a similar clean out, repair and shake up. Instead of seeing these changes as a disruption, how about if you saw them as an opportunity to upgrade?

Our very human reaction to change is to see it as a bad or threatening thing. After all, that is what kept us safe when we were evolving. Every change in our environment was a potential threat to our existence. Mindfulness asks you to see change, just as change. It is neither good nor bad, it is merely change.

Mindfulness also asks that you acknowledge change is required and accept what that will mean. Acceptance means not railing against the need for change, but rather accepting it and working out step by step what can be done about it.

Getting Good Legal Advice

Risks and rewards drive choices. Legal questions also require an understanding of the gamble and rewards. In litigation, for example, you often take your chances with the random assignment of a judge. The judge may manage her courtroom strictly or loosely, or she may be known to rule impulsively. Risks can include the likely jury composition based on their values and outlooks. Another downside could also be the financial resources of the opponent. Those funds may be available to pay a sizeable verdict, but they are also available to defend the case aggressively before the case reaches trial. Or conversely, the opponent may go bankrupt at the end of the litigation.

Assessing risks and rewards is much like an underwriter evaluates a credit risk by assigning a credit score. No case is perfect, but when appraising it, the dollar amount marked as the “target” value should accurately incorporate both strengths and weaknesses.

A competent legal counselor will carefully review the law and evidence with his clients at various stages of litigation. This review is similar to a frequently used market valuation used in business, known as “SWOT.” The acronym is “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.” This process is often run backward from a future time when a judge, arbitrator or jury will be making a decision. The process is always one of asking what evidence do we have and does the evidence satisfy the requirements of the law? For example, is this witness a convincing witness who will make a positive impression on the witness stand? Maybe the question will be whether a judge will allow evidence into the case, such as evidence in an age discrimination case that the employer has discriminated against older workers in similar circumstances in the past?

Sometimes the risk is that juries in a particular jurisdiction are known to favor employers or corporations and to be unsympathetic to lawsuits by employees. A good counselor will have information about the likely jury pool, judge, or arbitrator. He will also get information about what verdicts have been for similar cases in that jurisdiction.

An effective counsel will reassess risks and rewards as the case progresses, and as she obtains new information. Witness statements, newly discovered documents, expert opinions, and cash reserves can be reasons for a material shift in valuation.

All my clients must also evaluate their level of resolve to press on with the case to a conclusion by arbitration award or verdict. The opponent will use every available negative piece of information to discredit the Plaintiff. An aggressive adversary will try to frighten and humiliate a party with embarrassing facts, such as a past arrest or incarceration, addiction, a job firing or a psychiatric history. Often this information can be excluded from evidence, but the client must be resilient enough to accept that the other side will use these tactics to shift the focus from its wrongdoing.

Capable legal counsel will know and articulate the opponent’s arguments from the outset before the case is filed or served. Just as importantly, counsel must have the courage to weigh the evidence as it comes in by documents and witnesses and to tell the client the case may not be as air-tight as first thought. This candid reassessment is a service because it grounds the client in reality, and saves the client the time, emotion and effort of a protracted battle without the desired payoff.

In my office, we role-play. We as attorneys not only make the opponent’s case, but we play the part of the witnesses, seeing the battle through their eyes and with their emotions. We ask our clients to engage with us in this pre-trial drama, as if they were the opponent, telling the opponent’s view of things as the client will likely hear it from the witness stand.

Most clients find this role-playing difficult. But as we remind them again that they are “out of character” they return to making the opponent’s testimony, however much they disbelieve it. One positive outcome of the exercise is the client’s appreciation that there is another plausible narrative vying for acceptance by the arbitrator or jury. This deeper understanding gives the client the power to assess risks more accurately. This knowledge, in turn, helps the client set the best settlement target.

In conclusion, legal counsel will guide his or her client to reach a target number for settlement. If that they cannot achieve that number, both attorney and client can feel confident going forward that trial is the best option.

How Home Insurance Lawyers Can Help Resolve Your Case

Terri-Lynn Robinson’s entire life was turned upside down when a dispute with her ex-husband went disastrously wrong. As he packed to move out, he decided to take revenge. He retrieved a BBQ lighter and lit the entire length of their bed skirt on fire. With her in the room. Within minutes, her bedroom went up in flames. While Terri was able to escape, her home and life were in shambles. Her house, an object of arson, was uninhabitable. She turned to her insurance company, who responded by denying her claim. Their reason was that, since her ex-husband was on title, the damage was caused by the home-owner and thus was not covered. Terri is a victim of spousal abuse; she lost her home during the dissolvement of her marriage. When things couldn’t get worse, she was told that she was on her own. Insurance that she had paid for would not be stepping in. Terri was left to pay the mortgage on a “rotting shell” while she lived in a shelter. She could not afford the repairs on her income, and she now faces the very real possibility of bankruptcy and the loss of the rest of her possessions. If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, a home insurance lawyer can help.

This Happens More than you Think

Terri-Lynn is not the first woman to be a victim of spousal abuse and arson. She is definitely not the first to have claims wrongfully denied. The tragic outcome of these denials can be complete loss of quality of life and home. Home insurance lawyers are the connecting link between these horrible tragedies and a successful outcome. Lawyers fight for your rights and your insurance claims. Insurance is paid so that it is there when you need it the most. It is a tragedy that this money is lost, leaving you out of pocket for additional expenses that you cannot afford during the worst periods in your life.

Lawyers get Results

Insurance companies are just that: companies. Companies exist to make money. In addition to this, there is a lot of scrutiny over insurance claims to insure that a claim is not fraud. Unfortunately, this type of scrutiny often leaves the homeowners on the short end, with their claims denied. Home insurance lawyers are familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding insurance and claims. If your claim is denied, your next best move is to call for help.

Most home insurance lawyers work on a commission basis. This means that they do not get paid until you do. They understand that your current situation has already created financial strain. Hiring a lawyer should not add more stress to your current situation. If you can get the help you need to fight a claim that should be paid. To get the money needed to repair your home and life without the out-of-pocket expenses, make the call. Home insurance lawyers are there to fight for you. They are the middle liaison that understands your situation while having the legal knowledge to work in your favor. You paid for your insurance to be there for you. A home insurance lawyer will take the time needed to make sure that this is exactly what happens.