Fifty-three percent of companies in the United States reported spending $1 million or more on litigation in 2012, the same as the prior year. Attorneys and clients can find good news in that. Ten percent fewer companies reported using alternative fee arrangements, though, more than half the companies used them.
Lawyers must hide their sense of humor. It’s part of the job, and arguably the most important component of getting a decent hourly rate. But not on the evening of March 21. San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program Inc. (SDVLP), a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to thousands of disadvantaged clients every year, will hold its seventh annual LAF-Off (Lawyers Are Funny) event on that night at the House of Blues in downtown San Diego.
The Business of Law Column
The San Diego County Law Library Justice Foundation will once again hold the Bernard E. Witkin, Esq. Award ceremony March 7 at the Admiral Kidd Catering and Conference Center. The annual awards recognize distinguished service by members of the San Diego legal community.
LEGAL: Campus Raises the Bar On Facilities With Its LEED Gold
Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s new home captures the spirit and determination of its namesake and the environmental sensitivity of our third president. And that was no accident.
Betty Evans Boone will be inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame on March 16. Boone is being recognized in the category of “Empowerer of Women and Girls” for her trailblazing efforts in her own legal career, and her work in the community on behalf of Lawyers Club, which works to advance the status of women in law and society.
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. is opening a San Diego office.
TRANSACTIONS: Billing Strategy Brings Profitability In Line With Accountability
Law firms and legal organizations around the country are arguing whether the traditional “billable hour” can serve as both a measure of the firm’s productivity and profitability at the same time.
EMPLOYMENT: Brinker, Bullying, Commission Sales Are Among Changes
California has a tradition of dumping a number of new employment laws on employers to begin each year.
This column is published on New Year’s Eve, so it is at least arguable this item should appear today. San Diego attorney Eric Ganci, a partner at Galente Ganci, APC, whose practice is exclusively Driving Under Influence defense work, discovered during the course of his work that a breath device used by California Highway Patrol and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department did not work properly, specifically the Intox EC/IR, manufactured by Intoximeters Inc.
You already know that SullivanHill Lewin Rez & Engel has partnered with Washington Elementary School to provide fourth- and fifth-graders an inside view of the legal profession.
Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP is the largest local law firm and growing. Six attorneys joined its San Diego and Del Mar Heights offices.
A big win for a local Fish & Richardson team. San Diego-based Volcano Corp. was represented by Fish in a patent trial regarding medical device technology used to diagnose heart problems.
LAW: Social Media and New Rulings Complicate Employee Policies, Practices
Salaries and wages are usually one of, if not the, largest expense lines on a company’s income statement.
LaunchPad has its first potential liftoff. Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP recently welcomed Endopodium into its Del Mar Heights startup business incubator, which is named LaunchPad.
Fisher & Phillips LLP has hired Jonathan Liu as a new San Diego associate. Liu brings extensive knowledge in civil litigation having worked on cases involving employment discrimination, breach of contract, defamation and general negligence.
Littler Mendelson P.C., the world’s largest employment and labor law firm representing management, announced last month that San Diego partner Jeremy Roth will become co-president and co-managing director of the firm.
Ten kids who might not otherwise be able to do so, will be cheering on the Chargers this fall, thanks to The Gomez Law Firm
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP partner William (Bill) T. Earley has been elected president of the San Diego State University Alumni Association.
LAW: Experience Does Count When Navigating Legal Complexities
How good is that online document you just drafted for your new small business? Will it protect your business, your employees and, more importantly, you personally?
The most interesting thing about last month’s United States Supreme Court rulings was not that ObamaCare was upheld, but the establishment of the “John Roberts” Court, according to Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law.
LAW: Skill as Digital Networker Essential to Success for All Lawyers
As the economy continues to take its toll on attorneys practicing in the largest firms to attorneys practicing on their own, Ari Kaplan has some advice. Look for incremental innovation.
Professional baseball pitcher Roger Clemens is free, at least in part due to good legal work done in San Diego.
LEGAL: Statistical Analysis Gives Firms A Business Strategy They Can Count On
San Diego can be a complex place to practice law, more so with the prolonged national and local economic slump. Only 14 percent of San Diego businesses have more than 20 employees, for example, so that means there are few mega-cases and few mega-mergers.
Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP has been appointed by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody to a committee overseeing litigation against the National Football League alleging that multiple concussions can lead to long-term brain injuries
Going to prom is a rite of passage for high school students, even those who turn out to be lawyers.
LEGAL: Hahn Loeser Relies on References And Midwestern Values
Do Midwestern values have a place in the San Diego legal market? Ohio-based law firm Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP is betting they do.
Things would not run smoothly in a law firm without paralegals, legal assistants and, yes, legal administrators. So we need them, and they need an association where they can share their frustrations revolving around working with us.
LAW: Firm to Reflect Cutting Edge Practice, Younger Lawyers
Higgs Fletcher Mack takes on a new look today, launching a “re-branding” campaign designed to highlight what has made the San Diego law firm one of the more successful practices for 60 years and younger management.
As a contemporary philosopher once said, “It’s not easy being green.
LAW: Precedent Setting Case a Victory for Common Sense
The California Supreme Court decided last week that employers must provide a meal break, but “need not ensure that no work is done” on that break.
LAW: Merger Brings Closure After Years of Consideration
Acquiring a law firm is a complex decision, more so when the law firm you have targeted has been in business 138 years.
The Association of Corporate Counsel’s annual Black and White Ball was, well, a ball for most of us.
The Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s student team took second at the Fifth Annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in New Orleans recently, beating 39 other teams from prominent law schools across the nation, including Harvard, University of Arizona, NYU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Marquette, Columbia, Chicago-Kent, Arizona State, St. John’s, Villanova, University of Pennsylvania, Southern Methodist University and the University of San Diego.
Best Best & Krieger LLP has appointed Arlene Prater office managing partner for the San Diego office.
Baker & McKenzie is closing its San Diego office in February, or at least that’s the rumor. Colin H. Murray, the firm’s managing partner, said he had no comment on the rumor.
Delivering bad news to clients is never easy, but David Monks from Fisher & Phillips LLP has put together a way to tell potential wrongful termination clients — and more importantly human resource professionals who might be asked about a particular hire or promotion — that it is acceptable to discriminate against potential and current employees based on how they appear.
The year 2012 will be one of change in the legal community. As another challenging year closed last week, larger firms were reconciling billings that didn’t match overhead. So 2012 promises more reductions, consolidations and new, innovative divisions that can gain market share at more affordable billing rates.
Marvin Mizell was sworn in as the new president of the San Diego County Bar Association by Judge Joe Littlejohn at the Association’s annual Holiday Party, Dec. 2.
Thanksgiving with the in-laws not go as you expected, or perhaps exactly as you expected? Are you wishing you had a pre-nup so you don’t end up a financial turkey?
Attorneys do not predict the future, but we are good at submitting evidence for your consideration, which might aid you in seeing what’s to come.
We’re lucky to have a lot of good judges in San Diego County Superior Court. Department 69 has one of the best. Judge Jeffrey Barton not only works hard during the day and shows up at law schools as a speaker at night, he’s also pushing to make things better.
If you missed the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program Inc.’s Justice For All Celebration last week, you missed a great party.
John Stephens has joined Mulvaney, Kahan & Barry LLP after 17 years with Robbins & Keehn and the last six with Sullivan, Wertz, McDade & Wallace, now Wertz, McDade & Wallace.
This is our Labor Day edition, so it is only fair to acknowledge that without early union leaders this would not be a holiday week.
The local wheels of justice turn slowly and it might get even slower in the coming months, despite the great work of the professionals in the San Diego Superior Court. Our local court system absorbed an $11.6 million reduction in operating funds this year. That was awful, but next year is going to be, well, awfuler.
The green economy has produced more “green” for law firms, too.
There were 1.2 million attorneys in the United States at the end of 2010, an increase of 2 percent from a year earlier
It might seem obvious that friends don’t sue friends. In case it isn’t clear to everyone, given that technology defines friends differently today, the San Diego County Bar Association’s Legal Ethics Committee has adopted an opinion that it is improper for an attorney to send a “friend request” to a represented opponent.
The Supreme Court of the United States exists to reverse the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as the saying goes.
Money makes the world go around, so why should it be any different in legal circles? California Lawyer magazine recently named Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP partner Christopher Healey as a 2010 Attorney of the Year.