Running the firm

Retreating from the office

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Meetings and events outside of the firm foster camaraderie and build relationships among staff.
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Making Rain: I'm pretty sure my clients love me

October 8, 2014
Dona Stohler
Most small to mid-sized companies use on average three to five law firms. Larger companies use even more. So, each and every day you are being compared to your competitors. Knowing how you compare to them in terms of your service and client satisfaction is good to know. You can get this information in a variety of ways and use it to bring in even more business from the client.
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IP lawyer among first to accept Bitcoin for services

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
Intellectual property attorney Paul Overhauser’s clients are often on the cutting edge of Internet technology, so he decided that in addition to dollars, he’ll take digital dough.
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Quick: Use the tools available to market today’s law firms

September 10, 2014
Lawyers are trying new and different ways to advertise with more focus on websites and digital media. But even today, problems remain.
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New partnerships require a shared vision, bit of nerve

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers who’ve teamed up to start firms as partnerships say putting their professional names and reputations on the line together takes mutual trust, respect, a shared vision, and a fair amount of nerve.
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Metrics create benchmarks for 'granular' evaluations of lawyer performance

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Metrics measuring attorney and law firm performance have exploded in recent years, and trend watchers say the implications for the industry are only beginning to be felt.
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Solo and Small Firm Conference puts focus on future of law

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
With a focus on “The Future of Law” and highlighted by a healthy dose of ethics and a look at coming changes and challenges, the Indiana State Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Conference at the French Lick Resort drew the second-largest crowd in the event’s history, organizers said.
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Quarles & Brady latest large firm to expand to Indianapolis

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Larger firms see enough promise to set up shop in Indianapolis - not through merger or acquisition - but by expanding with the launch of a branded office. And then expanding some more.
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Longtime Barnes & Thornburg leader stepping down

May 28, 2014
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
Barnes & Thornburg LLP announced Wednesday morning that the firm’s longtime managing partner, Alan Levin, will step down from his leadership role later this year. He will relinquish the top position he's held for 17 years to Robert Grand, effective Nov. 1.
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Lawyers question enforcement of advertising rules

May 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
One of Indiana’s most familiar legal names – a frequent flier on buses, billboards and TV commercials – says enforcement of disciplinary rules governing attorney advertising is a mess and needs an overhaul. The Indiana State Bar Association is considering preapproving ads.
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Tough Talks: Having difficult conversations about delicate situations

May 21, 2014
People – regardless of the industry – avoid having tough conversations.  They haven’t had “the talk” because there just hasn’t been the right time, or the issue hasn’t affected his or her work. But it may be best to rock the boat today, because tomorrow or next week or next month, it’s going to rock the entire company.
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Law firms should be concerned about cybersecurity

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The real dollars are paid on the black market for inside details about possible mergers and acquisitions, new public policy, and information about cutting-edge technology. In short, the kind of private, confidential information that many law firms hold in their client files.
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Finney: 8 steps to evaluating and selecting your firm’s software

May 7, 2014
Deanna Marquez
Oftentimes firms select software based upon performance during a software demonstration rather than evaluating what will provide the best results for specific firm needs. Finding the right software requires identification of job requirements including process workflows prior to selecting the tool.
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Law firms fight ‘onerous’ proposed tax change

April 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers representing Indiana’s legal profession are heading to Washington, D.C., with a message for their congressional delegations – kill a proposal that would change the way many law firms report income-tax obligations.
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Cox: Time records and billings are important risk management tools

April 9, 2014
Dina Cox
It’s sad but true: The work product of an attorney that clients study most closely is the attorney’s bill. Dina Cox says because of this close scrutiny, coupled with your own standards of professionalism, it is important that your time records and any invoice for services sent to the client be clear, detailed and accurate.
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Firm restructures for growth

March 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The quest for expansion at Bingham Greenebaum Doll and other large firms in Indianapolis may signal more mergers.
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Midwest firms are forgoing headquarters

December 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
The recent Taft merger shows that expansion leads to a shrinking of traditional "home office" roles.
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Mid-sized firms work connections

December 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A small circle, including an Indiana lawyer, helped to build and sustain the global network Legal Netlink Alliance.
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Professor outlines how technology is changing the practice of law

September 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
As robots and computers entered factories, manufacturing became “advanced manufacturing,” bringing increased production at a lower cost.  That upheaval, the result of innovations in technology, is now being felt within the legal profession. William Henderson, professor of law and director of the Center on the Global Legal Profession at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, explained that the growing legal services industry, populated largely by nonlawyers, is mechanizing and automating the work attorneys do, creating products that can be sold for a relatively cheap price.
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Lawyers talk about considerations in leaving firms, opening new practices

July 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
Several attorneys recently have departed established firms to form their own practices, leveraging their legal talents, goodwill and loyal clientele to satisfy entrepreneurial longings.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about fixed fees arrangements

July 31, 2013
James Bell and Michael Gaerte discuss things to know before entering into a fixed fee arrangement.
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Attorneys rewarded by focusing on narrow areas of the law

July 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Lawyers build niche practices in franchise law, and representing clients in eminent domain cases.
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Ice Miller, Bingham Greenebaum Doll reduce downtown office space

June 20, 2013
Scott Olson
A couple of Indianapolis’ largest law firms are giving up space in two downtown office towers, exemplifying how the legal profession is shifting the way in which it conducts business.
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Close calls, complex cases highlight need for attorney surrogates

May 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The attorney surrogate rule protects clients when lawyers are suddenly unavailable due to death, disability, disbarment or disappearance.
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Big tech tips for small firms

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
When advising small firm and solo lawyers recently at the American Bar Association Tech Show in Chicago, Indianapolis attorney Marc Matheny said he ran out of time before he ran out of tips.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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