Saving on legal costs

Attorneys often encounter situations where a potential client has a shoestring budget but needs legal assistance in a matter. The question then arises: Can my matter be handled with limited scope representation?

After learning about the situation and the client’s needs, the attorney must make the decision on a case-by-case basis if legal services can be unbundled for the client. The client must also be certain that legal guidance on a limited scope basis will meet his need and will not set him up for failure. The following factors may assist the client and attorney in determining whether a matter may be unbundled or if it requires full-service representation:

  • Will the client understand the limitations of and consent to the limited representation? Is the client prepared to handle the case himself with some guidance or does he need more assistance?
  • How complex is the matter? Will it involve court or administrative proceedings? Is it a clear-cut case?
  • How urgent is the matter? Is the client contacting the lawyer in a last-minute emergency? Will the law firm be required to complete the work within a feasible time frame without the risk of providing services that are not competent?
  • Will the client be able to handle the remainder of the case following the firm’s instructions and guidance? Does the client have the necessary level of education, experience, or sophistication? Is the client well-spoken and articulate? Can the client research and follow the necessary procedural rules related to the matter?
  • Would it be in the client’s best interests in this particular circumstance if the representation were consistent from start to finish?
  • Is the client going to be comfortable communicating with the firm using the methods that the firm has set up for limited-scope cases, such as a virtual law office or web conferencing, rather than in-person office visits?

Shopping local: supporting your neighborhood authors

On a recent trip to Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park, my family went on a “dive-in theatre cruise” with Diver Eddie. They sold a book called “The Song of the Seal” written by local author Francesca Robinson about Diver Eddie and we purchased a copy for my 5-year-old as a souvenir. The book was absolutely delightful, incorporating history, geography and science in an adventure described in animated detail and told in rhyme.

A current trend is locavorism, and this book reminds me that purchasing local products is not limited to food and beverage. Buying local often leads to discovering all kinds of treasures by lesser known residents of your community. Now when I’m out and about, I make a habit of looking for these contributions by my neighbors and make an effort to acknowledge and support the impact they are making on my community.

Business networking in Westside Rochester

Looking for a Westside networking opportunity that does not impede on your busy evenings and weekends? Looking to grow your business network and earn personal referrals? On alternating Thursdays, a Westside business networking group called Canalside Trailblazers meets from 7:30 am – 8:30 am to the start the day with great business potential. They meet in Spencerport to share their expertise and ideal referrals. There is no charge to join or attend. For more information, contact Peter Feltner at (585) 352-1234.

Inspiration from and gratitude to my business clients

I make a point of spending my time with creative and successful people. I watch people take a risk to turn what they love into a business. Passion must be combined with hard work to bring entrepreneurial success. Many start-ups have owners with a second or third job to pay the bills during the early days. I get to share in the triumphs as the owners finally get to focus full-time on the business they love. To all of my clients who let me be on their team as they make a dream come true or create legacy for their family, thank you for being an inspiration and helping me love what I do.

CARES in the Rochester Community

I am proud to be on the Board of Directors for CARES, a not-for-profit that creates an online support resource and community about the issues facing families who deal with schizophrenia. At the annual meeting, there was a “changing of the guard” for new leadership after many years of devoted service by John and Winnie Delehanty. The passion that so many members and volunteers have for helping others and eliminating the stigma of this unfortunate mental illness was nothing short of inspiring. Anyone who has a family member or close friend who deals with this issue is encouraged to follow the launch of an exciting new community resource supported by CARES. A library of videos will address the everyday issues and concerns of those affected their families and caregivers. The world has never experienced such a powerful and personal library of information that can be accessed from anyone’s living room.

I had another incredible and unexpected experience that afternoon. I sat at the “head table” with Kevin Doran. Admittedly, even I can be “star struck” meeting someone I see on TV several evenings each week. I meet amazing people in my work, but the awe never goes away. If you have never had the opportunity to meet Kevin Doran in person, he is an incredibly down-to-earth and genuine person. Without reservation, he shared personal stories about growing up and enthusiastically answered everyone’s questions about his job as a news anchor. (Imagine that he must be asked these same questions thousands of times.) He was so incredibly passionate about his work and so open about how he approaches his news duties. He affirmed the trust I have in what he does every day. Newscasters and lawyers can suffer from the misdeeds of others in the industry. I think that is part of why his integrity made such a personal impression on me. I know this is a deviation from our usual legal subject matter, but I believe it is important to share positive experiences about community leaders. There is so much going bad in the world. I love to find inspiration in my everyday interactions and experiences. I imagine the events of that afternoon will stay with me for years to come.