Dear YLS Member:
I am pleased to present to you the November issue of Electronically In Touch. In this issue, you will find:
•Standing Out in the Crowd—a
I would like thank the contributors to this issue and as always, I encourage you to submit any idea that you may have including, a summary of a recent decision, statute, legal issue, or book review, or a procedural change in practice, etc. If you are interested in sharing your ideas, advice, tips, and/or content submissions, please send them us at email@example.com for inclusion in the newsletter. Electronically In-Touch is a monthly publication, the deadline for submissions is the 10th of the month for inclusion in that month’s issue, but your submissions and ideas are welcome anytime for later publication.
We hope that you enjoy the November issue and look forward to staying In Touch...
Seth M. Azria
Recently, I got my very first “matter origination” credit for my firm. At my firm, we get “client origination” credit when we bring a new client into the firm, and “matter origination” credit when we get an existing client to give us new business; i.e., a new matter.
I had previously worked for the client before as the junior associate working with the counsel on the client’s goods sold and delivered action. We quickly negotiated a settlement for our clients, in which they would receive over 90% of the value of the goods in a series of scheduled payments over a year-and-a-half long period. After the Settlement Agreement was executed, I wrote down the date that the final payment on the settlement was due in my Outlook calendar.
Fast forward a year-and-a-half. For the past six months I have been so busy I barely have time to breathe. One day, I look at my Outlook calendar to see where I’m supposed to be and when, I see an announcement reminding me that I should check and find out whether the full amount of the settlement in that goods gold and delivered action had been paid. Late that night, I pull my file for that matter out of my filing cabinet and draft a quick email to the client that says that I am following up to make sure that the opposing party had complied with the Settlement Agreement and had paid the amounts due under that agreement to our client.
Three days passed, with no response. The next morning, I woke up and checked my blackberry messages. Lo and behold, I had received two emails from the client. The first email confirmed that they had, in fact, received the full amount due under the Settlement Agreement. The second email, sent an hour or so later, stated that the client has another goods sold and delivered action that they would like the firm to handle.
I never, in a million years, thought that I would get business as a result of following up with our client. Frankly, I hadn’t even been told to do so by the counsel with whom I’d been working. I just thought that if I was the client, I’d want my lawyer to check in with me and make sure everything had worked out right. Thankfully, my email seemed to serve as a friendly reminder of our previous successful engagement, and it appeared to be the trigger our client needed to send us additional work.
This story goes to show (1) the importance of following-up with your clients, and seeing all of your clients’ problems through to their ultimate resolutions; and (2) the importance of learning empathy; i.e., how to treat your clients as you would like to be treated.
Had I dropped the ball, and not followed up with our client, nothing bad would have happened. The client had received all monies that were due under the Settlement Agreement. I would, however, have missed a valuable opportunity to remind the client of our good service. In this instance, I probably wouldn’t have received the new matter from our client. I would have been out of sight, out of mind.
Learning how to take advantage of these opportunities isn’t something that is difficult and beyond your reach. Simply think about how you would ideally like to be treated if you required the services of an attorney. Would you like it very much if your lawyer wouldn’t return phone calls? Would you like it if you had to keep nagging your attorneys for updates on your cases? Probably not—and your clients probably don’t like that behavior either. When you make your clients’ job easier, they will be grateful to you for doing so. As I discovered, must to my surprise, putting yourself in your client’s shoes isn’t just good for your client—it’s good for you too.
Show your clients excellent service, and they won’t
forget you the next time they need a lawyer.
What do you call a room full of tax attorneys? Last week at the Soho Grand, the answer would’ve been: a fun evening and an excellent networking opportunity.
On November 2, the Tax Section held a reception for young lawyers practicing tax law at the Soho Grand in New York City. The event was well-attended and was a great opportunity for younger tax attorneys in and around the city to meet and get to know each other and some of the leaders of the Tax Section.
At the reception, Kimberly Blanchard, Chair of the Tax Section, suggested that young lawyers who are interested in becoming more involved in the Tax Section can participate in the preparation of the Tax Section’s reports. The reports are one of the Tax Section’s principal activities, and they consist of policy recommendations on current tax issues that the Tax Section submits to various government agencies. The issues that are considered in the reports cover a broad range, including federal, state and local corporate, partnership and individual tax issues. The Tax Section’s reports are available on the NYSBA website at http://www.nysba.org/tax. They are an excellent resource for young tax attorneys, both as a way of becoming familiar with many of the “hot” issues in tax law and as a source of valuable insights for attorneys who are faced with the issues in practice. Representatives of the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury have stated that they value the Tax Section’s reports and they seriously consider the recommendations provided in the reports.
Tax attorneys who are interested in participating in the
preparation of the reports and who work with members of the Tax
Section’s Committees can coordinate with those members in order to
find out what opportunities are available. Tax attorneys can also
contact any of the Chairs of the Tax Section’s Committees in order
to volunteer their services.
All lawyers would be well-advised to familiarize themselves
with the new rules and e-discovery. See A Gold Mine of Electronic
Discovery Expertise: A Conversation Among Veterans of Electronic
Discovery Battles, http://www.abanet.org/lpm/lpt/articles/ftr07041-2.html.
The electronic discovery game is no longer one played only by large law
firms with well-funded clients engaged in class actions, antitrust
cases, and other complex litigation. Due to scalable technology
solutions, e-discovery is now accessible to all firms and useful in even
average-sized cases. Ordinary cases and law firms of all sizes are
utilizing e-discovery with important results, and not taking advantage
of e-discovery will place one at a serious disadvantage in
The Sedona Conference, a forum for advanced dialogue and
think-tank, has confronted some of the most challenging issues faced by
our legal system today. The Conference was key to developing, among
other things, rules and practices since the advent of e-filing and
e-discovery, as well as participating on the federal rules governing
these developments. See http://www.thesedonaconference.org/publications_html?grp=wgs110.
ZUBULAKE II (Please note: this does not relate to electronic disclosure): Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, No. 02 Civ. 1243, 2003 WL 21087136 (S.D.N.Y. May 13, 2003).
ZUBULAKE III, JULY 24, 2003: Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, 216
F.R.D. 280 (S.D.N.Y. 2003), http://www.krollontrack.co.uk/include/document.asp?file=/legalresources/zubulakeIII.pdf.
Applied Discovery, http://www.lexisnexis.com/applieddiscovery/lawLibrary.
Electronic Evidence Information Center, http://www.e-evidence.info/index.html.
ARMA International, http://www.arma.org. Effective e-discovery requires knowledge of records management and the use of professionals skilled in such disciplines. "ARMA International is a not-for-profit association and the leading authority on managing records and information – paper and electronic. ARMA offers invaluable resources . . . ."
Federal Judicial Center materials on electronic discovery, http://www.fjc.gov/, [includes forms].
ABA Report 103B - Amendments to the Civil Discovery
Electronic Discovery Reference Model, www.edrm.net.
The Sedona Conference, http://www.thesedonaconference.org/publications_html,
Links to E-Discovery sites, http://www.willyancey.com/electronic_evidence.htm.
SANS, http://sans.org, Information and education on security.
Electronic Discovery Web Sites from CIVIL DISCOVERY LAW: e-discovery DISCOVERY OF ELECTRONIC DATA, http://californiadiscovery.findlaw.com/electronic_data_discovery.htm.
have some exciting initiatives that we are interested in this year:
Looking forward to an exciting year!
Thursday, December 7th at 5:30 PM
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Thursday and Friday, January 25-26, 2007
Sunday and Monday, June 3-4, 2007
*Ms. Christina H. Bost Seaton is a third year associate in the complex litigation and labor & employment practice groups at Troutman Sanders LLP in Manhattan, where she is constantly trying to “play rainmaker.” She is the co-author of Say Ciao to Chow Mein: Conquering Career Burnout, which was released this month and is available on www.cordellparvin.com and at bookstores.
**Mr. Michael Seaton is the YLS liaison to the Tax Section and an Associate at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in New York City.
***Ms. Vanessa von Struensee practices as a defense lawyer with Liberty Mutual Insurance Group.