Daily Dispatch

To Quote or Not to Quote: Either Way, Check Your Source

By | Oct.14.14 | 1 Comment

New Associates

The Internet is awesome. It’s also horrible. It’s the greatest timesaver in human history (okay, maybe air travel, but it’s up there). It’s also the biggest time-suck. With so much information and so many resources available at your fingertips, it can save your butt (anniversary gift overnight shipping, anyone?). It can also make you one.

We’ve all witnessed instances of friends and acquaintances turning into Chicken Little over the hoax du jour spreading like wildfire on Facebook, only to be doused by the guy who provides a link to Snopes in the 128th comment in the exchange. It’s easy to sit back and tut-tut about the dude who forwarded the link about the Tupac sighting at Coachella 2014. It’s even easier to be on the receiving end of criticism if you rely too heavily and, especially, too uncritically on the Internet for research and information.

I should know — I almost made an embarrassing mistake recently. … READ THE REST

Hidden Expenses

True Cost of an Employee

By | Oct.13.14 | 3 Comments

Cost of an Employee

If you ask the head of most any law firm about the compensation for a given employee, you’ll likely hear something like “$15 an hour” or “$50,000 a year.” Of course the dollar figure is correct. But it represents only about 75 to 80 percent of total compensation. The hourly rate or base pay is just the starting point. While many industries track the cost or “burden” of an employee, numerous costs get buried and are not included in the equation. …READ ABOUT THE HIDDEN COSTS

The Friday Five

Words for Friends: 5 Ways to Grab Attention Online

By | Oct.10.14 | 0 Comments

Friday Five

If you want people to notice you online, it doesn’t take a marketing genius to know it’s all about the visuals — a photo, infographic or video will out-pull your wall of words every time. (A photo of you will help, too.) We’re not advocating posting random graphics (unless, of course, there’s a compelling business reason behind that cat wearing clothes). But since adding good graphics to your website, blog or social media means your message is more likely to be seen and shared, it does make sense to invest in your visuals.

The good news is there are tons of fun and easy-to-use apps that will help marry your words with attractive, highly shareable graphics. Here are five mostly free options to stoke your creative fires. … READ THE REST

Boldly Go Where No Firm Has Gone Before — With Your Holiday Card

By | Oct.09.14 | 3 Comments

Nothing But the Ruth

A holiday card catalog arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. I’m mostly a holiday purist who believes that you shouldn’t start celebrating the December holidays until after Thanksgiving. However, there are exceptions when holiday activities require weeks of preparation.

Many businesses send out holiday cards to their clients and important contacts. Before you start thumbing through those catalogs too intently, let me ask you a few questions. … READ THE REST


Five Hot Tips for Researching on Google Scholar

By | Oct.08.14 | 0 Comments

Google Scholar

If you are seeking ways to reduce your legal research costs, here is one good option: Google Scholar. It is an online research service you can use to find cases and secondary sources for free. If you want to know how to harness the power of Google Scholar — and impress your colleagues and clients with your stellar research skills — here are five good tips to get you started. … READ THE REST

Lawyering Skills

The Ultimate Answer to Tough Questions

By | Oct.07.14 | 2 Comments


I still remember my first day in torts class. Old man river, my respectable professor, called on me to analyze an opinion from some archaic case. “Ms. (unfortunately easy-to-pronounce maiden name), is this paragraph law or dicta?”

My response went something like: “Uuuuuhhhhh … that paragraph is … ummmmmmm … dicta? No wait, law. Errrr … maybe.” Meanwhile, in my head I’m screaming, “WTF, dude? This wasn’t in the assigned material!” … READ THE REST