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Curmudgeon’s Perspective

T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

When You Find Yourself in a Hole

“I don't know what to do!” he cried. “Now we're forming committees to make decisions.” I had listened to his travails for the last year as his firm slowly moldered. Morale was bad, profits had slipped down over time, senior partners had become ...

Otto Sorts - March 26, 2015
T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

God and Taxes: Controlling the Conversation

It may surprise some to know that I hold some very strong opinions. One of the burdens of having strong opinions is knowing when to share and when not to. Really, is it conceivable that others would not want to hear the wisdom dripping from our lips?

Otto Sorts - January 6, 2015
T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

Best Way to Deal with a Jerk?

The associate walked into my office clearly upset and asked if we could talk. She closed the door and let loose: “George is such an asshole! He makes my life miserable and now he's given me a bad review!” She checked off the details of this ...

Otto Sorts - December 16, 2014
T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

Senior Staff Performance — It’s Been a Long Time

I hired Pat over 30 years ago, and she has worked either with me or in association with me ever since. She never was a great legal secretary, but she's reasonably bright, loyal and, for the most part, hardworking. However, as can happen to the ...

Otto Sorts - November 11, 2014
T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

Not My First Time at the Fashion Rodeo

I've been through a few fashion trends and I appreciate others' perspectives on style. In our profession, it’s important to look ... professional. Looking good can help bolster your self-confidence and can certainly affect how others see you. ...

Otto Sorts - October 15, 2014
T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

Is It Senior-Lawyer Wisdom or Just Weariness?

Oh, I admit I was a little hard on my colleagues, but their idea was an old one we tried years ago to no avail. I guess they felt I was a bit harsh in the process of shooting it down (again) too, because when I left the room, I overheard one of ...

Otto Sorts - June 16, 2014
T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

There’s Always a Mordred in Law Firms

Joe stormed into my office and demanded to borrow my nine iron. It has a nice feel and weight, and I use it to practice swings in the office when I felt tense or meditative. Joe looked tense — but not very meditative. “What's up?” I asked. “That ...

Otto Sorts - March 19, 2014
T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

Change, Period

The other day my son was bemoaning the new development on the edge of town that was once an empty grassland with a nice sweeping view off into the horizon. Changes, he lamented, seemed to be coming faster and faster these days. Of course, those ...

Otto Sorts - February 10, 2014
T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

Project Management Basics: A Refresher for Lawyers

The recent Attorney at Work compilation about time management and productivity ("A Matter of Time: Time Management and Productivity Tips for Lawyers") got me thinking about how lawyers are drawn to chasing new trends and technologies. It reminds ...

Otto Sorts - January 22, 2014
T-Rex with open mouth Otto Sorts

Lawyers and Social Media: Facebook ‘Em, Danno!

Krebbs came to me for advice. It seems one of his associates had called in sick the day they were to prepare massive final documents for a filing, leaving Johnson high and dry to finish it by himself. That very same night, however, Krebbs saw ...

Otto Sorts - October 17, 2013