Communicating


Content Under Pressure

Style Guides: Maintaining a Healthy Relationship Between Creator and Content

By | Jun.01.17 | No Comments

Most of us have a generally good grasp of English usage and punctuation. The problem is that some usage and punctuation errors are so subtle and pervasive that we are tricked into thinking they are …Continue reading »


Get to the Point!

Qualifiers Do Not Increase Quality

By | May.10.17 | 1 Comment

You can’t be persuasive if your message is confusing. Whether you’re arguing a motion or giving an interview on a political issue, clarity is what counts. A qualifier changes the meaning of another word or …Continue reading »


Content Under Pressure

Write Your Way Into the Euphemism-Free Zone

By | May.01.17 | No Comments

Last month’s United Airlines overbooking debacle and the subsequent PR disaster and brand implosion has me thinking of the value of communicating clearly. There’s much to be critical of in United’s behavior and initial poorly …Continue reading »


Trial Skills

Are You Acting in the Courtroom?

By | Apr.24.17 | No Comments

A law student is working on a direct examination during a trial skills program. She is practicing her presentation — how she stands, gestures and speaks. Each time through the examination, she asks exactly the …Continue reading »


The Friday Five

A Solo’s Tips on Balancing Client Calls and Personal Time

By | Apr.14.17 | 3 Comments

If you’re a solo practitioner or in a small law firm, you are likely a slave to your smartphone, making sure clients can always reach you. As managing partner at a small firm, I found …Continue reading »


Get to the Point!

You Can’t Practice Law Without Math

By | Apr.12.17 | No Comments

One of my mediations included negotiation of a medical provider’s lien. The lien was $10,000; the offer to settle it was $3,700. I gently pointed out that the offer was less than half the amount …Continue reading »


Want to Avoid Ethics Complaints?

Follow These Three Service Tenets for Satisfied Clients

By | Apr.03.17 | No Comments

Unhappy clients often choose to file ethics complaints against their poor-performing lawyers. What leads to their unhappiness? It may come as a surprise, but most ethics complaints are not about incompetence. Instead, most complaints revolve …Continue reading »


Get to the Point!

Invisible Syllables

By | Mar.06.17 | No Comments

A television commercial for Butterfinger candy bars brags that they are “crispety.” Another advertisement claims they are “crunchety.” These descriptions are not words, and Nestle should not be trying to persuade us otherwise. One would …Continue reading »


Well Said

Converting Post-Speech Inquiries: The Follow-Up Email and Phone Call

By | Feb.21.17 | No Comments

How do you manage a post-speech chat with someone who chooses to tell you how the problem you spoke about affects their company, and convert it into a solid opportunity? Last month in “Convert Post-Speech Inquires into …Continue reading »


Get to the Point

Elegant Insults

By | Feb.13.17 | 4 Comments

When your brain knows just the right word, you can be more concise. And sometimes you can slip in the verbal dagger without the victim understanding what you’ve done. Insouciant When you want to say the defendants …Continue reading »