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I will not be quoting rules and citing case law.  The purpose of this article is to give best practices for managing Client Trust Accounts in California Law Firms.  We have found in our work that law firms sometimes need guidance on trust account management.  Firms do not intentionally mishandle trust money, but sometimes they take advice from people who have not managed law firm trust accounts before.  We have.  Our team has more than…
DLCCS had  the pleasure of exhibiting at the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s 25th Annual MCLE Spectacular in November.  I attended the “So, You Want to Open Your Own Law Office?” roundtable sponsored by the CCCBA’s Solo and Small Firm Section. This is what they were talking about: Office Location  If, as a solo, you are sharing office space, is your data secure? Make sure it is not accessible by anyone you are sharing space with. …
No Questions, No Answers, Just Smart Business Practices In The Age Of Cyber Theft And Ransom We are all subject to cyber crimes.  It doesn’t matter what size law firm you have.  According to a security blog HashedOut, more than 22% of ransomeware attacks in Q1 2019 targeted professional services organizations (CPAs & Law Firms).  The cybercrime industry generated at least $1.5 trillion in revenue in 2018.  $76 billion of the cybercrime economy involved Bitcoin.…
What do Attorney’s Expect from their law firms? The way law firms and lawyers are using their space has transformed because of remote access, physical space functionality, and space leasing costs. Law firm office space should be well thought out.  Not one size fits all but there are some common aspects that firms both small and large should consider. In the Bay Area, the tech companies have dramatically dictated what the physical space functionality looks…
Budgeting for solo and small law firms is an important management task. It’s easy for solos and small firms to be less-than-formal when starting a new firm, or moving forward once already established, to put a budget on the back burner when the focus is on trying to build up a client base, tending to their needs and squeezing in time to handle a myriad of day-to-day operations. It’s also easy to ignore the importance…
Budgeting for solo and small law firms is an important management task. It’s easy for solos and small firms to be less-than-formal when starting a new firm, or moving forward once already established, to put a budget on the back burner when the focus is on trying to build up a client base, tending to their needs and squeezing in time to handle a myriad of day-to-day operations. It’s also easy to ignore the importance…
Originally published in Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine, July 2019 Issue Excerpt: Where We Stand… There has been a deluge of legal, cloud-based software over the past five years. Lawyers are becoming comfortable with cloud computing, understand more about cloud security and appreciate the benefits of true mobility. Subscription-based models also make most software affordable and available even for small firms or solo practitioners. Another factor is the superior marketing efforts of software companies. They understand…
Originally published in Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine, July 2019 Issue Excerpt: Where We Stand… There has been a deluge of legal, cloud-based software over the past five years. Lawyers are becoming comfortable with cloud computing, understand more about cloud security and appreciate the benefits of true mobility. Subscription-based models also make most software affordable and available even for small firms or solo practitioners. Another factor is the superior marketing efforts of software companies. They understand…
Man paying his monthly bills, looking shocked at a bill he just opened. Three NY lawyers were suspended for trust account violations by their Office Manager recently.  These attorneys weren’t inexperienced. One had been practicing law for 33 years.  This is an all too common issue with attorneys who have long-term employees they trust handling financial aspects of their firms.  This isn’t a new phenomenon; we have probably all heard about something similar.  In the…
Man paying his monthly bills, looking shocked at a bill he just opened. Three NY lawyers were suspended for trust account violations by their Office Manager recently.  These attorneys weren’t inexperienced. One had been practicing law for 33 years.  This is an all too common issue with attorneys who have long-term employees they trust handling financial aspects of their firms.  This isn’t a new phenomenon; we have probably all heard about something similar.  In the…