Employees are a law firm’s greatest resource and greatest expense. The cost in time and money to train a new employee is significant. “Hire slow, fire fast” is an often-used phrase when it comes to hiring new staff. Like many clichés there is a lot of truth in this phrase. We want to be careful with our important staff hiring decisions so there is little turnover. But there is often the tendency to delay and procrastinate terminating the new hire who is not working out.
Rule 1.15 of the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct requires that funds provided by a client for retainers (until the monies are earned), flat fees (until the monies are earned), filing fees, deposition and expert witness expenses be deposited in an interest-bearing trust account, commonly referred to as an IOLTA account. (IOLTA stands for “interest on lawyer trust ac-count.”) Subsection i to Rule 1.15 provides an attorney may have more than one IOLTA account and the comment to Rule 1.15 provides that separate trust accounts may be warranted when administering estate monies or acting in similar fiduciary capacities.
Practice management solutions are not a one-size fits all proposition. When asked about which of the many law practice management solutions1 is best, I routinely respond with the same answer that many attorneys use to respond to client questions: It depends. Just as your clients sometimes become annoyed with the lack of what they consider a concrete answer, I understand that those calling for guidance may become frustrated with the lack of a simple, straight-forward recommendation.
The traditional reason to back up a computer is because things go “bump in the night.” Hard drives are mechanical and will fail, it is only a question of when. Data may get corrupted for various reasons. Malware may infect a computer. Ransomware is increasing its footprint. This article addresses one approach to image and back up a small office computer system using Acronis True Image as the image/backup software. However, other software can be used. This article does not address the issue of storing data in the cloud and the issues that might be associated with Microsoft Office 365. The article is based on using the standalone version of Microsoft Office 2013.
Cybersecurity is a hot topic these days, but what does it mean to practicing lawyers today? Essentially, cybersecurity is the protection of your information systems from theft or damage. For an attorney, that means making sure your client’s information stays confidential. Today, that includes taking steps to protect yourself from experiencing a data breach.
The following is a summary of some of the changes in Oklahoma law on state taxation and fees enacted by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2017.