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Great Solutions and Happy Clients 
By Jim Calloway
 
What does a law firm produce? “Legal services” is a completely accurate, fact-based answer. It also doesn’t communicate very much information. In fact, it is somewhat like asking a meteorologist why it is so hot today and getting back the answer “because the temperature is high.” Well, yes, but…
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- September 9, 2017 -- Vol. 88, No. 24

The Changing Practice of Law 
By Jim Calloway 

There are rapidly occurring changes in the practice of law. Some of these are part of general changes happening in society and the business world, others are specific to lawyers. I’m certain the reaction of some lawyers reading about law office technology in this issue of the Oklahoma Bar Journal would be to look back fondly on the day when a good legal assistant, a telephone line and an IBM Selectric typewriter set the standard for law office management and technology. 

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- August 19, 2017 -- Vol. 88, No. 21

Cyber-Attacks: Is It Really Not If You Will Be Attacked, But When? 
By Jim Calloway
 

In last month’s column “Backing Up, Like Breaking Up, Is Sometimes Hard to Do,” I discussed the challenges of having good backup procedures.

Recently, there were news reports of a Providence, Rhode Island, law firm that was held hostage by ransomware blackmailers for 90 days. Just imagine 90 days without access to any file on the law firm’s network or any of the individual workstations. The blackmailers were demanding $25,000 in ransom paid in bitcoin to restore access. The news reports were about the law firm’s litigation against its insurer for not paying a claim for $700,000 in lost billing as the firm’s 10 lawyers were left unproductive and inefficient. I have no doubt the firm also sustained a significant amount of damage to relationships with many of its clients. 

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- May 20, 2017 -- Vol. 88, No. 14


Backing Up, Like Breaking Up, Is Sometimes Hard To Do 
By Jim Calloway
 
March 31 marked the observance of World Backup Day. Now, I know you think I probably made that up, but the observance has a website and everything — www.worldbackupday.com. There is even a pledge: 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- April 15, 2017 -- Vol. 88, No. 11

The Future, The Past, Some Fundamentals and Technology Tips Galore 
By Jim Calloway
 
The future and the past will be highlighted at the 2017 OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference. The conference, which will be held June 22-24 at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, devotes an entire track on Friday to Oklahoma’s Trial of the Century — the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing trial. This track will focus on the lessons lawyers can learn from the trial of Terry Nichols, focusing on the massive investigation undertaken by the FBI, the evidence as chronicled by Oklahoma’s own historian/lawyer/author Bob Burke, prosecution and defense strategies and comments from recently retired Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Steven Taylor, who was the trial judge on the case. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- March 11, 2017 -- Vol. 88, No. 8
Proposed Rule on Limited Scope Representation 
By Jim Calloway
 
Limited scope representation has been authorized under our Rules of Professional Conduct for some time. The Oklahoma Rules of Profesional Conduct provide for this in Rule 1.2. Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- February 11, 2017 -- Vol. 88, No. 5 

Automation in Today's Law Firm
By Jim Calloway
 
One post-Christmas evening at home, we were taking care of several things. I finished loading the dishwasher, but set it to run in the middle of the night so we wouldn’t have to listen to it operate. My wife was using the laptop to schedule bill payments for the month. My Sonos home speaker was on shuffle, playing the large Spotify holiday playlist I had compiled. My phone beeped with a reminder I had set for myself. We had previously had fun playing with the Amazon Echo. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- January 21, 2017 -- Vol. 88, No. 2

Client Confidentiality, Personal Privacy and Digital Security

By Jim Calloway
We have just emerged from a presidential election that led to more members of the general public becoming aware that email accounts can be hacked and the disclosure of stolen emails can be embarrassing and has profound consequences. Technology professionals and those who follow tech news have been aware of these facts for some time. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- December 17, 2016 -- Vol. 87, No. 33

The Basics of a Lawyer's Smartphone 
By Jim Calloway

At the OBA Annual Meeting, during a discussion about smartphones, an attendee pulled out an old-style flip phone and smiled at us. This happens a lot, although not nearly with the frequency it did several years ago. Sometimes the lawyer is a bit sheepish about still having an old flip phone and other times they are quite proud of it, having avoided what they view as the additional complexity and expense of operating a smartphone.
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal --November 19, 20163 -- Vol. 87, No. 30

The Benefits and Risks Associated with Relevant Technology 
By Jim Calloway
 
The technology and best practices used by lawyers to serve their clients and manage their practices has been a frequently discussed topic over recent years. For Oklahoma lawyers, there is a new reason to increase the attention paid to technology now. By order dated Sept. 19, 2016, the Oklahoma Supreme Court amended the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct (ORPC) to incorporate several changes, many relating to technology. These changes were based on modifications to the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct that were passed in 2012.
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- October 15, 2016 -- Vol. 87, No. 27 
Email Attachments vs. Client Portals 
 By Jim Calloway

As the title suggests, this month I am going to discuss the differences between providing clients documents by sending them as email attachments versus providing the documents through a client portal. Some readers may be surprised at how easy and affordable providing a client portal is today. You may have already used similar portals for your HIPAA-protected medical information provided by a health care provider.
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- September 10, 2016 -- Vol. 87, No. 24 
Some Post-Summer Law Practice Tips
By Jim Calloway

Summer is coming to a close and hopefully you have enjoyed some vacation and family time. Several of us enjoyed the OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference in June. We had one of the largest turnouts in recent memory. Our conference is only possible because of the support of a number of sponsors. This year we had several vendors with products and services to help lawyers practice law more efficiently.
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- August 20, 2016 -- Vol. 87, No. 21

Proposed Agenda for Your Law Office Retreat
 
By Jim Calloway
 
This probably seems like a presumptuous title. Every law firm is a little bit different, so there are different items they may want to focus on during a law firm planning retreat.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- May 21, 2016 -- Vol. 87, No. 14
You Are Not Paranoid If They Really Are Watching You: Attorney-Client Privilege, Confidentiality and Cybersecurity in the 21st Century 
By Jim Calloway
 
"The government is watching me all the time. They have implanted devices to eavesdrop on me." It used to be when a client or friend made this type of statement to you, it was time to gently steer them toward a mental-health evaluation.
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- April 16, 2016 -- Vol. 87, No. 11 
Reimagine Your Law Practice at the OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference 2016

By Jim Calloway

On June 23-25, 2016, the OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference returns to the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant. If you haven’t been to this venue since our last conference there, you may not recognize the place. They have remodeled with greatly improved meeting facilities, expanded spa facilities, four movie theaters showing first-run movies with stadium seating, a new bowling alley, a new laser tag venue and more. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- March 12, 2016 -- Vol. 87, No. 8
The Grind

By Jim Calloway

An ancient bit of large law firm wisdom was that there were three types of lawyers: finders, minders and grinders. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- February 13, 2016 -- Vol. 87, No. 5
Thoughts on Social Media: Risks, Rewards and Uncertainties

By Jim Calloway

As I was finalizing this column, there were news reports that the so-called “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch and his mother had been arrested in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Readers will recall this young man stole beer from a Walmart and crashed his father’s truck into some stopped vehicles on a country road. Four were killed and another is paralyzed. His blood alcohol level three hours after the crash tested at three times the legal limit for adults.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- January 16, 2016 -- Vol. 87, No. 2


2015 Year End Roundup

By Jim Calloway

This year I have been writing a lot about change in law offices. If you missed reading any of the prior Law Practice Tips columns in the Oklahoma Bar Journal they are online. I’m sure that some readers are tired of hearing about systemic change in the legal marketplace and wondering how changes will impact them.
 Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- December 19, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 33
Strategy And Tactics: Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

By Jim Calloway

Adopting a strategic plan for your law practice probably doesn’t sound like an exciting proposition to many lawyers. This is particularly true if some eager beaver wants to schedule a mandatory weekend retreat for the entire law firm to work on a strategic plan. No one would dispute the need for a business plan. But many of us have been involved in strategic planning exercises for volunteer organizations that generated a lot of words and ideas, but didn’t seem to really change things. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- November 21, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 30
How Is Your Law Practice Going To Change?

By Jim Calloway

Ideas about the delivery of legal services are certainly changing. Some of the changes are not going to be good for lawyers. Many of the changes will be challenging for lawyers. But some of the changes will assist lawyers who are paying attention to the changing landscape. And, of course, there will be some lawyers who do not want to change and some who do not need to change. Unfortunately, relatively few will fit into both camps. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- October 17, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 27
'Paperless' Office Doesn't Really Mean Paperless. It Does Mean New Processes and Procedures

 By Jim Calloway

“Let’s just go paperless. We can free up all that space in the file room and quit paying so much for outside file storage.”

“What a great idea! We’ve already got those big, expensive printer-scanner-document senders in the hallways on every floor. So, let’s send out a memo! Effective Monday, we’re going paperless. We’re going to scan everything. Tell the mail room people to start scanning all the mail instead of delivering it to everyone.” 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- September 12, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 24
Opening A Modern Law Office: Coping With Today's Rapidly Changing Law Firm Business Model

By Jim Calloway

Comparing the opening of a law office several decades ago with today’s requirements can make one feel nostalgic about “the good old days.” Then, you would rent or purchase some office space close to the courthouse or downtown business activity, hire a competent legal secretary, get a typewriter (Does anyone else remember the ubiquity of the IBM Selectric?), round up some office furniture, stop by the office supply store for a few supplies and you were ready to go. Now, you need to do much of that, but also figure out Internet access (and security), purchase computers, figure out what law office software is required, update your mobile phone plan, create the law firm’s website, buy a scanner, develop written procedures for workflow of digital client files and a host of other items. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- August 15, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 21
Care and Feeding of the Law Firm Client

By Jim Calloway

A lawyer isn’t a practicing lawyer without clients — at least that is the case for lawyers in private practice. The purpose of law firms is to advise clients, attempt to solve clients’ legal problems and represent the clients’ interests. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- May 16, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 14 
Those Timesheets, Those Hated Timesheets: Are You Still Using Them?

By Jim Calloway

A common complaint among lawyers is the painful necessity of filling out timesheets so that the clients can be accurately billed. On its face, this is a simple exercise that should be a part of the daily routine and should be happily done for the direct rewards it provides. (You don’t bill, you don’t get paid.) 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- April 18, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 11

2015 OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference and YLD Midyear Meeting

By Jim Calloway

This year's OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference is not to be missed!  This year’s conference contains critical information gathered for you all in one place. Even if you may not consider your firm a “small firm,” this year’s conference is for you. Because this year we are featuring a program called “Practice Management Shootout at the OK Bar.” 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- March 14, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 8
Uniformity vs. Creativity            
By Jim Calloway

COMES NOW the writer, and for his February Law Practice Tips column in the Oklahoma Bar Journal alleges and states as follows. That is lawyer-speak for “Greetings.” I recall during law school when I was working for a law firm, I asked an experienced lawyer why we started all pleadings with “COMES NOW the Defendant” when the pleading already had a title like “Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment.” The response, which will surprise no lawyer, was some version of because that is how it has always been done. 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- February 14, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 5
New Client Inquiry On Line One          

By Jim Calloway       

It’s the beginning of a new year and most lawyers want to have new clients and new matters to start a new year. And the beginning of a new year is a good time to take stock and make business plans.
 
 Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- January 17, 2015 -- Vol. 86, No. 2

A Little Of This, A Little Of That: Things Lawyers And Law Firms Should Do Soon

By Jim Calloway

This month’s column will cover a wide variety of topics briefly. Hopefully some of you will have a bit of downtime during the next couple of months, so I am passing along some projects for your law firm to incorporate in addition to some other online reading material. 

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- December 13, 2014 -- Vol. 85, No. 33
Thinking About Tomorrow

By Jim Calloway

“Navigating the Changing Legal Profession” is the theme for this month’s edition of the Oklahoma Bar Journal and the OBA Annual Meeting. That’s a topic in which I have much interest. Every lawyer not actively engaged in finalizing their retirement plans should also pay attention to future trends. 

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- November 1, 2014 -- Vol. 85, No. 29 
Client: 'Can My Parents Pay For My Attorney Fees?', Attorney: 'Yes, but...'

By Jim Calloway

Some lawyers and I recently were discussing the problems of family law cases in which the parents are paying for a child’s attorney’s fees. It is a very common situation, given the finances of many young married couples. Parents are usually quite willing to pay for attorney’s fees in family law matters to make sure their children and, often, grandchildren are protected.
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- October 4, 2014 -- Vol. 85, No. 26
What Is Your Law Firm's Social Media Strategy

By Jim Calloway

Everyone (including me) says your law firm has to have a website and almost everyone says that your law firm really needs to also have social media accounts, which are also, at least in part, websites. Most of you understand how that can be true as two of your big gateways for online information are Google searches and Facebook.
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- September 13, 2014 -- Vol. 85, No. 23

Recent Technology News and Developments 2014

By Jim Calloway

There’s been quite a lot of technology-related news over the last several months.  Rather than featuring just a few items, I decided to do a roundup of many of these items with a few comments.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Aug. 9, 2014 -- Vol. 85, No. 20
What We Saw At ABA TECHSHOW 2014

By Jim Calloway

ABA TECHSHOW 2014 was reported to have had an all-time record number of registered attendees, including at least seven from Oklahoma. There are other legal technology conferences, but ABA TECHSHOW is special. 

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- May 17, 2014 -- Vol. 85, No. 14
Reading Online News Items (2014 Edition)

By Jim Calloway

The 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web just occurred.
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Apr. 12, 2014 -- Vol. 85, No. 11
Rocking On Tulsa Time!

By Jim Calloway

2014 OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Mar. 15, 2014 -- Vol. 85, No. 8
What Tech Tool Should I Use to Do That?

By Jim Calloway

How do I do that?

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Feb. 15, 2014 -- Vol. 85, No. 5
Adopting Mobile Technology - What Does That Mean for Today's Lawyers?

By Jim Calloway

What does this mean for today's lawyers?

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Jan. 18, 2014 -- Vol. 84 No. 2
Speech Recognition - It Really, Really Works

 By Jim Calloway

Speech recognition has improved greatly over the years.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Dec. 14, 2013 -- Vol. 84 No. 33
Small Firm Lawyers and Innovation
By Jim Calloway

Encouraging innovative behavior in law firms is a challenge.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Nov. 2, 2013 -- Vol. 84 No. 29
Seven Deadly Sins of Opening a New Solo Law Practice

By Jim Calloway

We offered our Opening Your Law Practice class in Tulsa and Oklahoma City in October. 

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Oct. 12, 2013 -- Vol. 84 No. 27
The Virtual Law Practice

Are We All Virtual Lawyers Now?


By Jim Calloway

Many lawyers have never considered being involved with virtual law practice.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Sept. 14, 2013 -- Vol. 84, No. 23 
Big Ideas Can Come in Small Packages

By Jim Calloway
 
Big Ideas Issue of Law Practice Magazine July/August 2013

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- August 17, 2013 -- Vol. 84, No. 21
Gathering Evidence - 21st Century Style

By Jim Calloway
 
The Craigslist Killer Case and Boston Marathon Bombing Manhunt Demonstrate the Importance of Digital Clues.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- May 18, 2013 -- Vol. 84, No. 14
Ten Improved Fastcase Tools

By Jim Calloway
 
How long has it been since you last used Fastcase?

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Apr. 13, 2013 -- Vol. 84, No. 11
The Basics of the Lawyer’s iPad

By Jim Calloway 

The iPad has proven very popular with the legal profession.
 
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Mar. 16, 2013 -- Vol. 84, No. 8
The Stress-Free Law Practice

By Jim Calloway

Many of you saw the title of this column and began to read it, thinking either, “That is absolutely impossible,” or “Yes, I want that.” This column will address both of those opposing expectations.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Feb. 16, 2013 -- Vol. 84, No. 5
Planning for 2013

By Jim Calloway

Hopefully at some point during the last few months of 2012, the lawyers in your firm had a meeting or a series of meetings to discuss what your plans are for 2013. In larger firms most of the planning may have been done by a management team working with the firm administrator. But at some point, there was likely a meeting with, or communication to, all of the lawyers.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Jan. 12,2013 -- Vol. 84, No. 2