Let Loose This Summer!

 

 

 

Attorneys work hard.

 

 

This is an incontrovertible truth.

 

 

If you happen to be one of those hardworking attorneys, it’s important that you take time to play hard as well. Striking balance between work and play can be difficult. It takes courage and a willingness to say “no” when the occasion calls. For instance, if you cannot handle taking on yet another case, it’s time to get real with your colleagues and let them know you’re overloaded.

 

 

An excellent attorney becomes only a “good” attorney when stretched too thin.

 

 

You want to maintain your status of excellence, so you need to be aware of what you can and cannot handle.

 

 

The main point here is: you are not a robot and you should not be treated as one.

 

 

That said, making sure that you let loose every now and then can be a healthy way to keep your excellence in check, and one of the best ways to do that is to take your vacation time.

 

 

There have been a number of studies backing up this idea. Vacation is considered by some researchers to be “recovery from work” – a vital period wherein we, as humans, take time to let our brains heal from constant overthinking and overstimulation. One study found that “repeated or prolonged physiological activation may disturb an organism’s precarious homeostatic (sympathetic – parasympathetic) balance which will manifest in chronic overactivity or inactivity of crucial bodily systems (e.g., the immune system).”

 

 

What does that mean?

 

 

No vacation = overactive immunity.

 

 

This is likely due to prolonged and chronic periods of stress without restful escape.

 

 

Another study by Canadian researchers Joudrey and Wallace reported that “active” leisure pursuits (such as golf!) and vacations helped buffer or decrease job stress among a sample of approximately 900 lawyers. Moreover, British researcher, Scott McCabe, has stated that vacations’ “personal benefits have been found to include: rest and recuperation from work; provision of new experiences leading to a broadening of horizons and the opportunity for learning and intercultural communication; promotion of peace and understanding; personal and social development; visiting friends and relatives; religious pilgrimage and health; and, subjective well-being”.

 

 

So, the next time you’re thinking about chucking the vacay for another 60 hours in the office, you might want to rethink that decision. After all, a well-rested, re-energized attorney is much better than a brain-dead, overly fatigued attorney.

 

 

Now close this article and go schedule your vacation, my friend!

 

 

 

Select Court Reporters is proud to work with attorneys throughout Central Florida. We provide exemplary legal support to law firms in Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Apopka, Kissimmee, Winter Garden, Clermont, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, etc. Contact us today to discuss your priorities and legal support needs. Phone: (407) 977 – 7725 Email: selectcourtreporters@gmail.com

Keep Your Firm Top of Mind

 

Having a legal newsletter is a great way to keep your firm top of mind.

 

To be “top of mind” means that you and your firm remain fresh in your clients’ minds.  This is a good place to be, especially if a matter arises and your clients find they need legal assistance.  After all, if you’re at the top of your clients’ minds when something bad happens, you’ll likely be the first one they call to find a solution.

 

But how do you keep your firm top of mind without being annoying or spammy?

 

A good way to be memorable without coming off as salesy or pushy is to provide recurrent advice that will benefit your client.  This advice should always be geared towards helping them and should never come off as a pitch for business.  You want to be viewed as a skillful and practiced attorney with vast knowledge but also a caring individual who wants to do right by his/ her client.  This positive position will help convince your client that you are the right one to call when they need help down the road.

 

So what kind of advice can you provide that will benefit your client?

 

Select Court Reporters has a few ideas to help you drum up content that will not only help a client out, but also provide intelligence at appropriate times throughout the year:

 

January – March: 

 

 

  • Send your client reminders to start cleaning up their financials for tax season. Even if you’re not a tax attorney, that doesn’t mean you can’t provide them with a reminder.  You can also take the opportunity to refer them to a competent CPA.

 

  • Send your client a reminder to file their annual or periodic reports! Every year, states require businesses to file an annual or periodic report to remain registered with their Division of Corporations. Providing a gentle reminder to your client will help them keep their company in good standing and help you remain in their good graces.

 

 

April – June:

 

 

  • This is a time of year generally associated with rainy days. Sending your client information on water intrusion hazards and how to remedy defective construction is a great way to provide advice and information ahead of time so they know how to react should a similar issue arise.

 

 

July – September:

 

 

  • It’s summertime! That means your clients will likely be headed out of town on vacation.  Providing them with information regarding personal injury (in the event of an unforeseen accident) or even travel insurance can help them stay ahead of the game and take care of any necessities prior to travel.

 

 

October – December:

 

 

  • Holiday time is a great time to provide information on consumer protection. People do a lot of shopping at this time of year.  Cautioning your clients to take care of their credit – and their credit cards – is not only practical advice, it’s vital to helping them keep their accounts safe and their identity concealed.

 

 

Being known as a helpful attorney is great…but being labeled a reliable attorney who goes above and beyond for his/ her clients is supreme.  Providing beneficial advice via your legal newsletters is a professional and personable way to take care of clients.  It also seals your reputation as a go-to lawyer with a giving nature.

 

 

Going Green: How Mother Nature Can Make Your Law Firm Successful

 

 

It’s true – mother nature can make your firm more successful.

 

Here’s how:

 

There is a theory that, by incorporating nature into your daily life, you will improve workplace performance.  The theory is tied to the hypothesis of Biophilia – an idea that suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.  According to studies, incorporating elements of nature, even through artificial means, can improve well-being significantly. It decreases stress and increases the release of dopamine in the brain.  This positive stimulation creates a sense of happiness and employees are more inclined to want to be at work.

 

So, it would seem that bringing nature into the workplace on the daily can make you and your legal staff happier and more productive workers.

 

Could you ask for anything more?

 

Also, Biophilic design contributes to a greater sense of sustainability and will push you and your employees to be ever mindful of our planet.

 

When we are connected to Mother Nature – the greatest mother of all – we care about what happens to her.

 

This will urge firms to be more renewable and embrace a system that maintains cleanliness in the office (i.e. far less paperwork to sift through) and supports our environment.

 

Examples of Biophilic design include:

 

  • Wide windows that provide plenty of natural light and a connection to the sun
  • Areas of “shade” that provide breaks from too much sunlight
  • Nature sounds, such as falling rain or wind in the trees
  • Aged wood with a noticeable patina
  • Rocks and geodes assembled in a natural formation
  • Mathematical patterns – such as fractals – in simple variations (not too overbearing)
  • Natural or artificial plants in designated areas

 

Try incorporating a few (or all) of these elements into your office and see if it improves your workflow and productivity.  At the very least, being surrounded by natural elements will provide a sense of calm and serenity as you work, which can lead to better concentration and improved cognition.

 

 

Select Court Reporters is proud to work with attorneys throughout Central Florida. We provide exemplary legal support to law firms in Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Apopka, Kissimmee, Winter Garden, Clermont, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, etc.

 

Contact us today to discuss your priorities and legal support needs.

Phone: (407) 977 – 7725

Email: selectcourtreporters@gmail.com

 

 

Client-Based Marketing and Why Law Firms Should Do It

 

 

 

Marketing in the legal field is no longer limited to print ads, television commercials, and radio spots. The process extends far beyond the stereotypical advertising gimmick, into the realm of daily work life. Marketing should be a part of every firm’s regular routine. Promoting the firm is vital to maintaining current clients, retaining new ones, and even for obtaining reputable employees.

 

Because let’s be honest—everyone wants to work for the savvy and successful law firm.

 

Truth be told, the majority of legal marketing is done through word of mouth, so print ads, while somewhat beneficial, are not generally the funnel through which new clientele will flow. Real marketing begins with the clients a law firm or attorney already has. Consider them liquid capital. If a firm invests in them, it will see a great return. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, but the most important method—other than winning cases—is communication. Whenever a firm or attorney communicates with a client, they are given a chance to market their business. Open and frequent communication with clients is key to creating a strong business relationship. If a client feels taken care of by a particular firm or attorney, that client will have no qualms about referring a friend or business associate in need of legal services. Moreover, every time an attorney or member of the legal staff communicates with a client via email, phone, or at an in-person meeting, a firm has direct access to pitch new business to the client. Marketing should be a part of every piece of written communication, every telephone conversation, and every client conference.

 

In order to make this possible—without spamming—firms need to develop a strategy. Logos and business slogans should always be part of email signatures and letters, but beyond the visual aspects of advertising, we have emotional psychology—the heart of marketing. At the end of the day, whether a client refers a law firm to a friend or associate depends on whether they have developed trust in that law firm. This is where non-visual marketing comes into play. Firms should make it a weekly routine to call or email clients to check in and update them on the status of their case. Even if there has been no movement on the case whatsoever, touching base with a client to let them know and to see how they are doing can make all the difference down the road.

 

Humans like to feel appreciated.

 

A firm’s unique communication process should also include perceptive listening. If a legal secretary or receptionist is speaking to a client, or even a potential client, she or he should be mindful of what that person is saying. If a client mentions offhand that they are starting a new business with a friend, the legal secretary should take note of this and pass it along to the attorney so they can reach out to them to either assist with the formation of the company or provide the name of an associate who can help them. Even in situations where a firm does not end up taking a particular case, the interaction that potential client had with the firm is integral to obtaining clients later on. These brief exchanges make an impact. They are “prime real estate”—an opportunity to get in front of a person and promote a firm’s prowess.  Therefore, educating the legal staff in the principles of marketing and relationship building should be an important goal for all firms, no matter the law type.

 

Take it from Paul J. Meyer: “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.”

 

Select Court Reporters is proud to provide exemplary court reporting services to attorneys and firms in Central Florida, including but not limited to, Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Apopka, Kissimmee, etc. Contact us today to discuss your priorities and legal support needs: (407) 977 – 7725 or selectcourtreporters@gmail.com.

 

Witness Tips for Busy Attorneys

 

 

Do you have a hearing, deposition, or trial coming up soon?

 

Will your experts and client(s) be expected to provide testimony?

 

As an attorney, your job entails research, planning, and preparing yourself for impending proceedings, but it also includes preparing your client(s) and experts for their big day in court. It’s important to keep in mind that, often times, clients and/ or experts may not be as well-versed in legal procedure as you are. Providing guidance prior to upcoming court events is imperative to developing a winning strategy, inside and outside of the courtroom.

 

Here are a few tips Select Court Reporters has put together to help your clients and experts shine while providing testimony:

 

1. Only answer the question asked.

 

Clients and experts can and do have a habit of overexplaining, and this is something an opposing attorney will rely on to get them talking. Talking can turn into rambling, which in turn, can have a detrimental impact on the case you’ve presented. By training your clients and experts to answer only the question asked in a short and direct manner, you will avoid long-winded tirades that can (and often will) contradict your side of the story.

 

2. Speak clearly and concisely.

 

Clients and experts are often nervous during court proceedings. It’s an overwhelming experience for them and they have every right to feel uncomfortable. By developing a strategy that assists them in maintaining their composure, you invariably help them come across as more reliable and trustworthy. Witnesses who mumble and seem self-conscious can be misinterpreted by a judge or jury as shifty and dishonest. Help your clients with their enunciation, tone of voice, speech octaves, and inflection. Remind them to remain calm and to speak as clearly as possible while providing their testimony.

 

3. Dress the part.

 

This may seem like a given, but working in the industry, we’ve seen plenty of witnesses show up in less than respectable attire. Believe it or not, coaching your clients and experts to dress their best will not only help them show respect to the court, the jury, and opposing counsel, it will also provide a sense of professionalism and decorum. A person who cares about how they dress – who spends a little time selecting their outfit – sends a message to those around him / her. That message says: “I care about who I am and what I have to say.” Those that dress well simply seem more trustworthy and those who are trustworthy are more inclined to sway a judge or jury.

 

4. Be respectful.

 

Clients can get emotional and this can cause them to become volatile and irate. Remind your clients that judges notice everything. They are trained to evaluate and analyze the behavior of the people in their courtroom. Disrespect – whether intentional or not – can have a dire effect on the outcome of a particular testimony. Guide your client prior to court proceedings—give them advice and remind them that, by keeping their emotions in check, they will ultimately provide more believable testimony. The court cares about the facts, not how your client feels about the facts.

 

5. Listen to the question and take time to think about your answer.

 

This is a big one! It also goes hand in hand with numbers 2 and 4 above. Clients and experts can sometimes get riled up and confused during court proceedings. It is important that they take a moment to listen and think about questions posed before they shout out an answer. Being too quick on the draw can end badly, especially if a client or expert offers an answer to a question that was not asked. Again, this can offer support and insight to opposing counsel that may not have been there had the client and/ or expert taken a moment to understand the question. Remind them that, if the question confuses them, they are allowed to clarify what the other attorney meant. It is better that they get clear on a question than fire off a rapid response that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

 

Employing these tips will make testimony easier for your clients and experts. Moreover, spending a little time coaching them will provide a sense of relief, as well as trust. There is nothing more important in an attorney-client or attorney-expert relationship than trust. It is the backbone of your business and having it can lead to new work, new clients, and an improved reputation in the industry.

 

 

Select Court Reporters is proud to provide exemplary court reporting services to attorneys and firms in Central Florida, including but not limited to, Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Apopka, Kissimmee, etc. Contact us today to discuss your priorities and legal support needs: (407) 977 – 7725 or selectcourtreporters@gmail.com.

 

 Case in Point: Vetting Your Expert(s)

 

In the Land of Law, there are a number of things considered integral to the management of a successful lawsuit. Calendaring is certainly at the top, as is a healthy understanding of statutes, caselaw, and the rules of procedure. Another important item is strategy—one cannot build a proper claim or defense without it. Yet, of all the items on the list, the most important is by far the discovery of evidence. There can be no strategy without the evidence to support it, nor can there be an application of caselaw or statute, or even a case to procedurally manage, for that matter. A successful lawsuit consists of facts and evidence to support them. A large part of discovering and maintaining proper evidence requires building relationships with reputable individuals who hold expertise in certain industries and areas.

 

These are your experts.

 

By definition, an expert (or expert witnesses) is a “party that gives their expert evidence”. This evidence is usually testimony related to a professional or scientific subject based on training and experience in the subject area. The expert will give their opinion to aid the court in a decision or judgment.

 

An expert can make or break a case, especially if the facts rely on expert evidence and opinion to uphold the claims and defenses made.

 

Properly vetting your expert is vital to providing evidence and testimony that the court can rely on. You want to be assured that the opinion your expert gives can be backed up by thorough knowledge and investigation. Recruiting a respectable expert witness who “knows their stuff” will not only provide a sense of security, it will also help you build a relationship that will continue to hand over successes, case after case, lawsuit after lawsuit.

 

An expert can be a very lucrative business contact.

 

If you consistently use an expert, you create a rapport. That connection can lead to referrals, networking junkets, and even reduced expert rates. Finding an expert valued in their field can open doors to creating other worthwhile business associations.

 

 

So, how do you find the right (and REAL) expert?? Select Court Reporters has a few tips for vetting your next case’s “Whiz Kid”:

 

  • Do your research! If you get the name of an expert, be sure to Google them. Look into their LinkedIn connections, check out their social media accounts, and search for them in correlation with scientific articles, lawsuits, or other educational documents they may have published or contributed to

 

  • Ask for their curriculum vitae. Having a document that lists out their credentials can help you thoroughly vet them. Think of it as a check list—start with the first item and work your way down.

 

  • Ask them for copies of any scientific or educational articles they may have written, including any public case assessments.

 

  • Cross-reference their rates. While you do have to “pay to play” you shouldn’t have to pay out the nose. If your prospective expert is charging more than other individuals in his or her field with similar experience, consider moving on.

 

  • Ask around about them. Peer reviews can be just as beneficial as experience on paper. Listen to what your colleagues have to say about them, review their overall case successes, etc.

 

When you take the time to discover your best expert today, you will inevitably build a better case tomorrow. And the next day, and the next, and so on…


Select Court Reporters is an expert in its field! We are proud to serve attorneys and firms in Central Florida, including but not limited to, Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Apopka, Kissimmee, etc., and look forward to providing exemplary court reporting services to attorneys in need! Contact us today to discuss your priorities. We’d be happy to provide additional information so you can properly “vet” our excellence.

 

 

 

Hate In-Person Networking? Try an Online Networking Event Instead…

There’s no doubt about it—we all have something amazing to share with the world. Yet, some of us suffer from crippling shyness and introversion, two traits that don’t exactly cater to the business philosophy of “see and be seen”.

 

While it’s true that the business (and legal) world pushes entrepreneurs and law firm partners to let go of inhibitions and step into the limelight, the utilization of this method does not necessarily have to be one size fits all. We can use the idea of networking and apply it to many different scenarios, those that serve the introvert and capitalize on its talents.

 

Because, let’s be honest, introverts have got it going on!

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, extraverts are awesome, too, but healthy introverts have a way of seeking depth in situations—even those that do not suit them. Extraverts are less concerned about introspection. They’d rather be out doing as opposed to sitting at home with a cup of tea, pondering the world at large. Both types of people are creative, fun, and focused, they just operate in different ways. Where extraverts are inventive by way of outside social connections, introverts discover innovation through a deep connection to self, and it is this very trait that can be used to network business online.

 

If you are an introvert, you may understand what I mean. We are very attuned to our feelings, our likes, our dislikes, etc. We take time to gestate and consider, to analyze and create. We are both architects and contractors. We like to connect with an idea at the cellular level and watch it evolve into something really spectacular. By focusing on this truth, we can drum up ideas, provide services, and promote movements that are long-standing and meaningful. Most introverts are not interested in passing trends. Like an Amish carpenter, they want to make something that will survive the passage of time. Introverted business owners and attorneys may capitalize on trending topics to fuel awareness about their services and products, but their overall purpose is always meant to last.

One passing trend an introvert can benefit from is the online marketing event.

 

These events are virtual. You can host them on the Internet and promote them via your website, social media, etc. A good online networking event will draw people together on a virtual plane and encourage them to engage. It will always have a deep focus—whatever that long-lasting, meaningful thing you’re promoting might be—and it will stir people to take action without you even having to be there, pushing and prodding in person. It’s also a good way to wade into the networking waters as opposed to diving in head first, which is something many introverts deem terrifying…

 

What kind of networking event could you host to bring people together and educate them about your product or service? Where would you promote it? How would you use it to push people to action?

 

Take time to think about it (we all know you’re good at that).
Then start planning!
Make a point to host your own online event this year to create responsiveness to your brand, your firm, or your cause!

 

Select Court Reporters provides exemplary court reporting services to attorneys and law firms throughout Central Florida, including but not limited to Winter Springs, Oviedo, Winter Park, Maitland, Orlando, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, and Kissimmee. We are currently expanding our client base in Seminole and Orange Counties and would love to connect with you. Contact us today to discuss your needs.
Phone: (407) 977 – 7725
Email: selectcourtreporters@gmail.com
“Select Court Reporters you can count on!”