Will SCOTUS Provide Legal Support to the Right-to-Die Movement?
The year 2015 has been a busy year for Constitution groupies. First, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) finally legalized gay marriage in landmark Obergefell v. Hodges, and now the right to die debate is hotter than ever. In early October of this year, California Governor Edmund Brown found enough legal support to pass the End of Life Option Act. This signifies a major victory for groups like Compassion & Choices and Doctors for Dignity, who have been lobbying for such a decision for years. While the issue has not yet been heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, if it ever gets there, it will probably pass scrutiny.
Over the last fifty years, the U.S. Supreme Court has been loosening the reigns of American citizens, especially in their private lives. Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) asserted married couples have a right to contraception, and this right was extended to unmarried couples in Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972). The following year, Harry Blackmun wrote the famous opinion in Roe v. Wade, allowing abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy. The year 2003 saw the overturning of Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), in which Lawrence v. Texas federally permitted consensual homosexual couples to engage in physical intimacy in the privacy of their own homes. Now, with gay marriage fully legalized in 2015, there is no intellectual reason why the SCOTUS will refuse to offer the official legal support needed to allow terminally ill people to kill themselves. Continue reading
Litigation Support Specialists help Small Firms Stay Small–Just the Way They Like It
Most small law firms do everything in-house and they like it that way. This is exactly why attorneys choose to work in a solo practice or with a small handful of colleagues. With all workforce in-house, supervising attorneys can keep tabs on everyone’s work progress and quality.
While “litigation support specialists” may conjure up images of third party companies who are hired as expert witnesses or real estate appraisers, in fact, these professionals offer specialization in litigation support. More specifically, an offshore legal process outsourcing company. Continue reading
Time is Money and Outsourcing Legal Services like Discovery can Save Both
In a recent article entitled “Discovery is a Drag,” author Catherine Lacavera lamented the process of discovery in patent litigation. In United States patent courts, as opposed to other countries, discovery can drag on for 9 months or more. She says discovery reform is the most needed upgrade to the patent court system because the searches are “far too extensive, expensive, time-consuming, risky and unwarranted.” Regarding the expenses associated with discovery, Lacavera asserts that “[d]iscovery accounts for as much as a third or more of the total cost of patent litigation.”
Outsourcing legal services to an onshore or offshore group of researches helps allay the burdensome costs involved in patent discovery. When law firms in America outsource legal services, virtual teams of professionals work on the server so progress is saved in real time. For example, firms outsourcing legal services to India or Israel can hire a larger team for a smaller sum than keeping the work in-house. Continue reading
Incessant Cold-Calling is an Unfair Practice that has led to Heightened DOJ Scrutiny of CMCs
Claims management companies (CMCs) are businesses designed to help consumers recover funds based on legitimate insurance claims. CMCs also work with insurance companies to research, manage, and produce all documentation related to their claims departments. In recent years, consumer-oriented CMCs have fallen under new regulatory scrutiny as rising complaints indicate they are taking advantage of their customers and filing meritless claims just to make a buck. The government has instructed the Claims Management Regulator (CMR), a subsidiary of the Ministry of Justice, to institute a series of regulatory changes aimed at improving the process and outcomes for all parties involved.
Legal Technology Solutions Can Help Solo Practitioners Grow
Before Abraham Lincoln was “the” Abraham Lincoln, he was a solo practitioner. He ran a small law office from a wooden cabin and provided legal services to people in the neighborhood. If his election losing streak would have continued forever, he would have likely gotten by just fine with his boutique Lincoln log law firm. Back in the 1880s, there was no social media. Today, hardworking solo attorneys can get their name in the lights by taking a few simple steps to promote their services, create brand awareness, and get the word out. Legal technology solutions are available for solo practitioners and small law firms across America. Below are some ideas to get any solo law practice off the ground and running. Continue reading
High-Quality Legal Process Outsourcing Teams Can Provide Worldwide Support
With today’s global interconnectivity, legal process outsourcing companies have established themselves as real players in the global legal industry. Twenty years ago, Bickel & Becker, a US-based law firm, opened a subsidiary branch in India. The idea was to train Indian lawyers, paralegals, and other professionals so that they knew enough about the practice of law in America to be able to handle basic legal functions with supervision. While the road to today’s giant LPOs has had its fair share of hurdles and disappointments, it is safe to say that LPO has made it on the legal scene.
Not only has the training and quality of work improved, but many of the technological kinks have also been worked out. Law firms in the U.S. enjoy hosting their documents on servers which can be accessed in an instant from anywhere at any time. Whole teams of people can work together on document review projects, culling through thousands of documents per day with modern software. The days of sitting around a law firm conference table with cardboard file boxes and coffee until midnight are over. Now, colleagues are connected from India to Israel to New York from their own laptops, working on the same “stack” of documents simultaneously. Continue reading
Don’t Expose Yourself or Your Firm with a Cheap Legal Template
Contract management companies provide a vital service in today’s legal market. From attorney retainer agreements to landlord-tenant issues, every aspect of the legal business includes contracts. In a recent survey by Exari involving more than 90 corporate and general counsel, “the findings revealed a majority of general counsel see gaps in their contract drafting and storage processes, highlighting the risks associated with poor management of corporate contracts across the enterprise.” Those interviewed reported using templates as a matter of course, which may save time and money, but may also result in overlooking key provisions, including risk and regulatory compliance clauses. A reliable contract management company provides attorneys with a mechanism for not only creating, editing, and storing a firm’s contracts, but also with a second pair of eyes to ensure full regulatory compliance within industry standards.
The survey reported that “more than 75 percent of general counsel use ‘cut and paste’ templates for the contract drafting process, and nearly half (47 percent) use paper-filing for contract storage; nearly 60 percent feel that their contracting process is too slow and 39 percent say their contracting process lacks adequate visibility into risk, while 22 percent point to a high risk of error.” These statistics would make most clients skeptical, if not downright nervous, regarding the contracts used in their cases. More and more, general counsel are turning to contract management companies to ensure the contracts produced are fully in line with the most recent legislative and regulatory rules, as well as on point for each client’s unique set of circumstances. Continue reading
Legal Help Online is a Great Place to Start Answering Your Legal Questions
Many Americans have legal questions but do not want to enter into an official attorney-client relationship to find the answer. The general public is not aware of case law or pertinent legislation and therefore people do not know whether or not they have a viable legal claim. Even though courts are flooded, it is not necessarily true that everyone with a legal claim takes legal action. People do not want to invest the time and money needed to initiate legal action even though they may be entitled to all sorts of injunctive relief and punitive or compensatory damages.
An appealing alternative to meeting with an attorney is first looking into legal help online. Searching for legal help online is a two-step process. First, the person must find a legal online service provider which offers advice in the individual’s specific jurisdiction. A Californian, for example, may simply search for “legal help online in California.” Private as well as state-sponsored websites also offer a variety of services. There are forms and instructions available to help people file for divorce, enforce paternity rights, and deal with eviction proceedings on their own. There is also a section for small claims court disputes, which is geared specifically for people who do not wish to hire an attorney. Continue reading