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Law Practice Management Spotlight10

Was the Supreme Court's Ruling in Padilla Retroactive or only Prospective? SCOTUS Agrees to Let Us Know.

Tuesday May 1, 2012

Was the Supreme Court's ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky meant to be retroactive or only prospective? This is an important question at the heart of Chaidez v. United States, and the Supreme Court has granted cert in order to answer it.

There is a split among the appellate circuits as to whether Padilla created new law (making the decision prospective) or relied on existing precedent to clarify existing law (making it retroactive). In Chaidez, the Seventh Circuit relied heavily on the lack of unanimity in the Padilla ruling to find that it announced a new rule of law. What the Seventh Circuit failed to discuss was that Padilla involved a situation where an attorney not only failed to give advice about the immigration consequences of a guilty plea, but actually gave incorrect advice about the consequences. Giving bad legal advice has never been considered effective assistance of counsel, and it seems likely that SCOTUS will therefore apply the rule retroactively. However, concern about opening the litigation floodgates could certainly give them pause over applying the rule too broadly.

The Court has agreed to hear the case during the 2012 court term, but a date has not yet been set for oral arguments.

What is your opinion? Is Padilla retroactive or only prospective? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Free Legal Technology Training Courses on National Law Day

Monday April 30, 2012

Have you made plans on how you will spend Law Day 2012 on May 1? If you don't have any local events you plan to attend, consider getting some free legal technology training online. Affinity Consulting Group's Affinity University is offering complimentary legal training courses for one day only. The free technology courses included in the offer are:

  • iPad for Legal Professionals. A 20 minute quick tour of iPad essentials and some must-have apps. As a bonus, attending this seminar entitles you to a 50% discount on the full one-hour "iPad for Legal Professionals" course on May 18 at 3:00 p.m. Register now by clicking here.
  • Microsoft Outlook Tips & Tricks. A 20 minute web session that covers receiving, sending, viewing, and organizing email; managing and archiving folders; and customizing Contacts & Calendars views. As a bonus, you'll receive 50% off two of their full length courses:Outlook Email Management on Tuesday, May 8, at 3:00 p.m.; and Outlook Contacts & Calendar on Tuesday, May 22, 11:00 a.m. Register for this seminar here.
  • To learn more about Law Day 2012, visit the ABA's website.

Can You Get More Work Done By Working Less?

Monday April 30, 2012

Lawyers are known for working extremely long hours, sometimes seven days a week. But are they really increasing their productivity by putting in all that extra time? Not according to Geoffrey James in a Time Business article called Stop Working More than 40 Hours a Week.

The article reports on how Ford Motor Company ran dozens of tests to determine the optimum number of work hours for productivity, and discovered that 40 hours a week is the most sustainably productive schedule. While adding another 20 hours to the work week provided a minor increase in productivity, it was only temporary. After three to four weeks, it began to have a negative effect on production.

Many executives, such as the chief operating officer of Facebook, make sure to leave the office every day by 5:30 p.m. so they can spend time with their families. Over the long term, will it really increase the overall productivity of your law firm if your associates are burned out, going through divorces, and resenting their employer? Wouldn't you be happier if you could spend a little more time with the people you love, the people who you are working so hard to support in the first place?

If you are consistently spending more than 40 hours a week in the office, it is time for you to reevaluate your business plan. Are you being productive with your time? Are you wasting time on tasks that you should be delegating to someone else?

To get some ideas on how to spend less time in the office, take a look at our articles on Lawyer Time Management, Document Assembly for Lawyers, and Legal Outsourcing.

Idaho Bar Associations Directory Completed

Monday April 30, 2012

Our directory of the state and local bar associations in the State of Idaho is now complete. As with the list for the State of Hawaii, we have combined the state and local groups into one list because there aren't enough groups there to split them into multiple lists.

If we have overlooked your group or listed any information incorrectly, please send us an email to let us know so we can update or correct it.

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