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Jan 9, 2023

Marketing is vital, but leave it to an assistant

Marketing is what drives the growth of a law firm. To me, it is the single most important function of a practice, because outside of word-of-mouth referrals, typically there are no clients walking through the door without marketing. But if lawyers are doing the marketing, then the marketing either is not done right or it’s […]

Baseball pitcher preparing to throw fastball
Jan 2, 2023

Losing your fastball: Strategies for lawyers facing cognitive decline

It was not the way I planned to end my career. One day, in April 2019, I told my law firm colleagues that I was going to take a medical leave to address some health issues and that I would be out for at least a few weeks. I never came back. I could not […]

Technical drawing
Jan 2, 2023

Patentable subject matter: An American Axle update

In American Axle, the invention was directed to a method for manufacturing a shaft assembly of a driveline system, historically considered to be patentable subject matter. The first claim addressed included a step of turning a mass and stiffness of a liner. The tuning was qualified in that it was said to be a tuned […]

Social media logos
Jan 2, 2023

Is it time to update your social media in the workplace policy?

You know what really grinds my gears? The choose-your-own-adventure security boxes that websites use. “Click all boxes with a tree in it.” In those moments, I am filled with self-doubt related to the definition of tree and whether the smallest speck of green is a tree. That is why I am here to say thank […]

Commercial real estate property
Dec 26, 2022

Lease pitfalls commercial landlords should avoid

A well-drafted lease agreement will go a long way toward protecting a commercial landlord and ensuring that its expectations are achieved. However, sometimes what may seem like a minor lease term can have very large financial consequences down the road. Here is a discussion of a few pitfalls that can be avoided. Leeway for late […]

Dec 26, 2022

Noteworthy and quoteworthy: two new books of quotes

If you’re relying on the internet for quotations, stop right now. Stop for two reasons. One, the internet is unreliable. It misattributes too many quotations to Abraham Lincoln, Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain. When a person is quoted, it should be the right person. And a quotation should be an accurate rendition of a sentiment, […]

Mental health counseling
Dec 19, 2022

Behavioral health parity rules: What employers need to know

With increasing regulatory scrutiny and litigation by employees against employer sponsored group health plans, now would be a good time to find out if your employer-sponsored group health plan is compliant with behavioral health parity rules. In 2008, Congress passed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, or MHPAEA. This law requires large group […]

Dec 12, 2022

The robots are here: Take care when using AI in the workplace

When used effectively, artificial intelligence, or AI, can eliminate much bias in decision-making. However, when misused, AI may actually promote the same bias it should thwart. Generally, employers use AI in the workplace through supervised machine learning, or SML, during the hiring process. SML uses algorithms to analyze applicant data and recommend which candidates will […]

Dec 12, 2022

Fighting stigma: Speaking up

For so many of us, the goal of success is what drives us to sacrifice and persist through obstacles. However, this goal of success can take on a life of its own, leading toward perfectionism, becoming our identity, and sacrificing important values in pursuit of what we imagine will make us fulfilled. When I see […]

Dec 5, 2022

401(k) plan management under greater scrutiny

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “nothing is certain except death and taxes.” At their core, Franklin’s words ring true today, but there are more things we can predict with good certainty given our access to data. Employers can get a sense for potential exposure by watching for a rise in certain unique lawsuits. Now in […]

Dec 5, 2022

Is any pandemic relief still available for employee benefit plans?

As we approach our third new year since the first reported cases of COVID-19, related relief may seem like old news. Although much of the government-sponsored pandemic relief has expired, there are aspects that remain germane for employer-sponsored benefit plans. Specifically, relief provided as part of the national emergency and the public health emergency declarations […]

Nov 28, 2022

Briefly: Line dancing for lawyers

We have written about the importance of not switching line spacing or typeface settings in an attempt to squeeze more words into a brief — especially after the court has rejected your request for additional pages. (See “In briefs, what a difference a font can make,” Virginia Lawyers Weekly (Aug. 29, 2022).) Parties doing so […]

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