Posts Tagged: "Advice for Attorneys"

‘It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint’: How to Get and Keep Good Corporate Clients

Yesterday’s IPWatchdog webinar, sponsored by Anaqua, hinged on the statistic that 70% of in-house counsel surveyed by the American Bar Association in 2012 would not recommend their primary outside counsel to others and 87% would replace their current firm if given a good reason.

Panelists Bart Eppenauer and Benjamin Brown emphasized that avoiding complacency is key. “The legal industry needs to do a lot better,” said Eppenauer. “It’s not enough to deliver quality work; go to your client and ask how things are going or you could find yourself on the way out.”

The Role of Stupidity in Trade Secrets

Although every case had its own special facts reflecting unique personalities, technologies and business models, one necessary element was present in every single case. Somebody had done something stupid. And they still do. Sometimes it’s about what people do when getting ready to leave their job and go into competition. They brazenly solicit customers or foment discontent among the staff they want to recruit. They use the company’s computer system to research and prepare their business plan. They download thousands of confidential files they’re not supposed to have anyway, and then try to cover their tracks by using specialized software – I’m not making this up– called “Evidence Destroyer.”

OEM Trademarks in the AfterMarket: Exploring the Boundaries

While there are certainly limits on how—and how much—aftermarket sellers can use OEM trademarks to communicate key information about aftermarket parts, the legal boundaries for aftermarket sellers are not always clear. And, in the automotive industry, the question of legal boundaries is perhaps most intriguing when the trademark concerned is one of product configuration. Indeed, several U.S. auto companies own incontestable trademarks registrations for various source-identifying parts of their automobiles such as grilles, headlights, and fenders. In light of such perpetual trademark rights in these part configurations, how can aftermarket sellers offer visually identical replacement grilles, headlights or fenders without significant risk of a trademark infringement claim from the auto companies?

Managing international trademark portfolios in the Age of Globalization

Managing international trademark portfolios in the age of globalization can be a fickle endeavor.  Ecommerce has blown the top off traditional thinking as it relates not only to advising your clients on what and where to file, but also how to strategically maintain those filings in the face of an increasingly crowded and adversarial global marketplace.  When a brand attempts to gain a foothold with an emerging clientele, fortune tends to favor the strategically bold.  For this reason, companies are often trying to establish their IP rights in countries where actual use or implementation may not be in the cards for years.  In the case of trademarks, the benefits are obvious: if/when a product is launched, a service begins, or a brand is introduced, a strong and enforceable portfolio is waiting to greet and protect it.  However, in jurisdictions around the world, such a strategy leaves open the possibility of an attack on these rights, most commonly in the form of a non-use cancellation action. 

Seven Steps to Cohesively Combining In-House Legal Departments in a Merger or Acquisition

Companies involved in a merger or acquisition often bring respective legal departments that must be combined after the M&A transaction closes. This presents a singular opportunity to build a new legal department that assimilates the best aspects of each legacy department and offers attorneys and other legal professionals an enhanced career platform. However, if the integration process is not carefully managed, that opportunity can be missed, limiting the potential of the new department, individual team members, and the business at large.

How Law Firm Partners Can Gain Associates’ Commitment and Respect

In their supervisory role, partners typically set the tone for, and dictate the parameters of, their interactions with associates. A first partner may approach the partner-associate relationship as one of mutuality. A second similarly situated partner may premise the relationship substantially on advancing his or her own self-interest. Not surprisingly, associates tend to prefer working for the first partner if given the choice.

13 Tools to Make Your Client Communications Stronger

We must communicate effectively to be helpful. If the client isn’t listening because our delivery is ineffective or off-putting, it doesn’t matter that our legal opinion was brilliant because they will not be listening. Every interaction counts. Here are 13 tips to improve client communications.

Emotional Intelligence: Are You Too Smart?

When I give talks on emotional intelligence, I usually get the following question: “I have an employee who is brilliant, but I just can’t promote her.” When I ask why, I get a response that goes something like this: “She offends either management or her colleagues by blurting out the answer or stating the answer in a way that others in the room feel put down. The universal concern is that the employee or associate is not aware of this behavior and how it affects others. She often has been promoted in the past because of her intelligence. Yet, that intelligence alone is not enough to go higher up the corporate ladder or make partner.

7 Ways Unconscious Bias Inhibits Legal Diversity & Inclusion

Unconscious bias prevents law firms, corporations and Government agencies from hiring the best talent and retaining that talent.  Bias against those that are not in the majority group generally is not intentional.  We are all biased no matter our race, gender, sexual orientation or other differentiators. Thoughtful legal managers develop a strategy to help recognize the existence and minimize the effects of unconscious bias.   This requires acknowledging that it exists and then developing procedures to help minimize its effect.   The result is not only a more diverse and inclusive workforce, but one that is more productive and innovative.

Seven New Year’s Resolutions for IP Strategists

Every year around this time, many pause to reflect on the past and present and chart a course for self-improvement. For aspiring or accomplished intellectual property (IP) strategists, the new year offers us a clean slate to bid farewell to bad IP habits and adopt sounder approaches to benefit the enterprises we represent, the teams in which we work, and our own careers. To that end, consider these seven resolutions.

The Office Christmas Party: Avoiding the HR Hangover

With December here, it really ’tis the season to be jolly’, and with that, many employers indulge in the festive merriment with an annual tradition; the office Christmas party. The afternoon ‘Out of Office’ goes on, the sparkly attire comes out and, many an ear drum is burst as teams of Mariah aficionados compete to hit those harmonic high notes. Karaoke-keen or not, the office Christmas party is the perfect opportunity for employers to thank employees for their contributions over the last year, to bond, share a drink and relax into the holiday season. However, with a glass quickly turning into a bottle, the party can be (and often is) a recipe for disaster that creates consequences extending far beyond the next-day hangover. With many employers well underway in their planning of this year’s Christmas party, we provide a 5-point guide highlighting the steps that can be taken to help avoid any HR headaches.

How to Motivate a Legal Team to Success

Being an effective law legal group leader whether in a corporation, a law firm or the Government, requires specific skills.   Leading teams to accomplish goals under stressful circumstances requires these skills and a team commitment… An excellent leader recognizes that they rise or fall with the team.   To be successful, we all need to have the best team working with us.   When we promote people, they feel valued and appreciated.   Making people feel appreciated is the #1 motivator and its free!… The performance of the team, rather than individuals, is the most important measure.   Yet, pressures can take us away from the team approach if we don’t consciously focus on it.

The Art of Dealing with Uncertainty

Do you sometimes feel unsure of yourself when speaking to a client or making a presentation?   Anyone who answered no is not being honest.   We all feel insecure at certain times; that is human.   It is impossible to know everything or anticipate every possible question.  You can be more effective with clients and colleagues if you follow a few simple rules when dealing with situations where you are not 100% certain.

3 Questions Lawyers Should Ask Themselves Now Regarding Alcohol

Attorneys have stressful jobs and many turn to alcohol as a form of self-medication to relax.   Problem drinking is much higher for attorneys than for the public.   Attorneys with a drinking problem are more prone to malpractice complaints and ethical violations.   This article discusses why drinking by lawyers is a big concern and how you might address it.

Combating Lawyer Burnout and Recharging Your Career

Do you feel fatigued by the long hours, demanding clients and little sleep?   At points in our careers, many lawyers feel like they don’t have a life and that their work defines them.   This is understandable given the demands of the job and the high fees clients pay for legal services.   Yet, you must find ways to recharge and maintain your momentum for the work… Successful people stay focused and attack the challenge at hand, while enjoying family, friends and their surroundings. This is difficult to achieve if you are too tired and bored with your job. You can develop ways to supercharge your career and make certain that you are on the path to continued success and happiness for the long-term.