Friday, May 6, 2022

Job Tips: Taking Clients

Check out this ABA Journal article about the Colorado Court of Appeals voiding a firm's fee imposed on departing lawyers who take clients with them. it is the impetus for today's topic: taking clients from your current firm to somewhere new. What tips do you have for this? Have you always talked it through with the firm you're leaving before telling clients or vice-versa? Any words of warning on what not to do? Is it worth the trouble? 

Have you read Administrative Order 22-07? Any complaints about keeping remote appearances? And what else is going on out there today?

44 comments:

  1. Its been 2 decades since I left my last firm. But what I did was, after I left. I called and let them know that I was available, that I knew their cases and that I was dramatically cheaper than the old firm. They came flocking because they knew that I was their guy anyway.

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  2. I do Family Law and there are probably only a couple dozen of us that do it every day, so I would never, ever take a client in any way because it would just make an enemy. For example, the next time I need a continuance from that firm, they'd probably remember.

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    1. 8:24--But usually it's not like you are "stealing" a solid, paying client from another attorney. Usually, the client has already discharged the attorney, or is ready to do so once they find a replacement, and in those instances usually the client is not paying the current attorney, is being a big pain with unrealistic demands,etc. Thus the current attorney is only too happy to see the client ease on down the road. That's what my anecdotal experience is in such Family Court matters. I suppose it's different in the so-called higher end cases. In those instances such clients are usually reasonably compliant with paying their attorney. But, again, in a majority of the cases you are probably doing the attorney a favor by "stealing away" a demanding, difficult, non-paying client.

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  3. February Bar results today?

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    1. On a Friday and not in the middle of the week?

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  4. Where in the hell is the arrest of the animal abuse at Spanish Trails Country Club????

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  5. My take? DON’T steal clients from your employer. The facts of the Colorado case are egregiously bad. The lawyer left and took 18 paying clients with him. This might decimate some small businesses. The damaged law firm whose employee stole the clients was then asked to pay a small amount of around $1,000 per client…and that was deemed unreasonable? I could not agree less with the ruling that such penalties are void and a prior poster notes this is a good way to make enemies not friends. Also, I would never in a million years consider hiring someone who had stolen business from a prior employer. Being that guy (or woman) is job market poison so you’d better hope your new firm works out.

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    1. I think the opposite. I'd leave but then send letters immediately to clients for each and every case you're working on that you'd like moved with you. You give them the option to (a) stay with old firm, or (b) go with you to your new firm. Discuss RATES only for old firm and new (your) firm, nothing more. From my understanding of law, THIS is permissible and doesn't wander into any libel/defamation area nor does it get into any lawsuit attempts from grumpy old lawyer at old law firm who might claim civil torts.

      What is a person supposed to do, stay in poverty forever and act like they just moved out to Vegas 1 week ago just to move ahead by starting their own firm? I think not. Restrictive covenants are explicitly forbidden for law firms; let's not start acting like there's a back door around this prohibition by thinking that a leaving attorney can get in trouble at the State Bar for taking clients or held civilly liable for bringing some clients to a new firm AFTER CLIENTS ARE GIVEN AN EITHER/OR CHOICE.

      I'd leave the shitty cases with the old law firm though. Gotta leave some presents for them.

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    2. It’s not “stealing” clients, especially if you brought them in on your own. You’ve been working with these clients. They trust you, not the firm generally; you’re giving them the choice. Your perspective is that once a client signs up they become property of the firm and can’t choose to go elsewhere. That’s absurd.

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    3. OP 820am here. This post Total Nonsense. Firms hire every day ASKING and evaluating what business do you bring with you.... If the firm cant keep the client, its on them. 100%

      My last firm tried diligently to keep the best clients that opted to follow me into solo practice, telling them that they taught me everything that I know. That sealed the deal in my favor.

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  6. Remote hearings should definitely continue. Cheaper for the clients and the law firm. And sitting in court three hours for a five minute status check? Not to mention the drive to and from court, and paying for parking. No thanks. We’ve finally entered the 21st century. Let’s stay there!

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  7. If you are a partner or rainmaker, reach a deal with your firm on exit to jointly notify clients and give the clients the option to (a) stay at the old firm; (b) go with you to the new firm or (c) substitute the old firm out and retain new counsel. I know people do not like (c) but it shows the client that they are really the arbiter of where the file goes and projects stability no matter which option the clients take.

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    1. ^^ This is the way it should be done.

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  8. #freethemorningafter
    #freebonniebulla
    #freeblackburn

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  9. There is going to be a vacancy in Dept 23…

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    1. Just read that. Polish up the old judicial applications!

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    2. Here's what they're talking about:

      https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/district-judge-arrested-in-henderson-on-domestic-battery-charge-2573645/

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    3. She has the "I F'd up and am about to lose my job" gaze look of defeat.

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  10. Will Jasmin Lilly-Spells skate? Will it be sent to Nye County because of conflict of interest like Miley. Generally speaking the Class of '20 judges are something else. Will it be a long time before this is ultimately resolved/dismissed?

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    1. She is a really nice person who has no business being on the District Court bench.

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    2. 12:14PM--Is that half of the Class of '20. So many good judges were defeated and who took their place. Many new are too inexperienced. Being a former PD or DA does not qualify to be on the bench.

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    3. Yes, it does, especially when you show are barely a 10 year PD, and you show your boobies on the campaign trail. Gag.

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    4. It was sent to the Henderson Muni Court. I don't see the same conflict as Miley as she never practiced there, is not a judge there, and the DAs who will prosecute her don't appear in front of her.

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    5. Who showed their boobies on the campaign trail? Details.

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    6. Bless 2:27 for saying what we were all thinking

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    7. PD, Boyd, out just about 10 years. Whoa, wish I was not seen at the event.

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    8. I had not seen them at the event

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  11. Judge Lilly Spells arrested on domestic violence. Okay.

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    1. Stefany Miley would be proud.

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    2. The charge kicked Tony Abbatangelo's ass, as I recall.

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    3. Well Abbatangelo had a few other strikes against him. Male who hit a Leavitt. Never hit a Leavitt.

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    4. What has this world come to?

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    5. What is wrong with Tony Abbatangelo? He is a paid endorser?

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  12. Can we stop electing Emerge Nevada candidates?

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  13. She is not going to quit for this

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    1. ^^ Absolutely zero chance of this.

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    2. Why would she? She can ride the gravy train for 5 more years and then go back to work. Worked out alright for Fran Fine.

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  14. Anyone else getting lots of spam re judges? I just got a text message with an endorsement for Danielle Chio for JC9. The endorser was from an officer touting his affiliation with LVMPD. First, I am not sure i appreciate the endorsement of LVMPD is a plus for me. Second, isn't that improper to imply the department endorses a particular candidate (as opposed to PPA/Police Union). Third, how did they get my number? I had no opinion of Chio before now, but she has succeeded in creating an unfavorable one.

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    1. I am certainly going to support someone when Wolfson was campaigning for judges. It is the same thing when he is DA. Not right.

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    2. I did too and was wondering about the number because it is my private phone and not the one I had listed w the bar.

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    3. They have your data and your phone number. Its always for purchase for any purpose. If you believe the premise of the movie 2000 Mules, the apps and such on our phones track our location every second and THAT data is for sale to whomever wants it and can afford it.

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  15. Thank you QuickDraw and/or Law Dawg.

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