Ethically Using Social Media in Your Law Practice

Debra will be speaking at the Ft. Bend County Attorneys meeting in Richmond, Texas on June 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm. Topic: “Ethically Using Social Media in Your Law Practice.”

Handy Additions to Your Conflict Resolution Toolbox

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail,” observed the famous psychologist , Abraham Maslow. When it comes to conflict resolution, the only tool that most lawyers get from law school is a hammer.

Hammering your opponent might work in a trial, but it doesn’t create optimal outcomes in a casual disagreement. It doesn’t work very well when your “opponent” is your boss or someone you care about. It doesn’t foster healthy and productive on-going relationships at the office. Hammering the other side and trying to “win” tends to spawn resistance, rigidity, passive-aggressive behavior, escalation or chronic difficulties. Defeating your opponent rarely results in genuine resolution of the issue.

Lacking other tools, ironically, some lawyers avoid confrontation on their own behalf. I know a very effective trial attorney who wouldn’t return a shirt that was the wrong size. Conflict avoiders allow the biggest rainmaker or the loudest bully in the office to control decision-making, without benefit of their valuable input. Meanwhile the law firm experiences low morale, costly turnover, missed opportunities and wasteful mistakes.

To help you become more effective at resolving your own conflicts, as well as at helping clients resolve theirs, here’s a brief primer on a few techniques to add to your tool box. Read more «Handy Additions to Your Conflict Resolution Toolbox»

Can Parenting Tips Improve Your Client Effectiveness?

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Recently one of my lawyer clients described to me how he handles things with his high-strung child. As he described his process, it reminded me of how really effective family lawyers handle clients in the emotional throes of a divorce or custody battle.

In this time of economic turmoil and uncertain futures, today every lawyer has a stressed out client to deal with. See if this parent’s process might help you be more effective in managing both yourself, and those you advise, in stressful situations.

1. Prep them for everything. Let them know in advance what the two of you will each do, and what Plan B will be, if Plan A doesn’t work.

2. Prompt them during the process. As you engage in the process and things get a little scary, remind them that this is what you were expecting. Read more «Can Parenting Tips Improve Your Client Effectiveness?»

Social Media Gets Blockbuster in Trouble

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Blockbuster was held to violate the Online service providers may need to revise their service agreements. Harris v. Blockbuster, 2009 US Dist. Lexis 31531 (N.D. Tex. April 15, 2009)

Next Page »