Saturday, December 20, 2008

2008 Resolution Recap

Sitting in the South on a rainy weekend, I'm taking stock of some of my resolutions (those posted here), seeing how I did:

Back about this time last year, I resolved these:

1.When speaking with a person - client, attorney, etc. - I will not pick up my cell phone to see who it is. I will not check my blackberry while in a business setting.

Met. In fact, I now ask those who (like a true addict) start nervously peering down to a PDA/blackberry or cell phone while talking to me about a business matter to STOP and pay attention. I now leave my phone in the car or turned off. There are exceptions, but they are rare.

2.My office will march forward to going paperless. We already move all FAX transmissions to our servers, and basic items such as Incident Reports and medical records are scanned. Next up: Other records and documents.

Met in a big way. Thanks to the Scansnap and a high powered copier/scanner, my office is far ahead of where I thought I'd be. I attended a day long mediation last week and had a portable hard drive with me of a key litigation matter. I was able to have access to thousands of pages that were sitting in my office, while I was in another state.

3.Use of IM and texting of clients: Angel Reyes uses texting to reach a client. We will as well. The use of IM in our offices works well, as we are spread out. Next is asking for the IM screen name of clients. I have found that nearly 60% of all clients use IM, even if only on a semi-regular basis.

Met. Maybe a little too much. Clients now routinely IM me, so much so that I have moved to another username, and my office monitors the main IM.

4.Copying clients on case costs payments. In the old days, there would be sticker shock when a case resolved and the client saw for the first time the costs incurred in a case for matters such as expert witnesses, deposition transcript costs, and the like. Now, clients get all copies of letters showing payments to any entity (but they don't get a copy of the check). This will be a 100% rule in 2008.

Wow, I really posted that? Didn't get to 100%, but closer to 75% now.

5.Compliments: Seems like the law field is one area where compliments to staffers, fellow lawyers, etc. are rare. Not in my office. 2008 is the year of compliments and of 'well done' comments.

I am handing them out, but there is always room for improvement here. Funny how the toughest one - this last resolution - is free, yet was harder to implement, since it required human capital.

Coming soon: 2009 Resolutions.