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August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013
This month
Reba Nance

Bartering—Accepting Non-Monetary Compensation for Legal Services
The Mesopotamians were known to have bartered as early as 6000 B.C. The system of bartering continues to this day. However, except for situations such as exchanging stock in a company for services, lawyers traditionally have done little (if any) bartering with clients. From 2006 to 2009, I began seeing articles and receiving calls from lawyers who wanted to explore the possibility of exchanging goods or services for legal services. Despite the economy improving, bartering situations or opportunities continue to arise; for example, a contractor may approach his or her lawyer and suggest paying legal fees by building a home deck. Such situations may be a win-win for both the client and the lawyer. But is bartering for legal services ethical in Colorado? Can a lawyer accept goods or services in lieu of monetary payment for legal fees? The answer is yes, but you must know the ethical and tax issues before you enter into such an agreement with a client.

When an attorney accepts non-monetary compensation, what special precautions should be taken? Jerry Pratt, the chair of the CBA’s Professional Liability Committee, covered these questions and more in his article titled “Non-Monetary Compensation for Legal Services—How Many Chickens Am I Worth?

For more information on this topic, check out Chris Buckman’s article “Whoops: Malpractice Minute: Taking Stock in Lieu of Fees Can Create Real or Perceived Conflict.”

Sign up for the ABA’s Law Practice Today webzine
Receive a complimentary emailed subscription to Law Practice Today—the ABA Law Practice Management Section’s monthly webzine. It brings you the most current information and trends, in the legal industry, by delivering anecdotes from professionals in the field of law. Click here to view the August 2013 edition. To sign up, email Sue Bertram.

Quick Tips

In This Issue

Tech Tuesday

The Law Blog: A Brief Taxonomy
Barb Cashman
Tuesday, Aug. 27
Noon–12:30 p.m.
Learn more

Document Assembly For the Rest of Us
Henri “Hank” Vanderhage
Tuesday, Sept. 24
Noon–12:30 p.m.
Learn more

Blog of the Month

Legal Talk Network

Features podcasts highlighting important issues in the legal profession with high profile guests in a talk show format.

Quick Links

Product Reviews

PlanOn’s Mobile Document Scanner Takes Voice Notes

by Sean Doherty, posted on Legal Technology News
The Nexus 7 features a sharp screen, a comfortable design, and great battery life at a low starting price. Android 4.2 adds some welcome and useful features. Read more.

Kensington AbsolutePower 4.2 Dual Fast Charge for Tablets—Charge Two iOS Devices at Once

by Jeff Richardson, posted on iPhone J.D.
One of the best iPad and iPhone chargers is sold by Apple and comes with every new iPad. Read more.

Android App Review: Rocket Matter

by Jeffrey Taylor, posted on The Droid Lawyer
Overall, I love this new Rocket Matter app. Of course, whether the Rocket Matter system works for your law firm is for you to decide. Read more.
CBA members receive a discount with Rocket Matter.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Review: Photographers, Meet Your Camera Phone

by Jessica Dolcourt, posted on CNET
The Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone’s camera captures extremely high-resolution images with fine detail, and puts creative controls at your fingertips. Read more.


Hot Developments Among E-Discovery Vendors

podcast with Sharon Nelson and Johm Simek, posted on Legal Talk Network
This episode of Digital Detectives discusses e-discovery vendor trends. Hosts Sharon D. Nelson, Esq. and John W. Simek welcome entrepreneur and friend Andy Wilson to share his insights on what’s going on in the industry and what’s to come. Read more.

Virtual Firms on the Decline—Why??

by Carolyn Elefant, posted on
According to the 2013 ABA Legal Technology Survey, virtual law practices are on the decline. Read more.


How to Get Online Reviews for Your Law Practice

by Mike Ramsey, posted on Attorney at Work
When I ask lawyers where most of their clients come from, the answers I hear range from fridge magnets to radio, but most law firms tell me their business comes from “word of mouth.” Read more.

LinkedIn for Legal Professionals

podcast with Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighell, and Allison Shields, posted on Legal Talk Network
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell, along with special guest Allison Shields, discuss the new book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, how lawyers can make better use of LinkedIn, and some practical tips lawyers and others can implement right away with LinkedIn. Read more.

Make Your Consultations More Like a Spa Experience

by Janine Holsinger, posted on Small Firm Innovation
You only get one shot at a first impression. Here are a few ways to change the experience for these potential clients and give them the warm welcome that will make them want to come back. Read more.


Asked to Cut Your Fees? Now What

by Susan Hackett, posted on Attorney at Work
Do your clients keep asking for a break on fees? Sure, some did it in the past, but lately it’s becoming pro forma. And other than just caving in, it’s hard to know how to respond. Read more.

Time Management

Seven Alternatives to Composing Email from Scratch

by Vivian Manning, posted on Attorney at Work
I’m lazy, and that’s a trait I try to take advantage of whenever possible. How? By relying on every software automation function available to me. If the software will do my work, I’m darned well going to let it. Not only is it faster (leaving me more time to garden), but software makes fewer typos than I do when left to my own non-automated fingers. Read more.