March 2015 - Volume 18
in brief newsletter
Content Editor's Letter 3 YLS News 4
14 arkbar cle 16 Arkansas Traveler Mary & Trey Cooper
Hats Off 5
17 Tasty Tips Rashauna Norment
What Judges Want: Justice Courtney 6 Hudson Goodson
Yls New Social 9 Media Handbook What Judges Want: 10 Judge Morgan E. "Chip" Welch Megan Wooster
flying solo: The Bloggage industry Stefan McBride
Tech Tips: top 5 Legal Podcast Picks Colleen Youngdahl
24 YLS Report Jessica S. Yarbrough
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Yls in brief
editors Editor-In-Chief Brooke Moore Tasty Tips Editor Rashauna Norment Arkansas Traveler Co-Editors Trey & Mary Cooper What Judges Want Editor Megan Wooster Tech Tips Editor Colleen Youngdahl Flying Solo Editor Stefan McBride
YLS In Brief is published online quarterly by the Arkansas Bar Association.
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Brooke Moore Editor-in-Chief
Happy Spring YLSers! This issue has something for everyone from delectable dinner ideas to thirst quenching brews, blog ideas and podcast reviews. You also have access to insight and advice from those on the bench. I’d like to extend a special thanks to Judge Welch and Justice Goodson for their contributions. If you haven’t gotten plugged into YLS yet, you still can! There are opportunities throughout the year to get involved. Currently, the Communications Committee needs you for the following: •
Our upcoming In Brief deadlines are April 15 for the spring issue and July 15 for the summer issue. I encourage everyone to consider submitting an idea or contribute an article.
Additionally, our committee is working on building a public video series library to provide brief video tutorials containing basic legal information on a variety of issues. The main need is for someone to line up more attorney volunteers to provide a brief video tutorial on a given subject. The time commitment for the person assisting in the oversight of this project, as well as the attorney volunteers, is minimal. It can be as simple as recording the video on a smart phone or you could set up a video session at the Bar Center.
Please shoot an email to k.brooke.moore@gmail. com if you are interested in volunteering for any of these opportunities and as always, if you need help finding volunteer opportunities or getting plugged in just let me know! And last but not least, I’d like to welcome Stefan McBride to the editorial team. Stefan is our new Flying Solo Editor and we are excited to have him on the team! If you have any ideas or want to contribute to Flying Solo feel free to email Stefan@whlawoffices. com.
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yls news arkbar young lawyers section
nwa young lawyers group Matthew A. Kezhaya would like to announce the NWA Young Lawyers Group. NWA Young Lawyers are a group of attorneys under 40 years old who live or work in Benton or Washington County. The group meets once per month, alternating between the two counties, for cocktails and dinner. The group was created for new attorneys to gather, share ideas, and network, as other Northwest Arkansas bar groups cater to established attorneys. The group primarily organizes through their Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/ groups/1574402046124510/. If you don't have Facebook, please email Matthew at matthew. email@example.com.
chair jessica s. yarbrough Chair-Elect Matthew L. Fryar Secretary/Treasurer charley E. Swann Immediate Past Chair J. cliff mckinney District A Reps. aubrey barr William M. Prettyman III District B Reps. caleb garcia Gregory J. Northen Stephanie A. Linam District C Reps. Chase A. Carmichael Leslie J. Ligon Christopher Alan Riteenhouse
At Large Reps. Amber Davis Tanner brooke moore U of A School of Law Rep.
tiffany nicole godwin UALR School of Law Rep.
meet stefan mcbride new in brief flying solo editor Stefan McBride is a family lawyer with Wilson & Haubert, PLLC, in North Little Rock. You can read his semi-weekly blog posts on semi-interesting topics at WHLawOffices.com.
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hATS OFF If you have information on YLS members who deserve a Hats Off or would like to submit ideas for articles, please contact the Editor of In Brief, Brooke Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Yarbrough was selected as an ABA YLD Labor and Employment Section Fellow. It's a 2 year program in which she is funded to attend the L & E conferences to speak and write on current issues. She contributed to the ABA Labor and Employment 2014 Cumulative Supplement in the areas of Age Discrimination and Retaliation.
l to r: Dean Stacy Leeds, Judge Morris "Buzz" Arnold and Josh Mostyn
was named Vice-President of The Federalist Society's new Northwest Arkansas Lawyers Chapter. For more information about The Federalist Society or to find a chapter near you, visit www.fed-soc.org/chapters/. Brooke Moore Brooke Moore would like to announce the opening of her new law practice, Arkansas Virtual Lawyer, which provides limited scope representation and collaborative law services. Her official launch is coming soon. Josh Mostyn, Partner at Mostyn Prettyman, PLLC, was named President, and Lee Rudofsky, Assistant General Counsel at Walmart Stores, Inc.,
On February 12, 2015, the Northwest Arkansas Federalist Society Lawyers Chapter held its inaugural event at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Speaking to about 65 lawyers and 20 law students—including law school Dean Stacy Leeds and several members of both the Federal and State judiciary – Judge Morris Arnold presented at length on the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR). Having served on the FISCR for over seven years, Judge Arnold provided an insider’s view of the operation of those courts as well as his perspective on the most popular criticisms made against the Court. After his presentation, Judge Arnold took questions both formally at the event and informally at a subsequent reception hosted by Dean Leeds.
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What Judges Want Justice Courtney hudson goodson with angela cole
Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson was raised in Harrison, Arkansas, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1994. She graduated with high honors from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Justice Goodson served as a law clerk at the Arkansas Court of Appeals from 1997 to 2005 for Judges Terry Crabtree and Frank Arey. In 2008, she was elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court where she serves as the liaison to the Committee on Professional Conduct. In 2014, the Womenâ€™s Law Student Association at the University of Arkansas School of Law awarded her the Gayle Pettus Pontz Award. Justice Goodson and her family reside in Fayetteville.
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Q & A with justice courtney hudson goodson angela cole I spoke with Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson in her chambers at the Arkansas Supreme Court about what judges want from young lawyers. As she is the youngest Justice elected to our state’s highest court, she is a source of fresh advice. During the interview, she inspired me with her positive outlook and dedication to the legal field. How can young lawyers build their self-confidence? Confidence can be a by-product of having a sense of direction. I think it is important for young lawyers to have a vision for their professional careers; not necessarily a detailed roadmap, but more than a general conception. Once you generate a vision, be deliberate in your professional choices. Make things happen in your career rather than letting them happen to you. Be proactive. A practical way to accomplish this is by placing yourself in situations where you are surrounded by people who know more than you and who are doing more than you. Learn from those people and situations. Don’t be intimidated by them. This type of environment will force you beyond your comfort zone and help you grow. That, in turn, will increase your confidence. Then focus on taking the next step forward, even if you feel uneasy about it. Eventually,
you will begin to own the fact that who you are is good enough. What do you see as young lawyers’ best attributes, and how can we use those to our advantage? Young lawyers are eager to learn and are passionate about the law. It’s exciting to watch a person who is fresh out of law school make use of novel ideas. It’s easy to understand how young lawyers can be effective when they are so willing to be creative and advance new theories. Young lawyers are more likely to try the thing that hasn’t been done yet. They are willing to take risks, and I admire that. How should young lawyers deal with lack of experience? Turn that negative into a positive. Young lawyers have an effective edge in the courtroom. Because a young lawyer may be nervous or uneasy about a brief or hearing, he will continually recheck the cases he cites and refine his arguments. That’s a good thing. That insecurity can actually propel an inexperienced lawyer into becoming a solid advocate. How can a young lawyer stand out from the rest in written and oral arguments? It is critically important for a young lawyer to find her own “voice.” Decide who you are.
Define your own style and embrace it. Don’t accept the notion that there is one right way to make an oral argument or to write an appellate brief. Some lawyers are naturally more formal in their presentations; others are more informal. Some lawyers work best from a detailed outline; others do better speaking contemporaneously. Some focus primarily on precedent; while others rely heavily on publicpolicy arguments. The most persuasive and effective advocate understands her strengths and uses those to develop her unique voice. Once she discovers her voice, it becomes her most valuable asset. How can we make the best impression before the Arkansas Supreme Court? Have a good understanding of how your case fits into the overall tapestry of the legal framework at hand. The court, of course, will be studying the cases that have come before yours. Explain how the court’s decision in your favor will impact future cases. When it comes to oral arguments, great attorneys engage the court. Give honest and direct answers to our questions. Try to not to read your arguments to the court. The most interesting arguments are the ones that take a conversational yet respectful tone.
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What makes an appellate brief easy to read? Organize your brief with one thought at a time. Separate your arguments with headings so that the Court can easily understand your roadmap. Also, be selective by advancing only your best arguments. If your case presents only one good argument then focus on that and don’t detract from it by including points with little merit. Beginning a legal career can be overwhelming. Do you have any advice to help young lawyers maintain a good perspective? Become a part of something bigger than yourself. Get involved in a charitable organization in your community. Sign up for Access to Justice. Do a case pro bono. It has been my experience that when I give of myself I receive so much more in return. Young lawyers learned about professional conduct in law school. Newly practicing attorneys hear a lot about civility. Why do you feel this is such a hot topic? As lawyers and judges, we are usually brought into people’s lives to help when something has gone terribly wrong or fallen apart. Often times, clients are at the end of their ropes when they enter a law office or a courtroom. Whether it’s a broken domestic or financial situation, our legal community works to offer fair solutions in hopes of mending people’s lives. In doing so, attorneys should strive to be
civil and respectful of each other. Zealous representation need not develop into an internecine battle. Young lawyers face a lot of unknowns and self-doubt. Do you have any closing advice to help them get through the low spots? People frequently point out the pitfalls standing between you and your goals and why you may never be successful. You may even doubt yourself. But if you will power through those doubts and learn to ignore the doubters, you will be shocked to see how far you will go. Figure out where you want to be and then forge your own path to get there. Don’t settle for the path others have taken if that is not what works best for you.
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New forms already scheduled for release. The ArkBar Docs library is now available. Attorneys gain access to over 180 legal documents for $199/year. These templates ask questions and automatically create customized documents based on the answers provided. ArkBar Docs retains client information to make future documents easier and more efficient. When new forms are added, subscribers receive update notifications.
angela cole Some great advice from Justice Goodson, who has been in the young-lawyer shoes herself not too long ago. She was so supportive and encouraging of young lawyers during the interview that the thought never crossed my mind to be self-conscious. But as I submit this article, I’m humbled because Justice Goodson invested time and energy at my request. She believes in young lawyers. Angela Cole is an associate attorney at the Law Office of Thomas G. Buchanan, in Little Rock, Arkansas, and she handles personal injury matters. She can be contacted at (501) 296-9820 or angela@thomasbuchananlaw. com.
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yls publishes new social media handbook Ethics and Social Media: A Guidebook for Arkansas Attorneys The Young Lawyers Section recently published their online guide to social media. This guidebook is intended to give lawyers, whether new to the profession or a seasoned and experienced attorney, insight into the world of social media and how its use—for both personal and business purposes —intersects and interplays with the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct.
The handbook is located at Arkbar’s website under Law Practice Management. Table of Contents and Authors Introduction Matthew L. Fryar, Cypert, Crouch, Clark & Harwell, PLLC Ethics of Personal Social Media Pages Thomas Haynes, Haynes Law Firm
" This guide is not meant to discourage you from having
Bourgon Reynolds, Rose Law Firm, P.A.
an online presence; rather,
Ethics of Business Social Media Pages
it is meant to point out
Blake Pennington, City of Fayetteville
ethical predicaments so
Advertising in Social Media
you can find creative ways
Max Deitchler and Samantha Leflar, Kutak Rock, LLP
to have an online presence
Ethics of Client Posts, Testimonials, and Endorsements
while you can rest easy
Cory Crawford, Legal Aid of Arkansas
knowing that you are work-
Ethics of Legal Blogging
ing within the Rules of
Sarah Sparkman , City of Springdale
Professional Conduct. "
Conclusion Sarah Sparkman , City of Springdale
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What Judges Want the honorable morgan e. "chip" welch with megan wooster Circuit Judge Morgan E. “Chip” Welch currently presides in the Sixth Judicial Circuit as Judge of the Sixteenth Division in Little Rock, Arkansas. Judge Welch was born in Joplin, Missouri; however, his family relocated to Little Rock when he was in his teens. A 1968 graduate of Little Rock Hall High, he received a B.A. in Political Science and Speech from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri in 1972. Judge Welch attended law school at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville for two years. During his third year of law school, he transferred to what was then the University of Arkansas, Little Rock night campus, so that he could work for Legal Aid in Little Rock. After graduating law school in 1975, Judge Welch worked for the Arkansas General Assembly, Bureau of Legislative Research, for one session and then began his thirty-eight year litigation career by starting a “street practice.” Over the years, he handled a wide range of matters, including civil rights, domestic relations, medical malpractice, criminal, and personal injury cases. The Judge was primarily a plaintiff’s attorney, practicing law in small partnerships or solo practice; he also collaborated on projects with many of Arkansas’ accomplished litigation attorneys. Prior to being elected to the bench, Judge Welch received a plethora of awards and honors, including the Presidency of and the “Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award” from the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. He was a member of the House of Delegates of the Arkansas Bar Association and was recognized for years as one of the “Best Lawyers in Arkansas,” “Mid-South Super Lawyers,” and “Best Lawyers in America.” Judge Welch aspired to become a Circuit Court Judge for many years before he finally made the decision to run for judicial office. After deciding that the time was right, he ran in 2012. Welch began his judgeship in January of 2013. His Honor currently resides in North Little Rock, Arkansas with his wife, Cheryl Lynn Williams Welch. His daughter, Ashley Hudson, is a YLS member, practicing in Little Rock. He says his son Rick, however, has the “cool” profession—he is a talented and professional musician!
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Q & A with the honorable morgan e. "chip" welch When did you decide that you wanted to practice law? I almost always knew that I wanted to be lawyer. Around the age of 10, after giving up my aspirations to become a police officer, firefighter, or detective, I dreamed of becoming an attorney. Back then, television portrayed attorneys, as powerful advocates who helped people; I expect that this influenced my decision. Often, young attorneys struggle with maintaining a professional and personal life balance. Do you have any advice for young lawyers who are struggling with this issue? Hanging a shingle and litigating cases creates a high stress environment. That’s why employment in a firm has value for a new lawyer. Regardless of whether you’re on your own or in a firm, you need to set boundaries and give yourself some space. Maybe you buy a dog, take up fishing, move in with a companion or start a family but whatever you do, you need to be able to go home and pursue some interest outside the practice— because it will keep you sane. Young attorneys particularly (really, lawyers in general) also need not only to be active in the legal community, but should also pursue other community causes and passions. It is important to have friends in the profession to vent to who understand the stressful
nature of practicing law. That’s one reason why it’s so hard for one to hang out a shingle right off the bat. Not only is the magnitude of plunging headlong into a solo practice daunting and expensive but you need feedback—and occasional advice. Other professionals who can be “sounding boards” are essential—they help you stay grounded and make you stop and think—before you act on impulse. I think young attorneys need to find a mentor; someone they can trust for advice and guidance. Help can come from neighbors in your building or across the street or in the Bar (maybe the Young Lawyers Section…!) or ATLA, DRI, Inns of Court, etc., but believe me you will need it at one time or another! And, of course if you find yourself truly overwhelmed, the Arkansas Judges & Lawyers Assistance Program (“JLAP”) is great resource for attorneys struggling with obtaining or maintaining a healthy life balance. Do you have any advice for young attorneys who have cases with Pro Se litigants? Do you often have Pro Se litigants appear before the Court? Pro Se or “Self Represented Litigants” (SRLs) appear before my Court daily. I’d guess 60-70% of domestic cases are SRLs. Close to 100% of the litigants appearing in domestic abuse matters have no attorney. And, we’re seeing a significant number of SRLs in civil litigation-maybe 30%.
I believe that the number of Pro Se litigants has exploded due to the availability of forms on the Internet; a more negative portrayal of lawyers on television; more information about law in general leading folks to decide they can do their own cases (“how hard can it be?”) and the economy. Generally, I would advise young lawyers to be careful when dealing with SRLs. In my litigation practice, I always feared being accused of taking advantage of someone who had no counsel, and I always urged them to seek counsel, either retained or through legal services, if available. If a Pro Se litigant is handling his or her business professionally and acting like an attorney, it may be you can communicate with that person, but you have to always remember your obligations to the Code of Professional Responsibility. On the other hand, if it is clear that a Pro Se litigant is being unreasonable or is not acting appropriately, I would suggest limiting casual contact that is not in writing or on the record. The judicial staff, and myself, are not permitted to provide legal advice to SRLs. My staff is instructed to refer them to the Access to Justice Program or Legal Aid. Some states have orientation classes for SRLs. I think this is a great idea. We automatically
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order parties in domestic matters who have children to attend Transparenting. I think we should likewise order Pro Se Litigants to attend an orientation to help them know what to expect now that they’ve undertaken to be their own lawyer. States like California and Missouri are experimenting with such programs, and since SRLs are “here to stay,” I think Arkansas should do so as well. In those states, SRLs attend an orientation class that explains basic legal procedure. For example, such an orientation class may explain basic evidentiary requirements (such as, bringing documentary evidence to your hearing, if you intend to rely on it to support a claim or defense; teaching what an objection is; or explaining that cross examination is a time to ask questions-not argue the case, etc.). I’m researching SRL orientation programs and trying to evaluate whether there is a way to effectively locate sponsors, organize, and fund a program in Arkansas. How would you advise a young attorney to deal with a difficult, or nonresponsive, opposing counsel? Try to maintain a civil relationship with opposing counsel. Get to know your adversary. More often than not, he or she is more like you than you think. Talk to other attorneys who know the opposing counsel if they’re new to you. If your adversary is acting unprofessionally, try to defuse it. Don’t burn bridges on the first perceived slight. And if there’s really a personality difference, don’t get angry- just let your frustration motivate you to work harder.
What is your average caseload? Can you describe an average day in your courtroom? When I took the bench, I inherited a large domestic and probate docket. My caseload is reviewed every two years. The judicial bench in our Circuit votes on the division of cases. I’ve been able to change the “mix” somewhat, moving back towards civil litigation. Now, I would say that twenty-five (25%) of the cases I get are civil litigation cases with the vast majority of the others being domestic relations and probate. I intend to retain a domestic docket of significant size for the foreseeable future. We still have a large number of domestic abuse and child support cases. These are sad but important disputes and they need closure. In Sixteenth Division, usually, uncontested divorces, domestic abuse cases, and child support matters are heard on Mondays and Tuesdays in the mornings with contested matters occupying the afternoons; the remainder of the week is devoted to hearings and litigated matters. Do you have any advice for young lawyers using social media applications, such as Facebook and Twitter? Once you click “send” or “post,” information on social media becomes irretrievable. Facebook needs to be considered in the same light as “the press.” I’m a member of the AMI Committee and most trial lawyers know how hard we’ve worked in the past few years to get jurors off social media. For young lawyers, it’s even more crucial: Do not post on Facebook during a trial or (as I noticed more than once
while I was practicing) during a deposition! Not only is it distracting but also it conveys an impression you don’t care about your client or the seriousness of the case. In your off-hours, before posting information about the legal profession, think about how non-lawyers will perceive the information you’re posting literally “round the world.” Do not boast about your monetary success or a large settlement award—you end up looking like a “greedy lawyer” and your clients who are “friends” on Facebook (or whatever) may think you’re pretty egocentric and insensitive. Before posting information to social media, ask yourself, “How does what I say about my case advance the legal profession? What purpose does it serve in society?” Social media posts about your legal practice, if made at all, should focus on the client and justice being served. There are important issues out there for which you have been given powerful tools to fix, however, rarely are these tools intended simply to allow you to slap your own back…. What are your favorite aspects of being a Circuit Court Judge? I enjoy watching good lawyers work; I enjoy analyzing and making decisions on complicated issues. I like dealing with other Judges in other jurisdictions. I love jury trials. And—I love observing a jury from the judicial bench. As a former trial lawyer, I find my perspective observing the jury, as a judge is different. In my litigation practice, I would end
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a trial often telling my client, “I did my very best for you.” I have had to amend the mantra for the bench—Now, I want more for more people: I want my jurors happy, the lawyers prepared, the case to move along swiftly and to do the best that I can for all the parties. I hope if I can do that, I will have “done my very best” and it will help the search for justice. What advice do you have for young attorneys? What are some common mistakes that you see young attorneys making in your courtroom? My granddaughters watch the movie “Frozen” constantly. “Let it go” is sometimes good advice! You will not win every case. Often young attorneys (and some seasoned attorneys too) will not take “No” for an answer and want to lash out at the prevailing lawyer. Fact is, most adversaries are good people just like you with too many deadlines and not enough money. Most are trying, like you do, just to do a good job for their clients. Not every adverse event is “unethical.” Not all motions need to pray for “sanctions.” Not all matters are “emergencies.” If you feel, after trial, that a ruling is unfair, or that you or your client has been wronged, do not immediately lash out at the integrity of opposing counsel, the judge, or the court system. Take a break before filing angry responses or motions. Talk to your “sounding boards.” When you truly believe that a ruling is improper, file a Motion to Reconsider, a Motion for a New Trial, a Notice of Appeal—or whatever you decide—but always after sober reflection!
Most young lawyers are fine, but occasionally I see attorneys act too emotionally or aggressively in Court. You do not have to be insulting or employ histrionics to be effective. Be secure in your knowledge of the law. Know the facts of your case. Research your legal arguments. Develop witness questions and prepare exhibits prior to the hearing (and have copies for the Court and counsel). Be prepared. I think all lawyers should also focus on managing client expectations. It is important to tell your client the truth prior to a hearing or trial. If you’ve told them when you “signed them up” that the “case is worth millions,” you’ll have big difficulties when that $5000 verdict comes in. If you’ve been honest with your clients about the likely outcome of their case, they will be more satisfied with the quality of your legal representation (and figure that you’re “genius” if you exceed expectations!). Do you have any final words of wisdom that you would like to share with young attorneys? I have always believed that lawyers are important. I like lawyers; I hang out with lawyers; my best friend is a lawyer. And before this tone begins to sound too pedantic, please believe me: I like and respect young lawyers. Heck, my kid is a young lawyer! Almost all the professionals who come to my court are just that— professionals! But the legal profession is constantly being scrutinized. With recent developments in the news, the judicial system is being dissected and criticized more and more. Remember that your
actions represent the profession. The words you say to your client reflect on the entire judicial system. For example, if you say this Judge is a “man’s judge” or this one “hates men” or that opposing counsel is “a crook,” you’re communicating to your client that the legal system is unjust. We have to be the keepers of the flame. I’m not saying there aren’t plenty of righteous fights to fight out there. I know there are many— I’ve fought some myself. When you conclude a result is wrong or unfair or there’s a violation of the law or Constitution, by all means take it on, but don’t waste your credibility name calling and crying “wolf” just to be doing. Practicing law is an honorable and principled calling—not a game. Save your ire for truly bad actors and not for showing off. Be proud of the legal profession and represent it as the honorable profession that it is and as the competent practitioners that you are!
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Tort Law in Arkansas
April 9 & 10
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April 30 -May 1
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June 10-13, 2015
Annual Meeting Preserving Justice For All
June 10 -13, 2015
Register Now! ace.arkbar.com/AnnualMeeting
“Come for the celebration
leave with the
The 117th Annual Meeting Returns to Hot Springs The Arkansas Bar Association Annual Meeting is the largest legal event in Arkansas. Over four days, attorneys will come together for continuing legal education, receptions, award ceremonies, and entertainment. From traditional social events and receptions to cutting edge CLE, the ArkBar Annual Meeting is the place to be in June.
Justice Oliver Diaz, Jr. Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Friday, June 12, Keynote Speaker “Buying Justice: Corporate Spending on Judicial Elections in the Wake of Citizens United”
The 117th Annual Meeting will be held June 10-13, 2015. This year’s theme of Preserving Justice For All brings together a stellar lineup of local and out-of-state speakers.
15 The Arkansas Lawyer www.arkbar.com
Register now! Visit the official Annual Meeting site ace.arkbar.com/AnnualMeeting
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Yls in brief
by mary & trey cooper Blue canoe brewing company Little rock
It seems that in recent years, craft beer companies have been springing up throughout the natural state. To our knowledge, only one is owned by a Little Rock attorney – Blue Canoe Brewing Company. Patrick Cowan, an attorney at Clark Mason Attorneys, and Laura Berryhill recently opened the Blue Canoe Brewing Company Taproom on 3rd Street in Little Rock’s River Market. The nano brewery and taproom is currently open on Saturday and Sunday only, and offers six Blue Canoe Brewing Company Beers on tap. As craft beers go, Blue Canoe has set a standard that will be hard to beat. Blue Canoe offers something for everyone with beers ranging from the “Paddler” (an American wheat
beer) to the “Whittle Milk Stout” (a creamy chocolaty beer). The “4x4 Pale Ale” offers a clean crisp flavor that is perfect for warm sunny days. My favorite is the “Razorback RyePA”, an Imperial IPA described on the menu as balancing the sweet peppery hints of rye with tropical fruit hoppy flavors. Mary’s favorite was the Pre-Prohibition Pilsner inspired by the American Pilsners commonly brewed prior to prohibition. Other beers offered include “Pumpkinetic” (an Imperial Spice Pumpkin Ale), “Whoo Brew Session” (an artisan crafted and brewed with dark crystal malts, bitter orange peel, and cloves), and “Papp Ale” (a Spiced Apple Ale). Besides offering excellent craft beers, Blue Canoe offers a quaint, authentic atmosphere. Despite only being open a few months, Blue Canoe Brewing Company Taproom has a much more established
feel. Mary and I visited Blue Canoe on a Saturday afternoon, and the place was full of patrons watching a Razorback basketball game and drinking Blue Canoe Brewing Company beers. From the carved tap handles to the varnished hardwood bar and original décor, Blue Canoe Brewing Company Taproom feels familiar and rustic while maintaining a contemporary edge. Blue Canoe does not offer food, with the exception of complimentary pretzels. However, patrons are welcome to bring food with them to Blue Canoe Taproom. Beer is offered on tap by the pint. Growlers are also available to go. Anyone who enjoys a good brew should give Blue Canoe Brewing Company a try – they will not be disappointed.
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Yls in brief
tasty tips easy meatballs by rashauna norment Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 – 25 minutes Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef 1 – 2 mushrooms, chopped (optional) ¼ cup onion, finely chopped 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 1/3 cup old fashioned oats 1 egg 1 ½ teaspoons Worcertershire sauce Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon each)
Directions: • Preheat oven to 400° F. • Mix ground beef, mushrooms, onion, garlic, oats, egg, Worcertershire sauce, milk, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. • Form small tablespoon-sized meatballs of the mixture. • Lightly grease a cookie sheet or baking dish; space the meatballs apart on the baking dish. • Bake meatballs in oven, uncovered, about 20 to 25 minutes until browned. • Carefully transfer the meatballs to a cooling rack, serving platter, or otherwise use meatballs as desired. This simple dish is quick and easy to prepare and can be served with a variety of other dishes or sauces.
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Yls in brief
flying solo by stefan mcbride
The Bloggage Industry There are a lot of people saying a lot of things about how to succeed as a solo or small law firm, just Google “lawyer going solo” or something similar. This is great news for those of us in this category, of course—one of the bright spots in an otherwise dreary post-2008 world where there are more lawyers than jobs. If you do a little searching, you can find a smart, successful lawyer’s thoughts on nearly every aspect of your law firm. Unfortunately, however, it’s not only a bright spot; it’s also a cottage industry. Everyone has an opinion. To make matters worse, most of the noise is being made over new fads and untested trends—things that may or may not matter in six months. If you read much of this material, you will know the one supposed indelible, immutable, magical truth about how to succeed as a lawyer today: Start a blog. I don’t like this blanket advice, despite the fact that I think blogs provide a lot of value for both writer and reader. There doesn’t seem to be much critical engagement about why in the heck you’re supposed to have a blog or what it should look like. There’s a lot of advice about what to put in your blog, but I think that is premature; you’ve got to begin with the end in mind. The first step is nailing down your goals, which will help you decide what kind of blog you want (or, most importantly, whether you want one at all.) Excursus: There is one factor upon which this entire issue stands or falls: If you cannot write well about the law and do not like to write, do not create a blog. The Internet is big and mostly full of junk—it doesn’t need any more. (This junk includes the blog articles that you can buy. They are particularly junky.) There are too many clamoring voices at this point to publish anything that is not good. If you can’t write and don’t like to write, don’t bother. Your effort is better spent elsewhere.
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Most legal blogs fall into one of the following three categories. So should yours. 1. Blog-as-Part-of-One’s-Website This is most common; it is also fraught with peril. It is so common because most legal-website builders offer or recommend making a blog page when they build a firm’s website. In most situations, the blog has a few entries but lies dormant for months or even years until the lawyer remembers the blog and, in an effort to revive the blog, links to an article about a recent jury verdict with a reminder to his reader(s) to call him or her for aggressive, compassionate representation. Yeah—that’s not a blog. Assuming one cares enough to actually keep up, the problem with this type of blog is that it is very difficult to achieve the requisite level of (cheesy buzzword alert!) authenticity to actually reach people. I hope it’s not lost on any of us that law firm websites don’t naturally foster trust in readers. They are self-serving. They are advertisements. Anything you say on a blog-on-your-website will be interpreted through that lens. But these blogs can still be worthwhile. They can bring people to your website. They can educate. They can make you seem a little more human. But they’re ultimately limited by what they are—extensions of a legal website, which immediately makes everything you say suspect. If you’re going to sound human— which is a threshold matter for relevancy on the Internet—you’re going to have to try hard if your blog is on your website. You create this blog because you want people to come to your website to learn about your practice area and figure out that you’re actually knowledgeable and actually a real person. And then you want them to hire you. This type of blog is really just an updateable Yellow Pages ad. 2. Blog-for-a-Niche-Practice-Area Most good advice about how to blog as a lawyer leads you here. Identify an area of your practice that you like and would like to grow and in which you’d like to become an expert. Then create a separate website and talk about it winsomely enough that people notice and decide that you’re the expert on the subject. Voila!
There is a ton of value in having this kind of blog. I say that because I would highly value a reputation as a thought-leader and expert. For a person who is simply looking for a blog as a revenue generator, however, the ROI for a niche blog is probably too attenuated. There is money to be made from this type of blog, but it’s not traceable and it’s not quick. In more traditional terms, I think about this blog sort of like giving a CLE presentation. Is it worthwhile? Yes, depending on what you value and where you want your practice to go. If you have the kind of practice where you need to market to lawyers more than the end-user, this type of blog is doubly effective. A niche blog is something you create because you have something to say and want to be known as the smartest person in the room about an issue. Hopefully, it’s also a place to let your humanity come out, too. It makes you smart and it makes you real, but it probably doesn’t make you any money, at least not in the short term. It avoids a lot of the baggage I mentioned with the blog-on-your-website model. There aren’t many examples of this type of blog in Arkansas, but the Taylor & Taylor Law Firm does it pretty well at arkansasappeals.com. You can tell they know what they’re talking about and it’s less gamey than most blogs. An appellate niche blog is particularly effective, I think, because you’re not really marketing to consumers (who won’t care to read the blog), but to other lawyers. 3. Lawyer-Personality-Blog The law can be pretty funny once you are able to step back a little—assuming you’re not on the losing end of the humor. In response, another sort of “niche” has arisen: the lawyer-personality-blog. Here, you have a lawyer talking about the law or linking to articles in a way that is accessible and entertaining to the public. Yes, that is a tall order. The revenue-generating potential of a personality blog is even more attenuated than the niche blog. Yes, you could eventually get 100K unique visitors per month and start selling ads, but that is pretty rare. Again, the Internet is awfully crowded these days. But as long as the blog stays classy and actually has interesting things to say, I think that this format, too,
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is worthwhile. It’s just another way to make people know who you are. That’s no small thing, because as crowded as the Internet might be, it’s still not as crowded as the Yellow Pages. One additional thing to consider: I think that there are relatively few lawyers who are creative enough to write for the public and gain a wide readership. Let’s be honest with ourselves: Who among us is prepared to compete with Buzzfeed or funny cat videos? Jennifer Wells maintains this kind of blog at hawglawblawg.com. I know her posts have been picked up by Above the Law a few times for her funny stories, which is probably worth many thousand unique views instantly, perhaps more. Most law firm websites or legal blogs in Arkansas would not get that many views in a year. That is a lot of Googleswag for those who are interested in such things. Epi-Blog I feel compelled to, in the interest of that all-supreme ideal of “authenticity” that I’ve defended, share just a bit of my own experience. I am sure that my burden to write this piece is grounded there. My own blogging efforts have thus far been relegated to second-class status on my firm’s site: whlawoffices. com. Most of the stuff I’ve put there is decent. Some
of it has been quite good; some of it has been drivel. Some of it has come deceptively easy; most of it has been work. The response from both the public and other lawyers has been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. I am confident it was a wise use of my time. But I do feel the constraints of being bound to our site—I am still just a salesman in a writer’s clothes. In response, I have a niche-style blog on the (hopefully) near horizon, which I think will likewise be a wise investment of time and resources. It will not, however, be a magic bullet. Its benefit to me will be, as most things are, closely tied to the work I put into it and the value that others are able to extract from it.
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ArkBar Practice Handbooks
ArkBar Handbooks are your shortcut to fast answers for your clients! Whether it is a substantive law question or a procedural issue, let ArkBar Handbooks be your guide.”
Learn from local leading lawyers in the following fields: Bankruptcy, Business Associations, Debtor/Creditor, Domestic Relations,
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All new Business Associations Handbook: Corporations, limited liability Companies and Partnerships
Elder Law, Handling Appeals, Probate, Revocable Trusts, Real Estate Title Standards, Statute of Limitations and Workers Compensation.
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Yls in brief
tech tips by colleen youngdahl
Top 5 Legal Podcast Picks
1. Serial (http://serialpodcast.org/) Serial is a spin-off of the National Public Radio podcast This American Life and reports one story over an entire season (12 episodes). Hosted by Sarah Koenig, the first season of Serial describes the case of Adnan Syed. Syed was sentenced to life in prison in Maryland for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and high school classmate Hae Min Lee. Presented to the jury as an open and shut case, Serial reveals the myriad of loose ends embedded in Syed’s case. Serial will pull in prosecutors and defense lawyers alike, and leave everyone scratching their head. It is highly addictive, and although it may not teach you much about the practice of law, it will certainly get you through a long road trip or marathon. And, it will cement one thing we already know – reasonable doubt is a highly subjective concept. You can listen to Serial on its website, through iTunes, or with apps such as Public Radio Player.
Another new podcast of interest to attorneys, especially young ones, is the Lawyerist Podcast. The Lawyerist Podcast is about lawyering and law practice, and as of yet they have only produced two podcasts. The first podcast is titled, “Alan Dershowitz’s Advice for Young Lawyers” and the second is titled “Paul Floyd on How to Value and Sell a Law Practice.” The show is hosted by Sam Glover, a tech and marketing journalist, and Aaron Street, co-founders of Lawyerist Media (a digital media company serving solo and small law firms) and a Program Attorney for the Minnesota State Bar Association. You can listen and subscribe to Lawyerist on iTunes or Stitcher. If you have a particular question you want answered, Lawyerist Podcast answers questions sent into email@example.com or questions submitted through Twitter using the #AskLawyerist hashtag.
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3. Lawyer 2 Lawyer (http://legaltalknetwork.com/podcasts/lawyer-2lawyer/) Lawyer 2 Lawyer is the longest running legal podcast available. There are over 300 podcasts covering current events and recent rulings. The latest episode available on the website is titled, “The Senate Committee Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.” You can listen to Lawyer 2 Lawyer using iTunes, Stitcher or by going straight to its website.
4. Asked and Answered (http://www.abajournal.com/podcast/) Asked and Answered is a podcast produced by the American Bar Association. Moderator Stephanie Francis Ward talks to guests about topics such as episode 56’s “How to network without feeling slimy” (http://www. abajournal.com/news/article/podcast_monthly_episode_56) and episode 57’s “How can you use social media responsibly to promote your clients’ cases” (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/podcast_ monthly_episode_56). For those who don’t listen to a lot of talk radio, Asked and Answered is nice because they oftentimes include the podcast transcript on their website so you can get a feel for the topic before diving into a whole episode. You can listen to Asked and Answered on the ABA Journal website.
5. I am the Law (http://www.lstradio.com/iatl/) I am the Law is a show that profiles legal professionals in a variety of jobs and practice areas. Produced by Law School Transparency, I am the Law interviews new and veteran law school graduates about what the practice of law is really like. Maybe we should have all listened to this before taking the LSAT? I am the Law’s mission is to shed a little light on real legal jobs so that listeners can make better choices in their job search process and increase job satisfaction. I am the Law currently has an introduction episode and a family law attorney episode, but their upcoming line-up includes interviews with a personal injury attorney, patent attorney, public defender and many others. If you are thinking about a new career path within the law, or know anyone thinking of applying to law school, this is definitely a great podcast to check out. You can listen to I am the Law on their website, iTunes, PlayerFM, TuneIn, and Stitcher.
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Living and Giving By Jessica S. Yarbrough This article was originally published in the Winter 2015 issue of The Arkansas Lawyer magazine and is reprinted here with permission. “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” — John Bunyan These long lasting words of the old English Christian writer and preacher should resound loudly within the hearts of those who appreciate the principles of service above self. While in Portland, Oregon, for the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Fall Conference, I seized an opportunity to serve as a volunteer for Project Street Youth. This program is the current national public service project of the Young Lawyers Division. According to the ABA, there are over 1.7 million homeless youth in the United States, and the population grows each year. Almost 40% of the homeless population is under 18 years of age. The unfortunate aspect of this study shows that Arkansas is included within this calculation. However, the saving grace is that Arkansans, young lawyers in particular, have the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of those that are less fortunate. Project Street Youth has three main components: Educating and Raising Awareness of the Issue. Young Lawyers are being armed with information and materials that
will help educate other lawyers and members of their community about the severity of the homeless youth problem in this country, as well as the laws and policies enacted to combat youth homelessness. Legislation. Young lawyers are encouraged to lobby for laws and policies to address the issue of youth poverty or homelessness, and provide those model laws and policies. Legal Clinic. Young lawyers are encouraged to partner with existing community organizations and set up legal clinics to help homeless youth or those who are in foster care with credit and consumer issues; public assistance and government benefits; and tickets, warrants, and minor criminal matters. While in Portland, my greatest reward was assisting a homeless youth who entered the legal clinic upon learning that young lawyers were present. Quickly dismissing his current situation and lack of resources, his eyes became bright as he inquired as to whether there was a patent attorney in the room. While I am not a patent attorney, other lawyers and I were able to point him in the right direction and he received a one-on-one session on what it takes to make his dream come true. The time taken for that young man who I will likely never see again was a seed sown
in helping to possibly change his life forever. Other youth had questions about credit issues, identity theft, and criminal matters. In Arkansas, there is an overwhelming population of children and youth who are in the custody of the Department of Human Services. According to the Arkansas Dream Center, there are many children who do not have proper after school supervision because of their parents’ or guardians’ work schedules. YLS looks forward to making a lasting difference in the lives of many by partnering with the Arkansas Dream Center to assist with after school mentoring, providing clothing, furniture, toys, and books for the less fortunate. YLS members should also consider becoming a member of Volunteers Organization for Central Arkansas Legal Services (VOCALS). The Center for
Jessica S. Yarbrough is the Chair of the Young Lawyers Section. She is an attorney with McKissic & Associates, P.L.L.C. in Pine Bluff.
Arkansas Legal Services helps people who suddenly find themselves vulnerable or helpless. According to Donna Ramsey, Pro Bono Coordinator in Pine Bluff, clients are interviewed and screened prior to the referral. Lawyers are also asked about their preference of cases and are able to accept them when convenient. There are countless avenues to get involved and make an impact in the lives of those who may never be able to repay their benefactors. Those interested should contact a member of the YLS, or make contact with a local civic organization. As John Bunyan would ask, “Have you lived today?”
Project Street Youth at the American Bar Association’s YLD Fall Conference in Portland, Oregon
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