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When Polite Letters Go Unanswered — Procedures for Collecting Unpaid Legal Fees

Some lawyers avoid collecting unpaid legal fees because the process makes them acutely uncomfortable, or they’re concerned about a bar complaint that could result. While some clients may indeed take offense at your efforts to collect money owed you, using appropriate, empathetic, and consistent follow up can lead to better client communication and interaction, improved cash flow, and no retaliation. And even if a complaint does arise, allowing a client relationship to fester without directly addressing the issue is not an effective strategy.
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Washington Capitol

Week 6: First Leg Session Milestone Reached

Legislators in Olympia last week cleared the first milestone of the session – policy committee cutoff. Friday was the deadline for policy bills in both houses to be voted out of their policy committees. Amid the scramble, week 6 of the legislative session heard testimony and voting on several bills of interest to the WSBA.
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U.S. District Court Highlights Importance of Defining the Decision-Maker

A recent decision from the U.S. District Court in Seattle highlights why it’s important to define the client decision-maker, especially when dealing with small, closely held corporations. In this case, charges were brought by the owner of a retail clothing firm against two former employees who had left to start a rival apparel business. The suit claimed that one of the employees, identified as the chief executive manager, had transferred a registered trademark from the plaintiff to the new firm. The plaintiff also sued the company’s outside lawyer who had assisted with the transfer for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty.
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Recent Articles


Want to Do Good and Make a Living? Consider Low Bono

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Find it hard to live up to your law school idealism? Start a business! Specifically, start a law practice using a low-bono business model.

raise right handLaw students often see themselves working at a public interest or legal-services setting. But after graduation, few new lawyers end up following that path. One study found just 4% of newer lawyers working in a public interest or legal services. Why might this be?

Certainly, it is not for lack of demand or the need for access to justice. Since the Great Recession, the need for affordable legal services has continued to grow, while governments continue to cut funding. Not only do these cuts harm people who can’t afford a lawyer, they also make finding a job in public-interest law and legal services increasingly difficult. Dwindling opportunities discourage newer lawyers from pursuing a career focused on social justice, even though their skills are badly needed. Read more »


Friday 5: Lessons from the Trial Advocacy Program I Wish I Had Learned Sooner

TAP seminar
At the 2016 Trial Advocacy Program, I had many moments when I thought to myself, “I wish I knew this before!”

TAP seminarI attended the 2016 WSBA Trial Advocacy Program (TAP) one week after relocating back to my home state. I most recently was a managing attorney at a nonprofit legal aid organization in Navajo Nation. I had been promoted to this position in the same month I was sworn into the relevant bar. At TAP, I had many moments when I thought to myself, “I wish I knew this before!” Read more »


Why Wait? Meet Your Continuing Legal Education Requirements at No Cost

Did you know the Washington State Bar Association delivers FREE CLEs to members?

Did you know the WSBA delivers FREE CLEs to WSBA Members?

A convenient and consistent way to earn free CLE credits is to attend our highly popular monthly Legal Lunchbox series. The Legal Lunchbox CLEs take place noon-1:30 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month via webcast, with the exception of August and December, when a recorded program is offered for viewing all month long. The programs are 1.5 hours long and provide a total of 18 free CLE credits to members annually. By taking the Legal Lunchbox classes, you can fulfill all of your MCLE requirements within a three year reporting period. Watch for eblasts which contain the registration links for the program. Two eblasts are sent to all WSBA members at four weeks and four days before the program delivery date. To receive these eblasts, please make sure you have not “opted-out” from email advertisements from WSBA. You can check by logging in to your MyWSBA account. As an added convenience, you don’t have to worry about reporting your credits after attending the Legal Lunchbox because WSBA will report them for you. Be sure to join the 1500 plus WSBA members who log on every month to attend the Legal Lunchbox seminars. Read more »


Week 3: Coporate Act, Guardianship on the WSBA Docket

Washington's flag
Early floor action addresses basic education issues, property crimes, and bill proposals to change state public records laws.

Washington's Capitol in OlyThe third week of the legislative session included early floor action to address basic education issues, committee hearings involving property crimes, and bill proposals to change Washington’s public records laws. The state Senate also experienced some changes to its membership with two appointments to positions within the new presidential administration. Sen. Brian Dansel, R-7, resigned his seat immediately thereby creating a virtual tie in the state Senate (24 Republicans; 24 Democrats).

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Week 2: State Legislature Digs into Real Property and Business Regulations

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Week 2 of the state Legislature ended with bill introductions, committee hearings, and press conferences probing the budget.

Washington's Capitol in OlyFriday ended Week 2 of the 2017 Washington State Legislative Session and a healthy round of bill introductions, committee hearings, and press conferences probing the process of budget-sausage making. Both fiscal and policy committees continued to hold hearings to flesh out a variety of issues, including increasing penalties for driving under the influence, legal financial-obligation changes, the Voting Rights Act, and matters related to cyber security.

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