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Recent Articles

24
Apr

CosmoLex: Easier Accounting for Solo & Small Law Firms

Illustration of two lawyers with computer symbols
A WSBA member recently test drove CosmoLex, one of the new discounted practice management software systems available for members of the Bar.

Illustration of two lawyers with computer symbolsI recently opened my solo law practice, and, as many solo attorneys can attest, one of the most challenging tasks I faced was picking a practice management system. Trying to crowdsource a solution only left me with more questions and choices than I could handle. I was simultaneously finding my way around legal accounting, particularly paying attention to trust accounting (IOLTA) issues. It was at the intersection of this quest that I learned about CosmoLex. I then was invited to serve on a statewide member panel to evaluate CosmoLex’s proposal to join the Washington State Bar Association’s Practice Management Discount Network. I was excited to participate. Read more »

18
Apr

Demystifying Addiction in the Legal Profession

Drunk guy holding glass of whiskey
The ABA calls it a crisis of the legal profession. A professor of psychiatry told The New York Times it’s “a conspiracy of silence.” Yet for many attorneys, alcohol and substance abuse are sometimes just part of the job.

Drunk guy holding glass of whiskeyThe American Bar Association (ABA) calls it a crisis of the legal profession. A professor of psychiatry told The New York Times it’s “a conspiracy of silence.” Yet for many attorneys, alcohol and substance abuse are sometimes just part of the job.

Fueled by stress, long hours, and an environment where drinking at work is often ignored – if not somewhat permissible – recent studies have confirmed a long-known reality: Attorneys are more prone to abuse drugs and alcohol than the population at large. About one in five active attorneys qualify as “problem drinkers,” and potentially as many as one-third of attorneys fall into that category. That’s at least three times the national rate of adults who have alcohol use disorder. Read more »

11
Apr

Court of Appeals: Claiming Attorney Fees as Damages Waives Privilege

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavel
Attorney-client privilege is waived when claiming attorney fees for the work involved as damages, a Court of Appeals rules.

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavelDivision I of the Washington Court of Appeals held recently that the attorney-client privilege is waived when claiming attorney fees for the work involved as damages in a subsequent legal malpractice case. Leen v. Defoe, 2018 WL 582448 (Wn. App. Jan. 29, 2018) (unpublished), arose against the backdrop of a commercial transaction. The plaintiffs had hired the defendant law firm to represent them in negotiating the sale of a business. Read more »

6
Apr

Stricter Health Dept. Rule Hikes Cost for New Walk-in Surgery Centers

Surgeon hand in a green latex glove is holding C-notes.
Previously overlooked legal rules could raise costs for physicians seeking to establish or expand small outpatient surgery centers.

A gloved surgeon hand holding C-notes.New enforcement of previously overlooked legal requirements could significantly raise costs for physicians seeking to establish or expand small outpatient surgery centers. The Washington State Department of Health recently limited exemptions in its Certificate of Need Program, which regulates how health care providers can build or expand facilities and offer new services. Read more »

3
Apr

WSBA Practice Management Tools and Member Discounts Evolve

Discount icon
The WSBA Practice Management Discount Network has been invaluable to a budget conscious new business owner, and the array of discounts is especially appealing.

Discount iconAfter working hard to attain my Limited License Legal Technician license, the time came to launch my business. I needed tools and resources and, most importantly, a place to start. The WSBA Practice Management Discount Network has been invaluable to a budget conscious new business owner, and the array of discounts is especially appealing. Read more »