The Real Congress Members of DC: Solving Employment Law Problems through Reality TV >
I'm bothered by the unnecessary complexity of employment laws. Solution? We harness the awesome power of reality TV to kick Congress into gear. The revolution will be televised.
April 13, 2016
Chaucer, the Prioress, her Lip, and your Employee Handbook >
Too many handbooks are written in a style popularized by bewigged and pompous barristers who practiced law circa 1791. This can cause employees to tune out.
March 18, 2016
We're Smiling at Each Other and Shaking Hands – What has Just Happened? >
Business owners and managers approach lawyers with complex problems. The lawyer lays out the options and related risks and the business decides which path it thinks is best. During these discussions, it is easy to focus on the path to the point that one loses sight of the goal. Without a clear goal in mind, there is little chance of choosing the correct path.
February 24, 2016
Why do we still cite the Atlantic Reporter? >
You are a young associate. A partner stops by your office and drops off a brief, asking you to cite-check it before it is filed. You skim through it and discover the citations are anything but consistent. In some places, both the Maryland Reporter and Atlantic Reporter are cited for Maryland cases, but in many instances, only the Maryland Reporter is cited. Even worse, there are hardly any accurate, pinpoint cites.
September 3, 2015
Don't be 'The Internalizer' >
He (or she) is an attorney who, over the years, internalizes all of his clients' issues. From criminal charges to contract disputes to personal injuries, he takes on all of his clients' life-altering problems as they are his own. In doing so, he becomes a big ball of stress and anxiety who is grouchy and has trouble functioning at work and at home.
July 24, 2015
It's a shame: The rise of bullying on the Internet and the new legal landscape. >
Since the advent of social media, there has been a meteoric rise in a relic from our past - public shaming. The ease with which a once-private individual can have his or her personal information splashed across computer screens throughout the world is frightening. If you are on social media - and I'll assume that, as a young lawyer, you are - you probably see examples of this on a daily basis, where private citizens have the ire of the Internet (or a faction thereof) focused upon them for a day or two, and sometimes longer, before they vanish into the ether.
June 25, 2015
Here's your unreported opinions. (Now don't ever cite them!) >
An anxious young attorney looks at his watch and sees that it's 4:30 p.m. He quickly opens up his computer's Internet browser and clicks on the link to the Court of Appeals' website, specifically, the page that hosts appellate opinions. (It's bookmarked for easy access.)
April 30, 2015
The resident humorist on the Court of Appeals >
Since graduating from law school, I've made a habit of checking the Court of Appeals website every morning to see if there are any new opinions. It's a great way for me to stay up-to-date on the law. I generally only stop to read the opinions that are related to my practice, but I have one exception.
April 2, 2015
Gaining perspective from the past experiences of others >
By all accounts, the beginning of one's legal career can be the most difficult. Young attorneys could be dealing with a lot all at once - learning practice areas (not to mention the practice of law), growing families and managing student loan debt, just to name a few things. With all of that pressure can come the nagging urge to question your life choices: Why did I choose this career?!
March 19, 2015
Adventures in legal writing >
Driving into work last week, I was listening to one of my favorite new podcasts, Reply All, which is a show full of oddball stories about the Internet. The subject of last week's episode was a software engineer named Bryan Henderson who has made it his quest to rid Wikipedia of one grammatical mistake: the incorrect use of the phrase "comprised of" in articles.
March 5, 2015
The 'Waiter Rule' and attorneys: A reminder to be nice >
Have you ever heard of the "Waiter Rule"? It goes like this: "a person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter . . . is not a nice person." I am a former bartender, so the Waiter Rule especially hits home for me. But it speaks to something bigger than just how we treat people who work at restaurants.
February 19, 2015
This young lawyer got his priorities straight. You won't believe what happened to him next. >
First, I sincerely apologize for the clickbait title to this post but, in my case, it is kind of fitting. To tell my story, I need to start back in late November. The Anne Arundel Bar Association was hosting one of its regular charity pub quiz events, and we were halfway through the first part of the quiz when my phone started buzzing. As a strict adherer to pub quiz rules, I avoided the urge to grab my phone so as not to be seen as a cheater. But it kept buzzing. Text messages, then phone calls. When the round was finally over, I grabbed my phone to see several missed calls and messages from my sister.
February 5, 2015