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Avoiding Conflicts of Interest: Experts Speak Out on Conflicts Checks

Whether they're due to a new client, new representation for an existing client, or a lateral hire, regular checks for conflicts of interest have become an essential part of a firm's operations. ''The idea is to be able to allow the firm to identify…a situation which gives rise to an actual conflict of interest, or could potentially rise to a conflict of interest down the line,'' explained Richard E. Flamm, Esq., expert on conflicts of interest and author of Lawyer Disqualification: Conflicts of Interest and Other Bases. ''The proper conflicts check depends on a number of factors, including the jurisdiction you're in and the size of the firm,'' Flamm said.

Violence in the Workplace Protecting Workers and Your Business

The recent murders of Chicago District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow's mother and husband and the shooting rampage that killed three in an Atlanta courtroom painfully reminded the legal community of its vulnerability when it comes to workplace violence. The legal community is not alone. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that between 1993 and 1999, there was an annual average of 1.7 million violent workplace victimizations. During this same time, there were also 900 workplace-related homicides annually. The National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence reports that in the year 2000, the states with the most deaths resulting from assault and other violent acts at work were California (111), Texas (103), New York (68), and Florida (66).

Home is No Longer a Protected Castle: Employers Regulating Employees Private Lives

First it was Weyco, a medical benefits company in Michigan, dismissing employees who smoked even while away from the workplace, and then it was Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, located in New Jersey, restricting employees from gaining too much weight. Are companies becoming too intrusive in their employees’ lives?

Legally, it depends, says Peter Petesch, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of Ford and Harrison, LLP, a national labor and employment law firm. What it depends on most is where the company is doing business. It’s mainly a state law issue, Petesch points out, and there are a myriad of state and federal laws and regulations.

Butting In: Employers Penalize Smokers and Overweight Workers

Some companies are enticing employees to lead healthier, more productive lives with a variety of ''wellness'' initiatives, including smoking-cessation counseling and products, weight maintenance plans, and exercise programs. Companies are promoting everything from a discount on smoking replacement aids and health club memberships to substantial discounts on health insurance premiums.

Law Firms Hire Marketing Consultants to Increase Business

Back when Sol Linowitz was a young attorney in the 1940s, law firms followed a cardinal rule. ''It was considered shockingly bad behavior to solicit legal business,'' Mr.Linowitz, author of The Betrayed Profession and former senior partner at Coudert Brothers wrote, ''The young lawyer was supposed to conduct himself in such a way that his telephone would ring.''

The Success and Failures of Opening a Branch Office

Being successful in expanding your business is crucial to the overall health of your company. Filling your new office with the right employees is one of the most important aspects of that - find out how.

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