Jan 07, 2019
Law Practice Potpourri: Client Capacity, Storytelling and Your Website
Jan 07, 2019
By Robert Rosborough
Happy New Year! Welcome to the first Marin Lawyer issue of 2019. We endeavor to bring you articles on topics you find useful and interesting and this month, none of our articles are about "what the law is," but each of them addresses a different aspect of law practice. Some of you may have heard the term, “silver tsunami,” which refers to the demographic shift we are experiencing as the baby boomer generation ages, leading to a much larger population of older adults—and Marin County has the oldest population of all the counties in California. Mediator, attorney and RN Carolyn Rosenblatt writes about how diminished capacity is affecting more adults and in many cases how difficult it can be for a lawyer to spot without spending adequate time and energy with a client and without an adequate understanding of the symptoms. She gives us all some needed guidance and points out how this is not just for trusts and estates lawyers but all lawyers have a duty to their aging clients to ensure they have the capacity to make the decisions connected with our legal representation and even beyond that to conduct their lives and not be at risk for elder abuse.
Professor Marc Evans writes about the importance of storytelling in persuasion and more broadly the importance of not just what you say but how you say it. After a brief review of the classical elements of narrative, and touching on some historical literary approaches to persuasion, he discusses a variety of contemporary resources lawyers may find useful for learning about the role of storytelling in persuasion and how to make use of it. I can attest to storytelling’s power, as one of my best friends wrote a book on it that led not only to him becoming a trial consultant to help craft the story to tell the jury but to many successful verdicts as well.
On the law firm management front, RB Tewksbury writes about the emergence of progressive web apps as a single website solution for both mobile and desktop viewing. If your website needs a redesign, you should read this article before deciding what approach you want to take. If you are not considering updating your website soon, this article is probably not for you but we do want to include articles that may help with the practical side of your practice as well as the legal side. I encourage our readers to let me know if there are topics related to running a law firm that you would like to see addressed.
In addition to penning an inspiring President’s message, our new MCBA President Charlie Dresow reviews a fascinating book: "Eisenhower vs. Warren: The Battle for Civil Rights and Liberties." The book explores Eisenhower’s and Warren’s disagreement over Brown v. Board of Education (Eisenhower supported desegregation but using a gradual approach) and explores the critical role of the executive branch in enforcing Supreme Court decisions. Certainly a read relevant to today’s political environment. You can also see what you missed at the MCLE Fair and read about the lawyer’s addiction support organization The Other Bar. And if you are a meditator or have thought about meditating, the Marin Lawyers’ Meditation Group is now meeting weekly at lunchtime. See the details and a little bit of background in the announcement of the new schedule.
The Marin Lawyer encourages our readers to also be our writers. If you have something you’d like to write about, get in touch with us. We also encourage our readers to be our critics. If there’s something you’d like to see (or not see) in the Marin Lawyer, let us know. If you’d like more articles on practical law firm topics, tell us. More book reviews? Let us know. All feedback is welcome.
Here’s to good reading in 2019!
Rob Rosborough is Of Counsel to Monty White LLP. He mediates disputes where an ongoing relationship is at stake, particularly adult-family conflict such as disagreement over caring for an aging parent and HOA disputes. He maintains an estate planning, HOA and general advisory and transactional law practice focusing on personal and small business issues. Rob also teaches at USF’s Fromm Institute (conflict resolution and history of science) and helps lawyers cope with the practice of law by teaching them meditation skills as a certified iRest® meditation teacher.