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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Parking Costs in Fee Petition

So in domestic relations contempt of court land we're often filing Fee Petitions or having them filed against us. They're actually quite informative, you really get to see what other lawyers are billing clients and they help you know the market for attorneys fees. I got one recently where the attorney has parking costs listed as expenses in the fee petition. Is this reasonable? Will a judge give him those costs? I think it's fringe.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You're Released Immediately (Which Means 12 Hours Later)

Just so everyone can better educate their clients, if necessary, let me share my experience getting a prisoner out of Cook County Jail yesterday. This is the case I've written about previously. So we were in court yesterday morning and the judge "released" her immediately. That's the gist of the court's order...Respondent shall be released from the Cook County Department of Corrections immediately. This was say 1030am at the Daley Center downtown. Well my client actually got released from the Cook County Jail (26th & California) at 11pm. The client had been held over the weekend so she had some stuff down at the jail so I do understand that it was necessary for her to go back to jail first and then get released. But 12 HOURS...brutal. Just wanted everyone to know the meaning of "immediately" in this context.

Monday, April 28, 2008

If I Knew Just One Thing When I Started My Practice...

Ah lets make it two...

So I'm on enough lawyer list serves that invariably and frequently some newbie asks advice in some form of the above. I thought there were some interesting points made recently.

First, and this should be a no-brainer, CONTROL YOUR EXPENSES. I still kick myself about throwing away money in the early start-up years. For me it was overspending on office space and commercial lawyer referral programs. A law firm can potentially earn you a nice living, but it's different than a non-legal start-up business where oftentimes you can really grow a business for 3-5 years and then sell it or go public. A legal services business is much harder to sell even though now (at least in IL) you can sell a Firm and your growth will generally be more slow and steady.

Second, get your 10-60 second "elevator speeches" down. Take some time to figure out how to explain to people (clients, potential referral sources, family members) EXACTLY what you do. Many people don't understand what attorneys do, and what types of cases you are and are not willing to work on. I could kick myself for the number of times I've answered oh "I'm a family law and real estate attorney." BAD ANSWER!

Be Everywhere on the 'Net

Lawyer Search Guide...it's a free registration. Clients can find you!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dennis Rodman & Conrad Black

Don't hit the cameraman!

Well, following in the foot steps of Dennis Rodman, convicted former Sun-Times publisher Conrad Black has been sued for walking into or shoving a cameraman outside the Dirksen Federal Building during his recent trial.

His recent Richard Nixon bio. was a great read though.

I'd Like a 60-Day Status Date and By the Way, What's for Lunch?

I'd be remiss if I didn't at least add my $.02 on our little Supreme Court's "extravagance in eating shall we say." Here's one of the many articles on the controversy. Essentially the IL Auditor General raises concerns that at various judicial conferences the breakfasts are costing $40 per person and lunches $48 per person.

Illinois’ auditor general is again rapping the state Supreme Court for costly food tabs on taxpayers’ dimes — with some meals hitting nearly $50 rather than the recommended $8 per person.

The court far overspent for breakfasts and meals at five conferences for judges, with a combined tab of more than $200,000, according to Auditor General William Holland’s report released Thursday. That includes $78,000 for 1,700 meals at a February 2006 conference in Chicago.

Lunch at one conference ran $48 per person for 958 attendees, with breakfast at the same event costing $40 apiece for more than 800 people.

Travel guidelines limit judges’ reimbursement to $8 for breakfast or lunch when traveling to Chicago and $7 per meal downstate, Holland said. He recommends judges either follow the smaller meal limits or increase the guideline limits.

The Law Bulletin actually had the best piece on the issue (but of course it's password protected). A spokesman for the Supremes said that the meals are part of a larger package...i.e. they're negotiated as part of room rates, conference rooms, ect.

How 'bout meals on your own with just 1 or 2 dinner banquets at the conferences?

Read the full report here, or the summary report digest here.

Thanks Cook County Sheriff's Police

Seriously, I know I've been critical of their extremely low percentage of success in serving civil process, increased rates for that low percentage, and their unwillingness to answer the phone in the eviction department, but yesterday I was quite grateful for a couple of very kind and courteous Sheriff's police who of all things were in the process of taking my client into custody.

No joke, one of the downsides to these Cook County Domestic Relations appointments is you often get unwinnable cases. Like it's an allegation of unpaid child support for 5 years or something and you're supposed to represent this person at a hearing on the Petition for Rule in two weeks. So my female client got jailed yesterday for the weekend. I won't go too much into the details but these cases are ALWAYS about a party's refusal to follow a court's previous order. Well she was very, very upset back in the hallway behind the court room. And one of the Sheriffs actually spoke with her in her non-English language, they let her make a couple phone calls, and I was able to counsel her for a while.

Quite frequently it's like you have a couple minutes to speak with your client and then we're taking him away.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Values" Marketing

Another example written about here where a small California firm celebrated its 125th Anniversary by making a $125,000 contribution to a local area food bank. We've previously written in this space about a Chicago firm that sent our Martin Luther King day cards with a listing of the local non-profits that they support. I think this is a two thumbs up, right? Nearly every firm can do this to some degree...there are non-profits from the Barnabas Project (which I'm on the Board of) with our $10,000 annual budget to the Salvation Army that's everywhere. I surely think this helps build the values of your firm and there's surely a marketing aspect too. Most of these places are publicizing their donors.

A downside? My only thought would be if you're funding groups that drift a bit towards controversy. It's hard not to support your local food bank but you might offend some people if you're supporting Planned Parenthood or its opponents.

"I'm Not Educated, But I Do Like To Read Books..."

That was contained in a speech by a former Prez...do you know who? I suppose it applies to me too with my state school education. But I've been reading all these book reviews lately over at The Connected Lawyer so I thought I'd share a review of my favorite read of the year so far. This is step one towards creating my "Book blog" (with a better title) as my business...something akin to Charlie Rose and just representing this author who I know well as she becomes the next J.K. Rowling. If you haven't attended the Printer's Row Book Fair put on by the Tribune (first weekend in June, South Loop) that was a great find last summer. But seriously, if you're a former Washingtonian with plans to become a future Washingtonian or a former White House Intern (no not Monica) or just part of the good old Illinois "Combine" you've got to read Homo Politicus by Dana Milbank with the Post.

An absolutely hilarious "anthropological study" that's a journey through "Potomac Land." The subtitle is, "The Strange and Scary Tribes that Run our Government." It's full of great tales of human sacrifice (Scooter Libby), hazing (Arlen Specter), real status (not just titles), and how Party trumps family. Hey I didn't say this tribe is healthy.

LawGuru...Not Worth the Time??

Anyone a Guru out there? Primarily it's a Q/A Website where people can solicit answers to their legal questions from lawyers. I've used LawGuru for about a year now...if someone posts a question in elder, family or real estate law I get an e-mail with a Response link.

I've been amazed over the last few days on several lawyer list serves I'm on, seeing other lawyers describe there experience w/ LawGuru. Many attest to being some of the most responsive lawyers out there but getting little to no business for there efforts. I'd concur with that sentiment. I got one low $$ client from a LawGuru post from probably hundreds of responses at this point.

E-mail & Self-Control

The Greatest had a couple of interesting recent posts regarding e-mail etiquette and dictating e-mail...they're well worth a read. He's right in his general theme promoting dictation generally especially with all the digital options out there these days.

I'm amazed at the vitriol I see written via e-mail particularly from clients and on lawyer list serves. I really think that the impersonal nature of e-mail (typing on some electronic device by yourself) really brings out the worst in people. My personal policy is absolutely if there needs to confrontation or criticism, do it in person or over the phone. Time and again I see a tone of communication from people that they would NEVER express verbally but when it's not really expressed to a person but rather just typed into a box there's inappropriate anger.

Celebrate Melvil Dewey!

Ya know the Dewey Decimal system?

OK, a bit off topic here but our Rotary club is having our big fundraiser this weekend called Do The Dewey which is a partnership with the Des Plaines Public Library. It's a good time w/ food, music, activities AND free plants from Pesche's. So if you're in the NW 'burbs and want something to do Saturday night drop me a line...I have plenty of free tickets!

Cook Domestic Relations Appointments: A Downside

As we've blogged about previously, I'm now up to 6 court appointments through this program. Mostly unpaid child support cases but a couple are lets say more "interesting." So I'd continue to recommend this for the solo, domestic relations start-up.

However, my one negative is that I'm getting appointed and these judges don't know my schedules so I get six court dates on six different days. The last 10 business days I've been in court on 6 of them, mostly on these appointments. And generally it's bad business to go to court for only 1 case.

Make your schedule to make you money, my biggest $$ days by far are the days where I can schedule 3-4 cases at Daley in one morning.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Harvard & The White House Not Enough

At least not on Alberto Gonzales' resume. Here's the piece regarding his job search struggles. Hey, I don't need the Old Grey Lady to tell me it's a tough job market for lawyers.

The Art of Referral Marketing

An art? I think it's a science.

Nevertheless, here's the full NYT piece with a few take-away-points:

“Start by making a list of all the people who might be a referral source for you. These may include people you do business with, such as your banker, accountant, attorney, printer, consultant, broker, and so on. This list will also include at least some of your existing clients.”

Then, zero in on the people who are already frequently recommending prospects to you. “Almost always, you’ll have better results by developing stronger relationships with a few referral sources rather than shallow relationships with lots of sources.”

Help those referral sources help you by telling them exactly what kind of clients you are looking for, explaining in detail how you can help those potential clients. Also, be sure to point out the types of clients you do not want. “When you are clear about describing the recommendations you want, you make it easier for your referral partners to identify prospective customers for you.”

Going to Court's Tiring!

I had three contested hearings on three different days this week...that's tough when you're mainly used the "carpet commute" (Chuck Newton). I hardly got to watch Washington Journal all week.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Former MSFT General Counsel to Speak at John Marshall Friday

Hey he didn't do too well at the trial level of MSFT's anti-trust case back in the 1990s but I'll bet he has an interesting perspective...

William H. Neukom, president of the American Bar Association, will be the guest speaker addressing "The Rule of Law and Intellectual Property in the 21st Century" at the Hon. Howard T. Markey Distinguished Lecture April 18 at The John Marshall Law School.

Here's a short piece on the lecture and JMLS's announcement.

Cook County Domestic Relations CLE TODAY!

It's 12pm - 130pm at Daley with Judges Evans and Jacobius regarding acting as a child representative in domestic relations cases. It's put on by the court so no surprise one can't find anything online...they have signs posted on many of the courtroom doors up on the 30th floor. If interested I'd try and call Judge Jacobius' chambers @ 312-603-6556. I'd bet it's in his courtroom 1901; I'll be there.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Springfield – May 12, 2008, 4:30 pm

So one month to go in our Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) election…vote, vote, vote!! Yours truly IS a candidate for the Board of Governors (Under 37, Cook County). OK, this will be the first and last post plugging my candidacy…

Why do I want to be on the Board?

In many ways my candidacy is a direct outgrowth from this blog and its purpose: Attempting to help and empower Chicagoland’s entrepreneurial legal community. That’s what I’m trying to do through my posts and sharing my personal story. Yet the most meaningful aspect of this now nearly three-years-old blog/journey hasn’t been about me but rather it’s been about the people I’ve met and the relationships formed that sprouted from this tiny piece of cyberspace. And what I’m hearing far too often across the table from lawyers throughout the Chicago area is that they’re struggling to build successful legal service businesses.

Whether Solo By Choice, solo due to a very tight legal job market, or not a solo at all, the ISBA must provide the business consulting, law practice management, and marketing resources critical to its lawyer members. The development of progressive lawyer-business people is critical to the future of the legal profession. We have an ethics hotline yet we don’t have an on-call law practice management adviser. This must change!!

Help me be your voice on the Board; I need your vote! Help me spread the word!

ALL RIGHT, the commercial is over…back to blogging (blawgging).

Friday, April 11, 2008

10 Principals of Law Firm Marketing

This list compliments of the Rainmaker Institute...

  • People: Identify your target market. Analyze the characteristics of your best and worst clients and determine why they need your services. Look for a niche you can serve.

  • Product: Pinpoint what services you provide and how you can best present these to your prospects. Put yourself in their shoes. Ensure they know exactly what services they will receive.

  • Positioning: Study the competition. Learn why you are different from your competition and educate your prospects about why they should hire you and no one else. This convinces clients to do business with you and no one else.

  • Packaging: This is an important marketing strategy. Project an image that makes people want to work with you. Think about the image that best represent you and creates interest in prospects.

  • Place: Make sure that a prospective client can find you when they need your services. Build an online presence. Try networking with other professionals. Give presentations or seminars. Determine which methods work for you when finding new clients. Make your marketing plan an efficient machine.

  • Price: Compare prices with your competitors. Be prepared to strategically explain to clients how they benefit by using your services. Find out where you are on the pricing ladder. Learn how to merit top fees while retaining clients.

  • Promotion: Learn to differentiate good prospects from bad ones to maximize the effectiveness of promotions. Develop a set of questions that qualifies which prospects are good for you. This helps determine what kind of prospects are attracted by your law firm marketing methods.

  • Persuasion: This is where you turn prospects into clients. Ensure your "buying process" produces the results you desire. Learn to nurture long-term relationships with clients.

  • Performance: Look at client turnover rate to determine what steps are needed to take to keep your best clients. The most expensive thing you can have in your practice is a one time client. Find ways to obtain repeat business from your current and former clients.

  • Plan: Create a written marketing plan for your law firm. Be sure to include: your target market, the challenges they face, the solutions you provide, why you are unique, the strategies you will use to reach them, roles and responsibilities, time frame for achieving your goals, and a way to measure your success.

"A Criminal Enterprise Has Infiltrated the Judicial System in the United States"

That was included in a pro se defendant's motion for substitution of judge in a recent appellate case from the Cook Circuit Court (1st Dist. D'Agostino v. Lynch, No. 1-06-3026). Of course the defendant labeled his motion, "“Verified Motion for Judicial Admission or Denial by Judge Alexander P. White Regarding Knowledge of and/or Participation in Alleged Criminal Acts within and across State Lines by Judges in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and Request for Self-Disqualification Instanter.”

The result? 60 days in the brig for criminal contempt. Hey this is the county that brought us Operation Greylord...but I guess the defendant above gave zero basis for his allegations.

Another Lawyer Networking Tool

Just so you know, I joined Lawlink. As it says, "The First Online Network Exclusively For Attorneys." It's free...I'll report back on its effectiveness. I read of it in the January '08 Illinois Bar Journal.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wisdom & Client Selection

I think the firm here might have seen this one coming, eh?

Real estate developer Donald J. Trump is claiming the Manhattan law firm that represented him in a lawsuit against an overcharging golf course contractor overcharged him.

Trump filed a legal malpractice suit against New York's Morrison Cohen last year in Westchester County Supreme Court, claiming the firm treated him like a "cash cow" and performed unnecessary work to generate higher bills. Justice Kenneth W. Rudolph permitted the case to move forward last month.

Well at least it appears the Firm made some decent fees.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Diagnosis: Death by Blogging

So for all of you out there really pushing to monetize your blog...just be careful. Here's the piece from the Sunday Times. All that being said, I love writing and communicating via the Internet...it's better than negotiating between a couple of bickering soon-to-be-former spouses in the courtroom hallway.

Sunday Chicago Tribune Magazine Article on Lawyers

Here's the link...the piece attempts to paint a picture regarding the economic disparity that exists in the legal profession. It's worth a read since the Tribune is the paper of record here but other than that not a great effort.

It does hit on some of issues we've been writing about for three years in this space like the cost of law school and the over-population of lawyers. Yet the "foil" in the article (and I say that with no disrespect) is a Cook County State's Attorney making $59k per year. There are many, many lawyers struggling far more than to the tune of $59k per year...like a first year ASA for example.

I have lunch with a person-a-month who I've met through the blog usually struggling to find A JOB and considering solo practice. Here's a previous post on the subject with a link to the September '07 article in the WSJ about the state of the legal job market...it's more on point.

Agreed Orders: A Problem

So we all have Agreed Orders entered every so often...maybe more than anything, right? All the parties agree so one of the lawyers gets an AO entered. Well, I've had a couple situations recently where I've had and seen clients agree to have an Agreed Order entered regarding an issue or issues (in a few of these situations the clients were even there in court as the AO was entered) and then get upset about something days or months later and be upset that the AO got entered.

Well, this lawyer's going to start requiring his client's to actually sign all AOs that get entered if they relate to any substantive issue(s). On sort of a pure continuance I think I can live without this, but I'm tired of people changing their minds and then blaming their lawyer. Granted I have the e-mails and the notes of phone conversations but I'm going to start having a signed AO too.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Tools for the Lawyer/Entrepreneur...

Six highlights (below) from the NYTimes' small business toolkit. The list really hits home for me because I think that the *planning tomorrow today and the *lunch break/walk go a long way towards defining my daily productivity. That begs the question why I don't do those two things daily...but I suppose that's a "personal" problem.

¶Plan tomorrow today. If you do not wait until you get into the office to plan your day, you will be that much further ahead. Accept the idea you may not get everything done. The solution is to prioritize. In creating your “to do” list the night before, “put the No. 1 next to the most important item on your list. Place the No. 2 next to the second most important item on your list, etc. Then tackle the items on your list in order of their importance. It sounds simple, he says, but most people don’t do it, deciding to complete tasks that are easier to do, but not necessarily the most important.

¶Do not try to keep it in your head. “A faint pen has more power than the keenest mind. Get into the habit of writing things to do down using one tool (a Day-Timer, pad of paper, Palm Pilot, etc.) Your mind is best used for the big picture rather than all the details.”

¶Sleep. “You can have a great to do list for your next day but if you are tired, your productivity will be adversely impacted. Schedule a sufficient amount of sleep.”

¶Take a speed reading class.

¶Break for lunch. “After doing what we do for several hours, we start to ‘dull out.’ Sure, we can work through lunch and be productive, but that is not the issue. The issue is ‘how much more’ productive we can be. A lunch break, even a short 15-minute break, gives us a chance to get our batteries all charged up again to more effectively handle the afternoon’s challenges.”

Friday, April 04, 2008

"A Client Guy"

Not a bad thing to be known as in the professional services field. It was used to describe Treasury Secretary Paulson in his pre-public service days mostly at Goldman Sachs. A colleague comments:

Paulson earned a reputation as "a client guy," said William Daley, former Commerce secretary, Midwest chairman of JPMorgan Chase and a friend of Paulson's. "He had the reputation of making 10 calls a day to clients, not to ask for business but just to ask what's going on."

Should You Ever Lower Fees?

They had this discussion over at The Anti 9-to-5 blog, not specific to the legal context but I think the discussion is useful nonetheless.

I don't have a problem cutting fees on occasion. Unless your practice is absolutely capped, I say do whatever it takes to bring in the new business...trading $0 for $100+ an hour is a good trade.

Two thoughts...

First, if you can effectively tap into the under-lawyered sort of working class/poor I say go for it. That's a huge population segment that I think believes that they can't afford a lawyer. Help them pay you!

Second, there's one scenario where we often "lower" fees. It's in the landlord/condo forcible entry and detainer area. For some high volume landlords and associations we cap our fees on evictions whereas we would charge a higher fee if Jane Doe off the street just wants us to do 1 eviction.

Legal "Nuggets" in the Windy City

A bunch of news stories in the Chicago papers today applicable to our little legal world...

R. Eugen Pincham dies. A nice overview of the noted Chicago criminal defense lawyer. My only personal experience with him relates to continuing legal education seminars. That guy was a huge draw!! If you spoke opposite him your meeting attendance was going to take a big hit.

It's for the birds. A Prospect Heights couple was ordered to stop feeding birds in their yard or face a $500 per day fine. Well, we all use the civil justice system for different reasons now don't we. One of the Defendants raising the specter of the cold war:

"I was born in communist Russia, and in Russia, there was no freedom to pray . . . but not the birds. We could feed the birds," said Halina Rogulski, 73, a Polish immigrant who came to the United States after spending three years as a child in a German labor camp during World War II."

Cook Public Defender may be fired. Looks like filing suit against one's boss isn't the best plan of attack.

The Best Speaker w/ the Worst Marketing Materials

That's what I felt like last night. I filled in for a friend as a speaker at a seminar for potential home buyers downtown at Acorn Housing in Chicago. They're a HUD certified housing counseling agency.

And not to be immodest, but I was probably the best speaker in the house. It's something I enjoy doing and I do a lot of it. Really, written and oral communication along with a good memory for trivial facts (often involving sporting events from the '80s) are my three strengths so not a big surprise.

BUT, compared to the other speakers, my "materials" sucked! It's true. The speakers other than myself were a mortgage lender, real estate agent, and home inspector. The home inspector had a great power point, a shirt and hat with his company's logo, and very well-done glossy brochures with a $25 savings coupon. The lender and agent had some brochures with overview information about the home buying process along with business cards. And there was little old me with only my plain old business cards...Blah!!!!!

I wondered what lawyers with real regular speaking gigs would suggest and/or what are they giving away at speaking engagements? My speaking engagements are just inconsistent enough that I think I sort of excuse not having good take-away materials.

What are effective marketing take-away materials that you can handout at speaking engagements or use for general marketing when you're getting solicitation calls asking about your firm or services? I don't think just directing ones attention to your Website is enough...especially at the speaking engagements I think people want materials to bring home.

What do I/you need?

BETTER Business Cards. I can't conceive of a lawyer who doesn't have business cards but I think there's room for improvement with my card. On my card I have our Firm's name, my name, e-mail address, office locations, and phone/fax. I don't have practice areas or blogs listed. Other than perhaps some aesthetic improvements, I think those two additions must be made. A recent post from Ernie The Attorney on the subject.

A Firm Pamphlet/Brochure. I see some firms with these but not all. It's a simple take-away item that simply provides more overview information than just a business card...describe Firm history, staff, practice areas, ect.

Firm Logo. I think this is a great way to differentiate yourself from other lawyers. I think if properly done this can really make you look cool and sophisticated, rather than the tattered mismatching stuff I see from most small firms. I'd estimate only 10% of firms (big and small) have any sort of logo. I don't think this has to be crazy expensive either...work around a name or letter, just some consistent branding.

"How-To" information sheets/pamphlets. I think for say the 5-10 legal procedures that I do a lot, I should have this sort of information sheet...explain buying/selling real estate, leasing, evictions, divorce, adoption, parentage. So now I've spoken and I'm giving you even more information about a topic (plus my contact info. of course).

Seriously, you might be the smartest person in the room with all the education but I'm not sure that the average layperson isn't more impressed with the cool logo, hats/shirts, and glossy pamphlets.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Belated Happy Third Birthday to...

The Olson Law Firm, LLC of course. I think March 31, 2005 was actually the effective date according to the IL Secretary of State.

Well, we haven't quite made our first million yet, but I do believe we've helped hundreds of people throughout Chicagoland deal with pressing legal matters and hopefully eased their concerns during often traumatic and life-changing circumstances. Here's to another three years and beyond!

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch (Thanks GK).



In-House Counsel Downsides...

So the dream's dead...even In-House positions aren't "all that." He's the article from ABA and the five downsides:

She says the myths are:

  1. Better hours and a better lifestyle await. Cannon worked anywhere from 10 to 14 hours a day in-house and never had any downtime. “Part of the reason for the craziness of the days was that there was no longer a buffer between me and my ‘clients’— i.e., the businesspeople within my company—who would often appear in my office if I did not respond immediately to their phone calls or emails,” she wrote.

  2. If the job doesn’t work out, a return to private practice is possible. Cannon says law firms may fear a deterioration of lawyering skills or a lack of commitment to staying on long-term.

  3. The work will be more exciting because in-house lawyers are at the center of the action. In-house counsel often get more mundane compliance and employment matters while the complicated issues are farmed outside, Cannon advises.

  4. In-house pay rivals that of law firms. The days of lawyers leaping to high-tech startups with the promise of a big future payday are over. Most lawyers should expect a pay cut, Cannon says. Compensation structures are different, and often a significant portion of in-house pay comes in the form of a discretionary annual bonus.

  5. In-house jobs are more secure. In-house lawyers aren’t profit centers, and companies may see in-house lawyers as expendable in a downturn, Cannon says.

Say it With a T-Shirt

Why more blogs including this one aren't selling t-shirts I don't know? It seems kinda stupid but those highly personalized t-shirt places are exploding and they're all over the 'Net...here's the recent piece that got me thinking.

Cook Domestic Relations Court Appointments - Update

Just a little update on the above as we've previously written about here. After several months of scant court appointments I was appointed to 5 clients last week. These aren't going to be huge $$ cases but I'd expect nearly $1,000 each...it adds up. Why the uptick? Oh, slowing economy has more people behind in child support with contempt of court looming.

On a related point, I seriously think someone or a lawyers assistant should just stand outside 32 W. Randolph or Daley Center handing out advertisements and information forms about how to modify child support when an obligor's income goes down. The media and our Governor love to take about these horrible "deadbeat dads" but how 'bout the people who legitimately have income drops and don't know how to modify child support and next thing you know you're $50k in the hole and you're financially destroyed for life.