a checklist of standard questions that you
can ask if something is delegated to you.
If you must communicate by email, then
you can always create a template to create a form and receive one email rather
than 30 to gather the same information.
• Who’s the client?
• What’s the issue?
• What’s the desirable outcome?
• What’s the product or service to be
• When is the product or service to be
• How much time should reasonably be
• Do we have all the documentation we
• Where is the documentation, if we
don’t have it?
• Does another attorney need to review
the product before it leaves the firm?
• Who’s the primary contact with the
• Who’s the secondary contact with the
• Are there any other limitations on
our authority or my authority (e.g.,
can I enter into negotiations with opposing counsel?)
Work until you die at your
If all else fails, work until you die at your
desk. Employ some of the advice in this
article and you may live longer. Long
enough for modern science to make cryopreserving your corpse an option for your
loved ones. Who knows? Maybe science
will revive you hundreds of years from
now to a stress-free environment where
you’ll be trampled by a woolly mammoth,
then eaten by a saber-tooth tiger. NWL
Brian P. McLean
the Seattle office
of Leahy McLean
associations. He cannot be reached
com, but he can be reached at
1. Cf. “amour.”
2. Understanding technology has been both
a blessing and a curse for me and for
those who work around me. A former associate called me “I T Guy.” Once.
3. There was a time, before Altered States
(Warner Bros. 1980), when many of us
thought technology could help.
4. If you are starting to relax, note that each
latte you cross the street for costs your
firm a minimum of $60 in lost billable
time. And you thought paying $4.25 for
a latte was extravagant.
5. I am aware that I have just alienated
most of the Bar. Send your complaints to
my fourth unmonitored email address,
6. If that doesn’t work, ask your doctor about
7. There is an Internet site with a stopwatch.
Use it. www.online-stopwatch.com.
8. If you have a Gateway computer, please
note that Microsoft no longer supports
Windows 95. If you have an Apple computer, you are not reading this article.
9. The equivalent of converting an attorney
to energy, transporting that energy to
a different law firm, and reconstituting
that energy back into an attorney for purposes of conducting e-discovery.
10. Roughly translated back into Sanskrit
as “kālo’smi lokaksayakrtpravrddho
11. You are not going to make one million
dollars responding to an unsolicited
email found in your junk email folder.
12. I know several attorneys who change law
firms like clockwork every 18 months.
That is an effective and efficient way of
reducing spam and cleaning out your inbox.
13. That’s 2,300 hours; most law firms have
a modest expectation that young lawyers
will bill a minimum of 2,300 hours in a
year. Note that if you are a senior partner
in a law firm where associates regularly
bill 2,300 hours in a year, please feel free
to sign up for as many pastries as you
14. Dear Office of Disciplinary Counsel: that
last statement was not intended to be advice, nor have I ever, purposely, engaged
in such conduct.
15. I obviously don’t know how people respond to your voice and face. It is entirely
possible that they don’t work well for you.
If that is the case, consider sticking with
email or using a webcam cat avatar.
See your name in lights (well, in
ink, anyway) in NWLawyer If
you have an article of interest to
Washington lawyers or have been
meaning to write one, see page 4 for
article submission guidelines. Need
a topic? We have a list of subjects
we’d like to cover. NWLawyer relies
almost entirely on the generous
contribution of articles from WSBA
members and others.
is looking for a
few good writers.
Dishing up free CLEs!
The WSBA invites you to lunch and learn
while earning 1. 5 CLE credits. And the tab
is on us! The WSBA will host a 90-minute,
1. 5 credit, live webcast CLE at noon on
the last Tuesday of each month.
July 29 — Life in Balance
Aug. 26 — Representing Clients
in Other States
Mark your calendars now!
To register and for more
information, visit www.