ITLA FYI


63 Posts found
Page 1 of 7 • Next

Posted by: Barbara Jorden on Mar 27, 2020

 
 
Now is the time to nominate ITLA's next leaders. 

The ITLA Bylaws require ITLA to accept nominations for leadership positions in advance of the Annual Meeting. You may nominate any qualified member, including yourself, to serve on the board as an elected officer or as an AAJ representative. Most of the current elected officers are eligible for re-nomination.

  • President-Elect
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary (open position)
  • AAJ Governor (open position) – Must be a member of AAJ
  • AAJ Delegate (open position) – Must be a member of AAJ

Service on the Board of Directors of ITLA in an elected position is a rare chance to help drive the decisions of the Association and shape the civil justice landscape in Idaho. Board service is a chance to grow personally and professionally, to develop skills, gain unique experience, and make lasting connections with a team of passionate and motivated trial lawyers.  

Please, take an active role in the future of ITLA by nominating a colleague or yourself for the position of Secretary, AAJ Governor, or AAJ Delegate. The Call for Nominations closes on April 17th at 5 p.m. MDT and the election will take place at the Annual Conference in June. 

NOMINATION FORM
Please give us a call at (208) 345-1890 or send an email to itla@itla.org if you have any questions or concerns.
 

Posted by: John Kormanik on Mar 25, 2020

 
John R. Kormanik, Lead Guide
Kormanik Coaching Services – www.johnrkormanik.com
Kormanik & Sneed LLP – Partner – www.khsidaholaw.com
 
As I write this post (Thursday, March 19, 2020), we have begun to feel the effects of the measures being taken to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week I have worked almost exclusively from home and wanted to share some thoughts on how to make doing so productive. Of course, I don’t have all the answers, but what I suggest below, has worked for me. Try it on for size if you’re in the #AloneTogether boat; we may be here for a while (hopefully not as long as Tom Hanks in Castaway long, but….).
 
Read to the end to find out why I purposefully used the word “curveball”!

1. Make a Schedule 
If you’re unfamiliar with working from home, it can feel like you are untethered. When we walk out of our homes and go to our offices, the change in geography and scenery tells our brains it is time to work. At home, simply changing rooms or sitting down at the computer at the breakfast bar (yes, the latter is me) and telling ourselves it is time to work, well, just doesn’t work!
 
Since I’ve begun my work from home routine, I have created a schedule, so I get my most thought-intensive work done at my most productive time of day … before noon. And this time is not just my most productive time; according to an article in Forbes, the most productive time of day is 11 a.m. and the most productive period of the day is between 7 a.m. and noon. The article confirms the reality of the “post-lunch” afternoon dip in productivity as well.
 
Before I begin my workday, I consider the most intensive things I need to do and schedule them before lunch. Yes, I write them down in my calendar. Oh, and I also put my phone and computer on “do not disturb” so when I put my head down, I’m working.
 
2. Take a Walk 
Because we’re working from home, it can be easy to forget we need a break after approximately 90-minutes of legitimate head-down work – aka what Darren Hardy refers to as a “jam session.” In the office, we’re (unfortunately) subjected to interruptions and, oftentimes, naturally, take a break to stretch. Not so at home where it can be easy just to continue to sit and work (or surf Facebook).
 
GET UP. Get outside and “clear the calculator” between tasks. When we put something aside and want to begin a different thing, research shows it takes 23 minutes to refocus. Your brain is on a virtual walk for those 23 minutes, you may as well move your body as well!

3. Leverage Technology
During this time of social isolation and in the interests of public health and wellness, I’ve canceled all of my in-person meetings. But that does not mean I cannot meet with potential and existing clients “face-to-face.” Instead, I have leveraged technology by using Zoom virtual meetings as well as UberConference. Both have free versions and may also have special features during this crisis. Using these tools, you can not only “meet” potential and existing clients, you can also interact with members of your team.
 
Because it’s 2020, most of us have either the ability to log into our document server at our office via a VPN, or our client files are in the cloud. If you didn’t have the ability to view your case files remotely, I’m certain your firm’s IT department is putting mechanisms into place to enable you to.
 
Tools like Trello, Microsoft OneNote (shared note repository), and Airtable (cloud-based spreadsheet/database) can also be used by team members to share work on various projects. I use all of these tools and find they are helpful. Multiple users have can access and make entries in these platforms so you can be certain your projects remain on track.
 
At the end of the day, we’ll all get through this. We need to continue to be productive for the sake of the people we serve – our clients! Hopefully, some of the information here will not only help you to be more productive…but to maintain your sanity as well!
 
In closing, I also wanted to take the opportunity to let you know: I have begun a new adventure and am now helping guide solo and small firm attorneys in creating vision-based businesses and lives. If you’re curious about it, contact me and I’m happy to see how I can serve you. You can also check my website www.johnrkormanik.com.
 
Oh, and the reason I used “curveball” in the title of this post is, of course, because of the postponement of the MLB season. Almost every year since we moved to Idaho in 1998, me, my partner Michelle, our daughter Allie, and our dog (first it was Sherwood, then came Maggie, now we have Olive) road-tripped to San Diego for the Padres home opener. We had tickets this year for March 26. That, of course, isn’t happening, but hope springs eternal!
 

Posted by: Anthony Shallat on Mar 19, 2020

 

Last week our law firm, Fisher Hudson Shallat, began to seriously consider how COVID-19 would impact our business, clients, and our employees. As more and more news broke about the way the virus spreads, and the extreme measures taken by governments around the world, our partners knew we had a very serious decision to make. On Monday, our law firm chose to physical close our office. Although we considered simply allowing employees the option to work remotely, we chose to take our response a step further and require them to work remotely. We also chose to halt all in-person meetings. These decisions have been disruptive, but we felt confident that they were the most responsible approach given the many unknowns our community is facing regarding COVID-19.

With that in mind, here are five important reasons why physically closing your law firm is the appropriate response when addressing COVID-19. 

1. Employee Health comes first.
A law firm’s treatment of their employees speaks volumes to their core values. Legal industry employees all over the country are paying extra close attention to how the management treats them. With the COVID-19 news unescapable, employees are hypersensitive to their response. Its critical law firms show their employees that their health and safety come before anything else. I suggest having an open discussion about their concerns rather than simply telling them how it’s going to be. Employee anxiety and fear are real and ignoring it will foster bad will.

2. Client health comes a close second.
When you welcome your clients into your office, they presume they are in a safe environment. However, when you interact with your clients face-to-face, you cannot guarantee you are not putting them at risk for exposure to COVID-19. Many of us have elderly clients who are at risk of death if they contract COVD-19. Given the nature of this virus, you may already be infected but not know it. Thus, you could transmit COVID-19 to your clients without knowing it. Moreover, having your clients come into your office requires them to leave their homes, further exposing them.

3. Community health comes third.
Having an open office means you are inviting the community into your space. This includes deliveries, cleaners, etc. It’s impossible to responsibly practice social distancing with an open office. The people who interact with you, your staff, and your clients, could either be carrying the virus or could contract if from your office.

4. It’s impossible to know the extent of a COVID-19 outbreak in your community.
Given the transmutability of COVID-19 and the lack of testing available, its unfortunately impossible to know how prevalent it is at this stage. Medical professionals now agree that asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus has fueled outbreaks. For example, it appears that a Massachusetts coronavirus cluster with at least 82 cases was started by people who were not yet showing symptoms, and more than half a dozen studies have shown that people without symptoms are causing substantial amounts of infection. Due to these factors, closing your office is the only 100% safe decision.

5. An outbreak at your office is a business killer.
Lastly, businesses should close their physical office given the risk law firms run by remaining open. Imagine the reaction your law firm would receive if a client contracted COVID-19, and suspects it came from you or your staff. At the very least, this rumor would hurt your law firm’s reputation.

Physically closing your office, however, could be very disruptive if not done properly. To help make this transition smoother, here are some additional pointers:

  • Get everyone set up remotely. Many attorneys already have the capacity to work remotely, and often work from home. Law firms, though, tend to believe the staff must be present in the office. This perception is based upon the antiquated idea that someone must be physically there to greet clients and answer phones. That reality is obsolete, and its time for us to evolve. Staff can answer general calls from their cell phones. Most office phone technology can forward calls from the general lines to other numbers. Ask your staff’s consent to have calls coming into the firm forwarded to their cell phones. If they are not comfortable with that, buy them a burner the time being. As for drafting and filing documents, allow staff to take office equipment home with them. Many firms operate off of the cloud or VPNs which will allow staff to access documents from home. If not, go old school and send staff documents to edit via email. Now is the time to get creative and find workarounds to ensure we can all work remotely.
  • Notify clients and the community. After you are set up to work remotely, it’s time to let everyone know your office is now closed. There are a few ways to do this. We chose to create a separate landing page on our website and include that link in our email signature.  We also notified the community via social media. Other firms have chosen to send out an email to clients. Whatever method you chose, it’s important to let clients and the community know why you made this decision. Without telling them why they may think a COVD-19 exposure has occurred at your workplace. Instead, explain that you care about the health of your employees, your clients, and the community. The vast majority of people will understand why you made this decision because it’s happening all across the world right now.
  • Leverage technology and stay in touch with employees. Firms should begin using video conferencing as a tool to communicate with clients and co-workers. There are many different options available including Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts. Our firm uses Microsoft Teams. Let clients know this is an option when they request to talk with you. Additionally, schedule a time every day or every other day for your team to check-in via video chat.
Now is our moment to be leaders in the white-collar workforce. Instead of being the last industry to implement remote options for employees and clients, let’s lead the charge and set a responsible example.

Best wishes, 

Tony Shallat 
Fisher Hudson Shallat
 

Posted by: Avery Roberts on Mar 16, 2020

 
For the safety of our members and the public, the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association has rescheduled or canceled in-person association events for the near future.

ITLA Street Law Clinic
The March 23 Clinic has been canceled.

Spring Member Social
The Spring Member Social hosted by Associated Reporting & Video, originally scheduled for April 3, has been tentatively postponed until Thursday, April 30. 

SoundBoard Series
The April installment of the Soundboard Series has been postponed until a later date. 

Annual Meeting, Conference, and Seminar 
As of now, the 2020 Annual Meeting, Conference, and Seminar is still scheduled to place June 19-20 at the Sun Valley Resort. We are working with the Resort to ensure safety precautions are in place. We share your concerns and are actively monitoring the situation regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 and will keep you informed of any changes.
 

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time. ITLA Staff will be working at the office and remotely and will be monitoring the reports as they become available.

We remain committed to providing you with the necessary support and resources to support your practice. If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to itla@itla.org or give us a call at (208) 345-1890.

 

Posted by: Avery Roberts on Feb 3, 2020

The Idaho Trial Lawyers Association has a lot going on this month and we want to make sure you don’t miss out!

SoundBoard Series

 
Discuss matters of law and case analysis with experienced trial lawyers at this installment of the series hosted by Angstman Johnson Wednesday, February 6th at 8:30 a.m. 
Learn More and Register

Women's Caucus Lunch


Join the ITLA Women's Caucus for lunch, community, and conversation at Lock, Stock & Barrel Wednesday, February 29th at noon. 

 
Learn More and RSVP

2020 Spring Seminar

 
Hear from a dynamic lineup of industry insiders and seasoned practitioners Friday, February 28th at The Grove Hotel. 
Learn More and Register

ITLA Lobby Day

 
Learn more about the lawmaking process and meet with your elected officials at the Idaho State Capitol Building Wednesday, February 19th from 8:00 a.m. to noon. 
 
Learn More and Register

Legislative Reception

 
Honor our U.S. Constitution and the Idaho State Constitution with the 7th Amendment Advocates and Idaho Idaho Lawmakers at The Grove Hotel Thursday, February 27th beginning at 5:00 p.m. 
Learn More and RSVP

The Yin-Yang Affair


Celebrate both sides of the civil bar as we roast and toast Idaho's trial stars Rob Anderson and Andy Chasan. 
Purchase Tickets Here
 
Don’t forget - great hotel rooms are available at a great price with The Grove Hotel Thursday, February 27th and Friday, February 28th. Please call The Grove at (208) 333-8000 for availability or make an online room reservation hereHurry, the price guarantee ends February 6th!
 
We hope that you’ll join us for as many of these events as possible! If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to itla@itla.org or give us a call at (208) 345-1890.
 

Posted by: Avery Roberts on Jan 29, 2020

The Idaho Legislature is now in its fourth week. The administrative rules review process is nearly completed. Print hearings, bill hearings, and presentations from state agencies are now the major focus for most standing committees.

You Represent Your Clients in the Court Room, Help Us Represent Them in the Legislature

Each legislative session, we work to promote a fair and effective civil justice system for all Idahoans —individuals, families, patients, workers, consumers, and your clients. You play a crucial role in that work.

Help us create a unified voice in the legislative process. Please consider attending one or both events.

ITLA Lobby Day - Come to the State Capitol Wednesday, February 19th and meet with members of Idaho Legislature about issues important to your clients and your practice. Lobby Day is an effective way to communicate directly with state lawmakers while allowing you the opportunity to network with your colleagues. No past lobbying experience is necessary. Register here.

ITLA Legislative Reception - Join the 7th Amendment Advocates and Idaho Lawmakers to celebrate our U.S. Constitution and the Idaho State Constitution Thursday, February 27th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Grove Hotel. Delicious food and beverages will be provided. RSVP here.

If you are interested in learning more about what’s happening in the statehouse:
  • Read about failed attempts by the House and Senate to reach a compromise over rule disputes written by William Spence of the Lewiston Morning Tribune here.
  • Property and grocery taxes are shaping up to be important legislative issues. Read about potential tax-relief-relation legislation, written by Darin Oswald of the Idaho Statesman, here.  
We appreciate your willingness to participate in this work. Please give us a call at (208) 345-1890 or send an email to itla@itla.org if you have any questions.
 
 

Posted by: Avery Roberts on Jan 22, 2020

The Idaho Legislature is now in its third week. Administrative rules are continuing to be heard in committees and more bills are being printed and heard on both sides of the rotunda.

FYI

The Administrative Office of the Courts has introduced legislation to update and clarify statutes. For more information on each of these changes, click on the bill number below. 

Senate Bill 1219 - Amends existing law to revise provisions for the appointment of guardians and conservators.
Senate Bill 1220 - Amends existing law to revise provisions regarding appointment of a guardian of minors and incapacitated persons and to revise provisions regarding temporary and emergency appointments of a conservator.
Senate Bill 1221 - Amends existing law to provide for certain fines in criminal cases.

Don’t Forget

Be a voice for civil justice in Idaho. Please consider attending these upcoming events:
  • ITLA Lobby Day - Join fellow trial lawyers for ITLA Lobby Day Wednesday, February 19th at the Idaho State Capitol Building. Lobby Day will provide members with an opportunity to meet their elected officials. ITLA staff will schedule the meetings, give insights to the legislative process, and provide an overview of pending legislation that directly affects our members. Register here.
  • ITLA Legislative Reception - Join the 7th Amendment Advocates and Idaho Lawmakers to celebrate our U.S. Constitution Thursday, February 27th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Grove Hotel. Delicious food and beverages will be provided. RSVP here.

We appreciate your willingness to participate in this work. Please give us a call at (208) 345-1890 or send an email to itla@itla.org if you have any questions.
 
 

Posted by: Avery Roberts on Jan 15, 2020

The Idaho Legislature is in its second week of the 2020 session. The House and Senate Committees are largely focused on reviewing the totality of administrative rules after they failed to renew them last year. But some bills have been introduced.  

If you are interested in learning more about what’s happening in the statehouse:
  • Read a recap of the first week of the session written by Ryan Blake of the Magic Valley Times News here.
  • Listen to James Dawson of Boise State Public Radio discuss a potential rules compromise between the House and the Senate here.
Be a voice for civil justice in Idaho. Please consider attending these upcoming events:
  • ITLA Lobby Day - Join fellow trial lawyers for ITLA Lobby Day Wednesday, February 19th at the Idaho State Capitol Building. Lobby Day will provide members with an opportunity to meet their elected officials. ITLA staff will schedule the meetings, give insights to the legislative process, and provide an overview of pending legislation that directly affects our members. Register here.
  • ITLA Legislative Reception - Join the 7th Amendment Advocates and Idaho Lawmakers to celebrate our U.S. Constitution Thursday, February 27th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Grove Hotel. Delicious food and beverages will be provided. RSVP here.
We appreciate your willingness to participate in this work. Please give us a call at (208) 345-1890 or send an email to itla@itla.org if you have any questions.
 
 

Posted by: Avery Roberts on Jan 8, 2020

The Second Regular Session of the Sixty-fifth Idaho Legislature convened on Monday. 

Throughout the session, your ITLA Lobby Team, aided by the ITLA Governmental Relations Committee, will monitor legislation impacting your practice and your clients. Each week, we will send Legislative Updates directly to your inbox tracking important legislation. As needed, we will also send out Action Alerts asking you to contact key decision-makers.

To make certain each lawmaker has contact with competent lawyers from around the state, we need you to take a moment to tell us who you know and are willing to contact regarding legislation if you haven’t yet.

If you are interested in learning more about what’s happening in the statehouse:
  • Watch Governor Little’s State of the State Address here.
  • Read an overview of some hot button issues that might arise this session written by Cynthia Sewell of The Idaho Statesman here.
ITLA as a group is a powerful voice for civil justice in Idaho. We appreciate your willingness to be a part of this work.

Please give us a call at (208) 345-1890 or send an email to itla@itla.org if you have any questions. 

 
 
 

Posted by: J. Charles Hepworth on Dec 18, 2019

 
As trial lawyers, we understand that our clients and all Idaho citizens are impacted by the law. We represent citizens who need a unified voice with which to seek fair treatment throughout Idaho’s courtrooms.
 
Nine years ago, the ITLA Foundation Inc. Amicus Program was established. The Amicus Program provides independent and scholarly assistance to Idaho’s courts through friend-of-the-court briefings and arguments on issues of public interest.  identify cases in which an amicus brief from the ITLA Foundation will showcase implications beyond the particular issue.
 
When citizen’s rights are advanced, our ability to advocate just cases becomes less burdensome and more impactful. Please make your tax-deductible contribution today. Your support of the ITLA Foundation, Inc., will ensure that our collective voice will continue to be heard in Idaho courtrooms in the upcoming year and beyond. To give online, visit www.itla.org/contribute or fill out the enclosed contribution form. 
 
Thank you in advance for your commitment to justice.

- The ITLA Foundation Board of Directors
 
 

Page 1 of 7 • Next