How to Build and Manage a Personal Injury Practice

by K. William Gibson

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How to Build and Manage a Personal Injury Practice by K. William Gibson

This essential guide discusses the basic differences between personal injury law and other types of law practice, and provides guidance for avoiding common pitfalls. Newly revised to reflect the changing world of personal injury law, this edition contains updated information about the latest legal software, including cloud-based products, and practical tips for small firms and solo practitioners.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614381631
Publisher: American Bar Association
Publication date: 03/16/2013
Edition description: 3rd Edition
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

K. William Gibson has been a lawyer in Portland, Oregon, since 1980. He was a partner in Gibson & Duffy, a plaintiff's personal injury law firm in Portland, from 1980 until 1988 and has been a solo since then.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

About the Author ix

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Why a Personal Injury Practice Is Different 1

Self-Analysis 2

Chapter 2 Your First Big Decision: Solo Practice or Partnership? 7

Advantages of a Solo Practice 9

Advantages of a Partnership 11

Taking on a Partner 12

Choosing the Right Partner 14

Issues to Discuss Before Forming a Partnership 16

Resolving Disputes 18

Chapter 3 Planning for Your New Practice 21

Getting Financial Advice 22

Developing a Financial Forecast: Expense Projections 24

Developing a Financial Forecast: Revenue Projections 28

Going All the Way 30

Chapter 4 Your New Office 31

Choosing Office Space 31

Organizing the Law Office 37

Computer Hardware and Technology 38

Chapter 5 Marketing the Personal Injury Practice 41

Marketing Plan 42

Market Analysis 44

A Little Background on Marketing 47

Entering the Market 49

Marketing Strategies and Tactics 63

A Final Word About Selling 81

Chapter 6 The New Client 83

Taking Their Calls 84

Meeting in Person 85

Getting All the Facts 87

Auditioning 88

Signing Fee Agreements 89

Confidential Client Questionnaire 90

Selecting Cases 92

Discussing the Client's Objectives 93

Chapter 7 Keeping Personal Injury Clients Happy 99

Why Clients Become Unhappy 99

How to Keep Clients Happy 101

Ask Your Clients How You Are Doing 103

One More Rule: Put Your Clients First 104

Chapter 8 Working with Employees, Contractors, and Other Professionals 107

Working with Support Staff 107

Hiring Good Employees 110

Using Staff Effectively 111

Establishing Systems and Procedures 114

Using Practice Advisors 118

Working with Other Lawyers 118

Consulting with Other Lawyers 120

Working with Other Professionals 120

Chapter 9 Managing the Workload: Case Management 121

Allocating Resources 125

Dealing with Bad Facts 127

Is It Worth the Investment? 128

Master Case Plan 129

Summary of the Facts of the Case 129

Litigation Action Plan with Timetables 130

Adopting the Methodical Approach 134

Chapter 10 Essential Technology for Case/Practice Management, Document Management, and Trial Presentations 135

Changing Programs 137

Case/Practice Management 137

Client Portals 142

Document Assembly/Document Management 143

Trial Presentation 144

Other Essential Software 145

Chapter 11 Preparing for Settlement, Arbitration, and Trial 147

Conclusion 151

Appendix A Marketing Plan 153

Appendix B Market Analysis: Competing High-Volume Personal Injury Firms 155

Appendix C Market Analysis: Differentiation from Competitors 156

Appendix D Initial Contact Report 157

Appendix E Initial Client Interview 158

Appendix F Confidential Client Questionnaire 163

Appendix G Client Service Questionnaire 169

Appendix H Task Assignment 171

Appendix I Master Case Plan 172

Appendix J Sample Letters for a Personal Injury Practice 175

Index 187

About the CD 201

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