@paulrubell

December 16th, 2010

Paul Rubell

Business and Technology Lawyer

Partner, Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP

Special Professor of Law, Hofstra Law School

Today we’re tweeting with Long Island business and technology lawyer @paulrubell, former attorney to Dr Robert Atkins

  1. @paulrubell thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @paulrubell?
    Well, I’m a lawyer in New York, which I hope you won’t hold against me. I’m also a prof at Hofstra Law School.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I focus on the #technology space – software developers, mergers/acquisitions, tech transfer, privacy.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mid-cap and emerging #growth #companies; designers and customers of #software; #businesses and their owners.
  4. And what is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    The #cloud + its attendant #security and #privacy concerns. Also the #economic #climate (ok that’s 2 issues).
  5. Two big issues…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    “This meeting is #confidential, whether you engage me as your #lawyer or we shake hands and say good bye.”
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Cant breach client #privileged, #confidential. More than 1: many, where people’s lives, #careers,, families are at stake.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    Recommendations, mostly. My holistic approach to personal & business – and I hope, my intelligence & experience.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    A lot of M+A deals. Licensing #software. Business advice of all kinds. Growth strategies.Typical? My firm & I are fortunate.
  9. You work with a lot of entrepreneurs. How have they fared in the economic crisis? Any signs of improvement?
    #Business in mandate industries (#healthcare, #financial) is booming. Service industries are slow.
  10. Let’s talk about your work with Dr Atkins. There must have been some unique challenges…. What did you do for him?
    I was Dr A’s personal & corporate lawyer from 1997 to his passing in 2003. I productized his nutriceutical company, grew it.
  11. In addition to your law practice, you teach at Hofstra Law. Why do you teach? How does it make you a better lawyer?
    I teach to give back to the bar and the community. I want to train young #lawyers for the real world of #business….(more)
    ….. Writing with clarity is an essential, scarce skill. I learn from students, and getting back to basics is key.
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I listen. I try to understand their interests, aspirations. Make #eye contact. Use #body #language. It’s just like #dating.
  13. Good analogy….. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    I joined #Twitter in late 2008/early 2009 (thereabouts) as a way of learning from others…. (more)
    ….& sharing information.I have to understand client’s needs re social media, law. My goals haven’t changed since then.
  14. What does your firm’s leadership think of your Twitter presence? Was it difficult to get their buy-in?
    Social media is an emerging world, esp in business. Buy-in was easy once it’s explained/understood  ….(more)
    ..…Media’s use in my firm dove-tails advice I give to clients.
  15. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I use #Web 2.0 as a tool to facilitate communication & collaboration; board meetings, overseas. I haven’t used it to market.
  16. Interesting approach. Let’s switch gears now: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    As always, quality #advice is hard to find. And today – so are jobs. …..(more)
    …..As #clients’ businesses meet obstacles, their need/ability to pay for #lawyers diminishes.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Old/new. America is litigious; that won’t change. Emerging areas of law such as #robotics, #free #software will flourish….
    More #tech tools (who knows what?!) will be at lawyers’ disposal, and more concerns about #safeguarding #client data.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I would design software applications, as I’ve been doing since 1969…..(more)
    And my son @brentrubell wants to hire me as his general #counsel.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    That is a scary question. Family member, friend, kind, caring.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Enjoy my #kids and #wife, #friends. #Bike ride, going to the local #beach, read #science #fiction, #sleep.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Don’t give up. The economy will turn. Take any job in any area of law that opens up. Don’t be picky.
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Get A’s. #Network. And get A’s. #Learn as much as you can, about anything / everything. And get A’s.

Good solid advice! Thanks for your time today; I enjoyed learning more about you and your practice.

Thank you so much, Lance. Your questions were well conceived, as is this forum. I am grateful to have participated.

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@ellenvictor

July 29th, 2010

Ellen Victor

Long Island Business and Estate Planning Attorney

Owner, The Law Office of Ellen A. Victor

Author, Special Needs Law Blog and Small Business Law Blog

Today we’re tweeting with Long Island business, estate planning and special needs attorney @EllenVictor

  1. @Ellenvictor thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Ellenvictor?
    I’m a Long Island, NY business and estate planning attorney who has a special interest in #specialneeds.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    My practice ranges from small business formation to contract review to…
    to Medicaid applications to wills and complex estate plans to non-profit applications.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    #smallbiz; elderly clients who need Medicaid planning; families with #specialneeds kids; average families who need estate planning
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Protecting their assets: from the taxman, from the nursing home, from immature children, from creditors and predators
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I tell them they are going to get a lawyer who will always be available to answer their questions; that they are not alone
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    My last fun case was representing an incorporated church in a dissolution proceeding, and selling the underlying property.
  7. That must have been interesting…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I believe they sense my compassion, caring, competence, and commitment.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    my practice is evenly split between estate planning, not for profit 501(c)(3) status applications and Medicaid planning
  9. How has special needs law changed since you started practicing it? Is it still evolving?
    Unfortunately, government entitlements are under fire, special needs trusts must be carefully drafted to ensure compliance
  10. How are your small business clients faring in the current economic climate? Are they beginning to see improvement?
    Research shows that businesses started during a recession often flourish when the economy recovers.
  11. Let’s hope that trend continues…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I help families and businesses protect the people and things they care about, from taxes, nursing home costs, and even themselves.
  12. You author two separate blogs (http://bit.ly/a84YK5 and http://bit.ly/9QDQZR). Are they effective marketing tools? Why?
    Because of my writing, clients come to me already convinced of my knowledge, experience and compassion
  13. sounds like a resounding “yes”…. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives? Have they changed?
    About a year ago @JeenaBelil, a LI colleague, convinced me Twitter would be fun, and it has been!
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve received requests to write articles, teach classes, and referrals from other lawyers thru my Web 2.0 activities
  15. Wow, that’s great ROI. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I’d estimate about an hour per day between my two blogs, various listservs and checking in to Twitter and Facebook
  16. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    The new economics of law: outsourcing, virtual paralegals, flextime, alternative billing and alternate dispute resolution
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    The law will become even more multi-jurisdictional and multi-national. Even small businesses must deal w/ internet issues.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I believe I’d make a great psychologist. I pride myself on my insight and caring about people.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a parent of a special needs child, my greatest accomplishment has been her success
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I like travel, watching reality TV and reading serial killer novels, but like most solo lawyers, I’m almost always working!
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Hang in there! Keep networking and studying your area of the law; branch out into related areas of law
  22. And our last question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    oh, boy. I’d suggest law students should work hard to learn practical skills by taking clinics and interning for firms

Valuable advice! Thanks very much for the interview; I enjoyed learning more about you and your practice.

Thank you so much for inviting me to share some of my thoughts

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@richardjaffe

January 14th, 2010

me-and-the-kidsRichard S. Jaffe

Partner, Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Volunteer Paramedic

Firefighter

Author of Medic Interrupted blog

Today we’re tweeting with @richardjaffe, who is “living life as a paramedic beneath the epidermis of an attorney”

  1. @richardjaffe thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @richardjaffe?
    Tx for having me Lance. A father, son, medic, firefighter, attorney, and soulful insomniac.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I rep injured accident victims, and doctors against ins carriers who try to deceive them.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    healthcare providers- doctors, chiros, dentists, etc. and accident victims- anyone cheated by insurance industry.
  4. What’s the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    the insurance industry threat of bending the law to kill healthcare
  5. That’s an issue of importance to all of us…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I make sure they know I will tell them what they need to know, which is not necessarily what they want to hear.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Pro-bono millions 4 extended family whose sole income was the salary of a young woman who died in 9/11. we cried alot.
  7. Wow. That must have been a great moment. Why do your clients hire you?
    my grasp of medical nuances as both art and business , my notions of sympathy, corporate accountability n responsibility
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    insurance companies, especially no fault carriers, R refusing 2 pay doctors more aggressively lately.
  9. It must be extremely challenging to balance an active legal career and work as a volunteer paramedic How do you do it?
    lots of coffee, no sleep, heartfelt ‘thank yous’ from clients, and the adrenaline from my medic calls
  10. How does your work as a paramedic help you be a better lawyer? Are you a better paramedic because you’re a lawyer too?
    i revive my adversaries after I anhiliate them in court. Lol
  11. Job security…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I tell them I speak softly and carry a big stick in one hand, and trauma shears in the other.
  12. You blog at Medic Interrupted (http://bit.ly/514b9r). Who is the blog for? Why should they read it?
    theres some atty, medic and dad in each post, blend of which I hope helps readers contrast life’s ironies with its realities
  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what other Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    avvo, list serves, and linkedin. I also like skype and email w/old hi school classmates. we are a small closely knit bunch
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    after seeing me on the web, clients seem much more decisive in retaining me. they feel good talking about EMS w/me too
  15. Others have said the same (not the EMS part…) How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I get brand epiphanies randomly. Im always looking and listening for new ideas to incorporate into my practice
  16. Let’s switch gears a bit: what do you think is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    State Court system inefficiency and court administration red tape, and the govt’s apathy towards both.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    mostly product of the age of internet- less handshake deals, faster transactions, more international jurisdictional issues
  18. Maybe we already know the answer to this one? What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Medic or kids summer camp director by day, inventor of Ralph’s Ices flavors by nite. Luv Ralphs! http://bit.ly/51XPA8
  19. Now I’m hungry for a snack…. How do you want to be remembered?
    An inspirator of connection, compassion and humanity who gave my kids more life opportunities than I ever had
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    family time, EMS, and occasionally I smoke a nice cigar with close friends in a clandestine location
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Learn to speak at least one new language- clients and opportunities will increase exponentially
  22. What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    to quote my talented, esteemed attorney colleague Anthony Collelouori (….)
    “Go ‘cuz U R called 2 the law. Don’t go 2 get rich, or 2 help others, Go ‘cuz it’s vital 2 U! If U do, the rest will come”

That’s valuable advice. Thanks so much for answering our questions today; was great to learn about you & your practice

thanks for the privilege of being your guest. Loved it.

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@thatlawyerdude

December 29th, 2009

8v31y4i1Tony Colleluori

Crisis Trial Lawyer

The Law Offices of Anthony J. Colleluori & Associates, PLLC

Author of that lawyer dude and Long Island (Criminal) Trial Law blogs

Today we’re tweeting w/crisis trial lawyer @ThatLawyerDude, who helps people put their lives back together after others abandon them

  1. @ThatLawyerDude, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @ThatLawyerDude?
    I’m Tony Colleluori & I am a father of two, married 24 years & enjoy practicing law.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I take the cases other lawyers throw their hands up at. We want the cases no one else can handle. The“Bet the Farm”work.
  3. Wow. I’m sure you have a lot of stories…. What type of clients do you represent?
    I work w/ anyone who has been touched by a criminal charge or act. from Class Actions 2 White Collar Crime 2 Murder etc.
  4. and what’s the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Finding Quality representation at a price they can afford, & getting fair treatment in Court during the Internet Age
  5. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I took on an innocent kid whose 1st attorney wanted him 2 plead guilty & serve 8 years. We investigated & won his case.
    I also just won one of the biggest verdicts in Prison Civil Rights cases 4 a paraplegic who was mistreated in jail
    We proved that the Jail was “deliberately indifferent to his needs & left him to rot. No help, no proper medical care
  6. I’d read about the last case. Both are fantastic results. Must be terribly satisfying. Why do your clients hire you?
    B/c I care about them. Not as a case, but as humans, w/ hopes & dreams. I don’t judge them. I know I represent good people.
    Most of my clients have experienced first hand the wrath of the law. It’s been used to defeat them. I even the field 4 them
  7. That’s great. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I care about them & their family, I’ll B there 4 them 24/7/365, & that I’ll do everything I can legally do to help them
    I also tell them not to worry anymore Until I do, and I never worry EVER ;)
    We look after the small things, ie new DWI client, needs a ride to get to court or office? We have a driver on staff
    a kid needs a 12 step program but is afraid to go alone? I go with them.
  8. You devote a lot of your time to pro bono work. How do you decide what work to take on?
    I take pro & lo bono from NYS & EDNY Assigned Counsel panels, The EDNY pro bono panel & selected work from clergy.
    If it interest me & I think it will change the life of the client or the state of the world, I’m usually in.
    I’m a sucker when it comes to Roman Catholic Nuns and Judges. If they ask I usually say yes
  9. Tell us about the Outstanding Service Award from the Nat’l Assoc of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Why were you selected?
    I co-authored an amicus brief w/ John Marshall, that caused the USDOJ to change the way it prosecuted Marijuana cases.
  10. What led you to become a criminal defense lawyer? Have you always had the same passion for it (yes, it shows!)?
    Thank you. I’ve always had a strong libertarian streak. As a historian, I understand Government seeks to expand power…
    I wanted to take on the task to protect our Bill of Rights from Government’s power grab. As a kid I was fascinated by …
    Perry Mason, & real cases: The Rosenberg case, the Crimmins case, & by F. Lee Bailey’s book the Defense Never Rests
  11. Your clients are very lucky that you followed that passion…. How do you market your practice?
    I write, teach, I network w/ others. I stay active in bar assoc. & in my community, I use Avvo.com & other Internet tools.
  12. You have 3 blogs (http://bit.ly/cztgp http://bit.ly/TcIl6 & http://bit.ly/tHjG6) How are they different? Why three?
    That Lawyer Dude is my main blog, it’s about the way law & life intersect. Long Island (Criminal) Trial Law, …
    is a Trial Tech. teaching blog. It portrays my wider view of “Criminal Law” discipline. It defines a crisis lawyer’s job
    The Positive Review is going 2B a restaurant review & only features places I like. If I don’t like it, I don’t eat there.
  13. Why did you decide to become active on Twitter? Has it been a worthwhile endeavor?
    I took a while 2 “get it” but once I did, I saw an opportunity 2 interact w/ my “crowd” & learn from others. Twitter rocks!
    I find Twitter helps me get my message out and exposes me to other’s messages. I think it is better than an RSS feed.
  14. Besides Twitter and your blogs, do you use other Web 2.0 tools? Which ones?
    I have a website through “Getlegal.com” and I love Avvo.com. I think Facebook, Linkedin & Solosez are important too.
  15. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements — if any — have your Web 2.0 activities provided?
    I get about 50% of my new work from Web 2.0 activities. It is a great way for people to learn about me. …
    A web referred client is as likely to retain me as a lawyer referred client & usually is more savvy about my work & my fees…
    they come ready to retain. I waste a lot less time and get a much better return on the time I spend meeting w/them.
    I take it seriously. The web has been good to me It helped me to reach people I didn’t have the resources to reach
  16. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    every waking minute I am enhancing my brand: at the gym, at Mass, playing poker. I love what I do, it’s part of my fabric.
  17. Indeed. Let’s switch gears now. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Keeping bright people in the profession & finding ways 2 stop them from burning out. We need 2 focus them on bar activities
    We need Courts 2 be run by judges & not admins who put form B/4 substance, we need 2 worry @ quality of life. life’s2 short
  18. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    We’ll B using the web as a mainstay of our life, but successful lawyers will be those that best mesh hi tech w/ hi touch
  19. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I have no idea! I’m a pretty good singer, I’d have followed that. Law is more fun. There is always Tournament Poker :)
    I’ve only ever wanted to be a lawyer. I used to go to court and watch cases being tried when I was 10 yrs old
    My poor mom must of thought she was raising a sociopath LOL!
  20. Wow. I think I just watched the Flinstones at 10…. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a loving Husband, a good Father, a worthy opponent & a strong advocate for Civil Rights, Liberty and Personal Freedom.
  21. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I raise awareness & $$$ 4 Scleroderma Foundation, Play poker & hang out w/ my best girl & best friend for 25 years.
    I love going to new Restaurants and old favorites. I like to sing and I love being w/ my two sons. They’re interesting men
  22. And our last question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    First thank you for having me Lance.
    Go ‘cause U R called 2 the law. Don’t go 2 get rich, or 2 help others, Go ‘cause it’s vital 2 U! If U do, the rest will come

That’s great advice, and this was a fantastic twitterview. Thanks very much for doing it, and keep up the great work

Thanks again. You too and happy New Year to all. I hope it is healthy and prosperous.

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@JeenaBelil

July 16th, 2009

head_shot_for_twitterJeena R. Belil

Long Island Auto and Motorcycle Accident Attorney

The Law Office of Jeena R Belil PC

Former Managing Counsel, AutoOne Insurance, and First Party New York Regional Coordinator, Travelers Insurance

Today we’re tweeting with Long Island auto & motorcycle accident attorney and adoption advocate @JeenaBelil

  1. @JeenaBelil, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @JeenaBelil?
    Former insurance co. managing counsel – downsized in ’07. Now, solo home-based litigator. I haven’t looked back.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    40% Personal Injury, 50% Insurance Coverage Litigation, 10% Other Disputes
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    NYers who have been injured through the negligence of others & heath care providers who are denied No-Fault payments for services.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    The complexity and instability of New York No Fault Law and Serious Injury Threshold. New court decisions come out daily
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That no outcome is guaranteed and that settling a matter is not the same as losing the case.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    At my former gig, I had my name on more than 10,000 active cases in NYC & Long Island.
  7. Wow – significant indeed! Why do your clients hire you?
    Clients have said that they like my personal approach & that I break down the litigation process for them into bite-sized pieces.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    I’m knee-deep in bill of particulars & discovery responses. Want to help? Very typical. I’m creating the blueprints for trial
  9. You’ve been on both sides of the personal injury case, having worked in-house w/2 insurers. Isn’t that contradictory?
    No. It’s like an ADA going into criminal defense after a few yrs. I’m comfortable arguing either side of an insurance issue.
  10. What’s the *real* value of your in-house experience for your clients today?
    I offer an inside perspective on insurance claim handling, decision-making and defense to my clients….a look under the hood.
  11. I image that’s a very valuable perspective. How do you market your practice?
    I use high and low tech. Today, I struck up a conversation with a person in the post office who owns laundromats….
    He offered to put my cards on his bulletin boards, networking with other small biz owners, and, of course, Web 2.0.
  12. Besides Twitter and your blog (http://bit.ly/mTOCL), what other Web 2.0 tools do you use?
    3 FB pages, LinkedIn, JD Supra, list serves, e-zine, guest blogs, AVVO. Also, I’ll be on future episode of www.bearockstar.tv
  13. THREE FB pages? Hmm. What are the strategic objectives driving your Web 2.0 activity? Are you meeting them?
    Concurrently create interest in my legal services & give a peek at my personality. Folks will know me before they may need me. Yes.
  14. Makes perfect sense. What specific impact on referrals / client engagements have you seen from your Web 2.0 activities?
    About 50% of my clients come directly from my Web 2.0 marketing efforts.
  15. That’s very impressive. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I consider it my 2nd job & I weave it through my work day. I’m either learning something new or applying it
  16. Clearly that effort is paying off. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    In my line of work, it is the staggering amount of time lawyers spend in court waiting around.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    We are going retro & techno at same time: > solos & home offices. My wish: Video-conference cases w/ judges, web-based depositions.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d be doing stand-up comedy and starving. : )
  19. Good thing you went to law school, then…. How do you want to be remembered?
    As one of my daughter’s role models.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Adoption education and awareness, having lots of fun with my kid, getting psyched for kid number 2. Oh yeah…dinner & laundry!
  21. What advice would you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Stop saying “I can’t….”
  22. And our last question: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Take as many clinics as you can. You will get practical experience & you will help those in need…
    and during your career, don’t forget to say “please” & “thank you”

That’s great advice to close this great twitterview! Thank you so much for answering our questions today

Thank you so much for the opportunity.

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