@mirriam71

November 23rd, 2010

Mirriam Seddiq

Criminal Defense and Immigration Lawyer

Founder, MSZ Law

Author of Not Guilty law blog

Pro Bono Associate at Afghans for Civil Society

Mother of maniacal twin boys

Today we’re tweeting w/ criminal defense attorney, mom of maniacal twin boys, former Ass’t Attorney General and Ass’t DA @Mirriam71

  1. @Mirriam71, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Mirriam71?
    I’m a mom, lawyer, wife. I have a blog called notguiltynoway. Just coming back after a hiatus at home with the twins
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I’m a solo practitioner w/ an office in Takoma Park, MD. Opened in May of this year. So far, so good.
  3. Congratulations! What type of clients do you represent?
    immigration and criminal defense, and frequently both at the same time. I toyed with gp, but I know what I’m good at and this is it.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    Freedom. They want to stay in U.S., not go to jail or have liberty impeded. Is it a legal issue? I don’t know.
  5. Critical issue either way…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Google or their bff’s cousin isn’t their lawyer, I am. Their case is unique. They have to trust me and not the internet.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Drug client. Went into drug court, came out the other side. Got invite to 40th bday, invite said “he’s 40 because of you”
  7. Wow. That’s powerful. Why do your clients hire you?
    not bc of my website! Maybe bc I’m honest? I’m trying to figure that out so I can add it to my website. : )
  8. Tell us about Afghans for Civil Society. What do they do? What do you do for them? Why?
    they do charitable work in Afghanistan. Dad is in Kabul so I help w/getting medical supplies to the hosp where he works.
  9. You spent several years as an Assistant DA before joining a criminal defense firm? What led you to make that change?
    when I realized justice isn’t really blind. I was incredibly naive. 9/11 changed that for me. And, I’m much better at this.
  10. What are the biggest challenges facing criminal defense lawyers? How do you respond to them, day in and day out?
    people don’t get what we do. We can give them the right answers, but its hard to explain how we can do it.
    also, the CDL bar is divided and bc of that, the govt is able to get away with a lot of shit.
  11. Wish I had 23 Tweets; would love to hear more…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I tell them I’m a CDL and imm lawyer. They say “wow, that’s cool” I say “yeah, it really is” I tell them I fight the Man.
  12. You blog at Not Guilty (http://bit.ly/9V5Mjb). Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
    I write for myself & for @ScottGreenfield. & for folks who think this stuff isn’t their problem. Read it bc it’s awesome.
  13. I agree 100%. Your blog posts are often very personal. Where do you draw the line between your public and private life?
    in 2004 when I started I was anon & had 4 readers. It was never intended as mktg. Now I have to think more about that line.
    the infertility posts are very personal. But they are searched a lot. I leave them up bc it gives people hope. Stay tuned!
  14. Why did you decide to become active on Twitter? Has it been a worthwhile endeavor?
    @MarkWBennett told me I’d find like minded people. I thought it was stupid & a waste of time. Twitter! Ha! I was wrong.
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any referrals or client engagements?
    I don’t really understand web 2.0 but I’ve gotten referrals from folks I’ve initially ‘met’ online. Not twitter though.
  16. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    We still get a bad rap. Too many lawyers still doing bad work. It needs to stop. We need to regulate ourselves better.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    If you’d told me 3 yrs ago it would be like this now I would’ve called you a liar, so I have no idea what 10 yrs will bring
    I hope we go back to having real offices though. I’m old fashioned like that.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    go to culinary school. Or a professional break dancer. A breakdancing chef? There’s nothing else I’d rather do, honestly.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    as someone who doesn’t suck, who did good work and who gave a shit. That’s not a lot to ask, right?
  20. Not at all. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I run, chase my kids around, listen to records (the vinyl kind) plan vacations I never go on and hang out w/friends
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    volunteer, get experience. Catholic charities always needs help. Don’t fall into the contract atty trap. It’s a dead end.
  22. And the final question of our interview: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    If you don’t want to practice law, don’t go. It’s hard work. Don’t do it half assed.

Thanks so much for this great interview. I really enjoyed tweeting with you and learning about you and your practice

thank you! It was pretty fun actually.

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@nashlawfirm

November 16th, 2010

Brian J. Nash

Medical Malpractice and Catastrophic Injury Lawyer

Head of Nash & Associates, LLC

Contributing author to the Eye Opener legal blog

Today we’re tweeting with DC medical malpractice / personal injury lawyer and legal blogger @Nashlawfirm

  1. @Nashlawfirm, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @Nashlawfirm?
    Lawyers & staff who luv their job of helping others, care about people are smart as hell & bring passion 2 the job every day…
    Peeps who inspire ea other 2 luv what we do & be the best we can be, 2 use the skills we have to assure victim’s rights
  2. Please tell us about your law practice.
    Boutique law firm in MD & DC w many yrs of successful exper. in civil litigation (med mal, catastrophic injury)…
    …former defense lawyers, who now represent people who are severely injured by bad healthcare and conduct of others.
  3. Tell us a little more about the clients you represent? Who are they?
    Mainly we represent victims & families of victims – real people, whose lives have been devastated by medical malpractice.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    So many cynics think it’s all about money. It simply isn’t! Clients just want 2 know-what happened? Why? Can they have their…
    …voices heard and their cases judged by fair minded people. Are you surprised to learn – that’s what it IS about?
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    We make our philosophy clear: bad outcomes do NOT equal malpractice. However, when people are injured by care that is simply bad…
    …we will bring our skill and experiences 2 make sure their voice is heard. We’re very clear – it is not just about monetary…
    …compensation. It’s about having people who cause injury be held accountable & then change their ways so others don’t suffer
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Too many to count, frankly. It’s been a great career. I’ve represented so many wonderful people. In some small way…
    …I hope I’ve touched their lives 4 the better. People w injured kids or who lost children or a spouse, great folks with…
    … serious injuries & needs that we’ve been able to help in some small way. How do you pick one or two out? You can’t
  7. Understood. Why do your clients hire you?
    For our experience, trial skills, knowledge of law, medicine, the courts and not least – the passion we being to their case
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Representing people when they or family member has been severely injured by medical malpractice. Yes, that’s our specialty-
  9. Makes sense…. We hear a lot of talk about a “patients’ bill of rights.” What exactly does that mean?
    4 brevity, here’s a link: “what” – http://bit.ly/cTmH9Q. What started as a broader bill covering not only accessibility…
    ..but rights and FREEDOMS- http://bit.ly/aGE3Af -became a law stopping insurance company abuses in terms of coverage
  10. Doesn’t health care reform address many of those same issues? Is that enough?
    It addressed coverage issues mostly. It never really addressed core issues such as “refusal of care” “informed consent”…
    …meaningful protection of privacy rights – basically some of the key elements of the contract b/w a doctor & patient…
    …which is the type of interchange, responsibilities & partnered care-giving that is missing many times and leads to lawsuits
  11. How do you see your practice evolving over the next few years? Will you still be fighting the same battles?
    One would hope that bad care will end and people won’t be devastated..then I could be a full-time blogger (smile)…
    …but why do I suspect that won’t happen soon? So yes, I’ll still be here fighting 4 patient & victim rights. God willing!
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    Much the same thing I’m telling your audience: I represent people who are the victims of real medical malpractice and real…
    …wrongdoing. We don’t sue people because of bad outcomes; we represent people who are victims of bad, negligent care
  13. Your firm has a blog, Eye Opener (http://bit.ly/bqnokj). Who is it for? Why should they read it?
    Our mission is to be an aggregator 4 all – medicine & law, issues affecting your daily life. Trends, news, warnings to make people …
    …more knowledgeable about their healthcare rights so they can be smarter advocates for their own well-being and safety.
  14. In addition to the blog, you’re active on Twitter and have a Facebook page. What’s your social media strategy?
    multifactorial: getting the “word” out is our mission, networking w some incredible people (and we’ve met so many)…
    …sharing knowledge, thoughts, opinions. Getting known? Perhaps, but I’ve learned – that’s not the real value of social media.
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Yes, but again, that’s really not our goal. We do very well with our rankings thru blogs, SM – but not our SM objective…
    …when I started 1 yr ago, it was all about US. My eyes are now opened – it’s about connections…sharing, networking. Luv it!
  16. Sounds like a perfect strategy. Let’s switch gears: what’s the most sig issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Real access 2 justice 4 ALL! Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement, litigation costs – they’re the insidious forms of tort reform.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Hopefully caregivers stepping up and admitting fault when they should, early case resolution, creative fees – put the patient FIRST
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Teach, build my networking skills, be creative in this expanding world of sharing knowledge via SM and the web
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Someone who truly cared about the law and people’s rights. Someone who made a difference in others’ lives
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Not sure when that is (smile) Traveling, catching-up w family & friends, learning new things, photography – quiet relaxation
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Don’t give up your pursuit of what you worked so hard 2 obtain. There’s always work for GOOD lwyrs who care. Find it.
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Understand that what you are studying is a living, breathing instrument to do so much good for so many people…
    …it’s not just a job; never take the responsibility of representing people for granted. Follow your dream!

That’s very good advice. Thank you so much for tweeting with us today; enjoyed learning about you and your practice

Thanks to you, Lance. It was fun. I appreciate the opportunity very much. Be well…Brian

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@glennm

November 11th, 2009

glenn_soccomm09Glenn Manishin

Competition, intellectual property and policy advocacy lawyer

Partner, Duane Morris LLP

Author of Glenn’s Web and LexDigerati

Web pioneer and Web 2.0 legal guru

Today we’re tweeting with @glennm, biglaw antitrust / telecom / technology litigator turned Web 2.0 legal guru

  1. @glennm thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @glennm?
    Good morning . Thanks for inviting me.
    A tech atty. focused on comp. policy, IP & complex litigation. I help to shape the rules for new technologies, like social media.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    My practice has broadened over the years as technology developed, from telecom to software and Internet to mobility and content….
    It all started at DOJ during the US v. AT&T divestiture case, where I 1st combined antitrust with telecom regulation.
  3. That’s quite a resume! What type of clients do you represent?
    Clients who can pay their bills. ;-) Seriously, my clients range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Hard 2 generalize.
  4. I can imagine…. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    “What am I?” Meaning, how will legislators, courts and regulators classify and treat our products and services. That affects…
    …business Qs like CRM, IP protection/licensing and relations with both partners and competitors.
  5. Sounds like fascinating work. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    “It’s better 2 be the windshield than the bug.” Be proactive in managing the development of law & policy affecting ur space.
  6. Am sure you’ve got some great success stories: tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    My fave is representing Netscape in 1995-96, when the FCC faced the Q of what was this new animal of the Net…
    …Netscape WAS the Internet and we inaugurated a federal policy of minimal regulation that survives (in large part) today.
  7. Wow. And we all thank you for that…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I’m smart, fast and strategic. I would rather solve a problem with a conf. call than write a research memo. And I try to craft…
    …legal strategies for clients that further their long-term bus. plan rather than just dispose of “one off” disputes.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Over the past 2-3 years it’s been litigation. But the law moves in cycles, sometimes regulatory agencies r where the action is….
    …and at other times firms must act to resolve issues by taking them to the courts. We’re in the latter phase in tech now.
  9. What have been the biggest changes in your practice over the past few years? Clients? Technology? The Law?
    A move away from private antitrust litigation to intellectual property, as competition issues have become dominated by disputes…
    …over ownership of the underlying tech methods and assets. Take VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) for one example.
  10. What will be the next great legal battle of Web 2.0? Why should we pay attention to it?
    Who owns user-generated content is the big unsettled Q. It will impact users, social network providers and content creators…
    …If most or all digital content can b “shared,” how do older rules re proprietary rights apply in the new environment.
  11. You’re at an AmLaw 100 firm. How does your firm’s leadership view your active Web 2.0 presence?
    Mgmt. is supportive & has tasked me several times w/teaching our lawyers how to utilize and interact w/social media.
  12. That’s great. What do you say to lawyers who thumb their noses at social media and social networking?
    Hope they don’t thumb noses. But lawyers are conservative creatures and thus tend not to embrace change quickly…
    …I’d say that if attys. do not “get it,” they probably won’t get as many clients and work as new modes of communication develop.
  13. Your Web 2.0 presence is a mash-up of personal & professional. What are your SocMed objectives? Are you achieving them?
    I’m more concerned with satisfying a passion for early adoption than forming concrete objectives from social media. My philosophy…
    …has always been to find industries, partners and clients that excite me, so work is satisfying instead of a burden. The rest..
    …typically follows, namely success, profit and (we hope) happiness.
  14. Nice. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve been approached and retained by about 1/2 dozen clients in the past 12-18 months from social media contacts. The familiarity…
    …created by a user’s “social stream” tends 2 build closer relationships from the start than cold calls either way.
  15. Indeed. Can be a significant competitive advantage. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Discipline is key, else social media addiction can consume one’s life. I dedicate 30 mins, in the morning and then periodically…
    …review/post stories re current events (emphasizing law/policy, of course) of interest. Content is the best promotion.
  16. Seems to be working well…. Let’s switch gears. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    It’s clear that Big Law is facing its most challenging bus. environment in decades. Pressures to reduce and make fees predictable…
    …r sending shock waves of RIFs throughout the field. What will the bus. model be 4 legal servs. in the 21st century?
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Ah, if I could predict that, I’d be able to retire now. ;-) 20 yrs. ago I never imagined 3000+ lawyer firms, so I don’t…
    ..pretend to have a crystal ball on the legal landscape. Change can b both exhilarating and frightening, however.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Photographer or ski bum. Maybe there’s still time left? I could take a bluetooth headset 2 the slopes & do bus. in powder. .
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Unless a person becomes historically famous, legacy is all about the memories one leaves with family, colleagues and friends….
    …So while I am not especially religious, I believe in “from dust to dust.”
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Law is a jealous mistress as the old saying goes. Time is a precious commodity in short supply. So on off hours I recharge my…
    …batteries, enjoy time with wife/friends and try to beat my freshman-year son in fantasy football (he’s going down!).
  21. What advice can you pass along to the increasing # of lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Quoting Jim Carville, it’s the economy, stupid. Do not equate self-worth with job prospects. Keep faith in urself & ur innate value.
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Enjoy being an atty., but remember most of lawyering is in small details. Master craft first before trying 2b creative.

Relevant advice Indeed. Thanks so much for tweeting with me today; I really enjoyed learning more about you & your practice.

And thanks much 4 the Twitterview, Lance. I’m honored to be your guest. Very early here (Calif.), so hope I was coherent.

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@chrischeatham

May 12th, 2009

c-cheathamChris Cheatham

Construction attorney

LEED Accredited Professional (AP)

Associate, Crowell & Moring

Author of the Green Building Law Update blog

Today, we’re tweeting with @chrischeatham: construction attorney, LEED AP, author of the Green Building Law Update blog, and more

  1. @Chrischeatham, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Who is the person behind @Chrischeatham?
    I’m a construction attorney concerned about green building legal issues on the horizon.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I do construction litigation primarily. We handle big and small construction delay cases.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Contractors, sureties, owners. Often against federal or state govts.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    Responsibility for LEED certification. Or at least it will be…
  5. Sounds like you’ll be busy for a while…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    You have to understand the owner’s expectations og a green building project to manage risk.
    I also tell clients you have to understand the owner’s expectations OF a green building project to manage risk.
  6. :-) What was the most significant client representation you’ve had?
    Easy. We represented numerous insurers in the Katrina litigation. Would’ve been largest construction litigation case ever.
  7. I can only imagine…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I can handle very complicated construction delay cases efficiently. And low rates!
  8. Good reasons indeed. How are you and your firm responding to financial difficulties your clients may be experiencing?
    Our rates are low so we can litigate for clients who have a tight budget.
  9. You are certified as LEED AP (the 2nd to be interviewed on 22 Tweets!). How does that help your clients?
    I understand legal risks that arise from LEED process. And I can properly draft LEED project contracts
  10. Why aren’t more traditional construction firms embracing green building, particularly given the economy?
    Initial costs to learn green construction is a barrier. And green still not in demand in majority of country.
  11. Is that changing? Will green building ever have a meaningful impact on the country’s energy requirements? When?
    Absolutely. Absolutely. The stimulus includes $25B for green building. Will have big impact and market will shift.
  12. That’s welcome news… How do you market your practice?
    My blog is my homebase. I use it to generate leads, speaking and writing opportunities. @lexblog is the best!
  13. How much time would you say you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Maybe an hour? I lost track a long time ago.
  14. Bet it’s more than that… You mentioned your blog (http://bit.ly/GhOE). Why do you write it and who should read it?
    I write it because I’m concerned about legal issues facing green building industry.
    Green building industry professionals who recognize risk should read it.
  15. Has blogging made you a better lawyer? How?
    Definitely. I look for issues that could harm my clients before they happen.
  16. A nice value-add for them. What impact have your Web 2.0 activities had on referrals and client engagements?
    My best green building contacts are direct result of my blog and twitter. And more diversified contacts.
  17. Nice value-add for you…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    The entire legal landscape has shifted. Firms got too big. I am very concerned for young associates.
  18. Perhaps trend changing:could argue that firms are shrinking… What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Firms shrinking means associates fired. 10 years: smaller, regional firms. Lower rates or even flat rates.
  19. Interesting perspective re fees. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I think I would be a novelist, like Hemingway. I would go crazy like him too.
  20. Phew. Good thing you got into law school…. How do you want to be remembered?
    Professionally: dedicated and fair. Personally: good husband.
  21. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Watch Kansas Jayhawks sporting events. Some might say I am a bit obsessed with Kansas basketball.
  22. Last question for you today: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Recognize that things have changed. Figure out your passion and write and talk about it all the time.

Thanks for the interview today. It was fun!

Thank you very much for tweeting with 22 Tweets and answering our questions. This was a great twitterview.

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