Collaboration between businesses that are normally competitors is one of the hallmarks of the 21st century economy.
You might be familiar with a buzzword that resurfaces from time to time to describe this alternate approach to business—co-opetition.
One of the ways I hope to distinguish my new practice is to engage with other law firms and professional service providers through collaborative and consulting engagements for legal counsel and strategic communication services.
To that end, I thought it would be helpful to create a page that describes this aspect of my legal, communication and business services.
All facets of collaboration and consulting arrangements are, of course, subject to normal conflicts check procedures, Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct, and broader ethical considerations as may be appropriate to the situation.
Consulting Attorney Role
I am available to provide legal counsel and related legal services to other lawyers and firms as a consulting attorney on matters where my knowledge, skills and experience can help you provide value to your clients.
Subject Areas Where I See A Mutual Opportunity for Collaboration
Consulting attorney services in this category might encompass assistance in helping you and/or your clients understand Alabama law on a particular subject, performing in-depth legal research on a topic within my areas of practice, or delivery of actual legal services—such as drafting or assistance with drafting legal documents, briefs, memoranda or other materials you need to represent your clients.
The following is not a comprehensive list, but it’s a broad topical guide to the subject areas where I can see my practice complementing the practice areas of other attorneys who have a more traditional general civil and business practice:
- Legal Issues relating to compliance with Federal Trade Commission Regulations on Deceptive Advertising
- Particularly in the area of “green” advertising
- The Alabama Right of Publicity Act
- Social Media
- Conservation Easements for Estate Planning
- Environmental Compliance (broadly defined)
- Particularly in the context of Farmers and Ranchers
- Conservation Resource Planning for Non-Agricultural Businesses
- Trademarks, Copyright, Trade Secrets and Related Intellectual Property Matters
- Healthcare Law, Transactions Involving Healthcare Providers and Related Regulations
- This is an area where I practiced extensively from 1992 – 97 and 2007-09
- Developing Written Policies and Procedures related to:
- Social Media Use
- Data Privacy and Protection (Consumer, Healthcare, etc.)
- Intellectual Property Protection for Business IP
- Farm and Agriculture Workplace Safety and Food Safety Compliance
- First Amendment matters relating to freedom of speech and press
As a result of 25+ years of experience actually using and working with “internet” technology for strategic communication and content delivery in commercial contexts, combined with a Ph.D. in Mass Communication and over a decade of experience in teaching mass media law and related courses, I have a deep understanding of internet and related technology in a holistic sense.
I am not a computer programmer, a security analyst nor a forensic computer expert, but I am adept at translating the technical aspects of digital communication and media into language that non-technical individuals can understand.
Strategic Communication and Crisis Communication Planning: Non-Legal
In this category, my services encompass consulting and assisting with strategic communication needs of your firm and/or your clients in matters not involving the delivery of legal services.
These services are in the nature of public relations, crisis communications planning and management, policies and procedures relating to employee communications, communications with various publics and stakeholders who are not employees, and marketing communications. Learn more here.
At the present time (July 2016), I am not a political lobbyist and do not have plans to move in that direction. I do, however, work on matters related to issues management and public issues education and advocacy for clients on a paid and volunteer basis.
Expert Consultation In Connection With Litigation
In this third category, my services would be in the nature of that of a consulting expert in relation to litigation where you represent the plaintiff, defendant or a third party in a matter that is subject to litigation.
Collaboration with other attorneys is not something new to me.
The first time I hung out my shingle in 1990, I focused mainly on tax and estate planning. In those days, I frequently received referrals from other civil practice lawyers that were invitations, basically, to consult on particular tax or estate planning needs for their regular clients.
I had tried, in those days, to emphasize in my social interactions with other lawyers, that I was building a niche practice. Accordingly, I was not interested in expanding into their practice areas and was not someone who might be a threat to lure away clients for general representation.
As a result of my approach in those days, it was not uncommon for me to meet with lawyers and their clients in the other lawyer’s office for estate and business planning matters.
That is my approach today, as well.
I am building a niche legal practice for certain types of clients in certain areas of the law and look forward to finding ways to advance justice, innovation, public policy and entrepreneurship though collaborations, when the interests of our respective clients allow us to do so.