Law Journal Newsletters

An ALM Website

The Red Zone


By Allan Colman, Managing Director, the Closers Group:

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article

Recent surveys telescope shifting client priorities. For example, INSIDE COUNSEL'S "18th Annual Survey of General Counsel," published in July, 2007, shows a multi-level disconnect. On the one hand, there is the predicatble synapse between in-house and outside perceptions of 68% of outside counsel believe the level of service they provide has improved over the past five years, while only 29% of in-house counsel agree. Law firms are self-delusional, according to these data, as 62% gave themselves an "A" for overall performance over the past three years. Only 19% of in-house counsel scored them that high. Gulp!

Yet consider the disconnect within in-house ranks that is also glaringly apparent from survey to survey. The INSIDE cOUNSEL survey reports that law firms focus on understanding client businesses and client exigencies as the surefire way to improve service. Indeed BTI's 2006 "Key Trends in Client Relationships and Satisfaction with Law Firms" taps enough in-house opinion to confirm the perception that such "client knowledge" is the direct route to superior and lasting client relationships.

But then switch back to the INSIDE COUNSEL survey. There, in-house respondents emphatically said that reducing costs and improving efficiency are the overriding tasks for law firms seeking to solidify client relationships. Nowhere does this extremely specific priority appear on the BTI scale.

We'll cover the possible explanations next time.


Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add your comments

Log In

You must be logged in to comment


Enter your information below to begin your FREE registration



A Blurry Distinction with a Huge Difference: Commercial vs. Non-Commercial Speech

Imagine the following two scenarios, and try to figure out what the real difference is. First, your competitor blatantly lies in its advertising about the effectiveness of its products; second, your competitor blatantly lies to a reporter about the effectiveness of its products, and the reporter publishes the lies in an article or in a magazine. It seems like the same situation, but it is not. With the first, you could sue for false advertising because the advertisement is “commercial” speech, whereas with the second, you cannot because the magazine article is “non-commercial” speech. A similar difference is presented if a newspaper uses a picture of a celebrity without the celebrity’s consent to highlight a news article, as opposed to a company using the same celebrity picture in a print advertisement, in the same newspaper, to promote the company. A breach of the celebrity’s right of publicity claim is not available against the newspaper because the news article is “non-commercial,” but is available against the company because the print advertisement is “commercial.” The rationale for both is that while the First Amendment fully protects “non-commercial” speech, it protects “commercial’ speech in a significantly limited way.


PA Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships

Although same-sex marriages and divorces can now be granted anywhere in the country, there are a few unanswered questions in Pennsylvania regarding how legal relationships between same-sex couples — that are not marriages — should be treated.