Legal Trends

Understand the ever-changing practice of law
    • 7 May 2019

    Pereira v. Sessions and Its Immigration Impact

    In June of 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Wescley Fonseca Pereira, an immigrant living in the United States on an expired visitor’s visa. Pereira’s legal team had raised significant questions regarding the validity of a Notice to Appear (NTA) that he had received from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Though there wasn’t much hoopla surrounding it at the time, in the weeks ...
    • 30 Apr 2019

    2019 H-1B Visa Program News and Trends

    In the United States, April signifies a number of different things to different people. The start of spring, the beginning of baseball season, and of course, the income tax filing deadline. For immigration attorneys, April is a noteworthy month because April 1 is the day the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) begins accepting H-1B petitions for the upcoming fiscal year. With the H-1B season newly upon ...
    • 19 Apr 2019

    Small Firms, Big Cases: Miami Shop Takes on Planet Fitness

    PLANET FITNESS IS HEADED TO THE JUDGMENT ZONE. The fast-growing gym franchise tried to send a proposed class action over its robo-texting practices to arbitration, but a federal judge has determined that the arbitration clause in its membership agreement does not apply. Now, a small Miami firm will get its day in court. The facts: Planet Fitness has made a name for itself as the gym that doesn’t put a lot of ...
    • 2 Apr 2019

    Tiny Homes: An Affordable Housing Solution, or a Regulatory Nightmare?

    Tiny homes have been romanticized by television networks like HGTV® . For many, tiny homes are alluring because most require little to no mortgage payment, offering occupants a level of financial freedom. Yet, what none of these hit TV shows talk about are the legal headaches that many tiny homeowners experience. Zoning laws can make it nearly impossible to build and occupy a tiny home, even if you own the land. The ...
    • 26 Mar 2019

    The Tax Ramifications of the Trump Tax Law on Personal Injury Settlements

    Plaintiffs whose personal injury suits involve a major accident often expect a tax-free settlement. Settlements can be complex in any case, but the new Trump tax law further complicates the subject as it alters who, how and what is taxed in personal injury cases. Personal injury attorneys need to understand the nuances of the newly revised U.S. tax code to properly advise and prepare clients on the realities of settlement ...
    • 11 Mar 2019

    University of Farmington sting shows that U.S, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is really, truly, not messing around

    From practically the moment President Trump took his oath of office on January 20, 2017, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been in the spotlight. From large-scale immigration raids of convenience store franchises to separating immigrant families at the United States-Mexico border , ICE has employed a number of high-profile tactics to carry out its mission of promoting “homeland security ...
    • 7 Mar 2019

    Three Things That Caught Our Eyes (and Ears) at Legalweek New York 2019

    Late January brought the latest installment of Legalweek—a legal technology conference in New York. Having evolved well beyond its humble trade show beginnings in the early 1980s, Legalweek New York today combines a legal technology trade show with five conferences featuring dozens of speakers from across the legal profession. Here are three things about the 2019 version of the show that caught our eyes (and ears ...
    • 28 Feb 2019

    Five Legal Trends to Watch in 2019

    If a crystal ball could accurately predict the future, it might help attorneys like you better anticipate client demands, prepare meaningful advice and formulate firm strategy. But alas, no proven mechanism exists to divine the future. We can only look at current and recent legal trends as well as economic and political developments to get an outlook for the year ahead. Following are five industry trends that will likely ...
    • 20 Feb 2019

    Hashing Out the Details of Marijuana Tax Law

    When your client is excited about the prospect of starting a new marijuana business, it’s likely considered a real “buzz-kill” to bring up complicated tax laws. But to avoid costly mistakes in penalties or overpayments, that is exactly what you need to do. Setting up and running a business that is legal at a state level but illegal at a federal level has unique complications when it comes to federal ...
    • 12 Feb 2019

    13 New Congressional Class Members with Small and Midsize Law Backgrounds

    If this year’s congressional class has proven anything, it’s that people from all walks of life can occupy a congressional seat. The 2019 class is more diverse than ever before—and not only in terms of race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Political success can now be achieved by individuals from any number of professional tracks, not just those who have strong backgrounds in politics or those who ...
    • 11 Feb 2019

    Five of the Most Important Changes to Tax Filing in 2019

    A popular quote from Benjamin Franklin reads, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Well, if recent years are any indication, that idiom should probably be tweaked to say, "The only thing certain is death, taxes...and changes in tax laws." Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, filing year 2018 is upholding that trend of fluctuation - a series of key ...
    • 1 Feb 2019

    Four Tax Trends to Keep an Eye On in 2019

    With the first year of the new federal income tax scheme under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in the books, individuals, organizations, politicians and tax professionals are still sorting out the implications of the law and its impact on tax planning. As we peer into our 2019 tax crystal ball, we see four trends tax lawyers should keep their eyes on - two of which are directly related to the TCJA. STATE AND LOCAL ...
    • 9 Jan 2019

    How AI is Helping Small Law Firms Level the Discovery Playing Field

    Only a few years ago, small law firms had legitimate cause for concern when faced with the prospect of having to review thousands—or even millions—of documents during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. How could a law firm of only a handful of attorneys and staff effectively review such a large number of documents that even an army of “Biglaw” associates would struggle with? For many small firms ...
    • 18 Dec 2018

    The Cannabis Industry’s Cash Problem

    The latest attempt to address the ongoing banking issue for the recreational marijuana industry has failed in committee. A proposed amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2019, 115 H.R. 6258 , was tabled by the Senate Appropriations Committee 21 - 10 on June 21. A week earlier, the House Appropriations Committee defeated their version of the amendment on a voice note . With this ...
    • 5 Nov 2018

    Small Law Firms Become Big Merger Targets

    The law firm merger market is heating up, and small law firms are right in the middle of it. The legal consultants at Altman Weil, Inc., who carefully track law firm mergers, now report that there were 27 law firm mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2018 , bringing the total number for the year to 79. Both of those numbers represent all-time highs for law firm mergers in the U.S. The record ...
    • 5 Oct 2018

    As Big Four’s Entry into Legal Market Looms, Small Firms Should Consider Their Options

    Competing with the Big Four accounting firms has become a fact of life in the legal industry outside the United States. Yet, ethics rules have shielded the U.S. legal market from the entry of Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers...
    • 20 Sep 2018

    Small Law Tech Adoption Delivers Big Efficiencies

    Although Big Law has vast resources, small law firms are in a better position to innovate. Innovation in law may be traced to a collective of people, process and technology. Now more than ever, general counsel are focused on working with progressive law firms that invest in legal tech, allowing them to be more efficient and cost-effective. Based on a recent survey of 300 general counsel, nearly two-thirds of legal teams ...
    • 4 Sep 2018

    How AI is Evolving the Practice of (Small) Law

    For lawyers comfortable with the processes and methods on which they’ve relied for years, the AI phenomenon may still seem a bit too obscure. But the application of artificially intelligent-based tech tools is having a real impact on the way law firms practice and run their businesses. And while it may surprise some, such tools are even within reach for small law. From legal research and eDiscovery to contract ...
    • 22 Aug 2018

    New York’s Best Midsize Firms Take Varied Paths to Success

    Are midsize law firms the Rodney Dangerfield of the legal profession? For years, they may have had a legitimate gripe that they did not get enough respect from corporate clients or top-shelf talent. But now it is 2018, Rodney has passed on, and so too has any colorable argument that midsize firms are getting short shrift from anyone. A recent study showed that the 20 largest firms in the nation trailed their peers in ...
    • 15 Aug 2018

    Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Require Extraordinary Evidence: A Review of Recent Non-Precedent EB-1A AAO Decisions Under the Trump Administration

    By David Wilks, Brooke Ireland and Stephen Yale-Loehr An international entrepreneur’s options for permanent residence are limited. The United States does not have a “start-up” visa. For many entrepreneurs, particularly those facing long backlogs in other immigrant visa categories, an “extraordinary ability” petition may be the only available path to a green card.
    • 10 Jul 2018

    How Technology Is (Still) Helping Small Law Firms Level the Playing Field

    New technology is helping small and solo law firms level the playing field with their larger competition. That sure sounds like a true statement, doesn’t it? And yes, it is. But the full story is a little more complicated. For one thing, as past generations of lawyers will tell you, this isn’t a new story. Since the first lawyer hung a shingle, small firms have devised ways to make up their deficit in manpower ...
    • 10 Jul 2018

    Small Firm Innovation Takes Many Forms

    We tend to associate “innovation” with technological breakthroughs: advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, alternative energy, driverless cars and the like. It’s no surprise, then, that talk of innovation in the legal industry also focuses on new technologies, like analytics and artificial intelligence. But as some small firms are proving, innovation doesn’t need to be a high-tech affair ...
    • 25 Jun 2018

    The Next Generation: 8 Questions Small Law Firms Should Consider for Succession Planning

    The oldest members of the baby boom generation began reaching retirement age in 2011. From that year until 2030, some 10,000 baby boomers will hit the age of 65 each and every day. The aging of this massive generational faction has many implications for the legal profession, but one of the most significant is this: there is now a glut of law firms that are looking for a new generation of lawyers to fill the shoes of their ...
    • 25 Jun 2018

    Infinity Wars: The Epic Battle for Gender Equality in the Law

    Our legal heroes exist in a world that suffers from gender inequality. The super world of superheroes has a not-so-super problem: gender. Despite the box-office success of Avengers: Infinity War , much as been written about the series’ female mainstay, Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson). In 2015, Pop Matters wrote about Black Widow's burden of being “the” female Avenger : Whatever hopes ...
    • 25 Jun 2018

    Accelerating Technology: Your Head-In-the-Sand Mentality Won’t Work Anymore

    Accelerating legal technology: It's a good thing! Tech-challenged lawyers must adopt this mantra: Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood . — Marie Curie Some’ll shrug off this advice. They’ll say, “Legal tech isn’t accelerating. I have nothing to fear.” But legal technology, like all technology, is accelerating! To visualize this, lawyers need to ...