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  • WisBar News
    January 09, 2015

    Comparing 15 Smartphones: January Wisconsin Lawyer Helps You Pick a Winner

    January 2015 Wisconsin LawyerJan. 9, 2015 – The field of smartphones is so full of thoroughbreds and budget-friendly dark horses alike, it’s hard to know where to put your money, according to Tison Rhine, the State Bar of Wisconsin's law office practice management advisor. 

    But fret no more. In the January edition of Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, now available online, Rhine breaks down the field of well-known smartphones and discusses their features to help lawyers make purchasing decisions in a world of smartphone chaos.

    “There are now so many size and feature variations among smartphones that having an all-around ‘best smartphone’ no longer makes sense,” Rhine writes in “Pick Your Winner: 2015 Smartphone Lineup,” which includes a helpful side-by-side comparison chart of 15 smartphones with a list of features and pricing. “Especially for attorneys, who exhibit a very wide range of work (and play) styles, there is no one ‘best’ option.”

    Other Features

    New smartphone in hand, check out the other features in Wisconsin Lawyer this month, including Rex Anderegg’s article on preliminary breath tests and how tests results are used (or not used) in OWI trials, as well as an article on possible changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by William Gleisner and Judge Michael Fitzpatrick.

    In “Using Preliminary Breath Test Results in Trials? Don’t Hold Your Breath,” Anderegg notes the barriers that exist for attorneys who want to introduce breath test results at trial while highlighting a roadmap in trials where such evidence will be allowed.

    PBT evidence has always been admissible to establish probable cause to arrest an OWI suspect but never admissible at trial to "prove the person was under the influence of an intoxicant or controlled substance,” Anderegg notes in his article.

    And, in “Changes May Affect Wisconsin Practice: Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” Gleisner and Judge Anderson note that amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will take effect in December 2015 if approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    “Even if you don’t practice in federal court, you should learn about the proposed amendments,” write the authors, noting a trend in recent years to conform Wisconsin procedural rules to their federal counterparts. They urge State Bar members to study the changes and offer comments that may help shape Wisconsin’s rules.01225

    What Else is Inside? Viewpoints and Columns

    101: In “Five Steps to Get the Fee You Deserve,” law firm consultant Robert Denney provides tips on fee negotiation with potential clients. “There is a process you should follow that will either avoid a challenge to the projected fee or equip you to respond to a challenge,” writes Denney, who counsels law firms nationwide.

    As I See It: Even old guys remember the ABCs. In “The Practice of Law from A to Z: A View from an Old Guy,” former State Bar President Michael Guerin offers timeless insight to help lawyers stay successful. “G – Get to court on time. Enough said.”

    Solutions: Law Professor Douglas Abrams has tips on better writing in “Orwell’s Six Cures to Bad Writing,” which draws on a 12-page essay by George Orwell in 1946. Tip No. 2: value simplicity. “Never use a long word where a short one will do.”

    Technology: Do you know about bitcoins, digital or virtual currency created by a process called mining? In “What Lawyers Need to Know About Bitcoins,” Sharon Nelson and John Simek will educate lawyers on this currency network and its uses and pitfalls.

    Solutions: As a mediator, should you share one party’s information with the opposing party? In “To Share or Not to Share: Handling the Mediation Submission,” Russell Ware discusses reasons for and against and suggests a middle ground.

    Ethics: Playing nice can be difficult sometimes, especially for lawyers. But in “Rude Behavior Could Lead to Discipline,” State Bar Professional Ethics Committee Chair Dean Dietrich provides more reasons to be aggressive without being obnoxious.

    Final Thought: If you don’t think work-life balance is important, think again. In “Losing My Balance,” R. Steven Haught's story will inspire you to put more stock in balance.

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