June 12, 2017 – What are the signs of a potential threat? What are the likely sources? How can you reduce the risk? In “Recognize & Avoid the Threat of Violence,” Utah attorney Stephen D. Kelson answers these questions and more. Many members of the legal profession experience threats of violence and actual violence arising from the practice of law.
Violence against legal professionals is often thought of in terms of fatal or near fatal incidents. However, Kelson’s surveys of 26 states on this topic, show violence and aggression can take many different forms, including physical attacks, assaults, threats, vandalism, and sabotage. Kelson provides a glimpse into work-related threats and violence against legal professionals and includes practical tips to actively prevent and thwart potentially violent situations. Do not bypass this article!
The print June Wisconsin Lawyer™ is now hitting mailboxes. But why wait? Read about violence in the legal profession and other timely content. Here’s an overview of what you’ll find in this issue.
Rethinking Money Bail Systems
In many U.S. jurisdictions, only one factor determines whether a charged individual stays in jail before trial. That factor is not guilt or innocence, the nature of the crime, nor the character of the defendant. The factor is money, specifically, how much the defendant has or can borrow.
In “Nationwide Trend: Rethinking the Money Bail System,” Kenechukwu Okocha, an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, looks at trends in money bail systems nationwide, with a focus on Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. The latter has pioneered a system that removes financial considerations from the process of determining which individuals will remain incarcerated before trial and concentrates on defendants’ dangerousness and flight risk. Looking at both specific individual cases and study and survey results, Okocha discusses the effects of money bail systems and non-money alternatives on defendants, their communities, and the criminal justice system.
Wisconsin courts tend to set bail at a level that is tied to the seriousness of the charge and to concerns regarding public or victim safety, rather than the likelihood a defendant will make his or her court appearances. This often results in low-risk people being detained at great expense and release of high-risk individuals. In “Milwaukee Moves Away From Money Bail System,” Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Kremers describes bail’s negative effects and discusses evidence-based pretrial release systems, including the one adopted in Milwaukee County.
Other Columns: On Leading and Retirement, Remembering an Admired Boss, Getting New Business
10 Questions: In “George Brown: On Leading … and Retirement,” after 30 years in various State Bar roles, executive director George Brown reflects on his career, the challenges and accomplishments, and the future role the State Bar must play.
As I See It: In “The Janet Reno I Remember,” James Santelle, former principal deputy director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, remembers his boss not only for the professional milestones she achieved but also for the humanity and humility Ms. Reno brought to her work as U.S. Attorney General.
Managing Risk: In “Collections Work: Not for Dabblers,” Tom Watson urges great care with collections cases, or you’ll run the risk of collecting a malpractice claim from a debtor whose rights you’ve violated.
Marketing: Need new clients? In “Get New Business from In-person and Online Marketing,” Larry Bodine shows how to do so by combining time-tested tips for interpersonal communication with the latest and greatest in digital technology.
On Balance: Just because some stressors are common doesn’t mean they’re innocuous. In “Managing Daily Stress: Live Longer and Healthier,” Paula Davis-Laack tells why everyday stress can be as harmful as major trauma and what to do to minimize its effects.
Technology: Social media can connect you or your firm with new clients but also can open the door to unwelcome contacts from disgruntled individuals. In “So You Want to Use Social Media Safely,” Tison Rhine gives tips for protecting yourself while not losing the benefits of online marketing and communication.
Ethics: In “Forgetfulness Alone Does Not Violate Ethics Rules,” Dean Dietrich says cognitive issues do not always result in professional misconduct. But, the colleagues of a lawyer struggling with forgetfulness have a duty to explore the matter and to protect the firm’s clients.
Final Thought: In “The Beauty of ‘Mediocrity,’” Deanne Koll says not all law practices are glamorous – and not likely to be the subject of a movie – but all hold the potential to be satisfying and meet the needs of clients and their lawyers alike.
Check out the June Wisconsin Lawyer.
Links to Other Content