Your Voice

A life of legal firsts—including romance and marriage

I graduated from Columbia Law School in 1945, 20 years before the Civil Rights Act made it illegal to discriminate in employment on the basis of sex. Although some eastern law schools—Yale and Columbia, but heavens, not Harvard—already admitted women, female graduates couldn’t expect to be recommended as law clerks to sitting judges, no matter how well their records stacked up against their male classmates.


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From cliches to banalities and bizarre word usages, here's why I'm still cranky about language

Editor’s note: In his previous essay, Mark Alcott bemoaned numerous cringeworthy linguistic errors that appear in common parlance, even among the purportedly literate classes. In this piece, he expresses his displeasure at various cliches, banalities and bizarre usages that mar contemporary discourse.

Now that I’ve established my linguistic bona…



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From run-on sentences to split infinitives, here's why I'm cranky about language

OK, it’s true. When it comes to language, I’m a bit cranky.

All right, all right. I admit it. I’m more than a crank. I’m an absolute curmudgeon. ’enry ’iggins had nothing on me. I have enough pet peeves to fill a kennel. And I never hesitate to point them…



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A call to deal with impostor syndrome, a hidden source of attorney distress

It’s my third time reading Joanna Litt’s brave piece in the American Lawyer about the death by suicide of her beloved husband and accomplished lawyer Gabe MacConaill, and I’m still stumbling through it in tears. As she describes the pressures Gabe experienced as an attorney, I lose my breath…



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The confessions of a legal technophobe

I wish to share my thoughts about a significant problem stressing many of our more senior colleagues in practice these days. Though there are several, I am talking about what I found to be a high stressor, namely the demon of rapidly changing technology.

In 1974, I was called to…



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Are alimony rules antiquated in an era of greater equality?

I have spent more than 20 years mediating divorce settlements, and I have represented both men and women. While we have seen women gain greater access to financial stability over the years, I can’t help but wonder whether the way we approach alimony is still somewhat antiquated.


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Stop stabbing in the front: Bring balance and civility to work

On September 26, the day that Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I was a delegate at the “New Rules Summit: Women, Leadership and a Playbook for Change,” sponsored by the New York Times in Brooklyn. We were there to probe the edges of…



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Rethink your law firm's IT disaster recovery strategy

Information technology-related disasters are among the biggest contributors to long-term business disruption for law firms. Major data breaches that shut down entire systems, natural disasters that physically destroy data centers and purposeful cyberattacks threaten a law firm’s business continuity.



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Are lawyers being trapped in their practice niches?

Recently on the car radio there was an item on academic research that presented a troubling conclusion: Because of specialization in the medical profession, doctors are sometimes unable to make correct diagnoses; some symptoms are missed because they are outside the physician's specialty.


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6 keys to acing discovery

Before embarking on a legal career, many attorneys envision themselves trying cases in scenarios taken from iconic movies such as A Few Good Men and To Kill a Mockingbird. However, the reality is that most litigators spend relatively little time trying cases. The bulk of our time is spent researching, drafting, strategizing, communicating with clients and taking discovery.


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