Author: Lucy Knox

The Role of Corporate Lawyers in Today’s Business World

Attorney (also called attorney-at-law or a lawyer) is someone who practices law, offering guidance and expertise on legal matters. They also perform research, draft documents, and negotiate on behalf of clients.

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An attorney represents clients in legal matters. In this role, attorneys provide comprehensive legal services to clients including legal counseling, researching, drafting documents, negotiating deals or settlements and providing guidance on various non-litigation matters. Depending on their area of expertise, an attorney may even appear before court judges and other government officials.

Many individuals seeking assistance with legal issues will call or email a law firm to set up an initial interview with an attorney. The first impression a potential client makes of an attorney’s office will depend on the way he or she is treated during the telephone call or email interaction and how quickly the law firm responds to an inquiry.

Once an attorney has screened a prospective client, conducted the conflicts check1 and gathered information and impressions through the initial consultation, the attorney must decide whether or not to accept the case. Ideally, the decision should be made in writing. This can be done by sending an engagement letter to the client that welcomes him or her as a new client, confirms the scope of representation and sets forth essential terms such as the fee arrangement. The engagement letter should also include provisions for obtaining complete copies of client files at the end of the matter.

While representing a client, an attorney must remain neutral and not disclose any confidential or privileged communications to others without the consent of the client or a court order. This ensures that the client receives the utmost protection under the law and allows the attorney to zealously advocate on behalf of the client. However, it is important to avoid inordinately demanding or uncooperative clients, clients who “lawyer shop” and those with a personal vendetta against the lawyer.

Researching and Analyzing Legal Issues

Legal research is a large part of an attorney’s job. It involves finding relevant law and legal precedent, applying this to the facts of a case, and writing about the outcome. This process is complex and requires critical thinking, analysis, strategy, and perseverance. It is also highly individualized to the client’s needs and case circumstances. For example, an insurance claim for a car accident might involve a different set of facts than a criminal defense case.

It is important to define the legal issue before beginning to do research. This is often done by identifying the desired outcome or relief sought in a case. This will help attorneys stay focused and on topic. Then, attorneys can use a variety of digital research products to gather relevant information.

For instance, a researcher can find laws in the form of statutes, regulations, and cases. They can also monitor pending legislation through legislative websites or specialized platforms. This way, attorneys can anticipate any future changes in the law and prepare accordingly.

Another aspect of legal research is interpreting and analyzing these documents. This can be done through reading and reviewing the facts of a case, as well as assessing the law’s current status and applicability to the case at hand.

Developing and following a research plan is essential to effective legal research. Many researchers throw keywords into Westlaw or Lexis without first coming up with a clear research strategy, which leads to a lot of time spent on irrelevant searches and inefficient results. Additionally, researching with a purpose helps ensure that all pertinent issues are addressed. This allows attorneys to save time and avoid unnecessarily going down rabbit holes, which can be very frustrating and difficult to navigate.

Writing Documents

Lawyers often write documents, including letters and emails, to communicate with clients. They may also use their legal knowledge to create formal court filings and other official documents. Some attorneys specialize in particular areas of the law, and they are sometimes called experts in their field. Depending on their occupation, they may be required to use technical terms and phrases that non-lawyers would find unfamiliar — a style of writing commonly referred to as legalese.

Negotiating Deals or Settlements

Settlement negotiations can take place in a variety of ways. They can occur through informal back-and-forth conversations or correspondence on the phone, at meetings or by email between your attorney and the other side’s representative. They may also take place in a formal setting such as a court-ordered mediation. The outcome of a negotiation often depends on the ability of the parties to compromise, and your lawyer’s negotiating skills can be very valuable in helping you achieve an acceptable result.

Your lawyer should always prepare carefully before engaging in settlement discussions. That way, you can enter the conversation with confidence and a clear sense of what your objectives are. This will give you a better chance of reaching a successful negotiated resolution.

You should also prepare for your negotiation by reviewing your case file and gathering supporting evidence. Typically, you will want to establish that the party with whom you are negotiating breached a duty of care by making or acting in a manner that unreasonably put you at risk of harm. You will also need to determine how much that harm is worth and be able to prove it through documents such as medical records, witness testimony and expert analysis.

As you begin your negotiations, it is important to establish a realistic bargaining range for your client. Your opponent will be more likely to listen to your advice if you can show that your position is reasonable and grounded in the facts of the case. Using tactics such as association, where you link the issue to something outside of the case, and authority, where you cite legal precedent or other authoritative sources, can help you establish your credibility.

Meeting With Clients

Meeting with clients is a critical aspect of being an attorney. Client meetings require attentive listening to fully understand a client’s concerns and presenting well-thought-out solutions or alternatives that are aligned with the client’s objectives. It is also important to have the ability to handle objections during meetings by maintaining composure, welcoming diverse viewpoints with empathy and creating a professional environment conducive to productive dialogue.

Clearly define the purpose of a meeting in advance. This will prevent surprises for both parties and ensure that the meeting is productive. Similarly, if you want to propose a new solution to a client’s problem, let them know that ahead of time.

Schedule a meeting in a distraction-free environment, such as a conference room. This will eliminate distractions such as incoming emails and phone calls. Moreover, scheduling the meeting at your place of business or your office can help you focus on the client and their issue without getting distracted by other tasks.

Prior to the client meeting, prepare for potential questions and issues that the client may raise by researching the relevant legal issues in advance. This will enable you to provide quick, decisive responses during the meeting.

At the end of a client meeting, send a thank-you email within 24 hours to show your appreciation for the client’s time and to summarize the key points discussed during the meeting. You should also send a document outlining the agreed-upon action items with assigned responsibilities to serve as a record of progress moving forward. If you decide to not represent a prospective client, it is helpful to send a non-engagement letter to clearly communicate this decision. Likewise, if you decide to retain a prospective client, you should send a contract outlining the legal representation and fee arrangement.

The Movies That Starred Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood was a movie star with a true-blue quality. In old clips, anxiety, sadness and resilience ripple across her skin and pool in her brown eyes.

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Her sudden death shocked Hollywood. New evidence shows she left her husband’s yacht in the middle of a dark night and went into a dinghy, where she died.

John Ford’s epic Technicolor adventure is a Western masterpiece. The story is morally complex and sweeping, combining action with a dark anti-hero character study, complemented by one of John Wayne’s finest performances as Ethan Edwards. The movie’s shots of Utah’s Monument Valley are breathtaking, and it’s often considered to be among the most beautiful movies ever made. It also helped to establish the style of action cinema that would be largely dominated by CGI-heavy blockbusters for decades to come.

In fact, The Searchers has become something of a “cult film” for western fans, with many naming it among their favorite films of all time. But it’s important to remember that when the film was first released in 1956, many critics were not very impressed. A young Cahiers du Cinema critic wept after his first viewing of the film. He found the story “preposterous in its plotting, spasmodic in its pacing, unfunny in its hijinks, bipolar in its politics and alternately sodden and convulsive in its acting.”

Of course, some of that criticism is valid. For one thing, the film does tend to be a bit racist in its depiction of Indians. And the character of Ethan is a little too much of a loner antihero to be entirely likable. However, it’s difficult to say whether or not the film was intended to endorse these attitudes. After all, most audiences of the day were not nearly as enlightened as we are today.

But there are other reasons why The Searchers stands the test of time. It’s a drama of obsession and paranoia that isn’t always easy to watch. It’s a portrait of an individual in the grip of a destructive compulsion that he doesn’t have the strength to fight on his own. And it’s a reminder that even the most hardened of people can only hold onto such a state for so long before life intrudes on them again.

In short, The Searchers is a drama of darkness and despair with moments of light and hope. It’s a movie that should be seen at least once, if only to see what all the fuss is about.

The Bride Wore Boots

Over the course of her legendary career, Barbara Stanwyck did it all — romantic dramas, westerns, film noirs and screwball comedies. Despite the fact that some of her directors occasionally dropped the ball, she was one of those rare performers who seemed comfortable in any genre.

This 1946 comedy of marital misunderstandings and jealousies features Stanwyck as Sally, the owner of a horse breeding farm whose Civil War historian husband Jeff (Robert Cummings) cannot stand the sight of horses. The resulting squabbles are only exacerbated when flirtatious Southern debutante Mary Lou Medford (Diana Lynn) insinuates herself into their lives, and by Sally’s scheming ex-lover Lance Gale (Patric Knowles).

It takes a while for the slapstick to kick in, but when it does, the film rates a few laughs. Irving Pichel’s direction is unfussy and effective, though the story never quite soars above the mundane.

The movie’s cast is solid — and even includes young Natalie Wood as Sally’s obnoxious daughter Carol, and Gregory Muradian (also known as Robert Benchley) as the couple’s handyman. But it’s Stanwyck who steals the show, as always.

Kino Lorber’s Blu-ray release is presented in 1.37:1 full frame with an atypically fine black and white transfer that has excellent contrast, fine film grain, and no egregious scratches or flaws. The audio track is a lossless mono track that sounds impressively clean, with no hiss, crackle, or clicks.

While The Bride Wore Boots isn’t a great comedy, it is a pleasant little diversion that can be enjoyed at home. It may not rank among the best films in Stanwyck’s illustrious career, but it is well worth a look. As an added bonus, this Kino release is part of a three-film Barbara Stanwyck Collection that also includes Internes Can’t Take Money and The Great Man’s Lady.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

The lovely Gene Tierney and the handsome Rex Harrison star in this enchanting film about a widow who moves into a haunted seaside cottage and builds a friendship with its ghostly former owner. Unlike many of the horror films that emerged during this time, this one takes a more lighthearted approach to the supernatural – the ghost of Captain Gregg isn’t there to frighten his tenant, but to help her and give her hope for a brighter future.

Having defied her conventional in-laws, London widow Lucy Muir (Tierney) rents a secluded cottage by the sea and soon discovers that it is haunted by the ghost of its deceased previous owner, sea captain Daniel Gregg (Harrison). At first she is fearful, but gradually she and the testy ghost become friends as they build a unique relationship. When faced with her dwindling means of support, she agrees to write the captain’s colorful life story, and in the process finds herself falling for him.

This is a delightful film that has a special appeal for children as it shows that ghosts can be helpful and even lovable. The movie hews closely to the novel by R. A. Dick and is augmented by a fine supporting cast including George Sanders doing his usual caddish bit, Edna Best as her daughter and the housekeeper, Robert Coote as Mr. Coombe, and a very young Natalie Wood as the ghost’s granddaughter.

The movie also strayed slightly from the novel in some of the dialogue, but overall it is an excellent adaptation that is both charming and moving. It is definitely worth your time, and if you happen to have the book, read it as well – it is a classic in its own right.

While the movie is a romance that is both delightful and moving, it also contains some of the most touching scenes ever filmed about forgiveness and unconditional love. It is truly a masterpiece, and one of my all-time favourite movies. It was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and is certainly a movie that every person should see at least once.

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

Director Peter Bogdanovich, who cast Wood in his debut film Love With a Proper Stranger, helmed this drama that examines the sexual revolution of the ’60s. Its upwardly mobile protagonist, Bob (Robert Culp), comes back from a freethinking group encounter session with an elevated sense of honesty and announces to his wife Carol that he’s been having an affair. She doesn’t mind at first, but when her good friends Ted (Elliott Gould) and Alice (Dyan Cannon) join in, a mate-sharing foursome ensues.

This is a very different kind of Natalie Wood movie, one that’s almost a comedy and is certainly the most irreverent film she ever made. Its story is based on a real-life incident, and it’s an indication of just how far the actress could push the envelope.

Wood was a movie star of the first magnitude, and she’s certainly still considered to be a cultural icon today. The doc doesn’t take a pejorative tone towards her, but it also avoids sleazy tabloid-style reporting on the mysterious circumstances of her death at age 42.

Bouzereau’s interview material includes archival home movies and interviews with family members, friends, and co-workers. She sifts through a wealth of material to give the viewer an intimate portrait of the actress as she evolves from a rebellious teenager in Rebel Without a Cause into one of the most popular stars of Old Hollywood.

It’s a shame that the documentary doesn’t devote more time to examining her stormy relationships with Wagner and Richard Gregson. It’s also a pity that it doesn’t mention an even more disturbing cataclysm in her life: the rape that occurred on the set of Splendor in the Grass and was hushed up by the studio as if she had committed murder.

Despite these disappointments, Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind is a heartwarming tribute to an actress who left a rich legacy behind and left her fans wanting more. It’s a must-see for anyone who admires this classic beauty. But for those who know her work, the doc doesn’t add much to the body of knowledge that already exists.

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