From the Vault -- After Columbine
What Makes Super Lawyers Selectees Shine
In 2012 issue of Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine, we published an award-winning oral history focusing on the legal fallout of the tragedy in Littleton. We spoke to six attorneys, including James A. Cederberg, who represented one of the victims; and John M. Richilano, who defended a friend of the shooters. An excerpt:
Cederberg: We were trying to put together evidence that [teachers and school officials] had a lot of information in front of them and didn't put two and two together. And [U.S. District] Judge [Lewis] Babcock didn't care much for that argument. He issued a written order that pretty much addressed the arguments that we were making. The standard's very tough, which is reckless indifference. Red flags-he didn't feel that was enough to get where he needed to go to impose liability.
Frankly, we were asking in our motion to go in uncharted territory. We knew we had an uphill battle. There was no precedent for applying the kind of principles that we were trying to apply to the bizarre and outrageous facts of this particular case, where you've got kids who had this plot, and signaled the plot, who I thought were making somewhat extraordinary efforts to tell people they were not happy. ... We never got to do any discovery to find out what exactly did happen. I don't think we left any stones unturned. The legal system is the best one in the world, but it doesn't provide a remedy for every harm that occurs.
To learn more about Cederberg and the other attorneys involved, read the full feature article on SuperLawyers.com. And be sure to check out the latest version of Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine here.
Power of the Page: Print Packs a Punch
February saw the release of three new magazines: Georgia Super Lawyers Magazine, San Diego Super Lawyers Magazine and Indiana Super Lawyers Magazine. The new issues introduce the attorneys in Atlanta influenced by early civil rights leaders, the politest lawyer in Indiana and a man out of San Diego who understands the modern attention span. Super Lawyers selectees are nominated because of their success in the field which comes from unique and diverse backgrounds. As these Super Lawyers Magazines proves, each has a story to tell.
Successful attorneys may have a reputation as being cutthroat, but that doesn't mean they can't be kind. That's the case for M. Michael Stephenson of McNeely Stephenson in Shelbyville, Indiana. Stephenson is a dogged trial attorney whose reputation for cross-examination is excellent. Still, he does it while maintaining a calm, polite veneer. Getting to the truth in a case is tough and can sometimes require aggressive tactics, but Stephenson says if he does so "professionally and politely, the jury will admire my work."
Stephenson came from a working class background, attending Indiana University School of Law after an undergraduate degree at Eastern Kentucky University. Since his early days starting out in trial cases he has adapted to new technology quickly and has maintained his polite reputation through 35 years of practice.
Atlanta has been a hotbed of civil rights activities for more than a century, but it was the 1960s with the likes of John Lewis and Diane Nash that made the city one of the South's capitals of African-American culture and resistance. Today attorneys throughout the city are still affected by the legacy of early civil rights leaders. In this issue's cover story, seven Super Lawyers selectees discuss the impact the civil rights struggle had on them and how African-American attorneys have helped transform the city into what it is today.
Many faced harsh struggles as young professionals in a city still suffering from the affects of segregation. But the Super Lawyer selectees interviewed also recognized Atlanta early on in their careers as a city where they could prosper. Their stories help shed light on a city with a mixed and complicated record on civil rights.
Let's face it, attention spans aren't what they used to be. Maybe it's technology but no matter the culprit attorneys are beginning to tailor their styles to juries whose minds wander a little more than they used to. Super Lawyers selectee Craig McClellan of The McClellan Law Firm understands this and works to simplify complicated and dense arguments into easily understandable sound bites. It's one of the reasons he's successful as a personal injury attorney. McClellan specializes in automobile accidents and even has his own garage where on any given day there may be several vehicles that experts are poring over for details to help in their case.
We hope you enjoyed this review of our latest Super Lawyers Magazines. Be sure to visit http://www.superlawyers.com/about/digital_magazine.html to see all our digital editions.
In 2017, digital marketing is, of course, critical to the success of your law firm. In order to cast the widest net possible, you need to reach future clients on social media, have a solid body of good client reviews and run a clean, professional website.
Contemporary marketing tactics like those, however, are not the whole story. As noted earlier, an integrated marketing strategy is comprehensive. That means print, a marketing standby by for decades, is every bit as vital to a thriving law firm today as it ever was.
What is it about print that gives it its enduring success?
- Permanence: In this day and age, it can seem as though a social media update is here one minute and gone the next - often replaced by a more current update from one of your competitors. That is not the case with print, which is solid and long-lasting by comparison. Its permanence means it has stamina in promoting your marketing message.
- Quality: Some potential clients are very tactile people. Nicely designed marketing collateral printed on thick, glossy paper stock appeals to them in ways other mediums just do not. This kind of potential client will just not be prompted into action by a radio ad, Tweet or television spot.
- Uniqueness: People will gradually tune out messages over time if they are delivered through the same channel over and over again. Each subsequent message will simply become part of the ambient noise of day-to-day life. That is why reaching out via an unexpected channel can really have an impact. Try to connect with your potential clients through all mediums, but print may deliver the impact you are looking for because it is not an avenue your competitors are utilizing effectively.
- Legitimacy: Printing something does not make it any more true than does sending it out on social media - but it does not always feel that way. For some people, print lends an authority or genuineness to the message being communicated. There is not a law firm in the country that couldn't use some extra gravitas!
Once again, print is not a magic bullet (those do not exist at all in marketing, period) but it has several key characteristics that make it a very powerful and effective component of your law firm's marketing plan.
Are interested in reaching a large, qualified audience with Super Lawyers branded print advertising? Please visit our website to learn more.