From: Tanya Windham [blomas@atlantabar.ccsend.com] on behalf of Tanya Windham
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 2:11 PM
To: Tanya Windham
Subject: Information Exchange - Newsletter from the Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section
SPSF News
September 2007 Information Exchange
View Printable Version

Editor: Adam L. Katz

Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section Board of Directors
Chair: Linda T. Muir
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Glenn Lyon
Secretary: Price S. Williams, Jr.
Treasurer: Evan L. Kaine
Immediate Past Chair: John Paul LaBouff

Members-At-Large
The Hon. T. Jackson Bedford, Jr.
L. Katherine Adams-Carter
Scott E. Atwood
Christopher H. Dunagan
Colette Y. Fergusson
Adam L. Katz
Michael J. O'Leary
David G. Richards
Janis L. Rosser
Arnold E. Rubinoff
Robert G. Wellon

Thank You to our Section Sponsors
Realize Results

UPCOMING EVENTS
 


Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section Luncheon
Thursday, September 27, 2007 - noon
Maggiano's at Cumberland Mall
Speaker: Harold D. Berger
Topic: "Year-End Tax and Benefits Planning for the Solo/Small Firm Practitioner"
Section Members - $15 in advance, $17 at the door
Non-Section Members - $19 in advance, $21 at the door
RSVP to Tanya Windham or complete and return the Registration Form


There will be no October Section Breakfast


Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section Luncheon with Justice Hunstein
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Capital City Club, 7 Harris Street, Atlanta, Georgia
Distinguished Guest Speaker: Presiding Justice, Carol W. Hunstein RSVP to Tanya Windham
More information to be announced...

ANNOUNCEMENTS
 

Robert S. Meyring Opens New Firm
Robert S. Meyring is pleased to announce the opening of his new firm: The Law Offices of Robert S. Meyring, P.C. The firm is located in "downtown" Vinings at 2900 Paces Ferry Road, Suite C-200, Atlanta, 30339. Robert practices in estate planning and related matters. Please see his client-inspired, locally published monthly articles about wills, trusts and current issues posted at www.willsquill.com. The articles help explain common estates issues and are free to download for you or your clients' planning purposes. Robert can be reached at (678) 217-4369 or at meyring@gmail.com.

Congratulations Tanya!
The entire SP/SF section is proud to congratulate section coordinator Tanya Herrera, now Tanya Windham, on her recent marriage. Tanya is an indispensable asset to our section and we appreciate all of her hard work. Best wishes Tanya!

ALL I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT INVESTING I LEARNED IN COURT
Robert C. Port,
Cohen Goldstein Port & Gottlieb, LLP
 

As part of my litigation practice, I represent investors harmed by the misconduct of their stockbroker, investment advisor, or financial planner. Some of these cases can be brought in court; most are required to be arbitrated before the NASD, NYSE, or other similar forum. In either venue, however, many of these cases have common themes, which teach important lessons about investing.

Wall Street Doesn't Have a Crystal Ball
The financial industry spends millions of dollars convincing the investing public that it can predict with some accuracy the future price movements stocks. We all know that predicting the future is impossible, but when Wall Street breaks out its technical charts, graphs, and its highly paid analysts discussing "P/E ratios," "EBIDTA," "relative strength," "quantitative analysis," "momentum plays," "valuation," "trading strategies" "market timing" and the like, it sounds as if they have discovered a window on the future. But the reality is that price movements of stocks are unpredictable and random because stock prices react to news, which by definition is unpredictable and random. The resignation or indictment of a CEO, a product recall, an "earnings disappointment," the failure of a new product to generate significant sales, or an international crisis all will affect stock prices. These types of events are rarely anticipated and occur randomly.

Therefore, contrary to what Wall Street's very effective marketing would have you believe, those who "beat the market" in the short term do so because of luck, not skill. Academic research has shown that there is a very low probability -- less than 3% -- that any one broker, money manager, or investment newsletter can pick investments that consistently outperform benchmark market averages (such as the S&P 500) over long periods of time (10 years or more). Those odds are about the same as the odds of throwing "snake eyes" at a craps table in Vegas. What is the probability that with the money you have to invest today, you can identify the lucky broker, financial advisor, or mutual fund who will consistently roll snake eyes and beat the market for the next 10 or 20 years? Very slight. Lesson learned: Avoid actively managed investments; stock picking and market timing are losers games.

Click Here to view the entire article

INTELLIGENCE GATHERING FOR YOUR PRACTICE
Steve Hardy,
Friend, Hudak & Harris LLP
 

What do you know about the person who just sued your client or the person with whom your client is about to sign a major contract? The August meeting of the Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section featured an interesting and informative presentation about gathering intelligence on people and companies. The speaker was Tara MacMillan of Navigant Consulting.

Ms. MacMillan explained that any effort to gather intelligence should begin with an assessment of what information you are seeking, and the information you have on hand. Once you have finished that assessment, it is time to turn to information resources to gather the information you need. Ms. MacMillan's presentation focused on computer resources, but she also reminded us to consider family members, friends, former spouses, and present and former employers and co-workers as sources of intelligence.

Ms. MacMillan identified three primary sources of intelligence: (1) public records; (2) electronic/public domain sources; and (3) proprietary sources. While researching public records sometimes requires leg work, many of these sources are now available on the Internet. Most government agencies and courts now provide access to some or all or their records on their websites. Taking advantage of these resources greatly reduces the time and effort it takes to gather intelligence.

Searching public domain sources begins with Internet search engines like Google and Yahoo. Other possible sources of public domain materials include newspaper websites, and information gathering websites like zoominfo.com and searchsystems.net. You should also look for websites that track particular industries or business types.

Proprietary sources can either be pay as you go or require a subscription or contract. These sources may gather and organize public records or public domain information, or they may create their own proprietary content. Examples of such services include D&B, Lexis, and Westlaw.

A final issue to consider is whether it is illegal to access the information you want. Ms. MacMillan reminded us that federal law and some state laws limit access to credit reports, bank records and telephone records. Similarly, many states limit access to driver record information.

The vast amount of information available online makes gathering intelligence much easier today than it was even a decade ago. In many cases, you can find out everything you need to know about a person or company without leaving the comfort of your office.

LUZ BORRERO SPEAKS ON ATLANTA CITY GOVERNMENT
Jacquelyn H. Saylor,
The Saylor Law Firm, LLP
 

Luz Borrero, the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta, spoke before the SP/SF Section on August 23, 2007, at Maggiano's in Cumberland Mall. She focused her remarks on Atlanta's BeltLine and the Permitting Improvement Project, a project that is under her direction. She was introduced by Linda Muir, The Saylor Law Firm LLP, Chair of the SP/SF Section. Muir and Borrero are long time associates; Muir served as a member of the Board of Cool Girls during Borrero's tenure as Executive Director of that organization, which is dedicated to the self-empowerment of girls in low- income communities.

As Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Borrero is responsible for the management and supervision of the City's operating departments as well as the oversight of city-wide business transformation projects. Borrero is the Chair of the Homeland Security Council where she oversees emergency management operations. She serves as transportation policy advisor to the Mayor, is a member of Mayor Shirley Franklin's Senior Management Team and a member of the City's Cabinet.

Borrero has demonstrated commitment to the Atlanta community through volunteer activities with many non- profit organizations, as well as her participation on numerous non-profit boards including the Georgia Conservancy, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, the ACT (WABE- Atlanta) Board, the Atlanta Women's Network and the Falcons Youth Foundation. As noted above, she was with Cool Girls, Inc., for four years and before that, she was the Vice President of Finance and Administration for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, a position she occupied for eight and a half years.

Click Here to view entire article

THE SECRETS EVERY SMALL BUSINESS OWNER SHOULD KNOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE
Bernadette Peters,
CEO, Natural Marketing Services
 

Part 2 - The 15 Key Elements to Include in Your Website

Whether you are working with a web developer, creating your own website or directing an employee to do it, there are several key elements you will want to consider for a successful site.

But first, you will want to Begin with the end in mind! Determine what the primary and secondary purposes of your website are before you begin. Consider the other marketing channels you leverage, and your target market. Do you want to attract prospects, generate interest in you product or service, replace employee hours by automating certain business functions, demonstrate credibility? If you at least get some high level clarity on what you want, and are going to work with a web developer, they should be able to guide you the rest of the way with a questionnaire, strategy session or requirements document.

Once you have selected a web developer or development team, they should be able to coach you through domain name registration (website name), selection of the most appropriate site host for your goals, and setting up a hosting account. As we mentioned in part 1, web developers come with various primary strengths, so your site goals should drive your decision for the most appropriate developer or web development team.

Click Here to view entire article

BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: GLENN LYON, VICE-CHAIR/CHAIR-ELECT
A brief bio of Glenn Lyon, SPSF Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect  

Glenn M. Lyon is Vice Chair of the SP/SF section. Glenn focuses his practice on providing legal services to small and medium-sized privately-held companies and start-up businesses, including transactional services and commercial litigation. Glenn also handles corporate mergers and acquisitions of various small businesses, and also manages business contracts such as buy-sell agreements, franchise agreements, beta and licensing agreements, and employment/independent contractor agreements. He also has experience in alternate dispute resolution, a variety of landlord-tenant issues, and RIAA/MPAA litigation.

Glenn was previously employed as general corporate counsel for Cedar Consulting Group, an international information technology consulting company. Prior to opening MacGregor Lyon, LLC, he practiced civil litigation at King & Spalding in Atlanta.

Glenn was born in Ithaca, New York, but moved to Dallas, Texas when he was four years old. From Dallas, Glenn and his family moved to Marietta in 1986 where he grew up in East Cobb. He attended Wake Forest University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Psychology. Glenn also graduated from Mercer University School of Law, where he was awarded The Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in Legal Writing and served as Vice President and co-founder of the Mercer Legal Aid Clinic. Glenn is also a member of the Litigation, Business and Finance sections of the Atlanta Bar Association.

 

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