How to Place a Bid on Legal Bistro

Bid-for-Placement: what does it mean? Why do we need it?

A bid is a sum of money that a lawyer offers for the opportunity of talking to a client, to receive his contact information and discuss his case (the minimum amount you can bid on is 6 law dollars).

It’s important to remember that a lawyer’s bid on a case determines where in the list of competing, “bidding” lawyers their profile will be displayed to the clients, who posted the case. The profile with the highest bid will be displayed first and the lowest, respectively, the last.

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Writing an Effective Biography on Legal Bistro Helps Attorneys Get New Clients!

Why should a lawyer bother to write an outstanding biography and why is it the most important part of the lawyer profile? It’s so simple!

A bio is a snapshot of a lawyer’s professional experience:

  • who they are,

  • what they do,

  • specialist expertise and

  • examples of client work.

A good biography “sells” their expertise to potential new clients.

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Why Consumers Love Legal Bistro

 Do you need a lawyer but are intimidated by the legal process?  Are you concerned that professional legal services may be financially out of reach?  Perhaps English is not your native language and you are having trouble finding a qualified attorney with whom you can effectively communicate.  Don’t worry, if you answered yes to any of these questions you are not alone.

We built Legal Bistro because we were inspired by the contribution that Lending Tree made to the process for finding a mortgage lender.  Lending Tree used the power of the Internet to bring online competition in the mortgage application process. Equally important is that Lending Tree’s website has helped consumers to better understand the process of applying for a home loan. We hope that Legal Bistro can achieve similar results in the legal services market.

When Lawyers Compete, You Win!

The single biggest reason why consumers love our service is because Legal Bistro facilitates lawyers competing online to serve the client.  Our Company motto is that When Lawyers Compete, the Client Wins! Frankly, we believe that both lawyers and consumers win when the competitive playing field has been leveled.

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Why Lawyers Love Legal Bistro

    

Are you happy with the current Return on Investment (“ROI”) for your online legal services marketing dollars?  Are you spending too much of your time qualifying leads? wasting time imagesDo you know anything about the visitors to your law firm’s website besides their IP Address and the date and time of their visit?  More specifically, are you being provided with case specific  facts that will help you evaluate their legal needs?

If you have answered yes to some or all of these questions then perhaps you will appreciate why lawyers love Legal Bistro.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL

You decide what cases you see based on the Practice Groups, Case Types and Tag or Key Words used when defining your Areas of Practice.

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Law Firm Marketing & The Digital Revolution

The above McKinsey Infographic entitled: Are You Ready for the Digital Age? provides some very interesting and important statistics for marketing professionals:

  • 90% of customers trust recommendations
  • 37% of prospective buyers are influenced by word of mouth
  • 70%of customers consult user reviews for informed purchase decisions
  • 10% to 25% of social media users use their social networks to make purchasing decisions
  • 20% of online electronics purchased are from auction sites
  • 60% of consumers who follow a brand on Facebook are looking for deals and coupons

As a Marketing Professional at a medium to large law firm or an attorney at a smaller law firm responsible for acquiring new clients, what conclusions should you draw from these statistics?

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Should the United States Government be Permitted to Play the Role of a Venture Capitalist?

  

The United States government has made some very risky investments in areas such as green energy and electric vehicles.  As time as shown, the government’s ability to pick winners and losers has cost the United States taxpayers billions of dollars.

Green Energy, also known as renewable or sustainable energy, is energy that comes from resources which are continually replenished such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.  According to Wikipedia, About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewable sources, with 10% of all energy from traditional biomass, mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from hydroelectricity.

 

These investments have instead provided a string of bankruptcies: Solyndra ($528 million in federal loans), Abound Solar ($400 million), A123 Systems ($279 million) and Fisker Automotive ($529 million), to name the most prominent examples.

Let’s begin with Solyndra, originally founded by Chris Gronet as Gronet Technologies in May of 2005.  The Company changed its name eight (8) months later to Solyndra and quietly began developing a solar module consisting of one glass tube nested inside of another.  Wrapped around the inner tube were 150 solar cells made from copper, indium, gallium and diselenide, rather than silicon.

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Interesting Attorneys – Jonathan Plaut – Chardon Law Offices

In the first of what we expect will be a long term successful series of Blog Postings of Interesting Attorneys, Legal Bistro is pleased to present Jonathan Plaut of Chardon Law Offices.  Our goal for this series is to highlight lawyers who are doing interesting things in their personal lives.

Besides being a highly skilled litigator and criminal defense attorney, Jon is also an accomplished musician.  He is the lead singer and base player in a band called The Learned Hands.  His musical influences include Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Dan Bern, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Michelle Shocked, Rush, Van Halen and AC/DC.

Jon recently played rhythm guitar at the BB King Blues Club in Manhattan backing up Carmine and Vinnie Appice (of Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck fame), and played viola for the great troubadour rocker Michelle Shocked during seven of her shows in New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maine and Massachusetts.  He has played at various rock venues throughout the Northeast.

Jon speaks and writes Japanese, and he has represented numerous Japanese citizens and businesses in a variety of matters including corporation formation, civil lawsuits, criminal defense and governmental investigations.  He served as a foreign legal associate at the firm of Anderson Mori in Tokyo, Japan where he represented numerous multinational corporations.

Jon has taught courses in criminal law and environmental law at Tufts University and Boston College.  Jonathan has also taught spoken and written Japanese at several secondary schools including Choate Rosemary Hall and the Kent School.

For additional information about Jonathan Plaut, please visit Jon’s complete Legal Bistro Profile.

The US Supreme Court is being asked to judge whether human genes can be patented

In a recent CNN article written by Bill Mears entitled: Justices at odds over patents for human genes, is reported that the US Supreme Court has heard on Monday arguments questioning whether the government should allow patents for human genes.

The lawsuit centers on whether companies and scientists could patent human DNA extracted from the body like a mechanical invention.

The case relates to nine patents on two human genes held by US biotech firm Myriad Genetics.

Myriad Genetics isolated two related types of biological material, BCRA-1 and BCRA-2, linked to increased hereditary risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

The company claims that the genes patented were “isolated” by them, making them products of human ingenuity and therefore patentable.

There are two completely different opinions to this so moot question. Scientists and companies argue patents stimulate medical innovation and investment that saves lives. But patient rights groups and civil libertarians accuse the patent holders are “holding hostage” the diagnostic care and access of information available to high-risk patients.

During the court hearing, people came together outside holding signs: “Your corporate greed is killing my friends”, “My genes are not property.”

According to Justice Stephen Breyer, the patent law is filled with uneasy compromises, because on the one hand, they do want people to invent, on the other hand, there is a worry about them tying up some kind of whatever it is, particularly a thing that itself could be used for further advance.

Justice Anthony Kennedy appreciated Myriad’s significant investment in time and money in its genetic studies and propounded that they might be given two-decade control over the genes for research, diagnostics, and treatment.

But a “chocolate chip” cookie analogy made by Justice Sonia Sotomayor demonstrated pretty clear that it is impossible to get a patent just isolating naturally derived products only for the particular process or use of the cookie. Indeed, it seems nonsense to apply for a patent for the basic items of salt, flour and eggs, simply because a new use or a new product from these ingredients has been created.

The patent system was designed long ago to encourage innovation, not to stifle scientific research and the free exchange of ideas and, what not less important is, not to discourage consumer accessibility to all new products.

All applications for getting a patent need a close examination based on applicable laws, in order to make right decision between abstract ideas and principles, and more tangible scientific discoveries and principles.

Medical science had traditionally avoided patents.

It is well-known that in 1952 Dr. Jonas Salk invented the polio oral vaccine. He announced his life-saving treatment, saying the people would “own” the vaccine, adding “Could you patent the sun?”

The sun does not come into question, but for the past 31 years, US authorities have been awarding patents on 20 percent of the human genes to universities and medical companies.

Nobody disputes the fact isolating the building blocks of life is not easy. Myriad has spent several years and hundreds of millions of dollars in its research.

Myriad Genetics is the only company that can perform tests for potential abnormalities of breast cancer genes. An initial test usually registers most problems, but the company also offers a second test, called BART, to detect the rest, a diagnostic that can cost several thousand dollars.

“Strong intellectual property and patent rights in the United States are critical to fulfilling our mission,” has said Richard Marsh, executive vice president and general counsel at Myriad.

Myriad points out the benefit for 1 million patients from its BRAC Analysis technology. 250 000 BRAC tests continue to be performed each year.

 Everybody agrees that BCRA testing has saved many lives, giving at-risk women the option of having their breasts removed as a preventive measure.

The average costs for the testing for patients is only about $100, as officials say. But there are others who disagree with these data.

Some patients have complained about too high prices for a second test, blaming the company for more interest in profits than patient care for those who cannot afford the second analysis. The company refuses in its turn to admit this as a truth.

Among those challenging the Myriad patents are sisters Eileen Kelly and Kathleen Maxian. Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40.

Maxian made a BCRA test to be sure she was not at risk. Fortunately, it showed “negative”, but later the second BART testing proved positive, meaning the siblings carry the cancer-causing mutation all along.

Now the cancer is so advanced, that Maxian have only a 20-percent chance of being alive five years from now.

Money was not an issue for them, but Kelly and Maxian, along with a coalition of physician groups and genetic counselors say Myriad has not made the BART tests widely available for patients without a strong family history of these kinds of cancers.

ACLU‘s lawyer, Christopher Hansen, said: “Myriad did not invent the human genes at issue in this case, and they should not be allowed to patent them.”

But several justices raised concerns.

Justice Antonin Scalia asked: “Why would a company incur massive investment if it cannot patent an isolated gene?”

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal court’s conclusions, and is now reconsidering the case.

A ruling from the court is expected in June.

For more detailed disputes and other arguments, please read the entire CNN article.

Medical Domains – Attorneys: Help Your Clients Build & Protect Their Online Image

  

Are your medical clients having trouble branding themselves online in a crowded marketplace?  Do you represent a hospital that would like to protect their brand by owning a prestigious .Md domain?  If so, please continue reading this article and visit My Medical Domains. 

.Md or Medical Domains as they have come to be known are becoming increasingly popular among the medical community as they represent an opportunity to turn the clock back from an online marketing perspective.  Imagine that it’s 20 years ago and that you have the vision to know how the Internet is going to unfold. The visionaries who raced to purchase popular domain names before others fully understood their value made a considerable amount of money selling those domains to companies and individuals who wanted to protect their brand online.

The reality is that it’s impossible to turn the clock back but you could be one of those visionaries who race to get a popular medical domain before the rest of the medical community discovers the value of owning a .Md domain.

Individual doctors can purchase a medical domain containing their name and add the prestigious domain to the business cards, patient communication, etc.

Example 1: JohnSmith.Md.

Medical Institutions such as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, etc. should seriously consider purchasing a medical domain to protect their online brand an image before someone who is not affiliated with their organization purchases the domain.

Example 2: ABCHospital.Md

Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) savvy businesses who are aggressively seeking to acquire new clients through online marketing should look to acquire medical domains containing industry key words to enhance their organically generated traffic.

Example 3: MesotheliomaPatients.Md

So where do you go to find out if your name is available and to purchase the medical domain? An innovative company called My Medical Domains provides its clients with quick and easy service.  The Company has a Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) page which should answer most or all of your questions.

In case you are wondering about the .Md extension and why it is not already popular with the medical community, you might be interested to learn its origin.  The .Md domain was NOT created for the medical community but actually was assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the Republic of Moldova.

Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova, is a landlocked nation located in Eastern Europe  between Romania (West) and Ukraine (North, East and South).  With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moldova declared its independence and adopted a new constitution on July 29, 1994.

Unlike some other countries who impose restrictions on who may purchase country specific domains, Moldova does not impose any such restrictions. The purchase of these domains is open to anyone.  There are no citizenship or any other conditions imposed on the purchase of .Md domains.

Examples of companies who have purchased .Md domains (as reported by MyMedicalDomains.com) are the following:

  • the National Institute of Health (NIH) acquired and is currently using “physician.md” which forwards to “nih.gov”
  • Sermo acquired and is currently using “sermo.md” which forwards to “sermo.com”
  • Mayo Clinic reserved but is currently not using “mayo.md” and “mayoclinic.md” (neither domain does resolve to a website as of now)

So if you would like to join the growing list of forward thinking medical professionals and organizations who are securing a medical domain to enhance or protect their online brand, visit My Medical Domains and purchase your own .Md.

TechnoratiMedia 2013 Digital Influence Report – Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence

If you are either currently spending or considering allocating a significant portion of your marketing budget to advertising on the social networks, you might want to stop for a moment and look at the affect that blogging has on consumer influence.  The following chart was presented in a article written by Patricia Redsicker entitled: Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence: New Research:

online services high in influence

Equally interesting is the fact that consumers say that smaller communities have a greater influence on a topic than larger ones.  Despite this revelation, most brands marketers only pursue the larger/massive communities through A-list bloggers believing that their message will be virally distributed across the larger community.  Recent evidence shows that trust is what drives action.  Quality triumphs over quantity so if you’re thinking about trying to build consumer trust through blogging, you should evaluate the quality of the community rather than its size.

Although brands typically only devote approximately ten percent (10%) of their total digital marketing budgets to social media, Facebook remains the preferred platform capturing fifty-seven percent (57%) of the ad spending.  Brand managers are seeking to have their Facebook page content generate interaction through likes and comments believing that such interaction will result in viral results.

According to the survey, 86% of Social Media Influencers blog and of these, 88% blog for themselves.  The survey reports that trust is the currency of influence and that consumers are looking for trusted digital friends to give them advice on what to buy and where to go.  It is for this reason that bloggers offering advice are so influential on consumer behavior. Essentially, consumers trust their guidance.

At Legal Bistro, we believe in and support the power of the Community.  Consequently, lawyers who register on the site are able to build their online credibility by obtaining recommendations from colleagues, clients, business associates, family members and friends.  Perhaps even more important is for a registered lawyer to establish themselves as a subject matter expert.

All lawyers who register on the site are assigned author credentials on the Legal Bistro Blog.  Lawyers who write articles receive the following benefits within the Legal Bistro Community:

  • Attorney profiles with published articles are displayed higher in the search results given to consumers searching for qualified lawyers to handle their legal need;
  • Legal Bistro Profile receives a publishers badge indicating the number of articles written by the attorney and quick access to read these articles;
  • All blog postings are also distributed to Legal Bistro’s social network pages including Facebook and Twitter;
  • Legal Bistro provides published attorneys with a small icon (and the associated code) that can be added to the lawyer’s own website. The icon provides a visitor to the lawyer’s website with a link to the attorney’s article published on Legal Bistro’s Blog;
  • Legal Bistro provides real time reports to published lawyers of all registered consumers who have viewed their blog posting and quick access to the consumer’s case posted on Legal Bistro.

So if you want to stand out in the crowd, take the time to write a blog posting and establish yourself as a subject matter expert.  There is no cost (other than your time) to write a blog posting and the benefits from doing so could be enormous.

ABOUT TechnoratiMedia

Founded over a decade ago, Technorati Media has grown into one of the largest social media ad networks bringing top brands and valuable influencers together at scale.  With an advertising reach of approximately 130 million US unique visitors each month, the Company is well positioned to provide a very unique perspective on the social media market.

ABOUT TechnoratiMedia 2013 Digital Influence Report

The insights provided in TechnoratiMedia’s 2013 Digital Influence Report were taken from survey results which included:

  • 6,000 Influencers
  • 1,200 Consumers
  • 150 Top Brand Marketers