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November 28, 2007

Solo With An Eye For Detail Helps 200 Stay in Their Homes for the Holidays

This is simply a great story.  This would have been a great story whether the lawyer was a solo or not. But I find it interesting the reporter makes a point of saying the attorney was a solo...as if solos are, well, less detail-oriented?

Regardless, this alert solo caught a miscalculation by the clerks office which would have put 200 families out of their homes on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Because of his eye for important details, these families were saved from removal from their homes during the holiday season.

Is there an unconscious bias working here or is it simply a professional description, defining lawyers as either with BigLaw or small firm or solo?  I'm not sure.  But my first gut reaction was it was a prejudice. "Look!  A solo actually caught an important detail!"  I could be wrong, let's hope so.  But I'd like your opinion as sometimes my glasses get a little foggy on these matters.


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Sandra J. Slaga

I'd agree, Susan. Scott Jay is "an alert solo." Kenneth Jones is a "Fort Lauderdale lawyer."

Deborah Alexander

An in-house subtle ABA bias against solos that you noticed in those crafting the headlines of articles is not restricted to ABA magazine articles but is also found in the hard-publication dept as well.

Earlier this week I turned to a "new" volume purchased in Jan 07 when it became clear I'd be handling cross-jurisdictional child custody cases, only to find that the publish date was 14 years ago & the last 'reprint' was nine years ago.

The ABA Board of Govs had authorized a Uniform code -UCCJEA- 10 years ago that had SIGNIFICANTLY affected the practice upon adoption by all 50 states more than 5 years ago. Who needs these volumes the most? The little guys who are not ensconced in big firms. The Publication person who came on the line (to whom I noted that not one single 'form' correctly referred to the new Act) said that the Commmitte would review the matter and 'perhaps' this volume was erroneously moved rather than dumped when the Publishing arm changed warehouses, but that the members of her Committee 'still used' some of the forms. I was not impressed. The book is not only useless but positively harmful and worsens the knowledge gap between larger firms and solos who depend upon ABA volumes much more heavily.

Fortunately for me I've done a heap of research and have realized just how useless this volume is. But given the importance of family law to real people across the country - many of whom rely upon solos and small practices, the ABA's lack of attention to this topic is beyond ridiculous and reeks of bias to us smaller folk.

Susan Cartier Liebel


You bring up a very good point about publications...especially publications represented to the profession through the ABA. They are held to a different level of accountability because of their perceived authority.

And you are aboslutely correct when any lawyer, but more so solos, rely upon information from the ABA which could be detrimental as solos do not have a large firm covering their backside.

I'm glad you raised this issue and now others can raise the issue as well through this commentary.

I certainly hope you demanded your money back!

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