Trisha Lotzer, JD., health-care attorney and CEO of Physis, Inc.

As millions of American homeowners know, the housing market crash was fueled by inflated home values and bank loans that were high above the equity or actual value of “underwater” homes. According to Trisha Lotzer, JD., health-care attorney and CEO of Physis, Inc., a similar threat for banks, borrowers and owners of many of the nation’s medical, dental, optometry and veterinary practices must be averted.

Like residential real estate, medical practices may be marketed and sold by brokers. Brokers in the business of selling medical practices commonly charge 7-12% commission. The commission alone can add $80,000 to $2,000,000 to the purchase price, depending on the size of the facility–and drive up the bank note accordingly.

Like real estate agents, the job of the practice broker is to get the seller the highest selling price possible. Unlike real estate agents, however, brokers are often the only ones who value the practices they have for sale–giving them a built in incentive to inflate the value of practices and increase their commission. Ross Landreth, MBA, explains that the problem occurs when a practice is arbitrarily valued, purchased and financed at $1,500,000, but only has an actual fair market value (per USPAP approved valuation standards) of $850,000. This could mean that the practice does not cash-flow at $1,500,00 and that the new purchasers would have to raise the price of services in order to maintain profitability and pay back the bank note. This increase in the cost of health care does not increase the earnings of the practice owners or physicians but is passed along to patients and insurance providers.

Via EPR Network
Law press releases

Law Firm Business Development Book Receives Legal Marketing Association – Bay Area Chapter’s Highest Award

Author and consultant David King Keller, President of the Keller Business Development Advisory Group, received the prestigious 2011 Law Firm Practice Development Award of Excellence from the Legal Marketing Association – Bay Area Chapter for his new book, 100 Ways To Grow A Thriving Law Practice, at a ceremony held last night at San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel.

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The awarding judges noted, “Keller’s book is loaded with innovative and creative ways for a law firm to conduct business development.” 100 Ways To Grow A Thriving Law Practice was called “my bible” by Susan Roe, Director of Professional Development at the law firm of Gordon & Rees LLP. Roe also said, “The book is concise, to the point and highlights ways that are useful and practical. I highly recommend it as a reference book.” The long list of marketing and promotional techniques in the book comes from “over twenty years of using sales and marketing experience to grow business revenue for firms of all sizes, from the solo practitioner to an international Fortune 100 company,” stated author Keller. “Some of the 100 Ways are completely unique and offer opportunities never previously considered by many businesses,” said Keller. Keller recommends that the Chairman or Managing Partner of every firm take the book’s Business Development Rating Test.“Most firms will find out they are not taking advantage of many available business development opportunities,” asserts Keller.

“100 Ways To Grow A Thriving Law Practice will also help any professional services company grow their business revenue,” asserts Keller. The author says that, “if the reader only does ‘Way #17’ they should recognize a six to seven figure revenue gain within six to twelve months.”

Via EPR Network
Law press releases

Access Legal Named Best Provider Of Home Purchase And Sale Conveyancing Services

Access Legal, the law firm from Shoosmiths, has been named best provider of home purchase and sale conveyancing services by the Conveyancing Alliance.

The national law firm came top in a survey conducted by the Conveyancing Alliance which was voted for by estate agents. Users of the Conveyancing Alliance portal ranked law firms on several service standards including communication levels, speed of delivery and client feedback.

Client feedback was a key area for Access Legal, as it is very customer focused and aims to treat people as individuals rather than just another case.

Karen Stewart, partner at Access Legal, commented: “Only once they’ve been carefully vetted can law firms join the panel to receive work from Conveyancing Alliance, so we’ve already gone a long way to proving ourselves. To then be acclaimed best service provider by estate agents backs to the hilt what we say about only providing the very best levels of service.”

Conveyancing Alliance surveyed all its users, who are all mortgage advisors and estate agents, on the service levels received from the 11 law firms on its panel. Users of the Conveyancing Alliance portal then ranked law firms on service standards, which lead to Access Legal being awarded the top spot on the survey by estate agents in England and Wales.

Via EPR Network
Law press releases – Tax Refunds And Bankruptcy

Millions of Americans count on their tax refunds each year to pay down debts, get caught up on bills, or simply to make ends meet. With an estimated 1.5 million personal bankruptcies to be filed in 2011, bankruptcy lawyers around the country are being asked the same question: “What will happen to my tax refund if I declare bankruptcy?”

Income tax refunds are basically interest-free loans to the government, and are therefore considered assets of debtors who declare bankruptcy. The trustee assigned to your case may be able to seize your income tax refund, depending upon two main factors: first, what type of bankruptcy you file, and second, whether your refund is fully  exempted.


•  According to the IRS, the average tax refund for 2009 was $3003 per person.
•  Early filers usually get larger refunds.
•  There were $1.2 trillion in personal taxes in the 2009 tax year.

The two main types of personal bankruptcy cases are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In a Chapter 7 case, debtors are essentially allowed to walk away from their debts.

In a Chapter 13 case, debtors must repay their unsecured debts over 3 to 5 years.

Most Chapter 7 cases are considered “no asset” cases, and for those assets that the debtor does possess, there are federal and state exemption laws, which prevent the bankruptcy trustee from seizing and selling the debtor’s property.

Just like the debtor’s household goods, clothing and automobile, in most Chapter 7 cases the debtor’s tax refund can be fully exempted, which means the bankruptcy trustee cannot even consider seizing the refund. However it is very important to use the full and correct exemptions to protect the refund.


•  Tweak your withholdings to produce more immediate income throughout the year, which will reduce your refund return at the end of the year


•  You must disclose all of your assets and all of your debts, and your tax refund is an asset. Bankruptcy fraud is a serious crime.
•  Maximize the bankruptcy exemptions on your refund and in most cases, you will be able to keep it.


•  If your refund is exempt, the money is yours to keep.
•  If your return must be surrendered, the trustee in your case will directly notify the IRS, and you will likely never even see the money.

Via EPR Network
Law press releases

Thomas Mansfield, Employment Solicitors, Illustrate how a Course of Conduct Amounts to Harassment

Employment solicitors Thomas Mansfield put harassment in the bigger picture.

As employment solicitors, we often think of harassment in the context of discrimination. What isn’t always understood is harassment in the wider sense.

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PHA) was originally introduced in the wake of the Jill Dando murder trial to protect people from stalkers. Now, it is increasingly being used by employees to protect them from conduct within the workplace.

The case of Iqbal v Dean Manson Solicitors [2011] heard by the court of Appeal (CA) on 15 February 2011 provides a timely reminder of what amounts to harassment under the PHA.

Mr Iqbal sued Dean Manson Solicitors (DMS) under the PHA on the basis that letters received by him from DMS, he said, amounted to harassment.

DMS had employed Mr Iqbal as an assistant solicitor for two months. During that time he had worked on a matter for Mr and Mrs Tahir whose fees were guaranteed by a third party Mr Butt. The clients failed to pay and in 2009 DMS brought proceedings under the guarantee against Mr Butt who instructed Mr Iqbal to act for him.

DMS wrote to Mr Iqbal on two occasions questioning his integrity and accusing him of serious conflict and conduct issues. It then wrote to him a third time asserting that he had misled the law society and the general public.

Mr Iqbal issued county court proceedings against DMS under the PHA. The county court initially rejected his claim on the basis that the letters could not amount to a course of conduct amounting to harassment.

Mr Iqbal appealed to the High Court which dismissed the appeal on the grounds that that the letters could not be said to be oppressive or unreasonable. That the third letter could be described as possibly amounting to harassment, but as a single incident, could not form a course of conduct.

The Court of Appeal began by asserting that each of the three communications was oppressive and unacceptable and amounted to a deliberate attack on Mr Iqbal’s professional and personal integrity.

Via EPR Network
Law press releases