How to have the Post Office automatically update you on people’s new addresses

What happens when you send a letter to someone and that person has moved? Your letter will automatically get forwarded for the first 12 months after the service. But you won’t get the person’s new address.

Here’s how you can have the Post Office automatically send you the new address: Just place “Address Service Requested” on your envelope and you’ll get the new address – at the grand cost of fifty cents.

Think about adding the line to the return address on your envelopes. That is, unless you don’t want to get notified or pay the fifty cents.

You can see details and requirements here and here. The rules are also printed in the Postal Service’s Quick Service Guide, Publication 95, section 507d. There is also a “Quick Service Guide 507d, Additional Services, Ancillary Service Endorsements” here.

Here’s an out-of-the-box way for unemployed attorneys to get new clients

There are now all sorts of articles about how lawyers have lost their positions. Carolyn Elefant has detailed the problem in Legal Blog Watch as has Bruce MacEwen in his Adam Smith, Esq., whom she cited.

As they noted, some out-of-work attorneys have started volunteering to do pro bono work as a way to keep busy and to keep their morale up.

Some time ago — probably at least two years ago — I read an article about a lawyer who was also unemployed. Here’s how he found some work: He called a local TV station — it might have been a newspaper — and offered to cover at no cost an ongoing criminal trial that was of great interest to the community.

He reported from the court and got his name out at least daily. He did a good job and people called him to represent them.

So, get a notepad or some makeup and, likewise, get your name out. And get those new clients.

Out-of-the-box marketing: Listing fixed fees for writing appellate briefs

We’ve all heard about setting fixed fees for certain kinds of litigation. But this is the first time that I’ve seen a site in which an appellate firm lists a schedule of its fees for certain kinds of work.

For instance, the firm, The Bartlett Law Firm, APLClists its fee for writing a principal brief on appeal at $7,750 and for writing both principal and reply briefs at $11,900.  The firm lists additional fixed fees for other services. However, the site adds that the firm “will consider blending a lower flat fee with a contingent-portion of the award in certain cases.”

Thanks to Ernie Svenson for posting about the site.

In line with this, there is a January 29 article in the New York Times: “Billable Hours Giving Ground at Law Firms,” which discusses how some firms are using, for instance, value billing in litigation. In one situation, the firm set a fee, but that fee was to be and indeed was increased based on how much the firm saved its client over the amount the client feared losing if it lost.