Closing a law practice: Not as simple as it seems.

AuthorHerman, Gregg


After 38 years as a family law attorney with Loeb & Herman LLC, I have joined JAMS as a neutral in its Wisconsin office.

JAMS, which was founded in 1979, is the world's largest ADR provider. Its panel includes more than 400 retired state and federal court judges, attorneys and other ADR professionals. I will be their second Wisconsin neutral, joining Judge Charles Clevert, a retired U.S. District Court judge.

As a result of joining JAMS, over the next year I will be phasing out my private practice at Loeb & Herman. In addition to serving as a neutral through JAMS, I intend to stay active, including my family law case law update presentations, teaching a settlement negotiations course at Marquette University Law School and, yes, continuing to write a column on family law for the Wisconsin Law Journal (as long as they want me) providing my opinion on current issues in the field.

As it turns out, closing a practice is not as simple as it seems. For one thing, having been programmed over the years that generating good clients is the key to a successful practice, turning down clients goes against the grain. But since my contract with JAMS requires exclusivity, I've had to do it. Ouch!

Closing my practice requires disposition of certain property -- some physical and some intellectual. The physical property is more difficult. Does anyone want approximately 500 or so volumes of Wisconsin Reports? I really don't want to utilize a landfill, so they are free to the first taker. They...

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