Smartphone Explosion a Tough Cell
by Ed Poll
Today's lawyer has cell phone in hand, for talking and much more. Most of us have been in meetings in which attorneys with smartphones are moving their thumbs as they text, surf or otherwise exist on another planet while the conversation takes place around them.
I'm convinced that such lawyers are missing far more than they realize as the live dialogue proceeds.
There are recent court decisions in which cell phone users and their firms face potential legal liability, such as when an attorney making a business call while driving has an accident. Many states now have laws against texting while driving or using a handset while driving. Lawyers who think they are above that aspect of the law may find that if they have an accident, both they and their firms face major consequences.
Lost in such major concerns is the extent to which so many people accept cell phone use as a natural extension of themselves — and inflict it on everybody around them. Not long ago the cell phone itself was a rare marvel of technology. Now smartphones users are so absorbed with the app technology that they become oblivious to all else, including those times when they are actually talking on the devices.
It creates a level of irritation and rude behavior that is becoming impossible to ignore. In the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta "The Mikado," the Lord High Executioner sings: "I've got a little list of society offenders who would never be missed!" Here, mixing the tongue-in-cheek and deadly serious, are some of the cell phone offenders who are on my list:
You may have your own little list. If so, please don't call me on your cell phone to share it.
© Copyright 2011. Edward Poll. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Edward Poll.
Ed Poll principal of LawBiz Management Company, is a nationally recognized coach, law firm management consultant, and author who has coached and consulted with lawyers and law firms in strategic planning, profitability analysis, and practice development. Mr. Poll has practiced law on all sides of the table for 25 years-- as a corporate general counsel, government prosecutor, sole practitioner, partner, and law firm chief operating officer and been a consultant to small and large law firms for 20 years.
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