Featured Columns

Bankrupt Driller Not Required to Plug Abandoned Well

Francis J. Lawall 
and Michael J. Custer | June 15, 2017

When an oil and gas driller enters bankruptcy, a host of unique issues often arise, inclu ding how to close abandoned wells in a ­responsible manner. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware recently confronted this problem in the case of an energy exploration and production company liquidating through Chapter 11, as in City of Beverly Hills v. Venoco (In re Venoco) 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 1457 (Bankr. D. Del. May 31, 2017).

Young Lawyer

  • Visualize a Path to Action to Achieve Your Goals

    By Dena Lefkowitz

    How do you decide what to pay attention to in a world where an onslaught of images and messages is constantly delivered by way of a myriad of devices along with an ongoing scan of ­in-person threats, opportunities and attractions our brains must prioritize every ­second? How do you maneuver around the minutiae of everyday life and keep your focus trained on aspirations and ­achievement? One answer is to train your brain to navigate past the noise and focus on what is important.

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Business of Law

  • Look Ahead Now: What Will Your Legal Epitaph Be?

    By Frank Michael D'Amore

    I recently listened to several speakers who discussed their near death ­experiences (NDEs). Although the circumstances that led them to that moment in their lives differed (such as surgery, acute illness, or an accident), each one discussed the unique clarity he had before almost dying.

  • Plan Your Exit Strategy Now, Rather Than Later

    By William F. Brennan

    A successful law firm owner in his late-'60s asked me if I could ­prepare a formal valuation of his small personal injury law firm because he intended to retire and sell his firm. His law firm enjoyed an excellent reputation due to his 35 years of hard work in the community, combined with a continuous branding campaign via radio, highway billboards and church bulletin advertisements. He made a high six-figure profit every year. He was proud of his firm's accomplishments and considered himself financially successful. Unfortunately, he had just been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. He was the sole owner of the law firm and had no exit ­strategy in place. He asked for a proposal to provide the services he described. A few days later he was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance because his health ­deteriorated suddenly.

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Litigation

  • Electronic Service of Process: Are You Ready for It?

    By Will Sylianteng

    The legal profession is not known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to utilizing new technology. In fact, the profession is more known to gravitate toward tradition over innovation. However, sometimes new technological/cultural norms force themselves upon the profession, and the courts are forced to deal with the issues. One of the issues courts are facing more and more is the issue of service of process via email or social media.

  • Liability of School Districts for Student-on-Student Harm

    By Miriam Barish

    Student hazing and bullying have ­become endemic and intractable problems with often tragic outcomes. Headlines of abuse are becoming common with details of students inflicting egregious physical and emotional harm on other ­students. Hazing can include ­brutal ­physical acts, sexual assaults, mandatory binge drinking, forced calisthenics and other harmful conduct. Bullying, on the other hand, is any unwanted physical, verbal or other aggressive behavior by one student directed at another. While hazing is ­typically used to gain membership in a group, bullying uses tactics to exclude the victim.

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