Show cover of The Productive Attorney

The Productive Attorney

This informative podcast is for any up-and-coming attorney, new attorney, or existing attorney that would like to gain insightful information on how to manage, operate, or create a new law firm. Jim Zadeh is the host, a civil litigator for over 30years. His experience stems from working at a big multi-partner law firm and then opening his own firm. In this podcast he will share personal and crucial learning experiences throughout his career that was learned the hard way. The goal is for you to avoid the mistakes he made so that you can enjoy life as a successful productive attorney.


3rd Update on the Legal Profession
In my discussion I will use articles, surveys, and reports that show trends for attorneys. I will compare the American Bar Association (ABA) reports with a private vendor company Cleo, that is a case management software system company. Topics of discussion range from good to bad such as: working from home to bad behavior at the law firm.
27:08 10/28/22
Do's & Don'ts Regarding Personal Financials
Eating out versus eating in? Buy or rent the house? In today's episode, I talk about the real personal finance goals and precautions you should take. I speak from my own experience with car payments, life insurance, credit, and children and how I learned to balance my finances over the years. Most importantly, I highlight the three main expenses for adults: food, shelter, and transportation. Each of these constitutes different levels of planning and investing. Tune in to hear risks and management strategies I have learned from being a lawyer.
21:45 10/7/22
Do's & Don't Regarding Law Firm Financials
The main reason we have a business is to get money for our clients, but also to support our staff and family. I’m going to be discussing with you my 20 years of experience of doing my own finances for the law firm. I have learned valuable lessons in letting someone else do my finances, but I have learned that the best way to know what your business is producing is to have eyes on numbers yourself.
29:00 9/30/22
What to Know About Legal Research
Studies by the ABA have shown that attorneys spend 20% on legal research. This podcast will help you in knowing what tools are out there, and to discuss important topics such paid vs free research.
25:53 9/16/22
Big City vs Little City Cases
I have been in courthouses where it appears that I have entered the twilight zone.  I typically see this in small cities where they don’t have the capital for multiple courthouses. This podcast brings attention to the differences, but more importantly tips on how to navigate in another county that you don’t normally practice in. 
21:07 9/2/22
Update on the Legal Profession
This is a continuation from my episodes 005 and 016. A lot has happened since my last episode on this subject. What’s interesting is knowing the players responsible for the continuing disruption in the legal community. They want to make it easier for people to practice law by decreasing the barriers of entry for people to get into the legal profession.
15:21 8/19/22
Is Law School Right For You?
Have you ever considered attending law school? This episode goes through my personal experiences and lessons I learned in law school. I talk about first year law school and expectations you might have. This episode should help answer some questions and thoughts you may have before attending law school.
33:35 8/17/22
Vexatious Litigants
Vexatious Litigants continuously impede court functions and essentially harass the opposing party. They attack people with lawsuits and end up finding themselves on a list unable to win their suits. So how does someone become a vexatious litigant? How do you deal with one? I answer all of these questions in this week's episode.
14:41 8/5/22
To Do List & How To Get Things Done
This is something that I do every day, but it took practice to get my method down. My workstation has very minimal paper, which means most of my work is done electronically. The trick to this is figuring out what works for you. Take a listen and see if any of my tips can help you to be more productive.
32:33 7/29/22
34 Things I have Learned as an Attorney
I have been practicing law for 34 years now, and I wanted to share a list of 34 things that I’ve learned as an attorney. Has anybody ever told you to shut up lately? Knowing when to shut up is extremely important if you want to win your argument. 
20:56 7/22/22
Business Ethics of the Law
Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct is what we as attorneys are governed by. What about the rules that are not technically disciplinary rules but they’re rules that we have to live by when dealing with other attorneys. This is referred to as the Texas Lawyer's Creed. But then you have this other subset that deals with business ethics, and that deals with the business of law. Listen in as I discuss the difference between ethically wrong, morally wrong, and what is illegal.  
31:29 7/15/22
Tips for Arguing Motions
As a litigator, you spend a lot of time developing your arguments for motions.  I know from experience that judges often hate discovery motions, and I believe you have a duty to talk to the other side at the very least and narrow the issues down. Arguing a motion requires preparation.  Typically about 2 days prior to the hearing I look at all the evidence and case law to prepare my outline.  Once complete, I take the next couple of days to get comfortable with everything that I may want to say. This is only the beginning, so listen in to hear all my tips on arguing motions. 
23:46 7/8/22
Tips for Writing and Arguing Motions
Being a civil litigation attorney, I know about 95% of cases get resolved through dismissals and or settlements. However, the rest get resolved involving written motions that are filed with the courts. When you are writing, the first thing you must figure out is what you want, and that’s called the summary judgment. There are times when a judge does not have a lot of time to read about the case, so oftentimes they use the summary to educate themselves on the case.This is basically an elevator speech to the jude, so listen in and maybe you might learn a new tip.
26:33 7/1/22
Dealing with Stress
Studying to be an attorney was extremely stressful. I learned early on that I needed to handle stress better if I was wanting to be successful in my practice. In this episode I will discuss the normal stress of being an attorney and how I have managed it not only for my practice but for my personal life.
28:11 6/24/22
Some people retire and no longer want to work, and others they just want to work less. I’m the type of attorney that is good at preparing cases. For me, I’m setting myself up to work less, which is really the reason for this podcast. I made this decision a long time ago, and now I’m setting myself up to work even less. Do you know how much you need to retire? This is one of the very first questions I ask my students in law school.
29:39 6/17/22
Lawyers Behaving Badly
This goes without saying, but if you have been drinking, then you shouldn’t be answering work emails. The disciplinary rules are in place for attorneys to be professional, and to serve as guidelines in cases where there may be gray areas. Are you familiar with the Texas Lawyer's Creed, which goes beyond the disciplinary rules? 
20:58 6/10/22
Gun Laws
Gun laws are a touchy subject, but the approach that I’m taking is from an educational perspective. I discuss how gun laws affect individuals in the state of Texas, such as, what firearm you can purchase when you turn 18 years of age. Did you know that you do not have to be a Texas resident to purchase a gun here in the State of Texas?
29:47 6/3/22
Tips on Judges
This topic hits home for me because my son is going to law school, and ultimately he wants to be a judge. I discussed the pros and cons with my son and it was such a great discussion that I wanted to share the topic in this week's episode. My first experience with a judge was very positive. Listen and maybe you can learn something to help you with your experiences with judges. 
29:18 5/27/22
Attorney Reputation
I have read jokes where society thinks that attorneys don’t do much to help society. We’re held in high regard to be smart when making money and power and influence. Reputation with society is not the only reputation you should be concerned with. The good reputation you should work on is with other attorneys, judges, your clients, and your employees.
28:42 5/20/22
Attorney Client Sexual Relationships
I handle sexual harrasment law for plaintiffs and denendants on this issue, and my overall message to attorneys is Just Don’t Do It. The question of whether it is illegal depends on your state. Listen in and I will let you know what our great state of Texas decided on this issue.
23:32 5/13/22
Legal Writing
If you were able to graduate from law school and pass the bar exam, then you have the tools to write a legal document. However, to be efficient in legal writing you must be concise, brief, and logical. I will go over 11 tips that can help you to improve your legal writing skills. 
18:24 5/6/22
A few years back I was part of a test that was given to many attorneys.  At the end of this test it was determined that I was part of the 98% of the attorneys who showed no empathy.  In my experience my lack of empathy allows me to evaluate cases by separating emotion from the law. This is an interesting topic.  Email me if you have any feedback on this topic.  I can be reached at 
25:00 4/29/22
Law School
I have a unique outlook for law school, since I’m an adjunct professor. I did not like law school, but that’s why I’m teaching. Law school teaches us how to think like a lawyer, but it doesn’t teach you the soft skills. Do you know how to be a “rainmaker”? 
24:12 4/22/22
Mental Health
Sometimes being a lawyer is lonely, because attorney client privileged information prevents you from talking to anybody about the case. Lawyers tend to have a higher rate of mental health issues due to the stress associated with the job. Do you know how to not be exhausted from the work day?
22:10 4/15/22
Tax Tips You Should Know
Most of these tips I have learned the hard way, and some are just basic tips that I feel every lawyer should have knowledge of. When you are running a law firm the last thing you want to do is try to outsmart the IRS, because if they find out they will go after your accounts.
25:20 4/8/22
In my line of work there are many forms of opportunities that come in the shape of barratry. As a new attorney you’re going to be faced with hard decisions on how to make money. The best decision you can make is making money the ethical way. I have been practicing law for 32 years and I’m able to sleep at night with a clear conscience because I make sure to do everything ethically. 
18:21 4/1/22
Even the attorneys that are the most aware and the most astute to these kinds of things can fall victim to scams. I’m a professor, and I teach my students these types of scams. Scams are real and they are getting very clever. Listen to this episode so I can share with you how I almost fell victim just the other day. The scammers are getting clever, they tried while I was doing payroll. Is it a coincidence?, let me know if you have any similar stories. 
18:59 3/25/22
Texas Supreme Court
I’ve represented defendants and have represented plaintiffs in my 32 years of practicing law. I have watched the Texas Supreme Court during that time change from a democrat Texas Supreme Court to a republican supreme court. Because of the change I noticed that verdicts are now in the favor of defendants such as insurance companies and your big businesses. Looking back, I have practiced law on the opposite side of the supreme court decisions pretty much all my 32 years. In this episode I share my case with the Texas Supreme Court.
33:55 3/17/22
Update to Disrupting Legal Profession
This episode is an update to an earlier podcast I posted. In that podcast I talked about how there is a nationwide effort to allow non-lawyers to invest in law firms. The reason that it was allowed was because consumers are not getting adequate service from attorneys and this would allow for those consumers to get treated better. I have seen that England has gotten involved in this movement. Take a listen to this week's episode and let me update you on the developments. 
22:31 3/11/22
I believe that lawyers are the worst in nutrition, and I believe it can be attributed to law school.  Poor eating habits can follow you if you don’t recognize it.  Nutrition has been an issue that I have worked really hard to master, but I doubt I will ever master it.  Solutions for this topic can be found in your goals.  Listen to this episode if you want my opinion on how to improve your nutrition.
24:34 3/4/22