2013 New Year Resolutions

I have been disconnected since Thursday December 27 visiting family. Not much time to ponder the coming year, but here goes:

1. Having practiced law for over 40 years, it is imperative that I stay healthy and fit, so I have to complete my planned weight loss of 25 lb.

2. In order to take and keep it off, I will stay with our modified Mediterranean Adkins diet.

3. We will combine our regular walks of our dog Duffy with our “Yogalosophy” DVD featuring Mandy Engber.

4. One of my key employees, of 14 years, will be leaving us to be a full time mother. It will not be easy to lose someone of her experience, intelligence, wisdom, and courage; but we manage it, as we have in the past. Once she was a 17 h.s. student trainee, and I was scrambling to replace my assistant of 17 years. At least this time I have a loyal employee who will stay to train her successor.

5. Even though I plan to work as hard or harder than any year of my career, I will pray every day my thanks at having a near perfect wife, wonderful children, and, soon to be, five wonderful grandchildren. Hard work makes little sense outside of the context of my being a husband, father, and grandfather.

6. I will continue my plan to consolidate my thoughts about my profession, reduce them to writing, and to share my knowledge with potential clients and colleagues. I will help younger lawyers develop, provide information to those in need of legal services, and provide a steady stream of ideas for my professional associations, our judges, and even our College of Law.
7. As a sole practitioner, I go through phases. I have been writing steadily, but I need to return to “nuts and bolts” of developing a paperless office, optimizing the function of my iPad and iPhone, completing my Pathagorized Office Form Files, and moving into the next phase of making my day to day trial practice reflect that same technology. Software such as “TrialPad” will be essential to this goal.

8. I will continue to integrate my writing and sharing with the unfortunately worded “social media”. I will use my blogs, http://www.burtonhunteresq.blogspot.com and http://wwwburtonhunteresq2.blogspot.com , with my modernized professional Findlaw professional website http://www.hunterlawfirm.net , and my “J. Burton Hunter and Assocs, PLLC” professional Facebook Page,
my Linked In “Burton Hunter” account, my @burtonhunter twitter feed, my JBHunterIII YouTube channel, my Google Maps, Yahoo Maps and Bing Maps presences; Yelp, Manta, Foursquare, and, yes, even Klout.

9. I will try to become more sophisticated with my video, separating my personal from professional videos, and doing a new series of information and “how to” videos.

10. I will keep taking lots of photos, for the Internet and in my practice. I love photography and need to learn more about the digital technology.

11. I will try to a better job with “one on one” correspondence, with my college friends who have been less than enthusiastic with FB and its ilk, and older relatives, and even my own family who deserve better focused attention. I have a new iPad app “Postcard On The Go” that will let me even send “snail mail”.

12. I will keep reading, reading and learning. Nancy and I are nearly finished with Professor Bob Briar’s Teaching Company’s “History of Ancient Egypt”. Time for me to finish the courses on Calculus, Astronomy, and Statistics. I underestimated the difficulty of finding time to watch these courses. Listening while driving is much more convenient, but i will get it done.

13. Somehow I will attend 60-80 hours of continuing legal education. I have the DVD’s for the mandatory mediation seminar. So far I am missing the point of that they are trying to present relative to mediation in the context of domestic violence and abuse. Very similar to the lack of focus of my guardian ad litem CLE training. I think we need much more consistency among “domestic violence”, “family law”, “juvenile abuse and neglect”, and “civil mediation”. They are four separate worlds. I sometimes feel I am the  only guy with a hand or foot in each of these disparate worlds.

14. I have at least one case, alas a “pro bono” (meaning no pay) one, to take to the WV Supreme Court of Appeal. Last year we were successful in winning our appeal of the family court and circuit court in Lee v. Lee. This case is just as meritorious, so we shall see. It is definitely the little guy against “the powers that be”, which are fully arrayed against us.

15. We must continue to try to have our share of the pie in Personal Injury litigation, insurance litigation, “deliberate intent” litigation, medical malpractice, and products liability. Lawyers throw a lot of advertising money at these endeavors, for the obvious reason there is money to be made. We have a unique combination of experience and connections with the best lawyers in the state and will continue to “toot our own horn”.

16. We will continue to offer full services to our family law, adoption, custody, contempt, modification, grandparent rights, civil law, and mediation areas of practice.  

17. Although we settled several excellent cases at the end of the year, we have challenges of some that may go to trial. Their outcome with definitely impact or success and “bottom line” for the year 2013.

As I approach “retirement age”, I will not be retiring, SO it must be a balance of health, family, focus, professionalism, experience, efficiency technical know how, creativity, and energy in order for our year to be successful.

January 1, 2013. j.b.h.

This post was written by Burton Hunter

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