Duly Noted ...

Law firm combinations at lowest ebb

Seven law firm combinations were announced in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2020 according to Altman Weil MergerLine, all involving acquisitions of small law firms with 20 or fewer lawyers. This was the lowest total deal number recorded in a quarter since the third quarter of 2010.

The two largest deals were made by AmLaw 100 law firms. In its second European acquisition of 2020, Littler acquired 20-lawyer, Polish labor and employment firm Paruch Chrusciel Schiffter. Cozen O’Connor added nine-lawyer, Philadelphia start-up boutique Baer Crossey McDemus.

The five additional combinations announced in the quarter were all acquisitions of firms with five or fewer lawyers. Four of those were same-state combinations in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland; the fifth was a small Florida-Illinois merger.

For information, visit altmanweil.com/MergerLine.


Online dispute resolution tool now availablein all counties

The Michigan Supreme Court Office of Dispute Resolution on July 1 announced the availability of its MI-Resolve online dispute resolution tool in all 83 Michigan counties making Michigan the first state to have an online dispute resolution system for every citizen.

MI-Resolve provides an efficient and accessible way of resolving disputes that are typically filed as small claims, general civil, or landlord-tenant cases in the district court.

Parties can go online to negotiate directly with the other party, or have a Community Dispute Resolution Center mediator help them resolve their dispute; the system then produces the necessary court forms for filing in the individual courts. The service is free.

The service is a game-changer for people who can benefit from mediation without leaving home.

Types of cases managed: Repayment of vehicle and personal loans; non-delivery or quality of goods and services; car accident (attempts to collect the deductible); landlord/tenant; return of private property between parties ending a domestic relationship; contractor/home repairs; neighbor use of property that doesn’t belong to them; and building fence on neighbor lot.

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