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Labor Day is that great holiday that celebrates the economic and social contributions of its workers. It's been a federal holiday in the U.S. since 1894.

Many other countries celebrate something called Labour Day — different spelling, but same idea. Those countries include Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Pakistan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Australia and others. And Labour Day is celebrated on various dates throughout the year, depending on which country is doing the celebrating.

Whether it was a picnic, parade, walk in the park, seeing family and friends or however you celebrated, the ALQ team hopes that you enjoyed a thoughtful and relaxing Labor Day.

Thomas W. Hamilton

 Industry News

6 questions to ask about your company's mediation process
Corporate Counsel
The use of alternative dispute resolution by U.S. companies — now encompassing all industries and every type of commercial dispute — has evolved in scope and application over the past 30 years. Notably, as corporate counsel have sought to gain greater control over associated costs, scheduling, duration, relationships, confidentiality and settlement outcomes, mediation has become an integral early step in the corporate dispute resolution process, intended to resolve cases in advance of litigation without significant legal risk, expense or publicity.
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Inside the practice of collecting money from dead people
Some people take internships or do Peace Corps or medical school when they leave college. Danielle Kurtzleben, the author, collected the debts of dead people — at times, she even tried to convince relatives of the deceased into paying on debts they didn't legally owe. Even in the booming economy of 2005, the only job she could find after three months of searching was at a deceased collection firm. So Danielle signed on for what would be 11 months on an autodialer in a call center, reciting "the script" to anyone who answered.
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Look beyond the billable hour
American Bar Association
The use of alternative fee arrangements by lawyers and the acceptance of — and even demand for — those arrangements by clients is increasing. How are you and your law firm addressing this ever-growing threat to the billable hour? Are you prepared to turn it into an opportunity and recognize that value is not measured in one-tenth-of-an-hour increments? Whether you call it alternative fee arrangements, value billing, fixed fee billing or task-based billing, the time has come to examine how to fairly charge for legal services.
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Rewarding employees with split-dollar life insurance program
The Legal Intelligencer
Many small business owners struggle to find affordable, easy and effective ways to reward and retain key employees. So-called endorsement split-dollar life is often a viable, yet little-known solution that can be offered to select employees and does not require Internal Revenue Service or government oversight. While many attorneys and financial advisers are familiar with the uses of split-dollar insurance in the estate planning and wealth transfer arenas, it provides an ideal framework as an employee benefit.
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Student debt troubles aren't going away
The Wall Street Journal
Much has improved in American creditworthiness since the darkest days of the recession. Foreclosures have plunged, along with the number of debtors seriously behind on their car and credit-card payments. There’s one big exception: student borrowers, who are by far the fastest growing segment of troubled debtors. As college costs mount, so has the number of borrowers squeezed between soaring debt loads and a tight job market.
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Average collection agency earnings decline in 2013
Net profit and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at U.S. debt collection agencies declined in 2013 after recovering from the depths of the recession, according to a new report published by insideARM. Data included in insideARM’s Collection Agency Financial Benchmark Report: Summer 2014 is drawn from official filings based on the NAICS classification code for debt collectors and is aggregated from 2,446 collection agencies, across eight size categories with revenues ranging from under $500,000 to $50-$100 million.
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