Dog Bite Verdict


CDC Dog Bite Prevention

On August 26, 2015, Ryan McKeen secured a dog bite verdict of $125,000 for a client who was bitten in the face by a dog. The verdict came after a one witness trial that lasted under an hour. The verdict was in Hartford Superior Court. Prior to trial, the pretrial judge believed the value of the case to be approximately $20,000. The client had 4 doctor’s visits and suffered facial scarring.

If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, please contact Ryan McKeen at (860) 471-8333. We can help. Tell us your story.

The Stress of Practicing Law As Documented By Fitbit

Law is a stressful profession. Lawyers take on the most severe problems of their clients.

The two photos in this post show the strain of practice. They are screen shots from my fitbit. The first picture shows my heart rate at 142 beats per minute when I began my oral argument before the appellate court. I was standing still. A heart rate of 142 beats per minute is one that I acheive while running.


My heart rate at the beginning of oral argument.


The second picture charts my sleep at night. The fitbit shows that I awoke at 2:18 am. That is wrong. I was up at 1:48 am (the second to last blue line) but was just lying in bed. At 2:18 I decided that going back to sleep was not happening. I couldn’t sleep because I was replaying the argument in my head. Thinking of all of the questions. All of my answers. All I said. And answers that I wish I had thought of standing before the court.




Up early trying to process the argument.

This summer, I ditched my Moto 360 in favor of a fitbit because I needed to prioritize my health over incoming messages. It is a happy change for me. But these two pictures remind me of the physical stress the legal profession puts on me.

3 Reasons You Need A Law Firm Juris Number

Going solo?

You have a personal juris number. It’s perfectly fine. I mean, it works. You can file appearances, sign pleadings, and appear in court. It does all of the things you need it to do. cropped-DSCN0938.jpg

One of the rules of building your own practice is to build for success. If something is worth doing it is worth doing right – from day 1.

Here are 3 reasons you need a law firm juris number:

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10 Rapid Fire Answers About Opening Your Own Law Practice

Here are 10 rapid fire answers about opening your own law practice:

1. What websites should I read? 

In no particular order: Lawyerist, Solo Practice University, Above the Law’s Small Firm Page.

2. Do I need an iPad?


3. What kind of scanner should I buy?


4. Where should I locate my office?

Near your clients or the clients you want.

5. When should I hire someone?

When doing so makes you money.

6. What should I ask my accountant?

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What I’m Working On

This is a post only my Mom will care about. And maybe that’s stretching it.

First, I’m trying to reduce my caseload temporarily. I’m referring more things out. I’m very busy with what’s on my plate in terms of cases. More importantly, I’m working diligently to further improve systems and processes in the firm. I’m implementing some exciting new technology (really several new technologies) to improve the level of service we are able to provide our clients. Really exciting stuff and more to come on this.

We’ve also developed a column for Solo Practice University. The column is being co-written by me and Allison. It will debut this fall. Posts will be published on a monthly basis. We’re thrilled about this.

I am also working on a book. I’ve been working on this book for quite some time in my head. Recently, I finally nailed the concept. Fingers are getting put to keyboard and the ball is rolling. No idea on when it will be published. The book will fill what I think is a need in the literature on starting a law firm.

Along the same lines, expect more multimedia content in the future from this site. I also expect my work to be featured on more national outlets in the near future.

Finally, our office is now fully rented. I am so excited about the lawyer who has joined the collaborative. I think this person is a fantastic fit. But this is not my announcement to make.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I’ll stop navel gazing.

10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Solo

Deciding to hang your shingle is tough.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself before going solo:

1. Am I better off working for someone else? Some very good lawyers benefit from the corporate structure of a firm and would be lost without it for a variety of reasons including support, money, and things being done for you.

2. Can I be my own boss? Being your own boss is hard. Sometimes you’ll be too hard on yourself. Other times not hard enough. 

3. Where am I going to get clients? Clients are the lifeblood of any practice.

4. What is my support system? Oh you’ll need help. Who in your family or circle of friends will be there to support your decision?

5.  Do I have enough money? Surviving the first year is tough. Undercapitalization will lead to loads of stress and bad decision making.

6. Does a partnership make sense? One the plus side having a partner feels like the safer decision and it can be. Having someone else to split the work with is great. However, entering into the “wrong” partnership can take a toll on your business and well being.

7. Is my spouse on board? Your spouse is your partner in this. Is she comfortable with going without a paycheck? Does she understand the risks/rewards?

8. What can I outsource? I built my firm’s entire back office, website, and social media presence. I knew I could do those things. Setting up quickbooks, figuring out taxes – I hired an accountant.

9. Am I prepared? You shouldn’t just go from idea to shingle. You should study, execute, and then hang your shingle. Follow good advice.

10. How am I going to deal with success? You will succeed. What’s your plan for dealing with it?


Ryan McKeen is A Connecticut Attorney he can be reached at (860) 471-8333

Starting Your Law Firm With Quickbooks

Starting your law firm with quickbooks online? Good. You should start your law firm with Quickbooks. Quickbooks done right.

You are asking for trouble if your books are a mess. You are risking your law license, needlessly endangering your clients, and paying the wrong amount in taxes. 

You must start your books off right. Don’t put this off. Don’t think that one day you’ll organize everything. That day will never come. Don’t assume that just because you are just starting and your transactions are few and far between that you can afford putting this task off. You can’t.  Click below to learn some valuable tips:

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4 Things You Need To Know About Renting A Law Office

Are you thinking of renting a law office?

Deciding to go out on your own is MCKEEN LAW FIRM 014-2 weba big decision. Once you’ve made the choice to start a firm – deciding on an office is probably your second big decision.

This post doesn’t deal with finding an office. It deals with 4 things you need to know about renting your first law office. These terms may very well differ from residential terms that you are used to.

Click below for 4 things you must know:

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