CT Solo and Small Firm Facebook Forum

I created a Facebook Forum for CT Solo and Small Firm attorneys. Any solo or small firm lawyer in Connecticut is welcome to join. Here’s our group description:

This group is for solo and small firm attorneys in Connecticut. It is a safe place. A place for community. A place for support. Be civil. Be kind. Be in the arena. Share your struggle. Any advertising or solicitation will be immediately removed as will uncivil posts. The vision of this group is to create community, share ideas, and to better understand challenges facing us all.

If you’d like to join click here. Only CT Solo and Small Firm Attorneys will be admitted to the group.

Free Workshop For Judicial Branch Employees Considering Starting A Small Firm

Yesterday, the Connecticut Judicial Branch issued layoff notices to 126 employees. These cuts are devastating to both the judicial system and to the individuals losing their jobs. Sad news all around. Our hearts go out to those impacted.

On Saturday, June 4th, 2016, we’re offering a free workshop for those judicial branch employees considering opening a solo or small law practice. The workshop will be small. We will cover the basics. Everything from phones, to office space, to email, to accounting, to office supplies, and marketing. We’re willing to candidly share our experiences with you in the hopes of saving you time and money.

Please contact me if you are interested in attending at: ryan@mckeenlawfirm.com. An RSVP is required. Lunch will be provided. Space will be limited.


MileIQ An Essential App For Your Law Practice

It’s the small things that make all of the difference.

When I started my own firm, one of the things I was very bad at was keeping track of my mileage. Come tax time, my accountant would ask for my mileage log. I would then look back at my calendar, open google maps, and calculate mileage based on what was in my calendar. Things like trips to get supplies or to the bank never made my spreadsheet.

As of March 30, 2016, the current IRS mileage rate is $.54. That adds up quickly.

Last year, I installed MileIQ on my phone. It was a decision that saved me hundreds if not thousands of dollars in mileage expenses and hours of my time. You can save yourself 20% on the premium version of MileIQ by clicking here. Full disclosure I save some money on my account if you buy.  I would recommend this product even if there was no benefit to me.  You can try MileIQ for free.


New Server

We’ve been short on content here. However, we have been migrating this blog to a much faster and more stable server. Lots of data to move.  Happy to be in our new home. Looking forward to adding more content.

McKeen Law Firm To Sponsor The 2016 Race To Fill The Pantry

McKeen Law Firm’s mission is to help heal both our clients and improve our community. We’re trial lawyers who are committed to community.

Since 2013, we have been the naming sponsor of Glastonbury River Runner’s Race to Fill The Pantry. The event has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the local food bank. We have donated a number of our sponsorship race entries to Achilles CT athletes.  We are very proud to sponsor this wonderful race.

We are pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring the 2016 Race To Fill the Pantry. See you in November.

Announcement To Come In Farren v. Farren

Our client J. Michael Farren authorized us to speak to the Connecticut Law Tribune regarding the Appellate Court’s recent rulings in the civil case. Mr. Farren was involuntarily committed at the Institute of Living during the duration of his civil trial. We anticipate speaking with the Law Tribune shortly.

From last week’s Connecticut Law Tribune:

“The plaintiff and her counsel certainly benefitted from being unopposed at the proceedings. Conversely, the defendant lost nearly four times his life earnings without having the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses or present a defense,” wrote Allison McKeen. “The plaintiff may attempt to justify the trial court’s decision to proceed while the defendant was being held at the [Institute of Living] and physically restrained from attending trial, but this is not a circumstance in which the trial court was entitled to exercise judgment. A trial court has a great deal of discretion when conducting trial, but it never has the discretion to deprive a party of property without due process of law.”

On appeal, Farren asked the judges to adopt a rule stating that involuntary commitment is reasonable grounds to not be present for trial.

Read more: http://www.ctlawtribune.com/id=1202745759321/Update-Mental-Health-Issues-Were-Focus-of-Farren-Appeal#ixzz3wF6NfpNv

We have received a number of press inquiries surrounding this case. However, the Connecticut Law Tribune is the only publication we will be making comments to at this time.

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:

Read more