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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4 Ways To Fight A Conservatorship In Connecticut

It’s the 4th of July. America is about liberty. Freedom to make choices.

Conservatorships deprive folks of their liberty. The right to choose where you live? Gone. The right to make medical decisions on your own? Gone. The right to bear arms? Gone. The right to vote? Gone.

In it’s place is notice on the land records that a person is incapable. 

No one should be conserved without effective aggressive representation. We have successfully fought conservatorships for 10 years in Connecticut.

Here are 4 ways to fight a conservatorship in Connecticut:

1. Don’t Accept The Application At Face Value

We treat the application as being untrue until proven otherwise. I can’t tell you how many times applications don’t tell the full story. We work with our clients to get the full story. For example, we recently won a case where a social worker alleged that an elderly man was abusive to his wife on account of him yelling at her. Turns out, the man was yelling because his wife didn’t have her hearing aide in.

2. Challenge the Medicine

So often physicians evaluations are simply conclusive – “patient has dementia”. We don’t accept this. Many times other treatable conditions such as thyroid problems can present as dementia.

3. Expose the Applicant’s Motives

Who is filing the application? Why are they filing it? Is it a sibling looking to grab control of a parent’s money? A nursing home looking to keep someone as a client?  Sometimes the applicant is motivated by doing good and sometimes there are alterior motives.

We’re not shy about asking the tough questions.

4. Telling Your Story Through Witnesses

We work with our clients to find witnesses to tell their story. In one case we know of, an elderly woman spoke of her husband dying in a tornado. This was used as evidence of her dementia. Her lawyers dug deeper, spoke with relatives, to find out that her husband was killed in the Windsor Locks tornado.

There are more than 4 ways we fight conservatorships. Just like a football team, we don’t post our playbook online. These 4 ways can only be effectively deployed by an attorney with conservatorship trial practice. Otherwise, they may backfire.

Don’ let them strip you or a loved one of your rights. Fight back. Call Ryan McKeen, he can help (860) 471-8333. We fight conservatorships throughout Connecticut.

As Close As I’m Getting To Yale

Yale let me in! Well more accurately they linked to me. Close enough. Close as I’m going to get.

While doing some routine site maintence I noticed an inbound like from the Yale Law School Library.  Aside from going to the Peabody Museum with my children this is as close to Yale as this proud Framingham State and WNEC Law grad can get.

When I clicked on it, here’s what is what I found: 

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Did My Lawyer Commit Dram Shop Notice Malpractice?

Did my lawyer commit dram shop notice malpractice?

Far too many folks are injured as a result of drunk drivers. Many of these drivers are visibily intoxicated when they are being served alchohol at a bar. In that case a person may be able to recover money for harms and losses against both the bar and the driver. This is known as a dram shop claim. 

A person must  to file a notice of a dram shop claim within 120 days of the date of the injury.

Notice must be given within a 180 days if the person is dead or incapacitated.

Failing to file notice means a claim cannot be made against a dram shop for damages.

If notice is properly filed then a person has one year from the date of an injury to bring a claim.

In an initial consultation, an attorney must make inquiry into whether or not a dram shop claim exists. If an attorney fails to do so or does and fails to file notice to a bar and you are harmed as a result, you are likely the victim of legal malpractice. Your lawyer may have cost you up to $250,000 in recovery (the statutory limit on a dram shop claim).

In order to protect your rights, you should immediately speak with a Connecticut Legal Malpractice attorney.

Know your dram shop law legal malpractice rights.

At McKeen Law Firm, LLC we are presently handling such a case. We can help. Call Attorney Ryan McKeen at (860) 471-8333 for a free consultation.

Buy This Pen For Your Law Practice

Are you going solo? Opening your own firm?

Everything matters. You must sweat the details. Right down to the smallest details. Perhaps especially the smallest detail.

Your firm is going to be great. Your pens should be to. Your clients are going to use them to sign important documents.

Buy this pen for your law practice, the Pilot G2 (blue ink):

It screams that you care. That you care that your clients are writing with a smooth instrument that moves across paper with grace.

I’m not paid by Pilot. This isn’t an ad. You will be amazed how many times your clients comment on this pen. Having this as an office plan shows your client that you care. And the details matter.


Ryan McKeen is A Connecticut Attorney.

What Does A Real Estate Attorney Do?

by Allison McKeen

What does a real estate attorney do?

Your guide to the role of an attorney in a Connecticut Real Estate closing.

Throughout this process, your attorney will work closely you and your real estate agent to keep you informed and work with you.

Four Things A Real Estate Attorney Does For You When Buying A Home:


It starts with the contract. Make sure your Real Estate agent attaches an attorney approval rider to your purchase and sale agreement. Once the contract has been signed, have your agent send it to us. We review the contract with you within 24 hours.

We make sure the seller has good title to the home you are buying. We do a title search to see if there are any liens or defects on the property. If there are, we force the seller to fix them.

We represent you at the closing. This means we prepare closing documents, cut checks, and represent you at the closing table. We explain all of documents to you.

Title Insurance
At closing we issue a title policy. A title policy protects what’s likely your largest investment.


Allison McKeen is a CT Real Estate Lawyer. She can be reached at (860) 471-8333

Going Solo: 4 Unexpected Expenses

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know. – Don Rumsfeld

Going solo?

When you start a law firm for the first time, one of the hardest things to get a handle on in the planning phase of your firm is your monthly expenses. What’s this going to cost? How much do I have to make in order to bring money home?

When you start your law firm there are going to be a lot of expenses that fall squarely into the “things we know that we know” bucket. You are going to know a lot of your expenses. For example, you’re going to know your rent is $______ or your phone service is $_______. These are easy numbers to know.

Then there is “there are things that we know we don’t know” bucket. You don’t know how much paper you are going to use in a month. You don’t know how many times the shredding service is going to come. There are many of these kinds of expenses. But most of them are of the small variety assuming you are a solo or small firm.

The last category is the killer. It is the unexpected bill. These are bills that take you from having a great month to breaking even – the “unknown unknowns”.

In this post, I’ll share with you some unknown unknowns of the early part of my practice. Plan for these four expenses:

1.  Deposit For Electricity

Both times, I’ve opened accounts for electricity, my provider has required me to pay a 6 week estimate of usage as a deposit. A deposit that is refunable after a year of on time payments. Last week, I cut a check for $600 for my deposit.

2.  Commercial Eletricity Can Be Spendy

It is hard to make any blanket statement about electrical rates. But I’ve paid significantly more for commercial rates than I have for residential rates in the same area. Check with your supplier before opening. See what the difference is in price per kwh. It can add up. The first commercial electricity bill that I received was shocking.

3. Malpractice Premium Jump

When you first hang your shingle, malpractice premiums are relatively low. They are a claims made policy and the world of possible claims is small. Between years 1 and 2 of my practice my premium jumped 35%. I had planned for a 5 to 10% jump.  Speak with your broker about this. Plan for it throughout the year. It is much easier to save a little every month than get hit with a large bill all at once.

4.  Sponsorship Expenses

Local businesses sponsor all sorts of things and you will too. When you start you’ll be out and about. Meeting all sorts of folks. You need to do this. It is vital to the success of your business.

But maybe even before your first fee comes in, you’ll get asked to sponsor something. It will be some worthy cause put forth by some worthy contact. You’ll feel bad not doing it.

My advice on this is to pick one cause and focus your sponsorship on that cause. At McKeen Law Firm, our biggest sponsorships are to “The Race To Fill The Pantry” and “Achilles CT“. For every other cause, I basically buy the small ad in the program.

There’s no right answer but have some plan to deal with this pressure. When you are starting out $250 here and $500 there really adds up.



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



A Full Day, A Heck of Day

To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day, a heck of a day. Jim Valvano

I get in the office about 7:30. The day is going to be a busy one. This morning, I’m getting a client divorced, testifying as an “expert”, and trying a breach of contract case in the afternoon. 

I begin making sure that the documents for the divorce are in perfect order. As I’m working on this, I get an email notifying me of this review.  I break down in tears. The burden of representing a family who has sustained such a loss is heavy. Most of the time I repress this burden. But it’s there. And sometimes it hits me. This is one of those times.

After everything is in order, I talk with another lawyer in my office suite. We work through a problem that he has in one of his cases. Helping another lawyer makes me feel good.

I drive to court. It’s going to be a long day. I shun street parking in favor of the lot near the court. The lot isn’t paved. There are rocks.

As I get out of my car, my phone falls out of my pocket. Right on to a rock. In the game of rock v. phone – rock wins. My phone is smashed. Worse it starts malfunctioning. It’ll be a day without my lifeline.

I head into court and finalize the divorce documents with my clients and opposing counsel. We head in before the judge. As I start questioning my client my phone rings. Before the hearing – I had set my phone to mute. But the rock not only beat my screen it beat my mute button.

The judge is not pleased. “Counsel…that’ll be $25 to the charity of your choice. You have 7 days to get proof of payment to the judge’s sectretary.”

I’m thrown off my game. I bumble through an easy uncontested divorce hearing. Suddenly finding myself unable to pronounce “irretriveable”.

But the divorce gets finalized. My client is happy.

I dust myself off and head over to housing court. For the first time, I am taking the witness stand in court. I’ve questioned dozens and dozens of witnesses. Never taken the seat next to the judge. Never sworn an oath.

I’m nervous. The testimony I’m about to give is not complicated. But I’m still nervous. I’m being asked to testify about housing law. I know I’m going to be cross examined. I try to be the witness that I want as a lawyer. Clean and crisp answers to questions.

I give about 15 minutes of testimony. It is uneventful. I head off the witness stand and out of court.

It’s about 11:45. I walk over to the Kitchen at Billings Forge. Their curry chicken salad is all kinds of awesome.  I order it. I enjoy it.

Over lunch, I access the Kitchen’s wifi on my Macbook. I login to Achilles CT‘s site and make my $25 donation. Because my phone rang, an athlete will get a paid entry fee. This makes me happy. I fax my receipt to the judge’s secretary. Penance has been made.

As I’m sitting there in the Kitchen. I think of my life. My practice. The richness of it. The blessings in it. Eating lunch by yourself is underrated.

There’s still some time before my 2:00 hearing. I head over to criminal court. I meet up with a friend who is a public defender. We talk about the futility of the system. Seeing a friend is always nice.

Then I head into Superior Court. I meet my client. We review the documents for the hearing. In a few minutes the defendant joins us. We talk about the case. Civilly. We reach an agreement on what is owed. Everyone is happy. A hearing will be avoided.

We go into court. There are about 40 cases on the docket. I stand up at the call and tell the court the word’s it likes to hear “we have an agreement, your honor”. Our case was number 32 on the list. We jump to the first position. The judge calls us up and we enter a fair and just settlement as an order of the court.

We leave the court together. Making small talk about children, schools, and weather in Southern California. Meeting folks is one of the great joys of this job.

I head  back to my car. Two cases resolved. Testimony given. Lunch eaten.

Using the time that would have been spent trying my case – I do something far better. I head to Toys R Us and pick up my son’s birthday present. It is a Big Wheel. Lil guy is going to be thrilled. He’s two.

I buy him this helmet.

I contact my wife, Allison. We decide to meet for an early family dinner. There is much laughter at dinner.

It is a full day. It is a heck of a day.


Ryan McKeen is A Connecticut Attorney.

This Review Moved Me To Tears

This review moved me to tears. Representing a family of a loved on who has died tragically – carries with it a heavy burden. All I’ve ever hoped is that I can bring some measure of comfort to the family by representing them with dignity, compassion and respect.

These cases take a toll on me. Reading this review of my work moved me to tears on Friday. I will carry it with me forever.

Ryan handled the wrongful death suit related to my dad’s death in a motor vehicle accident. When we were trying to decide which lawyer to go with, he was the only lawyer that took a real interest in us as people, and did the research before we even told him that we had selected him. All through the case, lasting in total almost 3 years, he catered to our family, always sensitive to our loss and our emotional needs. He was tireless in fighting to give us peace, working non-stop with the state troopers, private detectives, mechanics, accident reconstructionist, doctors, and various other experts to foresee and anticipate all eventualities and ensure a successful case. Today I am very pleased with our selection and I stand sure that my dad would have been too. Avvo.

I firmly believe that in wronful death cases it is not the death of a member of a family. It is the death of the family itself. And it is my job to understand that. That means getting out of the office and spending time at the family home, at the place the person worked, and with the family.

I am blessed to have worked with this amazing family. I am forever grateful.