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The Amateur Life Coach helps solve problems and keeps you in check


You may recognize BGD partner James J. Bell as the star of the Amateur Life Coach video series on YouTube. Bell, along with Scott King and Anton Bender, helped produce and direct the first season in correlation with the Indiana Continuing Legal Forum (ICLEF). The video advice series centers around the Amateur Life Coach answering insightful and valuable questions from attorneys to help their practice and lifestyle.
The first season had questions involving ethical dilemmas at work and how to adjust your lifestyle to avoid lawyer “burn out.” Below are the questions answered in season one:

  • Could I get away with billing a second client for the whole amount of time I already used for a different client? (from Chuck Kidd, Episode One)
  • It’s okay to say that I’ve never lost a jury trial even if I have never tried a jury trial in an advertisement, right? (from Adam Christensen, Episode Two)
  • Do the senior partners have any accountability—specifically with professional conduct? (Margaret Christensen, Episode Three)
  • I’m tired. How can I continue to help others when I need to help me? (Mark E. Karnish, Episode Four)
  • What can I do to convince others I’m worth a shot if I have a “checkered past”? (Tom Chiarella, Episode Five)

Bell answers each question using legal rules and regulations, and includes any lifestyle tips when applicable.
For example, in episode One Chuck Kidd from the Indiana Disciplinary Commission explained that he spent 21 hours formulating research for one of his clients. A couple months later a different client asked for the same research. He asked, “Could I get away with billing a second client for the whole amount of time I already used for a different client?”

In response, Bell referred Kidd to the American Bar Association Formal Opinion 93-379. According to the ABA, “A lawyer who is able to reuse old work product has not re-earned hours previously billed and compensated when the work product was first generated.”

The Life Coach said that “double dipping” would create an “unethical and unreasonable fee” for the client you are trying to bill the previously-completed work for.

The new season of Amateur Life Coach begins on YouTube soon. Catch up on all of season one before the premiere below:

ICLEF Amateur Life Coach - Episode 01 - "Double Dipping"


ICLEF Amateur Life Coach - Episode 02 – "Undefeated"


ICLEF Amateur Life Coach - Episode 03 - "The Paper Chase"

ICLEF Amateur Life Coach - Episode 04 - "Burn Out"


ICLEF Amateur Life Coach - Episode 05 - "Checkered Past"

ICLEF Amateur Life Coach Season 2 Trailer

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