Thursday, November 10, 2016

7. The Sharks Are Circling...

When Diane and I formed Bickers & Bickers in 1999, we had a website under the name of  When we closed the office and retired, I shut down the website in late 2015 rather than pay the annual fees to keep and maintain the domain name or to pay for a server to host the website.  I never dreamed what would happen next.

Apparently, another company bought the rights to the name "" and set up their own website using our old name early in 2016.  Their server is in Canada, but the company is an attorney referral service in Texas.  Why would a Texas company hijack our old website?  Obviously to sweep up any potential clients who might come looking for us.  Of course, they are wasting their money, as almost all of our legal practice was concentrated in the Western Pennsylvania area and it is highly unlikely that anyone who might be looking for us for legal services would need or want a Texas attorney. While there appears to be at least one attorney in Texas named Bickers, he won't benefit unless he is affiliated with this referral company.  Still, I find it all a little irksome. 

If that wasn't bad enough, someone put up a false Facebook page a few years ago called Bickers & Bickers, Divorce Attorneys at Law, which was supposedly located in Iowa.  The page lists our old phone number, our old website and our current e-mail address.  Try as I might, I cannot get Facebook to take the page down.  The next best thing was to post a review on it pointing out that this was a fake Facebook page and that it should be ignored.  I do have a real Bickers & Bickers Facebook page that refers to the closing of our office.  UPDATE: I was finally granted access to the fake Facebook page on November 10, 2016 and was able to delete it.

Exercise caution. The Internet is not a safe swimming pool, but a vast ocean.  And there are sharks out there. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

6. Moving On

The closing of our law practice has been an interesting experience to say the least. Some of our clients did not like it at all.  They did not like having to find another attorney and some were even angry with us.  Most, however, were very supportive and wished us well as we moved on to a new chapter in our life.  Many people noticed our empty office and blank sign but even more noticed a new company taking our place where our firm had been all these years.

The question I am asked more often than any other these days is, "How do you like retirement?"  The short answer is that I like it a lot.  But for a long time I hesitated giving a straight answer simply because I wasn't sure what retirement was really like.  It has taken nearly a full year to complete all of our ongoing legal cases, to shut down the office, sell the furniture, end our insurance coverage, close the bank accounts, and to finally notify the proper legal authorities of our firm's closure.  Closing a legal practice was more complicated and lengthy than I expected.  Add to that the fact that we were very busy helping two of our children complete college, move out of their apartments and find jobs, begin renovations of our own house, create a website for my local art group and prepare and put on exhibit a major art show, all within the last year, you can see we have been very busy.

The pace of our life has started to slow just a little; our first grandchild was born recently and we were able to visit with him on short notice.  Freedom to travel when and where we want has been nice.  My blood pressure has dropped and our health improved --that was somewhat unexpected.  Other changes are a bit curious, such as the change of wardrobe that occurs with such a lifestyle change.  Most of all, I find that each day is its own reward and living in the present occupies my time. I hope that continues for a very long time.