How to Protect Your Personal Brand: Terms You Should Know as a Plaintiff

Most business owners know that at some point in your career, you will likely need the help of a lawyer. Dealing with legal matters can be tricky even for the most practiced of people, so it’s important to go into legal situations feeling well-prepared and knowledgeable so you can make informed choices with your team. If you are the plaintiff in a lawsuit, or if you are planning to file a lawsuit in the future, there are several legal terms with which you should be familiar. This is especially true if this is your first lawsuit. Even if you have heard many “legal” terms before, you may not be completely sure what they mean, and how they apply to your case. Here are a few basic legal terms that you may encounter:

* Complaint: A complaint is a legal document that a plaintiff submits to the court and sends to the defendant, stating why the plaintiff believes he or she has been wronged by the defendant. Some courts use a word other than “complaint” to describe this legal document, so make sure to check with the clerk of your court or with an attorney in your area to make sure that both the name and the format of your “complaint” will meet the court’s requirements to get your lawsuit started.

* Deposition: After you file your complaint, you and your attorney will begin preparing to make your case to the court. Part of your case will likely involve witness testimony offered at trial. A “deposition” is chance for your attorney to ask questions of witnesses before trial, so that you are prepared for what kind of testimony they will offer to the court. Depositions are scheduled prior to trial and are typically held at an attorney’s office, or other place agreed upon by both the defendant, plaintiff, and witness. The witness will take an oath to tell the truth, and there will normally be a court reporter present to record everything the witness says. Plaintiffs and defendants are almost always deposed as part of a lawsuit. Depositions prevent surprises at trial and can be used to “impeach” a witness if his or her story changes over time.

* Settlement: A settlement is an agreement reached between the plaintiff and defendant prior to the verdict in a trial. The agreement is often for the defendant to pay the plaintiff an amount of money to stop pursuing or “drop” the lawsuit against the defendant. In exchange for money, the plaintiff will usually sign a document called a “settlement agreement” or “release” promising that he or she will never sue the defendant again on the issues in the lawsuit. After receiving the settlement amount, the plaintiff will dismiss his or her lawsuit from the court. Settlements are often efficient ways to resolve lawsuits because they normally cost less money than going to trial. Additionally, trials can take several weeks and may not be scheduled with the court until many months after the lawsuit is originally filed. Lawsuits can also be delayed by many factors. Settlements, however, can often be negotiated quickly, saving time and money.

Remember, that the best way to prepare for your lawsuit is to consult with and hire a qualified attorney with significant experience with your type of case. A personal injury lawyer Washington D.C. residents trust can help you understand any difficulties you face.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C., for their insight into legal terminology.

7 Ways to Update Your Personal Brand in 2019

Before you think, Personal brand? What? Me?!

Know that everyone has a personal brand, especially if you have any kind of social media or online presence.

The rise of the internet, the accessibility of technology, and the emergence of social media have all helped individuals discover and bring out their personal brands.

Now that you are probably thinking about what your brand looks like, how do you make it better? In this article, we will provide some tips and super-quick checklist on how to update your personal brand for 2019—to really make it shine.

7 Things to Update Your Personal Brand for 2019

So, where do you start? Here are some tips, examples, and things to consider when updating your personal brand.

  • Review and update your tagline on social media. Since your personal brand is likely visible on social media, let’s start there. Do you have a personal brand statement? If so, when was the last time you updated it? Take some time to review or create your personal brand statement.

    Hint: Treat your personal brand statement like a tagline or a short biography.  If you were to sum up your life in a sentence, what would it say? Remember, people have short attention spans, so this is your chance to communicate your expertise, goals, and reason why people should connect with you in 140 characters or less. So, make it a good one.

  • Review and update your biography. When was the last time you updated your bio? Does it effectively capture and reflect the highlights of your career? Or is it stale and boring? Take the time to review and add some love to your bio.

  • Clean up your act (on social media). Social media tends to become a “brain dump” to post all kinds of photos, song lyrics, thoughts from the day, and so on—positive and negative.

    If you want to start off 2019 with a cleaner personal brand, then take some time to clean up, delete, and archive old photos or negative posts, and anything that doesn’t have a positive contribution to your life or your future.

    Hint: For example, your minimum wage job from high school shouldn’t be on your LinkedIn anymore.

  • Create brand guidelines. If you blog, then chances are you likely blog about your hobbies, trips and journeys, experiences, and so on. However, you likely don’t have “personal brand guidelines”. No, brand guidelines aren’t just for companies or enterprises; they also work for personal brands.
    If you blog regularly, then having personal brand guidelines can help you remain consistent in the content you create and also in your online presence.

  • Take a look inside your closet. That’s right—a huge part of your personal brand isn’t on social media, but how you dress and carry yourself. If you want to reinvent or update your personal brand for 2019, then spend some serious time re-evaluating your current wardrobe choices.

    Hint: If you still have clothes from high school (we won’t judge!), then it’s probably time to ditch them and think about what kind of message you want to send to others.

    Do you want to go for fun and artistic? Sassy and sophisticated? Humble and handsome? Think about the kind of message you want to send and make smarter wardrobe choices based on the first impression you want.

  • Build up your energy. Energy is everything. And, no, we don’t necessarily mean you have to be super energetic all the time, but energy is contagious. People want to associate and work with energetic, eager, and positive people.

    Hint: There are some things you can do to naturally boost your energy—many of which involve lifestyle changes. For example, you can start an exercise routine, burn sage to rid your home of bad energy, and even eat “super foods”.

  • Learn something new. Do you want to expand your skill set? Do you love to learn new things? Then consider going back to school to finish that degree or taking an online course to learn new skills. The more skills you add to your professional bio or portfolio, the more professional and marketable you will become.

All in all, your personal brand—online and offline—is incredibly important for your career.

How Personal Branding Can Help You Make Money Through Webinars

How Personal Branding Can Help You Make Money Through Webinars

The term “webinar” is a clever blending of “web” and “seminar” and represents an online lecture, workshop, or presentation. The key feature of a webinar is the promise of real time interaction between the audience and the presenter. Webinars are radically accessible, offering potentially valuable content, generally free of charge, to geographically disparate individuals from the comfort of their own home. In this way, webinars are tools for immediate customer engagement and dynamic avenues for content marketing strategy.  

Why Personal Branding Is Crucial for Professionals in Finance and Investment Banking

Why Personal Branding Is Crucial for Professionals in Finance and Investment Banking

Being a professional in this industry can sometimes bring an unwarranted negative image. The perception of finance and investment banking professionals often attracts blame for issues such as the financial crash in 2008.

In order to overcome this stigma, professionals in the finance and investment banking industry should look towards increasing their personal brand and changing people’s mind through positivity.

5 Things You Can Learn from Talaya Waller's TED Talk on Personal Branding


1. Technology has caused a major shift in influence. Today, one employee can have more influence, and also consumer trust than their entire organization.

2. People are tired of being sold. In business marketing, we have moved away from humanizing objects to influencing people with other people who they know, like, and trust. Individuals who want to build an influential personal brand can use the know-like-trust formula.

3. Everyone has a brand, but most people don’t manage it strategically, effectively, or consistently. Individuals who have a well-defined personal brand usually generate increased value for their company, whether they work for themselves or someone else.

4. Your personal brand is the most powerful tool you have to accomplish your goals. A branding strategy is essential to success in fundraising, growing a business, or changing careers.

5. Branding is no longer about companies trying to manage our perception. Today, it’s about people creating and sharing human experiences.

The future of branding is personal.