ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct

May 4, 2016 · Volume 32 Number 9



N.Y. Can Make Nonresident Lawyers Have In-State Office
A New York law requiring nonresident New York bar members to keep an office in New York if they wish to practice in New York state courts doesn't violate the Constitution's privileges and immunities clause, a divided U.S. Court of Appeals...

‘Virtual Office' Isn't Enough to Act as Local Counsel
A firm's "virtual office" doesn’t satisfy a federal court rule requiring applicants for pro hac vice admission to associate with local counsel who "maintains an office" within the district, the U.S. District...

Federal Court Can't Hear Bar Applicant's Suit
A federal district court correctly dismissed a bar applicant's suit asserting that the Florida Supreme Court violated federal bankruptcy law when it refused to admit her due to her failure to pay debts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...

Suspension Doesn't Make Debt to Client Nondischargeable
A lawyer can use bankruptcy to avoid refunding fees to a client as ordered by an arbitrator even though the state bar suspended the lawyer from practice for not paying the fee award, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided April...

Trial Publicity
Lawyer Suspended for Media Interview Gets Sanction Lifted
A local court rule prohibiting lawyers from publicly discussing an ongoing criminal trial was unconstitutional as applied to a Louisiana defense attorney, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held April 18 (In re Goode, 2016 BL 120515,...

Order Allowing Withdrawal Won't Block Malpractice Suit
A court order allowing attorneys to withdraw from a case doesn't save them from the clients' subsequent malpractice suit alleging that the withdrawal was improper, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division Three, held April 26 (Schibel...

Judge Can't Review Document Contents to Rule on Privilege
A trial court shouldn't have decided whether a lawyer's e-mail and letter to a client were privileged by reviewing the contents of those documents, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, ruled April 15 (DP Pham, LLC v. Cheadle,...

Conflicts of Interest
Violation of Rule 1.8(a) Makes Loan to Client Uncollectible
Lawyers can't enforce a business transaction with a client if they didn't comply with the ethics rule on lawyer-client business dealings, the Colorado Court of Appeals held April 21 (Calvert v. Mayberry, 2016 BL 127175, Colo. Ct....

Disciplinary Procedure
Disciplinary Complaint on Lawyers' Facebook Probe Can Proceed
A district disciplinary committee's decision not to look into a complaint about two lawyers' allegedly unethical use of Facebook to probe an opponent doesn't prevent a statewide regulatory agency from looking into the same...

Trial Conduct
Proffering Bad Jury Instruction Can Trigger Statutory Sanctions
Proffering jury instructions counts as an "oral motion" that can subject a lawyer to sanctions under Virginia's frivolous-litigation statute, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled April 14 (Ragland v. Soggin, 2016 BL 117192, Va.,...



Referral Fee Requires Conflicts Analysis, Early Consent
A lawyer who expects to receive a fee for referring a client must confirm that the referred matter doesn't present a conflict of interest and must get the client's written consent to the fee division at the outset, the ABA's ethics...

Ohio Opinion Describes Limits on Duty to Report Misconduct
A lawyer needn't notify disciplinary authorities that his client’s former attorney misappropriated funds if that knowledge is privileged, but the lawyer may reveal it anyway if the client gives informed consent, the Ohio Supreme...



Interim Suspension
Law Prof Can't Dodge Interim Suspension for Misusing Funds
A Rutgers law professor facing disciplinary charges for alleged misappropriation of client funds in his law practice can't avoid an interim suspension merely because he says he didn't realize his conduct was improper, according...

Unauthorized Practice
Post-Suspension UPL Is Third Strike That Warrants Disbarment
A lawyer who appeared in court while he was suspended from practice for not complying with a previous disciplinary order should be disbarred under California's revised three-strikes standard, the California State Bar Court, Review...



Gray Area: Mandatory Partner Retirement and the Law
In January 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP....