Ethics & Professionalism

Articles

2018

Bumps in the Road: How to Share Setbacks with Your Client and Why You Must
By Kathleen Balthrop Havener – October 18, 2018
“Tell the truth faster.”

Changes in ABA Advertising Rules—Who Cares?
By Lynda C. Shely – October 3, 2018
If your jurisdiction's rules have changed, you need to become familiar with them.

The Uncertain Future of Virtual Law Practice in the Wake of Schoenefeld
By Kaitlin J. Kline and Jacqueline M. Pasek – February 12, 2018
How will Schoenefeld and other similarly situated nonresident New York-barred attorneys proceed in the face of the enduring roadblock of New York Judiciary Law Section 470?

2017

Schoenefeld Seeks SCOTUS Review of Second Circuit's Decision
By Jacqueline M. Pasek – February 15, 2017
The federal appeals court had previously upheld New York's Nonresident attorney office requirement.

2016

New York's Highest Court Clarifies Nonresident Attorney Office Requirement
By Kaitlin J. Kline – January 19, 2016
After Schoenefeld, New York will presumably, albeit grudgingly, move toward acceptance of VLOs, consistent with the realities of practicing law in a digital age.

California's New E-Competence Rule
By Lisa Sherman, Benjamin Rose, and Jim Carden – January 19, 2016
Even carefully crafted legal hold and preservation letters to custodian employees are insufficient defenses where relevant evidence goes missing.

"Maelstrom of Misconduct" Generates Bevy of Bench Slaps
By Kathryn Nadro – January 19, 2016
Incivility among attorneys may lead to discipline.

2015

Ethics Opinion Clarifies Inconsistency in Sale-of-Law-Practice Rules
By Will Knight – March 31, 2015
Retiring solo practitioners can rest a little easier.

Ethics Considerations for Attorneys Serving on Nonprofit Boards
By Dan Ebner – March 31, 2015
Attorneys are often attractive candidates for nonprofit boards, but serving on a board has risks.

Ethical Fee Collection from a Former Client: Bringing Out the Big Guns
By Kathryn Nadro – March 31, 2015
There are risks in litigating a fee dispute or using a collection agency, while fee arbitration offers a somewhat underused, private alternative.

Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Offers under Rules 5.6 and 3.4
By Larry Fox and Jenny Gu – March 31, 2015
The Indiana Legal Ethics Committee has taken a position contrary to the position taken by several other jurisdictions.

Ethical Issues Implicated by Lawyers' Use of Third-Party Cloud Services
By Amelia Toy Rudolph – February 23, 2015
Proceed with caution when entering the cloud.

Conflicts of Interest in Trust and Estate Litigation
By Daniel S. Ebner – February 6, 2015
An attorney's failure to understand conflicts of interest can result in discipline, disqualification, loss of fees, or a malpractice action.

2014

An Update on the Schoenefeld Appeal
By Chad Jira – July 17, 2014
A non-dispositive opinion by Circuit Judge Peter W. Hall leaves the ultimate question of the appeal unanswered for now.

When Breaches of Professionalism Become Sanctionable
By Gregory R. Hanthorn – February 5, 2014
Courts are beginning to hold attorneys to a higher standard.

Ethical Fee Collection from a Former Client: Bringing Out the Big Guns
By John Martin and Kathryn Heinrichs – February 5, 2014
What to do after the love is gone.

Ethical Conundrums in Blawgs
By Anne-Marie Mitchell – February 5, 2014
Don't run afoul of attorney-advertising rules.

Ethical Issues in Communications with Proposed Class Members
By Arthur Owens – February 5, 2014
Practical considerations prior to establishing direct communication.

2013

Recent Developments in the Causation Requirement for Legal-Malpractice Claims
By Rebecca Counts – November 19, 2013
The Encinias case out of New Mexico could be a sea change.

Lawyer Elevator Talk and Conflicts of Interest
By Stephen T. LaBriola – March 29, 2013
When does a consulting lawyer's informal discussions with another lawyer lead to ethical violations and/or disqualification?

2012

Ethical Rules for Litigating in the Court of Public Opinion
By Michael Downey – July 18, 2012
Even Aaron Burr had a hard time getting a fair trial.

Duties of Local Counsel: More Expansive Than You Think?
By Stephen L. Miles – July 18, 2012
Don't be held responsible for the mistakes of national counsel.

Ethical Pitfalls When In-House Counsel Represent Pro Bono Clients
By Bruce Rubin and James Walker – July 18, 2012
Make sure you don't run afoul of state licensing and disciplinary rules.

Initial Ethics Considerations in Starting My Own Law Firm
By Arden B. Levy – July 18, 2012
Make sure you don't run afoul of state licensing and disciplinary rules.

Like Peanut Butter and Jelly, Ethics and Web Marketing Go Together
By By Lisa M. Vaughn – July 18, 2012
Good marketing and compliance with ethics standards are not like oil and water.

2011

Counsel Disqualified after Arbitrator Discloses Panel Deliberations
By Thomas G. Wilkinson, Jr. and Michael P. Zabel – November 16, 2011
When ex parte communication leads to the disclosure of confidential panel deliberations to only one party, that party’s counsel runs the risk of disqualification from the proceedings.

State of New York Appeals Striking of Nonresident Office Requirement
By Chad A. Jira and Brian F. Toohey – November 4, 2011
Whether the plaintiff's favorable decision knocking out section 470’s office requirement will survive on appeal or perhaps prompt a legislative response remains to be seen.

Lawyer Websites: ABA Formal Opinion 10-457 and Beyond
By John C. Martin – October 18, 2011
A website revision is definitely in order, but can you accomplish it without running afoul of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct or their state counterparts?

Loyalty under Attack: The Pernicious Prospective Waiver
By Lawrence J. Fox – October 18, 2011
Any prospective waiver should be subject to challenge by the affected client if the client can make a reasonable argument that the client's consent now turns out to be uninformed.

Contract Freedom, Advance Conflict Waivers: Fair Play for Consenting Adults
By Steven C. Krane – October 18, 2011
The following is a dramatization in three acts of a situation that, in words or substance, regularly occurs in the United States.

Accused of Bias, Judge Recuses Himself from 17 Ongoing Cases
By Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr. and Michael Zabel – October 18, 2011
Recent decisions enhance prosecutors' ability to conduct international investigations at a time when the DOJ is aggressively targeting international antitrust and FCPA violations.

Service During Disaster as a Form of Professionalism
By Larry D. Smith and Robert V. Goldsmith III – July 18, 2011
Recent weather-related disasters in the United States have heightened the importance of humility and assistance in the legal profession.

Ten Notable Conflict-of-Interest Rulings from the Last Year (or So)
By Nicholas B. Reuhs and Elizabeth H. Mykytiuk – July 14, 2011
A website revision is definitely in order, but can you accomplish it without running afoul of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct or their state counterparts?

Allowing Lawyer Mobility: Why the ABA Should Adopt the Proposed Amendments to Model Rule 5.5(d)(3)
By Brian F. Toohey and Anne Marie Morris – July 13, 2011
This memorandum was submitted to the Ethics 20/20 commission in May 2011 by authors Brian Toohey and Anne Marie Morris.