Ethics

 

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2019

Client Information: Now You See Me, Now You Don't
By Stephen Carr – June 1, 2019
The “right to be forgotten” poses client data retention issues.

ABA Provides Ethics Advice for Disaster Preparedness
By Geoff A. Gannaway – May 11, 2019
Without planning, lawyers may violate ethical rules when a disaster strikes.

First Amendment Ruling May Affect Model Rules of Professional Conduct 
By C. Thea Pitzen – April 3, 2019
Is Model Rule 8.4(g) constitutional?

Failure to List Document on Privilege Log Results in Waiver of Privilege
By Amy Mattson – March 22, 2019
Protective order inapplicable to responsive discovery intentionally withheld.

Court Clarifies Duty to Provide Entire Client File on Termination
By Catherine M. Chiccine – January 29, 2019
Ethics rule requires attorneys to provide more than end product to former clients.

2018

Attorneys Must Self-Report Errors to Current Clients
By C. Thea Pitzen – December 9, 2018
Lawyers have a duty to disclose a material error to current, but not former, clients.

Former Partner’s Representation Disqualifies Law Firm
By Andrew J. Kennedy – September 13, 2018
Possible knowledge of former client’s finances and strategy dooms representation.

Alleged Failure to Monitor Discovery Leads to Malpractice Suit
By Onika K. Williams – August 7, 2018
Law firm unable to shake malpractice claim for not preventing spoliation.

Attorney Misrepresentations Result in Revival of Dismissed Claims
By Amy Mattson – July 27, 2018
Hundreds of age bias claims reinstated after court finds lawyers’ letters misled clients.

A “CC” or “BCC” Between Client and Adversary Can Trigger Privilege and Ethics Risks
By Kelso L. Anderson – July 17, 2018
Ethics opinions offer best practices for electronic communications with clients.

Social Media May Waive Confidentiality Says ABA
By Benjamin E. Long – June 14, 2018
Former clients may have “generally known” information used against them.

Court Compels Redacted Information as Non-Responsive
By Catherine M. Chiccine – April 20, 2018
Extensive unilateral redaction of documents is not justified.

Appearance-of-Impropriety Test Replaced with Objective Analysis Standard
By Amy Mattson – April 3, 2018
The “appearance of impropriety” and its perceived conflict is not sufficient under Model Rule 1.9.

Retract Your Claws! Privilege Waived Despite Clawback Agreement
By Candice A. Garcia-Rodrigo – March 30, 2018
Clawback agreement will not prevent waiver of privilege from careless document production.

Court Order Sent to Spam Folder Costs Client Appeal
By Stephen Carr – March 26, 2018
Setting the filtered emails to delete automatically resulted in a failure to review.

Privilege Protects Counsel’s Redacted Coverage Analysis
By Adam E. Lyons – January 12, 2018
Insurer not entitled to compel disclosure of coverage analysis from insured’s counsel.

Client Intake Call Does Not Disqualify Conflicted Counsel
By Matthew S. Mulqueen – January 9, 2018
Attorneys should be familiar with local rules when interacting with potential clients.

2017

Virtual Law Offices Create Ethical Concerns
By Martha L. Kohlstrand – December 27, 2017
Be acutely aware of the ethical issues at play, especially those related to technological competence.

No Attorney-Client Privilege for Communications with PR Firm
By Andrew J. Kennedy – September 19, 2017
Some client-PR firm communications may be privileged, however.

ABA Provides Ethical Advice to Protect Electronic Communication
By Matthew S. Mulqueen – August 1, 2017
Lawyers should engage in fact-based assessments to determine what efforts are reasonable.

Pushing the Limits on Cross-Examination
By Joseph P. Beckman – June 21, 2017
Sanctions reversed despite repeated sustained objections regarding mental history.

Dispute Period in Law Firm Retainer Agreements in Doubt
By Christina M. Jordan – March 13, 2017
Clause in retainer agreement providing 15-day billing entry objection found unenforceable.

Attorneys’ Online Comments Can Lead to Positional Conflicts
By Amy Mattson – March 2, 2017
D.C. ethics committee urges caution when expressing views on social media.

Automatic Disbarment: A Sobering Reality for Convicted Attorneys
By Kristen L. Burge – February 17, 2017
DWI felony conviction in another jurisdiction triggers instant disbarment.

Court Threatens Sanctions Against Attorneys for Flimsy MDL Suits
By Andrew J. Kennedy – February 10, 2017
Counsel must advise clients regarding weak cases.

Judging Without Being Sworn In Can Jeopardize Bar License
By Kathy Milenkovski – February 6, 2017
Law clerk cannot act as judge without running afoul of ethical rules.

Attorney-Client Privilege Does Not Apply to Former Employees
By Carl A. Aveni – January 31, 2017
Lawyer's interviews with former employees are fully discoverable under new bright-line ruling.

2016

Medicare Advantage Can Sue Lawyers for Reimbursement
By Caitlin Haney – December 21, 2016
Medicare Secondary Payer Act creates private cause of action against law firms.

Harassment and Discrimination Now Violate ABA Model Rules
By Amy Mattson – December 6, 2016
Amended rule prohibits lawyer harassment and discrimination.

Ethics Board Advises Attorneys to Avoid Medical Marijuana Clients
By Stephen Carr – November 21, 2016
Decision widens jurisdictional split and highlights conflict over marijuana law.

Bad Faith Deletion of Emails Warrants Punitive Sanctions
By Joseph Laizure – November 17, 2016
Decision emphasizes severity of punishment possible when senior managers destroy evidence.

Deletion of Emails Leads to Sanctions
By Matthew S. Mulqueen – November 3, 2016
Terminating sanctions reversed in favor of a prohibition on the presentation of evidence.

Million Dollar Sanction Overturned as Unprecedented, Punitive
By Connor D. Jackson – October 4, 2016
Expert's violation of smoking testimony ban insufficient to sanction counsel.

"Super Lawyers" Beware
By Lauren M. Gregory – September 20, 2016
State ethics committee cracking down on comparative attorney advertising.

Law Firm Disqualified for Retaining and Using Privileged Email
By Daniel P. Elms – September 15, 2016
Failure to follow California procedures for determining privilege causes disqualification.

High Court OKs Ethics Case Based on Paralegal's Improper Use of Facebook
By Onika K. Williams – August 31, 2016
Court finds that attorneys can be prosecuted for social media investigation tactics.

E-Filing Ineptitude Results in Suspension and Censure
By Matthew S. Mulqueen – August 11, 2016
Non-compliance with court orders to acquire technological proficiency leads to discipline.

Judge Restricts Lawyers from Researching Jurors Online
By Carl A. Aveni – July 21, 2016
Disclose extent of research to venire or don't do it at all, judge says.

Lawyer Sanctioned for Pursuing Baseless Case to Summary Judgment
By Andrew J. Kennedy – June 30, 2016
Court awards sanctions of higher attorney fees than charged.

Ethics Board Explains Proper Conduct under Flat-Fee Arrangements
By Katerina E. Milenkovski – June 16, 2016
Advisory opinion addresses where to keep flat fees and related issues.

Addressing Altered Emails, Court Tests Limits of Amended Rule 37New
By Kristen L. Burge – June 3, 2016
No dismissal for intentional spoliation under new discovery standard for ESI preservation.

Actual Innocence Unnecessary for Legal Malpractice Claim
By Caitlin Haney – May 26, 2016
Malpractice involving illegal sentence only requires post-judgment relief.

Ethics Opinion Draws Line on When Social Media Is Considered Advertising
By Catherine McLeod Chiccine – May 20, 2016
Bar association says LinkedIn pages are attorney advertising only if certain criteria met.

Failure to Prepare Deponent Adequately Leads to Sanctions
By Adam E. Lyons – March 2, 2016
Limiting scope of deponent's relevant knowledge is no defense for an unprepared witness.

Independent Counsel Required for Insurers to Avoid Conflicts
By Matthew S. Mulqueen – February 22, 2016
Insurer's reservation of rights may create conflict.

Doing Business with Clients Could Result in No Legal Fees
By Kelso L. Anderson – February 8, 2016
Agreement with client for interest in patent in lieu of legal fees violates ethics rule.

"Severe" Lawyer Referral Rules Needed
By Catherine McLeod Chiccine – January 20, 2016
Florida high court rejects referrals from non-lawyer-owned agencies.

2015

Attorney's Minimal Deportation Warning Sufficient
By Candice A. Garcia-Rodrigo – November 25, 2015
Court approves attorney's warning that criminal plea could result in deportation.

Ethics Opinion Provides Guidance for Local Counsel Representation
By Cynthia Ford – November 5, 2015
Limited local counsel representation agreements may not also curtail ethical obligations.

Getting a New Trial May Be Easier under One Rule Than Another
By Caitlin Haney – October 23, 2015
Discovery misconduct warrants new trial under Rule 60 but not Rule 59.

Document Retention Policy Is No Excuse for Discovery Noncompliance
By Angela Foster – September 25, 2015
"Death penalty" discovery sanctions issued for repeated contempt of discovery orders.

Cell Phone Location Records Not Protected by Fourth Amendment
By Daniel P. Elms – August 24, 2015
Defendant has no privacy right over cell phone records that do not reveal communications.

Appearance of Impropriety Insufficient For Disqualification
By Lisa R. Hasday – August 17, 2015
State supreme court holds actual conflict is necessary for attorney disqualification.

Ethical Breaches Result in Firm Disqualification
By Ian S. Clement – July 27, 2015
Law firms' merger causes incurable simultaneous representation of adversaries.

Law Firm's "Dishonest" Conduct Merits Sanctions
By Onika K. Williams – June 15, 2015
Federal court sanctions firm for prosecuting baseless and time-barred claims.

Severe Attorney Sanction Imposed For Asking Wrong Question
By Robert Denny – May 19, 2015
Court cites attorney lack of credibility justifying $1 million sanction for causing mistrial.

Law Firm Mistakenly Wipes Out Security for $1.5 Billion Loan
By Andrew J. Kennedy – April 30, 2015
Court finds intent to release security interest is not required under the UCC.

Attorney's Lien Extends to E-Discovery Database
By Lisa R. Hasday – April 22, 2015
State appellate court finds law firm had possession because it directed work.

Firm Can Prevent Discovery of In-House Advice in Malpractice Suit
By Sara E. Costello – March 19, 2015
California court finds attorney-client privilege applies to intra-firm communications.

Shareholder Loses Discrimination Claim and Ordered to Pay Fees
By Douglas E. Motzenbecker – February 20, 2015
Attorney fee award for frivolous legal arguments questioned.