January 01, 2017

Ethics: The Ethics of a Lawyer’s Mistake

William Freivogel

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A client comes to its law firm for help in enforcing a commercial lease. Ben, a partner who retired two years ago, had drafted the lease. So, Betty, another real estate lawyer, takes a look at the lease. She becomes concerned about the paragraph that has caused a dispute. That paragraph is not in the law firm’s standard commercial lease forms. Betty emails Ralph, the law firm’s general counsel, expressing her concerns. Ralph, in turn, forwards the email to Marsha, chair of the executive committee. Marsha immediately forwards the email to Ivan, the partner who deals with the firm’s malpractice insurance. I hope this conflicts scenario isn’t familiar to any readers. But if it is, keep reading.

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