Legal Ethics

News & Analysis as of

Practical and Ethical Considerations in Confessing Error on Appeal

A new client calls and hires you to uphold on appeal the splendid order its trial counsel obtained in its favor. You eagerly read the order but quickly realize, to your horror, that the trial judge got it wrong. What should...more

Stick to what you know

Over the past 5 years as a solo ERISA practitioner, I always get asked if that’s all I do. It’s not some kind of insult, but a question on whether I also do financial advisory work and/or third party administration work. The...more

Lawyers: Client Names In Pitches…To List or Not To List?

It is a natural tendency to want to show your past work when pitching new clients. As you know, this is dicey in some jurisdictions. Some don’t allow you to use past results as a predictor of future success, so the way you...more

LinkedIn Ethics Alert: 4 Things All NY Lawyers Should Know

Even lawyers who don’t practice in New York might want to take note of a formal opinion released this month by the New York County Lawyers Association Professional Ethics Committee....more

New Ethics Rule Governing Lawyer Mobility Adopted in Virginia - Virginia Joins Florida as the Second State to Adopt Departing...

Virginia's recent adoption of a new ethics rule will provide guidance on a common issue to lawyers and law firms managing lawyer departures. For years, lawyers and law firms have handled difficult and sometimes contentious...more

Practice Tips for New Tax Associates

We are tax law specialists with a focus on international and Massachusetts taxation. I have drafted this memorandum to help new tax associates understand what is expected of them. This memorandum covers tips on drafting...more

Status Updates - February 2015 #4

Blawg rules. The California State Bar has issued an opinion outlining the circumstances under which an attorney’s blog would be subject to the requirements of the California State Bar Act’s Rules of Professional Conduct...more

Legal Ethics and Social Media: What Pre-Litigation Advice May an Attorney Provide to His or Her Client?

When meeting with your client about a matter that will likely result in litigation, what advice can you give your client about privacy settings and removal of information from social media in the pre-litigation setting? The...more

Attorney Withdrawal: Protect the Client, Obey the Court or Go to Jail? - California Formal Op. No. 2015-192 Addresses the Ethical...

In Formal Opinion No. 2015-192, the California State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct addressed the difficult choices faced by lawyers who are ethically required to seek leave to withdraw from...more

Martial Arts & Legal Ethics

“No, I’m not disingenuous—You’re disingenuous!” “I’ll see your motion for sanctions and raise you a bar association complaint!” Does fighting fire with fire produce the best results? Or is there another way?...more

Hidden Traps: Subject Matter Conflicts of Interest in Patent Prosecution

Attorneys who have been practicing for more than a day are familiar with the process of conflicts of interest searches. A new client comes into the office or firm, the attorney or conflicts team searches a client database for...more

Friending and Following Jurors: The Ethical Boundaries of Researching Jurors on Social Media

What are the ethical boundaries of an attorney’s internet research of jurors? Before the ubiquity of the internet, an attorney obviously couldn’t walk up to a potential juror in a restaurant and strike up a conversation. But...more

How Well Do You Know Your Ethical Responsibilities Surrounding the Use of Technology-Assisted Review?

Lawyers who fail to comprehend the ethical challenges surrounding the use of technology-assisted review (TAR) may unknowingly damage their clients’ cases and risk sanctions for the spoliation of evidence. Therefore, it is...more

Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Measure of Malpractice Damages in Securities Cases

Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its unanimous decision in a case being closely watched by the local bar associations – Goldfine v. Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Perlman. Goldfine involved the issue of...more

Navigating the Ethical Minefield of Social Media for California Attorneys [Video]

Presentation by Lisa Sherman of Sherman Law Corporation reviewing best practices for California Attorneys using Social Media for networking and business development. ...more

Navigating The Ethical Minefield Of Social Media For California Attorneys

In this presentation: - ABA Survey Of Attorney Social Media Use In Aug 2013 - Social Media Is Here To Stay…. - Social Media Platforms In Play For Attorneys - Social Media At Issue - Initial...more

Golden Rule: Be Kind To Others… Even In Discovery

Discovery can bring the best of times and worst of times. I recently had a case dismissed outright the morning after a deposition because the information obtained by the witnesses was so helpful to our defense of the case....more

Brown Resurrects Civility in Litigation

Gov. Jerry Brown has resurrected an expired law, Cal. Code of Civil Procedure section 128.5. This is a positive development for ethical lawyers and their clients, who find themselves dealing with bad-faith litigation tactics...more

How Far Does the In-House Zone of Silence Extend?

In a recent case, a Massachusetts appellate court raised important questions about the scope of the work product doctrine for in-house lawyers. In Cahaly v. Benistar Property Exchange Trust Co., the plaintiffs sought...more

Legal Ethics Resources

Substantial information on legal ethics is available on the Internet, including: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/research/guides/legal_ethics.cfm, a broad-based Legal Ethics Research Guide offered by Georgetown...more

Status Updates - August 2014 #2

..May a lawyer ethically instruct a client to delete potentially damaging information from a client’s Facebook page? According to a new ethics opinion from the Philadelphia Bar Association, yes, so long as the information is...more

Take the High Road

Litigation offers attorneys many opportunities to choose how they will behave and what they will say. The best course is to take the high road at every opportunity. Rudeness, profanity, throwing things, hitting people, we all...more

Ethical Challenges of Aggregate Settlement Agreements

Aggregate settlements pose several ethical challenges, primarily because they involve lawyers representing the interests of more than one client. Care must be taken at all times to ensure the interests of all clients are...more

Legal Ethics For New Lawyers: What They Did and Didn’t Teach You In Law School

What do you do when the client lies on the stand? May you represent the sister of your former client in a suit against that client? Law students address these questions during law school. It has been our experience...more

What to Do If Your Client Dies

You’re litigating a case and your client dies. What do you do? What are your ethical obligations? One of the first questions you have to ask yourself when you client dies is, “who is my client now?” The answer is...more

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