Legal Ethics

News & Analysis as of

California Ethics Committee Issues Opinion on Ethical Implications of eDiscovery

After over a year of consideration and an extended comment period, the State Bar of California Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct recently issued an Opinion regarding the ethical obligations of...more

Ostriches Beware: E-Discovery Ethics In Social Media

“Electronic document creation and/or storage, and electronic communications, have become commonplace in modern life, and discovery of ESI is now a frequent part of almost any litigated matter. Attorneys who handle litigation...more

Lawyers May Advise on Clients’ Social Media Clean-Up

Most lawyers can easily recall a litigation scenario where a client’s past social media post, photo, or video caused more than a little consternation in both client and lawyer. A new opinion from The Florida Bar now allows...more

Fifth Circuit Fires at the Department of Labor with Colorful, Precedential Prose

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently slammed the United States Department of Labor with a finding of abusive conduct and ordered an award of significant monetary sanctions for bad faith, harassment, and abusive...more

New York State Bar Association Issues Updated Opinion On Lawyers’ Social Media Use

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) issued a new opinion on lawyers’ use of social media last week to “assist lawyers in understanding the ethical challenges of social media.” The opinion provides new insight on the...more

The Important Distinction Between Legal and Business Ethics

We all know the jokes about lawyers – I have to repeat just one of them: Q. Why won’t sharks eat lawyers? A. Professional courtesy. The Chief Legal Officer is a vital player in a corporate compliance program. There...more

Does the False Claims Act Preempt An Attorney Relator’s Ethical Obligations?

In United States ex rel. Holmes v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 1:13-cv-85, 2015 WL 3504525 (S.D. Miss. June 3, 2015), the court answered this question with a resounding “no” and provided a laundry list of ethical violations...more

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

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