Legal Ethics

News & Analysis as of

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

Do’s and Don’ts of Juror Contact

Not surprisingly, California’s legal ethics rules have a lot to say about how attorneys relate to jurors. Here are 5 do’s and don’ts when it comes to attorney-juror interaction....more

District Court: Notification of IPRs Necessary to Comply with Duty of Candor and Good Faith

On May 2, 2014, Judge Davis of the Eastern District of Virginia determined that counsel in a pending patent litigation “failed to comply with their general duty of candor and good faith to this Court” by not disclosing the...more

Zealous Counsel or Unethical Social Media Maven – How Far Can a Lawyer Go?

Social media has opened a Pandora’s box of information about just about everyone today, including jurors, witnesses, opposing counsel, defendants and plaintiffs. As lawyers we want to leave no stone unturned in pursuing a...more

Advice and Content: New York State Bar Association Social Media Ethics Guidelines

The ethos of legal practice—steeped in history, procedure and rules—is, in many respects, fundamentally at odds with the “act-now-ask-forgiveness-later” model of social media. But while it can be tempting to avoid potential...more

Conducting Online Research Of Jurors Just Got Less Perilous – Or Did It?

Last week, the American Bar Association’s Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (“ABA”) gave lawyers the go-ahead to scour jurors’ or potential jurors’ publicly available social-media accounts, blogs, and...more

Representing Clients In The Age Of Social Media Is Not As Easy As You Think

The proliferation of social media over the past decade has drastically changed how people communicate. Without much thought, people publicly post detailed personal information and photographs documenting their whereabouts and...more

Watergate Inspires After 40 Years

The audience sat rapt as Bill Ruckelshaus — former Deputy Attorney General of the United States — shared lessons for lawyers from Watergate, now 40 years past. Ruckelshaus resigned his number two position at the Justice...more

2014 Trends: #5 Top Ten Privacy and Related Ethics & Compliance Issues

Trend number 5 is on the docket today as we move down our list of ethics and compliance trends to watch in 2014. Privacy issues have led the headlines for years but their intersection with ethics and compliance is coming to...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 176

In This Issue: - Missouri District Court Upholds Termination Of Franchise Based On Fraud: The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri recently upheld a franchisor’s decision to...more

Prosecutor’s Tweets May Have Been Improper but Did Not Deprive Defendant of Fair Trial

Last month, the Missouri Court of Appeals published its opinion holding that criminal defendant David Polk is not entitled to a new trial. Although the prosecutor may have acted improperly by posting trial updates via...more

The Relationship Status of Social Media Evidence and Ethics

Our social media posts reveal a lot about us and, while there are control mechanisms for keeping information private, there is a wealth of information readily discoverable. This makes the Internet fertile ground for lawyers...more

Back to the Future with Lloyd Cutler

One of the best lawyers I know was packing and unpacking some boxes recently and re-found an article she had read a number of years ago. The Role of the Private Law Firm was written by Lloyd Cutler – a founder of the...more

Suit Alleges Kentucky Disability Lawyer Colluded With Judge to Win Cases -- And Millions in Fees

A recently unveiled whistleblower lawsuit alleges that a prominent Kentucky disability lawyer illegally colluded with a federal disability judge to approve his clients' cases and reap the millions in attorney's fees that came...more

The Potential Pitfalls of Joint Representation

A recent California Court of Appeal opinion, Yanez v. Plummer, provides a cautionary tale for in-house counsel or outside attorneys who jointly represent their institutional client’s employees or agents in depositions. If...more

Influential Appeals Court Rejects Attempt by Former In-House Counsel to Use Privileged Information Against Company in...

The pool of potential qui tam relators may have just shrunk a little, based on a recent decision by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that has put the ability of in-house lawyers to become qui tam relators into serious...more

Second Circuit: in-house counsel may not seek to profit as whistleblowers against former employers

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has issued an important ruling restricting in-house counsel from acting as whistleblowers in litigation against their current or former employers. ...more

Second Circuit Holds In-House Lawyer Precluded from Blowing Whistle on Former Employer

The Second Circuit issued an opinion tackling the interplay between an attorney's ethical obligation to maintain client confidences and the ability to act as a "whistleblower" to report unlawful conduct to the government. The...more

Stop-And-Frisk Judge Removed, Fights Back [Video]

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg Law) -- Last month a federal appellate court panel put a hold on changes to the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk practices and created a controversy by removing Judge Shira Scheindlin who had...more

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