Megan Zavieh

Megan Zavieh

Megan Zavieh is a state bar defense attorney and general ethics counselor admitted to practice in California, Georgia, New York and New Jersey. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Solo and Small Firm Section of the State Bar of California. She runs a virtual law practice at and blogs at California State Bar Defense.


Lower Law-School Admissions Standards Lead to Fewer New CA Lawyers

As law schools receive fewer and fewer applications for admission, is one tactic for their own survival to admit students who are unlikely to ever pass the bar exam?  Results coming out of California for the July 2015 bar exam certainly make one wonder, as the pass rate hits a 30-year low of 46.6% overall, […]


Who Decides What in the Attorney-Client Relationship

The attorney-client relationship is one of varying degrees of collaboration, depending on how involved your client chooses to be, how sophisticated they are in legal matters, and the type of case. But no matter how sophisticated your client may be, certain decisions lie with the client and some are within the discretion of the lawyer.


Practical Advice for Taking Better Notes

Establish a system, make a template, and convince yourself that taking good notes is important enough to do every time.


Legal Competence in the Digital Age

The rule of competence requires a lawyer to possess the “skill” reasonably necessary for representation, and it would be a losing argument to say that any lawyer today can competently represent a client without knowing the basics of technology.


California Says You Must Understand E-Discovery in Order to Litigate

California’s proposed ethics opinion on attorney duties in e-discovery has been finalized. The opinion is unsurprising in terms of its analysis of today’s technology and long-standing ethics rules, and it highlights that in today’s world, discovery is extremely complex and high stakes. In the Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct Formal Opinion No. 2015-193, California […]


Luddite Lawyers Are Ethical Violations Waiting To Happen

Technological incompetence used to be merely a competitive disadvantage. Now, it is a potential ethics violation — or even legal malpractice. During my first year of law school, we were not allowed to do computerized research. Instead, we were taught to use the leather-bound reporters, Shepherds, and treatises. It was only during our second year […]


If You Lead, Business Will Follow

Lawyers in all areas of practice need to get out and become known. Rather than paying for advertising, you should take advantage of the abundance of leadership opportunities available in your community.


How to Select a Law Firm Business Entity

Deciding on the right business entity for your firm is one of the most important decisions you can make. Here's what you need to know to choose wisely.


How to Handle a Mixed Check with Earned and Unearned Fees

Learning how to appropriately handle mixed checks is the best way to avoid bookkeeping errors that lead to ethics problems.


How To Keep Your Client Safe From Solicitation

Soliciting a client who is already represented is breaking ethical rules. Learn how to keep and protect your client while preserving your ethical integrity.


Using Social Media During Jury Trials

How can lawyers use social media during jury selection without crossing ethical lines? How can jurors use social media during trial?


Ntrepid Timestream Interactive Timeline Software Review

Timestream is a good start on a useful product, but still has a number of issues to resolve. It is a work-in-progress, and not quite yet ready for prime-time.

law books

Three Commonly-Violated Ethics Rules

Three commonly-violated attorney ethics rules and the simple way to avoid violating them.


Trust Accounting Basics

Proper trust accounting is vital to keeping attorneys out of ethics trouble. Learn the rules and know where to turn with questions.


Can Depressed Lawyers Escape Discipline by Invoking the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with disabilities — including mental illness — from discrimination. So can a lawyer with a disability invoke the ADA when ethics regulators impose discipline for behavior that stems directly from the disability?