California’s Out-of-Whack Ethics System
California’s drama in the legal ethics world continues. After a vote of no confidence from her unionized employees in October, and a presentation to the State Bar of California Board of Trustees by some of her top deputies in November, Chief Trial Counsel Jayne Kim was reappointed by the Board of Trustees in December. If […]
Year-End Law Practice Checklist
The New Year is a great time for refreshing of all kinds, including refreshing your office and practice and setting yourself up for success. Take the time to put in place the tools for a great and prosperous year.
Which One is the Client?
A lawyer cannot follow a client's direction if they do not know the identity of their client. It may sound like an academic question, but there are many real-life situations where attorneys may be faced with the dilemma of client identity. Here are a few of those scenarios:
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.
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.