Legal Ethics

We all want to reduce our risk for legal malpractice.

Here you can find our thoughts on attorney-client privilege, existing client communication and your duties with potential clients.

We also discuss your emerging responsibilities in regards to online privacy and security.

Need more ideas? Join other innovative lawyers in the Lawyerist LAB.

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The Calculus of Risk, Tech Competence Edition

Rule 1.6(c)'s "reasonable efforts" is a duty of care. So let’s see how the calculus of risk plays out when we apply it to computer security.

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California’s Chief Ethics Prosecutor Resigns Amid Ongoing Drama

As previously discussed here on Lawyerist, the State Bar of California’s head prosecutor of lawyers, Chief Trial Counsel Jayne Kim, has been surrounded by drama for much of her five years at the helm of the bar’s disciplinary arm. This week she shocked the bar by resigning her position. Kim’s resignation comes just a few months after […]

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Kansas Supreme Court Says It’s Unethical Not to Track Your Time

Every law student knows it takes more than a time sheet to determine the reasonableness of a lawyer's fee.

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How To Dissolve a Law Partnership

But plans don't always work out, and what was once a promising law firm can find itself headed toward dissolution. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in the position of having to dissolve your law firm.


Now Is the Time to Rethink UPL Regulations

It’s time for lawyers to rethink UPL. We are facing a drastically changed, and rapidly changing, landscape. Lawyers need outside expertise to respond to the demands of the increasingly savvy client and consumers of low-to-moderate means.


How to Tell a Client You Screwed Up

Moving forward, learn from your mistake. The best thing about making a mistake is that you should (hopefully) never make the same mistake again.


Why Are Lawyers and Judges Still Tweeting About Trial?

The new year is still young. Perhaps one resolution should be to stop tweeting about your trials from the courtroom.


Do Not BCC Your Client When Emailing Opposing Counsel

The New York State Bar Association recently released an ethics opinion that, at first, blush, seems unnecessary: it warned you, gently, not to bcc your client on correspondence to opposing counsel. This seems rather far afield for an ethics opinion, particularly as that bcc is often a convenient way to keep your client apprised of what you […]

Ethics Enter Key

California Attorney Advertising Rules May Soon Apply to Blogs Even When Lawyer Is Not In Charge

California’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) has been working on an ethics opinion on the applicability to attorney advertising rules to blogs for a while now, and after receiving public comments on its draft opinion, it released a revised draft and opened up a new 90-day public comment period. Comments can be […]


What You Need to Know About Attorney Discipline

Each state has its own way of handling attorney discipline, and it is imperative you learn how your state takes in complaints, investigates and prosecutes cases, and issues sanctions.


You Will Be Reprimanded If You Steal a Giant Shark Tooth

You hear a lot about the most common reasons for attorney discipline: lawyers don’t communicate with their clients, they charge excessive fees, or they improperly handle client funds. What you don’t often hear about is someone getting  letter of reprimand for…stealing the giant tooth of a long-extinct enormous prehistoric shark-type creature. That possibility was definitely not […]


Shillelagh-Brandishing Potty Mouth Loses Law License

While Gmail’s new “Undo” feature can save you from an all-too-hasty click, it cannot save you from your own stupidity. On January 7, the Louisiana Hearing Committee recommended one fiery lawyer’s permanent disbarment after determining he “had to be admonished for brandishing about his shillelagh, his action clearly inappropriate for a disciplinary proceeding.” The lawyer had been […]


The Lawyers’ Guide to Hacking Threats

As quickly as we build new technology to keep criminals out, hackers are working around the clock, and using sophisticated tools like Darkode, to climb your security walls. Prevent these attacks with a


Sexism = Sanctions

From the fact that women argue a miniscule amount of SCOTUS cases to the persistent pay gap to the depressingly small number of female equity partners, we all know that the law profession can be terrible for women. Perhaps that is why seeing a resounding benchslap directed at a sexist attorney is so satisfying. It isn’t uncommon […]


How To Avoid Billing for Interruptions

More than almost any other type of worker, lawyers overestimate the amount of time they spend working.