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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Should Lawyers Be Able to Discuss Client Information That’s Already Public?

A recent opinion from the California bar says that attorneys shouldn't be allowed to publicly discuss information about a client even if that information is publicly available. Whether or not that decision is wrong isn't quite the right question.

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Fee Splitting is Mostly About Protecting Lawyers, Not Clients

Is South Carolina right in determining that Avvo's new fixed-fee service constitutes impermissible fee-splitting with non-lawyers? Sort of.

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It’s about Time the ABA Added Anti-Harassment Language to the Model Rules

The ABA just approved changes to Model Rule 8.4, adding language prohibiting discrimination and harassment. You'd think we would have already had this covered.

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Crowdfunded Litigation Financing: Out of Semi-Obscurity and Into the Wall Street Journal

Crowdfunding of litigation, where individual investors get to fund a piece of a lawsuit in the hopes of big returns, has hit the mainstream with coverage in the Wall Street Journal.

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The Battle Over Competitive Keywords in Google Adwords Marketing

Is it permissible for you to use your competitors' names in your Adwords campaigns so that when someone searches for your rival, you'll be higher in the Google search results instead? It depends on where you live.

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It Is Time to Mandate Continuances for Parental Leave

The Florida Bar’s Rules of Judicial Administration Committee recently refused to pass a rule that would mandate continuances for parental leave. This is terrible for everyone, but especially for solosmall lawyers.

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What if You Could Be Paid to Lose a Case?

Would you consider buying litigation insurance if it would pay you if you lost a case? You have the opportunity to do so now.

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You Need to Talk About Litigation Financing With Your Clients

Litigation financing is becoming increasingly common in a variety of solosmall practice areas. Here's why you need to talk to your clients about it.

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Uber’s Secret, Encrypted, Far-Reaching Investigation Into Opposing Counsel

Uber has taken extraordinary measures to investigate a plaintiff–and his lawyer.

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Things to Keep in Mind When an Employee Leaves the Firm

When an attorney leaves a firm, many ethical obligations arise for both the departing lawyer and the firm they leave behind. Here are some key things to keep in mind.

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Podcast #74: Staying out of Hot Water with the Ethics Board, with Eric Cooperstein

In this podcast, Sam chats with Eric Cooperstein, an ethics attorney. They talk about how to approach law practice in a way that avoids ethics trouble.

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Mapping In-House Lawyers from Ethical Champions to the Comfortably Numb

In-house attorneys report facing significant ethical challenges in their workplace.

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5 Questions to Ask Before Taking a Deposition

Before you file your next deposition notice, ask yourself if the deposition is really necessary. If the answer is no and you take the deposition anyway, you are wasting time, driving up litigation costs, and perhaps even damaging your case.

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4 Ways to Secure Your Clients’ Information

A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client. (Rule 1.6(c).) So what are reasonable efforts when it comes to your clients’ information stored on your computer? You have to make an effort, obviously. But how much effort […]

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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.