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.

Ghostwriter

The Ethics of Ghostwriting for Pro Se Litigants

Ghostwriting is an effective way to provide assistance for a pro se litigant. However, jurisdictions differ on how much assistance triggers a duty to disclose that a lawyer has ghostwritten a pleading. Here is a guide to which states require what levels of disclosure.

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Lawyer Videos That Push the Boundaries of Dignity and Good Taste

Zombie lawyers, puppet attorneys, and more make an appearance in this roundup of YouTube lawyer advertisements.

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3 Social Media Ethics Traps to Avoid

Lawyers use social media in both a personal and professional capacity. Here are three social media ethics traps that you should work on avoiding.

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Your Practice Isn’t a Used-Car Lot: Puffery and Virtual Offices

The advent of technology that allows a lawyer to practice from anywhere has created a host of ethics issues.

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Big Unanswered Questions on Big Data and Ethical Obligations

Big data is transforming the legal profession, but big ethical questions remain.

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How To Avoid Billing for Interruptions

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

Close up Shiny Wooden Law Gavel in Dark Brown Color, on Top of Wooden Table at the Office.

In the Courtroom, Personal Political Views Must Take a Backseat to Client Interests

As important as expressing your own political viewpoints might be, in the courtroom with your client is not the place to do so.

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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.