My Shingle

Ethics Issues

Social Media and Lawyers’ Duty To Report

September 19, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

By now, you may have heard via Simple Justice or  Legal Ethics Forum about the news accounts  of the public defender who lost her job after posting a photo of her client’s leopard-print briefs on her Facebook page along with a caption suggesting that the underwear was the client’s family’s idea of proper court attire.   […]

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Solos at the Second [Circuit]: The Battle over the Constitutionality of NY Jud. Code Sec. 470 Continues

April 25, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

I’m fast learning that lawyers’ can’t just act as advocates in defending rights or effecting change in the law; sometimes, we’ve got to play the role of litigant. As I’ve posted previously, I’m defending the First Amendment not as an attorney but as a defendant and client. And now, I’m an amicus along with a […]

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The NY State Bar Has a Mobile App for Ethics. Why Not the ABA or Other States?

January 17, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Lawyers are obligated to abide by ethics rules at all times – and thanks to the New York State Bar Association , fulfilling that obligation is easier than it’s ever been with a new mobile app that’s available for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry. As a New York licensed lawyer myself, I’ve already downloaded the […]

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First Amendment Challenge to Restriction on Lawyer’s Blog Likely to Flounder – And Bring Other Blogs Down With It

October 10, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

As the saying goes, bad facts make bad law. And there’s going to be some very bad law for lawyer blogs indeed if Virginia small firm lawyer Horace Hunter loses his First Amendment challenge to the Virginia Bar’s attempt to require the firm to include certain disclaimers on its blog. Don’t get me wrong – […]

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MyShingle’s Proposed Revisions to Ethics 20/20 Model Rules on Admissions and Model Rule 5.5

October 5, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Though I started with the best of intentions to track the activities of the ABA Commission on Ethics 2020, I’ve been having some trouble keeping up with the Commission’s relentless pace. This month brings another barrage of proposals on Outsourcing, Client Confidentiality and Technology and Technology and Lawyer Marketing, and Attorney Admissions. I’ve already provided […]

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A Solo Fought the Law and the Solo Won! NY Jud. Code 470 Found Unconstitutional!

September 8, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

The wheels of justice grind slowly, but exceedingly fine. Nearly four years have passed since New-York barred, New Jersey residing attorney Ekaterina Schoenefeld refused to play scofflaw and ignore a valid law requiring only non-resident lawyers to maintain an in-state office  simply because she personally believed it to be outdated or unjust. Instead, Schoenefeld did […]

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Just Because Lawyer Marketing Is Ethical Doesn’t Mean It’s EFFECTIVE!!!

August 28, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

It’s been stormy summer for Groupon, a daily deal website and once darling of Wall Street. Since June, Groupon’s web traffic tanked by 50 percent, its IPO is on the rocks and a judge just green-lighted a false advertising suit filed against the company.  Still, Groupon can celebrate one victory: a thumbs up from the […]

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Ethics Rules May Be Stupid, But Rules Are Rules

August 13, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Update (8/13/2011, 10 am –  Please read through the comments and my responses in the Comment Section. I plan to update this post but for now, I will respond in the comment section.  For convenience, I have uploaded the NY Rules of Professional Conduct here – NYRulesofProfessionalConduct4109-6 which I will reference in my comments] Also, […]

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The Unbearable Smugness of an Experienced Lawyer

August 7, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

During a recent Social Media for Lawyers book-signing at the ABA Conference with my co-author, Nicole Black, a lawyer came past the table, picked up the book with her fingertips, as if it were radioactive, then set it down and sniffed “Oh, social media. I just don’t do any of this stuff.” When pressed, the […]

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Don’t Moonlight

July 20, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Because of my work with lawyer/author Julie Tower-Pierce on The Part Time Shingle, I’m often asked by aspiring solos about whether they should start a practice while working for a law firm. My answer never varies. Unless you disclose and receive permission from a law firm employer to start your own side practice, DON’T! From […]

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