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Ethics Issues

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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Musings from the Other End of the Pleading

June 21, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

For the past month, ever since I learned that I’d been named as a defendant in Rakofsky v. the Internet, I’ve been getting acclimated to life on the other end of the pleading. In my seventeen years as a solo, I’ve inhabited a comfortable spot on the signature line. I still get a thrill at […]

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The North Carolina Bar’s Double Standard for Data and Dollars

June 20, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Two months ago, North Carolina released Proposed Formal Ethics Opinion 6 , Subscribing to Software as a Service (SaaS) While Fulfilling the Duties of Confidentiality and Preservation of Client Property. As others, including my Social Media for Lawyers co-author Nicole Black, NC Bar LPM Advisor Eric Mazzone, e-lawyering pioneer Richard Granat and North Carolina virtual […]

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Will Technology Make Lawyers More or Less Truthful About Whether They Work from Home?

May 10, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

During the past seventeen years of my practice, I’ve alternated between a traditional office (which I had before my first daughter was born, and currently have now) and maintaining a virtual space while working from home. I strongly believe that home-based offices offer many benefits for both lawyers and clients. For lawyers, particularly for cash-strapped […]

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Solo Plus

March 4, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Starting a law firm can be hard. But once you’ve got the infrastructure in place, there’s no reason that you can’t launch other side ventures. That’s the subject of this article Solo/Small Law Plus , highlighting lawyers with side “hustles” (as we’ve referred to it on Solosez) and offering a couple of thoughts on how […]

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DLAPiper’s $200k Cover Charge Part II: Ethics Issues

February 8, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

This morning, I posted about DLAPiper’s $200k minimum annual billing cover charge for clients. But after a couple of conversations, I’ve gotten to wondering how DLAPiper can enforce this minimum charge without running afoul of ethics requirements. For example, what happens if DLAPiper estimates that defending Company X in a major lawsuit will cost $250,000, […]

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Don’t Lose Your Reputation When Leaving A Law Firm

May 14, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

(Note: Originally published online at Complete Lawyer, July 2008) Most law students and lawyers know quite a bit about finding a job—how to write a compelling cover letter and an attention-grabbing resume, how to navigate tricky interview questions and how to make contacts who can help with the job search. With all the time we […]

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Ghostbusting in the Blogosphere: Is Ghostblogging Unethical & What’s the Best Way to Deal With It?

February 1, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Back in 2004, now my departed-from-the-blogosphere friend David Giacalone predicted that Ghostblogging Will Kill the Blogosphere.  In a thoughtful post that considered the issue from all sides, David criticized the ethics of ghost blogging and lamented that that mass produced, ghostblogs would be “devoid of the spark of life that has put magic into this way […]

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Is Biglaw Planning on Changing the Rules of The Game?

January 27, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Boo-hoo for biglaw.  Unable to cope with the economic downturn, biglaw may now try to change the rules of the game. Over at Ideoblog, Professor Larry Ribstein faults ethics rules such as the prohibition on non-compete agreements and non-lawyer investment in law firms and conflicts of interest requirements.  For example, Ribstein says that because firms […]

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