My Shingle

Ethics & Malpractice Issues

Dewey Really Want to Say That Crowdfunding Is Unethical Fee Splitting? The Biglaw/SmallLaw Double Standard

March 24, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Back in May 2013, Findlaw blogger William Peacock posted about Upstart, a  crowd funding site where “backers” provide money to new graduates, who pledge to repay the funds through a percentage of future income for a term of five or ten years. Upstart and similar crowd funding platforms might potentially offer an innovative solution to […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 2 comments

Twenty-First Century Solutions to the Age-Old Problem of Lawyers Who Abandon Practices Due to Death, Incapacity or Illness

December 2, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

The problem of lawyers abandoning a practice and leaving clients in the lurch is hardly new. Yet abandoned law practices are increasingly becoming a crisis for the legal profession reports Cincinnati Enquirer and Lexington Herald. In Kentucky, a recent tragic spike in the number of lawyer suicides  (six in 2012 alone) galvanized the bar’s attention […]

Read more Client Relations 1 comment

Why New York’s Recent Ethics Opinion on LinkedIn Shows the Folly of Regulating the Minutia of Social Media

August 30, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Lawyers’ ethical obligations when using social media may be summarized in a single graphic: Yet rather than invoke the simple litmus test of whether a communication is deceptive to a reasonable viewer to evaluate lawyer advertising, disciplinary committees feel compelled to spill thousands of words analyzing the ethics of each and every feature of each […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 4 comments

ISBA Report on the Impact of Debt on the Legal Profession: Accurate Assessment or Unfair Assumptions About Solos?

March 21, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Via Scott Greenfield, I learned about this recent study by the Illinois State Bar Association on The Impact of Law School Debt on the Legal Profession. Whether or not one blames the debt crisis on law schools (for inflating employment results), the government (for essentially prohibiting discharge of student loans in bankruptcy except in very […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 1 comment

Counsel of Counsel Relationships: Avoid Conflicts

March 19, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Nature abhors a vacuum, so the saying goes.  So it’s not surprising that with big law’s demise,  we’re seeing every flavor of alternative structure evolve, from upscale contract lawyer services  to remained law firms,  some  that rely entirely on outsourced workers  to meet client needs to groups of lawyers who operate separately but hold themselves […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 1 comment

Ethics Follow Up 2: Will Virginia law blogger’s challenge to discipline deprive other blogs of First Amendment protection?

January 28, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

In October 2011, I blogged about a Virginia lawyer Horace Hunter’s challenge to a disciplinary charge  for failing to include a disclaimer on his blog stating that results in past cases handled by the firm (and reported on the blog) are unique to the facts and do not guarantee a similar outcome in other cases.  Hunter […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 3 comments

Ethics Follow Up Part I: New Jersey bonafide office rule improves but still fails to recognize reality of the cloud

January 28, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

For those of you who track ethics developments at MyShingle, there are a couple of updates to report.  Here’s Part I; Part II (on blogs and the First Amendment) is Ethics Follow Up 2: Will Virginia law blogger’s challenge to discipline deprive other blogs of First Amendment protection? Back in March 2010, I mocked New […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 0 comments

The Siren’s Song of the Unlaw Firm: Will Today’s New Business Models Help Solos…or End Their Careers?

January 25, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Call it the un-law firm.  As big law crumbles and some solos struggle to compete with national non-lawyer providers like Legal Zoom, new business models for law firms are cropping up to fill the void.  From Virtual Law Partners  and  Rimon Legal  to branded networks of solos and franchise offices, alternatives to the standard law […]

Read more Business Models 0 comments

Understanding Technology to Save Clients from Themselves

December 17, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

On several occasions, I’ve described myself as a practical technologist, mastering and adopting new technology tools on a strictly need-to-know basis to serve clients.  So for me, having the latest, greatest gadget was never as important as being an early adopter of tools like client portals or webinar platforms or blogging so that I could […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 13 comments

Are Pay Per Lead Services and Attorney Ratings Sites on A Collision Course With Themselves?

December 3, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Public demand for lawyer ratings is on the rise.  As the above graph from Google Trends  shows, searches for the terms “attorney reviews” have increased five-fold in the past five years (the drop off results after October 2012 only because all data hasn’t yet available). The push for lawyer reviews is hardly surprising.  Today’s consumers […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 8 comments