My Shingle

Ethics & Malpractice Issues

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 10 comments

Solo Off to A Bad Start

October 15, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Starting a law practice is hard enough, without having to defend yourself in a lawsuit.  But that’s the position that Carolyn Hartle finds herself in, according to the  Sharon Herald, after having launched her new practice while she was still working as an associate at her former law firm, Lewis and Ristvey.  But is this […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 0 comments

Who you calling unethical, Warren Boroson? Please stop picking on solo lawyers!

May 8, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

In an era of  lawyer bashing,NJ Columnist Warren Boroson’s piece Why Every Middle Class Family Needs a Lawyer  could have been an important educational reminder why lawyers still matter.  And while in truth, Boroson’s article makes that case, Boroson does a far greater disservice by advising readers to “avoid solo practitioners” when hiring lawyers. Boroson’s […]

Read more Client Relations 25 comments

Advice on Giving Legal Advice

February 23, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

When does educational marketing cross the line into legal advice? In an era of increased consumer hunger for information online and the rise of crowdsourced advice sites, understanding what types of communications constitute legal advice is a critical matter — and one which Brian Tannebaum addresses at My Law License. Brian’s post has also generated […]

Read more Client Relations 19 comments

Third Verse, Same as the First – Outsourcing Marketing = Outsourcing Ethics

February 8, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Eric Turkewitz said it first, years ago, and still, no one’s listening. Most recently, a fairly new South Carolina attorney disobeyed the legal profession’s equivalent of the law of gravity, outsourcing marketing = outsourcing ethics. And just as ignoring the gravity or pretending that it doesn’t exist will send anyone but a fantasy character tumbling, […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 4 comments

If Consumers Want to Know Where Their Tomatoes Are Grown, Don’t They Have A Right To Know Where Their Lawyer Is Located?

December 7, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Yesterday, while shopping in WholeFoods (a reward to myself after a particularly grueling week consisting largely of take-out), I noticed several prominently displayed signs touting local produce. Though the Whole Foods stores in my area have carried local produce for some time, what made this display particularly interesting is that the sign disclosed both the […]

Read more Ethics & Malpractice Issues 5 comments