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Ethics & Malpractice Issues

What Cutting Ethical Corners Says About You As A Lawyer

March 15, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Ah, those silly bar ethics rules. Like the ones that prohibit lawyers from dubbing their practice “Smith & Associates” when the firm is comprised of just one person. Recall, that Sonya Sotomayor ran afoul of these rules and it came back to bite her during her confirmation hearings. As it turned out, Sotomayor’s ethics lapse […]

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ABA’s Issue Paper on Admission by Motion: Impact on Women Lawyers

January 28, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

I’ve been so busy covering the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 initiatives on ethics of lawyer use of social media for marketing and confidentiality concerns regarding lawyer use of technology that I just about overlooked the other initiatives that continue to emerge. For example, on December 2, 2010, the ABA’s released an issues paper on […]

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Are Solos in Debt At Disciplinary Risk?

January 18, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Last week, Above the Law’s Elie Mystal posted about a frighteningly out-of-touch Ohio Supreme Court decision which held that a recent law school graduate lacked the character, fitness and moral qualifications to take the bar exam. Was the applicant a killer, drug addict or wife-beater? Nope. Just a 34-year old dad and former self-supporting stockbroker […]

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Avoid the Client-Portal Potty

December 6, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

What’s not to like about an online client portal?  Setting up a site that enables clients to access their records or check the status of their case 24/7 offers the benefit of convenience and saves costs by eliminating the need for staff to respond to client requests for information. Client portals aren’t pricey either.  Technologies […]

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E-shaming (or e-lucidating): Just What the Doctor Prescribed for Ethics (updated)

November 12, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Over at the Avvo Blog, general counsel Josh King shares the American Medical Association‘s just released Policy on Professionalism in the Use of Social Media — all 358 words of it.   Josh applauds the AMA Policy for both its brevity and: tacit acknowledgment that physicians are professionals – professionals who may need some guidance […]

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ABA Ethics 20/20: Summary Recording and Powerpoint

November 5, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Thanks to all who participated in today’s ABA Ethics 20/20 call. We had a decent turn out, including a member of the ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission. As promised (especially for those who called in late due to my time zone error), here’s the recording of the call and the Power Point presentation. The recording is […]

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Can’t Stop This Train: Avvo Adds Doctor Reviews

November 1, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Today, Avvo, a  lawyer-rating service introduced a new rating service for doctors. Though Avvo isn’t first to market with doctor review sites — more than a year ago, there were already several other players in the field — Avvo’s entrance shows one thing: whether we professionals like it or not, consumer ratings services are here […]

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The Retainer Letter As a Walk Down Memory Lane

October 22, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

I may not be a contract aficionado like Ken Adams, but I love a good retainer agreement.  Though  clean, crisp language and brevity makes me swoon as much as any other lawyer, my affinity for retainer agreements reaches far deeper than the surface:  quite simply, I’m a sucker for the stories behind the the whereas […]

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MyShingle Briefing and Hearing on ABA Ethics 2020 Whitepapers

October 22, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

On October 14, 2010, the ABA Ethics 2020 Commission held a public hearing on two proposed whitepapers, one dealing with cloud computing, the other with lawyers’ use of internet tools, primarily social media, for marketing.  [update] I wish to emphasize that the Whitepapers themselves reflect a substantial amount of research and fairly identify or evaluate […]

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Billing Methodologies Don’t Act Unethically. Lawyers Do.

October 5, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Look,  I’m no friend of the billable hour.   As others have emphasized far more eloquently, the billable hour measures time, not results and as such, breeds inefficiency.  Worst, for at least two decades, the billable hour fed biglaw’s associate leverage schemes which have since buckled under the weight of bloated fees and left countless young […]

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