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Ethics & Malpractice Issues

An Issue-Spotting Exercise in Revenue Stream Opportunities That Solos Should Avoid

May 27, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

In these uncertain economic times, many solo and small firm lawyers must struggle to make ends meet. Thus, they’re always on the look-out for side jobs to supplement their income. And while waiting tables or working as a barista in a coffee house are options, most new solos would prefer law-related freelance or per diem […]

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MyShingle’s Been Sued in Rakofsky v. the Internet

May 13, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

After seven and a half years of blogging at MyShingle, I thought that I’d seen the last of my firsts. But thanks to Joseph Rakofsky and the Rakofsky Law Firm PC, is one of multiple defendants named in this first ever law suit against my site, keeping company with Above the Law, the Washington […]

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No Do Overs in Solo Practice

May 3, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

One of the aspects of solo practice that I love most is that it keeps us engaged. We spend most of our professional life on the wire – dealing with clients and small businesses instead of mindlessly researching and reviewing documents, while always wondering in the back of our minds where the next case is […]

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Law Firm Wants Fans Badly Enough to Violate Facebook Rules

April 21, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Don’t get me wrong, I love creative law firm marketing ideas – so much so, that I’ve collected a couple here and here. But I’m not amused when marketing initiatives violate rules – even when those rules seem stupid – because it suggests that the law firm didn’t engage in due diligence. Consider the case […]

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From tiny ethics mishaps, do major missteps grow?

April 3, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Back in March, I pondered whether there might be a correlation between cutting little ethics corners on seemingly insignificant matters like advertising and committing major ethics breaches like pilfering from trust accounts or prejudicing a criminal defendant’s rights on the other. I actually hoped that my observation was wrong – after all, if a slip-up […]

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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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