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Mistakes/What NOT To Do

How Good Solos Suffer When the Greedy Sell Out for $125 A Pop

March 14, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Back in July, I denounced three Cincinnati, Ohio lawyers who shamelessly served as a front for a foreclosure solutions scam.  The lawyers never met with clients (who were going to lose their homes!) or did any work on their behalf; they merely signed their name to canned pleadings prepared by a so-called foreclosure solutions company for […]

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One False Move Can Cost You Your Practice…And How You Can Avoid It

September 22, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

This week’s news brings a couple of stories of solo and small firm lawyers who may not be practicing law much longer.  First up is Rochester, New York solo Melissa Mahler, who is the subject of  insider trading charges by the SEC.  Back in 2004, when Mahler worked as an associate at Nixon Peabody, she […]

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Don’t Tarnish Your Fresh Start With A Rotten Ending

September 11, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Opening a law firm by choice or by circumstance offers a chance at a fresh start.  However, it’s all too easy to tarnish that bright, shiny new beginning with a nasty ending at your former position.   That is what appears to have happened with Jim Driscoll’s departure from St. Louis law firm Brown & Crouppen, […]

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Why Does the Trade Press Focus on Biglaw Attorneys Turned Solo Who Don’t Succeed?

August 5, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Not all lawyers who start their own firm experience wild success.  This month’s American Lawyer focuses on three who did not.  I don’t take issue with the story’s spin because I believe that it’s important to impress the challenges of starting a practice.  Too many of the new crop of opportunist start-a-firm gurus blithely gloss […]

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Risking a Law License for $125 A Pop

July 21, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

File this story under “What were they thinking?”  That was my first reaction when I read this disciplinary decision, Cincinnati Bar Association v. Mullaney, in which three lawyers were sanctioned  for partnering up with Foreclosure Solutions, a non-lawyer company which referred the lawyers foreclosure cases (yes, that’s right – cases where folks were about to […]

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The Lessons of Sotomayor and Associates

July 12, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Fittingly, it was a solo – Eric Turkewitz – who broke the story of Supreme Court nominee, Sonya_Sotomayor‘s foray into solo practice under the firm name, Sotomayor and Associates -impermissible name under New York ethics rules given that Sotomayor did not have any associates working for her firm.  The issue has created enough of a […]

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If It Sounds Too Good To Be True….

June 9, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

For Robyn Glassman-Katz, the gig with lemon law firm,  Kimmel and Silverman must have seemed like nirvana; an opportunity for a lawyer with limited consumer law experience to run a branch office of a nationally known law firm.  Likewise, Kimmel and Silverman must have believed that it hit the jackpot when it found Glassman-Katz, a […]

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If It Sounds Suspicious, It Is Probably Unethical

May 3, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Imagine having your bar licenses suspended for two years over a measly $175.  Sadly, that’s what happened to this unfortunate Ohio attorney (Respondent) who accepted referrals from United Financial Systems Corporation (UFS), a national wealth management company.  As described in this grievance decision by the Supreme Court of Ohio, UFS representatives used non-lawyers to meet […]

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How NOT to Handle a Mistake

April 27, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

It’s something that all of us practicing lawyers dread: we file a case, and it’s lost or somehow misplaced at the court, resulting in a missed statute of limitations. So if you find yourself in this situation, do you (a) try to appeal the dismissal of the case, arguing that the clerk erred; (b) ‘fess […]

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How Not To Price

April 3, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Over at Legal Blogwatch, I posted about a case of outrageous billing by Debra Opri, attorney to Larry Birkhead, who claims to be father to Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter. Exhorbitant charges included thousand dollar dinners where Birkhead wasn’t present, substantial cell phone roaming charges and even expenses for personal laundry. The 112 page invoice totaled […]

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