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Texas Senate Bill 1716 - Civil Action for Barratry

By Stuart D. Colburn, Shareholder, Downs Stanford The Governor signed into law Senate Bill 1716 which becomes effective September 1, 2011. Senate Bill 1716 provides for civil penalties for barratry. Barratry is defined under Penal Code § 38.12 as "a legal solicitation of professional...

Social Media and Legal Ethics | No New Restrictions, Just Clarification

The jury is (almost) in. We do not, thankfully, anticipate a Casey-Anthony-super-sized-post-verdict outrage when the American Bar Association codifies its Commission on Ethics 20/20 proposed amendments to the Model Rules in 2012. According to the Commission's recent proposal and report , lawyers...

When Can Law Firms Screen to Avoid Disqualifications?

By David Sorensen While many are aware of the concept of screening, especially in light of recent action by many states and the ABA in this regard, fewer are aware how actually to use screening effectively. Correct use can not only obviate potential disqualifications, but also bar complaints, fee...

The Expansion of Attorney Liability to Non-Clients Under Common Law Theories

By Elizabeth M. Cristofaro, Goldberg Segalla The responsibility of an attorney runs primarily and directly to the client only. Canons 4 and 5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility set forth an attorney’s responsibilities of undivided loyalty and client confidences, but make no mention...

ABA Offers Guidance On Ethical, Legal Duties When Lawyer Receives Copies Of Third Party's E-mail Communications With Counsel

By David Sorensen Another in Our Series of Hinshaw Lawyers for the Profession® Alerts American Bar Association Formal Opinion 11-460 : Duty When Lawyer Receives Copies of Third Party's E-mail Communications With Counsel (August 4, 2011) Hinshaw's legal ethics and risk management...

THE ETHICAL ROLE OF THE ATTORNEY UNDER ALABAMA'S ANTI-IMMIGRANT LAW

" What is the role of the attorney in advising non-citizens who may be committing crimes in Alabama by virtue of simply being alive in Alabama?" - Cyrus D. Mehta, Nov. 11, 2011 .

New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition - § 16.04: The Tripartite Relationship Among the Insured, the Insurer and Insurer-Directed Defense Counsel

Section 16.04 of New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition deals with the relationship that exists between insureds, their insurers, and the insurer-directed legal counsel that insurers provide to their insureds. You can download a free copy of this section by clicking on the link below. Section...

This is not a compliance failure. It's an ethical failure

In the movie " Margin Call " the character played by Jeremy Irons says that there are three ways to lead in business: (1) Be the smartest; (2) Be there first; (3) Cheat. I thought about this trichotomy when reading several articles about the fine of $450 MM agreed to by the British bank Barclays...

Values Based Compliance in an Energy Company: Statoil and Helge Lund

Today is August 1 and the Houston Astros have put a July record of 3-27 in the rearview mirror. Can the Astros change this culture of losing? Hopefully by dumping the few true major leaguers that the team had and repopulating the team from its AAA affiliate will lead to better record in August. At least...

How Do You Change an Unhealthy Compliance Culture?

What is a healthy culture and how do you change an unhealthy culture? I have always thought that baseball was a simple game: you throw the ball; you hit the ball; you catch the ball. I had also thought that you could measure whether a baseball team had a healthy culture with a fairly easy-to-understand...

North Carolina State Bar Proposes New Formal Ethics Opinion

The intersection of technology and the rules of ethics continues to develop. The NC State Bar has proposed a new FEO ( 2012 Formal Ethics Opinion 5 ), which deals with the interesting question of the attorney-client privilege of an employee's emails to her personal lawyer that are on her employer's...

CAAA 2013 Winter Convention--Day Two Starts With Academy Award Nomination Level Ethics Panel and More

Academy Award Nomination Level Ethics Panel, Report From the WCAB Commissioners and a Legal Rock Star Hall of Fame Presentation of Top 10 Cases Impacting California Applicants By David Bryan Leonard, Esq. Day two of the CAAA winter convention started with what I consider to be an academy-award-nomination...

CAAA 2013 Winter Convention--Day Two Starts With Academy Award Nomination Level Ethics Panel and More

Academy Award Nomination Level Ethics Panel, Report From the WCAB Commissioners and a Legal Rock Star Hall of Fame Presentation of Top 10 Cases Impacting California Applicants By David Bryan Leonard, Esq. Day two of the CAAA winter convention started with what I consider to be an academy-award...

Attorney Charged with Ethics Complaint over Probate Blog

Every now and then, blogging will get someone in "trouble." See e.g. Rakofsky v. Internet , in which one Joseph Rakofsky sued a whole bunch of bloggers and other media over their posts criticizing among other things, his competency and ethics. I put the words "trouble" in quotes,...

The Duty to Correct False Evidence Submitted on Behalf of a Client: When Does it End?

" In the immigration context, it may appear that a lawyer’s obligation to remedy a client’s fraud or false statement, if it was made to a tribunal, could last in perpetuity. It could result in draconian results, if say, a child or a spouse derived a green card, or even a derivative citizenship...

Wa. Ethics Rule Bars Mention of Immigration Status for Coercive Purpose in Civil Cases

"Mentioning an individual's immigration status in court might not seem all that intimidating to a U.S. citizen. But it can deter someone who is undocumented from pursuing a civil claim, or improperly influence a jury, the Washington Supreme Court says. It clarified an existing state rule of...

William A. Ruskin: Securitizing Litigation Claims for Fun and Profit

By William A. Ruskin Call me old fashioned, but I am uncomfortable with the growing industry involving third-party financing of commercial claims in litigation. In the not-too-distant future, it may well be that commercial litigations will be “bundled” and traded as securities on financial...

The Most Ethical Workers in the US May Be … Construction Workers, Report Finds

U.S. construction industry employees are more at risk for facing workplace ethics issues, but they also are more willing to blow the whistle on misconduct than employees in other industries, according to a report from the Ethics Resource Center (ERC). When compared to the U.S. national averages, employees...

The Ethics of Deportation

"I start by looking at the way the world is organized today. It resembles feudalism. Being born into the United States rather than the Congo is like being born into the nobility rather than the peasantry in the Middle Ages. This completely random factor dramatically advantages and disadvantages...

Ethically-Challenged Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Resigns

The lieutenant governor of Arkansas, Mark Darr, is resigning following a decision by the state ethics commission to fine him for nearly a dozen ethics violations, including for his personal use of more than $30,000 of campaign funds. Darr, a Republican who has faced mounting pressure since the ethics...

The Unethical Use of Immigration Status in Civil Matters

"[T]he Washington Supreme Court unanimously adopted a formal Comment to RPC 4.4(a) to provide guidance on the use of immigration status in civil matters. The comment became effective on Sept. 1, 2013. The comment notes that “[i]ssues involving immigration status carry a significant danger...

Recent Changes to New York Election Law and Government Ethics Laws to Affect Organizations Involved in Political Advocacy as well as Public Officials

Continuing the recent trend, New York State has again enacted changes to New York’s election and government ethics laws in order to “restore public trust” in government. These “reforms,” which are likely to affect advocacy organizations, public officials, candidates, committees...

NCBJ 2014: Ethics and Supreme Debate

Saturday concluded NCBJ with ethics and the Supreme Court review. (There was also a program on scientific studies of mindfulness which I missed). Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! An Ethics Game Show: Retired Judge James H. Haines as Peter Segal, Christine Devine (DeMaillie & Lougee), Judge Benjamin...

New York State Lobbyists Required to Complete Training Before End of 2014

As a result of broad ethics reform legislation enacted in 2011, the New York State Legislative Law mandates that the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE or the Commission) “provide an online ethics training course for individuals registered as lobbyists.” The law further...

2 New NYSBA Ethics Opinions on Immigration - Law360

Law360, July 24, 2015 - "Lawyers for children in immigration proceedings may disclose the names and some information about their clients’ cases to so-called granting organizations in certain instances, according to one of two recently published New York State Bar Association ethics opinions...