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Nicole Hyland
New York attorney focusing on legal ethics and professional responsibility, as well as intellectual property and entertainment law
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Great news. Congratulations!
Hi Alberto. You know, I did think about Betsy's presence as well as her undue influence over Craig. I decided not to go down that route, because there were other issues I wanted to focus on. I think it's a bit complicated with the marital relationship (as opposed to other family members). There is a marital privilege, so I wonder how her presence affects the atty-client privilege - I'm not sure the law is clear on this. Or perhaps they are joint clients of the firm, so their joint communications with the firm are protected. But that raises the issue as to whether the Kettlemans were advised of any conflict issues between them and signed a conflict waiver. In my post, I do say that the plea decision is Craig's (under Rule 1.2), but as a married couple, any decision he makes will affect her and the whole family. So, it does make sense - from a practical perspective - that she's involved. He is going to discuss those issues with her anyway, whether in or out of the presence of the lawyer. And, in the end, he finally stands up to her when it becomes clear that taking the deal is the best thing for the children.
Thanks Andrew!
Alberto - the phone call to the Kettlemans takes place in Episode 3, I think. So I will get to that in my next installment. Andrew - Certainly future installments will deal a lot with advertising and solicitation rules. Interesting point about NM's disclosure rule. Rule 16-106(B) states: "To prevent the client from committing a criminal act that the lawyer believes is likely to result in imminent death or substantial bodily harm, a lawyer should reveal such information to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary." However, if Nacho's plan is only to steal the money, then arguable it falls under Rule 16-106(C), which permits (but does not require) the lawyer to reveal information to "prevent the client from committing a criminal act that the lawyer believes is likely to result in substantial injury to the financial interest or property of another."
Could he be disciplined for calling his former clients "villains," although he does not provide any identifying information.
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2014 on Jamie Casino's ad at Legal Ethics Forum
This raises an interesting question. Are the Glass and Garcia opinions inconsistent? Can they be reconciled? Should they be?
I hear you Monroe. Dadaism rejects patterns and themes, but is still considered great art by many. I think there is a point where the analogy to art and music breaks down. With persuasive legal writing, structure and logic are still critical.
This was a topic of discussion at one of the APRL meetings last year. I don't think all law schools are as diligent at explaining this concept to new law students as yours is. Also, I think it is a message that needs to be stated more than once.
One thing I see in good legal writing (and which is often missing in bad legal writing) is the recurring theme. Good legal briefs, like great musical compositions, have a strong overarching theme that repeats throughout. By the end, the theme becomes so familiar that the listener not only recognizes it but looks forward to hearing it. Having a good theme creates an emotional connection that transcends logic.
Hi. Thanks for your comment. I believe there are ways to structure these types of services in the non-profit context. I hope it is clear that the opinion involves a for-profit business enterprise. Also the opinion is (I hope) clear that filling out forms is not necessarily practicing law. But I believe the broader point - that some of these ethics rules can hamper the ability to provide low-cost services - is a valid criticism.
This seems like the usual "square peg in a round hole" problem. The rules they are relying on don't seem to really fit the situation.
I second Richard's suggestion of copying your comment before you hit post. This avoids the problem where brilliant observations such as the one Steve undoubtedly created are lost forever (to our collective detriment). In fact, this experience is a perfect example of how a little technical savvy can counteract the risks of dealing with imperfect technologies ...
Thanks for sharing Andrew. Do lawyers who order the CD version instead of the download automatically fail the course? (It's a trap!!!)
Yes, Richard. I always discuss try to discuss Lester. In fact, I spoke about Lester at a CLE I did in Florida for employees of the Southern Poverty Law Center last fall. One of the attendees contributed some interesting additional information. The attorney in that case, Matthew Murray, was well respected in Virginia and a strong financial supporter of legal services. So when he resigned from his firm and then agreed to a five year suspension, it was also a major loss to the legal services community. So, sometimes the effects are even more far-reaching than you realize.
Well, since you mention it, Rich Maltz and I are doing a program at the NY City Bar on Jan 14 at 9:30 am about the broader technology issues. Katie Lachter and Raymond Vallejo are also on the panel. Here is a link to the brochure. But don't buy yet! If you mention my name when you register, you can get a 15% discount.
Great list. thanks for sharing.
Yes, I think it's safe to say that many of these rules are not applied consistently or fairly. And, as one PR lawyer I know says about Rule 3.3, it is "honored more in the breach."
Dan - thanks for being honest! I agree that NY state practice can be pretty scrappy. But I can't imagine you would be terribly rude. Monroe - I am also concerned about sanctions for incivility, because they can be arbitrary. Frankly, I would like to see more enforcement of discovery abuse sanctions. That would solve much of the problem. Richard - thanks! I will check out that book.
Wasn't everyone telling me that Hunter was limited to "completed" cases, last time we discussed it in the comments? (I was arguing that the rationale could theoretically be extended to pending cases).
I particularly liked the "Oh, THAT conflict!" heading in Judge McMahon's opinion.
This opinion should be required reading for every conflicts course (not to mention for every law firm's general counsel). If it is correct (and I understand BSF believes there should have been an evidentiary hearing, which suggests that the firm may argue on appeal that the facts are misstated or incomplete) it is a textbook example of how not to analyze a former client conflict. Also the discussion of the sanctions and who should bear the cost of a DQ motion is an important and often overlooked issue in conflicts.
I love this post. You are totally Milton Waddams right now! But I am not sure about the bookweight. This seems a bit antiquated. There's many a time when I've said "where is the darn mid-sized stapler? Has someone taken it again?" But I've never said this about a bookweight. Can you make a case for it?
Good social media marketing is based primarily on providing good content - disseminating useful, substantive information in a way that will reach one's potential client base. Arguably, it encourages choice of counsel for better reasons than "I know this guy from my golf club" or "we went to Harvard together 30 years ago." Even when a potential client learns of lawyer through "word of mouth" they are likely to go online and check the lawyer out. If the lawyer has a strong, substantive presence on social media, that can provide invaluable support for the original recommendation. I would not assume that social media has a predominant effect on unsophisticated clients.
Toggle Commented Aug 29, 2013 on Anti-Social Media for Lawyers at Legal Ethics Forum
Has the ABA ever sued anyone for publishing the model rules?
sorry, I meant to write "intra-firm" fee-sharing. Not "inter-firm" fee sharing.