Category Archives: Ethics

More Isn’t Better: Spending more for lawyers only guarantees a bigger bill

An otherwise political debate about differences in how laws are unevenly enforced for the one percent versus the rest of us became distracted by suggestions that people who can afford to pay more for their lawyers get better lawyering as … Continue reading

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Jury Duty: Judge jails lawyer for complaining that jury duty conflicted with client duty

There are several common “types” for judges — so common that they are frequently portrayed quite accurately on TV and in movies.  You’ve got your passive, cerebral, experienced judge — the ones who never yell or make snide remarks.  Then … Continue reading

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eBandAids: California Bar prescribes higher bills to “fix” firms’ e-discovery incompetence

The legal profession tends to lag behind the rest of the business and professional world when it comes to understanding and embracing technology.  Usually it’s the demands of the junior — more technically adroit — staff who may move things … Continue reading

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Off The Cuff: Retired judge gets reprimand for allegedly sexist remarks about sexism

Lawyers are the foot soldiers in the legal system — the boots on the ground in modern cliche.  (Clients are the prisoners of war.)  Trial judges might be the lower-ranking officers, while legislators (and higher ranking judges) are the generals.  … Continue reading

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Client Baggage: Sometimes other clients can help you deal with lawyers, sometimes not

Sometimes civilians who have experience dealing with lawyers can give other civilians useful advice about finding and dealing with lawyers.  Other times, however, the civilian’s personal story (or rant) just shows how far off track you can go with a … Continue reading

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Immaterial Fact: Bar approves some lying in settlement negotiations

Ethics restrictions on lawyers preclude them from engaging in the sort of misleading or sneaky practices that are common in the business world, for example.  A lawyer is not, for example, supposed to speak directly with a non-lawyer opponent except … Continue reading

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Stage Fright: Lawyer’s attempt to call in sick for argument backfires

For any occupation involving public speaking, stage fright is an occupational hazard.  Sure it’s common with actors, politicians, and speakers, but it’s also common with lawyers.  The public generally assumes that lawyers must all have public speaking skills, something they … Continue reading

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Pro Bono: Free legal services are rare and sometimes overpriced

Out of the many quasi-Latin or otherwise obscure phrases lawyers use every day, “pro bono,” short for “pro bono publico,” is one that’s recognizable to many civilians.  Literally it means ‘for the public good,’ but what it really means to … Continue reading

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Golden Years: Who’s guarding us from court-appointed guardians?

We get many complaints from people whose trust funds, retirement funds, bank accounts or other accounts are being drained by trustees, guardians, or others who are paid out of other people’s money to provide services that are supposed to protect … Continue reading

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The Friendly Ghost: Those opposed to legal ghostwriters are seeing issues that aren’t there

One unfortunate — but inevitable — byproduct of legal ethics (or any system for regulation of any competitive business) is that ethics rules and the entities that enforce them are often abused as a means to restrain competition or retaliate … Continue reading

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