Category Archives: Ethics

Clients Uncovered: No insurance money for jailed lawyer’s clients

Clients tend to make some assumptions about lawyers, including the assumption that lawyers are wealthy and carry lots of insurance from which clients can recover if the lawyer steals, overbills them, or commits malpractice. Unfortunately, these assumptions are often wrong, … Continue reading

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Blame the Help: Law firm escapes sanctions thanks to associate’s tragedy

In theory, a law firm is responsible for all the actions (and omissions) of all its lawyers, all its staff, and even its temps and contract staff (lawyers, paralegals, or whatever).  And, also in theory, the client is bound by … Continue reading

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Incremental Justice: Lawyer sanctioned by bar for excessive quarter-hour time entries

Although legal fees are required to be reasonable — and it’s unethical to charge an unreasonable fee in most jurisdictions — this rule is not enforced literally.  Most bars shunt ethics complaints about fees into fee arbitration and ignore or … Continue reading

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Bigger Than Life: Exaggerated self-promotion touted as solution to waning legal business

There’s been a panic among some law firms looking for clients capable of paying seven figure and larger legal fees, annually.  This has led as well to a great commotion in the legal press (and sometimes the business press) the … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Firing a Lawyer, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Advertising, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Flag On The Play: Lawyer fumbles medical charges held in escrow

As we’ve said many times before, having your lawyer hold your money in his or her firm’s “trust” or “escrow” account can be a problem.  All these accounts typically do is segregate client or non-lawyer money from lawyer money.  This … Continue reading

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Little Justice: Arizona says $5K disputes too big for small claims court

There seems to be a consensus that litigation costs too much, but figuring out who to blame and how to fix it leads to disagreement.  The higher the “transaction cost” of litigating a dispute, the more disputes cannot be handled … Continue reading

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Thumbs Down: Lawyer rebutting negative client online review reveals too much

Entrepreneurs have been looking for some way to tap the vast legal market to make money off of consumer demand for lawyers, and especially from lawyers looking to find consumers.  For example, there are companies that sell legal forms and … Continue reading

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The Lawyer’s Way: Clients are entitled to equal treatment

Almost as common as complaints by clients about lawyers are complaints by lawyers about clients.  To me, it’s always a bit shocking when lawyers complain about their client to their opposing counsel, while the matter is going on — that’s … Continue reading

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Simple Minds: The online dating approach to lawyer selection

Large companies have lawyers falling all over themselves to get their legal business.  But smaller clients, for whom legal expenses are a special hardship and the legal system a foreign experience, have a hard time finding the right lawyer, especially … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Play The Ethics Card: Using ethics complaints for non-ethical retaliation

Lawyers’ ethical obligations are supposed to protect clients, opponents, and the legal system from ethical shortcomings of lawyers.  Most businesses are not subject to ethical restrictions, just the sort of legal restrictions that apply to everyone, like basic consumer and … Continue reading

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