Category Archives: Ethics

Pyramid Scheme: Contract lawyers treated like slaves for lawyer profit

There’s a new layer at the bottom of the billable hours pyramid.  The top is still occupied by partners, followed by non-partner lawyers, and then by the fairly recent paralegal and other quasi-clerical layers.  But, in the last few years, … Continue reading

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Suspended Disbelief: Bar suspends lawyer who took $450K with OCD excuse

People have gone to jail for decades for stealing a few dollars in cash or merchandise.  So why is the Illinois Bar, after several years, just suspending the law license of a lawyer (who admits he took $69,000, or is … 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 Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Suspended Disbelief: Bar suspends lawyer who took $450K with OCD excuse

Motown Mo-money: Was the Detroit bankruptcy worth it?

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes was appointed to oversee Detroit’s largest-ever  Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy, pitting the City’s usual financial creditors, employees, taxpayers, and pension funds against one another, for the most part.  In the middle stood a host of … Continue reading

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Divorced From Reality: Divorce lawyer says you should spend more to spend less

Here are some warnings from a divorce lawyer who wants to warn you about the surprisingly high cost of divorce.  That really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unless you’ve been in a coma for a few decades or don’t use google.  One … Continue reading

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Exit Stage Right: Immigration lawyer migrates from courthouse when government reneges on deal

The legal system is schizophrenic:  Lawyers are supposed to owe a high professional duty to do whatever they can, but within some vague bounds, for their clients.  To be the client’s legal champion, but to dial it back for the … Continue reading

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Flat World: Flat fees aren’t a legal billing panacea

The legal industry press is forever proclaiming the demise of hourly billing in favor of flat fees.  Despite all the hype, nothing has really changed:  In the part of the legal and business press catering to “biglaw,” hourly fees are … Continue reading

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No Way Out: Court blocks lawyer’s attempt to dump non-paying client

There are lots of stories about the games some lawyers play to induce reluctant or poor clients to pay up.  The usual theme is that the lawyer will undermine the client’s position to gain leverage to force the client to … Continue reading

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No Closure: Law firms among scammers diverting mortgage payments

Although the Great Recession is slowly fading, there are still thousands of people whose homes are subject to foreclosure.  While federal and some state governments have attempted to help, their efforts have provided a cover story for scam artists claiming … Continue reading

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New Jersey Casino: Contingent fees are not for everyone

New Jersey sued Exxon Mobil for billions in environmental damages, using a private law firm, which gets a big piece of the taxpayers’ pie, even though the state has plenty of lawyers of its own who are paid much less.  … Continue reading

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Lying Detectors: California polygraphs sex offenders for “dangerousness”

The intersection of science and the law is a confused place:  Lawyers used to bending facts and law to suit their clients often cannot tell real science from quackery and many scientists get their understanding of the law and court … Continue reading

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