There should be a word that’s the opposite of “schadenfreude” — you know, that evocative German term that means “secret pleasure at another’s misfortune.” Maybe there is such a word, but the one I’m searching for would convey the sense of “Please, let me not fall into the same error” as some other person did, because under the right (or wrong) circumstances we can all make ethical mistakes. Here are three cautionary tales. You may read them and wonder how the lawyers involved came to such grief — or you may just be thankful that it wasn’t you, or that the demons these lawyers struggled with aren’t yours.
Continue Reading Cautionary tales, ethical woe: don’t let these happen to you

Technophobia isn’t confined to U.S. lawyers — no surprise, it affects Canadian members of the bar, too, with the same potentially disastrous results. Last month’s cautionary tale: a lawyer who was technologically illiterate failed to supervise his wife, who ran his office and used his bar credentials to misappropriate more than $3000,000 without his knowledge. Canadian disciplinary authorities permitted him to surrender his license voluntarily, instead of revoking it.
Continue Reading Being a technology “dinosaur” leads to license surrender in the Great North

You know those e-mails out of the blue that start “We would like to engage you to handle our $1 million legal matter”? From our friends over at Lawyerist.com comes a description of what happened when Steven Chung, an L.A. tax attorney, actually took the bait and pursued one of those invitations.
Continue Reading Too good to be true: dissecting the workings of an internet scam

Since it debuted in the U.S. a couple weeks ago, Pokémon Go has become a nationwide phenomenon. If you’re like I was, you may need a primer in order to understand what the hoopla is about. The game was launched by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company for smartphones. It features the longtime videogame franchise that involves capturing and “training” phantasmagorical creatures called Pokémon. And yes, there’s an ethics issue for you to think about.
Continue Reading Pokémon Go — another reminder about the duty of competence for lawyers