Can you ethically withdraw from representing a client if you fear contracting COVID-19 as a result of some aspect of the representation? Earlier this month, the New York State Bar Association issued an ethics opinion that said “Yes,” provided that the lawyer gets any necessary permission from a tribunal. While advisory for New York lawyers
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which last month dumped up to 35 inches of rain on parts of the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland, caused 48 deaths, and up to $22 billion in property damage, comes a timely new ABA opinion about our ethical obligations related to disasters.
The hurricane did not spare…
A high-profile duel over rights to a legal database is playing out in state court in Boston. The warring parties are six former partners and the asbestos defense firm they left, allegedly taking with them high-value file management and other databases. The case, filed in November, raises the question: When partners leave, does a database that includes client information belong to the clients they take with them? Or to the old firm, which says it has invested heavily in developing the proprietary database?
Continue Reading Digital dilemma: Who owns litigation database when partners leave a firm?
Old-time lawyers say that it used to be easy to get the court’s permission to withdraw from a case. You would just go to the judge and state, “Your Honor, we are not ready to go forward, and I am seeking leave to withdraw, because Mr. Green has not arrived.” You know: “Mr. Green” aka the moolah, aka the promised fee from the client. And, so the story goes, the judge would bang the gavel and grant your motion.
Continue Reading What can you say when the client doesn’t pay? ABA opinion gives withdrawal guidance
The ABA Ethics Committee last week issued an opinion aimed at giving guidance on a sometimes-puzzling question: what portions of the file does a lawyer have to provide to a client at the end of the matter — including a client who pulls the plug on the representation?
In Opinion 471, the Committee interpreted Model…