The “no contact rule” set out in Model Rule 4.2 can be a source of confusion for many lawyers. The rule prohibits a lawyer from communicating with a represented person about the subject of the representation without the consent of the other lawyer. We have discussed the rule before in the corporate context, but
Model Rule 8.4
ABA opinion sheds insight as to permissible solicitation tactics
Marketing is an integral part of the private practice of law. But where is the line between permissible advertising tactics and impermissible solicitation? Often it is hard to find guidance to tell you on which side of that line your marketing strategies fall. The recent ABA Opinion 501 may help. It sets forth several hypotheticals…
Cases underscore some pro hac vice ethics pitfalls
If you’re admitted to handle a case PHV, mind your P’s and Q’s.
Translation: Pro hac vice admission to practice before a court outside the state where you’re licensed requires attention to a range of ethics duties, and running afoul of them can have bad consequences. Two recent cases spotlight some of the issues.
Lawyer’s “compassion fatigue” entitled to little weight; WA court disbars him for converting client funds, other misconduct
A Washington lawyer was disbarred last month by the state supreme court in a disciplinary case with an interesting array of issues: the heavy penalties for using trust account money to “rob Peter to pay Paul;” the danger of treating the representation of a relative too casually; “compassion fatigue” as a potential mitigating factor in…
Apocalypse now? Two tales of dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation
In the ethics class that I teach as an adjunct law prof, I refer to Model Rule 8.4(c) as “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” because of the four things the rule prohibits: dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.
While these ethical no-no’s are certainly not equivalent to the biblical “four horsemen” (Death, Famine, War and…
Cautionary tales, ethical woe: don’t let these happen to you
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