Many of the posts on Lawyerist focus on how to get good clients; we spend very little time talking about how to get rid of bad clients. As a general rule, the goal is to keep the clients around once they hire you. Nevertheless, for some clients, the lawyer’s advice should be limited to “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
At some point in our educational careers, we have all returned to school in September and been directed to write an essay titled “What I Did Last Summer.” And we have all had the same first thought: Nothing. I did nothing all summer.
A family member or close friend calls you one day with a “quick” question. Seems she has a dispute with a neighbor or she just got denied a promotion or she needs to tell the renter of her duplex to stop smoking in his unit. She knows you are really busy but was wondering if you would mind looking into it or just writing a letter or making a phone call for her. She hates to bother you but she does not know any other attorneys and really needs some help with this problem.
Recently, I noted on a listserv that one of the cheapest ways to get CLE credits and market oneself at the same time is to teach CLEs. In Minnesota, presenters can receive credit for the time spent preparing the seminar, plus the organizers usually let the presenters attend the rest of the program for free.
For the most part, rude or obnoxious behavior between attorneys does not result in an ethics violation. But sometimes, lawyers can just go too far. An excerpt from the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Decision in In re Greenburg (May 5, 2009): “During the hearing, Mr. Greenburg suggested that…
It is probably fair to say that most lawyers have grown accustomed to the convenience of emailing clients. Less disruptive than phone calls, more efficient, creates documentation of conversations—hard to believe anyone could ever practice law without email. From an ethics perspective…
Within recent days two states – Maine and Alabama– have turned back restrictive lawyer advertising proposals (first heard from the ABA’s Will Hornsby, who is now on twitter). Let’s hope it’s part of a trend. Maine became another of the vast majority of states to adopt rules (effective Aug. 1, 2009) consistent with the ABA’s revised Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
To my own surprise, I’ve been using Twitter lately (“tweeting,” for those in the know). I say surprise because I really still don’t understand what all the fuss is about. But there’s an awful lot of fuss and I hate to be the last one to show up at a party. Since Sam encouraged people last week to use Twitter, I thought I’d share how I’m using Twitter so that maybe others will be persuaded to give it a try as well.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court gave a boost to on-line legal education (and declined to bow down to the ABA) recently when it allowed a graduate of Concord Law School, an entirely on-line law school owned by Kaplan, Inc., to sit for the Massachusetts Bar Exam, despite a state rule that prohibits graduates from unaccredited law schools from taking the exam. The decision is available on-line (of course!).
Maine has become the latest state to take sides in the grudge match over whether it is ethical for lawyers to search electronic documents for metadata hidden beneath the bytes. Maine says no, joining New York (both the state and county bars), Florida, Alabama, and Arizona. The ABA (Formal Op. 06-442), Maryland, Colorado, and D.C. place the heavier burden on the party creating or sending the electronic document and permit recipient lawyers to search at will. Pennsylvania sort of punted.