Categories
Legal Ethics Practice of Law

You Must Disclose This About Malpractice Insurance

If you don’t have, or drop, malpractice insurance, here’s what you must do.

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Legal Ethics New Lawyers Practice of Law

10 Tips for New Bloggers

Creating a blog to promote your law practice can be cheap in terms of money— you can start a free blog on sites like WordPress—but expensive in terms of your time and effort. Before starting a blog, be sure you have organizational support and time to maintain it. And then review these tips to make it a success.

Categories
Legal Ethics Practice of Law

FAQs on Disqualifying an Attorney

The right of a party to be represented in litigation by the attorney of its choice is significant, and disqualification of that attorney won’t be required just because that attorney has represented the opposing party in the past. Rather, there must be a violation or threatened violation of an ethical rule.

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Civil Litigation Legal Ethics Legal Topics Practice of Law

Avoid Sanctions When Pushing the Legal Envelope

A court may sanction attorneys for engaging in meritless actions or tactics with the intent to harass or cause unnecessary delay. CCP §128.5. But what is meritless to one person may be a rational extension of the law to another. Luckily, there’s a safe harbor provision in the statute for that.

Categories
Legal Ethics Practice of Law

Acquiring a Financial Interest Adverse to a Client May Be OK

The requirements for when an attorney may enter into a transaction with a client in which the attorney will acquire a pecuniary interest adverse to the client have been slightly modified by Cal Rules of Prof Cond 1.8.1. Here’s what you need to know.

Categories
Legal Ethics New Legal Developments Practice of Law

How Much Tech Knowledge Do You Need to Meet Your Ethical Duty?

A Luddite attorney is not a competent attorney, at least according to the ethical rules. But how much and what type of technology do you need to understand?

Categories
Legal Ethics Practice of Law Starting a Law Practice

How Long Do You Have to Keep Client Files?

young lawyer considering whether to use a motion in limine to include evidenceYou’d think there would be a straightforward answer to this question, but unfortunately there’s no clear rule under California law. Here’s a look at the ways this issue is approached and how to best protect yourself.

Categories
Legal Ethics New Legal Developments Practice of Law

Where Should You Deposit Fees Paid by Clients?

Effective November 1, 2018, the State Bar of California has amended California Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15 (former Rule 4-100) to establish new rules on handling flat fees. Under Cal Rules of Prof Cond 1.15(a), all funds received or held by a lawyer or law firm for the benefit of a client must be kept in a trust account. But there are a couple of exceptions.

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Legal Ethics New Legal Developments Practice of Law

New Ethics Rules Weigh In on Flat Fees

new rules of professional conductThe following is a guest blog post by Megan Zavieh. Megan focuses her practice exclusively on attorney ethics, providing guidance to attorneys, representing attorneys facing State Bar discipline, podcasting, and writing extensively on ethics issues.

California’s new Rules of Professional Conduct, effective November 1, 2018, recognizes a trend in legal services billing—flat fees. Flat fees are becoming more common as an alternative to the traditional billable hour. As they rise in popularity outside of criminal law, the rules directly address them. Here’s what you need to know and do.

Categories
Criminal Law Legal Ethics Legal Topics New Legal Developments Practice of Law Uncategorized

3 New Rules Every Criminal Law Attorney Needs to Know

new rules of professional conductThe following is a guest blog post by Garrick Byers, known as the Statute Decoder because of his facility in interpreting statutes and rules. He is the chairperson of the California Public Defenders Association’s (CPDA’s) Ethics Committee, and is a former CPDA president. He is a criminal law specialist and a frequent speaker and writer on criminal law topics, including ethics. He was a public defender for 33 years and is currently in private practice, handling criminal law appeals, writs, motions, and case consultations.

The new California Rules of Professional Conduct, effective November 1, 2018, use the format and much of the substance of the ABA Model Rules. Here are three of the most important changes for prosecution and defense counsel.