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Legal ethics

Tennessee Topic Today

There is an old saying about how when your only tool is a hammer, then you treat everything as a nail. I’m not getting the vernacular 100% correct, but you get the gist. That is the introduction for this post today because, as a lawyer who makes a living representing other lawyers (and obviously needs […]

Categories
Legal ethics

You get a censure, you get a censure, everybody gets a censure!?

This is a post that will largely only speak to other lawyers who handled the defense of disciplinary matters. It is also a post that admittedly will — based on limited available information both broadly and narrowly — lack appropriate insight at a granular level. What it is intended to do, however, is point out […]

Categories
Legal ethics

“In representing a client …”

I’ve written in this space in the past before about how there are many ethics rules that limit their application to lawyers such that they do not kick in unless a lawyer is representing a client. Perhaps, most prominently, this point has been dwelt upon when talking about the efforts to convince jurisdictions to enact […]

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. Legal ethics

The thing about doing bad things on purpose…

Is that you have to be perfect about it pretty much all of the time. I’m not going to tell you that there are only two kinds of people in the world because I know that kind of thing is only used as the set up to really good jokes. But among the various kinds […]

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. Legal ethics

Labors of love.

Today has been a very weird sort of day. My morning was consumed by handling a reinstatement proceeding where my client was someone who is inarguably a better human being, spouse, parent, and member of the community than I am. This person’s contributions to the community while they have been suspended from the practice of […]

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. Legal ethics

Someone finally faces consequences for gaslighting all of us.

So, if you’re here at any point today or tomorrow, you are likely someone who has already heard the news of Rudy Giuliani, attorney for the former POTUS, being suspended from the practice of law in New York. A copy of the 30+ page opinion imposing an interim suspension on Mr. Giuliani is available at […]

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. Legal ethics

It is, very often, anti-social media.

You may recall that not too long ago I wrote a bit about a Tennessee Supreme Court opinion that I thought was a bit wrongly-framed from its opening sentence. It was the one that was really about why lawyers shouldn’t help people try to plan and cover up crimes but started: “This case is a […]

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. Legal ethics

An open letter to State Bar of Texas

Dear Sir or Ma’am: It’s been a tough year, but I hope this email finds you staying safe. I’m writing to urge you to give some real thought to whether your rule on the ability to impose an “interim” suspension on a Texas lawyer goes as far as it needs to in order to be […]

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. Legal ethics

Opposite ends but still the same spectrum (mostly).

Lawyers can get into significant amounts of ethical trouble over money issues. They can put their licenses at real risk by messing up their trust accounting obligations, they can get in trouble for overbilling clients, and, often, if they end up suing a client for failure to pay bills that are appropriately due, they will […]

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. Legal ethics

A tale of two signature issues.

There are certain things that ought to be ingrained in lawyers that they know they cannot do. Maybe we could reach agreement on all of what should be on that list of things, but that task is far too ambitious for any Friday, much less this Friday. I would hope we could agree that an […]