Afternoon Briefs: California bar seeks proposals on nonlawyer practitioners; online 'sneak-in' contracts abound
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California bar working group to consider licensing nonlawyer practitioners
The State Bar of California is forming a working group to make recommendations on the licensing of nonlawyers to perform some legal services. The move follows the bar’s request for comment last year on proposals allowing legal technicians to offer legal services and nonlawyers to hold a financial interest in law firms. (California bar news release, Law360)
Most online contracts allow changes without notice, study says
The vast majority of sign-in contracts for the most popular U.S. websites are “sneak-in” contracts that allow changes without notice to consumers, according to a study of 500 contracts. Common modifications include a change in fees, a modification of a dispute resolution clause or a revision to privacy policies. The authors of the study are Victoria University of Wellington commercial law professor Shmuel Becher of New Zealand and Ramat Gan law and business professor Uri Benoliel of Israel. (SSRN)
Lawyer suspended for failure to properly supervise thieving employee
Indiana lawyer James Lisher has been suspended for 60 days for failing to properly supervise an employee who stole several thousand dollars from the firm’s operating account in 2018. The employee, a nonlawyer, had worked at the law firm since 2001. Besides stealing from the firm, the employee “fraudulently created several purported court orders and other legal documents,” according to the Indiana Supreme Court opinion imposing the suspension. Lisher returned money to affected clients. He has no record of prior discipline. He did not immediately respond to an ABA Journal email requesting comment. (The Indiana Lawyer, the Jan. 23 decision via the Legal Profession Blog).
130 law firms get perfect scores for LGBTQ workplace equality
The Human Rights Campaign has given perfect scores to 130 out of 164 law firms for being a best place to work for LGBTQ equality. The group’s Corporate Equality Index rates law firms and companies on the basis on nondiscrimination policies, equitable benefits, support for an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility. (The Human Rights Campaign press release and report, Law360)