ABA Journal

Client Protection

45 ABA Journal Client Protection articles.

Lawyer is disbarred after disciplinary review board alleges an ‘egregious ethics history’

The New Jersey Supreme Court has disbarred a Haddonfield, New Jersey, lawyer who was previously reprimanded once, censured once and suspended four times.

Ticket-fighting app was engaged in unauthorized law practice, top state court rules

An app that connected traffic-ticket defendants with lawyers was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a 4-3 decision.

New ABA ethics opinion clarifies obligations for language access in lawyer-client relationships

Attorneys often must take affirmative steps to ensure that they can communicate effectively with clients with limited English proficiency or with those with noncognitive physical disabilities, such as a hearing or a speech impairment.

Online dispute resolution promises to increase access to justice, but challenges remain

Court leaders say an online dispute resolution program, known as LA-ODR, is part of their ongoing efforts to enhance access to justice for self-represented litigants through the use of technology. A 2019 California Justice Gap Study found that 55% of Californians at all income levels experienced at least one civil legal problem in their household in the prior year, but nearly 70% of them received no legal assistance.

Agreement giving lawyers ‘sole discretion’ to settle client’s case violates ethics rules, appeals court says

A California appeals court has voided a provision in a contingent-fee agreement that gave personal injury lawyers the “sole discretion” to settle a client’s case.

Lawyer faces disciplinary action after engaging in relationship with client

A partner in the Columbus, Ohio, office of Taft Stettinius & Hollister is facing possible disciplinary action after she allegedly exchanged sexually explicit text messages and engaged in sexual activity with a client.

Appeals court vacates $1,000-per-day sanction against BigLaw lawyer

The Illinois Appellate Court's Second District has vacated a $1,000-per-day sanction imposed against a Winston & Strawn lawyer who refused to turn over emails in discovery in expectation of a contempt order that would allow for an appeal.

Lawyer gets reprimand for responding to negative online review with embarrassing client information

A lawyer who revealed a client’s criminal record and name when countering a negative online review violated an ethics rule that bans revelation of information relating to a representation, the Oregon Supreme Court has ruled.

Disbarred lawyer can’t discharge debt he owes state bar for client losses, bankruptcy judge says

A disbarred California lawyer can’t use a bankruptcy to discharge more than $2 million in debt that is owed to a fund used to reimburse his former clients, a federal bankruptcy judge has ruled.

Lawyer statements in press release aren’t protected by judicial proceedings privilege, top Texas court rules

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that lawyer statements about a client’s allegations made in a press release and social media aren’t protected by the judicial proceedings privilege or attorney immunity.

Afternoon Briefs: Lawyer job openings skyrocket; judge resigns after ethics charges

Lawyer job openings increase 150%, report says

Lawyer job openings have increased by 150% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by legal market data provider…

As the legal profession ages, dementia becomes an increasing concern

The legal profession may struggle to identify lawyers experiencing cognitive decline, partly because those who are struggling are good at hiding their problem.

How to know when it’s time to send a client packing

Unlike other relationships, a lawyer-client obligation can spawn without the lawyer even consenting to it, writes Marcel Strigberger.

How can lawyers balance materially adverse interests? New ABA ethics opinion explores

Conflicts of interest remain a paramount ethical concern, as lawyers owe a duty of loyalty to clients. Rule 1.7 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits lawyers from having conflicts of interest between existing clients, but lawyers also often owe a duty of loyalty to former clients under Rule 1.9 and prospective clients under Rule 1.18.

Judge admits she presided in court while ineligible to practice law

A part-time municipal judge in New Jersey has acknowledged that she presided in trials and represented clients while ineligible to practice law.

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