The $67 million pair of pants that resulted in a 90-day license suspension.

These days, if a day ends in “y,” it feels like I’m giving another CLE.  At each, I’ve been reminding lawyers of the importance of communicating reasonable expectations to the client at the outset of the client-lawyer relationship.  Alas, I’d never stopped to consider how that might apply to a lawyer who self-represents.  Which brings me to today’s post.

I’ve never forgotten a piece of advice that the Dean of GW Law School gave to my incoming 1L class.  It went something like this:  “as you read the cases, yes, pay attention to the legal analysis.  But never lose sight of the crazy disputes that people find themselves in.  Your job will include advising them to drop or resolve those disputes.”

Indeed! The duty to competently communicate candid legal advice.

Anyhow, today I post to update you on a matter that I’ve been following a few years.  I’ve long wondered if it would result in a Was That Wrong? post.  It didn’t, but only because I reserve that column for disbarments. Nevertheless, the conduct at issue is definitely wrong.

As reported by the ABA Journal, the Legal Profession Blog, and others, a lawyer in D.C.  has been suspended for 90 days because of conduct associated with his relentless pursuit of his dispute with a dry-cleaning business.  The D.C. Court of Appeals order imposing the suspension is here.  I’m not sure I can do it justice, but I’ll do my best.

Many years ago, the lawyer dropped off a pair of pants at the dry cleaner.  He alleges that when he returned, the dry cleaner had lost the pants and tried to give him pants that were not his.  The lawyer demanded $1,150.

Now, I’ve never paid that much for pants, but nor have I ever worked in D.C.  So, who knows?

Alas, by the time the lawyer sued the dry cleaner, he sought $15,000 in compensatory damages for emotional distress and $45,000 in punitive damages.  Some of his legal theories were premised upon the fact that the dry cleaners had hung a sign that said, “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and that he’d been left far from satisfied.

As the case proceeded, the lawyer’s monetary demands skyrocketed.  Here’s an excerpt from the Court’s opinion:

  • “His claims for emotional damages increased to $3,000,000 by trial.  He asserted that he was entitled to $90,000 to obtain a rental car so he could travel to a different dry cleaner in the city.  He claimed that he had expended 1,200 hours of work on the matter, worth $500,000 in attorney’s fees.  He sought prospective relief requiring [the defendants] to pay him $10,000 within twenty-four business hours if he notified them that they were not providing him with acceptable service.”

Then, after a summary of the lawyer’s various claims as to why the damages should be multiplied, the kicker:

  • By the time the Joint Pre-Trial Statement was filed, [the lawyer] claimed that he was owed more than $67,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.”

Remember: he’d dropped off ONE pair of pants.

After rejecting a $12,000 offer of judgment, the lawyer lost at trial.  His appeal was not successful.

An interesting aside: the record suggests that, in fact, the dry cleaners did not lose the pants! Indeed, from one of the many opinions issued along the way:

  • “The Court found [the dry cleaner] to be very credible, and her explanation that she recognized the disputed pants as belonging to [the lawyer] because of the unusual belt inserts was much more credible than his speculation that she took a pair of unclaimed pants from the back of the store and altered them to match his measurements.”

Anyhow, in the end, the DC Court of Appeals suspended the lawyer’s law license for 90 days after concluding that he violated the rules that prohibit the pursuit of frivolous claims and conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

All over a pair of pants.  I can’t help but think that this story is exactly what Dean Friedenthal meant when he gave the advice that he did to my incoming class.  And it might also both illustrate and reinforce the long-held notion about lawyers who represent themselves.

Revive a CA Suspended LLC | CA Business Lawyers | Odgers Law Group

Negative Online Review? How not to respond.

Whether here or at CLEs, I’ve often mentioned the perils of responding to a former client’s negative online review. As reported by the ABA Journal and Legal Profession Blog, here’s another example of what not to do.

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court suspended a lawyer for 1-year for violating several rules, including the Garden State’s rule that prohibits a lawyer from using information relating to the representation to a former client’s disadvantage unless the information has become “generally known.”  The underlying decision of the Disciplinary Review Board is here.

Now, the sanction resulted from multiple violations committed while representing multiple clients. In other words, the lawyer’s response to the negative online review wasn’t the sole basis for the 1-year suspension.  Still, the opinion serves as important reminder that, whether you agree with the rule or the interpretation thereof, it is well-established that information that is “public record” is not necessarily “generally known.”

Before I share the facts of the NJ case, let’s look at Vermont’s rule. It’s V.R.Pr.C. 1.9(c)(1):

“(c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter or whose present or former firm has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:

(1) use information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client except as these rules would permit or require with respect to a client, or when the information has become generally known.”  (emphasis added).

As reported by the ABA Journal, the New Jersey lawyer “had won unsupervised visitation for the client after she took her children to another state without authorization, ‘seemingly, a good result,’ according to the review board.”  Nevertheless, the client posted a negative online review regarding the lawyer’s services.

The client owns a massage therapy business.  Miffed at the review the client had left for him, the lawyer posted the following Yelp review of the client’s business:

  • “Well, [client] is a convicted felon for fleeing the state with children. A wonderful parent. Additionally, she has been convicted of shoplifting from a supermarket. Hide your wallets well during a massage. Oops, almost forgot about the DWI conviction. Well, maybe a couple of beers during the massage would be nice.”

In response to the subsequent ethics complaint, the lawyer wrote:

  • “As to the Yelp rating about [client’s] massage therapy business, I admit to same. I was very upset by [her] Yelp rating of my practice. This rating was made more
    than a year and a half after the conclusion of my representation. My disclosures, i.e. her arrests, were public information and I did not violate attorney client
    privilege. My position was that what was good for the goose was good for the gander. I do concede that I do not believe that the rating was my finest moment.
    However, it was not unethical. That posting has subsequently been taken down.”

Long story short, the Disciplinary Review Board disagreed that it wasn’t a violation.  Citing to ABA Formal Opinion 479 and a few court decisions, the Board concluded that the lawyer’s review of the former client’s business violated the rules because the information, “although publicly available, was not generally known.”

As I’ve said before, and as my dad told me as a kid, when it comes to client confidences, lawyers would be well-served to remember this quote:

“You will have many opportunities
to keep your mouth shut.
You should take advantage
of every one of them.”
Thomas Edison

Be Quiet

Related Posts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five for Friday #203

Happy Friday.

I wasn’t going to post a quiz this week but changed my mind about 2:00 PM.  Long story short, I love this column, but wonder about its on-going viability.  For now, however, it will continue.  Maybe by video!

In fact, today’s intro is available ONLY by video.  It’s here.  In it, I share why I thought of retiring the quiz, why I’m not going to, and how the week’s number – 203 – factored into my thought process. If you want to sit in the stool, let me know! Oh, and at the end, I go through the questions.

In a fantastic coincidence – in the video, I mention that my favorite part of the Friday blog is the connection that it has allowed me to forge with readers. I LOVE when a story of mine causes you to share one of yours.  On that note, I finished recording the intro about 20 minutes ago, but hadn’t posted the blog yet.  Regular readers know that I’m a Taylor Swift fan.  Unknown to me, she just announced a live performance.  That is, unknown to me until a few minutes ago when a regular reader emailed me to alert me to the show!

Proof that the connections forged via the Friday posts are too valuable to let go.

Mahalo Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

If you’d prefer to skip the video and go straight to the questions, I’ll enable you and paste them in below.

Have a great weekend!

Rules

  • None.  Open book, open search engine, text-a-friend.
  • Exception:  Question 5.  We try to play that one honest.
  • Unless stated otherwise, the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct apply
  • Team entries welcome, creative team names even more welcome.
  • E-mail answers to michael.kennedy@vermont.gov
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
  • Please don’t use the “comment” feature to post your answers
  • Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Share on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

X = the number of annual pro bono hours suggested by the rules.

Y = the number of years the rules require lawyers to maintain trust account records following the termination of the representation.

What is X * Y?

  • A.  420
  • B.  360
  • C.  350
  • D.  300

Question 2

What is the subject of the rule described here?

  • must be in a writing, signed by the client.
  • must be reasonable.
  • prohibited in criminal cases.
  • prohibited for securing a divorce.

Question 3

Below is my response to an inquiry.  It refers to one of the 7 C’s of legal ethics.  Which one?

  • Your duty is to remonstrate with the client, take reasonable remedial measures including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.

Question 4

When used properly, the phrases “lateral transfers” and “ACH transfers” are used when discussing the rules on:

    • A.  conflicts of interest
    • B.  trust accounting
    • C.  respectively: conflicts of interest & trust accounting
    • D.  normal people don’t use phrases like these

Question 5

On May 8, 1978, David Berkowitz, against the advice of counsel, pled guilty to a series of charges relating to 8 separate shootings that left 6 dead and 7 wounded.

In 1999, Spike Lee made a movie that focused on an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx.  The movie was set in 1977 and against the backdrop of Berkowitz’s crime spree, a sweltering heat wave, and the Yankees’ championship season.

What was the name that the press used to refer to Berkowitz?

Bonus: what was the name of the movie?

 

 

Emotional IQ: W.I.N.

It’s National Lawyer Well-Being Week.  Spurred by the joint efforts of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, the ABA’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, and the Well-Being Committee of the ABA’s Law Practice Division, the week’s aim “is to raise awareness and encourage action across the profession to improve well-being for lawyers and their support teams.”

Each day has a different theme.  Today’s theme is “Feel Well.”  The goal is to remind lawyers that our emotions impact wellness.  The specific topic is way outside my lane and one best reserved for the experts.  Still, I shared some thoughts in this video.  In particular, I believe that if we remember “what’s important now,” we’ll do well to increase our emotional health.

For resources from the experts, go here.

NYC Bar Proposes “Humanitarian Exception” To Rule of Professional Conduct.

I’m not sure what it says about the profession’s conduct rules when the discussion is whether to add a “humanitarian exception.”

Before I get to the meat of this post, here’s a quick refresher on the rule at issue.  Like Vermont’s, New York’s Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit financial assistance to clients.  Two exceptions are common to each state:

  1. advancing court costs and litigation expenses, with repayment contingent upon recovery; and,
  2. paying court costs and litigation expenses for indigent clients.

Generally, however, and as made clear by Comment [10] to V.R.Pr.C. 1.8:

  • “Lawyers may not subsidize lawsuits or administrative proceedings brought on behalf of their clients, including making or guaranteeing loans to their clients for living expenses, because to do so would encourage clients to pursue to lawsuits that might not otherwise be brought and because such assistance gives lawyers too great a financial stake in the litigation.”

In 2018, the New York City Bar Association proposed to amend New York’s version of Rule 1.8.  The proposal, which has worked its way through the review process and is pending final approval by the Administrative Board of the Courts, would add another exception:

“A lawyer providing legal services without fee, a not-for-profit legal services or
public interest organization, a law school clinical program, a law school pro bono program, or a lawyer employed by or volunteering for such an organization or program may provide financial assistance indigent clients, provided that

(i) the lawyer, organization, or program does not promise or assure financial assistance . . . to a prospective client before retention, or as an inducement to continue the lawyer-client relationship, and

(ii) the lawyer, organization, or program does not publicize or advertise a willingness to provide such financial assistance to clients.”

The recommendation is premised upon the argument

  • “that the humanitarian exception would serve a valuable purpose and that the proposed limitations in the rule – namely that the lawyer would not be permitted to offer financial assistance as an inducement to continue the representation and would not be permitted to advertise the availability of financial assistance – would mitigate any risk of abuse. In addition, because the humanitarian exception would be limited to pro bono representation of indigent clients, the risk that the rule could be exploited for pecuniary gain would be even further limited.”

As reported by Law.Com, last week, the NYCBA asked that the so-called “humanitarian exception” be adopted immediately.  The NYCBA’s request, which came in response to the COVID-19 crisis, is here.

A few years ago, I spent time at CLEs and meetings floating ideas about amending our rules, including and amendment to Rule 1.8(e) that is similar to the language proposed in New York.  It would have included this limitation:

  • “Financial assistance under this rule may provide but shall not exceed that minimum sum necessary to meet the client’s, the client’s spouse’s, and/or dependents’ documented obligations for food, shelter, utilities, insurance, non-litigation related medical care and treatment, transportation expenses, education, or other documented expenses necessary for subsistence.”

To label the response “lukewarm” would be accurate only two places on earth: the Arctic and Antarctic.  So, I never made the proposal, choosing instead to live to fight another day.

It might be time to renew the fight.

500+ Starfish Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

 

Keep Your Pants On.

In 22 years of reviewing disciplinary complaints and fielding ethics inquiries, there have been many times I’ve concluded: “surely, I’ve now seen & heard it all.”

So far, I’ve always concluded wrong.

Best Don T Call Me Shirley GIFs | Gfycat

Yesterday, I read the ABA Journal’s post Lawyer who took off pants at security checkpoint fights bid to be ousted from representing clientsThe story was also covered by Law360.

The story involves an attorney who represents a law firm that is being sued for allegedly advising its clients to default on payments owed to a timeshare operator. The attorney is lead counsel for the defense and is appearing pro hac vice.  From here, I will refer to the attorney as “Lead Counsel.”

In January, courthouse security asked Lead Counsel to remove his belt before going through a metal detector.  Lead Counsel removed his belt, and his pants too.  As a result, the court ordered Lead Counsel to show cause as to why his pro hac vice status should not be revoked.

Before that issue could be resolved, local defense counsel moved to withdraw for health reasons.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers filed an opposition.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t object to local counsel withdrawing, as long as Lead Counsel’s pro hac vice status is revoked.

The opposition, which recites discovery sanctions the court has already imposed against Lead Counsel and his clients, strikes me as noteworthy.  My guess is that it’s not often that opposing counsel’s discovery sanctions & violations are the second argument made in support of a request to revoke opposing counsel’s pro hac vice appearance.  But I suppose that’s what happens when the first argument is “you’re already considering revoking him for taking his pants off at security.”

Lead Counsel filed a reply to the opposition.  Like the opposition, it strikes me as noteworthy.  My guess is that it’s not often that an attorney has to include in a pleading the phrase that appears in the first sentence of the first full paragraph on page 2:

Lead Counsel has duly explained the facts and circumstances that lead to the unfortunate
necessity of removing his belt, together with his trousers . . .

But I suppose that’s what happens when you remove your trousers at courthouse security.

I’d like to say “surely, I’ve now seen and heard it all.”  Alas, experience tells me I’d be wrong.  I’m serious.

And don’t call me Shirley.

Don't Call Me Shirley. GIF - DontCallMeShirley Shirley IAmSerious ...

.

Professional Responsibilty & Coronavirus

(Originally posted on March 25. Updated on April 4.)

The YouTube version of this post is here.

*******

As I mentioned this morning, the Rules of Professional Conduct are rules of reason.  Here are some thoughts on practicing reasonably during a public health crisis.

Competence  & Communication

  • Current Events

To me, competence includes understanding the effect that current events have on the representation.

For instance, on March 16, the Supreme Court adopted Administrative Order 49.  It’s an emergency order that addresses judicial operations and it has been amended three times.  Here are the Court’s March 16 Emergency OrderMarch 18 amendmentsMarch 20 amendments, and March 24 amendments.

Yesterday the Governor issued the  “Stay Home/Stay Safe” order.  It’s the sixth addendum to an Executive Order that issued on March 13.  The original order and addenda are here.

Finally, here is a post on Judge Toor’s message and order regarding operations in Chittenden Civil.

Competence includes understanding how the Judicial and Executive orders apply to you and your clients. It also includes staying abreast of new orders as they’re issued.  Your duty to communicate with clients likely includes explaining to them how the orders will impact their matters.

  • Emergency Advice & Assistance

Competent representation includes having the knowledge and skill required for the representation.  However, here’s Comment [3] to the rule on competence:

  • “In an emergency a lawyer may give emergency advice and assistance in a matter in which the lawyer does not have the skill ordinarily required [and] where referral to or consultation or association with another lawyer would be impractical.  Even in an emergency, however, assistance should be limited to that reasonably necessary in the circumstances, for ill-considered action under emergency conditions can jeopardize the client’s interest.”

Diligence & Communication

Rule 1.3 requires lawyers to act “with reasonable diligence and promptness” on behalf of clients.  Rule 1.4 requires lawyers to keep clients reasonably updated as to the status of their matters, to provide clients with enough information to make reasonably informed decisions about their matters, and to respond to clients’ reasonable requests for information.

In my opinion, when it comes to assessing reasonableness, context matters. Conduct that might have violated the rules last summer, might not now. While lawyers cannot abandon or ignore clients, I’d argue that they can keep the bigger picture in mind when prioritizing their days.

What if you become unavailable?

First, these are stressful times.  Don’t forget your own well-being.  Here is my post on coping with the stress & anxiety related to the public health crisis.

Now, what if you are stricken with the virus?

I have not shown any symptoms. Still, who knows what the future holds?  So, today, I recommended that the Professional Responsibility Board plan for my unexpected unavailability. Develop a roster of lawyers able to do my job if I can’t.  In my mind, I thought of it as my “Amii Stewart Recommendation.” 

Because babe, as I was drafting it, I guaran-f’ng-tee you that I knock-knock-knocked on wood!

In short, none of us is immune.

Comment [5] to Rule 1.3 suggests that diligent representation includes having a plan to protect clients’ interests if a lawyer is incapacitated.  This is particularly important for sole practitioners.

For now, and given the duties of competence, diligence and communication:

  • Who will contact clients, courts, and opposing counsel if you are incapacitated?
  • Who will deliver files, return unearned funds, check your calendar?
  • Who will check email, voice mail, the U.S. mail?
  • Who will handle hearings or events that have not been suspended or postponed?

My post on succession planning is here.  My post on disaster planning is here.

KEY! If you have a succession plan, make sure someone knows where it is and who to contact when it’s triggered.

Your clients aren’t immune either.

Rule 1.2(a) requires a lawyer to abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of a representation. What if a client cannot communicate their decisions to you?

Well, Rule 1.14 applies whenever a client’s capacity to make adequately considered decisions about the representation is diminished, no matter the reason.  Initially, the duty is to maintain as normal a client-lawyer relationship as possible.  At some point, doing so is no longer possible.  Thus, the rule specifies situations in which a lawyer will be authorized “to take reasonably necessary protective steps” or “to make express considered judgments about the matter.”

In my view, and at the risk of being promoted to Captain Obvious*, it’s best that the client makes the decisions that the rules envision the client making.  For now, some lawyers might have clients from whom it makes sense to seek advance direction, especially in matters with critical decision-points imminent.

*or would it be a demotion? I’ve always wondered which way the chain-of-command flows on obviousness.

Client Confidences and Working Remotely

I’m not sure what number immediately precedes “infinity.”  Whatever it is, it’s the number of times that I’ve blogged or said that a lawyer has a duty to take reasonable precautions to safeguard client information, including reasonable precautions to prevent that inadvertent disclosure of or unauthorized access to client information.

Most of you are working from home.  Do you have a dedicated workspace away from curious ears or bored and prying eyes? Are you working on a device that’s connected to others in your home? Are you on public Wifi?  Are you – gasp! – chipping in with your neighbor to share the same Wifi? Should you set up a VPN?

Important considerations.

Trust Accounting

Got this question from 3 different firms: no, Vermont’s rules do not prohibit an electronic signature on a trust account check.

Civility & Cooperation

99.99% of you rock.  I heard one story, however, that saddened & maddened me.  I urge all lawyers to be accommodating when considering requests for accomodations that are related to COVID-19.  Rescheduling, posptoning, extending a deadline, you name it.

I blogged about civility & the pandemic here.  It includes two examples of how NOT to act during the pandemic.

On that note, here’s an uplifting story.   Judge Amy Totenberg is a United States District Judge in Georgia.  Last week, Judge Totenberg issued an order related to court operations during the crisis.  The order included:

  • “Be kind to one another in this most stressful of times. Remember to maintain your perspective about legal disputes, given the larger life challenges now besetting our communities and world. Good luck to one and all.”

Among others, the ABA Journal and Law.Com have the story.

Oh, and for one of the more entertaining orders I’ve ever read – and another example of what courts will not consider to be an emergency – check out this post.

Conclusion

I know you are all doing your best.  I am too. I’m not trying to scare you; I’m trying to lend guidance by sharing some of the considerations to keep in mind as you make decisions. Please continue to contact me with specific questions.

This post was general, for a broad audience. I didn’t address every question I received this week, several of which related to duties and rules not discussed here.

Still, I’ll end as I began: the rules are rules of reason.

In my opinion, no matter the duty or rule you’re analyzing, there is nothing unreasonable about acting in such a way as to minimize the risk of spreading or acquiring a deadly virus.

Peace.

In the meantime, keep on knockin’.

New Amendments to Emergency Order

On March 20, the Vermont Supreme Court approved new amendments to Administrative Order 49, the Emergency Order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The March 20 amendments are here.

The following was added to Section 6 – Email Filings:

  • “A signature block containing the filer’s typed-in name preceded by
    “/s/,” or an electronic facsimile of the filer’s signature, a scanned
    copy of it, or another form of electronic signature as defined in 9
    V.S.A. § 271(9), will serve as a party’s signature on pleadings,
    motions, and other documents that must be filed with a signature.
    This exception does not apply to affidavits, verified pleadings, or
    other signatures that must be notarized by statute.”

The most recent amendments also include an order

  • “That ¶¶ 13 and 14 of Administrative Order No. 49 be added to read as follows:
    13. Participation in Court-Ordered Mediation: Pursuant to V.R.C.P. 16.3(b)(3), for as
    long as the judicial emergency exists under this order, the judicial emergency
    constitutes “good cause” authorizing remote participation in mediation, by video or
    telephone, without a stipulation or further court order. Notwithstanding V.R.F.P.
    18(d)(4) and V.R.P.P. 16.1(d)(4), parties to matters in the family and probate
    divisions may attend court-ordered mediation remotely, by video or telephone.”

Related Information:

Image result for update

 

A Professional Responsibility & Legal Ethics Bracket!

As a basketball fan, this weekend – the first of the NCAA college basketball tournament -would normally be one of my favorites of the year.  I find the first weekend’s games to be the most exciting.   And, of course, there’s the brackets.

Well, with some time on my hands, I created the first, and hopefully not annual, Professional Responsibility & Legal Ethics Bracket.  I’m hash tagging it #prmadness.

Participation is purely voluntary and, even better, free.  Here’s how it works.

As with the NCAA tournament, I’ve created 4 quadrants. To participate, all you need to do is vote bracket-style.  Yes, “vote.”  That’s the only difference between this and a “regular” bracket where you pick the entire tournament at once.  The voting for the first-round will remain open until 9:00 PM on March 24. For each match-up, the concept/phrase with the most votes will advance to the next round.  Then, voting will begin anew.

For example: in the Conflict/Confidences quadrant, the first match up is:

  • #1 – Candor to the Tribunal
  • #16 – Meritorious/Frivolous Claims

Voters choose between the two.  Whichever ends up with the most votes, advances to the next round.

What are the voting criteria?  That’s completely up to you.

  • One concept is more confusing to you than the other? Pick it!
  • One is a rule that you feel you’ve mastered?  Great, that’s your winner!
  • One makes you laugh, the other makes you tremble with fear?  That’s a good enough reason as any.

I mean, in the real tournament, I’ve heard of folks who pick teams based on uniform color, or, which mascot would win a fight between the two.

Or, vote like a pro.  Professor Alberto Bernabe – host of the Professional Responsibility Blog – is a frequent member of my blog’s#fiveforfriday Honor Roll in Legal Ethics.  Here’s how he’s going to make his picks:

  • “I am voting based on this question: which of the two is more necessary, or more important.”

I based the choices on the questions I receive at CLEs and via inquiries of bar counsel. I also threw in a few of the concepts that are beginning to gain traction in the world of professional responsibility and legal ethics.  Later tonight and tomorrow, I’ll do 4 separate blogs, one on each quadrant.  I hope to use them as both a teaching tool and a distraction.

Do you have to vote in all 4 brackets? No.  You can vote in as few or as many as you choose. So, have at it!

Again, the master bracket is here.  To vote in a particular quadrant, click on a link below:

Yes, there are some rules and concepts that did not make the tournament field. Just like in regular March Madness, some of the omissions will be controversial.  For instance, I didn’t list “Conflicts” or “Confidences.”  Each is so broad.  So, I merged them into a single quadrant of aspects of each.  It’s the quadrant at the bottom left of the bracket.  Also, “Competence” is subsumed into the entire bracket.  Other notable omissions:

  • Pro Bono – I didn’t want anyone to have to vote against it!
  • Advertising & Letterhead: big issue, but one that almost never comes up in the calls and questions I receive or in the formal complaints that are filed either.
  • Direct Contact with Prospective Clients:  don’t get quite enough questions on this issue.
  • Advising Cannabis Clients – again, close, but no cigar.

And, knowing me, it’s entirely possible that I simply overlooked a rather important topic.

Enjoy!

Image result for 64 team tournament brackets

The “You’ve Been Unsubcribed” EMail

Today, an email went out informing lawyers that they’d been unsubscribed from the JUD.AttyLicensing email list.

After hearing from several of you and receiving the email myself, I contacted Andy Strauss.  Andy is the Judiciary’s Licensing Counsel.  Andy confirmed that the email went out in error.  You do not have to do anything in response.  Everyone will be returned to the list.

Please consider sharing this post with other lawyers.

Note: if you did not receive the “unsubscribed” email, it might mean that you do not have an up-to-date email address on file with Andy’s office.   To contact that office, click here.

Thank you.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Image result for unsubscribe image