ABA Approves Changes To Attorney Advertising Ethics Rules

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Advertising, Legal Ethics, Social Media Ethics, SolicitationLeave a Comment

The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates approved on Monday an overhaul to its ethics rules governing attorney advertising and solicitation.  The ABA vote on Monday capped a four-year effort to modernize ethics rules promulgated in the 1980s–long before the Internet forever changed how lawyers market their services and communicate with prospective clients. The ABA’s vote was spurred on by … Read More

Seeking National Uniformity, California (Finally) Adopts New Ethics Rules

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Multijurisdictional Practice1 Comment

California is an outlier no more–at least when it comes to its ethics rules. On May 10, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued an order approving the adoption of a new set of Rules of Professional Conduct patterned after the ABA Model Rules, which were first published in 1983.  The court’s ruling means that California will finally be joining the … Read More

Ethical Considerations for Young Lawyers

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, IP Ethics CLE, Legal EthicsLeave a Comment

Many situations arise in the work place where young lawyers find themselves facing real ethical dilemmas. For example, your supervisor has asked you to do something that you believe may violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.   Or you become aware that another lawyer has engaged in conduct already that may be unethical.  Or a close friend or family member has … Read More

To Encrypt, Or Not To Encrypt, That Is The Question

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Competence, ConfidentialityLeave a Comment

The ABA has dived head first into the pool of law firm cybersecurity.  On May 11, 2017, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 477 (here), which addresses a broad range of issues that lawyers must consider to protect client confidential information from “nefarious actors throughout the internet.”  Those “nefarious actors”—also known as … Read More

Is Working From Home Unethical? Telecommuting And Unauthorized Practice Of Law

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Patent Ethics, Unauthorized Practice of LawLeave a Comment

I have lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. metro area my entire adult life.  Washington is notorious for its traffic. The math for my office commute is simple.  Ten hours per week.  500 hours per year.  For 30 years.  That’s 15,000 hours–or 1.71 years of my life–just going to and from the office. I know I am not alone. … Read More

Lawyer Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Frequent Causes of Discipline

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Alcoholism3 Comments

One of the most significant studies of alcohol abuse and mental health disorders among practicing attorneys conducted in the past quarter century has concluded that attorneys are at a much higher risk than other professionals for alcohol use disorder, depression, anxiety, and stress. Researchers from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs … Read More

Liar Liar: What May Ethical Counsel Do When Faced With False Evidence

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, MisrepresentationsLeave a Comment

Two Chicago criminal defense lawyers charged with perjury and obstruction of justice were recently acquitted as reported in the Chicago Tribune. The lawyers had been indicted for allegedly coaching defense witnesses to lie under oath. The prosecution pointed to the existence of question and answer scripts seized in a raid of the lawyers’ offices. The Q&A scripts were drafted by … Read More

When It Comes To Teaching About Money, Law Schools Fail Miserably

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Safekeeping PropertyLeave a Comment

Law schools are failing miserably to teach up and coming lawyers the most fundamental aspects of the business of law.  The absence of such training is particularly troublesome in today’s legal climate, where new law school grads far out number available entry level jobs. This economic reality can drive many newly-minted Esquires to make some very difficult life decisions, including … Read More