Ethics & Professional Liability
Practicing Law Defensively©
The defensive practice of law rests on a disciplined approach that begins with disclosure, discussion, and documentation. Avoiding conflicts of interest, legal malpractice or attorney discipline is part of the thoughtful process that is part paranoia and part prevention.
Trouble At Home
By David Parker, Elliott Benjamin and Joel Osman
Los Angeles Lawyer, June 2016
What Rights Does an Insurer Have Against Cumis Counsel?
By Joel A. Osman and Melissa M. Kurata
LACBA County Bar Update, February 2016
Suing a Lawyer? The Clock is Ticking
By Theodore W. Frank
Los Angeles Daily Journal, September 4, 2015
Is a Prospective Client Entitled to Attorney Work Product Developed in the Course of Deciding Whether to Accept the Engagement?
By Joel A. Osman and Kevin Mohr
County Bar Update, July 2014
Access to Capital for Job Creators: Rule 506 of Regulation D After the JOBS Act, Part I
By Mark T. Hiraide
California Business Law Practitioner, Fall 2013
So You Think You Know The “Mediation Privilege?”
By William K. Mills, Justin D. Denlinger, Jason J. Rudolph & Ben Seagle
California Bar Journal, January 2014
MCLE Self Study
One Hour MCLE Credit in Legal Ethics
Advising Startups: Who’s the client?
By William K. Mills
Los Angeles Daily Journal, November 1, 2013
“2 dudes walk into a law office…” That line sounds like the start of a very bad joke, but unless the lawyer who assists them takes a steady and disciplined approach, he won’t be the one laughing in the end.
After Attorney Error: What is the Duty to Assist the Former Client in Mitigating Consequences?
Three independent principles govern a lawyer’s assistance to a former client in mitigating damages caused by the lawyer’s conduct: (1) the duty of loyalty, (2) the standard of care, and (3) reciprocity. While generally not required, helping a former client to mitigate damages resulting from the lawyer’s conduct may be in the lawyer’s best interest, especially to avoid potential legal malpractice claims.
Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls for New Attorneys
New lawyers need to be know the rules that govern their newly acquired profession and conduct themselves as though their professional lives depend on it, because in many ways they do.
Beware of Opposing Counsel Bearing Gifts
Few lawyers appreciate the hazards they face when they obtain their opponents’ attorney-client or work product privileged information. The risk of disqualification can be minimized if the problem is understood, and a strategy employed to properly manage the information.
Ethical Implications of “Of Counsel” Relationships
Many law firms associate with lawyers that are neither employees nor owners, but with whom the law firms share work and clients, and for whom the law firms must manage unique ethical issues.
Ethical Issues in Class Actions & Derivative Litigation
Ethical rules should not be applied mechanically in class action litigation. Similarly in derivative litigation, issues of identifying the client and understanding conflicts and how to deal with them require special attention.
Ethics & Entertainment Law in California: the Essentials
Ethical rules even apply to entertainment lawyers, who usually perform numerous roles for their clients. As a result, it is important for them be mindful of the requirements so that a failure to comply or take appropriate precautions does not interfere with the art of the deal.
Internet Scams Targeting Attorneys
Lawyers are increasingly the targets of sophisticated and well concealed internet scams that must be recognized and managed to avoid negative consequences ranging from lost income to bar discipline.
Keeper of the Secrets
Lawyers are required to keep and maintain their clients’ confidences. That obligation is not limited to attorney-client privileged information.
Legal Ethics and the Limited Liability Company
A lawyer representing a California Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) faces nuanced challenges in balancing the interests of LLCs, and their managers and members. Understanding the context of the representation and applying defensive practice techniques aids in avoiding potential legal malpractice, including conflicts of interest.
The California Rules of Professional Conduct: The Good, the Bad and the Utterly Confusing
The California Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Rules”) form part of the framework governing ethical restraints on lawyers. The Rules are unique, and sometimes difficult to navigate, but nonetheless important guideposts that should be observed and respected.
The Informed Consent Doctrine: What’s Good for the Patient is Good for the Client
The Informed Consent Doctrine governing doctor patient waivers has not been adopted in the similar context between lawyer and client. However, lessons can be learned from the medical community and lawyers can protect themselves and their clients by ensuring that the client is always fully informed about and consents to substantive decisions.
The Pellican’s Mess – Ethical Considerations For Attorneys Who Hire Private Investigators In The Wake Of Pellicano©
Lawyers employing private investigators face ethical challenges and risks. Recent events require lawyers to consider their investigators as their agents or rue the consequences.
The Unknown Ethical Quagmire under the New Bankruptcy Law
Lawyers practicing in bankruptcy courts are burdened with additional rules governing their ethical behavior and must know the requirements which sometimes contradict ethics rules outside of the bankruptcy context.