Karen Rubin

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Karen is a member of Thompson Hine's business litigation group.  She is a member and former chair of the Certified Grievance Committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and a member and past chair of the Ohio State Bar Association's Ethics Committee.  She also chairs that committee's Ethics Opinions subcommittee, and has authored several ethics opinions on behalf of the OSBA interpreting the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct.  Karen also is an adjunct professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, teaching legal ethics.

Latest Articles

If you’re admitted to handle a case PHV, mind your P’s and Q’s. Translation:  Pro hac vice admission to practice before a court outside the state where you’re licensed requires attention to a range of ethics duties, and running afoul of them can have bad consequences.  Two recent cases spotlight some of the issues. We’re looking at you…. A Louisiana lawyer was admitted pro hac vice to represent a client in the Western District of…
Everyone knows that we have an ethical duty of competence, and in most jurisdictions this includes a duty to be aware of the “benefits and risks” of relevant technology.  Examples of possible technology issues affecting our practices:  encryption (and cyber-security in general), cloud storage, e-mail handling, the internet of things — there are many more.  And snafus from failing to understand technology or handle it properly can have fallout for lawyers and…
If you’re corporate counsel to an organization, you know how hard it can be to navigate privilege issues.  In a single day, you can be involved in talking to business managers, communicating with your CEO and dealing with the board.  When are your communications privileged, and how can you protect them?  A recent Colorado district court opinion has some pointers, based on a finding that a memo partly authored by in-house counsel was not privileged. Legal advice, or just…
Do we need another reminder about the perils of posting internet comments on cases and matters we are connected with?  Apparently we do, and here’s a strong one.  Earlier this month, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana was disbarred based on hundreds of comments he posted pseudonymously on the website of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  The posts included many related to high-profile cases he or his colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s office were…
A federal district court refused last week to disqualify a Connecticut lawyer in a suit against Yale University, even though finding a violation of the state’s version of Model Rule 4.2, the “no contact rule.”  Although ruling that disqualification was too extreme a sanction, the court ordered the turnover of interview notes from the lawyer’s interview of the improperly-contacted witness. The case underscores the need to tread carefully when contacting anyone associated with the opposing party. Coin…
You probably know about the ethics rule that prohibits lawyers from trying to prospectively limit their liability to clients (or at least I hope you do!).  You can find it in your state’s version of Model Rule 1.8(h). In an interesting twist, the Utah Ethics Advisory Committee recently opined that it’s permissible to include a provision in a retainer agreement requiring the client to indemnify the lawyer against third party claims against the lawyer arising…
Advising a “client” on how to move “grey money” into the U.S. has resulted in an agreed public censure in September for a New York attorney.  The lawyer (along with a number of others) was caught on video by Global Witness, a British-based public advocacy group.  But the sanction raises some questions regarding the imposition of discipline for conduct based on a pretextual situation. The “client” was actually an undercover investigator who posed as a…
Picture this:   You’re travelling across U.S. borders, heading home from a client meeting abroad.  However, unlike other trips, this time a Customs and Border Protection agent requests that you unlock and hand over for inspection your computer and cell phone — full of client confidential information.  You’ve been concerned about this issue, and so you’ve had your IT department encrypt all of the sensitive data on your devices.  Will that protect you client’s information from…
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which last month dumped up to 35 inches of rain on parts of the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland, caused 48 deaths, and up to $22 billion in property damage, comes a timely new ABA opinion about our ethical obligations related to disasters. The hurricane did not spare lawyers and law firms.  Ahead of the 1,000-year storm, Law360.com reported that firms in Florence’s projected path shuttered offices, activated contingency plans,…
You can’t interview potential expert witnesses and share confidential information with them solely to taint them with a conflict that would prevent the experts from working for the other side, the Texas State Bar Professional Ethics Committee recently said in Opinion No. 676. “T’aint” ethical Lots of litigation requires expert testimony in order to support plaintiff’s allegations or to defend against them.  But if a lawyer shares confidential information with a prospective expert, the expert may be disqualified from working for the other…