Ethics & Professional Responsibility

I remember at the end of the George W. Bush administration, some comedians said that the Obama administration would put them out of business, what with Obama’s lack of propensity for scandal or gaffes. While of course that didn’t happen (the comedy world survived Obama’s tan suits and fancy mustard just fine), I’ve been asked (once) whether I am worried I won’t have blog fodder after all of the ridiculous election and Trump-related litigation is…
Here it comes again, that dreaded thing: New Year’s resolutions. Yes, just when all of us were ready to turn the page on 2020 and embrace a new year with new possibilities, so far, the turmoil does not seem to have disappeared so quickly. And it likely won’t for a while.  But that does not mean that we should continue to wait to right, or steady, our collective ships. On the law firm front, in…
Q. My online reputation is everything to me. So how should I respond to a scathing review that called me an “awful” and “dishonest lawyer” who cares more about money than people? A. Once you’re caught in the world wide web, it’s hard to get untangled. Social media, and online review sites like Yelp and Avvo, help us reach more people than ever before. But they also give our critics a platform to question our competence and…
Patent practitioners are keenly aware that inequitable conduct allegations are commonplace in patent litigation.  A finding of inequitable conduct has numerous adverse consequences for patent owners, including the possible loss of patent rights, exposure to antitrust claims, and an award of an accused infringer’s attorneys’ fees.  Because the impact of an inequitable conduct finding is so severe—the Federal Circuit has rather famously referred to the defense as the “atomic bomb” of patent law—it is little…
This is the non-lawyer version of a question I get a lot from lawyer clients—”how long is this disciplinary proceeding going to take?” Unfortunately for lawyers facing discipline and curious lay folks alike, there’s no real answer. I know people get tired of hearing this from lawyers, but really, “it depends.” Every disciplinary authority has its own internal case processing goals, but it is often difficult to determine whether a particular case will fall within…
When punishment must be swift and severe to protect the sacred symbolism of democracy The whole world except America’s caviar chugging, wine swigging elite knows the implications of what happened on January 6, when a mob instigated by Trump took over Congress. America’s elite which has always closed its eyes to the travails of common Americans and squeezed its nose at minorities and Black people, is playing ostrich. It is the manner of the elite.…
Q. Like everything else, I’m behind in formulating my New Year’s resolutions. Aside from getting vaccinated, what should I resolve to do in the year ahead? A. After the ball drops on another year, we often spend the next twelve months dropping balls in all aspects of lives. Even if you finished your list of resolutions, in a few weeks, that list would be buried beneath a pile of paperwork, as the overwhelming demands of practice,…
Breaking up is hard to do. (After all, it’s cuffing season.) This axiom is as true in a professional setting as it is in a personal one. How to ditch your quarantine bae before they’re vaccinated is beyond the scope of a legal ethics blog (as is whether I should ever use the term “quarantine bae” ever again). But firing a client and withdrawing from representation is sometimes absolutely necessary, regardless of what the…