Kramer & Connolly

An outgrowth of their work on behalf of professional liability insurance carriers, Kramer & Connolly focus a large portion of their practice to the defense of their fellow attorneys in professional malpractice and disciplinary matters. Combined with significant trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts, this AV-rated litigation firm brings an appreciation for the pressures of law practice and the ethical issues confronting attorneys on a daily basis.

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Q. I’m not inclined to make excuses. But things have been so hectic in my office that I let a nice accident case slip through the cracks and failed to file suit by the limitations deadline. My head is spinning. What should I do now? A. When you make mistakes like this, you must rely on two policies: Your malpractice insurance … and honesty. Get out your insurance policy and report the claim to your…
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…
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,…
Q. My tech client had a huge gift basket delivered to me, with an envelope containing first class tickets for a luxury vacation in Spain. May I accept these? A. As a token of appreciation, the seasonal gift basket is a nice holiday gesture that won’t raise concerns. You may enjoy the edible parts of the basket without fear of repercussions. The contents of the envelope are harder to swallow. Under Rule 1.8(c) of the Rules
Q. After emailing several documents to opposing counsel, she slammed me for failing to encrypt the message and exposing records on her client’s medical history. Must I encrypt these emails? A. There are no rules which expressly require an attorney to encrypt email messages. But you must still make reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of sensitive data and communications. Where attorney-client communications are concerned, the Rules of Professional Conduct provide that an “attorney shall
Q. I’ve been approached to represent the husband in a messy custody case. His wife is using an old law school classmate and fellow golfer who serves with me on a bar association committee. Would that present a conflict? A. Maybe. Maybe not. It really depends on the nature of your relationship and whether it may interfere with your duties as opposing counsel. Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, a conflict would arise if the relationship
Q. Beyond an occasional accident case, I’m a criminal defense lawyer. In 25 years of practice, I’ve never been sued, but have spent thousands for malpractice insurance. Can I cancel this unnecessary expense? A. Unlike car insurance, few jurisdictions require lawyers to maintain malpractice coverage. Of course, they don’t require homeowner’s insurance either. But few of us would cancel a homeowner’s policy on a house that hasn’t caught fire in 25 years. Your criminal defense…
Q. An engaged couple wants to retain me in an accident case. The boyfriend drove through an intersection when a truck ran a red light and crashed into them. May I represent both? A. My definitive answer: It depends. If the truck driver was entirely at fault, without any negligence on the boyfriend’s part, there would not be any conflict in taking both claims. But the facts aren’t always clear. Even if the couple places…
Q. When I started practicing, I was excited to represent clients, try cases, and resolve serious problems. Now I feel like I’ve lost my “mojo,” lack the energy I once had, and dread going to the office. Any advice? A. With unrelenting deadlines, the pressure of billable hours, and the constant demands of clients in crisis, it’s easy to understand why lawyers face higher levels of anxiety, depression, addiction and job dissatisfaction than most other professions.…
Q. Unable to practice law since her suspension a few years ago, my old law school classmate asked whether I could use her as a paralegal at my own firm. Would I get in trouble if I hire her? A. The answer will depend upon your state and the care you exercise in hiring and supervision. As lawyers, we may advocate for second chances on behalf of clients seeking redemption from past misdeeds. But we show far…