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.

Kramer & Connolly Blogs

Latest from Kramer & Connolly

Q. Before leaving, our Chief Legal Officer reported directly to our CEO. Rather than keep counsel in upper management, may we eliminate the position and have our next lawyer report to a manager who works beneath our COO? A. You may. But the demotion may degrade the importance of legal compliance within your corporate culture and cost you much more in the long run. With few exceptions, an organization with sufficient size to employ in-house counsel would be wise to place its…
Q. My criminal defense client texted me that he really wants to testify. He’s got loads of priors, and the prosecutor will eat him alive. How can I get my point across so that he stays far away from the witness stand? A. For starters, don’t even try to get your point across by texting. No matter how you phrase it, the wrong medium sends the wrong message. If you really want to communicate the gravity of…
Q. Using ransomware, hackers recently locked our firm’s data and demanded bitcoins to release it. It cost us around $10,000 to get our data back. But if our clients find out, we’ll lose a lot more. Must we tell them? A. As lawyers, it’s our job to keep secrets. But keeping a data breach a secret from your clients could cost your job and career. The first question is whether your clients’ data has, in…
Q. Unable to take payments in person these days, I may let clients use apps like Paypal and Venmo to pay fees and retainers online. Are such payments allowed? A. Using these apps to pay fees that you have already earned doesn’t trouble me. But taking retainers through Paypal, Venmo or an ordinary credit card does. Rather than place unearned fees into your attorney trust account, services like Paypal and Venmo transfer the funds to your personal…
Q. My client, Unicorny Products, wants an immediate restraining order against a counterfeiter that’s currently flooding the market with cheap knock-offs. With all that’s going on in the world, is it wrong for me to seek emergency relief? A. Not if the facts warrant it. Under Rule 1.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you must “act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.” Absent a court order precluding such motions, you are ethically obliged…
Q. Exempting us from stay-at-home orders designed to keep people healthy, some states let lawyers go to the office to provide “essential” services. Are we really “essential” or are they just trying to kill us? A. If we want to maintain a healthy society, lawyers are more “essential” than ever. Facing a global pandemic, states must act decisively to save the lives of their citizens. Praised for swift action, popular governors have restricted our freedom…
Q. Since business has slowed, I finally have time to reconcile my trust account. But I haven’t a clue on where to begin. Can you help me? A. Yes. As a matter of fact, now is an ideal time to get a handle on our trust accounts and set things up so that we won’t lose control over them ever again. In addition to a step-by-step online tutorial, I am proud to be featured…
Q. I’m applying for a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program. I can probably survive without it, but if I use the funds to pay my staff, the feds will forgive the loan entirely and subsidize my payroll. Are you doing it too? A. No. The first paycheck I want to protect is my own. To apply for “PPP” funds, you must “certify in good faith” that “Current economic uncertainty makes this loan request
​​Q. Hit by the wave of COVID-19 layoffs, my client is desperate for money and calls often to see if her settlement check arrived. It just came in today’s mail, jointly payable to us both. Since I can’t have her visit to endorse it herself, may I sign it for her? A. Without a valid Power of Attorney, or “POA,” your powers as an attorney don’t go that far. As her lawyer, you may represent this client in court,…