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. 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…
Q. Wishing to handle it herself, my client has asked me not to pay one of her doctors from the proceeds of her settlement. I never signed anything to guarantee such payment, but I’m afraid that the doctor will claim a lien on the proceeds and come after me. What should I do? A. Sometimes, the future is easy to predict. Despite her assurances to the contrary, your client won’t pay this doctor from the…
Q. My client has threatened me with a lawsuit and an ethics complaint unless I refund her legal fees. Should I pay her to release these claims? A. Although a refund may reduce the chances of a lawsuit or grievance, you must be very careful about negotiating a “settlement” with your disgruntled client. Under Rule 1.8(h), you may not settle a potential malpractice claim unless this client is advised in writing to seek independent counsel
Q. Whenever my client gets a bill, he calls to question each of my time entries, keeping me on the phone for 30-45 minutes each time. May I bill him for this time? A. Billing for billing questions is itself a questionable practice. While I understand your desire to limit these calls, this high-maintenance client may take these questions to Bar Counsel if you charge for them. Like it or not, our clients have every right…
Q. After two other lawyers let her down, a sexual harassment victim approached me to fight for fair compensation. I haven’t done these cases before, but she thinks the case is worth millions in light of the #MeToo movement. Should I take the case? A. In a word that we don’t use often enough, “no.” When used correctly, this tiny word has the power to eliminate significant headaches, malpractice claims, and grievances. As much as…
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…