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. 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…
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…