Provider :: Stuart Teicher

Supervision and the problem of rogue nonlawyer assistants April 08, 2019
I read a scary article recently about data leaks.  It didn’t come out of the legal world, but I think it’s applicable to our industry nonetheless.  And the danger that made my ears perk up wasn’t about the fact that data was leaked in and of itself, but it was about how that data was leaked.  Apparently, a study commissioned by Egress Software Te ...See More
The Hidden, but Fixable Danger with PDFs October 25, 2018
Imagine this hypo: You’re working on a transaction for a client, and the lending institution needs to send money to your trust account on your client’s behalf.   — Stay with me — this is not going where you think —   The lender sends you a fillable PDF form where you’re supposed to provide your wiring information (routing number, account numb ...See More
I don't know WHY they bothered... July 13, 2018

In 2018 there was an opinion issued by the American Bar Association. For the life of me, I don’t understand why they wrote this opinion.

Formal Opinion 481 entitled, “A Lawyer’s Duty to Inform a Current or Former Client of the Lawyer’s Material Error” was issued on April 17, 2018.

There’s nothing so earth shattering about requiring a lawyer to notify a client when there is material error. In fact, it’s obvious and basic. In fact, the drafters of this opinion go through a bunch of advisory opinions from across the country and confirm that the requirement has been around for a while. At one point they even admit that they’re really not presenting anything new.  In addressing those other opinions they states that, “These opinions provide helpful guidance to lawyers, but they do not—just as we do not—purport to precisely define the scope of a lawyer’s disclosure obligations.” 


So why are you wasting this paper? 

The next sentence sorta tells us: “Still, the Committee believes that lawyers deserve more specific guidance in evaluating their duty to disclose errors to current clients than has previously been available.” ABA Op. 481 at 4

If there’s any value to the opinion, it’s in the definition of when an error is considered to be “material.”  They state, “…a lawyer must inform a current client of a material error committed by the lawyer in the representation. An error is material if a disinterested lawyer would conclude that it is (a) reasonably likely to harm or prejudice a client; or (b) of such a nature that it would reasonably cause a client to consider terminating the representation even in the absence of harm or prejudice.” ABA op. 481 at 4.

Oh, but this only applies if the client is a “current” client. That’s because even though a lawyer must inform a current client of a material error, “Rule 1.4 imposes no similar duty to former clients.” ABA Op. 481, at 7. 

Thanks for this guidance.  

I think. 

Want to learn more about the lawyer’s duty to communicate with clients? Check out my program called “The Ethical Way to Rehabilitate Client Relationships” where I explain how communication is the key to making connections with clients…you can find that program here—> 

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Wait, so you’re saying zealous is bad?? June 04, 2018
        Believe it or not, but there are critics of our ethics rules. I know what you’re thinking, “How could that be? They are PERFECT.”  I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but there really are scholars who have taken shots at the code. One of the biggest complaints is that the current code amounts to nothing more than a how-to manual.  How-to stay ...See More
An ethics a fish tank? April 25, 2018

Frictionless computing is an emerging technology and it poses some serious ethics risks.  There was recently an article about it that raised my eyebrows, so I wanted to let you know about this danger.

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