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Getting divorced? Get a lawyer. That's not just good advice for laymen, it's good advice for attorneys too.

Take, for example, the case of Anthony Zappin. A New York appellate court recently upheld sanctions against Zappin after the New York attorney represented himself in his divorce proceedings. Zappin's self-representation ended up a "maelstrom of misconduct," the court found," involving "unprofessional, outrageous, and malicious" behavior. Just how outrageous was it? Let's take a look.

ABA Task Force Studies Due Process in College Sexual Misconduct Cases

The American Bar Association has formed a new task force to study due process rights in college sexual misconduct cases.

Andrew S. Boutros, co-chair of Seyfarth Shaw's White Collar, Internal Investigations and False Claims Act Team, will lead the task force. It will be comprised of 10 to 12 members, including lawyers, academics, government officials, victim advocacy representatives, and other constituents.

"The Criminal Justice Section is committed to fair and balanced procedural and substantive due process in the criminal justice system," said Matthew Redle, chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section in a press release. "Those same carefully calibrated rights and protections for both the victim and the accused are also critical in the college disciplinary system, where the stakes are exceptionally high on both sides and the collateral consequences of a finding of responsibility are abundantly severe."

If you've ever sat down to a WordPress blog and started typing out your thoughts on tort reform, legal tech, or the trials of starting your own firm, you've probably wondered: At what point does my attorney blogging become advertising? Sure, you're not posting "10 Reasons to Hire Me Today -- Number 7 Will Shock You!" But you are, perhaps, subtly selling yourself, showing your personality, experience, insight. Does that mean your blog is subject to the same rules as, say, an actual commercial?

Not according to the State Bar of California. The bar association recently finalized a new ethics opinion that will allow lawyers to blog, outside their main law firm website, without having to worry about regulations on attorney advertising.

When your client stiffs you in the middle of litigation with an unpaid legal bill, don't you just want to complain about it to someone? Not your bartender, but someone who can do something about it -- like a judge.

Well, you can tell the judge you want to withdraw but you better not give too many details. According to a new ethics opinion, you are bound by confidentiality to disclose only information "reasonably necessary" for the court to make an informed decision. It's almost enough to make an attorney stop talking.

"The tension between a lawyer's obligation to provide the court with sufficient facts to rule on a motion and the lawyer's duty of confidentiality has been characterized in one treatise as "a procedural problem that has no fully satisfactory solution," the ABA's ethics committee said.

Man Running for Judge Gets Law License Suspended Over Attack Ads

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth ten thousand votes.

At least, that's what attorney Ronnie Michael Tamburrino must have been thinking when he decided to run some television commerials in his judicial campaign. But what was he thinking when one video made fun of his opponent pouring whiskey shots for children?

Not only did Tamburrino lose the election, now he has lost his license to practice law for the controversial ads. The Ohio Supreme Court suspended his license for one year, with six months stayed pending conditions of probation.

"Tamburrino's misconduct impugned the integrity of his opponent as a jurist and as a public servant," Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger wrote for the majority.

More BigLaw Firms Are Suing for Clients' Unpaid Bills

The old wisdom against suing your client is giving way to a new normal.

According to recent reports, more BigLaw firms are breaking the old mold and suing their clients for unpaid fees. They say clients expect more of them, and so lawyers should expect more from their clients. This trend is happening at a time when law firm revenues are down and new lawyer expectations are up.

In other words, it is about money after all.

When Does Criticizing a Judge Become an Ethics Violation?

Some things are best left unsaid.

At least attorney Christine M. Mire should have kept her criticism of a judge to herself, according to the Louisiana Supreme Court. In appellate pleadings, Mire had accused a trial judge of tampering with a court recording that allegedly obscured the judge's connection to a litigant in the case. Based on those pleadings, the state disciplinary council accused her of ethics violations.

The Louisiana Supreme Court, in a split decision, suspended Mire's license to practice for one year and one day with six months deferred and two years of probation. Justice Jefferson D. Hughes III wrote one of the dissenting opinions.

"Alteration of the transcript of a recorded judicial proceeding is a serious, perhaps criminal, matter," he wrote. "This court does justice no favor by punishing the whistleblower."

What to Do If You Can't Find Your Client

Everybody loses clients, but what if you literally lose a client?

Losing track of a client can be more distressing than losing the client's business. Lawyers have a duty to protect the legal rights of even those clients they can't find. When they go missing, you may find yourself in an ethical minefield as you go about searching for them.

"If an attorney is having trouble contacting a client, the attorney should make all reasonable efforts to locate the client," according to the Washington State Bar newsletter. "If contacting the client is not possible, the attorney should keep records documenting all efforts to give notice, including efforts to contact the client by mail, phone, and email."

Over the years, we've seen lawyers disciplined and suspended from practice for hundreds of different reasons: publishing allegedly false statements about local judges on their blogs, representing both parties in a personal injury suit, falsifying eDiscovery documents, even insulting colleagues. (Not to mention the many sex with clients scandals.)

But does a suspension mean that an attorney can't work at all for that period? Not necessarily.

Legal ethics aren't something you should pick up through trial and error. Instead, attorneys should make compliance with their ethical and professional responsibilities a central part of their business -- as important as getting clients and billing hours. Thankfully, in many cases, complying with your ethical responsibilities isn't too trying. You simply have to know when to spot potential issues and how to react to them.

To help you out, here are some of our best attorney ethics tips, from the FindLaw archives.