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Recently in Professional Responsibility Category

As a lawyer, it's important to really remember one thing: you're a lawyer and your conduct while lawyering and while not lawyering matters because it reflects upon the profession as a whole.

To that end, lawyers really can't threaten violence or much else besides legal action (pending exceptions), and doing so can often be more than just an ethics violation. It could very well be criminal. One lawyer learned this lesson the hard way when his emotions clearly seem to have got the best of him while he was a party in his child custody case.

In the world of online fundraising, otherwise basically known as crowdfunding, the opportunities are seemingly endless. In fact, lawyers and clients have successful crowdfunded litigation.

However, due to the relative newness of the crowdfunding sensation, those in the legal profession embracing it, have sort of been operating in murky ethical waters ... that is, until now. A recent ethics opinion issued by the District of Columbia's legal ethics committee explains that lawyers can in fact represent clients who pay via crowdfunding, but, as the ABA Journal reported, there are a few important caveats.

Lawyers do it every day. But for one pair of form-crossed Ohio lawyers, who did it and didn't redact, the state's bar decided to set an example.

The two lawyers met at a conference and hit it off. They both were part of similar legal practices representing public schools and began romantically seeing each other. Over a period of two years, the two shared client confidences and unredacted legal forms and client emails freely, even after they got busted. In the disciplinary opinion, it was noted that one even admitted to the fact that the other routinely completed work she was supposed to do.

A Cannabis Practice Rule From the California State Bar

Three more states legalized marijuana in the mid-term elections, but a different state was way ahead of them with new guidance for attorneys in the field.

California, which legalized medical marijuana more than two decades ago, has a new rule for lawyers who advise clients about pot use. Voters approved it for recreational use in California two years ago.

The state bar association took a while to act because it also added or changed 70 ethics rules for California attorneys. The so-called "cannabis rule" is a bit of a sleeper, however, because it actually says nothing about pot.

In a rather shocking disciplinary action out of Ohio, an attorney has been indefinitely suspended for counseling a client in a rather peculiar way that he claims was mere puffery to bolster the client's confidence in his representation.

In short, it was found that he pretty much lied to his own client while bragging about playing games and obstructing discovery. He admitted as much, and more. And if you're wondering why he admitted all this, it's likely due to the fact that the client had made a secret audio recording of their deposition prep meeting, and making the extraordinarily damning admissions was the only way to keep the actual recording out of the record.

Prosecutors: Do This, Not That

Eat This, Not That is a popular book about eating healthy, and it has nothing to do with being a prosecutor.

Except this: there are things that prosecutors should do and not do. It's all about good practices that lead to healthy living.

When it comes to ethical choices, it's especially important to make wise choices. It takes discipline, like like deciding whether to eat donuts; they may look good but they are really bad for you.

Marijuana may be legal in several states around the country, but mailing pot certainly isn't. And gifting some of the smelly green stuff to judges is certainly out of the question.

Despite the greyish legality, it's still a drug, and gifting anything, let alone drugs, to a judge on your case is a sure fire way to have your case go up in smoke. We all know Justice Kavanaugh likes beer, but you don't see litigants lining up to hand him cold ones now, do you?

Below, you can read more about the story of Jeffrey Nathan Schirripa, and learn the lesson that he apparently needed to be taught again.

Lawyers, Criticizing a Judge Is No Joke

The witness seemed to ignore a question so the attorney asked again loudly: "Isn't it true you were paid $5,000 to throw this case?"

"Oh, I'm sorry," the witness said. "I thought you were talking to the judge."

It's a joke, but there's a lesson here. No matter what you think, don't criticize a judge -- at least not in court.

North Carolina Opens Legal Borders to Help Disaster Victims

You can practice law in North Carolina no matter where you are, if you are ready to help disaster victims.

Because of Hurricane Florence, the North Carolina Supreme Court has ordered that out-of-state lawyers may provide free legal services there. It's not an open invitation to start a practice in North Carolina, but it is an opportunity to do some good.

It's also good news for lawyers who can't leave their homes to go across country. Through the American Bar Association, they can do pro bono online.

How NOT to Handle In-Chambers Conferences

There are a thousand things lawyers should do in court.

Always respect the judge, make eye contact with jurors, be civil to opposing counsel, etc.

But there are at least three rules for in-chambers conferences, and the most important rule is about what NOT to do. Think of it like the moment the gate comes down at a railroad crossing.