Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Recently in Professional Responsibility Category

When you have a client throwing good money after bad, the only blood they'll be able to squeeze out of that turnip is yours. That's how that saying goes, right?

If you discover that your client's case lacks real value, or the defendant won't be able to pay any judgment, it can often feel wallet deflating to tell a client that's paying you, in advance, by the hour, that their case, while meritorious, is worthless (to them, not you). While you might want to use more diplomatic language, especially for stubborn (principled) clients, painting the picture with numbers may be the most effective way to get your point across.

Contempt Is 'Well Deserved,' ACLU Says of Kansas Official

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach "can't be trusted" and deserves to be punished.

That's what the American Civil Liberties Union said, not holding back its contempt for the state official. But the ACLU is not the only one holding Kobach in contempt.

A federal judge has held the secretary of state in contempt for a "history of non-compliance" with court orders. Those words may not break bones, but they will definitely hurt.

More Than 50,000 Reasons Not to Take Fees on the Side

Carllene Placide had a good gig, but that deal expired.

She was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney, a big law firm, pulling down a base salary of $225,000 a year. Apparently dissatisfied with her non-equity status, she started doing legal jobs on the side.

That violated firm policy, and led to her termination. She refused to pay back more than $50,000 for the outside work, and that led to the end of her career.

If You Make a Material Error, You Must Tell Current Clients

First, the bad news: you have to inform current clients when you make material errors.

The good news is, you don't have to tell former clients. That's the gist of a recent ethics opinion from the American Bar Association.

So what are we to learn from the "tell-don't-tell" rule? Get rid of those erred-upon clients so you don't have to tell them?

Coerce Clients Into Sex, Get 80 Years in Prison

If a juror passes out during a graphic video in your case, it's probably a bad sign.

At least, Mark Benavides should have known that his case wasn't going well when it happened to him. The former San Antonio lawyer was on trial for sex trafficking, and the evidence included DVDs of him forcing clients to have sex with him.

One video caused a juror to faint. That's because, by all accounts -- including his own --Benavides was a monster.

While you may be able to let loose the likes of Terrible Terry Tate when your associates or staff members are defiant, when clients are uncooperative, your options are much more limited.

Basically, you have a couple options when you begin to notice that clients are uncooperative, or acting out. You either sit them down to make them understand the error of their ways and what it means for their case and your representation, or you may be faced with having to cut them loose. However, before you take the nuclear route, you'll want to try talking it out a few different ways.

After being suspended for 7 years and not even knowing it, a New York attorney is fighting a rather steep uphill battle to get back his license to practice. Most attorneys are likely most curious about the very rational question: How do you not know you're suspended from practice for 7 years?!?

The short answer: You don't think about it for 6 years.

While the world of litigation funding is often castigated into the realms of the seedy boardrooms of evil banking corporations, litigation funders are taking big risks, particularly given that third party litigation funders are prohibited from having any say in the actual litigation. Not every third party funded case is Peter Thiel paying for Hulk Hogan's litigation against Gawker.

Recently, there have been public concerns over litigation funders having dubious motives, beyond just maximizing investment profits, as well as some proposed legislation.

With gourmet food trucks still riding high on the popularity wave, there's bound to be at least one lawyer out there asking: Why not set up a mobile law office a la a food truck? After all, it could serve up legal services a la carte.

There's no doubt that some lawyers are attracted by life on the road (in a food truck). Just about every lawyer remembers hearing about Kim Pearlman's famous hot dog stand, "Law Dogs," which served dogs with a side of free legal advice. Clearly, today, we have the technology to take the "Law Dogs" model to the next level, but apart from the question of whether an attorney would actually want to have an office inside a brightly decorated rolling box, one has to wonder: Would it even be ethical? Below, you can read about a few of the many potential ethical issues of lawyering out of a food truck style office.

False Lawyer Advertising: Close but No State Bar

Lundy Law did not break false advertising law with its commercials.

However, according to a federal judge, the Philadelphia law firm did stretch the truth to the breaking point. Judge Cynthia Rufe said the managing partner lied in a television commercial.

With an endorsement like that, it's no wonder Lundy Law is advertising for business. How close can you get to the line without crossing it?