At 5:34 am on July 25, 2018, a certain someone raised the above question upon learning that his personal lawyer had taped at least one conversation they had. The media responded by stating that New York is a ‘one person consent’ state, and thus the taping was legal. But was it ethical?
Chris McDonough Esq.
Foley Griffin LLP
As a regular part of my practice, I draft retainers for law firms. I usually ask the client what they want to achieve with the retainer and begin drafting from there. Required information includes fee basis, tasks included, tasks excluded and the necessary clauses (no guarantee, arbitration notice, statement of client rights, right to terminate, etc.).
Chris McDonough Esq.
Special Counsel to Foley Griffin LLP
Recently I received an inquiry from an attorney who was scheduled to appear on a radio talk show to discuss matters within his practice area. He asked me if it was permissible to “provide legal information to some callers,” as contemplated by the producers of the show. Specifically, callers facing foreclosure would be able to ask him questions about their legal situation.
Most lawyers have websites. Most lawyers create those websites to solicit business for their firms. In my opinion, not having a website is a grave mistake for almost every lawyer. Even when clients are referred to you, I would bet that nine out of ten check your website before calling. If you are not on the web, you might as well be invisible.
Last year I posted a blog article about alcohol abuse in the legal profession, in response to a study that appeared in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. The lead author was Patrick Krill, who is an attorney and Board Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and is the Director of the Legal Professionals Program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. That study revealed that between 21% and 36% of U.S. lawyers drink at levels consistent with an alcohol abuse disorder. Those figures are roughly 3 to 5 times higher than the forecast for the general population in the United States.
While recently participating in a lecture, I had the opportunity to review some material on metadata. While most of the information was irrelevant to my practice, I did take away something important regarding preservation of client confidences and protection of privileged information when sending documents electronically.