The ethics of website and search engine optimization

A recently released Florida Bar advisory opinion on search engine optimization for lawyers’ websites can be found here: http://www.legalethicsforum.com/blog/2013/03/florida-bar-addresses-website-optimization.html

And the Lawyerist offers great guidance for attorneys about search engine optimization, lawyers’ reputations, and legal ethics here: http://lawyerist.com/seo-for-lawyers-your-reputation-and-legal-ethics/

Joint Representation in a Property Transaction

By Laurel Terry 

 

On March 25, 2013, the Law Society of England and Wales issued a statement that joint representation of the buyer and the lender in a property sales transaction is acceptable and provides the best value for money for clients.  See http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/society-sticks-joint-representation-homebuyers#comments . (For more background, see http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/articles/separate-representation/. ) In taking this position, the Law Society explicitly rejected the position taken the previous week by the Law Society of Scotland, noting that the “regulatory environment and market conditions are very different in Scotland.”

On March 22, 2013, the Law Society of Scotland had voted 58-27 to remove the current exception to the conflict of interest rules that permits a single solicitor to carry out work both for a client wishing to buy a property and their mortgage lender.  To become effective, the revised practice rules will have to be approved by the members of the Law Society of Scotland at a special general meeting to be held in September 2013 and approved by the lord president. See http://www.lawscot.org.uk/news/press-releases/2013/march-/news22313agmseprep; http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/separate-representation-vote-condemned.  These two UK decisions, which come out with different results, can provide the basis for a useful discussion in Chapter 5 related to Conflicts of Interest.

You might also find it useful to show the students the buyer-seller conflict decision tree and buyer-lender conflict decision tree. See http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/documents/conflicts-of-interest—buyer-and-seller/ and http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/documents/conflicts-of-interest—lender-and-borrower/ .

Call for Papers for the AALS Section on Professional Responsibility’s 2014 Annual Meeting

The AALS Section on Professional Responsibility invites papers for its 2014 Annual Meeting program, “The Lost Lawyer and the Lawyer-Statesman Ideal:  A Generation Later – The Shifting Sands of the Profession’s Identity.”

More information is available here: AALS SECTION ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

The Business and Ethics of Managing a 21st Century Law Firm

The Stein Center for Law and Ethics and the Corporate Law Center co-sponsored a three-part series called The Business and Ethics of Managing a 21st Century Law Firm. The concluding panel took place on Monday, March 18th and it was titled “The Impact of Technology on the Future of Law Firms.”

The final panel focused on the many kinds of technology influencing the way today’s law firm does business and the ethical questions this technology raises.  Panelists shared their views on virtual law firm business models, as well as on tools like e-discovery, data mining, quantitative methods for lawyers and the need for law firms to adopt technological tools in their day-to-day business models.

Panelists included: Dr. Silvia Hodges, Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School and Director of Research Services at TyMetrix Legal Analytics; Daniel Martin Katz, Assistant Professor of Law & Co-Director of ReInvent Law: A Law Laboratory Devoted to Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship at Michigan State University College of Law; Larry W. Bridgesmith, Chief Relationship Officer, ERM Legal Solutions LLC; and Suzie Scanlon, Professional, Berger Legal LLC.  Suzie Scanlon is a Fordham Law graduate from 1995.  The event was moderated by Ron Lazebnik, teacher of the Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property and Information Law Clinic at Fordham Law School.

Please see the links below for more information

 

 

 

Lawsuit Reveals DLA Piper Emails on Overbilling

DLA Piper has sued executive Adam H. Victor to recover fees and he has in turn counter-sued for overbilling.  The New York Times discusses embarrassing DLA Piper emails that have been discovered during the litigation.

See Suit Offers a Peek at the Practice of Inflating a Legal Bill

and DLA Piper Calls E-Mails Cited in Lawsuit An “Offensive” Attempt at Humor.

 

Anthony Lewis, Who Transformed Coverage of the Supreme Court, Dies at 85 – NYTimes.com

OTHERWISE: Anthony Lewis, Who Transformed Coverage of the Supreme Court, Dies at 85 – NYTimes.com.

Fifty years ago the United States Supreme Court announced in Gideon v. Wainwright that the Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel is so essential to a fair trial that government must provide a lawyer to a defendant who cannot afford one.
No one did more to celebrate the importance of the decision than did Times Supreme Court reporter and columnist Anthony Lewis, who died yesterday.
Though lawyers declared their obligation to serve the public, volunteerism and court assignments were a travesty of justice for criminal defendants. `Gideon’s Trmpet’, as Lewis called it, was a clarion call to make the promise of the 6th Amendment a genuine commitment, however incomplete may be the response so far.