Limitation on titles and compensation for non-lawyer employees in Texas

Texas Ethics Opinion 642 (Revised) Professional Ethics Committee for the State Bar of Texas In September 2015, the Professional Ethics Committee for the State Bar of Texas revised Opinion 642. The Opinion confirmed that non-lawyers employees cannot use “officer” or “principal” in job title because it is generally understood that officers and principals exercise control […]

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New York State Bar Opinion 1077

Committee on Professional Ethics Topic: “Record retention and electronic storage.” Digest of the Committee: “A law firm may scan original signed retainer agreements into the firm computer system and then destroy the original agreements, provided that the firm maintains the scanned copies for seven years after the events they record.   Relevant Law: New York’s […]

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Scanned copy of signed retainer agreement must be retained for seven years if the original is destroyed – NYSBA Opinion 1077

On December 9, 2015, the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York State Bar issued Opinion 1077 providing guidelines on how law firms should keep record of retainer and compensation agreements with clients. A law firm with “a high volume practice” that receives “thousands of signed retainer agreements” every year asked whether they “may […]

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ABA Opinion 471 (Ethical Obligations of Lawyer to Surrender Papers and Property to which Former Client is Entitled) released

On July 1, 2015 the STANDING COMMITTEE ON ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY released Formal Opinion 471 -“Ethical Obligations of Lawyer to Surrender Papers and Property to which Former Client is Entitled” Digest: “Upon the termination of a representation, a lawyer is required under Model Rules 1.15 and 1.16(d) to take steps to the extent reasonably practicable […]

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New York State Bar Opinion 1062

Committee on Professional Ethics Topic: Financing a law practice; crowdfunding websites Digest of the Committee: “A law firm may engage in certain types of crowdfunding but not others. Any form of fundraising that gives the investor an interest in a law firm or a share of its revenue would be prohibited. However, in some circumstances […]

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Non-lawyers employees might still be called “officers” or “principals”. Texas Ethics Opinion 642 to be reconsidered

On October 15, 2014, the Professional Ethics Committee for the State Bar of Texas communicated its decision to reconsider Opinion 642, according to which law firms cannot use “officer” or “principal” in job title for non-lawyers. The Committee Chair said that: “At this point I do not know what the outcome of the reconsideration will […]

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Formal Opinion 2014-200

The Pennsylvania Bar Association issued a formal opinion on lawyers’ response to clients’ negative review. Conclusion from the opinion: “a lawyer cannot reveal client confidential information in a response to a client’s negative online review absent the client’s informed consent.” Pennsylvania ethics opinions available at https://www.pabar… (members only) Relevant Law: Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.6 “Confidentiality […]

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South Carolina State Bar Ethics, Advisory Opinion 14-01

Ethics Advisory Committee Topic: Fees and Duty of Confidentiality – Matching Services The Committee was asked to opine on the ethical propriety of following arrangement: potential client pays a fee to a group XYZ which acts as an attorney matching service for family court matters. XYZ pays $800 to attorney to consult with the client, and attend one […]

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