South Carolina State Bar Ethics, Advisory Opinion 18-05

Ethics Advisory Committee Topic: Lawyer accepting earnest money deposits from a client through PayPal   Summary from the opinion A lawyer is required to hold property of clients or third persons in connection with representation separate from the lawyer’s own property, but can comply with that obligation if the PayPal account in question does not […]

North Carolina State Bar 2018 Formal Ethics Opinion 1

Lawyer may participate in an online rating system, NC Ethics Opinion states   Topic: participation in website directories and rating systems that include third party reviews   The Opinion “explains when a lawyer may participate in an online rating system, and a lawyer’s professional responsibility for the content posted on a profile on a website directory.” […]

New York State Bar Opinion 1142

Committee on Professional Ethics Topic: “Delivering client file to client, maintenance of client files in electronic form.” Digest of the Committee: Where a lawyer keeps client files received in electronic form in that form and a former client requests a copy of the file in paper form, the lawyer must take reasonable measures to deliver […]

Legal advertising through texts allowed in NC, NC Ethics Opinion states

North Carolina State Bar 2017 Formal Ethics Opinion 1   April 21, 2017 Topic: text message advertising The Opinion clarifies that lawyers may use the text message advertising that allows the user to initiate a live telephone communication, provided it complies with North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3, and all applicable federal […]

Another jurisdiction finds participation in Avvo, LegalZoom, and Rocket Lawyer unethical

On June 21, 2017, the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Committee on Attorney Advertising, and Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law opined that New Jersey lawyers may not participate in the Avvo legal service programs “because the programs improperly require the lawyer to share a legal fee with a nonlawyer”. The Committees […]

New Jersey Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics Joint Opinion 732 New Jersey Committee on Attorney Advertising Joint Opinion 44 Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law Joint Opinion 54

Topic: “Lawyers Participating in Impermissible Lawyer Referral Services and Providing Legal Services for Unregistered Legal Service Plans – Avvo, LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, and Similar Companies” From the Opinion In sum, the Committees find that the Avvo website offers an impermissible referral service, in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct 7.2(c) and 7.3(d), as well as […]

Lawyer who ignored client’s Facebook inquiries about his case received a 90-day suspension

On April 27, 2017, the Nebraska Supreme Court ordered the suspension of an attorney from the practice of law for a period of 90 days followed by 1 year’s monitored probation. The Counsel for Discipline of the Nebraska Supreme Court filed formal charges against the attorney. According to the charges, the attorney had taken over […]

Pennsylvania Bar Association Formal Opinion 2016-200

Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee Topic: attorneys participating in fixed fee limited scope legal services referral programs   The fixed-fee legal referral service works as follows: A for-profit business (the “Business”), which is not a law firm or lawyer-owned, assists in pairing up potential clients seeking certain legal services with lawyers who are willing […]

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 […]

South Carolina State Bar Ethics, Advisory Opinion 16-06

Ethics Advisory Committee   Topic: attorneys participating in websites providing a fixed-fee legal referral service   From the Opinion The fixed-fee legal referral service works as follows: Attorney signs up for the service by agreeing to offer certain flat fee services. The fee for the service is set by the internet advertising directory website(service). The […]