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Full-Text Articles in Law

Why The Dobbs Draft Release Makes It Tougher To Teach Legal Ethics, Lynne Marie Kohm Nov 2023

Why The Dobbs Draft Release Makes It Tougher To Teach Legal Ethics, Lynne Marie Kohm

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

No abstract provided.


Reconceiving Ethics For Judicial Law Clerks, Gregory Bischoping Jan 2022

Reconceiving Ethics For Judicial Law Clerks, Gregory Bischoping

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Judicial law clerks hold a unique and critical position in our legal system. They play a central part in the functioning of the judiciary, oftentimes writing the first draft of their judge’s opinions and serving as their trusted researcher and sounding board. Moreover, they are privy to the many highly confidential processes and private information behind the important work of the judiciary. It stands to reason the comprehensive set of ethical duties that bind the world of lawyers and judges should also provide guidance for judicial law clerks. The most important among those ethics rules is a duty of confidentiality. …


“Listserv Lawyering”: Definition And Exploration Of Its Utility In Representation Of Consumer Debtors In Bankruptcy And In Law Practice Generally, Josiah M. Daniel Iii Jan 2021

“Listserv Lawyering”: Definition And Exploration Of Its Utility In Representation Of Consumer Debtors In Bankruptcy And In Law Practice Generally, Josiah M. Daniel Iii

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The author examines the communications and activities of bankruptcy lawyers participating in the listserv of the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and finds that those activities constitute a previously unrecognized form of “lawyering,” which he has defined as the work of lawyers in and through the legal system to accomplish the objectives of their clients. Review of specific postings about legal issues and practical problems by Texas bankruptcy lawyers, whose practices are primarily on behalf of individual debtors in cases under Chapters 7 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, and observations about the voluntary, collaborative, and …


What Recourse Do Vulnerable Immigrants Have?: Violations Of The Vawa Confidentiality Provisions And The Pursuit Of An Even Playing Field, Trevor S. Gallaway May 2020

What Recourse Do Vulnerable Immigrants Have?: Violations Of The Vawa Confidentiality Provisions And The Pursuit Of An Even Playing Field, Trevor S. Gallaway

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Abstract forthcoming.


Securing Technological Privacy: Modernizing The Texas Disciplinary Rules Of Professional Conduct To Protect Electronic Data, Ashley "Nikki" Vega Jan 2020

Securing Technological Privacy: Modernizing The Texas Disciplinary Rules Of Professional Conduct To Protect Electronic Data, Ashley "Nikki" Vega

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This comment explains how and why the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Texas Disciplinary Rules”) should be updated to reflect the modernization of technology. Lawyers must keep abreast of changes in the law and its practices; including those which are technological in nature. The American Bar Association (the “ABA”) recently amended the “technology provisions” of its Model Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Model Rules”); namely Rule 1.1 “Competence” and Rule 1.6 “Confidentiality of Information” in order to keep up with the benefits and risks associated with technology in the legal profession. Additionally, over half of all jurisdictions have …


Ethical Limitations On Lawyer-To-Lawyer Online Consultations Regarding Pending Cases, Robert Derner Jan 2020

Ethical Limitations On Lawyer-To-Lawyer Online Consultations Regarding Pending Cases, Robert Derner

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This comment explains how and when lawyer-to-lawyer consultations are permitted in the online world. In all lawyer-to-lawyer consultations, but especially with the online variety, a lawyer must avoid violating the principle of confidentiality when consulting other lawyers about client matters. While in-person lawyer-to-lawyer consultations have been commonplace in the legal profession for decades, the rise of listservs and social media networks has caused many lawyers to seek advice from colleagues on the Internet.

In considering online lawyer-to-lawyer consultations, there are two major issues. Firstly, a lawyer must determine whether the jurisdiction in which he or she practices permits online lawyer-to-lawyer …


An Analysis Of Austin Lawyers Guild V. Securus Technologies, Inc.: The Constitutional And Ethical Implications Of Using Illegally Recorded Attorney–Client Telephone Conversations As Derivative Evidence, Christina Santos May 2016

An Analysis Of Austin Lawyers Guild V. Securus Technologies, Inc.: The Constitutional And Ethical Implications Of Using Illegally Recorded Attorney–Client Telephone Conversations As Derivative Evidence, Christina Santos

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

For the justice system to operate effectively, privileged communications between an attorney and his or her client should be afforded the utmost and strictest protections. Intrusion by law enforcement upon these communications severely diminishes the confidence and candor needed in the attorney-client relationship. Although the United States Supreme Court recognizes prosecutorial immunity and generally leaves prosecutorial discipline to state bar authorities, the Court has long held that the attorney-client privilege is needed for attorneys to effectively advocate on behalf of their clients.

Austin Lawyers Guild v. Securus Technologies, Inc., a civil class-action lawsuit, is currently pending before the United …


How Do You Rate Your Lawyer? Lawyers’ Responses To Online Reviews Of Their Services, Laurel A. Rigertas Jan 2014

How Do You Rate Your Lawyer? Lawyers’ Responses To Online Reviews Of Their Services, Laurel A. Rigertas

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

With the proliferation of opportunities for consumers to review a variety of services on the Internet, it is only a matter of time until more clients review their attorneys’ services on the Internet. This raises a variety of potential ethical and public policy issues. First, what can attorneys do to try to control their online reputations? Second, if a client posts negative comments about an attorney’s services on a public Internet forum, can the attorney respond on that forum without breaching the duty of confidentiality and, if so, how? Finally, when settling a dispute with a client, may an attorney …


A Guide To Properly Using And Responding To Requests For Admission Under The Texas Discovery Rules., Robert K. Wise, Katherine Hendler Jan 2014

A Guide To Properly Using And Responding To Requests For Admission Under The Texas Discovery Rules., Robert K. Wise, Katherine Hendler

St. Mary's Law Journal

This article’s purpose is to provide a guide for properly using and responding to requests for admission under the Texas discovery rules. Requests for admission are an extremely effective discovery tool when used and responded to properly. Their use can save litigants considerable time and expense by eliminating and narrowing the issues involved in the cause of action. Often misunderstood, requests for admission are perhaps the least used of the major discovery devices available to litigants. Even though requests for admission have the potential to eliminate unnecessary proof at trial, streamline discovery and motion practice, and reduce pretrial and trial …


Keep Your “Friends” Close And Your Enemies Closer: Walking The Ethical Tightrope In The Use Of Social Media., John G. Browning Jan 2013

Keep Your “Friends” Close And Your Enemies Closer: Walking The Ethical Tightrope In The Use Of Social Media., John G. Browning

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article will examine the ethical issues posed by lawyers’ use of social media platforms in light of the ABA Ethics Commission 20/20 changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Social networking has had a transformative effect both on the way society shares information and on the legal profession. Much of the discussion to date focuses on the discovery and use of evidence from social media sites in criminal cases and civil litigation, but attention must also be directed to the ethical quandaries posed by the legal profession’s use of social media. This Article will consider issues such as …


Ethically Handling The Receipt Of Possibly Privileged Information., James M. Fischer Jan 2011

Ethically Handling The Receipt Of Possibly Privileged Information., James M. Fischer

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Inadvertently sent e-mails that contain privileged information, material negligently included in a discovery response, or employer's documents taken by a whistle-blower all share a common theme-the materials were not intended to be disclosed to the opposing party. This Article makes two contentions. First, all unintended disclosures should be treated under a single standard that asks whether the privilege holder exercised reasonable care in maintaining the confidentiality of the materials. Second, with respect to the receiving lawyer's professional obligations, a lawyer who receives materials that may be privileged should be allowed to read the materials: (1) to determine whether the materials …


Legal Malpractice Litigation And The Duty To Report Misconduct., Vincent R. Johnson Jan 2011

Legal Malpractice Litigation And The Duty To Report Misconduct., Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Lawyers participating in legal malpractice litigation sometimes encounter evidence of serious disciplinary rule violations. Whether, and how soon, those lawyers are required to report this information to grievance authorities is a question that has received little attention from courts and scholars, despite the fact that most states have mandatory reporting rules. The dilemma for lawyers serving as testifying experts is particularly troublesome because nonreporting may result not only in discipline, but testimonial impeachment. The better view is that an expert in a pending case ordinarily has no mandatory obligation to report misconduct. This conclusion is supported by an analysis of …


Ethical Issues Associated With Multidisciplinary Practices In Texas., Michael Kelly Jan 2010

Ethical Issues Associated With Multidisciplinary Practices In Texas., Michael Kelly

St. Mary's Law Journal

In 2000, the American Bar Association House of Delegates voted to uphold the ban on multidisciplinary practices (MDPs) set out in Rule 5.4 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules). In 2009, the ABA announced the creation of the Ethics 20/20 Commission to review the Model Rules in the context of globalization. The Commission announced it was looking into alternative business structures, including MDPs. In an MDP a client can seek the advice of several professionals with experience in different disciplines working in a single business. Under Rule 5.4, a lawyer is prohibited from sharing legal fees with …


Leaks, Lies, And The Moonlight: Fiduciary Duties Of Associates To Their Law Firms., Susan Saab Fortney Jan 2010

Leaks, Lies, And The Moonlight: Fiduciary Duties Of Associates To Their Law Firms., Susan Saab Fortney

St. Mary's Law Journal

This symposium article examines the fiduciary duties of law firm associates. After applying agency principles to the firm-associate relationship, the article analyzes specific duties and discusses cases involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duties by associates. It explores associate duties in the current legal, organizational, and socio-technological environment in which associates practice. The article closes with observations on the importance of firm principals considering the effect of firm culture on associate attitudes and conduct.


Take The Money Or Run: The Risky Business Of Acting As Both Your Client's Lawyer And Bail Bondsman The Fifth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Dayla S. Pepi, Donna D. Bloom Jan 2006

Take The Money Or Run: The Risky Business Of Acting As Both Your Client's Lawyer And Bail Bondsman The Fifth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Dayla S. Pepi, Donna D. Bloom

St. Mary's Law Journal

The American Bar Association strongly discourages lawyers from being bondsmen due to the conflicts that can arise when a criminal defense attorney acts as their client's bail bondsman. These same ethical dilemmas can also be encountered in posting a bond for a client in civil matters such as probate, family law, and appeals. In Texas, lawyers are exempt from the requirements of licensure as a bondsmen, including the requirement to maintain a particular level of security to underwrite the bonds. Nonetheless, lawyers are still required to conform to the requirements regulating the practice of bondsmen. It is not enough for …


Confidentiality, Corporate Counsel, And Competition Law: Representing Multi-National Corporations In The European Union Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Sue Bentch Jan 2004

Confidentiality, Corporate Counsel, And Competition Law: Representing Multi-National Corporations In The European Union Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Sue Bentch

St. Mary's Law Journal

Professional ethics for corporate counsel in the European Union (EU) differs from the standards required in the United States. Consequently, conflicts may arise when US corporations deal with EU countries. For instance, if an issue regarding confidentiality emerges, the company bears the burden to prove to the European Commission that a particular document is protected from disclosure. Under EU’s Regulation 17, the European Commissioner has broad powers to investigate and adjudicate suspected violations of EU competition law. The Commissioner is the equivalent of an investigator, prosecutor, judge, and jury, all rolled into one. If a communication from a company was …


Proposed Conflict Of Interest And Confidentiality Rules., Luther H. Soules Iii Jan 2002

Proposed Conflict Of Interest And Confidentiality Rules., Luther H. Soules Iii

St. Mary's Law Journal

The Texas Supreme Court and the State Bar of Texas should fully adopt the proposals to the Rules of Professional Conduct 1.05–1.13 addressing attorney confidentiality and conflicts of interest. Historically, the Rules of Professional Conduct have set a floor which a lawyer may be subject to discipline, the Rules, however, do not offer bright lines for deciding questions of law, ethics, or fairness. Because the rules of professional responsibility in the legal industry are ambiguous in nature and often encumber a lawyer’s ability to effectively represent clients, the Texas Disciplinary Rules Committee recommends modification to the Rules of Professional Conduct …


Attorney Referral For Medical Treatment: A Wolf In Disguise., Martin J. Phipps Jan 2001

Attorney Referral For Medical Treatment: A Wolf In Disguise., Martin J. Phipps

St. Mary's Law Journal

Texas attorneys should be obligated to disclose whether they referred their client to a pre-selected physician. Plaintiff attorneys, however, have been allowed to withhold this information from the court arguing the information is privileged. The practice of using a pre-selected physician is unethical and unfairly prejudicial. If the attorney and physician have an agreement, the attorney is likely to send numerous clients to that specific physician in order to receive a discount. The physician in turn is likely to recommend medically unnecessary procedures in order to inflate money damages. Therefore, in order to prevent potential abuse between the attorney-physician relationship, …