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Full-Text Articles in Law

Professional Responsibility, Legal Malpractice, Cybersecurity, And Cyber-Insurance In The Covid-19 Era, Ethan S. Burger Oct 2021

Professional Responsibility, Legal Malpractice, Cybersecurity, And Cyber-Insurance In The Covid-19 Era, Ethan S. Burger

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, law firms conformed their activities to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and state health authority guidelines by immediately reducing the size of gatherings, encouraging social distancing, and mandating the use of protective gear. These changes necessitated the expansion of law firm remote operations, made possible by the increased adoption of technological tools to coordinate workflow and administrative tasks, communicate with clients, and engage with judicial and governmental bodies.

Law firms’ increased use of these technological tools for carrying out legal and administrative activities has implications …


Negative Commentary—Negative Consequences: Legal Ethics, Social Media, And The Impact Of Explosive Commentary, Jan L. Jacobowitz Ms. Oct 2021

Negative Commentary—Negative Consequences: Legal Ethics, Social Media, And The Impact Of Explosive Commentary, Jan L. Jacobowitz Ms.

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Connecting and sharing on social media has opened communication channels and provided instantaneous information to billions of people worldwide. Commentary on current events, cases, and negative online reviews may be posted in an instant, often without pause or thought about the potential repercussions. This global phenomenon may not only provide news of the day updates, humor, and support for those in need but also is replete with ethical landmines for the unwary lawyer. Lawyers commenting on current events, their cases, or responding to a client’s negative online review, have suffered damage to their careers. In some instances, they have even …


Sufficiently Judicial: The Need For A Universal Ethics Rule On Attorney Behavior In Legislative Impeachment Trials, Joshua E. Kastenberg Oct 2021

Sufficiently Judicial: The Need For A Universal Ethics Rule On Attorney Behavior In Legislative Impeachment Trials, Joshua E. Kastenberg

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In assessing an ethics, rule-based prohibition against New Jersey governmental attorneys representing clients against the state for matters the state had previously assigned to them, the state supreme court noted: “In our representative form of government, it is essential that the conduct of public officials and employees shall hold the respect and confidence of the people.”

In the beginning of 2020, the United States Senate held an impeachment trial to determine whether former President Donald J. Trump had committed offenses forwarded by the House of Representatives. A U.S. Senate trial, much like state senate trials, is both judicial and political …


When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi Jan 2021

When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The Supreme Court’s opinion in McCoy v. Louisiana held that a defendant has a constitutional right to insist their attorney not concede guilt as to any element of an offense, even if doing so is the only reasonable trial strategy to give the defendant a chance at life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. Under McCoy’s holding, a defendant can insist on maintaining their innocence—even in the face of overwhelming evidence—and force their attorney to pursue a defense that will land them on death row. The Supreme Court’s holding makes clear that a strategic concession of guilt at trial—over …


Making The Modern American Legal Profession, 1969–Present, Michael Ariens Aug 2019

Making The Modern American Legal Profession, 1969–Present, Michael Ariens

St. Mary's Law Journal

The American legal profession has changed dramatically over the past half-century greatly due to the solution and problem of “scale.” This was most noticeable after the American Bar Association’s adoption of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The reputation of lawyers and the legal community would continue to evolve in the eyes of the public. As such, the demand for lawyers and large law firms who had the capacity and means to handle such vast and varied issues would present itself. The increasing demand from large law firms over the years led to unprecedented growth and impact to the way in …


Professional Responsibility For The Pro Se Attorney., Margaret Raymond Jan 2011

Professional Responsibility For The Pro Se Attorney., Margaret Raymond

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article considers how pro se lawyers should be treated under the law of professional responsibility. While courts have addressed whether various aspects of the law of lawyering should be applied to lawyers acting pro se, they have not done so systematically. The Article first demonstrates that the law is not consistent in its treatment of pro se lawyers. It then argues that a purpose-based approach to the issue provides a consistent, rational, and reproducible way to analyze the question. It concludes that whether a particular rule of professional responsibility should apply to a pro se lawyer should be driven …


Unresolved Problems In Texas Legal Malpractice Law The Fourth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Stephen E. Mcconnico, Jennifer Knauth, Robyn Bigelow Jan 2005

Unresolved Problems In Texas Legal Malpractice Law The Fourth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Stephen E. Mcconnico, Jennifer Knauth, Robyn Bigelow

St. Mary's Law Journal

Legal malpractice jurisprudence is a dynamic and evolving area of Texas law. In its evolution, many issues have arisen regarding potential areas for attorney liability and discipline. The Texas Supreme Court opinion in Alexander v. Turtur & Associates, Inc. discusses the “suit within the suit” requirement for causation in litigation malpractice cases. The case also raised an important question—whether and in what circumstances causation should be treated as a question of law for the trial judge in the malpractice case, rather than as a question of fact for the jury. The Alexander opinion suggests that both the jury submission issues …


Even Judges Don't Know Everything: A Call For A Presumption Of Admissibility For Expert Witness Testimony In Lawyer Disciplinary Proceedings The Fourth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Timothy P. Chinaris Jan 2005

Even Judges Don't Know Everything: A Call For A Presumption Of Admissibility For Expert Witness Testimony In Lawyer Disciplinary Proceedings The Fourth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Timothy P. Chinaris

St. Mary's Law Journal

Today's practice environment is full of potential ethical pitfalls for even the most conscientious lawyer. The consequences of being found guilty of misconduct can include suspension or disbarment from practicing as a lawyer. Added to these concerns is the fact that the judge or hearing panel before whom the case is tried may not be intimately familiar with the particular ethics rules or how they are interpreted in different areas of practice. In order to mount an effective defense against the disciplinary charges, an accused lawyer may want to introduce expert testimony on his or her behalf. Unfortunately for the …


Legal Malpractice In Texas: Examining Selected Cases And Forecasting Future Trrends Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Wallace B. Jefferson Jan 2004

Legal Malpractice In Texas: Examining Selected Cases And Forecasting Future Trrends Third Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice & Professional Responsibility: Symposium Presentations., Wallace B. Jefferson

St. Mary's Law Journal

Little hard data exists concerning legal malpractice in Texas. What’s more, few legal law malpractice rulings are published. To date, there are only fifty written opinions on legal malpractice from Texas intermediate appellate courts. The activity that most often gave rise to a claim of legal malpractice involved the preparation, filing, and transmittal of documents, accounting for about a quarter of all claims. In San Antonio, Chief Justice Alma Lopez of the Fourth District Court of Appeals discussed common issues she sees in her courtroom. The issues ranged from failures to follow simple court rules to more substantial failures of …


Ethics: Lawyering And Professionalism., Broadus A. Spivey Jan 2002

Ethics: Lawyering And Professionalism., Broadus A. Spivey

St. Mary's Law Journal

Because public perception is a major issue that confronts the legal community, Texas encourages lawyers to maintain a civil, professional, and courteous environment. The work of lawyers may be divided into three parts: first, a lawyer must consider several factors when communicating with a potential client; second, a lawyer must attend to the creation of the lawyer-client relationship; and third, a lawyer must effectively manage the lawyer-client relationship. The rules of ethical deportment for attorneys are contained in the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, which specifically address barratry and similar offenses related to the improper solicitation of potential clients. …


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 …


Creative Sanctions For Discovery Abuse In Texas., Travis C. Headley Jan 2000

Creative Sanctions For Discovery Abuse In Texas., Travis C. Headley

St. Mary's Law Journal

Creative sanctions are necessary to deter litigants from abusing the discovery process. Under both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, creative sanctions are allowed and within a judge’s discretion. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 and Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 215 provide judges a non-exhaustive list of available sanctions to deter abusive discovery practices. Nonetheless, discovery abuse has continued to escalate, and limited precedence exists in the field despite the increased use of sanctions. An unprecedented creative sanction was imposed by Judge Brotman of the District Court for the Virgin Islands. On …


Professional Responsibility And The Litigator: A Comprehensive Guide To Texas Disciplinary Rules 3.01 Through 4.04., Barbara Hanson Nellermoe, Fidel Rodriguez Jr. Jan 1997

Professional Responsibility And The Litigator: A Comprehensive Guide To Texas Disciplinary Rules 3.01 Through 4.04., Barbara Hanson Nellermoe, Fidel Rodriguez Jr.

St. Mary's Law Journal

In 1991, the Texas Supreme Court addressed the issue of widespread discovery abuse. Technological advancements have brought new challenges to an attorney’s conduct in litigation and in the discovery process. The Texas Code of Professional Responsibility was repealed in 1990 and was replaced by Article 10, § 9 of the State Bar Rules (the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct). The Order of Adoption of the Texas Lawyer’ Creed states “the conduct of a lawyer should be characterized at all time by honest, candor, and fairness.” It is therefore mandatory for attorneys to refrain from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, …


Yellow Pages Legal Ads In Texas: The Complexities Of Dr 2-101(B) & (And) (C)., Vincent Robert Johnson Jan 1985

Yellow Pages Legal Ads In Texas: The Complexities Of Dr 2-101(B) & (And) (C)., Vincent Robert Johnson

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Article explains how attorneys can avoid private reprimands for advertisements in the Yellow Pages pursuant to subsection (B) and (C) of the Texas Code of Professional Responsibility Disciplinary Rule 2-101, given there is no scholarship or precedent. Subsection (B) requires an advertisement to include the name of a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in Texas, who will be responsible for performing the legal service, and the areas of law in which they practice. Subsection (C) requires detailed statements be included concerning whether the individuals named in compliance with subsection (B) are certified with the Texas Board of …


Yellow Pages Legal Ads In Texas: The Complexities Of Dr 2-101(B) & (And) (C)., Vincent Robert Johnson Jun 1905

Yellow Pages Legal Ads In Texas: The Complexities Of Dr 2-101(B) & (And) (C)., Vincent Robert Johnson

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Article explains how attorneys can avoid private reprimands for advertisements in the Yellow Pages pursuant to subsection (B) and (C) of the Texas Code of Professional Responsibility Disciplinary Rule 2-101, given there is no scholarship or precedent. Subsection (B) requires an advertisement to include the name of a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in Texas, who will be responsible for performing the legal service, and the areas of law in which they practice. Subsection (C) requires detailed statements be included concerning whether the individuals named in compliance with subsection (B) are certified with the Texas Board of …