Ethics Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Ethics.
February 5, 2015 By Stange Law Firm, PC
Part of handling stress deals with the selection of the cases a lawyer takes. Lawyers should be cautious of taking cases from extremely difficult and unreasonable clients. These kinds of clients can raise stress and make the practice of law unenjoyable. Where it can be done ethically, in some cases, an attorney may wish to disengage or withdraw from cases where the client is completely unreasonable. These clients can also tend to seek conflict versus trying to quell the fires.
Sometimes despite an attorney’s best intentions, he or she may find that a client is not happy with the services provided. In many situations, a client can fire his or her attorney at will. However, there may be times when this right is limited. Before firing your attorney, be sure to consider negative consequences and any alternatives.
If you are considering retaining the services of a private investigator, you may want to know some background information regarding these individuals. Here are a few frequently asked questions about private investigators and their answers.
The act of hiring a private investigator does not inherently violate any rules of law. However, there is certain conduct that private investigators cannot engage in or else they will be violating the law. Check with the private investigator that you are interested in retaining to ensure that he or she follows the law of your jurisdiction.
In certain cases, a lawyer may recommend hiring a private investigator. He or she may have existing contacts or may recommend that you find your own investigator. Here are some situations in which you may need a private investigator to assist you in your case.
If you are interested in hiring a lawyer, he or she may mention a “retainer fee.” While you may hire an attorney without a written agreement, there are several reasons why you should insist on a written retainer.
Testing of foreign citizens in the Russian language, history and basic understanding of Russian law. In the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation the issue of control over the organization where foreign citizens are tested for knowledge of Russian language was discussed. This issue is particularly relevant in relation to foreign citizens who hold certification, but are not able to speak in Russian.
A medical malpractice case may arise when a patient’s treatment falls below the standard of care when compared to other surgeons in the same practice area and the patient is harmed. A patient may be injured due to a variety of surgical errors.
With electronic discovery, remember that you are still bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct in your state. However, some have proposed the EDRM Model Code of Conduct to deal specifically with e-discovery. The Model Code of Conduct (MCoC) sets forth aspirational guidelines intended to serve as a basis for ethical decision making by all participants in the electronic discovery process.
Writers often express their views on blogs or forums. With the advancement of laws, anyone who writes articles, must be cautious of consequences of doing so. This is a Malaysian perspective.
I rose to shake hands with my client and asked her to sit down. You see, at first I didn’t recognize her. It was only when I glanced down at her hand and saw the ring that I knew it was she. An old and now estranged friend had given it to her.
A financial advisor was recently arrested at a seminar in Los Angeles on financial elder abuse charges.
A Los Angeles area insurance agent accused of defrauding senior citizens will spend five years in jail and was ordered by the court to pay $1.2 million to compensate his victims.
A short list of some common mistakes not to make at your next video deposition.
This article reviews some of the issues addressed in a standard Owner/Design Professional Agreement, outlines concerns from the Design Professional’s perspective, and discusses how the Design Professional can reduce liability on a project and ensure equitable adjustments to the contract price and schedule for changed or additional design services. The agreement contemplated by this article is one to be used as part of a traditional design-bid-build approach.
When choosing a lawyer you want to make sure that you are going to choose one that is going to treat you with respect.
Although it seems impossible to drive around any city in America without seeing billboards advertising attorneys or hear radio ads for law firms, attorneys are actually one of the most heavily regulated industries when it comes to advertising. Most rules make sense, like avoiding doing anything that would mislead the general public. But, there are a few that are easily and commonly violated, though not often considered until the damage has already been done.
While billboards and television ads with lawyers faces and slogans may be commonplace today, just a few years ago such advertising was not permitted for attorneys. Over the last two decades, restrictions on lawyer advertising have relaxed somewhat, allowing the proliferation of ads we see today. Still, these advertisements are not without restriction.
We all understand that when someone wrongs us, we can contact an attorney to obtain assistance in filing a lawsuit to obtain relief. But what do you do when your attorney is the one who has wronged you? How do you obtain relief when your attorney drops the ball and commits malpractice?
Most businesses need a plan for dealing with unexpected situations. Usually, that plan includes insurance policies. But law firms and lawyers face unique circumstances most other professions never face. So what sorts of insurance should law firms obtain to best manage their risks?
One can only bring a lawsuit for negligence if they can establish all four of the required elements. If any one of the elements is missing, then there is no negligence from a legal standpoint, and a lawsuit cannot be sustained. Of course, there are often defenses and other technicalities involved with proving such a case, so it is always best to contact a qualified, licensed attorney to help answer your questions and guide you through the process of analyzing your claim or defense to negligence.
Many people feel afraid when they look for medical help. Whether it is their fear of a traumatic diagnosis or simply experiencing nerves over a routine check up, Chicago residents and people in other parts of the country may not rank potential doctor errors high on their lists of medically-related fears. That may change, however, in light of recent surveys completed by professional medical groups.
In a recent judgement, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) provided a few clarifications with respect to the responsibilities of an architect towards his clients.
Architect’s liabilities arising from non-disclosure. If an architect knows that a contractual penalty was agreed in the building contract, he has to instruct his client about its retention at the time of acceptance.
Even a brokerage agreement can be rescinded if a ground to challenge exists and ultimately be invalid. Nevertheless, the broker may retain a right to claim commission.
Attorneys and Disabled Clients - What Attorneys Need to Know When Setting Up The Initial Appointment
Attorneys and Disabled Clients - What Attorneys Need to Know When Setting Up The Initial Appointment - What attorneys need to know when working with disabled clients in Nashville, Tennessee and throughout the United States: Your law office just received a phone call from a deaf or hearing-impaired potential client. The potential-client is requesting a meeting to retain your services. The potential-client has also requested that you provide an interpreter for the meeting.
By Jaburg Wilk
The Court of Appeals has held that even where there is a contractual fee shifting provision, that the court retains discretion to limit any award to a reasonable level. Successful parties will have to be ready and able to prove that requested fees are reasonable, even where the other party has expressly agreed by contract to pay all fees.
A new regulation has been published on Official Gazette dated 14 October 2012 that contains a number of changes have been made on Regulation on Promotion of Medicinal Products For Human Use to ensure that the companies promoting a medicinal product is monitored by the Ministry of Health in wide range of their promotion activities. The main changes to the regulation include:
Compensation for personal injury in Jamaica is based on awards being made for special and general damages. In the case of general damages, the amount of compensation is based on local precedents, which are lower than those in high cost countries. Thus, a foreigner who lives in a high cost jurisdiction will get less monetary damages. Special damages are awarded as proved. In sum, foreigners from high cost jurisdictions are at a disadvantage in the amount general damages that they may receive.
An interesting case in Missouri has made headlines recently regarding the use of an alleged forged estate planning document resulting in first-degree murder charges. William Van Note, a 67 year-old retiree, and his long-time girlfriend, Sharon Dickson, were shot during a home invasion in 2010, killing Dickson and critically injuring Van Note, wounding him with a gunshot to the head.
Two men who who jetted from New York to Fort Lauderdale to board Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas cruise ship to Jamaica last week, but their vacation took a twisted turn when they found themselves locked away in the cruise ship's brig, accused of raping a young woman.
Two Privileges Protecting the Husband-Wife Relationship: Confidential Communications and Refusal to Testify in Criminal Proceedings - As we pointed out in a 2008 post, there are two marital/spousal privileges in Texas: the confidential communication privilege as defined by Rule 504(a) and the privilege not to testify in a criminal trial as defined by Rule 504(b) of the Texas Rules of Evidence.
Protecting Attorney Client Relationship, Privileged Information from Government Subpoena - The attorney work-product and the attorney-client privilege are often confused with each other. Although related, insofar as they both concern the attorney client relationship, they are distinct privileges protecting different types of information for completely different rationales.
Investigation of Intentional Prosecutorial Misconduct by Williamson County DA’s Office - In the 1980s Michael Morton was wrongfully, and unjustly, convicted of the murder of his wife (here and here). To say that prosecutorial misconduct was the primary reason for Morton’s conviction would be the proverbial understatement.
Core of Defense of Third Person is What the Actor Reasonably Believes Concerning the Situation of the Third Person - It was a hectic, confusing scene in Dallas on December 2, 2007. A fight broke out between two gangs: Kirby Block and Manett Boys. It was never clearly established what, or who, precipitated the fight.
The Clergy Privilege - Clergy Privilege Protects Communications Made in Confidence, Waived if Called as Character Witness
In a previous post, we outlined the case of Ernest “Randy” Comeaux, an inmate serving six life sentences for a series of rapes from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. The background of the case can be found here. In November of 1998 Lafayette Police Department Captain James Craft received an anonymous telephone call that linked Comeaux to the rapes.
Attorney-Client Privilege - Special Rule of Privilege in Criminal Cases Provides Greater Protection to the Criminally Accused
Ernest “Randy” Comeaux is currently an inmate serving six life sentences, without the benefit of parole, at the David Wade Correctional Center in Homer, Louisiana. The facts of Comeaux crime were detailed by a Louisiana Court of Appeals in the matter of Smith v. Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Department on April 24, 2004:
Writing in the Pittsburgh Law Review, University of California Law Professor Edward J. Inwinkelried discussed in detail the history and legal parameters of evidentiary privileges. He opened his treatise with this observation: “From society’s perspective, the rules governing privileged communications, such as those between a client and his or her attorney are arguably the most important doctrines in evidence law.”
High Court Misses Opportunity to Discuss Ethical Obligations of Prosecutors - For reasons we discussed in a previous post, the U.S. Supreme Court had an opportunity in Smith v. Cain to discuss the ethical discovery obligations of both federal and state prosecutors—an idea strongly suggested by the American Bar Association in their amicus brief filed in the case.
Tunnel Vision Interferes with Duty to Comply with Discovery Obligations - Most litigation in federal criminal cases regarding discovery of evidence, or lack thereof, is based on claims of violations of due process protections found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.
Filing Grievances, Request for Courts of Inquiry in Wrongful Conviction and Exoneration Cases - On December 12, 2011, writing for Mother Jones, Beth Schwartzapfel and Hannah Levintova published a piece titled “How Many Innocent People Are In Prison?”—a piece based in part on research conducted by University of Michigan Law Professor Samuel Gross.
Disciplinary Action against Rogue Prosecutors Who Intentionally Engage in Wrongful Conduct, Brady Violations Rare - Among lawyers practicing criminal law, “Brady violation” is probably second only to a “Miranda warning” as the most recognizable legal term in this country’s jurisprudence; and, significantly, both of these U.S. Supreme Court decisions are designed to curb prosecutorial and law enforcement misconduct.
Serious, Widespread and Intentional Concealment of Evidence by DOJ and US Attorneys - Former Alaska lawmaker, Vic Kohring, has entered a guilty plea admitting he accepted bribes from an “oil man” for his help in keeping taxes low on the Alaskan oil industry. The plea comes after an appellate court tossed out Kohring’s original conviction, along with others convicted in the scandal, after finding that the Government had intentionally withheld evidence in the trials.
ABA Files Amicus Demanding Disclosure of Exculpatory Evidence Regardless of Materiality, Broader than Brady - The Orleans Parish and Williamson County district attorney offices have something in common: both have a disturbing history of withholding exculpatory information that resulted in innocent men being sent to prison (or death row) for long periods of time (here, here and here).
The Internet is destroying the enforceability of small business contracts. Here are a few examples: Case 1: Painting Company and the BBB. - A house painting company (“PaintCo”) bid on and signed a contract with a home owner to paint his house. The contract had a three day cancelation clause which was not invoked.
I. General Standard - With some exceptions, the general legal standard of care for business actors and agents is “prudence.” In this context “prudence” means to act as an ordinary prudent person would act under the circumstances. But, this standard can be misleading because, at law, prudent people arguably do not make common mistakes, like combing their hair or changing the radio dial while driving, let alone sending texts. So, the prudent standard.
Under the majority “American Rule,” parties are generally required to bear their own attorney’s fees in civil cases. For over 100 years, however, Texas has been in the minority that allows courts to award attorney’s fees to prevailing parties for certain claims, such as for breach of oral or written contracts.
An Injury Occurring During Physical Therapy May Be the Result of the Malpractice of the Physical Therapist
The increasing use of physical therapy amongst the elderly-- and particularly nursing home patients-- has resulted in increases in the number of incidences of patient injury or death.
Hygiene in hospitals is not as high of a priority as one would expect. When people don't feel well, they see a doctor. They probably assume that the doctor will not spread anything to them to make them sicker. Ohio residents may be disturbed to find out that hygiene in hospitals is not as high of a priority as one would expect.
An estimated 100,000 people per year die in hospitals around the country from preventable errors and over the years this situation has only worsened. About 10 years ago a study from the Institute of Medicine was released. It estimated that 100,000 people per year died in hospitals around the country from preventable errors. Ohio residents will be disappointed to know the situation has only worsened.
I've come to accept that the physical responsibilities placed upon nursing home staff are completely unrealistic. The desire of management and administrators to maximize the individual productivity of nursing home workers may appear to be an admirable proposition on paper--- yet, fails when it comes to providing quality care for patients.
Pharmacists play an essential role in the well being of nursing home patients by filling physician prescriptions and in many cases keeping track of all the medications each patient takes to assure there are no contraindications in mixing different drugs. Obviously, keeping track of medications is an difficult but important job.
Case: Dove v. Ty Cobb Healthcare Systems, Inc. (305 Ga. App. 13) Parties: Plaintiff (Appellee) - Dove, Representing the estate of Ann Royston (Deceased) - Defendant (Appellant) - Ty Cobb Healthcare Systems, Inc. Court: Court of Appeals of Georgia (2010)
Medication errors are far more common than most people imagine. Commonly cited statistics are that 1.3 million people are injured and approximately 7,000 people die from medication errors each year in the U.S. In May 2011, Dr. Pamela Brown, a Ph.D., RN nurse manager of a pediatric intensive care unit, gave a presentation on fatal medication errors at a conference for critical care nurses.
In Arizona, anyone interested in the affairs or welfare of an allegedly incompetent person may petition the court for appointment as a guardian. ABC15 reports that Sun Valley Group of Tempe requested appointment as guardian to Gloria Horrigan and Rosemary Brown. Upon appointment, Horrigan was taken to a nursing home against her will and not allowed visitors, not even her family. Brown followed a similar pattern, also taken and not allowed to see her family or visitors.
Medical malpractice is a term used to embody the negligent behaviors of medical professionals whose omissions or deliberate actions/ inactions have resulted in a failure to practice safe medicine. In many instances, medical malpractice becomes a case worthy of legal address, and claims and lawsuits often follow the injuries and/or fatalities of malpractice within the health care field.
As a personal injury attorney in Georgia, I frequently get calls from car accident injury victims who want to fire their current attorney and hire a new lawyer to take over their case. It is always possible to fire your attorney and hire someone else. However, as every case is unique, it is important to keep some things in mind.
How can you discern between the myriad of Las Vegas personal injury law firms? There are many choices, with most firms offering an extensive menu of services. How can you decide which firm may be best suited for your specific case? Before committing to one attorney or firm, consider this list of screening questions you can use to make your decision:
Lawyers, like doctors, can rarely if ever promise results. And if they do you'd better be concerned.
On behalf of Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish posted in Chicago News, Illinois Laws, Illinois Legislation, Illinois News, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury.
Orthopedic surgery doctors manage patients with musculoskeletal system disorders. When malpractice occurs, a person could end up with fractures, tumors, and deformity in the wrists, joints, extremity, and spine.
According to American Medical News, state licensing boards, medical groups, and hospitals are requiring doctors to take continuing medical education (CME) courses to prevent misconduct.
In September 2011, a California couple filed a lawsuit against the Trinity County Sheriff's Department for sending them into a dangerous situation. The couple had been contacted by a Sheriff's Corporal and sent to check on a neighbor who made a 911 call indicating she was in danger. They had not been warned of the nature of the distress call and, upon their arrival, were violently attacked. A lawyer explores how the couple will prove the police were liable for the personal injury they suffered.
Health Care Provider Liability under the False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq.) - A recent decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals details circumstances under which health care providers may be held liable under the False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq., for alleged fraud committed under Part C of the U.S. Medicare program. By Cliff Holmes, Esq. Attorney for Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver PLLC (Washington, DC)
This article explains the general trend of malpractice cases in Turkey. This study had been review in the light of recent amendments in legislation related to Turkish Law.
Twenty-one-year old California resident Jessica Bleaman's problems weren't over after she had to undergo a second surgery due to personally injurious complications from a gastric band procedure she underwent with a clinic found through a 1-800-GET-THIN ad. Bleaman also found herself facing collections activities and solicitation from a potentially unethical and dishonest lawyer. This article explores which bar association rules that attorney may have violated.
Recipe for Success: Know the Law, Know the Judge, and be Professional.
It is extremely important for people to keep up with their regular dental cleanings and checkups so they can properly maintain good oral health. When a dentist or oral surgeon fails to provide a standard level of care, and as a result seriously injures or kills their patient, then the victim or the surviving family members may qualify for a personal injury claim against the liable party.
California law limits the role of Dental Auxiliaries. When "busy" dentists allow their dental assistants to do more than the law permits, patients can sustain serious injuries. In this article, the author explains the role of dental assistants as outlined in the California Dental Practice Act.
Ever since the California Legislature passed the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (MICRA), plaintiff’s attorneys have been working hard to repeal or amend the law. It is patently unfair to cap a malpractice victim’s non-economic damages, and it gives doctors and healthcare facilities incentive to do a cost benefit analysis on human lives.
The standard of care for a legal specialist may be different than that for a general practitioner. The Second Restatement of Torts provides that a professional is held to a general standard of care unless that person represents that he or she has greater or less skill or knowledge than members of the profession normally have.
In this article, the author discusses how a non-licensed person can work with a professional practice, including the use of an administrative/management service company.
A Bill Before the Oregon Legislature Could Give Whistleblower Protections to Non-nursing Hospital Personnel
A recent bill before Oregon’s state Senate might provide non-nursing hospital personnel workplace protection when they report patient care practices, procedures, or policies that endanger patient safety.
Podiatric malpractice claims tend to be difficult claims because the specialty underwriters that insure these losses hire experienced defense counsel who cover a broad geographic area and therefore have considerable experience.
The complications and conditions associated with high risk pregnancies should be properly identified and treated to avoid serious injury.
The new IRE should afford the practitioner efficiencies in adequately preparing for evidentiary issues before trial, as well as expediting the resolution of evidentiary issues during trial. The Special Committee performed a tremendous unpaid service to the bench, bar, and citizens of the State of Illinois in creating the new Illinois Rules of Evidence.
“Safe Harbor” for Doctors, Caps, Health Courts & other Panaceas Are Not the Answer to Rising Health Care Costs
Reform of the medical malpractice laws has been a subject of national debate for many years.
The Texas Board of Nursing is one of the most active licensing boards in the state, disciplining hundreds of nurses each year which includes substantial numbers of license revocations.
VBAC means Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. It is usually safe, but there is one key question every family must ask before agreeing to try VBAC at a particular hospital. If you don't know the answer to this question, and the uterus ruptures, your child can suffer a terrible injury.
Here are some of the most common ways that children can suffer serious brain or spinal cord injuries during the birthing process, due to a preventable error or lack of good judgment by the doctors or nurses involved in the delivery.
In the case of Smith v. Salon Baptiste (S09A1543) (2010), the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that Georgia law § 9-11-68 requiring a losing party to pay the attorney fees of the winning party under certain conditions was constitutional.
The ultimate cost of bias goes beyond undermining the rights of those whom our justice system is intended to serve. It also has a profound corrosive effect on practitioners and the judiciary.
As a general rule, the statute of limitations for legal malpractice claims is tolled during the time that an attorney continues to represent a client. The Supreme Court acknowledged that introducing tolling into the limitations equation came with a cost.
How and whether it is possible to act ethically at international level.
Personal injury cases are life-changing events that can wreak havoc on your health, finances and family life. Many accident victims are dependent on the damages they are awarded to cover medical expenses and lost income. Choosing the top lawyer is therefore the crucial first step any plaintiff must take so he or she can get suitably compensated.
Dental Group Scams, Dentist Fraud, Rip Offs and Malpractice in California and What Consumers Can Do to Help Attorneys Protect Dental Consumers
An Analysis of Dental Group Scams, Dentist Fraud, Rip Offs and Dental Malpractice in California and how a few bad apples in the Dental Profession are tarnishing ethical and caring dentists with the same toothbrush.
No one needs to be reminded of the stressful number of emails, voice mails, texts, and other “messages” which await them each day in their office in the practice of law. But how is this translating to jurors in the trial arena?
Investigator and witness credibility is the most important issue when testifying in court. An investigator and witness must be credible.
When people who have been injured or wronged have nowhere else to turn, they turn to a plaintiff’s attorney.
"In Illinois, attorneys are not required to carry legal malpractice insurance. A 2002 survey conducted by the Illinois State Bar found that 20% of attorneys and up to 40% of solo practitioners lack malpractice insurance."
When an individual dies, his or her estate has to be administered, debts settled and assets distributed. Often these duties fall to a fiduciary such as an attorney, a trustee, a personal representative, an administrator or an executor.
Nursing home abuse has been a topic of much discussion throughout the United States for several decades, but California is by far home to some of the most serious cases. Studies have shown that the number of nursing home abuse cases in California are increasing, and that is likely due to the number of elderly presiding in nursing home care is rising, and will continue to rise with the baby boom generation.
Imagine that you are seriously injured in a car accident through no fault of your own. You are rushed to the hospital, where the doctors piece you back together with several surgical procedures. You don't know if or when you will be able to work again. The medical bills are piling up. You are falling behind on your mortgage, bills and car payments.
The following are tips to ensure that you have solid evidence for a product defect case.
Discussion of fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation in the context of a hypothetical fact pattern.
The best time to consult with an attorney is when you don’t need one! Whenever you have concerns about a potential problem, that is the time to talk to a lawyer.
Almost anything is technically possible in espionage when you are dealing with multi-billion pound litigation cases, mergers and accusations or intellectual property rights.
A discussion of some of the tactics being employed in the 2008 Presidential Election to sow seeds of distrust and fear. The author asks whether the backlash against these tactics that are generating anger and fear among voters at political rallies will yet cause John McCain, a decent man with an honorable past, to repudiate the results of his own negative campaign ads and strategies.
A look at the current campaign election finance laws and current campaign contribution limits for the 2008 Presidential Election. The amounts that can be contributed to election campaigns have become even more important as the outcome of this election has become crucial to solving the current economic crisis.
The author looks at the what can happen to a restaurant, hotel, nightclub or bar that serves alcohol to a minor. Using the example of two restaurants in the Coachella Valley caught after the fact having serving liquor to minors, the author discusses the facts of two cases to show the deadly results that can follow from such actions.