Trust Accounting Basics

This post was written by Megan Zavieh and originally published on Lawyerist.com on April 4, 2014. Managing trust accounts – handling other people’s money – is one of the most sensitive things lawyers do, and one of the most common sources of ethical violations. You must know the rules. Common Rules Every state has its[…]

Virginia Bar Takes Aim at Avvo

This post was written by Megan Zavieh and originally published on Lawyerist.com on October 31, 2017. On Friday, October 27, 2017, Virginia Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics voted to send Legal Ethics Opinion 1885 to the Supreme Court for Adoption. LEO 1885 addresses third-party platforms offering legal services on a flat fee basis. While it could[…]

How to Keep Your Client Safe From Solicitation

This post was written by Megan Zavieh and originally published on Lawyerist.com on September 10, 2014. Some of the most fundamental rules governing the ethics of lawyers relate to attorney advertising. Don’t over-promise in your ads, include basic disclaimers, and never offer your services to someone you know is already represented. Related: Law Firm Website: Is Your[…]

Responding to an Ethics Complaint: A How-To Guide

This post was written by Megan Zavieh and originally published on Lawyerist.com on March 4, 2013. Bar complaint statistics have been updated to reflect the summary report provided by the California State Bar for 2018.   Every year, ethics boards receive thousands of complaints. The California State Bar alone received almost 16,000 in 2018, a number that[…]

Practical Advice for Taking Better Notes

This post was written by Megan Zavieh and originally published on Lawyerist.com on November 2, 2015. A file of complete and thorough notes is gold when you have to detail your work for an ethics or malpractice claim, to work through a billing dispute, to transfer a file to another lawyer, to prepare a declaration in support[…]

Who Decides What in the Attorney-Client Relationship?

This post was written by Megan Zavieh and originally published on Lawyerist.com on February 27, 2015. The attorney-client relationship is one of varying degrees of collaboration, depending on how involved your client chooses to be, how sophisticated they are in legal matters, and the type of case.   But no matter how sophisticated your client may be,[…]

Common Sense Lives in the Law

This post was written by Megan Zavieh and originally published on Lawyerist.com on July 10, 2013. How often do we read a court case where the court says its ruling “is consistent with common sense”? Not often, but it does happen. I stumbled upon such a case when putting together law on when an attorney-client relationship is[…]

Government Spying on Privileged Communications

This post was written by Megan Zavieh and originally published on Lawyerist.com on June 12, 2013. With the revealed intel that the U.S. government collected phone and internet usage information from millions of Americans for years, what steps must attorneys take to safeguard the attorney-client privilege?   News reports broke the story that the government exercised authority[…]

Minimize the Risk of an Ethics Complaint

This post was written by Megan Zavieh and originally published on Lawyerist.com on March 5, 2013. Some ethics complaints stem from the substantive practice of law — failing to research and argue well, failing to notify the court of an authority against your client, or other issues. Many ethics complaints, however, are at heart administrative[…]

The Attorney Client Relationship in California: Calling It Quits

We’ve talked before about the importance of maintaining a good attorney client relationship as well as when you, as a California lawyer, should attempt to repair a damaged relationship. Yet, there’s still an important concept related to the attorney client relationship in California: calling it quits. Can you just decide to stop representing your client?[…]