Ethics Complaint from the California Bar? Read This Before You Respond

If you’ve received an ethics complaint from the California Bar, take heart. You’re certainly not alone. The California Bar releases an annual discipline report generally in April of each year. On the day this post was written, the most recent annual discipline report was released on April 30, 2017 and covered 2016. During 2016, the[…]

The 8 Rules of IOLTA Accounts

IOLTA accounts are trust accounts managed by lawyers. It holds money that was received from the client for the purposes of funding their matter. Mismanagement of an IOLTA account is one of the most common ethical violations committed by lawyers. While every jurisdiction has its own rules that practicing lawyers should know and abide by,[…]

Should Your Engagement Letter Include Agreed Upon Procedures?

Think about the engagement letters that your practice sends out. Do they include the agreed upon procedures? If not, they should. An engagement letter that includes agreed upon procedures can protect you form an ethical violation. While all lawyers and firms can benefit from changing their engagement letter to include specific tasks, a detailed letter[…]

Ethics for Lawyers Report: Common Ethical Violations

Because stat bar disciplinary committees don’t always give out statistics on which ethics rules were violated the most in any given year, this particular post is based on Megan Zavieh’s professional experience as an attorney who helps lawyers with their disciplinary action defense strategies. The purpose of this post is educational in nature. The more[…]

Social Media for Lawyers: How to Prevent an Ethics Complaint

Social media is an excellent tool for lawyers when they’re working to settle or litigate matters for the best interest of their clients. However, it’s imperative that lawyers know, understand, and adhere to jurisdictional ethics related to how they obtain and use information they find on social media. Here are some key tips lawyers can[…]

Steps to Take If You Receive a Letter from the State Bar Questioning Your Professional Conduct

Few things are scary in professional life than receiving a letter form the state bar that questions your professional conduct. It’s important to note that these letters don’t always come about because of an ethics complaint made against you by a current or former client. Sometimes, these state bar letters are triggered because a lawyer[…]

Are You Making This Attorney Client Relationship Mistake?

The attorney client relationship, once established, is sacred. It’s often misunderstood by both lawyers and clients (and sometimes by members of the public). When it comes to the attorney client relationship, who is in charge? If you’re an attorney, it’s imperative that you truly understand the dynamics of the relationship so that you’re better able[…]

Attorney Suspension: What Is It? Can You Survive If It Happens to You?

Attorney suspension occurs as a disciplinary action taken when a lawyer faces an ethical complaint, undergoes an investigation, and is subsequently found to have violated professional conduct rules. ABA Model Rule 27 defines the obligations of an attorney has if they are suspended. An attorney has ten days to notify all of their clients, co-counsel,[…]

Ethics Complaints: 8 Must-Take Steps for Lawyers

There are thousands of ethics complaints filed against lawyers every year. In 2015, the State Bar of California received 15,796 new ethics complaints against lawyers. In 2016, the number dropped (but not by much). The State Bar of California reported 15,247 ethics complaints filed. If you practice in California, there’s a significant chance that you[…]