FL firm trawling for clients in PA draws suit for unfair competition A Philadelphia personal injury law firm has sued an out-of-state competitor in Pennsylvania federal court, claiming that its TV, billboard and on-line ads reaching the Philadelphia area are false and misleading, violating the Lanham Act and constituting unfair competition. The case is a reminder that the ethics rules and disciplinary action aren’t the only exposure lawyers might have to a claimed violation of... Continue Reading
Client confidentiality at the border:  suit filed to block warrantless searches of e-devices The ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have sued the Department of Homeland Security to block U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel from searching travelers’ electronic devices without warrants.  This has implications for lawyers who cross in and out of the U.S. with phones and laptops  containing confidential client information.  The CBP’s policy, which the ABA also has questioned, currently authorizes such... Continue Reading
“Opioid haze” and chronic pain don’t mitigate theft of client funds; lawyer disbarred A lawyer who was physically dependent on opioids and in an “opioid haze” was disbarred earlier this month for stealing more than $117,000 from a client.  Her chronic pain and addiction were not “extraordinary mitigating” factors that justified departing from the presumptive penalty for client theft, the Washington Supreme Court held. The decision is a stark reminder at a time when the... Continue Reading
Prospective client?  Not so fast, says district court in DQ ruling If you’re driving from state to state, the rules of the road are generally consistent.  While details may differ, a red light means “stop” in every state of the Union.  But under our federal system, each U.S. jurisdiction has authority to regulate the practice of law — and under the resulting state ethics rules, not only the details, but even some of... Continue Reading
“Inexperience” reduces discipline for OK lawyer who displayed insolence and incompetence Being inexperienced can contribute to getting into disciplinary trouble, but it can also be a mitigating factor in a bar disciplinary case.  That’s the message of a recent opinion of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which imposed a six month suspension from state practice as reciprocal discipline on a lawyer who had already been suspended from federal bankruptcy court practice...… Continue Reading