Lawyers may look at what jurors post online, but only if it’s available to the public-ABA Journal

 

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The gist of Formal Opinion 466 is that, within the context of Model Rule 3.5, a lawyer may review a juror’s or potential juror’s various postings on websites and social media. But the lawyer should not send jurors or prospective jurors a request for access, either directly or indirectly, to their social media accounts because doing so would amount to a violation of the prohibition in Model Rule 3.5(b) against ex parte communications with jurors that are not authorized by law or court order.

In a footnote, the ethics committee states that it “does not take a position on whether the standard of care for competent lawyer performance requires using Internet research to locate information about jurors that is relevant to the jury selection process. We are also mindful of the recent addition of Comment [8] to Model Rule 1.1. This comment explains that a lawyer ‘should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.’ “

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The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility Formal Opinion 466(PDF), issued April 24.

Read entire ABA Journal article here.

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Legal Loop: 3 more states weigh in on ethics of cloud computing | NY Daily Record

 

Nicole Black:  …The good news is that cloud computing use by lawyers has become much more common and as a result more jurisdictions are tackling the issue of the ethics of cloud computing. However, because of the increasing number of opinions being issued, it turns out that there were a few helpful opinions issued over the past year or so that I have not yet covered So, I figured now was as good a time as ever [for]…the decisions issued by ethics committees in Maine, Ohio and Washington.

Read more: http://nydailyrecord.com/blog/2014/06/02/legal-loop-3-more-states-weigh-in-on-ethics-of-cloud-computing/#ixzz340OwBQzI

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For a complete list of all U.S. ethics opinions on cloud computing, see Bob Ambrogi’s recent blog post at Lawsites: http://www.lawsitesblog.com/2014/05/cloud-ethics-opinions-full-list.html.

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SHORT NOTICE–FREE CLE (Webcast available) FROM 2D CIRCUIT–MAY 21ST

 

The NYS/ Federal Judicial Council is sponsoring a free CLE class in Manhattan and via webcast on Wednesday, May 21st, at 7:30pm. The topic of the CLE is:

Ethical Issues in Plea Bargaining: The Implications of  Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper

Two NYS CLE credits in Ethics will be given. Registration is limited to 250, in person, attendees. Registration for this CLE is done via:

http://ww2.ca2.uscourts.gov/coa_cle/

 

ProBono | Northern District of New York | United States District Court

 

Chief Judge Gary L. Sharpe announces the creation of a new section on the Northern District of New York‘s web page dedicated to honoring those bar members who have provided pro bono service to Northern District litigants who were unable to afford legal representation.  Unfortunately, these difficult economic times have increased the number of litigants attempting to pursue a cause of action pro se.  Without the public service of these dedicated professionals, the legal needs of the underprivileged may have gone unfulfilled.

The pro bono honor roll can be accessed via the following link: http://www.nynd.uscourts.gov/probono

Members of the Northern District Bar are invited to consider volunteering for a pro bono assignment.  The typical assignment takes place after all discovery and dispositive deadlines have passed and the case is about to proceed to trial.  While these cases can be challenging, they provide attorneys with a unique and invaluable trial experience which often pays dividends in the future.  If you would like to be considered for a pro bono assignment or have any questions about the Northern District’s Local Rule requiring pro bono service, please feel free to contact Larry Baerman, Clerk of the Court, at 315-234-8516 and he will be glad to assist you.

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Appellate Divisions Announce New Requirements for Retainer Agreements

 

All four of the Appellate Divisions recently adopted a new rule governing contingent fees in claims and actions for personal injury and wrongful death. The new rule is mandatory. The rules for the respective Appellate Divisions are: First Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 603.7[e]); Second Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 691.20[e]); Third Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 806.13[c]); and Fourth Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 1022.31[c]). Lawyers should be aware that the language varies slightly among the different Judicial Departments. Please note, these changes do NOT apply to medical malpractice cases, which are NOT subject to the new rules and must be handled in accordance with NYS Judiciary Law 474-a.

 

Lawyer suspended for posting video of undercover drug buy in mistaken belief it exonerated client-ABA Journal

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Gilsdorf “published damning evidence on the Internet with little to no thought or discussion of the possible consequences to his client,” the Review Board said. “His conduct threatened the fairness of a criminal proceeding and harmed his client.”
 
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Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Should lawyer who posted video implicating client be disciplined?”

ABAJournal.com: “Ethics Complaint Claims Lawyer Tried to Sway Potential Jurors by Posting Discovery Video on YouTube”

NYSBA | Mandatory Reporting Campaign

Office of the President

David Schraver

Since 2004, the New York State Bar Association has strongly opposed any requirement that New York lawyers report their voluntary pro bono service or contributions to public authorities.  We firmly believe that requiring such reporting dilutes the voluntary nature of lawyers’ pro bono service.  Lawyers should provide pro bono service because they recognize the critical importance of access to justice and lawyers’ unique ability to assist – not because they feel pressured into doing so.

I encourage you to write to the Chief Judge, the Chief Administrative Judge, and the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Divisions to express opposition to this requirement.  We have set up a webpage with contact information, a sample letter, and a link to send an e-mail message directly to the Chief Judge to express your opposition.  Go to www.nysba.org/probonoreporting.

Sincerely,

David M. Schraver, President

A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Trip to Rock Bottom and Back-The Lawyerist

There are two primary outcomes in a desperate struggle with addiction. The first is to keep going until you die. The second is to get caught.

After roughly a year and a half of active addiction to cocaine, Chuck Ramsay appeared to have decided upon the first. He looked in the mirror, admitted to himself he had a problem, but didn’t know how to keep living without coke. So he decided he would just keep using – keep using coke until he died.

Read about his journey to recovery.

Sample Document-Destruction Policy-Lawyerist

“…Having a formal document destruction policy is a smart move for many reasons. It greatly streamlines the process of analyzing whether each file should stay in storage or be destroyed, because you have already gone through the issues and identified the rules to apply. It can actually reduce your malpractice premiums to have such a policy in place, and it allows you to point to that policy if anyone ever questions why a file has been destroyed. It also provides a basis for setting client expectations on file retention from the opening of a new engagement through the destruction of the file…”

Undocumented Immigrant Granted Law License by California Supreme Court–FindLaw

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