How to Create a Law Firm Brochure – SOLO in COLO

Written By: Michael L. Goldblatt

The recent modernization of the American Bar Association’s model rules on lawyer advertising give a boost to marketing activities by firms of all sizes.  Although it may take years for state regulators to adopt the new ABA rules, many marketing activities are already permitted. For example, firms commonly use electronic marketing tools like online directories and websites. Many firms also use printed marketing materials like business cards and firm brochures. This article explains how solo lawyers and small firms can create an affordable brochure to attract new clients and offer additional services to existing clients. The tables accompanying the article provide cost details and links to samples and online providers.
 

A.G. Underwood Announces Agreement With Avvo | New York State Attorney General

NEW YORK – Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced an agreement with Avvo, an online legal directory, to reform its attorney rating system and improve its disclosures to consumers after an investigation by the Attorney General’s office revealed that the content and limits of Avvo’s rating system were not clearly disclosed. Avvo relied on attorneys to voluntarily provide additional information to their profiles to determine rankings – resulting in those that added information to their profiles generally having higher ratings than those who did not participate. In addition to changing its practices, Avvo will pay $50,000 to the State.
 

Military spouse denied waiver for bar admission gets another chance to make her case–ABA Journal

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

***

The Georgia Supreme Court has vacated a decision that denied bar admission to a lawyer seeking to practice in the state under a waiver program for military spouses.

The court sent the case back to Georgia’s Board of Bar Examiners, directing it to clearly apply the state’s military waiver policy and explain in writing why Harriet O’Neal did or did not meet the requirements for a waiver of the bar exam.The Sept. 10 opinion is here.

***

Read more about this program for military spouses who are lawyers…

I’m An In-House Hustler, Baby (And So Are You) | Above the Law

By **

***
In the not too distant past, I received a “stand” email. As in an “I took the time to write you a multi-paragraph email to tell you everything I can’t stand about you, and P.S. I also kick around orphan puppies in my spare time” kind of email. Cool, cool, cool. I never expected to be everybody’s cup of tea. I’m pretty sure at any given moment at least half a dozen of my business people are plotting my bloody demise.
***
**Kay Thrace (not her real name) is a harried in-house counsel at a well-known company that everyone loves to hate. When not scuffing dirt on the sacrosanct line between business and the law, Kay enjoys pub trivia domination and eradicating incorrect usage of the Oxford comma. You can contact her by email at KayThraceATL@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @KayThrace.

Suspended Prenda lawyer pleads guilty in scheme to sue porn downloaders–ABA Journal

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

***

Hansmeier admitted that he and Steele created sham companies to obtain the copyrights to pornographic movies, including some they filmed. The lawyers uploaded the movies to file-sharing websites like Pirate Bay, then filed copyright lawsuits for illegal downloading that concealed the lawyers’ role in distributing the movies, and their personal stake in the outcome of the litigation, according to prosecutors.

The suits were filed against “John Doe” downloaders. When a downloader’s identity was revealed in discovery, the lawyers threatened legal action unless the downloader paid a settlement of about $3,000. The lawyers created a company called Under the Bridge Consulting to transfer to themselves $1 million in money gained by the scheme, the plea agreement says.

***

Read more…

DAs Plan Constitutional Challenge to Prosecutorial Misconduct Commission | New York Law Journal

By Dan M. Clark

***

The state’s district attorneys may torpedo a proposed commission to investigate prosecutorial misconduct if a bill creating the group is approved by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

In a letter sent to the state’s prosecutors Tuesday, Albany County District Attorney David Soares said the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York will be advancing an expedited constitutional challenge to the bill. Soares is president of the DAASNY.

Soares also urged the district attorneys and their assistants to decline any appointment to the commission until the litigation is resolved, which would leave the body without four of its members required by the statute.

***

Read more…

New video from ABA president calls for lawyers to help separated immigrant families–ABA Journal

BY LORELEI LAIRD

ABA President Hilarie Bass has posted a short video asking America’s lawyers to help reunite immigrant families at the border.

In the video, Bass talks about what she saw during her late June trip to south Texas, where she met with immigrant mothers detained at the Port Isabel Detention Center near Harlingen. Some of those women hadn’t seen their children in six weeks, Bass said; some had talked to their children on the phone, but knew the children were far away.

But what really disturbed Bass, she said, was that all of them would give up their asylum claims and return to the violence they’re fleeing if it meant their children would be returned.

“That caused me great consternation, because these people are giving up their legal rights just to have the right to get their children back,” Bass says in the video. “I think as lawyers, we have to do everything possible to assist these victims of this policy.”

Bass then directed lawyers to http://ambar.org/immigrationjustice, a new ABA web page that aggregates opportunities for interested lawyers to volunteer, advocate or donate to help separated and detained families.

***

Read more...

Immigrant children begin appearing in court without lawyers or parents–ABA Journal

BY LORELEI LAIRD

Most immigrants facing deportation wouldn’t climb onto a table during their court hearings. But then again, most 3-year-olds don’t go to court without parents or lawyers.

Nonetheless, that was the situation during a recent court hearing for a child represented by the Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles.

“It really highlighted the absurdity of what we’re doing with these kids,” Center executive director Lindsay Toczylowski told the Texas Tribune.

***

A federal judge in San Diego ordered the federal government this week to reunite families within 14 to 30 days, depending on the ages of the children. If the decision is not appealed, being reunited with parents may help the minors make their cases. However, as Reuters notes, some parents have already been deported without their kids. Advocates including ABA ProBAR director Kimi Jackson have observed that there is no federal procedure for reuniting families, and lawyers for adult immigrants say the hotlines the federal government has provided are rarely answered and provide little information when they are answered.

A group of immigrant advocates sued in 2014 for a court order granting lawyers to unaccompanied minors, arguing that it is “fundamentally unfair” to expect children to represent themselves. The suit argued that children needed lawyers under both their due process rights–which courts have repeatedly held applies to immigrants–and the Immigration and Nationality Act’s guarantee of a fair hearing. That case led one Justice Department expert to testify that he’d been able to teach immigration law to young children, a claim mocked by immigration lawyers and at least one late-night comedian.

***

Read more…

Upstate Judge Resigns After CJC Finds He Lived in Wrong Town | New York Law Journal

By Dan M. Clark

***

An Elmira-area judge has agreed to never seek or accept judicial office again after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct found he did not live in the town where he was a judge.

Thomas Brooks resigned earlier this year after the commission found he lived outside the town of Veteran, where he served as a judge, the commission said in a decision Friday.

The commission received a complaint in February that Brooks lived in Erin, New York, rather than Veteran. Section 23 of Veteran’s laws says a sitting judge must reside in the town, according to the commission.

“A judge must meet the statutory residency requirements necessary to hold judicial office,” said Robert Tembeckjian, administrator of the CJC. “Failure to do so is disqualifying.”

***

Read more…

Formal Opinion 2017-5: An Attorney’s Ethical Duties Regarding U.S. Border Searches of Electronic Devices Containing Clients’ Confidential Information | Member & Career Services | NYC Bar

DIGEST: Under the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Rules”), a New York lawyer has certain ethical obligations when crossing the U.S. border with confidential client information.  Before crossing the border, the Rules require a lawyer to take reasonable steps to avoid disclosing confidential information in the event a border agent seeks to search the attorney’s electronic device. The “reasonableness” standard does not imply that particular protective measures must invariably be adopted in all circumstances to safeguard clients’ confidential information; however, this opinion identifies measures that may satisfy the obligation to safeguard clients’ confidences in this situation. Additionally, Under Rule 1.6(b)(6), the lawyer may not disclose a client’s confidential information in response to a claim of lawful authority unless doing so is “reasonably necessary” to comply with a border agent’s claim of lawful authority. This includes first making reasonable efforts to assert the attorney-client privilege and to otherwise avert or limit the disclosure of confidential information. Finally, if the attorney discloses clients’ confidential information to a third partyduring a border search, the attorney must inform affected clients about such disclosures pursuant to Rule 1.4.