Category Archives: Legal Ethics

Joking About Clients — Understandable and Maybe Helpful — But There’s a Test About When It’s OK

There is a provocative, but also disturbing article in the Washington Post that all who serve others, including lawyers and court and self-help staff, might want to think about.  It is titled, Nurses make fun of their dying patients. That’s … Continue reading

Posted in Legal Ethics, Medical System Comparision, Self-Help Services | Comments Off on Joking About Clients — Understandable and Maybe Helpful — But There’s a Test About When It’s OK

Pending Supreme Court Case Could Put Limits on Integrated Bar’s Ability to Limit NonLawyer Activities

David Udell points out this fascinating pending Supreme Court case, that had passed me by. On October 14, 2014, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, which raises the issue whether a … Continue reading

Posted in Anti-Trust, Legal Ethics, Non-Lawyer Practice | Comments Off on Pending Supreme Court Case Could Put Limits on Integrated Bar’s Ability to Limit NonLawyer Activities

Good News on Electric Shock Judge

Judge Nalley is now history.  I have just received the following from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs of the Maryland Courts. Good afternoon, Richard. I know you’ve been writing about Judge Nalley on your Access to Justice blog. … Continue reading

Posted in Legal Ethics | 3 Comments

Massachusetts Adds Access to Justice to Bar Exam — Ideas on Implications

Massachusetts has now added access to justice to the bar exam, starting in 2016. As previously reported in this blog when comment was sought, the now-accepted proposal includes a wide range of topics from landlord tenant to predatory lending, and … Continue reading

Posted in Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Unbundling | Comments Off on Massachusetts Adds Access to Justice to Bar Exam — Ideas on Implications

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Formally Asks for Comments on Proposed Rule To Include ATJ on Bar Exam

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the state’s top court) is formally asking for comment on a proposed rule change that would put access to justice issues on the bar exam. The proposed rule is written in such a way that … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Judicial Ethics, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Unbundling | 2 Comments

Law Student Pro Bono, The ABA, CCJ Resolution and the Moral Crisis of the Profession

This is an important week for the issue of mandatory law student pro bono, and also for the moral status of the bar. As David Udell and Deborah Rhode explain in a National Law Journal article, The ABA body responsible … Continue reading

Posted in Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Non-Lawyer Practice | 3 Comments

Mass ATJ Commission Proposes Adding Access Issues to Bar Exam

This is a great idea, and also an illustration of how Commissions can push the envelope. The Massachusetts Commission has proposed to the state Board of Bar Examiners that access to justice issues be added to the bar exam.  Memo … Continue reading

Posted in Law Schools, Legal Ethics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Interesting Article on Ideas to Change Ethics Rules to Facilitate Pro Bono

Esther Lardent of the Pro Bono Institute has an interesting article in the National Law Journal on how current ethics rules inhibit pro bono.  Lots of good ideas for change here. Limits in multi-jurisdictional practice get in the way of … Continue reading

Posted in Legal Ethics, Pro Bono | Comments Off on Interesting Article on Ideas to Change Ethics Rules to Facilitate Pro Bono

Memories of a Mentor, and Honoring a Prosecutor

On the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainright, I keep thinking about one of my mentors, Brownlow (Browny) Speer, who died a few weeks ago. Browny was Chief Appellate Attorney of first the Massachusetts Defenders Committee, and then its successor, … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Criminal Law, Legal Ethics, Public Defender, Vocation | Comments Off on Memories of a Mentor, and Honoring a Prosecutor

California Bar Explores Joining Movement for Non-Lawyer Practice

Another straw in a gathering wind. This article in the California Bar Journal reports on the Bar’s Board’s exploring the possibility of limited practice professionals: The State Bar Board of Trustees has expressed interest in examining a limited-practice licensing program … Continue reading

Posted in Attorney-Client, Legal Ethics, Systematic Change | 4 Comments

Non-Lawyer Practice Idea Featured on CNN Website

Professor Gillian Hadfield, who recently testified at one of the New York Access Hearings about non-lawer practice, has an important opinion piece on the CNN Website.  She proves the total inadequacy of current access approaches, concluding that we simply have … Continue reading

Posted in Legal Ethics, Non-Lawyer Practice, Systematic Change | 1 Comment

Non-Lawyer Practice — Moving the New York Discussion Forward

I blogged recently about testimony at the New York Access to Justice hearings about the potential of non-lawyer practice. I am now able to post the actual testimony that was briefly referenced in the Reuters story. Professor Gillian Hadfield of … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Legal Ethics, Pro Bono, Self-Help Services | 5 Comments

Advocacy at New York Hearing for Non-Lawyer Access Innovations

This may be a straw in the wind. Reuters, in their report of the second of this year’s New York State hearings on Access to Justice included the following: But money alone will not solve the problem, according to testimony … Continue reading

Posted in Legal Ethics, Self-Help Services | 5 Comments

Important Step Forward with Washington State Legal Technician Rule

Lots of us have been watching this long-standing but very important saga. The Washington State Supreme Court has now by Order approved a Rule generally permitting non-lawyer legal technicians.  The Order does not itself authorize specific areas of legal technician … Continue reading

Posted in Legal Ethics, Simplification, Systematic Change | 9 Comments

Will Hornsby Reports on Year’s Key Events

Each year, Will Hornsby, as staffer for the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, puts out a summary of key events.  It is all worth a read, but particularly useful is this summary of rule and ethics … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law, Legal Ethics, Unbundling | Tagged | 3 Comments