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Have your client's had their legal checkup?

In August 2014, the ABA's Commission on the Future of Legal Services set out to improve the delivery of, and access to, legal services in the United States. (Report on the Future of Legal Service in the United States, p.4)    More ›

Practitioners -- Time to Update Your Client Arbitration Agreements (Pt. III)

          Many attorneys have been using the same engagement agreements for decades designating standard commercial providers such as the American Arbitration Association to resolve client disputes.  In recent years some have learned the hard way that their agreements do not comply with consumer protection rules that have developed in recent years.  The failure to incorporate new standards into fee agreements means not only that non-conforming provisions will be deemed unenforceable.  In some cases attorneys will find that their arbitration agreements are wholly unenforceable.

Ed. Note: The remainder of the post is the continuation of Ed Donohue's discussion of arbitration agreements between clients and lawyers, posted originally on June 20, 2016 and June 28, 2016. We'll pick it up where we left off, in mid-outline... More ›

Practioners -- Time to Update Your Client Arbitration Agreements, Part II

Many attorneys have been using the same engagement agreements for decades designating standard commercial providers such as the American Arbitration Association to resolve client disputes.  In recent years some have learned the hard way that their agreements do not comply with consumer protection rules that have developed in recent years.  The failure to incorporate new standards into fee agreements means not only that non-conforming provisions will be deemed unenforceable.  In some cases attorneys will find that their arbitration agreements are wholly unenforceable.

Ed. Note: The remainder of the post is the continuation of Ed Donohue's discussion of arbitration agreements between clients and lawyers, posted originally on June 20, 2016. We'll pick it up where we left off, in mid-outline... More ›

Supreme Court Rules that Pennsylvania Justice's Previous Involvement in Case Represented an Impermissible Risk of Bias

In a recent opinion, Williams v. Pennsylvania, --- S.Ct. ----,  2016 WL 3189529 (June 9, 2016), a divided United States Supreme Court held that judges must recuse themselves in cases in which they previously played a significant role in prosecuting the person appearing before them.  More ›

Time to Update Your Client Arbitration Agreements (Pt. 1)

Many attorneys have been using the same engagement agreements for decades designating standard commercial providers such as the American Arbitration Association to resolve client disputes.  In recent years some have learned the hard way that their agreements do not comply with consumer protection rules that have developed in recent years.  The failure to incorporate new standards into fee agreements means not only that non-conforming provisions will be deemed unenforceable.  In some cases attorneys will find that their arbitration agreements are wholly unenforceable. More ›

What Century Are We Living In? – The Second Circuit Seems To Think It's the Nineteenth

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently held that members of the New York bar residing out-of-state can be constitutionally required to have a physical office within the state, reversing the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York's decision finding otherwise. Given the realities of law practice in 2016, how does this make sense? More ›

Practicing Without a Net: Protecting your Firm by Agreement

Attorneys come to us when contemplating the creation or expansion of their firms, when they want to leave their firm, or are dealing with the fallout of another member leaving. While many law firms have taken advantage of the protections of a limited liability entity, attorneys are not always aware of the risks involved when the members of the firm do not enter into an agreement or enter into an incomplete or “boiler plate” agreement in forming those entities, risks that sadly only come to light when embroiled in a dispute between the members More ›

Is the American Rule dead in New Jersey?

Ok, so maybe "dead" is a bit hyperbolic, but the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision in Innes v. Marzano-Lesnevich, No. 074291, ___ N.J. _____ (N.J. Apr. 26, 2016) has raised serious questions about just how far the New Jersey Court may be willing to bend the American Rule that litigants must bear the cost of their own attorneys' fees.   More ›

Be Careful how, and with whom, you Associate

Attorney associations are valuable means to reduce overhead and expenses, and provide support for sole practitioners. However, casually creating an association can give rise to issues, including increased exposure to vicarious liability and State Bar probes. More ›

Sanctions Under FED. R. CIV. P. 37(E)

In December 2015, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect. One of the amended rules, Rule 37(e), was completely rewritten in an attempt to develop a uniform, national standard for the imposition of sanctions involving the loss or spoliation of electronically stored information ("ESI"). This article briefly reviews the district court decisions that have applied Rule 37(e) since it went into effect. One conclusion that can be gleaned from those decisions, even at this early stage of the rule's development, is that the Rule 37(e) is being applied in a way to limit or deny sanctions that in years past would likely have been imposed. To understand why this is the case, we need to first turn to the Rule 37(e) itself, and then highlight several provisions from the rule's 2015 Committee Note. More ›