Photo of Lawyers for the Profession® Katherine G. Schnake
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Kate Schnake devotes her practice to representing and advising lawyers and law firms on all aspects of the laws governing lawyers. Her professional …

Showing 3 posts by Katherine G. Schnake.

More Changes Ahead to the Rules of Professional Conduct?

Rule 8.4 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct is a bit of a catch-all. In general terms, it prohibits "lawyer misconduct." Even more ambiguous, Rule 8.4(d) prohibits "conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice." Certainly, Rule 8.4 can be described as broad, or even vague. Violations of Rule 8.4 range from public statements concerning judges to fraud.

The most recent criticism of Rule 8.4, however, is that it fails to facially address bias, discrimination, or harassment and fails to address the scope of the issue in the legal profession. A proposed change to the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct seeks to prohibit lawyers from engaging in bias and harassment at work and would punish lawyers for poor conduct outside of the office.  More ›

Attorney Disbarred even Before Being Admitted to Practice.

A law license is usually a prerequisite for disbarment in attorney disciplinary matters. That may not be the case in Illinois anymore. For the first time, Illinois disbarred an out-of-state lawyer without an Illinois law license under an amended rule governing the unauthorized practice of law. This particular attorney was licensed to practice law in Missouri and in Indiana, but entered his appearance as an attorney in six cases in St. Clair County, Illinois and in 3,081 cases in Madison County, Illinois over the course of seven years. In each of the those cases, the attorney falsely represented on the entry of appearance that he was admitted to practice law in Illinois, and used the attorney registration number of another licensed Illinois attorney. The attorney told the ARDC he was admitted pro hac vice in several Illinois cases and was in the process of applying for admission to Illinois’ bar and that his firm “mistakenly jumped the gun” when it put Illinois on his list of law license registrations on its website. The Hearing Board and the Review Board, however, did not believe those statements and recommended disbarment. More ›

LFP Alert — California Court Awards Attorneys' Fees in Legal Malpractice Case Based on Rates that Exceeded the Actual Amounts Billed

Syers Properties III, Inc. v. Rankin, ___ Cal.Rptr.3d ___, 2014 WL 2192362 (Cal.App. 1st Dist.) 

After the trial court granted the defendants' nonsuit motion, the court awarded the defendants' attorneys' fees. The court allowed the calculation of reasonable hourly rates to be based on the Laffey Matrix, which amounted to higher billable rates than defense counsel's actual billable rates. On appeal, the court upheld the trial court's award of attorneys' fees and rejected the plaintiff's argument that the actual rates billed by defense counsel represented the maximum reasonable hourly rate. More ›

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