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Thomas Sukowicz has devoted his career to issues involving lawyers’ professional liability and responsibility. His practice emphasizes …

Showing 4 posts by Thomas P. Sukowicz.

Proposed Changes to Model Rule 8.4 (or Something Like Them) may Already be in Effect in your Jurisdiction

The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility has recently proposed amending the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct to add to Rule 8.4 a prohibition against harassment or discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status. {Ed. Note: Does anyone know what "socioeconomic status" means in this context?] Earlier this month, at the ABA Mid-Year Meeting in San Diego, the Committee held a hearing on the proposal. More ›

Transition Activities in the sale of a Law Practice

For several years in Illinois, Rule 1.17 of the Rules of Professional Conduct has authorized the sale of a law practice, including the sale of goodwill.  Illinois Rule 1.17 provides:

A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase, and the estate of a deceased lawyer or the guardian or authorized representative of a disabled lawyer may sell, a law practice, including good will, if the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) The seller ceases to engage in the private practice of law in the geographic area in which the practice has been conducted;

(b) The entire practice is sold to one or more lawyers or law firms;

(c) The seller gives written notice to each of the seller’s clients regarding:

(1) the proposed sale;

(2) the client’s right to retain other counsel or to take possession of the file; and

(3) the fact that the client’s consent to the transfer of the client’s files will be presumed if the client does not take any action or does not otherwise object within ninety (90) days of receipt of the notice.

If a client cannot be given notice, the representation of that client may be transferred to the purchaser only upon entry of an order so authorizing by a court having jurisdiction. The seller may disclose to the court in camera information relating to the representation only to the extent necessary to obtain an order authorizing the transfer of a file.

(d) The fees charged clients shall not be increased by reason of the sale. More ›

Ethical Issues for Aging Lawyers

There is no mandatory retirement age for lawyers in any State's version of the ABA Rules of Professional Conduct and it is not unethical to continue to practice law simply because the lawyer reaches a certain age. Aging lawyers and their partners need to be aware, however, that there are ethical implications to lawyers who have a diminished mental or physical capacity. More ›

Tom McGarry and Tom Sukowicz Author Article on the Risks of Investing in a Client's Business

​Tom McGarry (Chicago) and Tom Sukowicz (Ft. Lauderdale) authored the article, "Investing in a Client’s Business Is Risky Business," in the November issue of Chicago Lawyer magazine. The article discusses the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct's recommendations for a lawyer investing in a client's business. Please visit Chicago Lawyer magazine's website to read the full article.

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