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    Civil Procedure

    ATTORNEY AND CLIENT: Ethical Considerations in a Virtual Practice

    Posted by Amy Gore on March 18, 2022 at 12:11 PM

    Amy Gore—Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

                As the world’s efforts to combat COVID-19 continue, most practitioners have adapted their practice by virtual hearings and meetings. Virtual law practice was clearly contemplated before the pandemic, but health concerns and court closures have dragged many practitioners further into the future than may have been contemplated even five years earlier. These adaptations have permitted attorneys to keep their lights on their virtual practices while providing clients with continued access to legal representation. The ever increasing reliance on technology to deliver legal services, however, carries its own set of ethical concerns that must not be overlooked.

                The traditional ethical obligation of competence set forth in Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.1 includes the obligation to remain competent in changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology. The ethical obligation of communication, usually applied in apprising the client of any developments in representation, includes with it the ethical duty relating to disasters. ABA Comm. on Ethics & Prof’l Responsibility, Formal Op. 482 (Sept. 19, 2018).

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    Topics: attorney-client, Amy Gore, virtual office, safeguarding electronic communications, ethical considerations, confidentiality

    ATTORNEY AND CLIENT: Attorneys Must Preserve Confidential Information While Executing Judgment for Fees

    Posted by Amy Gore on June 9, 2017 at 5:26 PM

    The Lawletter Vol 42 No 4

    Amy Gore, Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

         Most attorneys encounter situations in which a client does not pay the legal fees due and owing. There may, or may not, be a dispute over services rendered. Every state bar association has some form of fee dispute resolution program, yet some clients do not participate, leaving the attorney few options. At some point it becomes evident that the attorney-client relationship has terminated and the relationship with the prior client becomes adversarial in nature. The question thus arises: If the attorney pursues an action against the client to recover the fee, and obtains a judgement against a former client, may the attorney disclose confidential information obtained during the course of the representation while seeking to execute on that judgment?

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    Topics: attorney-client, executing judgment for fees, preserving confidential information

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