Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Ethics

Accepting credit-card payments? Mind your trust-account ps and qs By Mark S. Mathewson September 2014 Lawpulse, Page 418 Make sure retainer-fee payments by credit card are going into your trust account and not your general office account, an ISBA ethics opinion admonishes.
Where There’s a Will, There’s an Ethical Duty By Bailey E. Cunningham July 2014 Column, Page 350 Storing your client's will? Understand the ethical obligations.
Lawyer sues after his YouTube post of client leads to suspension By Janan Hanna May 2014 Lawpulse, Page 214 A lawyer who was disciplined for posting a YouTube video of police buying drugs from his client has filed a federal lawsuit challenging his suspension.
A Lawyer’s Duty to Understand Technology: The Forest and the Trees By Charles J. Northrup April 2014 Column, Page 196 Lawyers' ethical obligation to understand technology comes under the heading competence.
The Ratings Game By Janan Hanna March 2014 Article, Page 124 Sites like Avvo that rate lawyers and encourage consumer reviews are evoking reaction positive and negative in the legal community – and posing interesting ethical challenges.
Implicit Bias in the Courts By Justice Michael B. Hyman January 2014 Article, Page 40 Implicit bias and stereotypes can affect the fairness of legal proceedings. It's important for lawyers and judges to examine unconscious attitudes and their hidden dangers.
A New Lawyer’s Guide to Ethics By Bailey E. Cunningham January 2014 Column, Page 46 Here's how to get off to a good start.
Ethics opinion: Non-Illinois lawyers may practice immigration law in state By Adam W. Lasker December 2013 Lawpulse, Page 606 New ISBA ethics opinions say non-Illinois lawyers can practice immigration law in the state, a lawyer can't be a municipality's prosecutor and hearing officer at the same time, and more.
The Ethics of Lost Laptops, Cloud Computing By Mark S. Mathewson November 2013 Column, Page 588 What duty do you have to clients if your laptop is stolen?
Blogging, Marketing, and the Rules of Professional Conduct By Charles J. Northrup October 2013 Column, Page 536 A recent Virginia case offers dos and don'ts for lawyer blogging.
Limited Scope, Expanded Opportunity By Ed Finkel October 2013 Article, Page 508 Recent Illinois Supreme Court rule changes enable lawyers to represent clients in litigation for only a portion of a case. Proponents say that's good for lawyers, clients, and judges.
The Zealous Advocacy of Saul Goodman By Karen Erger October 2013 Column, Page 538 Why is Breaking Bad's shady Saul Goodman so popular?
Ethics and Email Discussion Groups By Christina J. Oleson September 2013 Article, Page 464 Email discussion groups let you get quick answers from fellow lawyers, but they pose ethical pitfalls. Here's how to avoid trouble.
Ethics and the Unsolicited Email By Charles J. Northrup July 2013 Column, Page 370 You don't have to respond to unsolicited email, but there's a right way if you do.
Attorney-client privilege: no subject matter waiver in extrajudicial settings By Adam W. Lasker February 2013 Lawpulse, Page 66 The Illinois Supreme Court holds that the doctrine of subject matter waiver cannot be used to force disclosure of privileged communications between lawyers and clients.
AVVO launches controversial lawyer bidding service By Adam W. Lasker February 2013 Lawpulse, Page 66 AVVO.com's new online service allowing lawyers to quote fees for prospective traffic-ticket clients sends the public the wrong message, ISBA-member critics complain.
Lincoln on the Wall By Hon. Ron Spears February 2013 Column, Page 104 Lincoln was an exemplary but not perfect lawyer - which makes his example all the more inspiring.
Lawyer Disqualification for Conflict of Interest By H. Joseph Gitlin January 2013 Column, Page 48 Denying a client the lawyer of choice should not be done lightly.
Fiduciary-duty exception to attorney-client privilege does not exist in Illinois June 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 Illinois courts have not recognized a fiduciary-duty exception to attorney-client privilege. On March 22, 2012, the Illinois Appellate Court refused to find such an exception, reversing the opinion of the trial court.
Ethics Hotspots in Client Relations By Bonnie Booth May 2012 Article, Page 244 Returning phone calls, carefully defining your scope of representation - such client-friendly behavior isn't just good business practice, it can keep the ARDC from your door.
Governor proposes constitutional amendment to allow ethics referenda By Adam W. Lasker April 2012 Lawpulse, Page 178 Governor Quinn proposes a constitutional amendment to allow voters to enact statewide ethics laws through ballot-initiated referenda questions.
Ethics Puzzlers: Facebook, Fees, and More By Peter L. Rotskoff and Melinda J. Bentley February 2012 Article, Page 84 What if opposing counsel wins a continuance to go to a funeral but takes an island vacation instead (and posts photos on Facebook)? Ethics authorities explore these and other hypotheticals.
The high court empowers the ARDC to go after UPL By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2012 Lawpulse, Page 10 New rules give the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission authority to prosecute actions for the unauthorized practice of law.
Client service 101 By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2011 Lawpulse, Page 604 A seasoned family law practitioner explains how to avoid common mistakes lawyers make in working with clients.
The Ethical Office: Managing Nonlawyer Staff By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2011 Article, Page 614 The Rules of Professional Conduct make managing nonlawyer staff a high-stakes business. Find out which rules are most directly implicated and learn how to be a better boss.
Substitution of judge for cause: the high court keeps the bar high By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2011 Lawpulse, Page 604 The supreme court refused an invitation to hold that "appearance of impropriety," as opposed to proof of actual prejudice, is the standard for substitution of judge for cause.
What’s the best way out of an ethical pickle? By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2011 Lawpulse, Page 604 Taking quick remedial action and preemptive self-reporting can be the best way to handle a disciplinable blunder, ethics authorities advise.
Ethical Issues in Representing Elderly Clients with Diminished Capacity By Kerry R. Peck November 2011 Article, Page 572 When can - and must - you allow your diminished-capacity client to make a decision you advise against? This article explores this and other ethics issues that arise in serving elderly clients.
ABA Ethics, Part 1: new opinions on lawyer websites, e-mail/client confidentiality By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2011 Lawpulse, Page 490 New ethics opinions give helpful e-advice, particularly for lawyers with websites.
ABA ethics, Part 2: Proposed rules address admission on motion, MJP and more By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2011 Lawpulse, Page 490 Proposed ABA model rules speak to admission on motion, multijurisdictional practice, disclosure of confidential information, and choice of law provisions in lawyer-client agreements.