Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Ethics

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'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.
Three Title Insurance Traps for Real Estate Lawyers By Michael J. Rooney March 2012 Article, Page 146 Closing protection letters, the Form DS-1 disclosure, and key 2010 revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct are potential pitfalls for real estate lawyers.
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.
Correspondence from Our Readers October 2011 Column, Page 486 Odds of success.
Friending Your Enemies, Tweeting Your Trials: Using Social Media Ethically By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2011 Article, Page 500 A look at the special ethical challenges that arise when lawyers use Facebook, Twitter and the like and how to address them.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule Changes: The Year So Far By Michele M. Jochner October 2011 Article, Page 520 From new IOLTA rules to a new official citation system, a range of important supreme court rule changes took effect from January through September of 2011.
Don’t be an oddsmaker By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 LawPulse, Page 382 It's a bad idea - maybe even an ethics no-no - to tell clients what you think their chances of winning are, an ISBA lawyer opines.
Are cell phones “contraband”? And what’s a “penal institution”? By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2011 LawPulse, Page 222 A volunteer lawyer is charged with a felony for allegedly bringing "contraband" - her cell phone - into a police station interview room. Volunteering to represent indigents pro bono in an area of law with which you're unfamiliar? Your heart may be in the right place, but be careful.
Ethics in the age of Twitter By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2011 LawPulse, Page 10 An ABA ethics commission is looking for suggestions about how to bring the model ethics rules in line with globalization and 21st Century communications technology.
Selling Out By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2011 Article, Page 20 The 2010 update of Illinois' ethics rules make it easier to sell a law practice. But what about practical issues like valuation and transition planning? Seasoned solos offer advice.
Succession Planning and the Duty of Diligence By John Cesario January 2011 Column, Page 46 Succession planning might just be part of your ethical duty of diligence.
ISBA ethics opinions: updated and easier to research By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2010 LawPulse, Page 610 A new searchable online index of ethics opinions, freshly updated in light of the new rules, makes them a better resource than ever for ISBA members.
“It’s Toasted”: Lawyer websites and the rules of ethics By Karen Erger December 2010 Column, Page 645 So what can you say and do on your website? A new ABA ethics opinion provides guidance.