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Posts from the ‘Ethics’ Category

5
Jun
A gavel in a courtroom.

Appeals Court Considers Prosecutor’s Subpoena for Letter Held by Former Defense Counsel

Ethics guru Mark Fucile analyzes a Court of Appeals decision to overturn a lower court ruling of contempt after a criminal defendant’s former counsel refused to comply with a prosecutor’s subpoena to obtain the defendant’s handwritten apology to his victim.

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10
May

Oh, Those Dreaded Words: ‘Can I Get Your Advice on Something?’

A family enjoying dinner and conversation.
Just as I lifted the fork to my open mouth, I heard the words that every attorney dreads most: “Can I get your advice on something?”

A family enjoying dinner and conversation.When it comes to Thanksgiving mac and cheese, my mother is basically Marie Curie. Four cheeses, added at four different times, melted at four different temperatures until the crispy top snaps like a potato chip. I wait all year for this.

So naturally I’d been watching what I was eating all day in preparation. I scooped a cheesy pile onto my plate along with other delectable fare, made a bee-line for the couch, and settled in to stuff my face. Read more »

11
Apr

Court of Appeals: Claiming Attorney Fees as Damages Waives Privilege

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavel
Attorney-client privilege is waived when claiming attorney fees for the work involved as damages, a Court of Appeals rules.

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavelDivision I of the Washington Court of Appeals held recently that the attorney-client privilege is waived when claiming attorney fees for the work involved as damages in a subsequent legal malpractice case. Leen v. Defoe, 2018 WL 582448 (Wn. App. Jan. 29, 2018) (unpublished), arose against the backdrop of a commercial transaction. The plaintiffs had hired the defendant law firm to represent them in negotiating the sale of a business. Read more »

30
Mar

Client Confidentiality When Withdrawing – How to Avoid a Catch 22

Female lawyer walking a tightrope
Lawyers sometimes call the WSBA Ethics Line asking how they can file a motion to withdraw and also maintain client confidentiality.

Lawyers sometimes call the WSBA Ethics Line (800-945-9722, ext. 8282) asking how they can file a motion to withdraw and also maintain client confidentiality. Fortunately, there’s a 2017 Advisory Opinion that walks you through it. While this blog provides a quick review, be sure to read the rules and their comments in their entirety. Read more »

2
Mar

Supreme Court Approves RPC Amendments on Imputed Conflicts

path to success
The Supreme Court recently approved Rules of Professional Conduct amendments addressing imputed conflicts for public defenders.

The Washington Supreme Court recently approved a package of related Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) amendments addressing imputed conflicts for public defenders. “Imputed” conflicts are those shared by all law practitioners working in a single firm. Some public defenders are government employees while others work for law firms or nonprofits. Read more »