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Posts from the ‘Ethics’ Category


U.S. District Court Highlights Importance of Defining the Decision-Maker

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavel
A recent U.S. District Court decision highlights why it’s important to define the client decision-maker, especially for small corporations.

Abstract depiction of a scale and gavelA recent decision from the U.S. District Court in Seattle highlights why it’s important to define the client decision-maker, especially when dealing with small, closely held corporations (Kische USA LLC v. Simsek, 2016 WL 7212534, W.D. Wash. Dec. 13, 2016, unpublished). In this case, charges were brought by the owner of a retail clothing firm against two former employees who had left to start a rival apparel business. The suit claimed that one of the employees, identified as the chief executive manager, had transferred a registered trademark from the plaintiff to the new firm. The plaintiff also sued the company’s outside lawyer who had assisted with the transfer for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty. Read more »


New Advisory Opinion on Virtual Offices

Weird digital abstract STEM-ish image
The WSBA Committee on Professional Ethics released an advisory opinion on regulatory and risk management for “virtual offices.”

Weird digital abstract STEM-ish imageThe Washington State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics recently released an advisory opinion surveying regulatory and risk management issues for lawyers practicing in so-called “virtual offices.” This emerging practice arrangement can range from a solo attorney working from home to an entire firm that lacks a traditional brick-and-mortar location. Virtual offices typically rely instead on electronic resources, such as cloud-based email, filing, and billing systems. Read more »


The Latest NWLawyer is Out and Packed with Good Reads

Cover of the Dec/Jan NWLawyer
Have you seen the latest NWLawyer? Here’s what’s in the December/January issue. Get a quick read on these features.

Cover of Dec/Jan NWLawyerHave you seen the latest NWLawyer? Here’s what’s in the December/January issue. Get a quick read on these features, or check out the full issue now. Read more »


Alaska Bar Warns of “Web Bugs”

Web bug illustration
The Alaska Bar concludes the use of email-hitchhiking “web bugs” is improper.

Web bug illustrationThe Alaska Bar Association recently released a new ethics opinion on so-called “web bugs” — electronic trackers placed in email to allow the sender to see (among other things) where the recipient forwarded the email and how long the email was reviewed. In the scenario that gave rise to the opinion, an Alaska Bar member had received an email with a web bug from opposing counsel. Although the recipient discovered the web bug, the apparent intent was to track the information secretly. The recipient asked the Alaska Bar about the propriety of using web bugs. The Alaska Bar in Ethics Opinion 2016-1 concluded that the use of web bugs is improper. The opinion is available on the Alaska Bar website. Read more »


What to Do When You Can’t Find Your Client

Lost client flyer
What if you can’t contact your client and a deadline is near? Should you act to protect them, even if they can’t be reached?

lost client flyerEvery so often the ethics line takes a call from a member who is worried because they can’t contact their client and a deadline is near. Should they act to protect their client, even if they can’t reach them? What if the statute of limitations is approaching? If they don’t file suit, the client could be extremely prejudiced, but all efforts to contact the client by phone, email and mail brought dead ends. While I can’t give members legal advice, I can walk them through the rules that cover this situation. Read more »