Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that non-lawyers who engage in various Medicaid planning activities are engaging in the unlicensed practice of law. The Florida Bar Re: Advisory Opinion — Medicaid Planning Activities by Nonlawyers (Fla., No. SC14-211, Jan. 15, 2015). The Elder Law Section of the Florida State Bar asked the Florida Bar Association to consider whether.. read more →

REVISED ATTORNEY ADVERTISING GUIDELINE 3 ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENTS: USE OF QUOTATIONS OR EXCERPTS FROM JUDICIAL OPINIONS ABOUT THE LEGAL ABILITIES OF AN ATTORNEY The New Jersey Supreme Court has approved the attached revised version of Attorney Advertising Guideline 3, “Attorney Advertisements: Use of Quotations or Excerpts from Judicial Opinions about the Legal Abilities of an Attorney,”.. read more →

In Salvemini v. Spector, 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2942 (App. Div. Dec. 13, 2013), certif. denied, 217 N.J. 303 (2014), the Appellate Division rejected a legal malpractice claim filed by sons against their father’s estate planning attorney. When widower Mr. Salvemini contemplated remarriage, he and his sons went to attorneys Spector & Dimin, who.. read more →

A court of appeals in New Jersey reinstated a legal malpractice lawsuit, finding that the defendant law firm owed a duty of care to explain the terms of an agreement to a client even though they were unambiguous and the client was a sophisticated businessman who personally negotiated the agreement without assistance from defendant. Cottone.. read more →

A recent ethics opinion from the California State Bar Association, Formal Opinion Interim No. 11-0004, begins as follows: “An attorney’s obligations under the ethical duty of competence evolve as new technologies develop and then become integrated with the practice of law.” Gulp! In other words, the law bans luddites, or those opposed to, or slow.. read more →

In a case recently decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, a New Jersey ethics rule restricting lawyers from using complimentary statements by judges in attorney advertising was found to violate the constitutional right to free speech. Dwyer v. Cappell, Docket No. 13-3235 (3d Cir., August 11, 2014) In 2007,.. read more →

Trial lawyers must know where the ethical line is drawn between properly investigating jurors and improperly communicating with them. In today’s Internet-saturated world, the line is increasingly blurred. Therefore, the ethics committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) recently issued an opinion describing a trial lawyer’s ethical obligation when reviewing jurors’ information on the Internet in.. read more →

A California appeals court held that a trial court’s order directing a trial attorney to remove posts from her law firm website touting her successes constituted an unlawful prior restraint on the trial attorney’s constitutional right to free speech. Christie Steiner v. Superior Court of Santa Barbara County, 2d Civil No. B235347 (Super. Ct. No… read more →

A New York appeals court allowed a case for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty to proceed against an attorney who charged more than $44,000 for Medicaid planning work to protect a net estate valued at about $130,000. Sobel v. Ansanelli, (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div., 2nd Dept., No. 2011-11418, Sept. 19, 2012). In.. read more →

Two New Jersey defense attorneys allegedly caused a paralegal to “friend” the plaintiff in a personal injury case so they could access information on his Facebook page that was not available to the public. The Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) charged that the “friend” request, made “on behalf of and at the direction of” the.. read more →

Last month, the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association (ABA) issued two new ethics opinions clarifying an attorney’s duty to protect confidential client information when email, text messages or other electronic communications are sent or received. ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 11-459, issued on August 4, 2011, is entitled “Duty.. read more →

I am presently involved in a lawsuit in which my clients, three adult children of their now deceased father, are suing their deceased father’s former agent under a Power of Attorney. As alleged in the Verified Complaint filed by plaintiffs, the adult children claimed that the decedent either was incompetent when he signed the Power.. read more →

Several interesting lawyer ethics opinions and cases were published recently in New Jersey and other states. 1.       In Opinion 43 issued on June 28, 2011 by the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Advertising, the Committee considered a grievance filed against fifteen (15) New Jersey attorneys who participated in an internet company which owned.. read more →