In a recent opinion, the Massachusetts Committee on Judicial Ethics ruled that a judge may ethically maintain a Twitter account as long as the judge complies with the Code of Judicial Conduct and the judge is cautious about selecting accounts to follow on Twitter. The opinion said that the judge requested the Committee’s advice concerning the judge’s continued use of Twitter… read more →

Kindred v. Clark involves two Kentucky cases, in which family members of deceased Kindred nursing home residents, Joe Wellner and Olive Clark, filed lawsuits against Kindred. They alleged that Kindred’s substandard care led to the deaths of the decedents. In response, the nursing home moved to dismiss the cases, claiming that arbitration agreements barred the.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2017 “Elder Law in a Day” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on July 10, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of the various trusts utilized in planning for.. read more →

The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli is proud to announce that Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. has been named to the 2017 Super Lawyers list in Elder Law. This is the 11th consecutive year in which Mr. Vanarelli has been named to the Super Lawyers list in New Jersey. Elder Law, which includes Special Needs.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 8th Annual Senior Lawyers Conference given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on April 3, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of elder law planning in New Jersey, including a discussion.. read more →

The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that an attorney who drafted a client’s Last Will and Testament may be sued for legal malpractice by a beneficiary of the will even though the beneficiary of the will is not the attorney’s client. Thorsen v. Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Va., No. 150528,.. read more →

I just read an insightful article in the Washington Post. The article, by Susan Berger, asks the question: “What’s the best way to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s?” It stems from an encounter between Berger and an acquaintance of hers who had just been diagnosed with the disease. The article explores what to do and.. read more →

Attorney advertising that mentions awards, honors, and accolades such as “Super Lawyers,” “Best Lawyers,” “Superior Attorney,” numerical ratings, and the like has apparently prompted the filing of many complaints with the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Advertising. As a result, the Committee recently issued a notice to the State Bar Association reminding New.. read more →

The Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, recently issued Opinion 53 in which the Court considered weather non-lawyers who assisted applicants and beneficiaries in applying for Medicaid benefits were engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. The Court identified the non-lawyers providing Medicaid assistance as “Medicaid.. read more →

In a 3-2 ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided that attorneys can be held liable for counsel fees if they are found to have intentionally breached their fiduciary duty to non-clients. Peter Innes v. Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, Esq. Peter Innes and his wife, Maria Jose Carrascosa, were married in Spain in 1999, and Victoria, their.. read more →

New Jersey Appellate Division rules prospective client’s correspondence with law office secretary who did not mention the matter to the attorney failed to establish an attorney-client relationship for purposes of a legal malpractice suit. Shapiro v. Rinaldi, Docket No. A-1753-14T4 (App. Div.,March 18, 2016) After falling in a pot hole on a city street and injuring.. read more →

In order to protect the public and and guard against elder abuse by lawyers, the New Jersey Supreme Court suspended an attorney from the practice of law for one-year after the attorney borrowed nearly $90,000 from an elderly, unsophisticated widow who he knew for many years. In the Matter of William J. Torre, an Attorney.. read more →

In a recent blog post, I wrote about Steven Gursten, a Michigan blogging lawyer who published a blog post in 2014 about Dr. Rosalind Griffin, a Michigan psychiatrist who testified as a medical expert for the defense in various personal injury cases Gursten filed. Attorney Gursten claimed that Dr. Griffin was one of the “notorious”.. read more →

Two recent cases are vivid reminders that blogging can be dangerous. Bloggers are being found legally accountable and financially liable for their online postings. The take-away is clear: bloggers, beware: what you write can get you sued, or disbarred. Blogger Found Liable for $600,000 in Defamation Case  A libel lawsuit was filed in Georgia by.. read more →

A Florida appeals court upheld a judgment of $350,000 in a lawsuit filed by a lawyer against her former client alleging defamation based on negative reviews of the lawyer posted on the internet by the former client. Blake v. Giustibelli, __ So.3d __ (Fla. 4th DCA, No. 4D14-3231, 1/6/2016), 2016 WL _______. Florida Attorney Ann-Marie.. read more →

In this case, an Ocean County judge ruled that litigants in domestic violence cases who want to introduce evidence contained on their cell phones, such as texts, emails, social media messages, or audio/visual evidence, must first provide such evidence to the court and the adversary in tangible form, such as on a printout or a.. read more →

After plaintiffs lost the money they had invested in what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme, they sued the attorney who represented the Ponzi scheme operator. The Ponzi scheme operator, Antoinette Hodgson, had claimed to own a real estate investment business. During the time period in which the plaintiffs invested with Hodgson, the defendant.. read more →

The New Jersey appeals court reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a legal malpractice action brought by beneficiaries of an estate against the attorney representing the estate, holding that estate attorneys may owe a duty of care to non-clients when the attorneys know, or should know, that non-clients will rely on the attorneys’ representations. Higgins.. read more →

A Pennsylvania appeals court held that beneficiaries omitted from trust have standing to sue the attorney who prepared the trust as third-party beneficiaries if they can show they were intended beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate. Agnew v. Ross (PA Superior Ct., No. 2195 EDA 2014, February 2, 2015) In 2003, Robert H. Agnew hired attorney Daniel.. read more →

On March 10, 2015, the New York County Lawyers Association (“NYCLA”) weighed in on the ethics of using the social media website “LinkedIn” for professional self-promotion by lawyers. Formal Opinion 748 addresses the ethical implications of LinkedIn profiles. Specifically, the opinion addresses (1) whether a LinkedIn Profile is considered “Attorney Advertising,” (2) when it is.. read more →

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 →

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 →

New Jersey appeals court ruled pro se litigants who bungle their own cases can seek redress under the same rules as litigants whose cases are bungled by negligent lawyers. The Ridge at Back Brook v. Klenert, Docket No. A-2345-12T1 (App. Div., August 12, 2014) Plaintiff, The Ridge at Back Brook, owns an 18-hole golf course.. 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 →