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Carol Langford

The Courtroom as Casino: Alternate Financing for Legal Fees

All litigation requires some form of funding, either by the parties themselves or by the law firm extending credit against the future proceeds of the settlement. But in an era where cash is king and clients and law firms sometimes run their financial lives close to the edge, the need for a cash infusion has […]

MCLE Self Study: Ethical Pitfalls of Mediating with Self Represented Litigants

MCLE Self Study: Ethical Pitfalls of Mediating with Self Represented Litigants

Serving as a mediator in a case where one or both parties do not have counsel can create ethical dilemmas for the mediator. California has not adopted a code of ethics that governs mediators in private settings. Attorneys acting as mediators continue to be bound by the California Rules of Professional Conduct.

Ethics and Your Online Presence

Ethics and Your Online Presence

State bars are in a race to regulate social media use, but their limited knowledge of technology means that they have a difficult time defining the ethical boundaries.

Ethics Corner: Who is My Client?

Ethics Corner: Who is My Client?

The case law in California on partnerships is inconsistent on the issue of identifying the client. Saying that the client is the entity is the beginning, but not the end, of the inquiry.

Ethics Corner: Secret Settlements

Ethics Corner: Secret Settlements

What happens when a mediator calls an attorney in for a “private chat without the client”? Mediation brings a new spin to these issues, particularly because of a lack of enforceable black-letter rules.

Ethics and Capacity

Ethics and Capacity

MCLE SELF-STUDY: What should a lawyer do when the client does not want to follow advice or when the client is mentally impaired? These issues are among the most difficult lawyers ever have to face.

Recent Developments in Ethics

Recent Developments in Ethics

I am seeing some trends in the disciplinary context of late. Lawyers getting DUIs because they are on prescription drugs is making a comeback. I am also seeing more women get in trouble for petty theft.

Is There a Glass Ceiling as Lawyers Climb the Law Firm Ladder?

Is There a Glass Ceiling as Lawyers Climb the Law Firm Ladder?

Is bias an ethical issue? The answer to this question is increasingly “yes.” In the past 20 years, many states have passed disciplinary rules prohibiting discrimination by lawyers.

The Ethics Corner: Avoiding Fraudulent Conduct

The Ethics Corner: Avoiding Fraudulent Conduct

What should a bankruptcy lawyer be required to do to verify the legitimacy of the client’s statements and position? If the lawyer takes what the client says at face value, when is that not enough?

The Ethics of Attorneys’ Personal Activities

The Ethics of Attorneys’ Personal Activities

When can a lawyer or one acting as a temporary judge get in trouble for what he or she does outside of his or her practice?

Alternative Litigation Funders

Alternative Litigation Funders

Litigation funders also argue that they are like insurance companies, but insurance companies are highly regulated, and funders are not regulated at all. Moreover, insurance companies don’t charge 40 percent a year.

When the State Bar Audits Your MCLE Compliance

When the State Bar Audits Your MCLE Compliance

If you check the box that you have complied when you know you have not, that is lying, and involves moral turpitude, giving the State Bar a basis to suspend you from practice.

The Ethics of Pro Bono Service

The Ethics of Pro Bono Service

With approximately 1.2 million or more lawyers in the country, if even half did the ABA proposed and California recommended 50 hours a year, that would mean 30 million lawyer-hours a year devoted to those in need.

Real Estate Ethics

Real Estate Ethics

You have to know going in to the representation that real estate law is the highest legal malpractice claim area right now.

Ethics Corner: August 2013

Ethics Corner: August 2013

When it comes to discrimination in the legal field, everyone knows that it’s not right, and everyone also knows that it still happens anyway. What everyone doesn’t understand is why it still happens.