While state ethics rules prohibit lawyers from making payment agreements with clients for a "nonrefundable retainer fee," an opinion from the New York City Bar Association says an arrangement for a flat, nonrefundable monthly fee is permissible if certain conditions are met.
Mary Pat Gallagher
New Jersey Law Journal
A lawyer whose name was used to perpetrate a $7.5 million Ponzi scheme orchestrated by her live-in boyfriend was not entitled to admission into the pretrial intervention program, a New Jersey appeals court ruled March 4.
A Mississippi woman recently filed a legal malpractice complaint against two Dallas lawyers and their law firm in the defendants' hometown U.S. district court. Whether it stays in the federal courthouse may be up to the defendants because of an arbitration clause.
D. Patrick Smitherman demanded $50,000 extra from a client before releasing a large settlement check. And a trial court was correct in suspending his law license for that move, according to a recent appellate court decision.
A mostly sealed case in front of the state Supreme Court is raising questions—not just on the parties and circumstances involved—but on the ethical implications of attorney-client privilege when the client is a public charity.
The Legal Intelligencer
The state Supreme Court has declined to hear a law firm's appeal of an arbitration award requiring the firm to pay a former associate referral fees even though that associate was disciplined for diverting fees from the firm.
Frank Taddeo Jr writes that the law—amoral, pragmatic, utilitarian law—is now the only shared means of discourse in ethical matters. The problem, so far as guidance is concerned, is that law and morals are distinctly different domains.