Limited Scope Representation is not a Time to Play Fast and Loose with the Rules

Let’s review the basics. ABA Model Rule 1.2 (c) allows a lawyer to limit the scope of the representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent. In those jurisdictions that have adopted similar language, many have added a requirement that informed consent be confirmed in writing. Now as a risk guy, I like that writing requirement regardless. There are just too many word and word disputes in the world of malpractice and discipline.

Speaking personally, I’m one who believes that the movement toward limited scope representation has been a good thing and long overdue. Speaking professionally, however, I need to share a caution. Find out what that caution is.

Never Assume “It’s All Good” When Purchasing a Law Practice

Assumptions. We all make them on a daily basis. In fact, as I see it, doing so allows most days to progress with some level of predictability. For example, I often assume all my tech will function problem free, the power will stay on, and that if I need anything from anyone at the office, they’ll be available. There’s nothing wrong with my making such assumptions unless, of course, it turns out one of them is wrong and I’m not prepared to deal with the consequences. Keeping this in mind, let’s now narrow the focus and address some of the ethical missteps that can lead to trouble for the buyer of a law practice when it’s the buyer whose running with assumptions.

I Know Cyber Security is a Headache. Do It Anyway.

A few weeks ago, I had one of those days. You know, a day where things just don’t seem to make much sense. The day started out with a training session on ransomware. Unfortunately, as such programs are apt to do, it made me start to think that selling everything I have, disconnecting from the wired world, and moving to some remote island where I could live out my life selling tapas on the beach might be a really good idea. I suspect more than a few of you might have responded similarly.

Anyway, what got me going was learning about one of the new business models hackers have come up with. In short, after a computer or network is breached and the data encrypted, hackers are starting to offer their victims two choices instead of the normal one, which was to pay the ransom amount in order to obtain the decryption key and get their files back. Now the victim can either pay the ransom or they can help spread the ransomware by sharing a malicious link with two people they know. If those two unsuspecting folks become infected and pay the ransom within seven days, then the initial victim would receive the decryption key and be able to recover their files for free. Now isn’t this a heartwarming development.

When It Comes to Protecting Your Data – Stop Making Excuses

The days when a lawyer could send an unencrypted email without worry, remain blissfully ignorant about encrypting a laptop, or use the same easily remembered password for all accounts and devices are over. I believe most lawyers know this, at least at a gut level; but far too many still seem to be confused about what steps they should be taking. If you see yourself as a card carrying member of the “what the heck am I supposed to do” group, perhaps I can help.

Try Not To Be a Patsy, Seriously

A patsy is a person who is easily taken advantage of, especially by being cheated or blamed for something. So, for example, when I look at how successful social engineering as a cybercrime tool is these days, it certainly seems like there are a lot of patsies out there. Here are a few stories about attorneys who were patsies that help explain why I feel the way I do.

How To Manage Your Side of the Attorney-Client Relationship

Today I started thinking hard it would be if the lawyer actually didn’t really like many of his clients. If he (or she) just found them irritating. My point is this. Such feelings are normal in relationships of all types, so irritation is likely to be part of the picture in some attorney-client relationships. But here they are paying you for results. This makes it different. How do you manage the relationship?

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