Category: Ethics Opinions

Ethics Opinion 1240

Topic: Duty to protect client information stored on a lawyer’s smartphone Digest: If “contacts” on a lawyer’s smartphone include any client whose identity or other information is confidential under Rule 1.6, then the lawyer may not consent to share contacts with a smartphone app unless the lawyer concludes that no human being will view that … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1239

Topic: An Attorney’s Ethical Obligation When a Court Orders Forensic Analysis of Hard Drive Containing Client Confidential Information Digest: An attorney in receipt of a court order directing production of his hard drive containing the confidential information of clients who have not waived privilege or consented to disclosure, has the obligation to advise non-waiving clients … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1238

Topic: Conflict of interest; full-time attorney in county attorney’s office with part-time outside practice Digest: A full-time lawyer in a county attorney’s office who represents the county in civil litigation in state and federal courts may represent private clients in Family Court, or accept appointments as assigned counsel to represent indigent persons in Family Court, … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1237

Topic: Conflict of interest and referral fees; serving as lawyer on a real estate transaction referred by real estate broker associated with lawyer’s real estate agency Digest: A lawyer may not accept the referral of real estate closings from a real estate agent who is associated with a real estate company owned by the lawyer … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1236

Topic: Divorce mediation, limited scope legal services, non-resident lawyers, ghostwriting Digest: A New York lawyer may perform divorce mediation services for New York clients from his office in another state, provided that he makes effective disclosure of the differences in his role as mediator/neutral and lawyer and explains that he is not representing either party … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1235

Topic: Firm Name; Trade Names; Assumed Names Digest: A law firm may operate under two different assumed names that distinguish separate practice areas of the firm, provided that no particular facts and circumstances would make it false, deceptive, or misleading to do so. Rules: 7.5(b) FACTS: The inquirer’s law firm is developing a new practice … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1234

Topic: Ownership of New York Law Firm by Nonlawyers Digest: A New York lawyer may not be a partner, associate or employee of a law firm in New York or in another jurisdiction that has direct or indirect ownership by nonlawyers in accordance with the rules applicable in that jurisdiction, unless the lawyer is licensed … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1233

Topic: Law firm associates and the phrase “and Associates” in law firm name Digest: A sole practitioner may not refer to associates of other law firms with whom she works as “associates” of her firm and may not include in her law firm name the phrase “and Associates” when she is referring to associates employed … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1232

Topic: Attorney advertising Digest: A lawyer who contacts a medical fertility clinic to request to be included on the clinic’s website as a lawyer who practices in the area of assisted reproduction is engaged in attorney advertising, but not solicitation. Rules: 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 FACTS: 1. The inquiring lawyer would like to contact a medical … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1231

Topic: Estate-planning lawyer’s financial interest in a company that manages trust assets. Digest: An estate-planning lawyer who has an interest in a nonlegal financial management company that the lawyer hopes to recommend to estate-planning clients as financial manager for the trust assets, has a conflict of interest requiring clients’ informed consent, confirmed in writing, at … Continued