Louisiana Legal Ethics Monthly Newsletter: July 2018

July 2018 Newsletter

SCOTUS Reverses Louisiana Conviction for Defense Lawyer’s Concession of Guilt Over Client’s “Vociferous” Objection

On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court reversed a Louisiana defendant’s capital murder conviction after his defense lawyer argued to the jury during the guilt phase of trial that the defendant “committed three murders . . . . [H]e’s guilty.” The lawyer made this argument despite that the defendant, Robert McCoy, “vociferously insisted that he did not engage in the charged acts and adamantly objected to any admission of guilt.” McCoy was ultimately convicted of first-degree murder. See McCoy v. Louisiana, No. 16-8255 (U.S. May 14, 2018). After losing his appeal to the the Louisiana Supreme Court, the United States Supreme Court granted cert and reversed.

May a Lawyer Secretly “Ghostwrite” Court Papers for a Pro Se Litigant?

Some have argued that a lawyer who provides undisclosed assistance to a pro se litigant engages in a false, misleading or deceptive practice. Do recent ethics opinions agree?

Disciplinary Board Recommends Suspension of Lawyer Who Created False Profile to Harass Opposing Counsel

On June 6, 2018, a hearing committee recommended a six-month suspension for a lawyer who created unauthorized online registrations in another lawyer's name for organizations, including, the Obesity Action Coalition, and Pig International. He also fabricated false reviews and negative, one-star ratings regarding her professional competence on,, and Bizarre conduct indeed.

2018 Edition of Louisiana Legal Ethics Book

Louisiana Legal Ethics: Standards & Commentary (2018). The new edition of our ethics book in paperback and Kindle editions. What's inside? The Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct with detailed annotations; selected “professionalism” codes; answers to frequently asked legal ethics questions; and, more.

May a Lawyer Cast a Geotargetted Ad to a Prospective Client in an Emergency Room?

NPR's All Things Considered  recently featured a segment on “Digital Ambulance Chasers? Law Firms Send Ads to Patients’ Phones Inside ERs.” Here’s how NPR described the practice: "Patients sitting in emergency rooms, at chiropractors’ offices and at pain clinics in the Philadelphia area may start noticing on their phones the kind of messages typically seen along highway billboards and public transit: personal injury law firms looking for business by casting mobile online ads at patients. The potentially creepy part? They’re only getting fed the ad because somebody knows they are in an emergency room." Is this advertising practice ethical?

Should “Compassion Fatigue” be a Mitigating Factor in Lawyer Disciplinary Proceedings?


This Month in Discipline

Who was reprimanded, suspended, and disbarred last month? You can wait for the next LSBA Bar Journal. Or, you can see right now: This Month in Louisiana Lawyer Discipline.
Copyright © 2018 Louisiana Legal Ethics, All rights reserved. A free, monthly newsletter by Prof. Dane S. Ciolino of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law covering recent developments in legal ethics for Louisiana lawyers.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp