Louisiana Legal Ethics Newsletter: July 2019

July 2019 Newsletter

ABA Issues Formal Opinion on “Fee Division with Client’s Prior Counsel”

On June 18, 2019, the ABA issued a formal opinion addressing the division of a fee when one lawyer replaces another in a contingent fee matter. The opinion provides helpful guidance to successor counsel and predecessor counsel in this common situation.

Helpful Social Media Guidelines for Lawyers

The New York State Bar Association has been at the forefront of providing useful ethics advice to the bar regarding lawyer social media use. On May 31, 2019, the bar association issued newly revised “Social Media Ethics Guidelines” intended to serve as “guiding principles.” Although some of the advice in these guidelines is tailored to practice in New York, these are a few takeaways for Louisiana lawyers.

LSBA Rejects Amendment to Clarify Prosecutors’ Brady Disclosure Obligations

Nearly two years ago, the Louisiana Supreme Court resolved an unsettled question as to whether a prosecutor’s “ethical” duty to disclose exculpatory evidence under Louisiana Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8(d) is broader than the similar constitutional duty under Brady v. Maryland. The court decided that the duties “are coextensive.” In late May 2019, however, the LSBA Rules of Professional Committee rejected a proposed amendment to the rule that would have brought the black-letter text of the rule into line with the court’s decision. Instead, the committee voted to retain language that is simply no longer the law in Louisiana. A baffling and bizarre vote indeed.

Maine Adopts Anti-Discrimination Disciplinary Rule

Effective June 1, 2019, Maine became the third state to adopt a disciplinary standard identical to or analogous to the anti-discrimination provision of ABA Model Rule 8.4. To date, eight states have expressly declined to adopt the ABA’s model anti-discrimination rule. Where does Louisiana stand on this controversial issue?

Discipline for Disembarking Uninvited Racoon from Boat

Should a lawyer be subject to discipline for tossing a racoon off of his fishing boat? Florida disciplinary authorities have opened an investigation into a lawyer who shooed a racoon off of his boat–and posted a video of it all on Facebook. “The racoon is presumed to have drowned.”

2019 Louisiana Legal Ethics Book

Louisiana Legal Ethics: Standards & Commentary (2019). For straightforward answers to professional responsibility questions, get this comprehensive source for Louisiana legal ethics rules, cases, and indispensable practical advice. Updated for 2019 with more than 70 new cases, significant amendments to Louisiana’s rules, and a year-in-review summary that looks back at 2018's most important developments in legal ethics. Learn More or Buy from Amazon.

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 © 2019 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.
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