Category Archives: ethics

“Skin in the game” and attorney ethics

In the United States, contingent fees for attorneys are regulated and usually prohibited in most criminal and family law matters.  Among the justifications for contingent fees are that they reward success, not attorney billable-hour churning. In today’s New York Times Adam Liptak discussed Marek v. Lane, a class action case against Facebook involving privacy violations.  The Ninth Circuit approved, 2-1, […]

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A Personal Statement About Professional Fortitude

Today’s tone will be a little earthier and more personal than I am normally willing to indulge here.  If coarse analogies offend, please go read this vulgarity-free light reading instead. Lawyers far more skilled and dedicated than I have taken risks in their profession over the two centuries of the practice of law in this country. Would that I had […]

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Joseph Amendola, Esquire, does NOT work in my law office

Why, oh why, does an attorney state the results of attorney-client work product and even attorney-client communications in front of a TV camera? Why tell Anderson Cooper whether a client communicated with you and what those communications were? Who in the name of mighty Thor congratulates the prosecution for convicting his client of felonies? Criminal trials are not tennis matches; […]

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Rule 1.2(b) – Endorsement of a client’s views

As noted within the Law Office’s website, the Law Office hasn’t shied away from taking political stands.  It represents only workers, not management, in employment law disputes, and maintains a pro-worker, pro-union, pro-labor perspective.  It supports the legalization of marijuana, supports the 2nd Amendment as a human right – and also supports the 1st Amendment as a human right.  Some […]

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“Branding” in the practice of law really burns my wide-load rear end

What are brands? “Brand” comes from a Germanic route meaning “to burn”; the related words “brandy”, “brent” and many modern German words employ this root to describe the act or recipient of burning. In North America and later some other places, cattle were branded (burned, though not too painfully I am told) with glowing-hot iron markers to identify them in […]

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Advice to Young Lawyers: Do NOT Let Some Vendor Own Your Identity

It’s bad enough that we attorneys have to use vendors to supply our needs like everyone else in business. Good business judgment encourages economization and a careful eye on the effective rate of return from expenditures, including supplies, utilities, equipment, fixtures, inventory (not that that’s much of an issue in 99% of law offices) and services including marketing. To this […]

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How to tell a legal marketing company to drop dead

“Br-r-r-r-r-inggg” [Gee, hope that’s H_____ D______ calling me re: my piece of the S_____________ settlement.] “Good morning, this is Bruce Godfrey; may I help you?” “Hi, may I speak to the owner of the Law Office of Bruce Godfrey?” [Christ, one of these.] “Yes, I am Bruce Godfrey; this is my law office. May I help you, sir?” “Yes, I […]

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