sunEthics 

Covering legal ethics, judicial ethics, bar admissions in Florida, Tennessee, and nationally.  See our Subject Index to past postings.


The Florida Supreme Court permanently disbars 2 lawyers whose conduct “is among the most shocking, unethical, and unprofessional” ever seen by the Court . . . (see more) [Added 8/25/16]


Florida guardianship law authorizes a fee award to the lawyer for an emergency temporary guardian, even where ultimately there is no judicial determination of incapacity . . . (see more) [Added 8/24/16]


Appellate attorney’s fees may be conditionally granted to policyholders under F.S. 627.428, regardless of whether the proceeding is an appeal or a petition for writ of certiorari . . . (see more) [Added 8/19/16]


The Florida Bar Board of Governors petitions the Florida Supreme Court for approval of changes to the rules governing referral services and other entities that match potential clients with lawyers . . . (see more) [Added 8/16/16]


The Florida Bar Board of Governors approves rule changes to expand the number of “emeritus” attorneys available to handle pro bono cases . . . (see more) [Added 8/15/16]


A trial court erred in denying fees to the former wife in a dissolution case that were accrued after her “unreasonable” rejection of a settlement offer . . . (see more) [Added 8/12/16]


The Board of Governors approves a rule change to permit IOTA trust accounts to be held in credit unions . . . (see more) [Added 8/11/16]


A lawyer is convicted of indirect criminal contempt, and referred to the Bar, for violating a court’s confidentiality order
. . . (see more) [Added 8/10/16]


A trial court erred in denying fees to a devisee of real property under a will, because by successfully defending an action concerning the property he effectuated the testator’s intent . . .  (see more[Added 8/8/16]


In reversing an $11 million plaintiffs’ verdict for other reasons, the Fourth DCA criticizes arguments by plaintiffs’ counsel and suggests they would warrant reversal if properly preserved . . . (see more) [Added 8/6/16]


Certifying conflicts with other Districts, the First DCA holds that a trial court erred in ruling that a section 57.105 fee award could not be entered in an action for injunction for protection against violence . . . (see more) [Added 8/5/16]


The First DCA reverses a verdict for the defendant in a personal injury case due to improper closing argument, and also criticizes plaintiff’s counsel for denigrating a defense expert and defense counsel on Facebook . . . (see more) [Added 8/4/16]


The Board of Governors approves changes to the rules governing lawyers who participate with entities that connect potential clients with lawyers . . . (see more) [Added 8/2/16]


An inmate who filed a mandamus petition suit to compel production of public records may be entitled to costs, despite the fact that the documents were provided shortly after he filed . . . (see more) [Added 7/26/16]


The Second DCA reverses a finding of indirect criminal contempt against 2 lawyers, but urges every lawyer to make “civility and professionalism an integral part of his or her daily life" . . . (see more) [Added 7/25/16]


A prosecutor’s “typification” in closing argument of a defendant lawyer accused of stealing trust money from clients was improper but did not result in reversal of the conviction . . . (see more) [Added 7/15/16]


The Florida Supreme Court disciplines 2 judges, one for improper conduct in court and the other for improper ex parte communication and involvement in a litigant’s case
. . . (see more) [Added 7/14/16]


A trial court had no authority to order a lawyer to “self-report” to the Florida Bar and to put confirmation of reporting in a public court file . . . (see more) [Added 7/13/16]


On its own initiative, a trial court may order a party to pay 57.105(1) fees when a motion is filed by another party but the moving party did not comply with the safe harbor requirements, provided the court is not “simply adopting the moving party’s defective motion” . . . (see more) [Added 7/11/16]


The Florida Supreme Court amends the Code of Judicial Conduct to prohibit any senior judge from serving as a voluntary trial resolution judge or an arbitrator in a circuit in which the senior judge is presiding as a judge . . . (see more) [Added 7/7/16]


The Fifth DCA reverses a fee award, ruling that proposals for settlement served on the 2 defendants were ambiguous as to whether acceptance would resolve the claims against both or only one defendant . . . (see more) [Added 7/7/16]


A county’s “wait and see” attitude toward a public records request results in the imposition of attorney’s fees . . . (see more) [Added 7/7/16]


Although a client can be compelled to disclose when and with what attorneys she consulted, she cannot be required to divulge the reasons why she consulted them if doing so would reveal attorney-client communications . . . (see more) [Added 7/6/16]


A judge is not disqualified from a case, despite having compared a party’s procedures to those of the “Taliban” in a related suit . . . (see more) [Added 7/5/16]


A trial court erred in applying a multiplier to a fee award in insurance litigation, where there was no showing that the clients were unable to find counsel to represent them through trial absent a multiplier . . . (see more) [Added 6/30/16]


The Second DCA adopts and publishes “Practice Preferences” for lawyers engaging in appellate practice in that District . . . (see more) [Added 6/29/16]


The Professional Ethics Committee acts on waiving costs in personal injury cases, finance companies that advance fees in criminal cases, and Florida lawyers working with non-Florida firms that permit non-lawyer ownership . . . (see more) [Added 6/22/16]


A complaint alleging defamation against the Florida Bar due to a posting of disciplinary status on the Bar’s website was properly dismissed by the circuit court . . . (see more) [Added 6/8/16]


The Supreme Court suspends a lawyer for 3 years instead of the recommended 90 days for violations of Rule 4-8.4(c) (dishonesty, deceit, misrepresentation or fraud) and 5-1.1(b) (trust accounting) . . . (see more) [Added 6/2/16]


The Board of Governors approves changes to Rule 4-1.8 concerning gifts from clients to lawyers and the naming of lawyers as personal representatives or trustees
. . . (see more) [Added 6/2/16]


The Board of Governors approves recommending changes to the rules governing Certified Legal Interns . . . (see more) [Added 5/31/16]


Uniform "Standards of Professional Courtesy and Civility" are adopted by the 11th, 15th, 17th, and 19th Florida circuits
. . . (see more) [Added 5/30/16]


The Bar petitions the Supreme Court to add technology-related provisions to the competence rule and to require additional hours of CLE devoted to technology . . . (see more) [Added 5/30/16]


The Supreme Court adopts amendments to the Rules Relating to Admissions to the Bar . . . (see more) [Added 5/23/16]


The Third DCA reminds lawyers of their obligation regarding “a fundamental tenant of appellate advocacy” . . . (see more) [Added 5/4/16] 


The Florida Supreme Court holds that workers’ compensation fee statute is unconstitutional . . . (see more) [Added 4/28/16]


The Supreme Court rules that opposing counsel’s time records are relevant and discoverable by a party seeking to recover fees when the fees are contested . . . (see more) [Added 3/31/16]


The Professional Ethics Committee votes to pursue adoption of an advisory opinion regarding a lawyer lobbying the legislature when the lawyer’s partner is an elected legislator . . . (see more) [Added 1/26/16]


A judgment for a lawyer in her suit against a former client for posting defamatory online reviews is affirmed on appeal . . . (see more) [Added 1/8/16]


The Supreme Court rejects proposed changes to the lawyer referral service rules, instead directing the Florida Bar to develop a proposal that requires for-profit referral services to be lawyer owned or operated . . . (see more) [Added 9/27/15]


The Supreme Court approves a rule defining retainers, flat fees, and advance fees and specifying how they should be handled for trust accounting purposes . . . (see more) [Added 9/19/15]


The Supreme Court amends Rules Regulating The Florida Bar on lawyer discipline, confidentiality, trust accounting, professionalism, and others . . . (see more) [Added 6/12/15]


The Supreme Court approves “housekeeping” changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding duties to prospective clients, misdirected electronic communications, and unauthorized practice of law . . . (see more) [Added 5/21/15]


The Board of Governors adopts “Professionalism Expectations” for Florida lawyers . . . (see more) [Added 2/3/15]


The Florida Bar withdraws its “Guidelines for Advertising Past Results” after a federal court finds them unconstitutional . . . (see more) [Added 12/22/14]


The Supreme Court approves multiple rule changes requested by the Florida Bar, including revisions to rules governing conflicts and paying witnesses, but rejects a proposal to restrict activities of suspended and disbarred lawyers . . .  (see more) [Added 3/29/14]

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