sunEthics 

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




The Fourth DCA reverses a conviction because the prosecutor commented on the defendant’s post-arrest silence . . . (see more) [Added 12/4/19]


The Second DCA criticizes a prosecutor’s closing argument but affirms the conviction because the unobjected-to argument did not constitute fundamental error . . . (see more) [Added 12/2/19]


A proposal for settlement accepted by one co-defendant after a proposal was made to the other co-defendant is a “postoffer settlement” that is added to the net judgment in determining entitlement to attorney’s fees under F.S. 768.79 . . . (see more) [Added 11/27/19]


A petition for writ of mandamus is the proper vehicle for challenging the denial of a public records request that was based on an alleged exemption . . . (see more) [Added 11/25/19]


A judge who recently issued a lengthy sanctions order against a law firm in one case is disqualified from 3 other pending cases in which the law firm is involved . . . (see more) [Added 11/21/19]


The Supreme Court reprimands a judge for behavior that was “inappropriate, intemperate, and violated the Canons” of judicial ethics . . . (see more) [Added 11/18/19]


The Supreme Court rejects a referee’s not guilty recommendation and concludes that a lawyer violated rules against misrepresentation by using altered photo lineups in a pretrial deposition in a criminal case . . . (see more) [Added 11/8/19]


A trial court erred in denying fees in a dissolution case on the ground that the claim had not been properly pleaded . . . (see more) [Added 11/5/19]


The Code of Judicial Conduct requires a judge to report a lawyer to the Florida Bar for making false representations to the court . . . (see more) [Added 11/1/19]


A defendant’s otherwise-clear written request to represent himself was not rendered equivocal just because his request did not also ask to dismiss his counsel . . . (see more) [Added 10/25/19]


Defense counsel may not ask a plaintiff to disclose a referral relationship between her lawyer and a treating physician due to attorney-client privilege, but may ask the physician about the percentage of practice and income obtained through referrals from plaintiff’s counsel . . . (see more) [Added 10/22/19]


A lawyer is disqualified due to a prior representation in a substantially related matter, per the Third DCA . . . (see more) [Added 10/17/19]


A law firm is entitled to only quantum meruit rather than a full contingent fee following departure from the firm of a lawyer who was titled “profit partner” but was not an equity partner in the firm . . . (see more) [Added 10/10/19]


A trial court properly ordered redaction of mediation communications from a “shade meeting” transcript before it is released as a public record . . . (see more) [Added 10/7/19]


In affirming a fee award in a dissolution case, the appeals court rejected the argument that use of the term “frivolous and vexatious litigation” in the fee order meant that the fees had been awarded as a sanction . . . (see more) [Added 10/4/19]


The Supreme Court amends the Registered Paralegal Program rules to allow lawyers from any state other than Florida to become registered paralegals . . . (see more) [Added 9/25/19]


An order requiring production of materials presumptively covered by attorney-client privilege is quashed because it was issued without an in camera inspection . . . (see more) [Added 9/23/19]


Florida International tops the state in the July 2019 general bar examination . . . (see more) [Added 9/16/19]


The Supreme Court rejects a suspension recommendation and instead disbars a lawyer who took improper loans from elderly clients, commingled trust funds, and misused trust funds . . . (see more) [Added 9/9/19]


The Supreme Court approves amendments to Rule 4-7.14 to permit non-certified lawyers, and law firms, to advertise that they specialize or have expertise in areas of practice . . . (see more) [Added 7/1/19]


The Board of Governors approves a rule change proposal that would prohibit advertising lawyers from using the names of other lawyers or law firms in a misleading way that states or implies that the other lawyer is part of the advertising lawyer’s firm . . . (see more) [Added 6/3/19]


The Supreme Court withdraws its prior opinion (which ruled that prevailing party fees are recoverable under the reciprocal provisions of F.S. 57.105 by a borrower who succeeded in having plaintiff’s mortgage foreclosure suit dismissed on grounds including lack of standing), concluding that it had improvidently granted review . . . (see more) [Added 4/18/19]


The Supreme Court declines to adopt a proposed rule that would bar lawyers from accepting referrals from any entity that refers to more than one type of professional for the same incident or transaction
. . . (see more) [Added 4/15/19]


The question of an insurer’s standing to bring a malpractice claim against counsel hired to represent an insured is certified to the Supreme Court . . . (see more) [Added 3/22/2019]


The Supreme Court acts on the Bar’s biennial rules proposals, including proposed amendments relating to self-reporting criminal charges and convictions to the Bar, the Bar’s duty to notify the Court of a lawyer’s felony adjudication, client payments by credit card, imputed disqualification, collaborative law, CLE “professionalism” requirements, and electronic meetings
. . . (see more) [Added 1/14/19]


The Supreme Court amends rules regulating referral services to expressly recognize their applicability to all client-lawyer matching services, and further orders the Bar to prepare rules restricting services that refer to more than one professional service . . . (see more) [Added 3/9/18]


The Board of Governors determines that the “Avvo Advisor” program is considered a “lawyer referral service” under Bar rules . . . (see more) [Added 1/2/18]

NEW in Florida Legal Ethics . . .