sunEthics 

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

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The Third DCA affirms an order denying a trial judge’s disqualification, and cautions counsel regarding the ethical obligation of candor toward the tribunal . . . (see more) [Added 11/13/18]


The Supreme Court removes a judge from office for ethical violations during her election campaign . . . (see more) [Added 11/8/18]


A trial court properly dismissed a legal malpractice complaint filed by plaintiffs who were, at most, “incidental beneficiaries” of the defendants’ services . . . (see more) [Added 11/7/18]


A 65-page amended final judgment is reversed because it appeared from the record that the judgment “does not reflect the judge’s independent decision-making” . . . (see more) [Added 11/6/18]


A new sentencing hearing is ordered because the defendant had a right to be present and represented by counsel at the proceeding . . . (see more) [Added 11/5/18]


The Supreme Court again cautions lower courts about “nitpicking” proposals for settlement to find ambiguities . . . (see more) [Added 11/1/18]


The Third DCA orders an appellants’ counsel to show cause why he should not be sanctioned for “what appears to be a blatant, material misrepresentation” of the record . . . (see more) [Added 10/29/18]


The Supreme Court finds additional rules violations and increases the discipline for a lawyer who appealed a sanction order in a manner that conflicted with his client’s interests and publicly disparaged opposing counsel and a judge . . . (see more) [Added 10/25/18]


The Professional Ethics Committee adopts a proposed advisory opinion regarding whether personal injury lawyers ethically may charge interest on cost advances in contingent fee cases . . . (see more) [Added 10/23/18]


On rehearing, the Third DCA concludes that a proposal for settlement served on 2 parties was invalid and unenforceable because it did not permit both offerees to independently evaluate or settle their respective claims . . . (see more) [Added 10/19/18]


A trial court erred in denying motions for fees against an indispensable party that was added to a suit against its will and rejected proposals for settlement made under F.S. 768.79 and Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.442 . . . (see more) [Added 10/9/18]


The Third DCA orders a lawyer to show cause why he should not be sanctioned for filing briefs that violate rules regarding candor to the court, attacks on the integrity of the judiciary, and frivolous filings . . . (see more) [Added 10/5/18]


The Supreme Court disbars a lawyer who failed to notify clients of her suspension as ordered and continued to practice law while suspended . . . (see more) [Added 10/3/18]


In answering a certified question arising from a county court order, the Second DCA rules that the reciprocity provision of F.S. 57.105 applies to an action for account stated brought to collect an amount due under a credit card agreement . . . (see more) [Added 10/1/18]


The Fourth DCA upholds a prevailing party fee award to a borrower whose argument that the foreclosing bank lacked standing was not adjudicated on the merits because the bank voluntarily dismissed the suit . . . (see more) [Added 9/28/18]


The First DCA declines to disturb an order disqualifying a lawyer because the trial court “did not disregard any clearly established principle of law” . . . (see more) [Added 9/26/18]


Florida International leads the state in first-time-taker pass rate for the July 2018 general bar examination . . .  (see more[Added 9/17/18]


The Supreme Court suspends a lawyer for 18 months, rather than the recommended one year, for misconduct in the course of his own dissolution of marriage case . . . (see more) [Added 7/25/18]


The Supreme Court approves rules allowing temporary authorization for spouses of active duty military personnel to practice law in Florida . . . (see more) [Added 7/20/18]


The attorney-client relationship requirement that is an element of a legal malpractice claim can be satisfied when the putative client consults with the lawyer through an agent . . . (see more) [Added 7/13/18]


The Professional Ethics Committee considers issues relating to charging interest on cost advances in contingent fee cases, use of the title “doctor” by retired lawyers, disclosure of improper acts by a client who is a guardian, responding to negative online reviews, and representation in juvenile matters . . . (see more) [Added 6/18/18]


Following the Supreme Court’s directive, the Florida Bar petitions for a rule change that would prohibit lawyers from accepting referrals from “qualifying providers” that refer to more than one profession for the same incident . . . (see more) [Added 6/5/18]


The Supreme Court amends the Code of Judicial Conduct to clarify judges’ obligations regarding reporting expenses of permissible quasi- or extra-judicial activities that are reimbursed or paid by a state government entity . . . (see more) [Added 5/18/18]


The Supreme Court suspends a lawyer for 3 years instead of the recommended 1 year for violating business transaction with clients rule, charging prohibited fees, attempting to assume co-equal decision making authority with a client, providing indirect financial assistance to a client, and taking an interest in the subject matter of litigation . . . (see more) [Added 5/16/18]


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 Supreme Court amends the Evidence Code, recognizing that communications between a lawyer and a client acting as a fiduciary are protected by the attorney-client privilege . . . (see more) [Added 2/20/18]


The Board of Governors approves a proposed rule change to increase the CLE requirements in “professionalism” . . . (see more) [Added 2/14/18]


The Board of Governors decides that it is permissible for a lawyer to ask a client to pay the premium on a “litigation cost protection” insurance policy in the event of a recovery for the client in a contingent fee case . . .  (see more[Added 2/12/18]


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]


The Supreme Court approves rule amendments regarding soliciting gifts or fiduciary appointments from clients, notifying clients when leaving a law firm, contacting prospective clients, settling malpractice claims with unrepresented clients, holding trust funds in credit unions, protecting trust funds when third parties claim an interest, emeritus attorneys, authorized house counsel, and foreign legal consultants; the Court rejects proposed change to rules on using “specialist” or “expert” in advertising . . . (see more) [Added 11/21/17]


Hoping to increase access to justice, the Supreme Court approves relaxed conflict of interest rules to apply in short-term, limited representation carried out through non-profit organization programs . . . (see more) [Added 10/23/17]


The Supreme Court rejects proposed changes to rules that would recognize 3 types of representation (lead counsel, additional counsel, and limited representation counsel), without prejudice to submission of “more individualized and refined proposals”  . . . (see more) [Added 9/15/17]


The Supreme rejects proposed amendments to the rules regarding character and fitness evaluations of students who apply for the Law School Practice Program . . . (see more) [Added 4/14/17]


The Supreme Court rejects a third Florida Bar proposal to authorize lawyers to handle “extraordinary” lien resolution services on a referral from a personal injury lawyer . . . (see more) [Added 10/7/16]


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]

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