Professional Ethics for Attorneys

May 29, 2017

Professional Ethics for Attorneys

For many years the second quarter—April, May, and June—finds me talking. Yes, yes, I talk always, but the second quarter has me talking in public, mostly about professional ethics for attorneys. The State Bar of Arizona requires 15 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) between July 1 and June 30, and three of those hours must have ethics as their primary subject.

For reasons I don’t readily comprehend, many Arizona attorneys struggle to obtain their three hours of ethics. Whither, I—an attorney who devotes about one-third of his practice to ethics and related matters—get lots of opportunities to talk. My talking comprises some part of three hours, shared with one or more fellow panelists and, we

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Class Action Lawsuits

November 2, 2015

Class action lawsuits are often maligned, with some good reason. So, what are they, why are the maligned, and are their good reasons for trashing them? The issues come to mind because of the Volkswagen situation, which will bring class action litigation front and center for a while.

Class action lawsuits involve many people claiming damages; however, not every suit which involves many people is a class action lawsuit. Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure—I believe its corollary exists within every state’s civil procedure rules—requires, for a class of claimants to be certified, that: (1) there are too many people to make all of them individual parties; (2) there are common questions of law and fact;

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Working (Mark Rubin)

April 12, 2015

I’m Mark Rubin, and I blog here at Mark Rubin Writes. Months ago I wrote about two friends’ work day lives. I intended to do more interviews and posts but I’m too short on time right now. I can, however, write about my work life without spending time interviewing myself.

Most days, I’m at work by 7 a.m. There’s rarely a work-related reason for that; rather, I’m an early riser, I like to get out in front of situations, and I enjoy the solitude.

You rise early or you don’t, and you like a quiet setting or you don’t. (One of my oldest friends is a trial court judge, and he’d go batty on an appellate court, writing all day

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The Practice of Law – It’s a No Whiner Zone

April 6, 2015

If you haven’t heard me whining about the practice of law it’s only because I don’t know you well enough to burden you. (You who are nodding? I know who you are!) Attorneys tend to see people in the most difficult settings, often after an opportunity to avoid a problem has passed. We’re expected to assume our clients’ side, good or bad, 24/7. We’re expensive; at the same time, however, economic forces have changed practice models, making it harder to make money. Blah, blah, blah!

Honestly, though, I can’t imagine—as in, I really can’t imagine—any other occupation for myself.* I do work indoors, people show me a level of respect I don’t think I deserve, and there’s no heavy lifting.

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The Spreadsheet, Apple Co., and Change!

March 6, 2015

Last Friday I heard How the Electronic Spreadsheet Revolutionized Business by Jacob Goldstein for Planet Money on NPR. It’s four+ minutes long, it’s about change, and it’s worth your time. The big moment for me in the story comes through in this short paragraph from Jacob Goldstein:

GOLDSTEIN: When the software hit the market under the name VisiCalc, [Alan] Sneider became the first registered owner, spreadsheet user number one. The program could do in seconds what it used to take a person an entire day to do. This of course, poses a certain risk if your job is doing those calculations. And in fact, lots of bookkeepers and accounting clerks were replaced by spreadsheet software. But the number of

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Attorneys Don’t Live Forever

February 2, 2015

Living in Arizona provides plenty to cry about. Bright spots are here and there, though, and I am not talking about the sun.

I have been involved for many years with the State Bar of Arizona ethics and discipline system, first as a volunteer judge, then as a drafter of our ethics rules, and, for the past almost 20 years as an attorney representing other attorneys. I also speak often to attorney groups and provide expert testimony. The system with which I have been involved has been a national leader for decades, and that is a big bright spot!

Recently, the Bar formed a Succession Planning Task Force. Why? Just look at the age distribution among Arizona attorneys, as of

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Chinese Food-Gate

December 11, 2014

Chinese Food-Gate has hit the Internet. Here are the facts, more or less:

Ben Edelman teaches at the Harvard Business School. He has a degree from Harvard Law School and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

Sichuan Garden is a Boston-area Chinese restaurant with a location in Woburn. The manager—who may also be an owner—is Ran Duan.

Professor Edelman bought Chinese food from Sichuan Garden. He—and others—enjoyed the food. However, he noted a $1.00 per item discrepancy per dish, between website pricing and actual prices.

Professor Edelman sought a refund, and wanted treble damages pursuant to Part I (Administration of the Government), Title XV (Regulation of Trade), Section 9 (Civil actions and remedies; class action; demand for relief;

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