Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Boomer Boss decides to get suspended/disbarred

senior partner at your firm decides to do something that is dingbat12/04/17
Choose C and if Boomer tells me to cover, I tell him no. isthisit12/04/17
and what if boomer is too dumb to realize that it's prohibit dingbat12/04/17
Than you're working with a real dumb @ss. Explain why it's p isthisit12/04/17
Need more details. How bad is it? therover12/04/17
it's a hypo 6 month suspension is the probable outcome. dingbat12/04/17
He's not including cover letters with his motions? isthisit12/04/17
Yeah I'm thinking C. Unless it's a really stupid violation jackofspeed12/05/17
it's a sloppy violation that will certainly get caught - 100 dingbat12/05/17
new lawyers tend to see ethical violations everywhere defensivelawyer12/05/17
who said I'm new? Also, it's a hypo dingbat12/05/17
None of the above. Option F- keep making and saving your dopesmokeresquire12/05/17
smartest answer I've seen so far dingbat12/05/17
MR 8.3 is clear. If the ethics violation raises a "substanti onehell12/05/17
1) there's a limitation (8.3C) when this would violate confi dingbat12/05/17
dingbat (Dec 4, 2017 - 10:08 pm)

senior partner at your firm decides to do something that is clearly in violation of the rules of professional conduct. You:

A) do everything you can to help cover the boomer
B) gleefully watch from the sidelines
C) pray to god the firm doesn't go under and you lose your job
D) report boomer to the ethics board
E) inform the clients and tell them to report the boomer to the ethics board

If you choose B or C, what if Boomer Boss assigns you the case, and your participation puts you in violation of the rules as well - what do you do?

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isthisit (Dec 4, 2017 - 10:11 pm)

Choose C and if Boomer tells me to cover, I tell him no.

If he insists, explain you're not going to report him since you're "ride or die" but that you won't jam yourself up for him.

Imply you know what he's doing and you're not snitching but you're also not going to participate.

The Implication saves your job.

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dingbat (Dec 4, 2017 - 10:25 pm)

and what if boomer is too dumb to realize that it's prohibited?
Boomer has no ethics and doesn't see the problem - at all

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isthisit (Dec 4, 2017 - 10:38 pm)

Than you're working with a real dumb @ss. Explain why it's prohibited and leave it there. If he insists than ignore it and put distance between yourself and the act.

No guarantees on the job.

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therover (Dec 4, 2017 - 10:38 pm)

Need more details. How bad is it?

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dingbat (Dec 4, 2017 - 10:47 pm)

it's a hypo

6 month suspension is the probable outcome.

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isthisit (Dec 4, 2017 - 10:53 pm)

He's not including cover letters with his motions?

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jackofspeed (Dec 5, 2017 - 8:53 am)

Yeah I'm thinking C. Unless it's a really stupid violation that will certainly get caught (like commingled funds in the IOLTA account) then I'd have to consider reporting.

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dingbat (Dec 5, 2017 - 9:33 am)

it's a sloppy violation that will certainly get caught - 100% guaranteed. But it's not of a nature that mandates reporting. That's optional

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defensivelawyer (Dec 5, 2017 - 9:35 am)

new lawyers tend to see ethical violations everywhere

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dingbat (Dec 5, 2017 - 10:35 am)

who said I'm new?
Also, it's a hypo

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dopesmokeresquire (Dec 5, 2017 - 9:53 am)

None of the above.

Option F- keep making and saving your money, and cultivate relationships with the existing clients so when Boomer Boss goes under, they will be YOUR clients.

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dingbat (Dec 5, 2017 - 2:16 pm)

smartest answer I've seen so far

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onehell (Dec 5, 2017 - 1:10 pm)

MR 8.3 is clear. If the ethics violation raises a "substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects," then option D is mandatory even if it costs you your job. Indeed, you might have to resign to avoid assisting with a crime or fraud.

The way I interpret this rule is that burying your head in the sand is OK so long as there is ANY good faith argument that the action is ethical, i.e. if there is ANY gray area at all. I think the rule also has the materiality provision which allows you to take into account self-correction in minor things (which I would define as things that didn't hurt anyone or prejudice any cases and where there is reason to believe it won't recur).

So for example, if you catch him stealing from the trust account, there's no gray area here. You have to report him. But if it's one of those things that MIGHT be an ethics violation, but you can come up with a good-faith argument why it might not be, or if you don't have quite enough facts to be 100% sure, or if it's minor and corrected, then do what ya gotta do to keep putting food on the table. For example, let's say you knew he was drunk at a status conference. You confront him about it and he enrolls in AA and you see no further evidence of a problem, and nothing went bad at the hearing. That too might be something you can let slide.

In short, the rule on mandated snitching is very narrow. It has to be serious and/or repetitive enough to cause a real risk that someone or someone's case will be hurt, and there can't be ANY gray area AT ALL as to whether it was actually a violation. Where it applies, follow it. But in most cases it doesn't apply, in which case most lawyers need to keep quiet to keep their job.

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dingbat (Dec 5, 2017 - 1:49 pm)

1) there's a limitation (8.3C) when this would violate confidentiality
2) not every rule, if violated, raises a substantial question as to honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer"

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