by Work of
Roth University of Hawaii School of Law
Skip talks and articles on ethics–it all boils down to “the Golden Rule,” doesn’t it?
When pointy headed academics talk about potential
problems, just tell yourself “If
it was really a problem, someone would have told me about it before now.”
Don’t bother detailing the scope of your engagement in
an engagement (or non-engagement) letter. After all, you know who your clients are and
what you’ve agreed to do (or not do).
Don’t let it bug you if someone’s file has been on your
desk for quite some time (especially if the ball if in their court). If they aren’t in a hurry why should you be?
Don’t bother talking to a client about a theoretical
option if you already know what he or she would eventually decide. After all, you’re the expert.
To heck with specialists. How hard can it be?
Refer your clients to people who will scratch your back
in return. And keep it simple–provide
just one name.
Don’t be a stickler for details and never double-check
info provided by your client.
Leave important details to the client’s other advisers
and just assume they are doing a good job.
Forget about unnecessary paperwork–don’t document oral
communications and always toss your research notes.
Pay no attention to state lines. Courts, judges, and even state bars tend to be flexible. Besides, if something comes up, a lawyer can always get a “‘pro hac vice’ permit”
Never tell clients that they are now former clients.
Summarize the effect of a complicated strategy in a
simple letter to the client, and don’t mention that it could be misleading.
Rely on a third party’s description of what the client
Never explain the obvious.
Encourage your clients to make generous gifts to
worthwhile charities; and, be generous with your time in serving on the boards
of those same charities.
Make sure you are using every new idea being talked
about at tax seminars, and don’t mention that they are untested.
18. Remember: Law is not just a profession; it is a business. Hence, do not permit clients to short change you or walk a away from a contract. If you are owed fees, sue for them. How could it hurt.
Originally posted on 10/03/2014 @ 8:10 pm