Uncategorized

Competence – A crucial requirement for lawyers during, and after, the pandemic

It is incompetent for a lawyer to believe, let alone say or write that “It is illegal [for a lawyer] to text or email anything of substance.” The statement is also completely wrong, legally and ethically.

Yet one lawyer, an ethics “maven” no loss, who writes a column for a major local legal newspaper, actually wrote those completely inaccurate words as part of his lament that – because of COVID-19 – he can no longer work in the same type of law office common in 1973, when he received his law license, you know, when Richard Nixon was President.

The Rules of Ethics require lawyers to provide “competent” representation, which means that they must possess the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. The same Rules of Ethics also say that, in order to be competent, ALL lawyers must “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”

The Rules do not prohibit lawyers from texting or emailing “anything of substance.” Instead, the Rules say that when communicating with or about a client, a “lawyer must take reasonable precautions to prevent the information from coming into the hands of unintended recipients.” This phrase is generally interpreted to mean that, when necessary, lawyers must secure email or other communications with a password, or use encryption or other security measures.

The lawyer who wrote the column proudly quoted Winston Churchill, who said “never let a good crisis go to waste.” That quote should tell lawyers who weren’t prepared to work remotely from home that the time has come to become competent. The author chose not to glean that lesson and instead proved another quote, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

Lawyers, don’t worry, you can email and text information “of substance,” you just have to do it in a way that protect confidential and sensitive information. That’s why, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC and the legal technologists at Integrated Technology Services, LLC provide techno-ethical and cybersecurity guidance to lawyers and their entire staff. Give us a call. We are practicing lawyers and paralegals, who actually know and understand our ethical obligations.

Read More

Philadelphia Business Journal Honors Attorney Dan Siegel as “Best of the Bar” In Personal Injury Litigation

The Philadelphia Business Journal has named Attorney Daniel J. Siegel a “Best of the Bar” Honoree in the area of Plaintiff Personal Injury.

In addition to having great success with individual workers’ compensation and personal injury matters, Dan is being honored because of his numerous appellate victories over the past year, cases that have dramatically expanded the rights of injured workers and others.

Dan will receive his Award at a ceremony on Thursday, October 25th. He is one of only three personal injury attorneys being honored, and the only appellate lawyer being honored in this category.

Click here for more information.

Read More

We Represent Lawyers In Disciplinary & Professional Guidance Matters – They Just Can’t Say Who They Are

Attorneys must maintain confidentiality, which means we cannot disclose client information (including the names of our clients) without their consent.

One type of client never wants or permits their names to be used – clients we represent who either have charges brought against them by the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board or the many law firms for which we provide confidential ethical guidance about how to handle sensitive matters to avoid having charges brought against them by the Disciplinary Board.

And these clients never brag that we were able to convince Disciplinary Counsel not to pursue charges or that we won their disciplinary proceeding. In addition, firms won’t brag that we provided counsel in sensitive situations that lawyers deal with all the time, but which are fraught with repurcussions if they don’t handle them according to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

So we are pleased that one of our attorney clients (who shall remain nameless) was pleased enough with our representation (the Disciplinary Board charges against him were dismissed) that he offered the following review:

“I would like to thank Dan Siegel and his law firm for an excellent result in a legal matter they handled for me.  Their hard work, combined with legal expertise, carried the day to a successful conclusion.”

In those God forbid situations when you or your firm needs representation before the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board, or you are confronted with a situation requiring ethical guidance, give us a call. We can’t promise results, but we can promise to handle your matter thoroughly and discreetly. And because we are located in the suburbs, and don’t have the overhead of a Center City office, our fees are more reasonable than those of the larger firms who handle similar matters. Give us a call.

Read More

Don’t let your claim turn into a pumpkin because you should have called a lawyer

The decision to file a lawsuit can be tricky. Generally, a person may only file a lawsuit within a limited time period, known as the statute of limitations. If you wait until the last minute, your claim might change from a lawsuit into a pumpkin on its way to the courthouse.

For the following personal injury claims, the statute of limitations is two years: Negligence, Toxic Tort, Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice, Products Liability, and Fraud. See 42 Pa. C. S. § 5524. This time limit begins to run on the date the injury occurred.

A lawyer can help you determine whether an exception applies. Exceptions have applied when an injury is not discovered until much later or could not be discovered until more than two years after the act that caused the harm. But in most cases, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years, and you shouldn’t assume it’s longer.

A lawyer can also investigate the claims and explain the likelihood of success before being hurled into protracted litigation.

So talk to a lawyer about your case.

When you retain our law firm:

  1. We investigate your claim
  2. We evaluate the case in a holistic manner
  3. We prepare the most effective complaint possible
  4. We consider all of the potential claims
  5. We have time to address any procedural questions
  6. We make informed decisions that lead you to a successful result.

We believe it is best to retain a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your claim. Contact a lawyer at the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC at 610-446-3457 for a free consultation.

 

Read More

Greetings from Dan Siegel – Please Join in the Blog

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Law Blog, a service of the Havertown Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel. The Pennsylvania Law Blog is designed to spur debate about issues confronting Pennsylvania legal practitioners, including case law, trends in the law, new or revised rules, ethics and professionalism. Please feel free to join in the discussion (no personal attacks, please) and to offer your views about Pennsylvania law.

Read More

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

I would like to receive...