Board to hear LRS report

first_img Board to hear LRS report Senior EditorA report on for-profit lawyer referral services, revisiting fees for hiring a lien resolution law firm in a personal injury case, and examining the ethical implications of “cloud computing” will occupy the Board of Governors at its July 27 meeting in Miami Beach.The board also is expected to revisit proposed amendments to the code of evidence that it deferred at its May meeting, look at use of “metatags” and hidden words on attorney websites, as well as an examination about nonrefundable attorneys’ fee rules.The Special Committee on Lawyer Referral Services has been meeting for more than a year, examining the operations of private referral companies. It will be making several recommendations to the board, if the final report is completed in time for the July meeting.One recommendation is that lawyers not be allowed to join private referral services if those services also refer callers to another profession or service, holding such referrals have the potential for conflicts of interest.Another committee proposal would have lawyers report to the Bar on their participation in private referral services. Current rules require referral services to report their attorney members to the Bar. The Bar cannot directly regulate referral services, but it can prohibit Bar members from belonging to services that do not follow Bar rules.The board had previously examined the lien resolution issue, and proposed a change to Rule 4-1.5, in which the lawyer in personal injury or wrongful death cases must say in the contingency fee contract whether subrogation and lien resolution services were included in the contract, and that the lawyer could not charge an extra fee for that service if it would exceed contingency fee limits in the rules.In extraordinary cases, a lawyer could hire a second firm to handle subrogation and lien resolutions in a PI case as long as the client gave informed consent, the agreement complied with fee rules, and the original attorney and the lien attorney did not share the fees for resolving the subrogations and liens.However, the Supreme Court earlier this year rejected that amendment and specified that in such cases the attorney working under the contingency fee should “also represent the client in resolving medical liens and subrogation claims related to the underlying case.” The ruling prompted the attorney who made the original ethics inquiry to ask the board to revisit the issue.The board will also receive a request from the Professional Ethics Committee for the board to direct PEC to prepare an ethics opinion on cloud computing.Cloud computing allows users to store information on remote servers maintained by a third party. While this gives access to the information from almost anywhere, it also raises questions about security and how well confidential client information is protected.The Standing Committee on Advertising is asking the board to direct it to prepare an advisory opinion on using metatags and hidden words in attorney websites.Basically, both are text that can’t be seen by viewers of the website, but which helps the website attract the notice of search engines and hence place higher on the list of results. The committee believes that such techniques can be “misleading and manipulative,” which violates Bar Rule 4-8.4(c), and that it should prepare an opinion to guide attorneys. For example, one company used hidden words to put another company’s name and product title on its website to cause that first company’s site to be listed when someone was searching for the second company. A judge held that practice violated the second company’s trademark.The nonrefundable fee issue arose after an inquiry to the Bar about whether it was proper to refer in Bar rules to nonrefundable advance fees, because the reference could imply such a fee was not reviewable under excessive fee provisions of the rules.Immediate past Rules Committee Chair Steve Echsner said the committee was looking at revising language in Bar Rule 4-1.5 to be consistent with Ethics Opinion 93-2. The opinion held that nonrefundable fees are ethical but also are subject to rules on clearly excessive fees.The committee was looking at language to allow a lawyer and client to agree on an “advance” fee that would be considered the lawyer’s property and also would be subject to excessive fee rules, Echsner told the board.The committee’s inquiry had raised concerns of several Bar members, including criminal defense lawyers, who frequently use nonrefundable retainers for a case that may be of uncertain duration, including appeals. Echsner said the committee was trying to accommodate those concerns in its deliberations.The Rules Committee is set to discuss the issue when it meets the day before the board meeting.At its May meeting, the board deferred recommendation on changes to the state’s evidence code presented by the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee. The committee was reacting to laws passed by the Legislature, which oversees the evidence code.But board members questioned whether one of the three proposed changes went too far and intruded on the Supreme Court’s procedural rule-making authority. That change, responding to a 2011 law, requires that out-of-state expert witnesses in medical and dental malpractice cases obtain a certificate from the Florida Department of Health.Board members said they needed more time to consider the issue.On another matter, the Disciplinary Procedure Committee is following up on a request from the Supreme Court to find a simple procedure to allow clients access to their money held in lawyers’ trust accounts when that account is frozen because the lawyer is the subject of an emergency suspension.Clients frequently need access to those funds, for example, to close on a house or complete some other transaction. The committee is expected to report on its deliberations. July 15, 2012 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Board to hear LRS reportlast_img read more

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Pochettino is clearly thrilled with his match winner after uncertain start

first_imgMauricio Pochettino says Danny Rose was the first player he called after taking over as Tottenham manager and is delighted the full-back is now repaying his faith.Rose scored the winner as Pochettino’s side came from behind to beat Swansea 2-1 at White Hart Lane, a victory that reduces the gap between Spurs and league leaders Leicester to two points.For a long time it looked like Swansea would pull off a surprise win in north London as Alberto Paloschi gave the visitors a surprise early lead and then Lukasz Fabianski frustrated Tottenham with a number of excellent saves.Substitute Nacer Chadli, however, equalised in the 70th minute and seven minutes later Rose drove a loose ball home to keep his team’s title charge on track.The 25-year-old has enjoyed an impressive season under Pochettino but his Spurs future was far from certain when the Argentine arrived given fellow left-back Ben Davies one of the boss’ first signings in 2014. 2 2center_img “We arrived 21 months ago and the first meeting I have with a Tottenham player was with him,” Pochettino said.“They were on holiday and I called him to come to my office. I was happy and pleased to give him the opportunity to stay here and work with us.“It is true we are very happy with him showing quality and helping the team.“It was maybe difficult from the beginning when we arrived but I am very happy for him. The crowd were singing his name.“When any manager arrives at a new club always the player needs to know the idea.“My idea was from the beginning to give him the chance to show he has enough quality to play for Tottenham.”Spurs had 34 shots, 14 of them on target, against Swansea and the relief was palpable when Chadli finally turned home Kyle Walker’s shot across goal with 20 minutes left.Pochettino cut a frustrated figure as Fabianski continued to defy his players’ assault on the Swansea goal but the Tottenham boss was as pleased as anyone when Chadli and then Rose found the net.“During the whole game we shot more than 30 times and maybe 15 or 16 on target,” Pochettino said.“Maybe it was a record for the Premier League. Fabianski was fantastic and it looked like it would be impossible to score.“For that you get upset, disappointed, frustrated a little bit but when we scored the second goal you feel freedom in this moment.”Tottenham have overcome their first of three games in six days but the tougher tests are to follow with West Ham and Arsenal to come on Wednesday and Saturday.Harry Kane played with a face mask against the Swans, despite breaking his nose last weekend, but Dele Alli may need to be assessed after kicking his foot into the ground during the warm-up.Alli appeared uninhibited as he played the whole 90 minutes but the midfielder was seen hobbling heavily as he left the stadium after the match.“It’s easier to prepare for the West Ham game after this victory,” Pochettino added.“They [the players] are happy, they smile, it is always a better mood to recover.“It is an exciting moment for us but some players we need to manage because some players feel a little bit tired. We came from a very tough period.”last_img read more

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