The Friday Whine is a casual blog and contains three things: An ethics update, a legal profession update, and wine recommendation. If you see text in blue, it is a link to an article or information.
What’s On Your Laptop, and Where Is It?
Lawyer discipline falls in to two categories – negligent, and intentional misconduct. There’s a difference between blowing a statute of limitations and stealing money from a trust account. More and more those lines are being blurred by increased scrutiny of the negligent side of misconduct. More and more, state Bars are seeking discipline against lawyers who make mistakes, rather than engage in an intentional course of misconduct.
The ABA recently took up the issue of lawyers taking data out of the country. While I don’t think border agents are focusing on lawyers’ files on laptops, eventually some lawyer is going to have an issue that is going to find them on the wrong side of a good client, or worse, subject to an inquiry from the Bar about their conduct either leaving or entering the United States.
My advice: If your files are not in the cloud, consider having sensitive items emailed to you once you leave, and removing them before you enter. The option of bringing a different device, maybe a laptop or tablet you don’t normally use for work, can also prevent issues of compromised data.
Unrelated to border searches, recently I received a call from a lawyer whose laptop was stolen out of their car.
I of course derived immediate satisfaction over this, as I never leave my laptop in the car, no matter where it’s parked.
You don’t…leave your laptop in the car? Ever? Right? Not at the gym, at Starbucks when you run in for a quick coffee, or while out to dinner because you would look silly walking in to a restaurant with a briefcase?
When Hurricane Katrina hit, I participated in a conference call with lawyers in Louisiana. It was depressing. Offices were destroyed, files were underwater, lawyers hadn’t heard from their colleagues, and no one knew if or when things would return to normal. All we could do is talk about Hurricane Andrew and offer good thoughts and a few dollars.
That was then, and it looks like Texas has a better idea – come help us.
Yesterday an order was issued allowing out of state lawyers to practice law in Texas if it is to help Hurricane Harvey victims. I don’t know how this will play out, but it makes the profession look good when one state, in an emergency situation, allows America’s lawyers to provide temporary assistance.
The ABA has a disaster relief program that you can contact if you wish to make yourself available to assist, and of course, the Red Cross is on the ground in the affected areas, and has made it easy to donate on their website.
The Whole Shebang!
Labor Day, the long weekend marking the end of summer (except in Miami where it appears to keep getting hotter). Time to drink up the pool-side white wine. Open up the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, rinse and repeat.
Or how about a cheap white blend of Riesling, Muscadelle, Semillon, and Albarino?
I’ve had a couple bottles of this silly wine, with a silly name and uninspired label. It’s about $15, and well-received by both me and those that have tried a glass. No corkscrew needed by the way.
It’s different, and fits nicely in that “under $20” category. Available at Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe in Coral Gables.