Halling & Cayo. S.C.

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Hi, everyone. It’s been a minute. It may be another minute, or several, before I write again, or it could be tomorrow. (Remember when I launched this blog in 2019 and I thought I would be writing weekly or more and then a few months later everything went sideways? Good times.)
I write to revisit a topic I wrote about a couple of years ago—the fact that Wisconsin does not have true, lifetime “disbarment.” My position hasn’t changed since
Continue Reading When “Revocation” isn’t Revocation

My latest column, “The Story of Stuff,” is out in the latest Wisconsin Lawyer magazine. It’s a little less snarky than usual, but I still got to reference George Carlin, mainframe punch cards, and the entropy-in-action that is my desk. (My own office rarely gets to the level of the free stock photo illustrating this blog entry, and we can be thankful for small favors.)
Continue Reading You Can Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate Your Old Stuff All You Want

Last week, CNN reported that Wisconsin native and fake elector lawyer Ken Chesebro not only had an anonymous Twitter/X account, “@BadgerPundit,” but denied its existence to Michigan investigators. The account was actually created back when then-Governor Scott Walker dropped the Act 10 bomb, incidentally right around the same time I created my own, very much not anonymous Twitter account (it’s @EthickingStacie now, naturally, but was something else then). We may have interacted at some point, but we were never
Continue Reading “@MindYour8Point4CsandQs” is Available, But Should I Use It?

My high school alumni association’s social media page alerted me to an online auction and raffle supporting “under-resourced students and families n our community.” I decided to check out the auction items—most of them are the usual restaurant and attraction gift certificates. The raffle included a prime parking spot for a rising senior and several Stanley tumblers. Shockingly, nothing appeared to involve multilevel marketing. (Where I live now and where I grew up are very different places, apparently.)
Anyway,
Continue Reading Going Once, Going Twice: Legal Services Donations to Charity Auctions and Raffles

There was much buzz today about an article in the Cut (a lifestyle website from Vox Media/New York Magazine) – “The Day I Put $50,000 in a Shoe Box and Handed It To A Stranger.” Charlotte Cowles, the Cut’s financial advice columnist, discussed in embarrassing detail how she fell victim to what she termed a “cruel and violating [scam] but one painfully obvious in retrospect.” Cowles did not believe she could ever be a victim—she did not fit any
Continue Reading When Dumb Scams Happen To Smart People

Hi, folks,
It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?
Sorry to say, it’s going to be awhile yet, as things are busy here.
In the meantime, my January column for the Wisconsin Lawyer is out; this time, I discuss all those little conflicts life deals.
Continue Reading When You’re a Hammer, Everything is a Nail; When You’re an Ethics Nerd Everything is a Material Limitation Conflict

A quick update on New York’s Second AI Hallucination case, which I originally covered a couple of weeks ago—today we learned that Michael Cohen, the client, and not David Schwartz, the lawyer, used artificial intelligence (this time, Google Bard) to generate cases that did not exist. In a declaration he submitted to the court (available starting on page 9 of this packet from the CourtListener docket), Cohen stated that (having been disbarred several years ago) he had not kept
Continue Reading And, Cohen Both Takes The Fall And Passes The Buck

It’s an ethics twofer out of New York, New York (specifically the Southern District of New York) this week.
First, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s lawyer David M. Schwartz filed a motion to end his client’s supervised release early. In the motion paperwork, Schwartz cited three District Court decisions. Routine, right?
Regular readers of this blog and/or people who understand human nature know where this is going. These cases don’t exist at all, the court couldn’t find them, successor
Continue Reading If They Can Screw Up There, They’ll Screw Up Anywhere

I’ve told this story before but it makes for a good setup here: Years ago, I represented a client in a reinstatement matter. The Office of Lawyer Regulation retained outside counsel for the referee hearing. Outside counsel sent me an email, and copied his contact within the OLR (also a lawyer). I “replied all.” The retained lawyer half-jokingly admonished me for emailing his client, a represented party, in violation of SCR 20:4.2.
Wisconsin does not have a formal opinion
Continue Reading Well, This Is One Way To Blow Up An NDA

Another day, another misuse of ChatGPT. A Colorado attorney was fired from his job after using, and suspended last month for one year and one day (with all but 90 days stayed, subject to probation) because he used, ChatGPT to prepare a motion. As with other lawyers who’ve gotten into trouble for misusing AI, Zachariah Crabill filed the motion without verifying that case citations were accurate. Lo and behold,  they were not.
 According to the Colorado Supreme Court decision
Continue Reading The First Rule Of Messing-Stuff-Up Club: Don’t Blame the Intern

(I do not recommend saying ‘Ain’t No Party Like An Ex Parte” in a brief, but you do you, I guess.)
I know I owe this blog some actual content (and heaven knows there hasn’t been a shortage of source material, just a shortage of time), but in the meantime: My latest column for the Wisconsin Lawyer magazine is out. This month, I discuss what do do when people are wrong on the Internet.
And people are wrong a
Continue Reading If You Want To Say ‘Ain’t No Party Like An Ex Parte’ in a Brief, You Can Cite It To 6 Wis. Law. 31-33 (November 2023)

Today is October 24, which means this blog is celebrating its fourth birthday. It should be able to walk downstairs, know the difference between reality and fantasy, and ask a lot of questions.
On October 24, 2019, we launched with a simple, “So, why Ethicking?” I’m not sure I’ve successfully answered that question yet, but I have enjoyed (and will continue to enjoy) bringing my readers legal ethics and law practice news in what I hope is an
Continue Reading And Now We Are Four

It has been a busy month offline at the Ethickingdom (and I promise this is the first and last time I will ever use that term, eech). You know that saying, you wait ages for the bus and then two come at once? I had my first and second ever Supreme Court of Wisconsin arguments within a four-week span, plus the rest of my work.
 Today, on this rainy Saturday, I am slightly up for air, and I will
Continue Reading I’m Getting Judgy and Judging Judges Today

Celebrity seems to do things to lawyers. Remember Michael Avenatti? Previously, he was best known for representing Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Donald Trump; he is now a convicted felon and long-term resident of FCI Terminal Island.
So, perhaps it’s not surprising that we’ve (I hesitate to say “learned,” considering the source, so perhaps “gossiped” will have to do) gossiped that Johnny Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez (who, to be clear, is not the lawyer he was dating
Continue Reading Common Scents In Celebrity Litigation

I am mired in hearing prep and other work, so blogging has been and will be a little bit sparse for a bit.
In the meantime, if you’ve missed me, check out my debut as an ethics columnist in the Wisconsin Lawyer. I’ll be writing in every other issue, and the editor is letting me snark there too. I’m just not allowed to write about politics, though I was able to sneak in a Kanye 2020 reference.
Continue Reading Wisconsin Lawyer: Now Featuring Bonus Ethicking