Halling & Cayo. S.C.

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Latest from Halling & Cayo. S.C.

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

It’s August so that means new law students are arriving, and 2L/3Ls are starting their upper-level classes. (Anyone have anything from this blog on their syllabus? A girl can dream.)
First, welcome, new law students! I wrote a little Q&A last year that may be helpful.
Something I didn’t write about last year was a fairly common phenomenon among my classmates, and I am sure it is common among yours as well—six weeks into law school, people are going
Continue Reading The Most Dangerous ‘Lawyer’ in the World is a 1L with a Westlaw Password

It’s early August, which means I am at the APRL Annual Meeting hanging with my nerd friends and learning about collateral estoppel, generative AI, and interstate practice, and other important topics in legal ethics and disciplinary defense. While I am sure I will have more to say about all of this in coming weeks, for today, I am excited to announce that I have been elected to a second two-year term on APRL’s Board of Directors. I’ve
Continue Reading Greetings from Denver

I am a bit late to report this, but in June 2023, the State Bar of Wisconsin Ethics Committee (on which I sit) released Formal Opinion EF-23-01, “Responding to Online Criticism.” In most cases, the Committee’s recommendation as to whether to respond to negative posts on social media or professional review sites is “don’t”:
Synopsis: A lawyer may not reveal information relating to the representation of a client in response to online criticism of the lawyer without the affected
Continue Reading It’s Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a [Bad Lawyer] Than to Speak Online and Remove All Doubt

Over the weekend, we learned that the California State Bar “suspend[ed] 1,600 attorneys for violating rules set up after Tom Girardi allegedly stole millions.” At first blush, this sounds horrible—this many attorneys did what now? However, what that really means is that these lawyers neglected to comply with new trust account requirements (including registering their trust accounts with the State Bar, completing an annual self-assessment, and certifying that they understand and comply with trust account rules). As
Continue Reading ‘Enrolled as inactive’? ‘Administratively Suspended’? What does that mean?

A committee of the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility has recommended disbarment for America’s Mayor/Trump sycophant Rudy Giuliani. His DC woes aren’t over yet—this recommendation needs to be considered by the full Board and then the DC Court of Appeals (pictured here from our recent trip, because there is no free Rudy stock art integrated into Squarespace).
And, this is only adding to his other woes, which have been a frequent topic of discussion on this
Continue Reading Giuiliani, Here We Go Again

At least part of the 2020 election is coming to a close, as Lin Wood, once highly regarded for defending Richard Jewell, but now reduced to Kraken (or perhaps Kraken-adjacent) fame, is retiring his law license. He has been mired in disciplinary and sanctions proceedings for many months, and it appears to be coming to an unceremonious end. I admit I have no idea how this works in Georgia. In Wisconsin, where I practice, lawyers facing disciplinary investigations
Continue Reading Retire the Kraken!

Effective today, July 1, 2023, Wisconsin trust account rules have sort-of caught up with the rest of the country, and finally acknowledge that electronic transactions really aren’t that scary.
Under the Rules applicable from 2016 to yesterday (which the Wisconsin Lawyer optimistically described as “modernizing” the way these things are handled), if lawyers wanted to accept electronic transactions (including credit cards) for advanced fees, they either had to set up a separate “e-banking trust account” or, if
Continue Reading Farewell (?) E-banking Trust Account Rules, We Hardly Knew You

So I was in DC last week, and, shockingly, offline for most of it.
We’ve missed a few things while I was gone:

  • The judge in the Mata v. Avianca Inc. litigation, better known as the case with the ChatGPT lawyers, has sanctioned said ChatGPT lawyers $5,000 and ordered them to send their client and, curiously, the judges “falsely identified as the author of the fake . . . opinions” the sanctions order, the transcript of the motion

Continue Reading While I Was Out, All of the Sanctions Happened

We in Wisconsin are in the middle of the State Bar Annual Meeting & Conference, right here in Milwaukee. The venue is a couple of blocks from my office so I’ve been and will be popping out.
So far, I’ve seen a few of my clients who I’ve never met in person before—I caught their name tag out of the corner of my eye, or recognized their voice from phone calls. I did not stop and approach them.
Continue Reading Why I Didn’t Say "Hi" at the State Bar Conference