I think I may be on an ethics kick. I have denied my former firm their fee because they tried to deceive their own client on the way out the door. In my opinion (defamation disclaimer), they put their own greed ahead of the client’s best interest. I had a thought in a previous post that we need to interject the words "client interest" into our conversations around the office and within the Bar Association so that lawyer decisions will better reflect their client’s interest. I came up with idea because it is clear that too many law firms do not even consider the issue when they are making decisions. Oh yes, they talk about their own or their firms obligation. However, they do not mean it in the ethical sense. They mean it in the "are we stuck?" sense. They mean it in the "how do we get out of this because our client cannot pay" sense. They mean it in the "where are the fences imposed by the ethical rules which might get in the way of what we want to accomplish for ourselves" sense.
Being in litigation with my old law firm (there is going to be a story in the news this next week) puts me in touch with my ethical side. We will be filing a grievance against my old firm next week so that the decision as to whether or not they breached their ethical obligations to the client in their efforts to retain the client violated the ethic’s rules. It would not surprise me if the ethic’s examiners failed to find a violation or impose a reprimand. Sometimes I wonder if even they impose the ethic’s rules on their own profession. Regardless, I will live with it either way. If I am the only one that thinks that what my old firm did was wrong, then I will gladly pay the money. I hope I am not the only one.