In this episode of Remotely Ethical, we provide some recent updates, discuss radical changes to the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, and offer five tips for protecting your attorney escrow account.
Brief updates on past stories
Governor Cuomo's executive order extends the statutes of limitations on legal claims until October 4, as well as the remote notarization procedures. Read our blog post here.
The executive order also extends the ability to execute and notarize documents remotely due to the COVID crisis. Read our blog post here.
New Jersey has followed New York's lead in abolishing the rule that prohibits lawyers from using trade names. We discussed New York's trade name rule in a previous episode of Remotely Ethical. You can also read Tyler's new article about how law firms can protect their trade names, which he co-wrote with our Trademark partner Kim Maynard.
Arizona makes radical changes to its Rules of Professional Conduct
The rule changes include: Abolishing Rule 5.4, which prohibited fee-sharing with nonlawyers and nonlawyer ownership of law firm
Establishing a regulatory system to approve and oversee "Alternate Business Structures" that have nonlawyer owners Abolishing Rule 7.3, which prohibited paying referral fees to non-lawyers
Our colleague Ron Minkoff blogged about Arizona's rule changes here.
Top Five Tips for Supervising Attorney Escrow Accounts
We discussed a recent incident in Rhode Island where a bookkeeper pled guilty to embezzling approximately $740,000 from her own godmother's law firm. This incident brought to mind the Galasso case in New York, where a lawyer's brother embezzled millions of dollars from the firm's escrow account, leading to the lawyer's two-year suspension for a failure to supervise his nonlawyer brother (Galasso was subsequently reinstated) We discussed the importance of making sure your attorney escrow accounts are in order and gave our top 5 tips for supervising escrow accounts. Watch the episode to find out what they are!
Case notes from captivity
Finally, we each talked about what we are reading, watching or doing to get us through lockdown.
Tyler has a new addition to his family - a red Betta fish. Pics included in the video.
Nicole has been watching the Australian miniseries "Upright" on Sundance Now, starring the incomparable Tim Minchin. Highly recommended.