KPLCtv.com: "Well, today the Calcasieu Public Defenders Office announced it must cut back services due to budget shortfalls and that the office will withdraw as counsel for about 400 felony cases it's now appointed to handle. A spokesman says they will work with the judges to assign new attorneys from the private bar."
Apparently, Samsung has an auto-delete feature that deletes employee e-mail on its proprietary system after a set time. While Samsung apparently took some steps to warn employees to preserve relevant emails after suit had been filed, it left on the auto-delete feeature. The judge has entered an adverse inference order in the suit. The order is here. It's too fact-based to summarize effectively, but Apple in part used the fact that there were many more relevant emails on the non-proprietary system than on the proprietary one to establish the fact of some likely harm.
Most theories of legal ethics try to identify a maxim for lawyers to follow, like “act zealously within the bounds of law” or “do what will best promote justice under the circumstances.” But these maxims fail to capture the ethical complexity of lawyering.
Legal ethics can’t be reduced to a maxim unless the ethical world of lawyering can be reduced to a single value. If justice were the only value at stake, then it would be right for lawyers to follow the maxim “promote justice.” But there are multiple values at stake in the practice of law. No maxim can tell lawyers how to reconcile conflicts between genuine values like justice, autonomy, and political legitimacy.
Instead of trying to identify maxims that lawyers can use to resolve ethical dilemmas, legal ethics scholars should try to understand the virtues and skills that make it possible to act admirably when values conflict. Among these is the capacity to tolerate ethical tension — to keep struggling, when faced with an apparent dilemma, to find a third way out.
Maxims are guidelines for choice; they implicitly assume that lawyers must choose between two given options. But it’s often better to keep searching for another option. Instead of showing lawyers how to solve ethical dilemmas, we should try to help lawyers fight them. Refusing to apply any maxim can be an act of virtue.
Circuit Splits: "6th Circuit Joins Split Over Ineffective Counsel Claims Arising from the Failure to File Appeal"
WSJ (paywall): Firms that handle divorce for men only. In California, there is a firm "Divorce for Men Only," which has provided good grist for classroom discusion about client selection and discrimination in the practice of law. (It also brings to mind the older Stropnicky case.)
Lawfare: The Obama administration obstructs meetings between counsel and detainees and the NYT editorializes against it.
The article is here, by Northwestern Adjunct Professor and former Kirkland & Ellis partner Steven J. Harper, from Belly of the Beast, his blog. One breathtaking point: " The median starting salary for law firms of all sizes dropped from $130,000 in 2009 to $85,000 in 2011."