Skip to main content

The Lawyer's Lawyer

Lawyers Helping Lawyers Avoid the Perils of Professional Discipline

Lexting: Instant Legal Advice

Q. My criminal defense client texted me that he really wants to testify. He's got loads of priors, and the prosecutor will eat him alive. How can I get my point across so that he stays far away from the witness stand?

A. For starters, don't even try to get your point across by texting. No matter how you phrase it, the wrong medium sends the wrong message.

If you really want to communicate the gravity of this issue, why would you address it in terse messages which are designed for quick, casual exchanges among social friends?

This is too serious of an issue to discuss in the form of text messages. In fact, most of the issues confronting our clients are too serious for texting. Simply put, text messages aren't designed for methodical explanations on issues of dire consequence.

As lawyers, we have an ethical duty to "explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation." We cannot leave this task to truncated texts that pop up on the phone of an individual who may read them while distracted with other things.

Sometimes, clients will text us precisely because they want to avoid serious discussions on unpleasant issues. It's our job to help our clients confront their fears and capture their undivided attention in an environment that promotes deliberation and a full discussion of all implications.

Since you are already on your cell phone, perhaps you can use it to call your client and arrange a face-to-face meeting.

Law-Man on the Totem Pole
Malware: The Other Virus

Related Posts

Attorney Grievance defense attorney specializes in defending lawyers in disciplinary proceedings before the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission and the D.C. Bar's Board on Professional Responsibility involving professional misconduct, legal ethics, disbarment, suspensions of law licenses, petitions for disciplinary action, reprimands and sanctions for unethical conduct. If you receive a letter from Bar Counsel Lydia Lawless, Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox, or from any attorney disciplinary board in Maryland or the District of Columbia, retain experienced attorneys with expertise in lawyer discipline and breach of ethics cases to avoid sanctions for professional misconduct. We help lawyers avoid disbarment, suspension, reprimands, censure and informal admonitions by drafting responses to client grievances and ethical complaints; representing lawyers in peer reviews, evidentiary hearings, and oral arguments before the BPR and the Court of Appeals; filing petitions to reinstate an attorney's license to practice law; conducting law firm ethical compliance audits; and drafting legal ethics opinions to protect lawyers from ethics charges. In many cases, disciplinary proceedings may be dismissed, dismissed with a warning, or result in a conditional diversion agreement with Bar Counsel to rectify misconduct. Lawyers may need help in managing their law firm attorney escrow IOLTA trust account and complying with attorney trust accounting rules to avoid charges of ethical misconduct. Do not represent yourself in responding to an attorney grievance, law firm client complaint, or other allegation of ethical impropriety. Attorney grievance defense counsel may help you comply with legal ethics rules, avoid sanctions like suspension or disbarment, and avoid future attorney grievances.


By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and Irwin R. Kramer who are responsible for the content of this informational website.   This website is designed for lawyers faced with attorney grievances. As cases do differ, past performance does not guarantee future results.