There’s an app for that

The New York State Bar Association has launched a new app that allows you to search and read the Ethics Opinions of the Committee on Professional Ethics.  You can find it here.

I have downloaded it to my iPhone, where it now sits directly below “Talk Penguin.”  It is sure to be a hit with the kids.

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Link Ethically

1. Would it be ethical to use a nuclear weapon, in violation of an anti-nuclear weapons pact, if you used it against a country without nuclear weapons?  This is a ramped-up version of the historical scenario discussed at this interesting blog post at Ethics for Adversaries.  A related question is whether use of the weapon would, on a gross basis, result in fewer lives loss.  Do we care if the lost lives are evenly distributed between nations?

2. Business ethics for superheros.  At the “Superheros Guide to Heroism!,” which I have so far found to be quite a brilliant blog.  To wit:

For example, if a superhero fights the head of an evil corporation, there is no conflict.  However, if that hero holds stock in a rival corporation, there’s a problem.  Are we sure the hero is fighting the corporation simply because it is evil?  Or is it possible the hero is fighting to make money?

New York State Bar Association – Committee on Professional Ethics Opinions

Here are some of the key NYSBA Committee on Professional Ethics opinions discussing the types of marketing that transactional attorneys are likely to engage in on the internet:

1. Ethics Opinion No. 848 – deals with newsletters and blog posts.

2. Ethics Opinion No. 873 – offering a prize for joining an attorney’s social networking site.   This might not be quite as sleazy as it first sounds.

3. Ethics Opinion No. 877 – permissible material on a firm’s website.

4. Ethics Opinion No. 888 – links to other businesses on law firm website.

5. Ethics Opinion No. 897 – use of “Groupon” and similar coupon opportunities.  For what type of service is this a good marketing strategy?

6. Ethics Opinion No. 899 – interaction in real-time online, as in a chatroom.

7. Ethics Opinion No. 842 – deals with storing data in the “cloud.”  Not marketing, but certainly topical.

There certainly may be others, and as I locate them I will post them.

Welcome to Think Ethically

Welcome to Think Ethically. This blog is dedicated to exploring the ethical rules governing attorney marketing in New York. It’s written by attorneys trying to live by those rules (and with them) while trying to grow their practices and represent their clients. This blog will also explore the foundations of ethics in general, and will search for lessons in ethical failures in society at large.

Thanks for joining us.