The Techno-Ethical Year in Review—More Traps for the Unwary | The Legal Intelligencer –

This column focuses on techno-ethics, the intersection of law, technology, ethics and practice management, topics that often cross in some unusual ways. Every year, it seems, there are events and cases that bring the topic to the fore, and 2021 was no different. While the topics vary widely, the events raise and address questions that cut across virtually every practice, and are often fascinating. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at a few of the 2021 techno-ethical highlights in the legal world.

Paying for Internet Client Referrals and Key Words

One of the basic ethical rules that every lawyer knows is that you cannot pay for client referrals. The Rules of Professional Conduct are clear, and this is one point that is so oft-repeated that it can seem numbing to hear. In the past, paying for referrals was akin to having a person “appear” at the scene of an accident. The individual would hand out lawyers’ cards and receive a payment in return. Thus, the term “ambulance chasers.”


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