12
February
2018
|
11:25 PM
America/Chicago

Top five takeaways from the January-February 2018 issue of the Journal of The Missouri Bar

by Gary Toohey, editor and director of communication

Summary

When the statute under which the plaintiff brought suit defines “costs” to include fees, offers of judgment can be an effective tool for defendants.

TopFiveTakeaways_JanFeb2018

When the statute under which the plaintiff brought suit defines “costs” to include fees, offers of judgment can be an effective tool for defendants. In this issue’s cover article, St. Louis lawyer Jeffrey D. Lester explores questions related to awarding attorney’s fees, including the use of ordinary settlement offers to mitigate fee awards where offers of judgment cannot do so.

“Virtual assistants” are becoming increasingly commonplace in homes and offices, performing tasks as diverse as ordering food to answering obscure questions from their owners. But authors Robert D. Lang and Lenore E. Benesserre warn that lawyers need to be increasingly aware that data on these devices—including conversations—can be accessed, become discoverable and later be introduced into evidence in court.

Society is in the midst of a huge wave of baby boomers reaching retirement age. However, many boomer lawyers are reluctant—or feel unable—to retire. What happens when an aging lawyer continues to practice beyond the point where their health and abilities become a professional liability? As discussed in this piece, the challenges are many—as are the opportunities to remain productive.

In his first “Taxes in Your Practice” column of 2018, Kansas City practitioner Scott E. Vincent discusses selected provisions of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act likely to impact lawyers and their business organizations. These include reduced tax rates for traditional C corporations; a new deduction for “pass-through” entities taxed as partnerships, S corporations and sole proprietorships; and much more.

Missouri Supreme Court Rule 4-1.6 limits what client information a lawyer can reveal. But when a lawyer is subpoenaed to testify about or produce confidential information, questions arise as to whether applicable law authorizes compliance with the subpoena—and whether the subpoena, issued under authority of a court, constitutes a court order. In this issue’s “Ethics” column, Sandra J. Colhour, assistant legal ethics counsel for the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri, offers guidance to lawyers faced with this complex ethical dilemma.