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Ethical Considerations

To Offer Sabbaticals or Not to Offer Sabbaticals… And if I Do, Should I Pay?

A Tale of Two Tricky (and Sometimes Dangerous) Dilemmas

Recently, I gave a webinar on establishing eligibility and procedures for taking sabbaticals and unpaid leaves of absence through Lorman Education Services. I thought some of the information I discussed might be of interest to our clients in the San Luis Obispo area, many of whom are cutting edge technology companies. This blog post will focus on sabbaticals, which are gaining popularity as companies struggle to recruit and retain talented, top-notch employees.

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Privacy Policies: Are You in Compliance?

My previous post was regarding cybersecurity and some of the dangers lurking behind our widely-used “secure” technologies and authentication systems. A related issue is what you, as a business owner, chief technology officer or other data collector, must do to advise customers and other users of your website of your privacy policies and procedures – in short, how are you going to protect their identities, credit card information and other personal data you collect? This post will address what is legally required of you if you collect any sort of data, as well as the question of whether you need to implement Terms and Conditions. Hint: the answer is yes!

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Cybersecurity: Are You Protected?
Cybersecurity: Are You Protected?

I recently had the privilege of attending a TED talk-style seminar on cybersecurity at my alma mater, UCLA. The information I learned at this session certainly gave me pause, and I was anxious to share the information I learned with our clients and other readers of our blog. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the lively discussion was the panelists – one, the former general counsel of the National Security Agency (“NSA”) and the other, a benevolent hacker.

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Tenant Leaves Pet Behind. What’s a Landlord to do?

You are a landlord and you suspect your tenant has moved on but left behind her personal property, including her dog.  You’re savvy enough to know that the law views pets as personal property and you’re worried about getting dinged for removing a tenant’s property without a court order or giving written notice as required by statute.  

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The California State Bar and the Accused Trust Attorney

Sometimes it seems like the news is full of stories about attorneys being investigated and even arrested for taking money that belongs to a client or someone else.  You may have recently heard about an attorney that you know and even like whose office was visited by State Bar investigators while he was escorted to jail.  So let’s just say for fun that you recently sat down in front of the TV or picked up the newspaper only to see a local attorney’s actions splashed on the news.  You then learn that investigators from the State Bar of California descended into the attorney’s law office and removed the client files.  What is going on?  It’s not your trust attorney but should you still be worried?

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Social Media Policies

Just a short while ago the response of business to employees’ use of social media during the workday was simply that it was not allowed.  More recently, as the line between personal and business use of social media blurs, businesses are developing social media policies to be used in the workplace.  Such policies serve the purpose of clarifying appropriate use of technology while at work while acknowledging that employees take advantage of technology throughout the day for personal and business reasons. 

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Professionals and Social Media

We pride ourselves on our ability to effectively communicate with coworkers, clients and the community at large via an array of technological tools.   Professionally, we may be members of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or a host of other social media networks. 

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Cupid Client

With Valentine’s Day behind us, now might be a good time to talk about attorney client relations.  The next time your phone call is placed on hold for an interminable time or you find yourself without reading material while waiting for an airplane, take a look at attorney reviews.  Scroll past the eponymous posts and the ones that disclose or admit sharing the same gene pool, to find the real opinions.

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Of Counsel or Off Counsel

What’s your definition of the term “Of Counsel”?   Your idea of Of Counsel may just depend on whether you are a retired judge, or a lawyer seeking to keep your hand in the practice of law.  Or perhaps you’re a young, dynamic attorney looking to market your firm and want to reach a wider constituency either by adding an Of Counsel to your firm or by having yourself designated as Of Counsel at another firm.

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