Cast your vote re: ghostwriting

I’ve received the following email 3 times. It’s time for me to share!

Following an article published yesterday, titled Kansas Ethics Opinion Requires Disclosure on Ghostwritten Pleadings, the ABA Journal has created a poll on ghostwriting.  Visit the site at www.abajournal.com to cast your vote in the poll “Is Ghostwriting Legal Documents Ethical?”.

Scroll down the screen to see the poll, which is located on the right side of the home page.  We’re not sure how long the poll will be open, so be sure to vote today.

This issue is particularly relevant for those of us interested in limited scope representation.

Limited scope representation varies state by state, but generally, it allows attorneys to provide a discrete service and is considered by many to increase access to justice – due to reduced costs for legal services.

A litigant or client may pay for someone to write a letter on their behalf or write their court documents, but complete their legal representation at that point.

Ghostwriting is when the attorney writes the documents for the client. In some states, the attorney does not have to sign their name; in others, it is mandatory.

What do you think? Case your vote at www.abajournal.com.

-RFW

Yea Alabama!

For all of you who don’t know, “Yea Alabama” is  the University of Alabama’s (my alma mater) fight song.  However, I’m using this phrase  completely outside of its usual context, which is Crimson Tide football (although I have no problem using the phrase in that context at all).

Frequently, I become tired of hearing people criticize the state of Alabama and how “backwards” it is.   Here, however, is something progressive the state has done.  Check out page 2 of the Civil Right to Counsel Update.

In 2008, both Alabama and Louisiana signed into law statutes recognizing a right to counsel, not only where the state seeks to terminate parental rights, but also where the other parent seeks to terminate parental rights.  This is a great step forward, especially after hearing testimony at some of the S.C. Access to Justice Commission hearings from fathers who wanted to play a role in their children’s lives but who had problems securing their parental rights because of lack of funds.

http://www.civilrighttocounsel.org/pdfs/2008-10-13-newsletter.pdf

Also, as you may have seen in the issue linked above, the state of Alaska’s Supreme Court is poised to make similar determinations in the near future. The issue being whether Alaska’s constitution requires publicly funded counsel for  indigent parents in child custody procedures where the opposing party has private counsel.

Read here for the latest update:

 http://www.civilrighttocounsel.org/pdfs/2008-12%20Update.pdf

– Alex