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Author Archives: The Hon. John E. Bernacki

Ex-Syracuse lawyer sentenced for defrauding Social Security

SYRACUSE (AP) — A former Syracuse lawyer has been sentenced to weekends behind bars for six months and five years of probation for collecting more than $250,000 in disability payments while continuing his legal work. The U.S. attorney’s office in ...

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Ethically Speaking: Sharing fees with non-lawyers: It’s a balancing act

These days, the legal marketplace is becoming increasingly complicated — and more competitive. Solo and small firm attorneys are now competing with legal self-help websites like Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer, which provide legal consumers with free fill-in-the-blank forms and ...

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Ethically Speaking: How many hats can a lawyer ethically wear?

When providing legal services, lawyers often wear different hats: legal advisor, business and tax authority, social worker and even counselor. And occasionally, in addition to fulfilling a number of different roles while acting as an attorney, some lawyers provide services ...

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Ethically Speaking: Conflicts of interest between prosecutors, defense counsel

Interesting ethical issues often arise in the context of criminal cases — especially where prosecutors hold part-time positions and are permitted to practice law or otherwise conduct business when not fulfilling their duties as a prosecuting attorney. This is because ...

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Ethically Speaking: The ethics of mortgage foreclosure proceedings

Many lawyers in our community accept appointments as referees in mortgage foreclosure proceedings. These appointments are generally quite straightforward, but as is the case whenever an attorney handles any type of matter, potential conflicts of interest may arise which may ...

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