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Solo and Small Firm

The Practitioner Spring 2019, Volume 25, Issue 2

CryptoCurrency: New Rules, New Money, New Issues

By David M. Majchrzak

David M. Majchrzak is a seasoned ethicist, law firm risk management consultant, civil litigator, and certified specialist in legal malpractice law by the State Bar of California. He is a shareholder of Klinedinst PC. He currently serves as the immediate past chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s invitation-only Legal Ethics Committee, a director and secretary for both the San Diego County Bar Association and the Association of Discipline Defense Counsel, and a director for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Alumni Association. He also serves as the chair of the Integration and Engagement Committee and a member of the Future of Lawyering Committee of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. He recently completed service as a three-year member of the State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, and chair of its outreach committee.

In a traditional transaction, California lawyers receive U.S. dollars in exchange for providing legal services. But it is not unheard of to see transactions where lawyers are compensated in different ways. Most typically, alternate payments come through the provision of goods. There are, of course, other options. The most recent of these alternate payment trends is toward the use of cryptocurrency.

California does not yet have any opinions—whether through case law or from its several ethics organizations—on this subject. Therefore, this piece addresses what the author believes would be a common sense approach to addressing a situation that is perhaps ahead of even the recently revised Rules of Professional Conduct.

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