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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Search For Clarity In Attorney's Duty To Google, Michael Murphy Aug 2020

The Search For Clarity In Attorney's Duty To Google, Michael Murphy

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Attorneys have a professional duty to investigate relevant facts about the matters on which they work. There is no specific rule or statute requiring that an attorney perform an internet search as part of this investigation. Yet attorneys have been found by judges to violate a “Duty to Google” when they have failed to conduct an internet search for relevant information about, for example, a claim, their own client, and even potential jurors in a trial.

So much information is now available to attorneys so easily in electronic search results, it is time to wonder where, when, and how much ...


The Trump Administration Should Have Attorney Whistleblowers, Carliss N. Chatman Aug 2020

The Trump Administration Should Have Attorney Whistleblowers, Carliss N. Chatman

Scholarly Articles

In the Godfather trilogy, lawyers do most of their work outside of the courtroom. The family’s lawyer, Tom Hagen, has the title of consigliere, serving as the boss’s right-hand man. He is legal counsel and also assists with business management and planning. This includes operation of the family’s criminal enterprise. In The Godfather, a lawyer is a fixer, an enforcer, and a collaborator. This conceptualization of the attorney role is not only unethical, it is illegal. Yet, it is the role currently assumed by our Attorney General, William “Bill” Barr, and White House Counsel, Pasquale “Pat” Cipollone ...


Speaking Volumes: The Failure Of American Courts To Address The Underlying Themes Of Silence And Patriarchy Within The Civil Order Of Protection Process In Davenport, Iowa, Catherine Priebe Jun 2020

Speaking Volumes: The Failure Of American Courts To Address The Underlying Themes Of Silence And Patriarchy Within The Civil Order Of Protection Process In Davenport, Iowa, Catherine Priebe

Sociology: Student Scholarship & Creative Works

Domestic abuse is a pervasive issue within the United States. Approximately three women will be murdered by an intimate partner every day and around half of all women will experience psychological abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime. As such, it is important to have legal avenues that survivors can pursue in order to ensure safety for themselves and their children. There are many obstacles to obtaining a civil order of protection despite it being the most common legal option survivors choose to pursue. Survivors must take on the burden of proof and hire their own attorney if they ...


A Typology Of Justice Department Lawyers' Roles And Responsibilities, Rebecca Roiphe Jun 2020

A Typology Of Justice Department Lawyers' Roles And Responsibilities, Rebecca Roiphe

Articles & Chapters

President Trump’s administration has persistently challenged the legitimacy of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”). In the past, DOJ, like other governmental institutions, has been fairly resilient. Informal norms and practices have served to preserve its proper functioning, even under pressure. The strain of the past three years, however, has been different in kind and scale. This Article offers a typology of different roles for DOJ lawyers and argues that over time the institution has evolved by allocating different functions and responsibilities to different positions within DOJ. By doing so, it has for the most part maintained the proper balance ...


Responding To Covid‐19: How To Navigate A Public Health Emergency Legally And Ethically, Lawrence O. Gostin, Eric A. Friedman, Sarah A. Wetter Mar 2020

Responding To Covid‐19: How To Navigate A Public Health Emergency Legally And Ethically, Lawrence O. Gostin, Eric A. Friedman, Sarah A. Wetter

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Widespread social separation is rapidly becoming the norm, including closure of schools and universities, tele-commuting to work, bans on large gatherings, and millions of people isolated in their homes or make-shift facilities. Bans on international travel are already pervasive. Domestic travel restrictions are exceedingly rare, but now within the realm of possibility. Officials are even discussing cordon sanitaires (guarded areas where people may not enter or leave), popularly described as “lockdowns” or mass quarantines.

When the health system becomes stretched beyond capacity, how can we ethically allocate scarce health goods and services? How can we ensure that marginalized populations can ...


Teaching Professional Responsibility Through Theater, Michael Millemann, Elliott Rauh, Robert Bowie Jr. Feb 2020

Teaching Professional Responsibility Through Theater, Michael Millemann, Elliott Rauh, Robert Bowie Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

This article is about ethics-focused, law school courses, co-taught with a theater director, in which students wrote, produced and performed in plays. The plays were about four men who, separately, were wrongfully convicted, spent decades in prison, and finally were released and exonerated, formally (two) or informally (two).

The common themes in these miscarriages of justice were that 1) unethical conduct of prosecutors (especially failures to disclose exculpatory evidence) and of defense counsel (especially incompetent representation) undermined the Rule of Law and produced wrongful convictions, and 2) conversely, that the ethical conduct of post-conviction lawyers and law students helped to ...


A Fiduciary Theory Of Prosecution, Bruce A. Green, Rebecca Roiphe Feb 2020

A Fiduciary Theory Of Prosecution, Bruce A. Green, Rebecca Roiphe

Articles & Chapters

Scholars have failed to arrive at a unifying theory of prosecution, one that explains the complex role that prosecutors play in our democratic system. This Article draws on a developing body of legal scholarship on fiduciary theory to offer a new paradigm that grounds prosecutors’ obligations in their historical role as fiduciaries. Casting prosecutors as fiduciaries clarifies the prosecutor’s obligation to seek justice, focuses attention on the duties of care and loyalty, and prioritizes criminal justice considerations over other public policy interests in prosecutorial charging and plea-bargaining decisions. As fiduciaries, prosecutors are required to engage in an explicit deliberative ...


Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility, Cleveland-Marshall College Of Law Library Jan 2020

Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility, Cleveland-Marshall College Of Law Library

Law Library Research Guides - Archived

No abstract provided.


Fiduciary Legal Ethics, Zeal, And Moral Activism, David Luban Jan 2020

Fiduciary Legal Ethics, Zeal, And Moral Activism, David Luban

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The recent turn to fiduciary theory among private lawyer scholars suggests that "lawyer as fiduciary" may provide a fresh justification for legal ethics distinct from moral and political accounts propounded by theorists in recent decades. This Article examines the justification and limits of fiduciary legal ethics. In the course of the investigation, it argues that the fiduciary relation of lawyer to client as defined in the ethics codes does not align perfectly with fiduciary principles in other legal domains, such as agency, trust, or corporate law. Lawyers are fiduciaries of their clients. Does that mean lawyers can never throttle back ...


Stay In The Fight With Civility And Professionalism, David Spratt Jan 2020

Stay In The Fight With Civility And Professionalism, David Spratt

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

No abstract provided.


Navigating Technology Competence In Transactional Practice, Lori D. Johnson Jan 2020

Navigating Technology Competence In Transactional Practice, Lori D. Johnson

Scholarly Works

In 2012, the American Bar Association House of Delegates, based on the work of the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, amended the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules) to include a new requirement concerning lawyer competence. The obligation, enacted as Comment 8 to existing Model Rule 1.1 (outlining a lawyer's requisite competence) (Rule 1.1), requires lawyers "keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology." To date, Comment 8 to Rule 1.1 (Comment 8 or the Comment) has been adopted in thirty-eight states, and ...


Training Law Students To Maintain Civility In Their Law Practices As A Way To Improve Public Discourse, Nancy B. Rapoport Jan 2020

Training Law Students To Maintain Civility In Their Law Practices As A Way To Improve Public Discourse, Nancy B. Rapoport

Scholarly Works

Our current social discourse is broken. Not only have we resorted to name-calling instead of reasoned discussion, but we have also resorted to the fundamental attribution error: we attribute bad motives to people with whose positions we disagree rather than starting with the presumption that, perhaps, buried deep within their positions could be a grain of truth. As Yoni Appelbaum observed in a recent article in The Atlantic, "Recent research by political scientists at Vanderbilt University and other institutions has found both Republicans and Democrats distressingly willing to dehumanize members of the opposite party."' We need to find a way ...


Ethical Blind Spots In Adoption Lawyering, Malinda L. Seymore Jan 2020

Ethical Blind Spots In Adoption Lawyering, Malinda L. Seymore

Faculty Scholarship

Lawyers engaged in adoption work often call it “happy law,” and consider adoption – finding a child for yearning parents, finding parents for a needy child – an unmitigated good. That attitude can mask the fact that all adoption begins with loss. One family loses a child so that another family can gain one. A lawyer’s assurance that she is engaged in positive work can lead to ethical blind spots that ignore the complexities of adoption practice. And while the touchstone of adoption is the best interests of the child, the primacy in legal ethics of the interests of the client ...


Towards A More Ethical Ll.M. Degree: Let's Give International Lawyers The Value They Deserve, Carrie Teitcher, Kathleen Darvil Jan 2020

Towards A More Ethical Ll.M. Degree: Let's Give International Lawyers The Value They Deserve, Carrie Teitcher, Kathleen Darvil

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


A New Frontier Facing Attorneys And Paralegals: The Promise & Challenges Of Artificial Intelligence As Applied To Law & Legal Decision-Making, Marissa Moran Jan 2020

A New Frontier Facing Attorneys And Paralegals: The Promise & Challenges Of Artificial Intelligence As Applied To Law & Legal Decision-Making, Marissa Moran

Publications and Research

Artificial Intelligence/AI invisibly navigates and informs our lives today and may also be used to determine a client’s legal fate. Through executive order, statements by a U.S. Supreme Court justice and a Congressional Commission on AI, all three branches of the United States government have addressed the use of AI to resolve societal and legal matters. Pursuant to the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct[i] and New York Rules of Professional Conduct (NYRPC), [ii] the legal profession recognizes the need for competency in technology which requires both substantive knowledge of law and competent use ...


Law School News: Among The Trailblazers 12/02/2019, Michael M. Bowden Dec 2019

Law School News: Among The Trailblazers 12/02/2019, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


To Kill A Mockingbird And Legal Ethics: On The Role Of Atticus Finch’S Attic Rhetoric In Fulfillment Of Duties To Client, To Court, To Society, And To Self, Michelle M. Kundmueller Dec 2019

To Kill A Mockingbird And Legal Ethics: On The Role Of Atticus Finch’S Attic Rhetoric In Fulfillment Of Duties To Client, To Court, To Society, And To Self, Michelle M. Kundmueller

Political Science & Geography Faculty Publications

Atticus Finch, protagonist of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and longtime hero of the American bar, is well known, but he is not well understood. This article unlocks the secret to his status as the most admired of fictional attorneys by demonstrating the role that his rhetoric plays in his exemplary fulfillment of the duties of an attorney to zealously represent clients, to serve as an officer of the court, and to act as a public citizen with a special responsibility for the quality of justice. Always using the simplest accurate wording, focusing on reason over emotion, and ...


Personality Disruption As Mental Torture: The Cia, Interrogational Abuse, And The U.S. Torture Act, David Luban, Katherine S. Newell Dec 2019

Personality Disruption As Mental Torture: The Cia, Interrogational Abuse, And The U.S. Torture Act, David Luban, Katherine S. Newell

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Article is a contribution to the torture debate. It argues that the abusive interrogation tactics used by the United States in what was then called the “global war on terrorism” are, unequivocally, torture under U.S. law. To some readers, this might sound like déjà vu all over again. Hasn’t this issue been picked over for nearly fifteen years? It has, but we think the legal analysis we offer has been mostly overlooked. We argue that the basic character of the CIA’s interrogation of so-called “high-value detainees” has been misunderstood: both lawyers and commentators have placed far ...


Law School News: Aals Honors Barron With Major Pro Bono Award 11/14/2019, Michael M. Bowden Nov 2019

Law School News: Aals Honors Barron With Major Pro Bono Award 11/14/2019, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Gatekeepers, Cultural Captives, Or Knaves? Corporate Lawyers Through Different Lenses, Donald C. Langevoort Oct 2019

Gatekeepers, Cultural Captives, Or Knaves? Corporate Lawyers Through Different Lenses, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Studying the behavior of high-status corporate lawyers is challenging. Much writing (including some of my own) addresses the risk of lawyer enabling of client misconduct by drawing from work in behavioral ethics suggesting that at least some apparent complicity is without full awareness of the impropriety. Is this naïve? The first part of this essay pushes harder on consciousness by looking more closely at the lengthy continuum—not a binary yes/no—in the awareness of wrongdoing risk as heavily influenced by the “slippery slope.” Looking at corporate lawyers’ professional responsibility through this lens has some interesting, and as far ...


The Virtue Of Vulnerability: Mindfulness And Well-Being In Law Schools And The Legal Profession, Nathalie Martin Oct 2019

The Virtue Of Vulnerability: Mindfulness And Well-Being In Law Schools And The Legal Profession, Nathalie Martin

Faculty Scholarship

This article examines the role of vulnerability in transforming individual relationships, particularly the attorney-client relationship. In this essay, Martin argues that broadening our expressions can improve our client relations and decrease the likelihood that when that inevitable mistake occurs, we will be sued for it. Also, based upon virtue ethics, that practicing vulnerability is also virtuous and thus worthwhile in and of itself.

This essay starts by describing the traits people look for in lawyers as well as evidence that clients often feel that their lawyers are less than human. Then examines how legal education contributes to this problem by ...


In Re: Discipline Of James Colin, 135 Nev. Adv. Op. 43 (Sep. 19, 2019), Jose Tafoya Sep 2019

In Re: Discipline Of James Colin, 135 Nev. Adv. Op. 43 (Sep. 19, 2019), Jose Tafoya

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

The court found James Colin made statements he knew were false or with reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge. Colin also engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. The court suspended him for six months and one day.


Fictional Pleas, Thea B. Johnson Jul 2019

Fictional Pleas, Thea B. Johnson

Faculty Publications

A fictional plea is one in which the defendant pleads guilty to a crime he has not committed with the knowledge of the defense attorney, prosecutor and judge. With fictional pleas, the plea of conviction is totally detached from the original factual allegations against the defendant. As criminal justice actors become increasingly troubled by the impact of collateral consequences on defendants, the fictional plea serves as an appealing response to this concern. It allows the parties to achieve parallel aims: the prosecutor holds the defendant accountable in the criminal system, while the defendant avoids devastating non-criminal consequences. In this context ...


Judging Judges Fifty Years After – Was Judge Julius Hoffman’S Conduct So Different?, Bennett L. Gershman Jul 2019

Judging Judges Fifty Years After – Was Judge Julius Hoffman’S Conduct So Different?, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

In Chicago, Illinois--and in courtrooms across the United States--judicial misconduct has affected trial outcomes as long as there have been trials. While Judge Julius Hoffman's conduct in the “Chicago Eight” trial is an egregious example of judicial behavior toward criminal defendants, this piece's examination of at least ten different categories of misconduct in dozens of cases makes the argument that misbehavior by judges is less of an exception to the rule of impartiality than the thinking public might know. In considering these brazen examples, practitioners and academics alike can evaluate how to best confront the extent to which ...


Judging During Crises: Can Judges Protect The Facts?, Lissa Griffin Jul 2019

Judging During Crises: Can Judges Protect The Facts?, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

With the advent of instantaneous information and the trend toward shrinking adherence to the truth, the conversation surrounding the ability of judges to conduct outside research into the matters before them is gaining urgency. In a “post-truth” world, the role that the judiciary plays in our democracy must shift from trier of fact to guardian of factual integrity. And to do this, the professional ethics rules assigned to the judiciary may need re-evaluation.

This Essay argues that the judiciary's ambivalence to its role as fact finder must be overcome, and where appropriate, judges may be empowered to seek out ...


Lessons From The Mueller Report, Part Ii: Bipartisan Perspectives: Hearing Before The H. Comm. On The Judiciary, 116th Cong., June 20, 2019 (Statement Of Carrie Cordero), Carrie F. Cordero Jun 2019

Lessons From The Mueller Report, Part Ii: Bipartisan Perspectives: Hearing Before The H. Comm. On The Judiciary, 116th Cong., June 20, 2019 (Statement Of Carrie Cordero), Carrie F. Cordero

Testimony Before Congress

No abstract provided.


From Decoder Rings To Deep Fakes: Translating Complex Technologies For Legal Education, Jason Tubinis, Rachel S. Evans Jun 2019

From Decoder Rings To Deep Fakes: Translating Complex Technologies For Legal Education, Jason Tubinis, Rachel S. Evans

Presentations

Technological developments are disrupting the practice of law” is a common refrain, but the last few years has seen some particularly complex pieces of technology become the hot new thing in legal tech. This session will look at blockchain, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and ‘Deep Fakes’ as examples of how instructors can stay abreast of technological developments and inform themselves about their impacts in the legal profession. Then we will look at how to translate the complexities and jargon of these examples into lessons for for-credit courses, one-off informational sessions, or meetings with stakeholders.

Learning outcomes:

  • Participants will be able ...


Promoting Discipline Specific Literacy For Law & Paralegal Studies Students: Libguides As Transitional & Professional Tools, Marissa Moran, Kimberly Abrams May 2019

Promoting Discipline Specific Literacy For Law & Paralegal Studies Students: Libguides As Transitional & Professional Tools, Marissa Moran, Kimberly Abrams

Publications and Research

Developing LibGuides for Law and Paralegal Studies students at New York City College of Technology arose from the following question: how do we change the way legal studies students think of the Library as a resource to better assist them in their transition to college level-research and a future career as a paralegal. At the heart of this question is the importance of discipline-specific information literacy at the college and professional levels. Many students have difficulty with locating relevant information to complete course assignments partly because library resources are both fragmented and cohesive. Thus, while part of the transition to ...


The Lawyer As Superhero: How Marvel Comics' Daredevil Depicts The American Court System And Legal Practice, Louis Michael Rosen May 2019

The Lawyer As Superhero: How Marvel Comics' Daredevil Depicts The American Court System And Legal Practice, Louis Michael Rosen

Faculty Scholarship

This article will explore on the portrayal of lawyers and the legal system in Daredevil comic books, particularly issues published in the Twenty-First Century. Because the Daredevil movie and the first two seasons of the Netflix television series have already been examined from various legal perspectives in past articles, this piece will highlight legal storylines from the comics themselves. This exploration is important because writers of future Netflix seasons will surely draw story elements from the comics discussed here and will very likely adapt these exact stories, encouraging the larger television audience to seek out and read the original comics ...


Search Engines And Internet Defamation: Of Publication And Legal Responsibility, Gary Kok Yew Chan May 2019

Search Engines And Internet Defamation: Of Publication And Legal Responsibility, Gary Kok Yew Chan

Research Collection School Of Law

When the Internet user keys a search term and clicks “enter”, a series of snippets, images and html links will appear typically running into several web pages. In the case of Autocomplete suggestions, the result appearing on the bar changes with each keystroke even before the user clicks “enter”. As a result, in the course of finding search results from the original search term, the user is constantly provided with suggestions of other search terms. The search results and Autocomplete suggestions may be defamatory of individuals and businesses by associating them with dishonest and improper activities or conduct. Should search ...