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A Penal Colony For Bad Lawyers, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2018

A Penal Colony For Bad Lawyers, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

In this article I set out what I believe is an extreme and unconventional way to discipline egregiously bad lawyers. For starters, I think it might be useful to survey briefly the kinds of lawyering conduct currently subject to disciplinary sanctions. Regulation of the conduct of defense lawyers in the U.S. is hedged by various legal and professional rules that are enforced by courts and disciplinary bodies essentially to ensure a minimum level of competent and ethical representation. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel--the so-called “sacred” right--seeks to ensure at least a reasonable degree of lawyering skill. Also, professional ...


Themes Of Injustice: Wrongful Convictions, Racial Prejudice, And Lawyer Incompetence, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1993

Themes Of Injustice: Wrongful Convictions, Racial Prejudice, And Lawyer Incompetence, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The U. S. criminal justice system has undergone radical changes in the past generation. Crime is more complex; prosecutors are more powerful; and courts, corrections agencies, and defense services are burdened with larger case loads and tighter budgets. It is not the best of times to talk about justice. Yet, it is a subject that needs to be constantly addressed, particularly in times of crisis. The following essay focuses on some of the problems that present themselves in the criminal justice system today, including the conviction of innocent defendants, especially in capital cases; racial prejudice; and lawyer incompetence.


The Adversarial System At Risk, Bennett L. Gershman Apr 1990

The Adversarial System At Risk, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The most ominous recent development affecting the balance of forces in the adversary system is the unprecedented attack by prosecutors on criminal defense lawyers themselves. Grand jury subpoenas to attorneys, law office searches, disqualification motions, fee forfeiture proceedings, and, most recently, IRS attempts to enforce currency-reporting regulations do not seem to be isolated occurrences or mere happenstance. Rather, perhaps inspired by Shakespeare's injunction in Henry VI to "kill all the lawyers," some prosecutors appear to have concluded that the most effective way to prevail in the battle against crime is to cripple the defense lawyers, particularly those who represent ...