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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Commons

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A Tort In Search Of A Remedy: Prying Open The Courthouse Doors For Legal Malpractice Victims, Susan S. Fortney 2017 Texas A&M University School of Law

A Tort In Search Of A Remedy: Prying Open The Courthouse Doors For Legal Malpractice Victims, Susan S. Fortney

Fordham Law Review

Using this broad connotation of justice, this Article questions whether many victims of legal malpractice are denied access to justice. In writing about the regulatory function of legal malpractice as a tort, Professor John Leubsdorf argues that legal malpractice relates to three important functions of the law of lawyering: “[D]elineating the duties of lawyers, creating appropriate incentives and disincentives for lawyers in their dealings with clients and others, and providing access to remedies for those injured by improper lawyer behavior.” Arguably, persons injured by lawyer misconduct are denied access to justice if our civil liability system does not provide ...


Mass Torts And The Pursuit Of Ethical Finality, Lynn A. Baker 2017 University of Texas Law School

Mass Torts And The Pursuit Of Ethical Finality, Lynn A. Baker

Fordham Law Review

Judges, lawyers, and academics largely agree that comprehensive finality is a central goal of mass tort litigation and settlements. More controversial is whether such finality is normatively preferable, inherently ethically problematic, or can be achieved through nonclass aggregate settlements without running afoul of the existing ethics rules. This Article joins this important debate.


Demosprudence On Trial: Ethics For Movement Lawyers, In Ferguson And Beyond, Justin Hansford 2017 Saint Louis Univeristy School of Law

Demosprudence On Trial: Ethics For Movement Lawyers, In Ferguson And Beyond, Justin Hansford

Fordham Law Review

This Article suggests that although civil litigation remains a viable tool, the vanishing trial has limited impact on movement lawyers because we can use the law to promote social change outside of the courtroom. The demosprudence framework helps us to understand this process. By applying this framework to the movement lawyering context, movement lawyers can adapt to the void in voice created by the vanishing trial in civil litigation and still help the movement.


Lawyers' Ethics Beyond The Vanishing Trial: Unrepresented Claimaints, De Facto Aggregations, Arbitration Mandates, And Privatized Processes, Judith Resnik 2017 Fordham Law School

Lawyers' Ethics Beyond The Vanishing Trial: Unrepresented Claimaints, De Facto Aggregations, Arbitration Mandates, And Privatized Processes, Judith Resnik

Fordham Law Review

Trials are a vivid variable in the world of litigation, as reflected in the title of this colloquium, Civil Litigation Ethics at a Time of Vanishing Trials. The conveners have wisely drawn attention to the disjuncture between legal ethics and today’s litigation world. In this Introduction, I argue that the challenges for lawyers loom larger than those reflected in the declining rate of trials. More facets of contemporary dispute resolution need to be engaged when contemplating the topics and roles that legal ethics need to address in the decades to come.


A Tort In Search Of A Remedy: Prying Open The Courthouse Doors For Legal Malpractice Victims, Susan S. Fortney 2017 Texas A&M University School of Law

A Tort In Search Of A Remedy: Prying Open The Courthouse Doors For Legal Malpractice Victims, Susan S. Fortney

Fordham Law Review

Using this broad connotation of justice, this Article questions whether many victims of legal malpractice are denied access to justice. In writing about the regulatory function of legal malpractice as a tort, Professor John Leubsdorf argues that legal malpractice relates to three important functions of the law of lawyering: “[D]elineating the duties of lawyers, creating appropriate incentives and disincentives for lawyers in their dealings with clients and others, and providing access to remedies for those injured by improper lawyer behavior.” Arguably, persons injured by lawyer misconduct are denied access to justice if our civil liability system does not provide ...


Demosprudence On Trial: Ethics For Movement Lawyers, In Ferguson And Beyond, Justin Hansford 2017 Saint Louis Univeristy School of Law

Demosprudence On Trial: Ethics For Movement Lawyers, In Ferguson And Beyond, Justin Hansford

Fordham Law Review

This Article suggests that although civil litigation remains a viable tool, the vanishing trial has limited impact on movement lawyers because we can use the law to promote social change outside of the courtroom. The demosprudence framework helps us to understand this process. By applying this framework to the movement lawyering context, movement lawyers can adapt to the void in voice created by the vanishing trial in civil litigation and still help the movement.


Lawyers' Ethics Beyond The Vanishing Trial: Unrepresented Claimaints, De Facto Aggregations, Arbitration Mandates, And Privatized Processes, Judith Resnik 2017 Fordham Law School

Lawyers' Ethics Beyond The Vanishing Trial: Unrepresented Claimaints, De Facto Aggregations, Arbitration Mandates, And Privatized Processes, Judith Resnik

Fordham Law Review

Trials are a vivid variable in the world of litigation, as reflected in the title of this colloquium, Civil Litigation Ethics at a Time of Vanishing Trials. The conveners have wisely drawn attention to the disjuncture between legal ethics and today’s litigation world. In this Introduction, I argue that the challenges for lawyers loom larger than those reflected in the declining rate of trials. More facets of contemporary dispute resolution need to be engaged when contemplating the topics and roles that legal ethics need to address in the decades to come.


Settlement In The Absence Of Anticipated Adjudication, Howard M. Erichson 2017 Fordham University School of Law

Settlement In The Absence Of Anticipated Adjudication, Howard M. Erichson

Fordham Law Review

This Article begins with an account of the lawyer’s role in settlement in what we might call the traditional litigation scenario—that is, litigation in which settlement negotiations are conducted in the shadow of anticipated adjudication. This Article then considers four scenarios in which the anticipation of adjudication is altered—resource inadequacy, judicial settlement pressure, lengthy calendar, and class actions not certified for litigation—and asks what effect we should expect each scenario to have on the interests of lawyers and clients regarding settlement. The final part asks what light this analysis sheds on the phenomenon of vanishing trials ...


The Public Believes Predispute Binding Arbitration Clauses Are Unjust: Ethical Implications For Dispute-System Design In The Time Of Vanishing Trials, Victor D. Quintanilla, Alexander B. Avtgis 2017 Indiana Univeristy, Maurer School of Law

The Public Believes Predispute Binding Arbitration Clauses Are Unjust: Ethical Implications For Dispute-System Design In The Time Of Vanishing Trials, Victor D. Quintanilla, Alexander B. Avtgis

Fordham Law Review

Drawing on these findings, we discuss the pressing need for a wider ethic that applies to transactional attorneys who design binding arbitration clauses within adhesion contracts. We also draw lessons from behavioral legal ethics and social psychology. These lessons reveal that this wider ethic may be endangered by the situational influences that currently operate within law firms (and in-house) due to these two intersecting patterns. We discuss ways of altering the regulatory environment to encourage the wider ethic to flourish.


Restraining Lawyers: From “Cases” To “Tasks”, Morris A. Ratner 2017 UC Hastings College of Law

Restraining Lawyers: From “Cases” To “Tasks”, Morris A. Ratner

Fordham Law Review

These regulatory and market mechanisms for restraining lawyers share a common thread but differ in their purposes, efficacy, and fairness. Despite these differences, the growing intensity of their focus, and their possible amplification of each other, suggest the possibility of the emergence of new professional norms that call on litigators to think more deeply and inclusively about value from the perspective of court and client when making litigation choices.


Due Process Without Judicial Process?: Antiadversarialism In American Legal Culture, Norman W. Spaulding 2017 Stanford Law School

Due Process Without Judicial Process?: Antiadversarialism In American Legal Culture, Norman W. Spaulding

Fordham Law Review

For decades now, American scholars of procedure and legal ethics have remarked upon the death of the jury trial. If jury trial is not in fact dead as an institution for the resolution of disputes, it is certainly “vanishing.” Even in complex litigation, courts tend to facilitate nonadjudicative resolutions—providing sites for aggregation, selection of counsel, fact gathering, and finality (via issue and claim preclusion)—rather than trial on the merits in any conventional sense of the term. In some high-stakes criminal cases and a fraction of civil cases, jury trial will surely continue well into the twenty-first century. Wall-to-wall ...


Due Process Without Judicial Process?: Antiadversarialism In American Legal Culture, Norman W. Spaulding 2017 Stanford Law School

Due Process Without Judicial Process?: Antiadversarialism In American Legal Culture, Norman W. Spaulding

Fordham Law Review

For decades now, American scholars of procedure and legal ethics have remarked upon the death of the jury trial. If jury trial is not in fact dead as an institution for the resolution of disputes, it is certainly “vanishing.” Even in complex litigation, courts tend to facilitate nonadjudicative resolutions—providing sites for aggregation, selection of counsel, fact gathering, and finality (via issue and claim preclusion)—rather than trial on the merits in any conventional sense of the term. In some high-stakes criminal cases and a fraction of civil cases, jury trial will surely continue well into the twenty-first century. Wall-to-wall ...


The Public Believes Predispute Binding Arbitration Clauses Are Unjust: Ethical Implications For Dispute-System Design In The Time Of Vanishing Trials, Victor D. Quintanilla, Alexander B. Avtgis 2017 Indiana Univeristy, Maurer School of Law

The Public Believes Predispute Binding Arbitration Clauses Are Unjust: Ethical Implications For Dispute-System Design In The Time Of Vanishing Trials, Victor D. Quintanilla, Alexander B. Avtgis

Fordham Law Review

Drawing on these findings, we discuss the pressing need for a wider ethic that applies to transactional attorneys who design binding arbitration clauses within adhesion contracts. We also draw lessons from behavioral legal ethics and social psychology. These lessons reveal that this wider ethic may be endangered by the situational influences that currently operate within law firms (and in-house) due to these two intersecting patterns. We discuss ways of altering the regulatory environment to encourage the wider ethic to flourish.


Restraining Lawyers: From “Cases” To “Tasks”, Morris A. Ratner 2017 UC Hastings College of Law

Restraining Lawyers: From “Cases” To “Tasks”, Morris A. Ratner

Fordham Law Review

These regulatory and market mechanisms for restraining lawyers share a common thread but differ in their purposes, efficacy, and fairness. Despite these differences, the growing intensity of their focus, and their possible amplification of each other, suggest the possibility of the emergence of new professional norms that call on litigators to think more deeply and inclusively about value from the perspective of court and client when making litigation choices.


Benchslaps, Joseph P. Mastrosimone 2017 Washburn University School of Law

Benchslaps, Joseph P. Mastrosimone

Utah Law Review

The practice of judges issuing so-called benchslaps is growing both in popularity and concern. Such published decisions and orders seek to publicly shame lawyers for their alleged unethical or unprofessional lawyering. Legal blogs have picked up on this trend, celebrating and elevating benchslaps to become a part of legal popular culture. However, the practice of using embarrassing and belittling published decisions to punish or to deter unethical or professional conduct raises serious concerns that the issuing judge is violating his or her own ethical duties.

This Article criticizes the practice and concludes that it must end based on three arguments ...


Lawyer Discipline In An Authoritarian Regime: Empirical Insights From Zhejiang Province, China, Judith A. McMorrow, Benjamin Van Rooij, Sida Liu 2017 Boston College Law School

Lawyer Discipline In An Authoritarian Regime: Empirical Insights From Zhejiang Province, China, Judith A. Mcmorrow, Benjamin Van Rooij, Sida Liu

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

On paper the state-run lawyer disciplinary system in China serves multiple interests: client protection, maintaining the reputation of the legal profession, upholding the rule of law, and safeguarding the party-state authority. This Article assesses which of these interests dominates in the lawyer disciplinary process by analyzing 122 published lawyer discipline cases from Zhejiang Province from 2007-2015. These records of lawyer discipline evidence an authoritarian political logic of attorney discipline, with punishment most clearly serving to safeguard the Communist Party's rule by keeping lawyers in bounds and tightly tied to their law firms. Subordinate to this are other state interests ...


Marking The Path From Law Student To Lawyer: Using Field Placement Courses To Facilitate The Deliberate Exploration Of Professional Identity And Purpose, Timothy W. Floyd, Kendall L. Kerew 2017 Mercer University School of Law

Marking The Path From Law Student To Lawyer: Using Field Placement Courses To Facilitate The Deliberate Exploration Of Professional Identity And Purpose, Timothy W. Floyd, Kendall L. Kerew

Faculty Publications By Year

No abstract provided.


Evaluating Systemic Advocacy: A Primer & Tools For Evaluating Systemic Advocacy In Ontario's Legal Clinics, Gemma Smyth 2017 Faculty of Law, University of Windsor

Evaluating Systemic Advocacy: A Primer & Tools For Evaluating Systemic Advocacy In Ontario's Legal Clinics, Gemma Smyth

Law Publications

No abstract provided.


Rethinking The Foundational Critiques Of Lawyers In Social Movements, Scott L. Cummings 2017 UCLA School of Law

Rethinking The Foundational Critiques Of Lawyers In Social Movements, Scott L. Cummings

Fordham Law Review

This Article argues that the current moment invites reconsideration of these critiques. The rise of new social movements—from marriage equality to Black Lives Matter to the recent mobilization against President Trump’s immigration order—and the response of a new generation of movement lawyers eager to lend support has refocused attention on the appropriate role that lawyers should play in advancing progressive social change. Rather than fall back on familiar critical themes, the time is ripe for developing a new affirmative vision.


Mass Torts And The Pursuit Of Ethical Finality, Lynn A. Baker 2017 University of Texas Law School

Mass Torts And The Pursuit Of Ethical Finality, Lynn A. Baker

Fordham Law Review

Judges, lawyers, and academics largely agree that comprehensive finality is a central goal of mass tort litigation and settlements. More controversial is whether such finality is normatively preferable, inherently ethically problematic, or can be achieved through nonclass aggregate settlements without running afoul of the existing ethics rules. This Article joins this important debate.


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