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Purpose, Practical Wisdom, And The Formation Of Trustworthy Lawyers, Kenneth Townsend Jun 2024

Purpose, Practical Wisdom, And The Formation Of Trustworthy Lawyers, Kenneth Townsend

Mercer Law Review

Lawyers have a “special responsibility for the quality of justice” in our nation and are expected to “further the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system” since “legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority.” Upholding these and other commitments enables the profession to promote the “public interest,” according to the Preamble to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.


The Rule Of Law, The Lawyer’S Role As A Public Citizen, And Professional Identity: How Fostering The Development Of Professional Identity Can Help Law Schools Address The Crisis Facing American Democracy, Kendall Kerew Jun 2024

The Rule Of Law, The Lawyer’S Role As A Public Citizen, And Professional Identity: How Fostering The Development Of Professional Identity Can Help Law Schools Address The Crisis Facing American Democracy, Kendall Kerew

Mercer Law Review

American democracy is in crisis. The January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol must serve as a renewed wake-up call for the legal profession. We can no longer keep our heads down, focused solely or even primarily on serving our clients, without being mindful that what we do every day as lawyers starts and ends with our duty to uphold the rule of law and our system of justice. We must acknowledge that lawyers are the ones who have put democracy at risk. Lawyers are the ones who, in their role as zealous advocates, attempted to overturn the 2020 …


Foreword: Symposium On Current Issues In Professional Identity Formation, Patrick Longan Jun 2024

Foreword: Symposium On Current Issues In Professional Identity Formation, Patrick Longan

Mercer Law Review

On March 8, 2024, the Mercer Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism, in partnership with the Mercer Law Review, held the 24th Annual Georgia Symposium on Ethics and Professionalism. These symposia rotate among Mercer University School of Law, Georgia State University College of Law, Emory University School of Law, and the University of Georgia School of Law. Funding for the symposia comes from endowments created by the settlement of claims of litigation misconduct against the DuPont Corporation and its counsel in litigation in the 1990s. The initiative for the structure of the settlement came from the late Judge Hugh Lawson …


Reflections On Purpose And Professional Identity Formation, Harmony Decosimo Jun 2024

Reflections On Purpose And Professional Identity Formation, Harmony Decosimo

Mercer Law Review

I am very grateful to Professor Daisy Floyd for starting this important conversation about the role of purpose in professional identity formation, and for inviting me to participate in it. As I know my co-panelists agree, this is an important conversation not simply to us as lawyers, but as humans, trying to help each other figure out how to live good, meaningful lives.

I think what might be most useful in my response to Professor Floyd is to turn at least initially from the theoretical to the personal and practical by offering some insight into my own experience with purpose …


Putting The Lawyer First: Framing Well-Being In Law As An Ethical Dilemma, Aric Short Jun 2024

Putting The Lawyer First: Framing Well-Being In Law As An Ethical Dilemma, Aric Short

Mercer Law Review

A disturbingly high percentage of our students continue to be unwell. In the most recent and comprehensive survey of law student well-being in 2021, almost 70% of law students responded that, in the past twelve months, they believed they needed to seek help for emotional or mental health problems. Embedded screening tools in the survey suggested that 34% of respondents were clinically depressed and 54% suffered from clinical anxiety. 44% of respondents reported being drunk in the past thirty days, 33% had engaged in binge drinking in the preceding two weeks, and 38% had smoked marijuana in the past twelve …


What About Us? How Law Schools Can Help Historically Underrepresented Law Students Develop Their Professional Identities, David A. Grenardo Jun 2024

What About Us? How Law Schools Can Help Historically Underrepresented Law Students Develop Their Professional Identities, David A. Grenardo

Mercer Law Review

Talking about race, gender, and sexual orientation can be painful, messy, and difficult. This country’s history of discrimination and violence against historically underrepresented, marginalized, excluded individuals—racial and ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQIA+, those living with disabilities, the socioeconomically disadvantaged/lower class—makes these topics fraught with controversy and risk. We can easily offend someone accidentally when we try to address these topics even with the best of intentions. For example, some people may get nervous trying to figure out whether to use the words African-American, Black, BIPOC, person of color, or all of the above when discussing these topics and referring to someone …


Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan Dec 2023

Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan

Mercer Law Review

This Survey covers the period from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023 and discusses developments with respect to attorney discipline, bar admission and readmission, malpractice and other civil claims against lawyers, ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, attorney’s liens, judicial conduct, disqualification and withdrawal of counsel, contempt, proposed formal advisory opinions of the State Bar of Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion Board, and proposed amendments to the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.


Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan Dec 2022

Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan

Mercer Law Review

This Survey covers the period from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022. The Article discusses developments with respect to attorney discipline, bar admission, malpractice and other civil claims, ineffective assistance of counsel, disqualification of counsel, contempt, prosecutorial misconduct, judicial conduct, amendments to the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, and formal advisory opinions of the State Bar of Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion Board.


Fostering Equity And Accountability In Georgia’S Criminal Legal System Through Conviction Integrity Reforms, E. Addison Gantt, Meagan R. Hurley Apr 2022

Fostering Equity And Accountability In Georgia’S Criminal Legal System Through Conviction Integrity Reforms, E. Addison Gantt, Meagan R. Hurley

Mercer Law Review

An often-quoted excerpt from Berger v. United States sums up the role of a prosecutor in the criminal legal system. The context is the federal system, but it applies across the board. It begins by explaining the duty of a prosecutor: to represent the sovereign, “whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.”2 Then, it turns to the real-world application of that role, instructing that prosecutors should present their cases with …


Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan Dec 2021

Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan

Mercer Law Review

This Survey covers the period from June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021. The Article discusses developments concerning attorney discipline, bar admission and reinstatement, malpractice and other civil claims, ineffective assistance of counsel, disqualification of counsel and conflicts of interest, judicial conduct and recusal, attorney’s fees and liens, contempt, formal advisory opinions, amendments to the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, and one miscellaneous matter.


Sword And Shield: The Georgia Supreme Court Adopts Third-Party Waiver Of Attorney-Client Privilege, D. Garrett White Jul 2021

Sword And Shield: The Georgia Supreme Court Adopts Third-Party Waiver Of Attorney-Client Privilege, D. Garrett White

Mercer Law Review

The attorney-client privilege is generally held out as a sacred instrument (a shield) reserved for clients and used by attorneys for the benefit of those clients. Persons untrained in the law tend to have a basic understanding of what the attorney-client privilege is and can often explain in a rudimentary sense what it protects. What few non-lawyers realize, however, is that the privilege is not absolute, and is waivable under certain, limited, circumstances. Now, it seems that shield is losing its integrity in the realm of legal malpractice.

In January 2020, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in Hill, Kertscher & …


Partisanship And The Attorney General Of The United States: Timely Lessons From Edward Levi And Griffin Bell About Repairing A Politicized Department Of Justice, Patrick E. Longan, James P. Fleissner May 2021

Partisanship And The Attorney General Of The United States: Timely Lessons From Edward Levi And Griffin Bell About Repairing A Politicized Department Of Justice, Patrick E. Longan, James P. Fleissner

Mercer Law Review

The proper role of the Attorney General of the United States has been much in the news in recent years. William Barr received scathing criticism for how he handled the Mueller Report regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election; the sentencing of President Trump’s associate, Roger Stone; the charges against President Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn; and numerous other matters.

Mr. Barr’s critics accused him of perverting his office from one that served the rule of law in a nonpartisan fashion into one that catered to President Trump’s personal and political desires. Many of these critiques condemned Barr’s …


Foreward, Patrick Longan May 2021

Foreward, Patrick Longan

Mercer Law Review

No abstract provided.


History, Norms And Conflicting Loyalties In The Office Of Attorney General, Nancy Virginia Baker May 2021

History, Norms And Conflicting Loyalties In The Office Of Attorney General, Nancy Virginia Baker

Mercer Law Review

A sincere thank you to Patrick Longan and Mercer Law Review for organizing this timely and important symposium on ethics and professionalism in the Office of the U.S. Attorney General. It is such a fascinating office to study, at the nexus of law and politics.

I was a college undergraduate during Watergate, when I first became aware there was an office of attorney general. In graduate school, my interest in it piqued when Edwin Meese was nominated by Ronald Reagan. From then on, I have focused my research on the U.S. Attorney General, especially the duality inherent in the office. …


Civil Unrest And The Role Of The Attorney General: A Comparison Of Ramsey Clark To William Barr, Lonnie T. Brown Jr. May 2021

Civil Unrest And The Role Of The Attorney General: A Comparison Of Ramsey Clark To William Barr, Lonnie T. Brown Jr.

Mercer Law Review

This article compares and contrasts the manner in which former Attorneys General Ramsey Clark and William Barr dealt with racially-motivated civil unrest. Clark faced this challenge multiple times during the tumultuous late 1960s. Barr, on the other hand, dealt with such unrest in 1992 and again in 2020 following the police-killing of George Floyd. The respective strategies taken by these two men reveal much about their personal values and how those may have, rightly or wrongly, shaped their perspectives on the attorney general’s role. More importantly, Clark’s and Barr’s conflicting approaches in carrying out their responsibilities in addressing social discord …


Serving A Lawless President, William R. Casto May 2021

Serving A Lawless President, William R. Casto

Mercer Law Review

What does an Attorney General do when confronted with a lawless President? At first glance, the answer is easy, but on second thought, a realistic answer is complicated. The answer is complicated because the phrase “lawless president” is not necessarily pejorative. In fact, western leaders have always exercised a prerogative power to throw the law overboard when they see fit. Some of our greatest Presidents have followed this path. Thomas Jefferson did, as did Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.

So what does the President’s Attorney General do? The law and principles of professional responsibility offer a clear answer to the …


Legal Ethics, Patrick Longan Dec 2020

Legal Ethics, Patrick Longan

Mercer Law Review

This Survey covers the period from June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020. The Article discusses developments with respect to attorney discipline, ineffective assistance of counsel, bar admission, disqualification of counsel, judicial conduct, malpractice and other civil claims, contempt, several miscellaneous cases, formal advisory opinions (State Bar of Georgia and the American Bar Association), and amendments to the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.


Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan Jan 2020

Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan

Mercer Law Review

This Survey covers the period from June 1, 2018–May 31, 2019.1 The Article discusses attorney discipline, ineffective assistance of counsel, bar admission, judicial ethics, malpractice, several miscellaneous cases involving legal ethics, and actions of the Formal Advisory Opinion Board.

  • Lawyer Discipline
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Bar Admission
  • Judicial Conduct
  • Malpractice
  • Miscellaneous Cases
  • Formal Advisory Opinions


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

A Penal Colony For Bad Lawyers, Bennett L. Gershman

Mercer Law Review

The concept of "disruptive innovation" is vague. Imagining the idea of lawyer "disruption" might conjure a scene from Al Pacino's aggressive role in the 1979 film And Justice for All 9 or embody the tradition of lawyers courageously representing unpopular clients, sometimes placing their lives at risk in courtrooms and on streets. But the panel, I discovered, was more interested in the concept of disruption as descriptive of radical departures from conventional lawyering and conventional discipline.

Recently, as I walked along the narrow cobblestoned streets of Prague--the same streets that Franz Kafka traversed while he was consumed by thoughts of …


The Bend At The End: What Lawyers Can Learn About Disruptions And Innovations In Criminal Defense Practice From Market Analysis, Donald F. Tibbs, Justin Hollinger May 2018

The Bend At The End: What Lawyers Can Learn About Disruptions And Innovations In Criminal Defense Practice From Market Analysis, Donald F. Tibbs, Justin Hollinger

Mercer Law Review

In the world of stock market analysis, there is one certainty: the stock market is unpredictable. It acts with a will of its own, and despite experts' attempts at market forecast, no single person or machine can accurately predict the highs and lows of each day. Nonetheless, market experts extol new techniques; develop computer algorithms; and attach interesting monikers, such as Stochastics, MACD, and Bollinger Bands. But, in the end, they all succumb to the same rule: the unpredictability of the market suggests that no trading strategy is 100%, without fail, perfect every single trade.

That said, however, there is …


The Politics Of Ethics, Laurie L. Levenson May 2018

The Politics Of Ethics, Laurie L. Levenson

Mercer Law Review

Prosecutors hate being told what to do. As "ministers of justice," they feel imbued with a moral compass that rarely, if ever, needs tweaking by outsiders. Their mission to protect society and the Constitution provides sufficient guidance. Being told how to be "ethical" is downright insulting for attorneys who already perceive themselves as wearing the white hat. Efforts to create ethical standards to guide a prosecutor's work may be perceived as little more than an unnecessary intrusion upon the prosecutor's independence and personal sense of justice. For some prosecutors, it is unwarranted meddling into the prosecution's business. As former Attorney …


Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan Dec 2017

Legal Ethics, Patrick Emery Longan

Mercer Law Review

This survey covers the period from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017.1 The Article discusses attorney discipline, ineffective assistance of counsel, legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty, disqualification, judicial ethics, several miscellaneous cases involving legal ethics, opinions of the Formal Advisory Opinion Board, and amendments to the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.


Educational Interventions To Cultivate Professional Identity In Law Students: Introduction, Patrick Emery Longan May 2017

Educational Interventions To Cultivate Professional Identity In Law Students: Introduction, Patrick Emery Longan

Mercer Law Review

On October 7, 2016, the Mercer Law Review co-sponsored the 17th Annual Georgia Symposium on Professionalism and Ethics. The Georgia symposia on professionalism and ethics have all been made possible by the Honorable Hugh Lawson, Senior United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia. In 1999, Judge Lawson oversaw the settlement of a matter that involved allegations of litigation misconduct, and as part of the settlement four of Georgia's law schools each received an endowment to fund annual symposia dedicated to ethics and professionalism. The symposium series began in 2001 and rotates among Mercer University, Georgia State University, …


17th Annual Georgia Symposium On Ethics And Professionalism: October 6, 2016, Benjamin Grimes May 2017

17th Annual Georgia Symposium On Ethics And Professionalism: October 6, 2016, Benjamin Grimes

Mercer Law Review

Professional identity is a mercurial thing. It is a combination of skills, values, and ways of thinking that identifies us to others and forms the basis of our understanding of ourselves. But why should we endeavor to affirmatively instill a certain identity-or to provide the seeds of professional identity-in our students and young attorneys? To what end is identity useful, what elements are important, and how do we do it?

Unlike the many participants in this Symposium and contributors to this issue of the Mercer Law Review, I am neither an academic nor a remarkable practitioner. I have taught …


Professional Identity Formation Throughout The Curriculum: Lessons From Clergy Education, Larry A. Golemon May 2017

Professional Identity Formation Throughout The Curriculum: Lessons From Clergy Education, Larry A. Golemon

Mercer Law Review

Clergy education is undergoing radical transformation in the United States due to changes in the profession, the religious communities served, and the larger landscape of higher education. Many reformers of theological education question whether the education of pastors, priests, and rabbis should be considered "professional" education at all. Some call for less competence training and more formation of theological habits of interpretation and reflection; others advocate for more practical and contextual training of skills and role-formation; and others emphasize the formation of personal character and religious piety. Yet most of these reformers agree that the formation of pastoral and professional …


From Teaching Professionalism To Supporting Professional Identity Formation: Lessons From Medicine, Sylvia R. Cruess, Richard L. Cruess May 2017

From Teaching Professionalism To Supporting Professional Identity Formation: Lessons From Medicine, Sylvia R. Cruess, Richard L. Cruess

Mercer Law Review

Profession, professional, and professionalism are generic terms that apply to a limited number of knowledge-based occupations charged with providing essential services to society. While the terms have existed for over 2000 years, until the middle of the nineteenth century the professions served only the upper socioeconomic strata and thus had a limited impact on society. The reasons were not complex. Wealth was limited and only a few could afford the services of the professional until the industrial revolution provided sufficient resources to support their use. The growth in both size and influence of the medical and legal professions occurred at …


Off-The-Shelf Formative Assessments To Help Each Student Develop Toward A Professional Formation/Ethical Professional Identity Learning Outcome Of An Internalized Commitment To The Student's Own Professional Development, Neil Hamilton May 2017

Off-The-Shelf Formative Assessments To Help Each Student Develop Toward A Professional Formation/Ethical Professional Identity Learning Outcome Of An Internalized Commitment To The Student's Own Professional Development, Neil Hamilton

Mercer Law Review

With the shift in American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation standards to emphasize learning outcomes, all law schools will be slowly moving away from structure-and-process based legal education (exposure to specific content for specified periods of time, such as a four credit one semester contracts course) to competency-based legal education (focus on the ultimate competencies needed for excellent service to the clients and the legal system, such as competence in career-long professional development). A large number of law schools are adopting what the next section of this Article defines as competency-based professional-formation or ethical- professional-identity learning outcomes. The specific focus of …


The Art Of Self And Becoming A Professional, Jack L. Sammons May 2017

The Art Of Self And Becoming A Professional, Jack L. Sammons

Mercer Law Review

This talk about the self originated in comments made by Joshua Bishop. Josh was executed by the People of the State of Georgia on March 31, 2016. Now I have long puzzled over questions of the self, especially in the context as here of students and practitioners who are in the process of becoming professionals; so the issues were not new to me although I had never gotten very far with them. But Josh's comments, when I first heard them, seemed to me to be a uniquely reliable resource for returning to these issues again. He spent most of his …


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 May 2017

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

Mercer Law Review

Legal education is a powerfully transformative experience.' Law students enter law school as non-lawyers guided by the personal attitudes, values, and beliefs that drew them to the law and, within a few short years, leave law school with a new professional identity and purposethat of lawyer. While in law school, students learn about the law, acquire distinctive lawyering skills and habits, and develop an understanding of the many ethical obligations that guide a professional's actions. They develop new ways of thinking, talking, writing, and interacting with others. And throughout this process students take on new values, attitudes, and beliefs. In …


Developing Virtue And Practical Wisdom In The Legal Profession And Beyond, Mark L. Jones May 2017

Developing Virtue And Practical Wisdom In The Legal Profession And Beyond, Mark L. Jones

Mercer Law Review

It is a central axiom of this Article that the good lawyer is a virtuous lawyer and that the possession and exercise of virtue is central to the lawyer's professional character and professional identity. The Article is therefore resonant with the school of "virtue jurisprudence" according to which the behavior of legal actors such as judges and lawyers and the ends of law pursued by legislators should be concerned with the development and exercise of virtues such as courage, honesty, integrity, wisdom, temperance, and, of course, justice as central to a life of human flourishing. It is also resonant with …