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St. Mary's University

Journal

Legal Profession

2017

St. Mary’s Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

Reforming Recusal Rules: Reassessing The Presumption Of Judicial Impartiality In Light Of The Realities Of Judging And Changing The Substance Of Disqualification Standards To Eliminate Cognitive Errors, Melinda A. Marbes Oct 2017

Reforming Recusal Rules: Reassessing The Presumption Of Judicial Impartiality In Light Of The Realities Of Judging And Changing The Substance Of Disqualification Standards To Eliminate Cognitive Errors, Melinda A. Marbes

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In recent years, high profile disqualification disputes have caught the attention of the public. In each instance there has been an outcry when a presiding jurist was asked to recuse but declined. Unfortunately, even if the jurist explains his refusal to recuse, the reasons given often are unsatisfying and do little to quell suspicions of bias. Instead, litigants, the press, and the public question whether the jurist actually is unbiased and doubt the impartiality of the judiciary as a whole. This negative reaction to refusals to recuse is caused, at least in part, by politically charged circumstances that cause further …


Alternative Business Structures: Good For The Public, Good For The Lawyers, Jayne R. Reardon Oct 2017

Alternative Business Structures: Good For The Public, Good For The Lawyers, Jayne R. Reardon

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

There has been a shift in consumer behavior over the last several decades. To keep up with the transforming consumer, many professions have changed the way they do business. Yet lawyers continue to deliver services the way they have since the founding of our country. Bar associations and legal ethicists have long debated the idea of allowing lawyers to practice in “alternative business structures,” where lawyers and nonlawyers can co-own and co-manage a business to deliver legal services. This Article argues these types of businesses inhibit lawyers’ ability to provide better legal services to the public and that the legal …


Ethics And The “Root Of All Evil” In Nineteenth Century American Law Practice, Michael Hoeflich Oct 2017

Ethics And The “Root Of All Evil” In Nineteenth Century American Law Practice, Michael Hoeflich

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article discusses the bifurcated notions on the purpose of working as an attorney—whether the purpose is to attain wealth or whether the work in and of itself is the purpose. This Article explores the sentiments held by distinguished and influential nineteenth-century lawyers—particularly David Hoffman and George Sharswood—regarding the legal ethics surrounding attorney’s fees and how money in general is the root of many ethical dilemmas within the arena of legal practice. Through the texts of Hoffman and Sharswood, we find the origins of the ethical rules all American attorneys are subject to in their various jurisdictions.


Electronic Social Media: Friend Or Foe For Judges, M. Sue Kurita Oct 2017

Electronic Social Media: Friend Or Foe For Judges, M. Sue Kurita

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The use of electronic social communication has grown at a phenomenal rate. Facebook, the most popular social networking website, has over 1,968,000,000 users—a number that has exponentially grown since its inception in 2004. The number of judges accessing and using electronic social media (ESM) has also increased. However, unlike the general population, judges must consider constitutional, ethical, technical, and evidentiary implications when they use and access ESM. The First Amendment forbids “abridging the freedom of speech” and protects the expression of personal ideas, positions, and views. However, the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct and the Texas Code …


Professional Responsibility Of The Criminal Defense Lawyer Redux: The New Three Hardest Questions, Todd A. Berger Oct 2017

Professional Responsibility Of The Criminal Defense Lawyer Redux: The New Three Hardest Questions, Todd A. Berger

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In 1966, Professor Monroe Freedman authored Professional Responsibility of the Criminal Defense Lawyer: The Three Hardest Questions, a work that occupies an important place in the cannon of legal ethics. Freedman believed that the three hardest questions facing a criminal defense attorney relate to whether it is ethical to discredit a truthful witness; whether it is proper to knowingly allow a client to testify falsely; and whether a lawyer may provide a client with legal advice when the lawyer suspects the client may use that advice to commit a crime. Beyond Freedman’s queries there are other important, yet largely unaddressed, …