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St. Mary's University

Journal

Legal Profession

St. Mary’s University School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Turning Points In The History Of St. Mary’S University School Of Law (1980–1988), Vincent R. Johnson Aug 2019

Turning Points In The History Of St. Mary’S University School Of Law (1980–1988), Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Law Journal

St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas has existed for nearly a century. Thus far, there have been seven important written histories of St. Mary’s University School of Law, but no one has yet attempted to write a comprehensive history of the law school, nor have any members of the faculty published autobiographies. Having taught law at St. Mary’s since 1982, Professor of Law Vincent R. Johnson shares his first-hand account about the life of the law school during most of the 1980s (specifically 1980 to 1988). That period encompasses the bulk of the deanship of James …


50 Years Of Excellence: A History Of The St. Mary's Law Journal, Barbara Hanson Nellermoe Mar 2019

50 Years Of Excellence: A History Of The St. Mary's Law Journal, Barbara Hanson Nellermoe

St. Mary's Law Journal

Founded in 1969, the St. Mary’s Law Journal has climbed the road to excellence. Originally built on the foundation of being a “practitioner’s journal,” the St. Mary’s Law Journal continues to produce quality scholarship that is nationally recognized and frequently used by members of the bench and bar. From its grassroots origins to the world-class law review it is today, the St. Mary’s Law Journal continues to maintain its prestigious position in the realm of law reviews by ranking in the top five percent most-cited law reviews in federal and state courts nationwide.

In celebration of the St. Mary’s 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 …


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, …


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 …


No Un Jurado De Mis Pares: Juror Exclusion Of Limited English Proficient Speakers., Michael Mccann Jan 2017

No Un Jurado De Mis Pares: Juror Exclusion Of Limited English Proficient Speakers., Michael Mccann

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

In the context of fulfilling civic duties as a citizen, accessibility to language assistance programs ensures every individual, including those with limited English proficiency (LEP), is afforded the opportunity to exercise their fundamental rights. Preservation of the integrity of the justice system must be provided in a comprehensive manner, not merely in one part of the legal proceedings or isolated to one part of the courthouse. LEP citizens should be integrated in public society, not disqualified from it. Statutes that create overly burdensome language proficiency standards create problems with the jury selection process. These standards limit and often deny LEP …


Legislative Ethics, 1973., James R. Nowlin Sep 1973

Legislative Ethics, 1973., James R. Nowlin

St. Mary's Law Journal

Approaching the 63d Regular Session of the Texas State Legislature, the need to establish new standards of ethical conduct for the attorney-legislators had increased substantially in public support. The “Sharpstown” Bank scandal and the recent indictments of several present and former state legislators, on numerous counts of theft of state funds, had severely eroded public confidence in the moral turpitude of state lawmakers. This study examines the Texas state legislative process and the conflicting interests that arise in the task of drafting and passing bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate. There were several attempts, prior to 1973, …