Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 38

Full-Text Articles in Law

Conflicts Of Interest And Law-Firm Structure, Cassandra Burke Robertson Dec 2018

Conflicts Of Interest And Law-Firm Structure, Cassandra Burke Robertson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Business and law are increasingly practiced on a transnational scale, and law firms are adopting new business structures in order to compete on this global playing field. Over the last decade, global law firms have merged into so-called “mega-brands” or “mega-firms”—that is, associations of national or regional law firms that join together under a single brand worldwide. For law firms, the most common mega-firm structure has been the Swiss verein, though the English “Company Limited by Guarantee” structure is growing in popularity as well, as is the similar “European Economic Interest Grouping.” All of these structures allow related entities to …


Breaking The Silence: Holding Texas Lawyers Accountable For Sexual Harassment, Savannah Files Dec 2018

Breaking The Silence: Holding Texas Lawyers Accountable For Sexual Harassment, Savannah Files

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Following the 2017 exposure of Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement spread rapidly across social media platforms calling for increased awareness of the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault and demanding change. The widespread use of the hashtag brought attention to the issue and successfully facilitated a much-needed discussion in today’s society. However, this is not the first incident prompting a demand for change.

Efforts to bring awareness and exact change in regards to sexual harassment in the legal profession date back to the 1990s. This demonstrates that the legal profession is not immune from these issues. In fact, at least …


Ethical Cannabis Lawyering In California, Francis J. Mootz Iii Dec 2018

Ethical Cannabis Lawyering In California, Francis J. Mootz Iii

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Cannabis has a long history in the United States. Originally, doctors and pharmacists used cannabis for a variety of purposes. After the Mexican Revolution led to widespread migration from Mexico to the United States, many Americans responded by associating this influx of foreigners with the use of cannabis, and thereby racializing and stigmatizing the drug. After the collapse of prohibition, the federal government repurposed its enormous enforcement bureaucracy to address the perceived problem of cannabis, despite the opposition of the American Medical Association to this new prohibition. Ultimately, both the states and the federal government classified cannabis as a dangerous …


Autonomy Isn't Everything: Some Cautionary Notes On Mccoy V. Louisiana, W. Bradley Wendel Dec 2018

Autonomy Isn't Everything: Some Cautionary Notes On Mccoy V. Louisiana, W. Bradley Wendel

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision in McCoy v. Louisiana has been hailed as a decisive statement of the priority of the value of a criminal defendant’s autonomy over the fairness and reliability interests that also inform both the Sixth Amendment and the ethical obligations of defense counsel. It also appears to be a victory for the vision of client-centered representation and the humanistic value of the inherent dignity of the accused. However, the decision is susceptible to being read too broadly in ways that harm certain categories of defendants. This paper offers a couple of cautionary notes, in response …


Legal Malpractice Claims: What The Data Indicate, Vincent R. Johnson Dec 2018

Legal Malpractice Claims: What The Data Indicate, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Abstract forthcoming


Health Care Referrals Out Of The Shadows: Recognizing The Looming Threat Of The Texas Patient Solicitation Act And Other Illegal Remuneration Statutes, Trenton Brown Aug 2018

Health Care Referrals Out Of The Shadows: Recognizing The Looming Threat Of The Texas Patient Solicitation Act And Other Illegal Remuneration Statutes, Trenton Brown

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


Sanctuary Cities And The Trump Administration: The Practical Limits Of Federal Power, Joshua W. Dansby Aug 2018

Sanctuary Cities And The Trump Administration: The Practical Limits Of Federal Power, Joshua W. Dansby

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

On January 25, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order with the supposed purpose of enhancing public safety of the interior of the United States. Part of the Administration’s plan includes threatening “sanctuary jurisdictions,” also known as “sanctuary cities,” with the loss of federal funds for failing to comply with federal law, specifically 8 U.S.C. § 1373.

There are several problems with this plan: (1) there is no solid definition for what makes a city a “sanctuary;” (2) if we accept the Administration’s allusion that a sanctuary jurisdiction is one that “willfully” refuses to comply with 8 U.S.C. …


Effects Of Senate Bill 4 On Wage-Theft: Why All Workers Are At Risk In Low-Income Occupations, Daniella Salas-Chacon Aug 2018

Effects Of Senate Bill 4 On Wage-Theft: Why All Workers Are At Risk In Low-Income Occupations, Daniella Salas-Chacon

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

Abstract forthcoming


Avian Jurisprudence And The Protection Of Migratory Birds In North America, Marshall A. Bowen Aug 2018

Avian Jurisprudence And The Protection Of Migratory Birds In North America, Marshall A. Bowen

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


Too Little Too Late: The Infeasibility Of Osha's Silica Standards In The Oil Industry, Cali M. Franks Aug 2018

Too Little Too Late: The Infeasibility Of Osha's Silica Standards In The Oil Industry, Cali M. Franks

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


Holding Ridesharing Companies Accountable In Texas, Martha Alejandra Salas Aug 2018

Holding Ridesharing Companies Accountable In Texas, Martha Alejandra Salas

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


Undocumented Crime Victims: Unheard, Unnumbered, And Unprotected, Pauline Portillo Aug 2018

Undocumented Crime Victims: Unheard, Unnumbered, And Unprotected, Pauline Portillo

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

Abstract forthcoming


The History, Meaning, And Use Of The Words Justice And Judge, Jason Boatright Aug 2018

The History, Meaning, And Use Of The Words Justice And Judge, Jason Boatright

St. Mary's Law Journal

The words justice and judge have similar meanings because they have a common ancestry. They are derived from the same Latin term, jus, which is defined in dictionaries as “right” and “law.” However, those definitions of jus are so broad that they obscure the details of what the term meant when it formed the words that eventually became justice and judge. The etymology of jus reveals the kind of right and law it signified was related to the concepts of restriction and obligation. Vestiges of this sense of jus survived in the meaning of justice and judge. …


The Texas Standards For Appellate Conduct: An Annotated Guide And Commentary, Gina M. Benavides, Joshua J. Caldwell Jul 2018

The Texas Standards For Appellate Conduct: An Annotated Guide And Commentary, Gina M. Benavides, Joshua J. Caldwell

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The legal profession is bound by ethical rules that govern and guide our conduct and actions as lawyers. One of the under-appreciated, but profoundly important set of guidelines is the Texas Standards for Appellate Conduct. These Standards serve as an excellent practice guide for appellate practitioners and appellate courts and as a model code of conduct for the Bar as a whole.

The goal of this Article is to dissect the Texas Standards for Appellate Conduct and provide useful commentaries for the readers to better appreciate and understand each element of the Standards. The commentaries provide direct case examples and …


Causation And "Legal Certainty" In Legal Malpractice Law, Vincent R. Johnson Jul 2018

Causation And "Legal Certainty" In Legal Malpractice Law, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

A line of California cases holds that causation of damages in legal malpractice actions must be proven with “legal certainty.” This Article argues that judicial references to legal certainty are ambiguous and threaten to undermine the fairness of legal malpractice litigation as a means for resolving lawyer-client disputes. Courts should eschew the language of legal certainty and plainly state that damages are recoverable if a legal malpractice plaintiff proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that those losses were factually and proximately caused by the defendant’s breach of duty.


"Dirty" Experts: Ethical Challenges Concerning, And A Comparative Perspective On, The Use Of Consulting Experts, David S. Caudill Jul 2018

"Dirty" Experts: Ethical Challenges Concerning, And A Comparative Perspective On, The Use Of Consulting Experts, David S. Caudill

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

U.S. attorneys often hire consulting experts who potentially never get named as testifying experts. The same practice is evident in Australia, where the colloquial distinction is between a “clean” and a “dirty” expert, the latter being in the role of a consultant who is considered a member of the client’s “legal team.” A “clean” expert named as a witness is then called “independent,” signaling that he or she is not an advocate. In contrast to the U.S. discourse concerning consulting and testifying experts, focused on discovery issues, the conversation in Australia betrays immediate ethical concerns that both (i) explain why …


The Paragraph 20 Paradox: An Evaluation Of The Enforcement Of Ethical Rules As Substantive Law, Donald E. Campbell Jul 2018

The Paragraph 20 Paradox: An Evaluation Of The Enforcement Of Ethical Rules As Substantive Law, Donald E. Campbell

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article addresses an issue courts across the country continue to struggle with: When are ethics rules appropriately considered enforceable substantive obligations, and when should they only be enforceable through the disciplinary process? The question is complicated by the ethics rules themselves. Paragraph 20 of the Scope section of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct includes seemingly contradictory guidance; it states the Rules are not to be used to establish civil liability, but also that they can be “some evidence” of a violation of a lawyer’s standard of care. Most states have adopted this paradoxal Paragraph 20 language. Consequently, courts …


Sky Is The Limit: Protecting Unaccompanied Minors By Not Subjecting Them To Numerical Limitations, Deborah S. Gonzalez Esq. Jun 2018

Sky Is The Limit: Protecting Unaccompanied Minors By Not Subjecting Them To Numerical Limitations, Deborah S. Gonzalez Esq.

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


A Status Update For Texas Voir Dire: Advocating For Pre-Trial Internet Investigation Of Prospective Jurors, Luke A. Harle Jun 2018

A Status Update For Texas Voir Dire: Advocating For Pre-Trial Internet Investigation Of Prospective Jurors, Luke A. Harle

St. Mary's Law Journal

The Internet provides trial attorneys an additional tool to investigate the backgrounds of prospective jurors during voir dire. Online searches of a person’s name and social media accounts can reveal information that could be used as grounds for a challenge for cause or to facilitate intelligent use of peremptory strikes. Texas lawmakers have not yet provided any official guidance as to whether attorneys can investigate prospective jurors online or how they might do so, should it be allowed. Texas’s current voir dire structure, judicial opinions, and ethics opinions, together, support the notion that Texas trial attorneys should be given opportunities …


Hearsay In The Smiley Face: Analyzing The Use Of Emojis As Evidence, Erin Janssen Jun 2018

Hearsay In The Smiley Face: Analyzing The Use Of Emojis As Evidence, Erin Janssen

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


Sourcing Service Receipts For Franchise Tax Apportionment In Texas, Ray Langenberg, Matt Jones Jun 2018

Sourcing Service Receipts For Franchise Tax Apportionment In Texas, Ray Langenberg, Matt Jones

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


Domestic Asset Tracing And Recovery Of Hidden Assets And The Spoils Of Financial Crime, Nathan Wadlinger, Carl Pacini, Nicole Stowell, William Hopwood, Debra Sinclair Jun 2018

Domestic Asset Tracing And Recovery Of Hidden Assets And The Spoils Of Financial Crime, Nathan Wadlinger, Carl Pacini, Nicole Stowell, William Hopwood, Debra Sinclair

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


Better Briefs, Lydia Fearing May 2018

Better Briefs, Lydia Fearing

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Abstract forthcoming


Uncharted Waters? Legal Ethics And The Benefit Corporation, Joseph Pileri May 2018

Uncharted Waters? Legal Ethics And The Benefit Corporation, Joseph Pileri

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Corporate law norms are reflected in lawyers’ ethical duties. The enactment of benefit corporation legislation across the country signals a legislative acknowledgment that corporate law can serve as a public, rather than a merely private, ordering mechanism. Benefit corporations expressly adopt a public benefit as a legal purpose of the enterprise. While many have written about this important development with respect to corporate fiduciary law, this essay is the first to explore the professional and ethical responsibility of lawyers representing benefit corporations. In the last century, as scholars and courts drove an understanding of corporate law that elevated the interests …


Keep Suing All The Lawyers: Recent Developments In Claims Against Lawyers For Aiding & Abetting A Client’S Breach Of Fiduciary Duty, Katerina P. Lewinbuk May 2018

Keep Suing All The Lawyers: Recent Developments In Claims Against Lawyers For Aiding & Abetting A Client’S Breach Of Fiduciary Duty, Katerina P. Lewinbuk

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Lawyers have increasingly become subject to liability under various legal theories, ranging from traditional legal malpractice or negligence liability claims to various third-party actions. Most recently, state and federal courts across the country have recognized attorney liability for aiding and abetting a client’s breach of fiduciary duty. This Article will address the current status of the cause of action for a lawyer’s aiding and abetting her client’s breach of fiduciary duty, explain the commonalities and distinguish nuances as outlined by particular states, examine recent decisions by federal courts that have recognized the cause of action, and culminate in its conclusion …


The Right To An Independent Judiciary And The Avoidance Of Constitutional Conflict: The Burger Court’S Flawed Reasoning In Chandler V. Judicial Council Of The Tenth Circuit And Its Unfortunate Legacy, Joshua E. Kastenberg May 2018

The Right To An Independent Judiciary And The Avoidance Of Constitutional Conflict: The Burger Court’S Flawed Reasoning In Chandler V. Judicial Council Of The Tenth Circuit And Its Unfortunate Legacy, Joshua E. Kastenberg

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In 1970, the United States Supreme Court issued Chandler v. Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit in which five Justices determined that the federal courts of appeals possessed an administrative authority to manage the district court judges within an appellate court’s respective circuit. The decision enabled the Tenth Circuit to decide the fitness of a judge to preside over cases without a formal motion from a litigant. Although Congress had enabled the courts of appeals to oversee basic judicial functions (such as temporarily assigning district court judges to overworked districts), Congress did not intend to grant the power to remove …


The Limited Duties Of Lawyers To Protect The Funds And Property Of Nonclients, Vincent R. Johnson May 2018

The Limited Duties Of Lawyers To Protect The Funds And Property Of Nonclients, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Issues arise daily in law practice about the duties owed by lawyers to nonclients with respect to funds or property entrusted to them. In resolving those issues, care must be exercised when interpreting state versions of Model Rule 1.15, the American Bar Association’s pattern ethics rule on safekeeping of funds and property. Otherwise, a lawyer’s duties to third persons may too readily encroach on the performance of obligations owed to clients, as well as on the legitimate interests of lawyers themselves.

As numerous authorities have recognized, lawyers are obliged to protect the property interests of third persons only if they …


It’S A Trap! The Ethical Dark Side Of Requests For Admission, Colin Flora May 2018

It’S A Trap! The Ethical Dark Side Of Requests For Admission, Colin Flora

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Due largely to an overlap of authority between disciplinary bodies charged with supervising the professional conduct of attorneys and the authority of courts to supervise litigation, the ethical ramifications of routine discovery abuses often pass without comment. That is because disciplinary authorities routinely defer to courts to police litigation behavior despite courts frequently rejecting the role of enforcers of professional rules. A further contributing factor to unethical conduct becoming routine practice in discovery are ill-defined parameters and a dearth of guidance. One tool in particular, requests for admission, has gone overlooked in the literature and caselaw, but poses unique ethical …


The Failure Of International Law In Palestine, Svetlana Sumina, Steven Gilmore May 2018

The Failure Of International Law In Palestine, Svetlana Sumina, Steven Gilmore

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

Abstract forthcoming


Trapped In The Shackles Of America's Criminal Justice System, Shristi Devu May 2018

Trapped In The Shackles Of America's Criminal Justice System, Shristi Devu

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

Abstract forthcoming