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Cyber Security: A Lawyer’S Ethical Duty, Meagan Folmar Jan 2024

Cyber Security: A Lawyer’S Ethical Duty, Meagan Folmar

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

No abstract provided.


“Zealous” Professional Ethics: The Transcendence Of Natural Law, Legal Positivism, And The Ethical Stage In The U.S. Legal Ethics System And The Moral Dilemma That Surround Zealous Representation, Sudarsanan Sivakumar, Marshall Maina Jan 2024

“Zealous” Professional Ethics: The Transcendence Of Natural Law, Legal Positivism, And The Ethical Stage In The U.S. Legal Ethics System And The Moral Dilemma That Surround Zealous Representation, Sudarsanan Sivakumar, Marshall Maina

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The zealous pursuit of law has its own ideals and dogma that sets it apart from the other rules in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Decades after many enactments and amendments, there still exists many debates considering its operation as to whether an attorney owes a duty toward society over the representation of the client. This is a Delphi method that has made even the best seasoned ‘Justiciar’ and ‘Legislator’ unable to find the proper guidelines to implement upon the Legal Superstructure. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct attempt to clear the fog around the existing principle of Zealous …


Rumpole And The Dissatisfied Client: Lessons On Justice From Four Case Studies In Client Objectives V. Lawyer Means, Thomas N. Bulleit, Esq. Jan 2024

Rumpole And The Dissatisfied Client: Lessons On Justice From Four Case Studies In Client Objectives V. Lawyer Means, Thomas N. Bulleit, Esq.

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Fictional barrister-at-law Horace Rumpole is a skillful, tenacious, and even fearsome courtroom advocate for his criminal defense clients. He cares deeply about winning. But Rumpole departs from the stereotypical heroes and antiheroes of fictional courtroom drama in that he typically complies fully with the ethical constraints on advocacy and the truth-finding process. When Rumpole does occasionally stumble, it is in the other direction: by losing track of his client, and presenting often unwanted truths to elevate victory above other needs or interests that the client considers just as, or sometimes much more, important than a favorable verdict.

Using several of …


Can They Handle The Truth? Teaching Law Students Ethics During A Time Of A Societal And Generational Divide, Michele N. Struffolino Oct 2023

Can They Handle The Truth? Teaching Law Students Ethics During A Time Of A Societal And Generational Divide, Michele N. Struffolino

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Today’s law students and aspiring law students will enter law school having been bombarded with the message that they, as members of the voting public, are victims of “The Big Lie.” They likely also know that “The Big Lie” story consistently sent by politicians, activists, and others through all forms of informational outlets, including traditional and nontraditional media sources, has been found to be unsupported by facts. For legal educators, this is particularly concerning because many of those sending and supporting “The Big Lie” story are lawyers. Aspiring lawyers are left with the impression that zealous representation is relatively boundless …


When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi Jan 2021

When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The Supreme Court’s opinion in McCoy v. Louisiana held that a defendant has a constitutional right to insist their attorney not concede guilt as to any element of an offense, even if doing so is the only reasonable trial strategy to give the defendant a chance at life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. Under McCoy’s holding, a defendant can insist on maintaining their innocence—even in the face of overwhelming evidence—and force their attorney to pursue a defense that will land them on death row. The Supreme Court’s holding makes clear that a strategic concession of guilt at trial—over …


“Listserv Lawyering”: Definition And Exploration Of Its Utility In Representation Of Consumer Debtors In Bankruptcy And In Law Practice Generally, Josiah M. Daniel Iii Jan 2021

“Listserv Lawyering”: Definition And Exploration Of Its Utility In Representation Of Consumer Debtors In Bankruptcy And In Law Practice Generally, Josiah M. Daniel Iii

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The author examines the communications and activities of bankruptcy lawyers participating in the listserv of the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and finds that those activities constitute a previously unrecognized form of “lawyering,” which he has defined as the work of lawyers in and through the legal system to accomplish the objectives of their clients. Review of specific postings about legal issues and practical problems by Texas bankruptcy lawyers, whose practices are primarily on behalf of individual debtors in cases under Chapters 7 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, and observations about the voluntary, collaborative, and …


Ethical Issues With Lawyers Openly Carrying Firearms, Dru Stevenson Jul 2020

Ethical Issues With Lawyers Openly Carrying Firearms, Dru Stevenson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Ethical concerns arise when lawyers openly carry firearms to adversarial meetings related to representation, such as depositions and settlement negotiations. Visible firearms introduce an element of intimidation, or at least the potential for misunderstandings and escalation of conflicts. The adverse effects of openly carried firearms can impact opposing parties, opposing counsel, the lawyer’s potential clients, witnesses, and even judges and jurors encountered outside the courtroom. The ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct in their current form include provisions that could be applicable, such as rules against coercion and intimidation, but there is no explicit reference to firearms. Several reported incidents …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Conflicts Of Interest For Former Law Firm Clerks Turned Lawyers, Daniel Haley Oct 2017

Conflicts Of Interest For Former Law Firm Clerks Turned Lawyers, Daniel Haley

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

There is no consensus for how the legal profession should treat a lawyer who has a conflict that arises from their time working as a law clerk while in law school. The majority of states allow a lawyer to be screened from participation if there is a conflict that arises from work they performed while still in law school. Nonetheless, not all states have adopted the Model Rules, and not all states that have adopted them accept and apply their rules uniformly. Clerkships are beneficial to both the student and the potential employer, and to limit these educational experiences due …


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, …


Am I A “Licensed Liar”?: An Exploration Into The Ethic Of Honesty In Lawyering . . . And A Reply Of “No!” To The Stranger In The La Fiesta Lounge, Josiah M. Daniel Iii Dec 2016

Am I A “Licensed Liar”?: An Exploration Into The Ethic Of Honesty In Lawyering . . . And A Reply Of “No!” To The Stranger In The La Fiesta Lounge, Josiah M. Daniel Iii

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

After hearing for the first time the lawyer-disparaging phrase, “licensed liar,” the author investigated its significance. This article presents the question of those two words’ meaning and explains how the author reached the conclusion that, as applied to attorneys, the phrase is an unmerited epithet. The phrase is known and utilized in nonlegal texts in fields such as fiction, poetry, literary criticism, and journalism, but the two words are absent from legal texts. The author’s discovery of the phrase in various criticisms of lawyers in other publications illuminates and confirms that the phrase constitutes the pejorative allegation that an attorney …


The Impact Of Technological Developments On The Rules Of Attorney Ethics Regarding Attorney–Client Privilege, Confidentiality, And Social Media, Pamela A. Bresnahan, Lucian T. Pera Dec 2016

The Impact Of Technological Developments On The Rules Of Attorney Ethics Regarding Attorney–Client Privilege, Confidentiality, And Social Media, Pamela A. Bresnahan, Lucian T. Pera

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This article focuses on the development of the law of ethics and technology. Emphasis is placed on how technological developments have affected the rules and means by which lawyers practice law and certain ethical pitfalls that have developed hand-in-hand with technological advancements. Topics examined include: (1) the ways by which electronic communication has increased the potential for the attorney–client privilege to be waived and the resulting impact on the present-day practice of law; (2) the effect of social media on lawyers’ ethical obligations, including counseling clients regarding the client’s use of social media and the lawyer’s own use of social …


Online Legal Advice: Ethics In The Digital Age, Paige A. Thomas Jan 2014

Online Legal Advice: Ethics In The Digital Age, Paige A. Thomas

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The rise of the Internet changed the way initial interactions between lawyers and prospective clients happen. Unfortunately, a host of problems concerning privacy rights and consumer usage have emerged. In this digital age, where immediacy and response time are driving factors in an attorney’s online presence, the approach to establish an attorney-client relationship is far more informal. Due to the quick rise of the Internet and social media, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not offer a clear answer for attorneys using social media. An inherent danger lies in off-the-cuff remarks, made on the Internet—a platform generally associated with …


Arbitration Clauses In Fee Retainer Agreements., Chrissy L. Schwennsen Jan 2013

Arbitration Clauses In Fee Retainer Agreements., Chrissy L. Schwennsen

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Due to the variety of approaches jurisdictions employ when determining the legal ramifications of arbitration clauses in fee retainer agreements, it’s best to include an explanation of the legal consequences of arbitration in the agreements. The attorney can, and should, fully explain the potential benefits of arbitration to clients. State courts take various viewpoints on the issue, and most stand contrary to the position of the American Bar Association (ABA) and state ethics committees on the subject. Consequently, attorneys must disclose truthful and accurate information regarding arbitration agreements when engaged in multijurisdictional practice in order to ensure protection from malpractice …


Keep Your “Friends” Close And Your Enemies Closer: Walking The Ethical Tightrope In The Use Of Social Media., John G. Browning Jan 2013

Keep Your “Friends” Close And Your Enemies Closer: Walking The Ethical Tightrope In The Use Of Social Media., John G. Browning

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article will examine the ethical issues posed by lawyers’ use of social media platforms in light of the ABA Ethics Commission 20/20 changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Social networking has had a transformative effect both on the way society shares information and on the legal profession. Much of the discussion to date focuses on the discovery and use of evidence from social media sites in criminal cases and civil litigation, but attention must also be directed to the ethical quandaries posed by the legal profession’s use of social media. This Article will consider issues such as …


Taking Limited Representation To The Limits: The Efficacy Of Using Unbundled Legal Services In Domestic-Relations Matters Involving Litigation., Michele N. Struffolino Jan 2012

Taking Limited Representation To The Limits: The Efficacy Of Using Unbundled Legal Services In Domestic-Relations Matters Involving Litigation., Michele N. Struffolino

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The use of unbundled legal services is nothing new in this country, and it is often preferable to no representation at all. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct expressly permit attorneys to provide limited representation to their clients. Domestic-relations attorneys, in particular, have tried to ease the burden on litigants by offering unbundled legal services. However, the use of unbundled services in domestic[1]relations matters has caused difficulties for litigants, attorneys, and the courts. For these domestic-relations cases in particular, full service representation is crucial. To provide full satisfaction for their clients and to fulfill their ethical duty, domestic-relations attorneys must …


Through Gritted Teeth And Clenched Jaw: Court-Initiated Sanctions Opinions In Bankruptcy Courts., Nancy B. Rapoport Jan 2010

Through Gritted Teeth And Clenched Jaw: Court-Initiated Sanctions Opinions In Bankruptcy Courts., Nancy B. Rapoport

St. Mary's Law Journal

Bankruptcy courts see too many incompetent bankruptcy lawyers, and the courts have few options for dealing with them. A court can rule against the lawyer, but this strategy punishes the lawyer’s client, who may be an innocent bystander. Alternatively, nothing prohibits a judge from deciding to hand down a sanctions opinion. Sanctions opinions arise when one party makes a request, or the court believes a lawyer’s behavior is serious enough to merit a written order. These instances include flouting the law—either bankruptcy law or the ethical rules—or being unaware of the fundamentals of bankruptcy practice and policy. In the instance …


Loyalty In Limbo: The Peculiar Case Of Attorneys' Loyalty To Clients., Eli Wald Jan 2009

Loyalty In Limbo: The Peculiar Case Of Attorneys' Loyalty To Clients., Eli Wald

St. Mary's Law Journal

Attorney loyalty to clients is considered a cornerstone of the attorney-client relationship. Yet, loyalty is underexplored, misunderstood, and the subject of heated discord. Advocates of client-centered loyalty and their opponents both fail to provide a compelling accounting of loyalty to clients and its consequences. Leaving loyalty in limbo is an unacceptable state of affairs. The legal profession bears the continuous burden of accounting for its own practices. Because the Bar cannot assert broad client-centered loyalty as self-explanatory, the burden of disproving loyalty shifts to the critics. Critics of broad loyalty to clients are not helping advance the discourse by advocating …


American Legal Ethics In An Age Of Anxiety., Michael Ariens Jan 2008

American Legal Ethics In An Age Of Anxiety., Michael Ariens

St. Mary's Law Journal

The thesis of my article, “American Legal Ethics in an Age of Anxiety,” is that the historical development of American legal ethics was regularly accompanied by an anxiety within the profession. In general, I suggest the legal profession’s understanding of its ethical precepts has been molded and reshaped during periods of professional anxiety. The profession’s understanding of legal ethics changed dramatically during various crises in the 19th century, exemplified by the different approaches taken by David Hoffman in the mid-1830s, George Sharswood in the mid-1850s, and David Dudley Field in the early 1870s. In each case, however, the triggering event …


Brother's Keeper: The Legal Ethics Of Representing Family Members The Sixth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility: Comment., Jason W. Whitney Jan 2007

Brother's Keeper: The Legal Ethics Of Representing Family Members The Sixth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility: Comment., Jason W. Whitney

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Comment seeks to provide practical guidance in evaluating ethical issues for Texas attorneys considering representing a relative. Attorneys must always look to the relevant rules of professional conduct, advisory opinions, and case law to evaluate whether or not representation adheres to ethical guidelines. The primary sources of guidance are the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (Texas Disciplinary Rules), advisory opinions from the Supreme Court of Texas Professional Ethics Committee (Texas Professional Ethics Committee), and Texas case law. Part II of this Comment discusses the history of professional responsibility, characteristics of representing family members, and common ethical problems arising …


Enforceability Of General Advance Waivers Of Conflicts Of Interest The Sixth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Nathan M. Crystal Jan 2007

Enforceability Of General Advance Waivers Of Conflicts Of Interest The Sixth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Nathan M. Crystal

St. Mary's Law Journal

Conflicts of interest among clients present some of the most pervasive ethical problems lawyers face. In many instances the affected clients may consent to a conflict. Under the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, for consent to be effective, it must be “informed” and must be “confirmed in writing.” Informed consent to such conflict is often referred to as a “waiver” of the conflict. Many law firms have begun seeking “general advance waivers” of conflicts of interest. The ethical rules did not deal with the issue of advance waiver until 2002. Both Model Rules and the Restatement of the Law …


Ethical Considerations Concerning Contacts By Counsel Or Investigators With Present And Former Employees Of An Opposing Party The Sixth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., James L. Burt, Jeremy J. Cook Jan 2007

Ethical Considerations Concerning Contacts By Counsel Or Investigators With Present And Former Employees Of An Opposing Party The Sixth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., James L. Burt, Jeremy J. Cook

St. Mary's Law Journal

Present and former employees of an opposing party are often the best source of information concerning that party’s activities. Contact with these employees or their representatives may be considered ethical or unethical depending on the circumstances. Unfortunately, the rules governing such contacts are neither clear nor consistent. The first issue lawyers must resolve is whether the present and former employees are considered “represented” under Rule 4.2 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. If they are “unrepresented” for purposes of Rule 4.2, the issue then becomes whether Rule 4.3 applies. Of grave importance are the potential sanctions, which include the …


Why Legal Ethics Rules Are Relevant To Lawyer Liability The Sixth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Douglas R. Richmond Jan 2007

Why Legal Ethics Rules Are Relevant To Lawyer Liability The Sixth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility., Douglas R. Richmond

St. Mary's Law Journal

The last two decades have witnessed the creation of a perilous liability environment for lawyers and law firms. Most discussions of lawyer liability begin with “legal malpractice,” a term which typically describes professional negligence. In a malpractice case, the plaintiff must prove the lawyer owed them a duty, the duty was breached, and the breach was the proximate cause of actual damages. The lawyer’s duty flows from the attorney-client relationship. But, the attorney-client relationship is also a fiduciary one, and lawyers may be sued for breach of the fiduciary duty. While these two causes of action are usually alleged simultaneously, …


A Radical Proposal For Lifetime Professionalism The Fifth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility: Essays., Antonio Alvarado Jan 2006

A Radical Proposal For Lifetime Professionalism The Fifth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility: Essays., Antonio Alvarado

St. Mary's Law Journal

Undeniably, the economics of law practice motivates the profession and immerses lawyers into a new professionalism paradigm not fully addressed by existing programs and activities. Linking professionalism to economic concerns might be considered heresy by some, yet now is the time to examine why the economic realities of practicing law sometimes cut short the best aspirations for high standards. Both the American Bar Association (ABA) and the State Bar of Texas focus extensively on questions concerning professionalism in the practice of law. Lawyers face significant economic burdens from several sources, and ironically technology does not always make practice easier. Often, …


The Emperor's New Clothes: Cloaking Client Protection Under The New Model Court Rule On Insurance Disclosure The Fourth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility: Comment., Nicole D. Mignone Jan 2005

The Emperor's New Clothes: Cloaking Client Protection Under The New Model Court Rule On Insurance Disclosure The Fourth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility: Comment., Nicole D. Mignone

St. Mary's Law Journal

Traditionally, the legal profession prides itself on its ability to self-regulate and prefers to “take care of its own” in the disciplinary realm. The Model Court Rule on Insurance Disclosure (the Rule) invites an initial effort toward the legal profession’s self-regulating ideals and client protection. The Rule requires private practice attorneys to report to their state whether they plan to maintain liability insurance, which is then disclosed to the public. Unfortunately, the Rule’s ambiguous language and requirements create worrisome issues for both the attorney and client. Attorneys without malpractice insurance may be indirectly forced to obtain it. This expense could …


In The Interest Of The Client: Why Reform Of Texas's Rules Regarding Referral Fees Is Necessary., Samuel V. Houston Iii Jan 2002

In The Interest Of The Client: Why Reform Of Texas's Rules Regarding Referral Fees Is Necessary., Samuel V. Houston Iii

St. Mary's Law Journal

Texas needs to reform its policy concerning referral fees. In Texas, an attorney is permitted to receive a fee for providing a referral to another attorney. In Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. v. Johnson, for example, the forwarding attorney received a referral fee for $3 million dollars. Proponents of referral fees argue that clients are better represented because referring attorneys have a greater economic incentive to seek out more capable attorneys. On the other hand, referring attorneys may also have the incentive to seek out attorneys who pay higher referral fees rather than those most qualified. In the end, the referred …


Professional Responsibility And The Litigator: A Comprehensive Guide To Texas Disciplinary Rules 3.01 Through 4.04., Barbara Hanson Nellermoe, Fidel Rodriguez Jr. Jan 1997

Professional Responsibility And The Litigator: A Comprehensive Guide To Texas Disciplinary Rules 3.01 Through 4.04., Barbara Hanson Nellermoe, Fidel Rodriguez Jr.

St. Mary's Law Journal

In 1991, the Texas Supreme Court addressed the issue of widespread discovery abuse. Technological advancements have brought new challenges to an attorney’s conduct in litigation and in the discovery process. The Texas Code of Professional Responsibility was repealed in 1990 and was replaced by Article 10, § 9 of the State Bar Rules (the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct). The Order of Adoption of the Texas Lawyer’ Creed states “the conduct of a lawyer should be characterized at all time by honest, candor, and fairness.” It is therefore mandatory for attorneys to refrain from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, …


Ethics And Due Diligence: A Lawyer's Perspective On Doing Business With Mexico., Rona R. Mears Jan 1991

Ethics And Due Diligence: A Lawyer's Perspective On Doing Business With Mexico., Rona R. Mears

St. Mary's Law Journal

The focus of this study is to survey ethical issues faced by legal practitioners in providing legal counsel for international business transactions, with special attention to lawyers counseling clients who are doing business with Mexico. This paper is intended for lawyers who practice in the United States (U.S.), involved in counseling clients outside the U.S. The purpose of this study is to highlight only those issues that raise special difficulties for such a practitioner, and then to provide practical advice on how to avoid ethical problems in U.S.-Mexico transactions. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MPRC), the International Code of …