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Full-Text Articles in Law

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.


Artificial Intelligence And Legal Malpractice Liability, Vincent R. Johnson Jan 2024

Artificial Intelligence And Legal Malpractice Liability, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

No abstract provided.


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 …


To Write Or Not To Write: The Ethics Of Judicial Writings And Publishing, Nick Badgerow, Michael Hoeflich, Sarah Schmitz Nov 2023

To Write Or Not To Write: The Ethics Of Judicial Writings And Publishing, Nick Badgerow, Michael Hoeflich, Sarah Schmitz

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Judges are bound by the Model Code of Judicial Conduct promulgated by the American Bar Association and adopted most states, including the federal judiciary. Within these rules governing judicial conduct, Judges owe duties to the public and to their calling, to be (and appear to be) objective, fair, judicious, and independent. When judges venture into the realm of extrajudicial writing—in the form of fiction novels, short stories, legal books, children’s books, and the like—they must consider the ethical bounds of that expression. The Model Code of Judicial Conduct imposes five main constraints upon extrajudicial writings: (a) a judge may not …


Why The Dobbs Draft Release Makes It Tougher To Teach Legal Ethics, Lynne Marie Kohm Nov 2023

Why The Dobbs Draft Release Makes It Tougher To Teach Legal Ethics, Lynne Marie Kohm

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

No abstract provided.


Lawyers As Caregivers, Paula Schaefer Jun 2022

Lawyers As Caregivers, Paula Schaefer

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article argues that clients—much like patients in a healthcare setting—need their lawyers to be caregivers. The Article opens by developing a definition of caregiving in medicine and law. It then turns to five key components of caregiving in medicine, explaining the substantial research that this care is crucial for patient satisfaction, trust, and healing. Medical educators have drawn on this research to better prepare medical professionals to be excellent caregivers. The Article then explores the evidence that an attorney’s clients have the same needs and suffer similar harm when attorneys fail to meet these needs. Next, the Article turns …


Patients, Corporate Attorneys, And Moral Obligations, Ioan-Radu Motoarcă Jun 2022

Patients, Corporate Attorneys, And Moral Obligations, Ioan-Radu Motoarcă

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

There are two main questions that any account of corporate lawyers’ moral obligations needs to answer: (1) Do corporate lawyers have moral obligations to third parties? and (2) In cases of conflict between obligations to the corporation and obligations to third parties, which should prevail? This Article offers answers to these questions in the context of lawyers working in medical corporations. I argue that lawyers do have moral obligations to third parties, and that in cases where patients’ rights are being violated by a medical company, patients’ rights should prevail. Consequently, attorney–client confidentiality rules should be relaxed to allow for …


The Foundational Skill Of Reflection In The Formation Of A Professional Identity, Neil W. Hamilton Jun 2022

The Foundational Skill Of Reflection In The Formation Of A Professional Identity, Neil W. Hamilton

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

There is a growing scholarly literature on the professional development and formation of law students into the core values, guiding principles, and well-being practices considered foundational to successful legal practice.* This growing scholarly literature can guide effective curriculum development to foster student growth toward later stages of development on these learning outcomes. This Article focuses on the skill of reflection as one of the most effective curricular strategies to foster each student’s growth toward later stages of these learning outcomes. This same curricular strategy will also be effective in engaging practicing lawyers to grow toward these same goals. Part II …


The Sale Of Law Practice In Texas: The Need For A Rule, Ryan Hagens Jun 2022

The Sale Of Law Practice In Texas: The Need For A Rule, Ryan Hagens

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Abstract forthcoming.


Untangling Attorney Retainers From Creditor Claims, Cassandra Burke Robertson, Jesse T. Wynn Jan 2022

Untangling Attorney Retainers From Creditor Claims, Cassandra Burke Robertson, Jesse T. Wynn

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Clients will often use a retainer to secure an attorney’s representation. But clients in economic distress may have creditors that are eager to access the client’s funds in the attorney’s hands. Attorneys, clients, courts, and regulators have struggled to understand who has the best claim to such retainer funds. In this Article, we attempt to untangle the most common areas of confusion. We conclude that Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) offers strong protection for an attorney’s interest in client retainers through security interests, even though some courts have misapplied the UCC in this context. Further, we recommend …


Reconceiving Ethics For Judicial Law Clerks, Gregory Bischoping Jan 2022

Reconceiving Ethics For Judicial Law Clerks, Gregory Bischoping

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Judicial law clerks hold a unique and critical position in our legal system. They play a central part in the functioning of the judiciary, oftentimes writing the first draft of their judge’s opinions and serving as their trusted researcher and sounding board. Moreover, they are privy to the many highly confidential processes and private information behind the important work of the judiciary. It stands to reason the comprehensive set of ethical duties that bind the world of lawyers and judges should also provide guidance for judicial law clerks. The most important among those ethics rules is a duty of confidentiality. …


Ethical Limits On Promising To Pay An Adverse Award Of Attorney’S Fees Against One’S Client, Chase C. Parsons Jan 2022

Ethical Limits On Promising To Pay An Adverse Award Of Attorney’S Fees Against One’S Client, Chase C. Parsons

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Abstract forthcoming.


Chief Loophole Officer Or Chief Legal Officer: Inside Lehman Brothers—A Film Case Study About Corporate And Legal Ethics, Garrick Apollon Jan 2022

Chief Loophole Officer Or Chief Legal Officer: Inside Lehman Brothers—A Film Case Study About Corporate And Legal Ethics, Garrick Apollon

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article discusses the continuing legal education (CLE) visual advocacy documentary-style program, which Garrick Apollon (author of this Article) researched and developed. The case study for this CLE documentary-style program is the film Inside Lehman Brothers—a documentary film by Jennifer Deschamps which chronicles the story of the Lehman whistleblowers. The film presents Mathew Lee, former senior vice president overseeing Lehman’s global balance sheet; Oliver Budde, former in-house counsel (associate general counsel) of the Lehman Brothers; and the racialized female mid-tier manager whistleblowers, who all paid a steep price in the 2008 American subprime mortgage crisis, while many of the …


Lawyers, Mistakes, And Moral Growth, Vincent R. Johnson Jan 2022

Lawyers, Mistakes, And Moral Growth, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Vincent R. Johnson, professor at St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, reviews The Man in the Ditch: A Redemption Story for Today by Dallas attorney Mike H. Bassett.


Ethical Duty To Investigate Your Client?, Peter A. Joy Oct 2021

Ethical Duty To Investigate Your Client?, Peter A. Joy

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Lawyers have been implicated in corporate scandals and other client crimes or frauds all too often, and the complicity of some lawyers is troubling both to the public and to members of the legal profession. This is especially true when the crime involved is money laundering. As a response to attorney involvement in crimes or frauds, some legal commentators have called for changes to the ethics rules to require lawyers to investigate their clients and client transactions under some circumstances rather than remaining “consciously” or “willfully” blind to what may be illegal or fraudulent conduct. The commentators argue that such …


Professional Responsibility, Legal Malpractice, Cybersecurity, And Cyber-Insurance In The Covid-19 Era, Ethan S. Burger Oct 2021

Professional Responsibility, Legal Malpractice, Cybersecurity, And Cyber-Insurance In The Covid-19 Era, Ethan S. Burger

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, law firms conformed their activities to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and state health authority guidelines by immediately reducing the size of gatherings, encouraging social distancing, and mandating the use of protective gear. These changes necessitated the expansion of law firm remote operations, made possible by the increased adoption of technological tools to coordinate workflow and administrative tasks, communicate with clients, and engage with judicial and governmental bodies.

Law firms’ increased use of these technological tools for carrying out legal and administrative activities has implications …


Negative Commentary—Negative Consequences: Legal Ethics, Social Media, And The Impact Of Explosive Commentary, Jan L. Jacobowitz Ms. Oct 2021

Negative Commentary—Negative Consequences: Legal Ethics, Social Media, And The Impact Of Explosive Commentary, Jan L. Jacobowitz Ms.

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Connecting and sharing on social media has opened communication channels and provided instantaneous information to billions of people worldwide. Commentary on current events, cases, and negative online reviews may be posted in an instant, often without pause or thought about the potential repercussions. This global phenomenon may not only provide news of the day updates, humor, and support for those in need but also is replete with ethical landmines for the unwary lawyer. Lawyers commenting on current events, their cases, or responding to a client’s negative online review, have suffered damage to their careers. In some instances, they have even …


Sufficiently Judicial: The Need For A Universal Ethics Rule On Attorney Behavior In Legislative Impeachment Trials, Joshua E. Kastenberg Oct 2021

Sufficiently Judicial: The Need For A Universal Ethics Rule On Attorney Behavior In Legislative Impeachment Trials, Joshua E. Kastenberg

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In assessing an ethics, rule-based prohibition against New Jersey governmental attorneys representing clients against the state for matters the state had previously assigned to them, the state supreme court noted: “In our representative form of government, it is essential that the conduct of public officials and employees shall hold the respect and confidence of the people.”

In the beginning of 2020, the United States Senate held an impeachment trial to determine whether former President Donald J. Trump had committed offenses forwarded by the House of Representatives. A U.S. Senate trial, much like state senate trials, is both judicial and political …


The Informed Consent Doctrine In Legal Malpractice Law, Vincent R. Johnson Oct 2021

The Informed Consent Doctrine In Legal Malpractice Law, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The doctrine of informed consent is now deeply embedded into the law of legal ethics. In legal malpractice litigation, the doctrine holds that a lawyer has a duty to disclose to a client material information about the risks and alternatives associated with a course of action. A lawyer who fails to make such required disclosures and fails to obtain informed consent is negligent, regardless of whether the lawyer otherwise exercises care in representing a client. If such negligent nondisclosures cause damages, the lawyer can be held accountable for the client’s losses.

Shifting the focus of a legal malpractice action from …


Model Rule 8.4(G) And The Profession’S Core Values Problem, Michael Ariens Oct 2021

Model Rule 8.4(G) And The Profession’S Core Values Problem, Michael Ariens

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Model Rule 8.4(g) declares it misconduct for a lawyer to “engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.” The American Bar Association (ABA) adopted the rule in 2016 in large part to effectuate the third of its four mission goals: Eliminate Bias and Enhance Diversity. The ABA adopted these goals in 2008, and they continue to serve as ABA’s statement of its mission.

A …


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 …


Collared—A Film Case Study About Insider Trading And Ethics, Garrick Apollon Jan 2021

Collared—A Film Case Study About Insider Trading And Ethics, Garrick Apollon

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article discusses the visual legal advocacy documentary film, Collared, by Garrick Apollon (author of this Article). Collared premiered in fall 2018 to a sold-out audience at the Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto for the Hot Docs for Continuing Professional Education edutainment initiative. Collared features the story and reveals the testimony of a convicted ex-insider trader who is still struggling with the tragic consequences of “the most prolonged insider trading scheme ever discovered by American and Canadian securities investigators.” The intimate insights shared by former lawyer and reformed white-collar criminal, Joseph Grmovsek, serves as a painful reminder of the …


Punishing The Victim: Model Rule 1.16(A)(2) And Its Relation To Lawyers With Anxiety, Depression, And Bipolar Disorder, Daniel G. Esquivel Jan 2021

Punishing The Victim: Model Rule 1.16(A)(2) And Its Relation To Lawyers With Anxiety, Depression, And Bipolar Disorder, Daniel G. Esquivel

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Abstract forthcoming.


Legal Ethics And Law Reform Advocacy, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jul 2020

Legal Ethics And Law Reform Advocacy, Jeffrey W. Stempel

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Social activism, particularly law reform, has long been an accepted, even revered part of the lawyer’s identity. But modern developments such as nation-wide firms, the economic importance of client development, and aggressive attempts by clients to deploy attorneys as de facto, undisclosed lobbyists have put substantial pressure on the traditional vision of the attorney as a “lawyer-statesman” or someone who “checks clients at the door” when participating in law reform activities. Furthermore, law reform activism on behalf of one client (or prospective client when attorneys use their law reform lobbying as part of their marketing strategy) poses a real danger …


In The Midst Of Change, A Few Truths Remain—A Review Of Trazenfeld And Jarvis’S Florida Legal Malpractice Law, Jan L. Jacobowitz Ms. Jul 2020

In The Midst Of Change, A Few Truths Remain—A Review Of Trazenfeld And Jarvis’S Florida Legal Malpractice Law, Jan L. Jacobowitz Ms.

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Abstract forthcoming.


Should Judges Have A Duty Of Tech Competence?, John G. Browning Jul 2020

Should Judges Have A Duty Of Tech Competence?, John G. Browning

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In an era in which lawyers are increasingly held to a higher standard of “tech competence” in their representation of clients, shouldn’t we similarly require judges to be conversant in relevant technology? Using real world examples of judicial missteps with or refusal to use technology, and drawn from actual cases and judicial disciplinary proceedings, this Article argues that in today’s Digital Age, judicial technological competence is necessary. At a time when courts themselves have proven vulnerable to cyberattacks, and when courts routinely tackle technology related issues like data privacy and the admissibility of digital evidence, Luddite judges are relics that …


Complicity In The Perversion Of Justice: The Role Of Lawyers In Eroding The Rule Of Law In The Third Reich, Cynthia Fountaine Jul 2020

Complicity In The Perversion Of Justice: The Role Of Lawyers In Eroding The Rule Of Law In The Third Reich, Cynthia Fountaine

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

A fundamental tenet of the legal profession is that lawyers and judges are uniquely responsible—individually and collectively—for protecting the Rule of Law. This Article considers the failings of the legal profession in living up to that responsibility during Germany’s Third Reich. The incremental steps used by the Nazis to gain control of the German legal system—beginning as early as 1920 when the Nazi Party adopted a party platform that included a plan for a new legal system—turned the legal system on its head and destroyed the Rule of Law. By failing to uphold the integrity and independence of the profession, …


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 …


Thomas L. Shaffer, Legal Ethics, And St. Mary’S University, Vincent R. Johnson Jan 2020

Thomas L. Shaffer, Legal Ethics, And St. Mary’S University, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Tribute to Thomas L. Shaffer