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Full-Text Articles in Law

Interpreting Ethics Rules, Samuel J. Levine Feb 2024

Interpreting Ethics Rules, Samuel J. Levine

Pepperdine Law Review

This Article explores the interpretation of ethics rules through the prism of two rules that have been the subject of ongoing controversy and contention: Rule 4.2, the “no-contact” rule, which prohibits a lawyer from communicating with a represented client absent the consent of that client’s lawyer, and Rule 8.4(g), which prohibits various forms of discrimination and harassment. Each of these rules provides a model for a wider examination of different interpretive approaches to ethics rules, grounded in different attitudes toward the features and functions of ethics codes. Specifically, the debate revolving around Rule 4.2 illustrates competing approaches to interpreting a …


The Lawyer's Duty Of Competence In A Climate-Imperiled World, John C. Dernbach, Irma S. Russell, Matthew Bogoshian Jan 2024

The Lawyer's Duty Of Competence In A Climate-Imperiled World, John C. Dernbach, Irma S. Russell, Matthew Bogoshian

Faculty Works

The United States has more than 1.3 million practicing lawyers. Under Model Rule 1.1 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and every state’s rules of conduct, each of these lawyers owes clients competent representation. Under the rule, “[c]ompetent representation requires the knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the services.” While law and rules will undoubtedly change in response to the climate crisis, the duty of competence does not await such change or legal reform. The ubiquitous nature of the duty of competence means it is applicable to each lawyer now and will continue to evolve as …


Mandatory Anti-Bias Cle: A Serious Problem Deserves A More Meaningful Response, Rima Sirota Jan 2024

Mandatory Anti-Bias Cle: A Serious Problem Deserves A More Meaningful Response, Rima Sirota

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay addresses the problematic convergence of two recent trends: (1) the expansion of jurisdictions requiring anti-bias training (ABT) as part of mandatory continuing legal education (CLE), and (2) the growing recognition among social scientists that such training, at least as currently practiced, is of limited effectiveness.

Forty-six American states require continuing legal education (CLE), and eleven of these states now require lawyer ABT as one facet of CLE requirements. I have previously criticized the mandatory CLE system because so little evidence supports the conclusion that it results in more competent lawyers. The central question tackled by this essay is …


40 More Writing Hacks For Appellate Attorneys, Brian C. Potts Jan 2024

40 More Writing Hacks For Appellate Attorneys, Brian C. Potts

Faculty Articles

Legal writing should be “terse, elegant, forcible and convincing.” Given the warm reception for 40 Writing Hacks for Appellate Attorneys, 19 Scribes J. Legal Writing 49 (2020), I humbly offer 40 more. As in the original 40, I slightly altered the briefs to protect the guilty — although the briefs are all in the public record.


Indigent Defense In Louisville: Conditions For Unionization, Zane R. Phelps Sep 2023

Indigent Defense In Louisville: Conditions For Unionization, Zane R. Phelps

The Cardinal Edge

This paper begins by examining the unionization efforts of the Louisville Metro Public Defender Corporation and seeks to link those conditions with national trends to cultivate a rich understanding of why the attorneys are unionizing and what policy solutions they hope to achieve. After surveying the sources of funding and oversight for indigent defense across varying state systems, it synthesizes a policy recommendation wherein federal intervention (National Labor Relations Board), state and local government budgetary oversight and appropriations powers (Kentucky General Assembly, Louisville Metro Council), and the collective bargaining and unionization process (concerted activity), protected by law, are utilized in …


Putting The Bar Exam To The Test: An Examination Of The Predictive Validity Of Bar Exam Outcomes On Lawyering Effectiveness, Jason M. Scott, Stephen N. Goggin, Rick Trachok, Jenny S. Kwon, Sara Gordon, Dean Gould, Fletcher S. Hiigel, Leah Chan Grinvald, David Faigman Apr 2023

Putting The Bar Exam To The Test: An Examination Of The Predictive Validity Of Bar Exam Outcomes On Lawyering Effectiveness, Jason M. Scott, Stephen N. Goggin, Rick Trachok, Jenny S. Kwon, Sara Gordon, Dean Gould, Fletcher S. Hiigel, Leah Chan Grinvald, David Faigman

Grantee Research

How well does bar exam performance, on the whole, predict lawyering effectiveness? Is performance on some components of the bar exam more predictive? The current study, the first of its kind to measure the relationship between bar exam scores and a new lawyer’s effectiveness, evaluates these questions by combining three unique datasets—bar results from the State Bar of Nevada, a survey of recently admitted lawyers, and a survey of supervisors, peers, and judges who were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of recently-admitted lawyers. We find that performance on both the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and essay components of the Nevada …


John Osborn's Enduring Words On Law & Learning, Walter Effross Mar 2023

John Osborn's Enduring Words On Law & Learning, Walter Effross

Popular Media

When I started my first year at Harvard Law School, 17 years after Osborn did, I wasn’t looking for enlightenment. But I expected to be — and was — intimidated by Socratic taskmasters who, like the movie version of Osborn’s Professor Kingsfield (a role for which John Houseman won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award in 1973), were ready with “always another question, another question to follow your answer.”


Modalities Of Social Change Lawyering, Christine N. Cimini, Doug Smith Mar 2023

Modalities Of Social Change Lawyering, Christine N. Cimini, Doug Smith

Articles

The last decade has seen the rise of new kinds of grassroots social movements. Movements including Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Sunrise, and #MeToo pushed back against long-standing political, economic, and social crises, including income inequality, racial inequality, police violence, climate change, and the widespread culture of sexual abuse and harassment. As these social change efforts evolve, a growing body of scholarship has begun to theorize the role of lawyers within these new social movements and to identify lawyering characteristics that contribute to sustaining social movements over time. This Article surveys this body of literature and proposes a typology …


Trauma-Informed (As A Matter Of) Course, Natalie Netzel Jan 2023

Trauma-Informed (As A Matter Of) Course, Natalie Netzel

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

Law students are impacted by trauma and law professors are in a position to help by adopting a trauma-informed approach as a matter of universal precaution. The 2021 Survey of Law Student Well-Being (“SLSWB”) revealed that over twenty percent of responding law students meet criteria that indicate they should be evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). The study also revealed that almost fifty percent of responding students reported an important motivation for attending law school was experiencing a trauma or injustice. Put differently, law schools are full of law students who have experienced trauma, many of whom are actively struggling …


Foreword Introduction To Symposium: Enhancing Anti-Discrimination Laws In Education And Employment, Susan D. Carle Jan 2023

Foreword Introduction To Symposium: Enhancing Anti-Discrimination Laws In Education And Employment, Susan D. Carle

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

When this Symposium was first conceived in the Summer of 2021, the nation was just emerging from the first phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the beginning of trying to go back to life as normal. Given this reawakening, the Symposium’s planning committee felt the urgency of a need to regroup, rethink, and reassess the state of employment antidiscrimination law. We were not sure where others would be on this possible project, given the newness of the hopeful end to lockdowns and social isolation and return to “normal” concerns. But we quickly found that those who joined the Symposium …


Unsettling Human Rights Clinical Pedagogy And Practice In Settler Colonial Contexts, Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, Caroline Bishop Laporte Jan 2023

Unsettling Human Rights Clinical Pedagogy And Practice In Settler Colonial Contexts, Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, Caroline Bishop Laporte

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

In settler colonial contexts, law and educational institutions operate as structures of oppression, extraction, erasure, disempowerment, and continuing violence against colonized peoples. Consequently, clinical legal advocacy often can reinforce coloniality—the logic that perpetuates structural violence against individuals and groups resisting colonization and struggling for survival as peoples. Critical legal theory, including Third World Approaches to International Law (“TWAIL”), has long exposed colonial laws and practices that entrench discriminatory, racialized power structures and prevent transformative international human rights advocacy. Understanding and responding to these critiques can assist in decolonizing international human rights clinical law teaching and practice but is insufficient in …


Religious Convictions, Anna Offit Jan 2023

Religious Convictions, Anna Offit

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

The Anglo-American jury emerged at a time when legal and religious conceptions of justice were entwined. Today, however, though the American public remains comparatively religious, the country’s legal system draws a distinction between legal and religious modes of determining culpability and passing judgment. This Article examines the doctrine that governs the place of religious belief and practice in U.S. jury selection proceedings. It argues that the discretion afforded to judges with respect to applying the Batson antidiscrimination doctrine has given these beliefs and practices an ambiguous status. On the one hand, judges aim to protect prospective religious jurors from discrimination. …


Résumé Review: Breadth And Depth, Patrick Barry Jan 2023

Résumé Review: Breadth And Depth, Patrick Barry

Articles

Nobody is born knowing how to craft an effective résumé. But because the document can play a major role in a young lawyer’s career, I often talk with law students and new attorneys about how they might revise the versions they send out to potential employers. I usually frame my advice by telling them about a concept that can give their resumes a helpful organizing structure: being “T-shaped.”


Designing A Fulfilling Life In The Law, Bridgette Carr, Vivek Sankaran, Taylor J. Wilson Jan 2023

Designing A Fulfilling Life In The Law, Bridgette Carr, Vivek Sankaran, Taylor J. Wilson

Articles

There is a mental health crisis in the legal profession. This isn’t news; in 2017, the National Task Force on Lawyering Well-Being acknowledged that the profession has failed to give adequate regard to the well-being of lawyers. High rates of chronic stress, depression, and substance use suggest that “the current state of lawyers’ health cannot support a profession dedicated to client service and dependent on the public trust.”


The Legal Innovation Sandbox, Cristie Ford, Quinn Ashkenazy Jan 2023

The Legal Innovation Sandbox, Cristie Ford, Quinn Ashkenazy

All Faculty Publications

"The Legal Innovation Sandbox" examines a novel regulatory approach, called the innovation sandbox, in the context of the legal profession. The paper makes the claim that the “sandbox” regulatory model is in fact better suited to fostering innovation in the legal services arena than it is in the financial technology, or fintech, arena in which the sandbox concept developed. However, any effort to transplant a technique from one context to another needs to be carefully considered. This article is comparative across disciplines – financial regulation and legal services regulation – and across jurisdictions – covering the United Kingdom, the United …


The Mystery Of The Leavenworth Oaths, M H. Hoeflich, Stephen M. Sheppard Jan 2023

The Mystery Of The Leavenworth Oaths, M H. Hoeflich, Stephen M. Sheppard

Faculty Articles

Lawyers have sworn an oath to be admitted to the Bar since the beginnings of the Anglo-American legal profession. The oath serves several extremely important purposes. First, it is the formal act that admits an individual into the Bar and confers upon the oath taker the right to perform the duties of an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the oath is given. Second, the oath admits the new attorney to the broader world of the legal profession and signifies that the new attorney has been judged by the oath giver as worthy of the right to practice law. Third, …


Ethical Lawyering: The Role Of Honor, Conscience, And Codes (Reviewing Michael S. Ariens, The Lawyer’S Conscience: A History Of American Lawyer Ethics), Vincent R. Johnson Jan 2023

Ethical Lawyering: The Role Of Honor, Conscience, And Codes (Reviewing Michael S. Ariens, The Lawyer’S Conscience: A History Of American Lawyer Ethics), Vincent R. Johnson

Faculty Articles

Michael Ariens’ new book, The Lawyer’s Conscience: A History of American Lawyer Ethics, is a monumental work, rooted in his decades of excellent scholarship in the fields of attorney professional responsibility and legal history. The Lawyer’s Conscience captures the great sweep and key features of the roughly 250-year period in American legal ethics running from colonial times to the present day. Richly detailed and vividly presented, the story takes the reader on a grand tour of the landmark events and changing ideas that have defined the aspirations, responsibilities, and accountability of members of the American legal profession.


The Legal Innovation Sandbox, Cristie Ford, Quinn Ashkenazy Jan 2023

The Legal Innovation Sandbox, Cristie Ford, Quinn Ashkenazy

All Faculty Publications

"The Legal Innovation Sandbox" examines a novel regulatory approach, called the innovation sandbox, in the context of the legal profession. The paper makes the claim that the “sandbox” regulatory model is in fact better suited to fostering innovation in the legal services arena than it is in the financial technology, or fintech, arena in which the sandbox concept developed. However, any effort to transplant a technique from one context to another needs to be carefully considered. This article is comparative across disciplines – financial regulation and legal services regulation – and across jurisdictions – covering the United Kingdom, the United …


The Futures Of Law, Lawyers, And Law Schools: A Dialogue, Sameer M. Ashar, Benjamin H. Barton, Michael J. Madison, Rachel F. Moran Jan 2023

The Futures Of Law, Lawyers, And Law Schools: A Dialogue, Sameer M. Ashar, Benjamin H. Barton, Michael J. Madison, Rachel F. Moran

Articles

On April 19 and 20, 2023, Professors Bernard Hibbitts and Richard Weisberg convened a conference at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law titled “Disarmed, Distracted, Disconnected, and Distressed: Modern Legal Education and the Unmaking of American Lawyers.” Four speakers concluded the event with a spirited conversation about themes expressed during the proceedings. Distilling a lively two days, they asked: what are the most critical challenges now facing US legal education and, by extension, lawyers and the communities they serve? Their agreements and disagreements were striking, so much so that Professors Hibbitts and Weisberg invited those four to extend their …


Deregulation And The Lawyers' Cartel, Nuno Garoupa, Milan Markovic Aug 2022

Deregulation And The Lawyers' Cartel, Nuno Garoupa, Milan Markovic

Faculty Scholarship

At one time, the legal profession largely regulated itself. However, based on the economic notion that increased competition would benefit consumers, jurisdictions have deregulated their legal markets by easing rules relating to attorney advertising, fees, and, most recently, nonlawyer ownership of law firms. Yet, despite reformers’ high expectations, legal markets today resemble those of previous decades, and most legal services continue to be delivered by traditional law firms. How to account for this seeming inertia?

We argue that the competition paradigm is theoretically flawed because it fails to fully account for market failures relating to asymmetric information, imperfect information, and …


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 …


Protecting The Guild Or Protecting The Public? Bar Exams And The Diploma Privilege, Milan Markovic Jun 2022

Protecting The Guild Or Protecting The Public? Bar Exams And The Diploma Privilege, Milan Markovic

Faculty Scholarship

The bar examination has long loomed over legal education. Although many states formerly admitted law school graduates into legal practice via the diploma privilege, Wisconsin is the only state that recognizes the privilege today. The bar examination is so central to the attorney admissions process that all but a handful of jurisdictions required it amidst a pandemic that turned bar exam administration into a life-or-death matter.

This Article analyzes the diploma privilege from a historical and empirical perspective. Whereas courts and regulators maintain that bar examinations screen out incompetent practitioners, the legal profession formerly placed little emphasis on bar examinations …


Aba Model Rule 8.4(G), Discriminatory Speech, And The First Amendment, Bruce Green, Rebecca Roiphe Apr 2022

Aba Model Rule 8.4(G), Discriminatory Speech, And The First Amendment, Bruce Green, Rebecca Roiphe

Articles & Chapters

The ABA adopted Model Rule 8.4(g), which targets certain speech and conduct that are based on “race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status.” In particular, according to the accompanying comment, Rule 8.4(g) reaches speech that is “derogatory and demeaning” or that “manifests bias or prejudice towards others” and is “harmful” (including, presumably, emotionally harmful). This rule targets a significant amount of speech that would be constitutionally protected if it were uttered by a nonlawyer. This article argues that there is no justification for treating lawyers differently from others in many …


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.


The Institutional Mismatch Of State Civil Courts, Colleen Shanahan, Jessica Steinberg, Alyx Mark, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2022

The Institutional Mismatch Of State Civil Courts, Colleen Shanahan, Jessica Steinberg, Alyx Mark, Anna E. Carpenter

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

State civil courts are central institutions in American democracy. Though designed for dispute resolution, these courts function as emergency rooms for social needs in the face of the failure of the legislative and executive branches to disrupt or mitigate inequality. We reconsider national case data to analyze the presence of social needs in state civil cases. We then use original data from courtroom observation and interviews to theorize how state civil courts grapple with the mismatch between the social needs people bring to these courts and their institutional design. This institutional mismatch leads to two roles of state civil courts …


Building Fierce Empathy, Binny Miller Jan 2022

Building Fierce Empathy, Binny Miller

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

In this Article I explore the process of building and sustaining empathy with clients in the context of representing juvenile lifers-- people convicted of serious crimes as children and sentenced to life or sentences that ensure that they spend most of their lives in prison--in a law school clinic. Before turning to my own lawyering experiences and those of my clinic students, I ground the discussion of empathy in the competing theories of Charles Ogletree and Abbe Smith about the value of empathic lawyering for public defenders. These theories, together with the contributions of other scholars, provide a springboard for …


Designing Interdisciplinary, Early Intervention Dispute Resolution Tools To Decrease Evictions And Increase Housing Stability, Christine N. Cimini Jan 2022

Designing Interdisciplinary, Early Intervention Dispute Resolution Tools To Decrease Evictions And Increase Housing Stability, Christine N. Cimini

Articles

This Article provides a unique glimpse into the development of an early-intervention, pre-court, interdisciplinary dispute resolution project intended to decrease evictions and increase housing stability for recipients of subsidized housing in Seattle. With a grant from the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), a coalition of non-profit organizations had the rare opportunity to design a dispute resolution system into existence. A dispute system design team was formed and began by examining the interconnected problems of housing instability, eviction, and houselessness. Despite thorough research on dispute system design and extensive meetings with stakeholders, the deign team encountered numerous challenges. This Article identifies the …


The Fall Of An American Lawyer, Michael Ariens Jan 2022

The Fall Of An American Lawyer, Michael Ariens

Faculty Articles

John Randall is the only former president of the American Bar Association to be disbarred. He wrote a will for a client, Lovell Myers, with whom Randall had been in business for over a quarter-century. The will left all of Myers’s property to Randall, and implicitly disinherited his only child, Marie Jensen. When Jensen learned of the existence of a will, she sued to set it aside. She later filed a complaint with the Iowa Committee on Professional Ethics and Conduct. That complaint was the catalyst leading to Randall’s disbarment.

Randall had acted grievously in serving as Lovell Myers’s attorney. …


The Overreach Of Limits On 'Legal Advice', Lauren Sudeall Jan 2022

The Overreach Of Limits On 'Legal Advice', Lauren Sudeall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Nonlawyers, including court personnel, are typically prohibited from providing legal advice. But definitions of “legal advice” are unnecessarily broad, creating confusion, disadvantaging self-represented litigants, and possibly raising due process concerns. This Essay argues for a narrower, more explicit definition of legal advice that advances, rather than undercuts, access to justice.


The Appearance Of Appearances, Michael Ariens Jan 2022

The Appearance Of Appearances, Michael Ariens

Faculty Articles

The Framers argued judicial independence was necessary to the success of the American democratic experiment. Independence required judges possess and act with integrity. One aspect of judicial integrity was impartiality. Impartial judging was believed crucial to public confidence that the decisions issued by American courts followed the rule of law. Public confidence in judicial decision making promoted faith and belief in an independent judiciary. The greater the belief in the independent judiciary, the greater the chance of continued success of the republic.

During the nineteenth century, state constitutions, courts, and legislatures slowly expanded the instances in which a judge was …