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Model Rules of Professional Conduct

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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 …


Swipe Right Into A Disciplinary Hearing: How The Use Of Dating Apps Could Earn An Attorney More Than A Bad First Date, Zachary S. Aman Jan 2023

Swipe Right Into A Disciplinary Hearing: How The Use Of Dating Apps Could Earn An Attorney More Than A Bad First Date, Zachary S. Aman

Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology

The Model Rules of Professional Conduct seek to police the conduct of attorneys. Each jurisdiction adopts its own rules of professional conduct to apply to the attorneys licensed within it. Notably, the model rules prohibit any sexual relationship between the attorney and client unless that relationship precedes the attorney-client relationship. Traditionally, defining a "sexual relationship" was simple, particularly if the attorney and client engaged in sexual intercourse. The introduction of dating apps, however, has blurred the line.

This article outlines the inherent risks of attorneys using dating apps at a time when most newly-licensed attorneys make up the majority of …


How #Freebritney Exposes The Need To Disable The Model Rules Of Professional Conduct, Heather Swadley Jan 2022

How #Freebritney Exposes The Need To Disable The Model Rules Of Professional Conduct, Heather Swadley

Mitchell Hamline Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice

No abstract provided.


Take Note: Teaching Law Students To Be Responsible Stewards Of Technology, Kristen E. Murray Apr 2021

Take Note: Teaching Law Students To Be Responsible Stewards Of Technology, Kristen E. Murray

Catholic University Law Review

The modern lawyer cannot practice without some deployment of technology; practical and ethical obligations have made technological proficiency part of what it means to be practice-ready. These obligations complicate the question of what constitutes best practices in law school.

Today’s law schools are filled with students who are digital natives who don’t necessarily leverage technology in maximally efficient ways, and faculty who span multiple generations, with varying amounts of skepticism about modern technology. Students are expected to use technology to read, prepare for class, take notes, and study for and take final exams. Professors might use technology to teach or …


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 …


The Search For Clarity In An Attorney's Duty To Google, Michael Thomas Murphy Jan 2021

The Search For Clarity In An Attorney's Duty To Google, Michael Thomas Murphy

All Faculty Scholarship

Attorneys have a professional duty to investigate relevant facts about the matters on which they work. There is no specific rule or statute requiring that an attorney perform an internet search as part of this investigation. Yet attorneys have been found by judges to violate a “Duty to Google” when they have failed to conduct an internet search for relevant information about, for example, a claim, their own client, and even potential jurors in a trial.

So much information is now available to attorneys so easily in electronic search results, it is time to wonder where, when, and how much …


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 …


Augustine, Lawyers & The Lost Virtue Of Humility, Bruce P. Frohnen May 2020

Augustine, Lawyers & The Lost Virtue Of Humility, Bruce P. Frohnen

Catholic University Law Review

The leading edge of legal scholarship and practice in recent decades has evinced a commitment to progressive politics at the expense of constitutional governance, the rule of law, and justice understood as vindication of the reasonable expectations of both the public and the parties to any given case or controversy. This article argues that renewed understanding of the virtue of humility, rooted in a genuine concern to do good according to one’s abilities, rights, and duties, is essential to the maintenance of decency in the legal profession and society as a whole. Such virtue is allowed, if not required, by …


May Class Counsel Also Represent Lead Plaintiffs?, Bruce A. Green, Andrew Kent Jan 2020

May Class Counsel Also Represent Lead Plaintiffs?, Bruce A. Green, Andrew Kent

Faculty Scholarship

For decades, courts and commentators have been aware that the potential for conflicting interests among the class representatives, class counsel, and absent class members is inherent in the class action device. Notwithstanding this realization and a substantial amount of scholarly and judicial commentary on class conflicts, one kind of conflict has not received due attention: the conflict that inevitably arises when class counsel also represents class members as individuals. We demonstrate that this conflict— so common to be almost invisible—arises from the very beginning of a putative class representation, and may create a fraught situation for a lawyer concurrently representing …


Extra Law Prices: Why Mrpc 5.4 Continues To Needlessly Burden Access To Civil Justice For Low- To Moderate-Income Clients, R. Matthew Black Jul 2019

Extra Law Prices: Why Mrpc 5.4 Continues To Needlessly Burden Access To Civil Justice For Low- To Moderate-Income Clients, R. Matthew Black

Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Whether alternative business structures might improve access to justice for low- to moderate-income clients remains a contentious matter.8 Because alternative business structures are generally unavailable, lawyers rely on 501(c)(3) non-profit status and sliding-scale fee structures to reach an underserved market of low-to moderate-income clientele. Nevertheless, use of a sliding- scale fee structure is rare—perhaps because it fails to maximize law firm profits. A sliding-scale fee structure also does not assist clients who need legal services, but do not qualify for LSC-funded programs and are unable to pay even a portion of subsidized legal fees.

This Note addresses why using a …


Legislative And Regulatory Obligations On Corporate Attorneys: Production Data In The World Of Sarbanes Oxley And General Data Protections, David Tersteeg Jul 2019

Legislative And Regulatory Obligations On Corporate Attorneys: Production Data In The World Of Sarbanes Oxley And General Data Protections, David Tersteeg

Northern Illinois University Law Review

Sarbanes Oxley, General Data Protection Regulation, and the American Bar Association's Model Rules place significant professional and personal obligations on attorneys who represent organizations in regard to their organization's handling of production and personal data. There are significant areas of vulnerability to the production and personal data that are frequently overlooked or ignored which significantly increase the likelihood and damage from a data breach. This article will provide an overview of the obligations, recent data breaches, the foreseeability and material impacts of data breaches, and a methodology to drive improvement in an organization.


Marijuana Business Attorneys And The Professional Deference Standard, Andrew Dixon Feb 2019

Marijuana Business Attorneys And The Professional Deference Standard, Andrew Dixon

Arkansas Law Review

Imagine that you practice as an attorney in the State of Arkansas. A client solicits your advice about opening a marijuana dispensary or cultivation center. The client might want you to assist him in filing a dispensary application with the State. On the other hand, she might want you to negotiate a commercial lease or to provide services to ensure compliance with municipal zoning laws. Although Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment permitting medical marijuana sales, you provide a clear warning to your client: possessing, manufacturing, selling, and distributing marijuana remains a federal crime. After these precautions, however, you proceed …


Learning To Be More Than A Lawyer, Carol Morgan Jan 2019

Learning To Be More Than A Lawyer, Carol Morgan

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Aba Model Rule 8.4(G) In The States, Josh Blackman Jan 2019

Aba Model Rule 8.4(G) In The States, Josh Blackman

Catholic University Law Review

This essay will provide a brief overview of how the states have responded to

ABA Model Rule 8.4(g). Part I reviews opinions from four state attorneys

general who concluded that the rule is unconstitutional: Texas, South Carolina,

Louisiana, and Tennessee. Part II discusses the states that considered the rule

with modifications. Part III reviews the states that considered Rule 8.4(g) as

drafted. So far, only one state adopted the rule: Vermont. However, the process

is still not over, and other states are currently considering the rule.


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 …


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

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

Journal Articles

Paragraph 20 in the Scope section of the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules)-which most states have adopted-provides that a violation of the Model Rules "should not give rise to a cause of action against a lawyer[,] nor should it create any presumption in such a case that a legal duty has been breached." At the same time, Paragraph 20 provides that the Model Rules can be used as "evidence" of breach of a lawyer's standard of conduct. Thus, the Model Rules attempt to make it clear that ethical violations are distinct from substantive law …


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, …


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 …


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 …


Negotiating On Behalf Of Low-Income Clients: The Distorting Effects Of Model Rule 4.1, Megan Mcdermott Oct 2016

Negotiating On Behalf Of Low-Income Clients: The Distorting Effects Of Model Rule 4.1, Megan Mcdermott

South Carolina Law Review

No abstract provided.


In Defense Of The Devil's Advocate, Lonnie T. Brown Jr. Jun 2016

In Defense Of The Devil's Advocate, Lonnie T. Brown Jr.

Hofstra Law Review

Among the many controversial positions for which Monroe Freedman advocated during his illustrious career, the one that I find most surprising and uncharacteristic is his contention that lawyers who undertake morally questionable representations have a duty to explain or justify their choice of client. Specifically, in 1993 Professor Freedman penned a well-known column in the Legal Times — titled “Must You Be the Devil’s Advocate?” — in which he took Professor Michael Tigar to task for his representation of reputed Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk. Professor Freedman tacitly criticized Professor Tigar for his client choice and expressly called upon him …


Talk Don’T Touch? Considerations For Children’S Attorneys On The Physical Touch Of Clients, Andrea L. Dennis Mar 2016

Talk Don’T Touch? Considerations For Children’S Attorneys On The Physical Touch Of Clients, Andrea L. Dennis

Catholic University Law Review

Forming a positive attorney-client relationship with a child is a complex process that involves many considerations. Although it offers guidance on effectively communicating and creating a safe environment, the legal system has neglected to form appropriate standards governing physical touch of juvenile clients. There are numerous benefits to physical touch of clients. However, a lack of guidance on the appropriate ways to use physical touch creates the risk negative effects will result from the touch. Drawing from the standards of other child-focused professions, this Article provides guidelines for attorneys contemplating using physical touch to develop a positive rapport with child …


Commentaries On The Model Rules Of Professional Conduct, Thomas Andrews, Karen Boxx Jan 2016

Commentaries On The Model Rules Of Professional Conduct, Thomas Andrews, Karen Boxx

Books

This Fifth Edition of the ACTEC Commentaries continues the tradition of providing guidance on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct particular to estate and trust practitioners. The Fifth Edition update to the Commentaries takes account of amendments to the Model Rules adopted since the 2005 Fourth Edition, including those proposed by the American Bar Association Commission on Ethics 20/20 as adopted by the ABA in 2012 and 2013. It is current through August 31, 2015 as there have been no amendments to the Model Rules since 2013.

In addition to these updates, we have added Commentary and Annotations to four …