Professional Responsibility Syllabus - 2017


Professional Responsibility Syllabus  
Spring 2017             updated January 10, 2017

IN PROGRESS


George W. Conk, Adjunct Professor & Senior Fellow, Stein Center for Law & Ethics, Fordham Law School  

email: gconk@law.fordham.edu   
Office: Room 8-122 
Phone: 212-636-7446

Tuesdays   6:00 PM - 8:50 PM  |  Room  3-04

Required materials:
Casebook: 
Professional Responsibility,  A Contemporary Approach
Pearce, Capra, Green 
(West – Second Edition)
Interactive casebook: 
http://www.interactivecasebook.com (purchasers of hard copy also receive access to the interactive eBook version; SEE keycode on inside front cover)
ISBN  978-0-314-28781-6

Supplement: 
The Law Governing Lawyers (LGL) Model Rules, Standards, Statutes, and State Rules of Professional Conduct
Martyn, Fox, Wendel (Wolters Kluwer 2016-2017 Edition)
ISBN: 978-1-4548-7537-6. 
Any complete current version of the Model Rules and comments will suffice.  I like Martyn, Fox because they include substantial excerpts from the 3rd Restatement - the Law Governing Lawyers, and selected federal statutes and rules.

Blogs:

Otherwise
(syllabus and policies, links to resources, etc.)
ContemporaryProfessionalResponsibility.com

Accountability

Ten (+/-)  students will be assigned to be "on call" for classroom discussions each week.


Attendance is required.  I must certify good and regular attendance to submit a passing grade.  If you are unable to attend class you must drop me a note with brief explanation before class.

 Classroom Participation Is Required and constitutes a significant part of  your grade.  That principally means being well prepared on the nights when you are "on call".  Therefore there is no anonymous grading in this class.

Office hours by appointment on the hour and half hour.  Please make appointments by email.

Deadlines: if you elect the term paper option deadlines must be respected and extensions must be requested in advance. 

Term Paper or exam option
 (in addition to classroom participation and good and regular attendance):
Two options (choose one)
Final exam: in-class multiple choice type exam


Term paper: if you have elected to write a 15 page term paper the topic must be submitted to me for approval.  You need not take the final exam - but classroom participation will still be considered in your grade. 

Term paper due dates
Term paper topic proposals due:  Tuesday, February 28, 5:00 PM
Rough draft due : March 31, 5:00 PM
Final paper due: April 28, 5:00 PM (no extensions for graduating students)
May 17 - last possible extended due date (for non-graduating students)

Any request for extension of any deadline must be made via email to me at least 48 hours before the deadline.

 Requirements and format of  Term papers

Stylistic tips and principles: Rhetoric: Aristotle, RBG, and the art of persuasion

And, of course, the classic: Strunk & White Elements of Style

Reading
Principal reading will be from the casebook, supplemented by the relevant Rules and Comments in the Supplement.  Page assignments are approximate.

The basic approach should be to read the excerpted cases in the casebook, then read the sample questions.  Much of our discussion will center on the  problems presented in the MPRE-style multiple choice questions in the casebook.

I will make additional assignments of cases and articles beyond the casebook .  As you can see below there are hyperlinks to such materials.

Discussion leaders - when assigned - are "on call".  You should be prepared to discuss each of the multiple choice questions in the case book, and the cases excerpted in the casebook.  Discussion questions are often contained in the discussion slides posted on the syllabus page.  But the main objective is to discuss the Rules, their meaning, purposes and implementation.  The discussion therefore will often be free flowing.

Please be sure to bring the Law Governing Lawyers and the casebook to each class when you are on call.  I strongly recommend bringing both to each class.  Of course you may use the eBook. 

Syllabus (Note: this evolves as the semester progresses)


Unit 1 - Introduction - What Does it Mean to Be a Lawyer? 

Themes : What inspires and guides legal ethics?  Role of  the RPC's; the business vs. profession debate; personal morality and ideology.

Discussion slides - Chapter 1 Introducing Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics
Read:
Chapter 1 - pages 1-25

Read: black letter Model RPC's  and comments
Model Rules 

Preamble
RPC 3.8 Special rules governing Prosecutors (Rule & comments)

Client lawyer relationship
MRPC 1.0-1.4 (Rules and Comments)
Competence, scope of representation, diligence, communication

MRPC 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9 (Rules & comments)
Confidentiality, Conflicts of interest (current and former clients), Duties to former clients
Responding to subpoenaes for client information - ABA Opinion 473
Preserving Confidentiality when moving to be relieved as counsel ABA Opinion 476

MRPC 1.10, 1.11, 1.13, 1.14,  1.16 (Rules & comments)
Imputation of conflicts, Special conflicts - former and current government employees

MRPC 1.15-1.18 (Rules & comments)

Safekeeping property, Declining or terminating representation, sale of law practice, duties to prospective clients


Unit 2
Ch. 2 Basic Elements of Law Practice

Discussion slides - Basic elements of Law Practice- part 1
-Defining the practice of law – unauthorized practice, creating the lawyer-client relationship.

Read: Chapter 2, pages 27 - 77
Opinion 53 - Medicaid advisors - NJ Committee on the Unauthorized practice of law, May 2016

NOLO  Legalzoom - take a look at their websites
Draft a will at LegalDepot.com


Key cases: Florida Bar v. Brumbaugh, Birbrower v. Montalbano et al., [Cal. Civil Code 1282.4]; Morris v. Margulis & Grant; Tennessee Ethics Opinion; Nathanson v.MCAD

Are Florida's restrictions on non-lawyer assistance too harsh? Do state restrictions on out of state lawyers improperly regulate interstate commerce and the client's right to the counsel it chooses?

How should the trial judge decide the Tennessee case?
Is the judge obligated to enforce the legal right to abortion if, like Justice Scalia, he adheres to Catholic doctrine which forbids abortion and provides for automatic excommunication of one who aids or abets an abortion ?  



 Chapter 2- Basic elements of Law Practice  continued
–  Terminating the attorney-client relationship
The Duties of Competence, Communication, Allocating Decision-making, Civil Liability
Read 
casebook: 82 - 106
Competence: MRPC 1.1, 1.3
Termination: Restatement LGL 31; MRPC 1.16
Opinion 476 ABA Confidentiality when seeking to withdraw for non-payment



Malpractice Liability 
Read: casebook 103-121
Discussion slides: Malpractice Liability
Malpractice: Restatement LGL 48, 51, 52; MRPC 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.8
NJ Model Civil Jury Charge: Attorney Negligence 5.51A, 5.51B
Application- Lawyers Professional Liability
Specimen policy of insurance

Unit 3

Ch. 2 Competence in criminal defense 
discussion slides
Gideon's Army - (video - NY Times) Public Defenders struggle to answer the call
Ted Cruz Confronts Dreamer in Iowa - RedState
Read
Casebook pages: 122-130

Effective assistance of counsel (Justia)
6th Amendment - Constitution of the United States of America
McMann v. Richardson, 397 U.S. 759 (U.S. 1970) 
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668(1984)
Search "public defenders" on Otherwise - read posts 

Read
Should there be public defenders for deportees?
Padilla v. Kentucky (2010) - collateral consequences
City Bar Association: NYC know your rights project report


Background
Jed Rakoff - Why Innocent People Plead Guilty (NY Review)
Curb False Guilty Pleas - NJ Law Journal Editorial Board
Is our criminal justice system fair?  What if anything does the reported funding crisis of public defenders have to do with that?


Unit 4
Ch. 2 - Allocating Decision-Making Between Lawyers and Client
Discussion slides - Allocating Decision-Making
Read: Casebook p. 142-181
IMO Howard Shipley - order to show cause whey he should not be disciplined (SCOTUS)
Lyle Denniston, The Howard Shipley case: A lesson for others, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 24, 2015)

Unit 5

Chapter 3 The Business, Technology, and marketing of Legal Services
 Finding clients (advertising, solicitation)
Discussion slides - advertising

Read: casebook p. 183-246
Read: NY City Bar Association Formal Opinion 2015-7 - Application of Attorney Advertising Rules to LinkedIn
Opinion 2016-3 Supreme Court of Ohio - Board  of Professional Conduct
Is Avvo.com a proper referral service?  If not how can it be fixed?
When the judge praises you Dwyer v. Cappell
New York RPC's on advertising
 Joe Borenstein - Maine Lawyers for Maine People



Unit 6
Fees and billing

Read: casebook p. 246-311
Discussion slides- fees & billing
NCAA seeks deep cuts in O'Bannon fees - Otherwise
Magistrate Order approving fees - July 13, 2015
Kill the billable hour quota? Sigrid Irias
The flat fee trap? Norman Pattis

Unit 7

Chapter 5 Conflicts of Interest
Concurrent conflicts (when our clients are in conflict)
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice - NJ Supreme Court (2014)
Screening conflicts - infographic
Uniform Collaborative Law Act
NJ Collaborative Practice Groups



Unit 8
Aggregate settlements and Conflicts in Criminal cases

Read: Aggregate settlements pp. 451-452  

In Re DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implants Product Liability Litigation
Order Consolidating Bellwether Cases for Trial
DePuy ASR Settlement Program

Multi-District Litigation 28 USC 1407
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure R. 23 Class Actions 

Hellerstein: Managerial Judging: The 9/11Responders' Tort Litigation 


Unit 9
Chapter 5 - Part 2 & 3
- Conflicts Between Clients Interests and Personal or Financial Interests of the Lawyer, etc.


Read: Casebook p. 453-502


Conflicts in Criminal cases p. 502-532
Discussion slides - conflicts of interest, part 2
Discussion slides - Conflicts of Interest in criminal cases


Unit 10


Chapter 4  Attorney client privilege and the Lawyer's Duty of Confidentiality
April 12

 Read: 

class 1: casebook p.313-355 (basics of the privilege)
Discussion slides - privilege and confidentiality

FR Evid 501 Privilege
The common law — as interpreted by United States courts in the light of reason and experience — governs a claim of privilege unless any of the following provides otherwise:
- the United States Constitution;
- a federal statute; or
- rules prescribed by the Supreme Court.
But in a civil case, state law governs privilege regarding a claim or defense for which state law supplies the rule of decision.FR Evid 502
FRCvP 26


Upjohn v. U.S. 449 U.S. 383 (1981) 


Practice guide: Upjohn warnings

Unit 11

April 19 

Casebook   p. 356-376 (waiver and the crime-fraud exception)
pp. 376- 405 (confidentiality)
Discussion slides (beginning at # 47)


Chapter 6 
Obedience to the Law
Confidentiality under R. 1.6 and the Duty of Corporate Counsel Under Sarbanes Oxley
Casebook pp. 602-622
Discussion Slides


Final Rule - SEC - 17 CFR 205.1 et seq. Implementation of Standards of Professional Conduct for Attorneys Securities and Exchange Commission
The duty: Issuer as client 17 CFR 205.3
Appearing before the commission: 17 CFR 205.2
Unit 12

Chapter 7 Special Ethical Rules: Prosecutors and Judges
Read: casebook, pp. 653-703
pp. 703- 74 (two classes)
Discussion slides


 Background:   Disclosure of all favorable evidence - Bruce Green

Brooklyn D.A. - Conviction Review Unit
D.A. Kenneth Thompson  Address to NY City Bar Association on Wrongful Convictions

Should local prosecutors bow out of police shooting cases?
Monroe Freedman, et al on Ferguson - Legal Ethics Forum

Marty Stroud, III
Stroud meets Glenn Ford - apologizes VIDEO

 Week 13   Makeup Class: Wednesday -April 27  - 400:-6:20 Rm. 3-01
Judges
Read: casebook pp. 746-794
An independent judiciary? How should we select judges? (Election or appointment)

When should judges recuse? Should a judge recuse when a litigant has financially supported his election? Have the dissent's warnings been realized? (view on Westlaw) 

 Capertonv. A.T. Massey, 556 U.S. 868 (2008)

The New Politics of Judicial Elections (Brennan Center)

What limits should be placed on judicial campaigning?
Wersal v. Sexton, 674_F.3d_1010, 8th Cir.2012

Does the 1st Amendment protect judges' fund-raising appeals?
 Yulee v. Florida Bar  135 S.Ct. 1656 (2015)
John Oliver on the Yulee case

What's the matter with Kansas? 
Bill threatens to defund judiciary -Brennan Center

Impeach judges? 

Kansas Supreme Court Stands Up to Legislature - blogpost and opinion


The Iowa same sex marriage case and judicial retention elections



Should the U.S. Supreme Court be subject to to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges?

HR 862 (2011)
Yes: Alliance for Justice
Maybe: Wheeler/Brookings Institute