Welcome to the Contemporary Approach to Professional Responsibility Blog


Welcome! We would like you to join our community as we promote study of, and debate regarding, the professional responsibility of lawyers.  Although our blog will serve as a resource for users of Professional Responsibility:  A Contemporary Approach (2010), the current developments, innovative teaching materials, and commentary should be thought-provoking and fun for all those interested in the legal profession.  Please feel free to share your ideas and we will post as much as we can.

Correction Teacher’s Manual Chapter 2, Question 2-13

The error below, from p. 28 of the Teacher’s Manual is that he correct answer should be (B) — this is not a unauthorized practice of law.  The explanation is correct and provides the rationale for an answer of B.  The purpose of the question is to highlight the Rule 5.5(d)(1) exception for in-house counsel, as well as the difference between Rule 5.5(d)(1) and Rule 5.5(c) which requires that the out of jurisdiction practice be temporary in order to qualify for one of its exceptions to unauthorized paractice.  Of course, if the in-house work does require “pro hac vice admission,” then the Rule 5.5(d)(1) does not apply unless the “lawyer is authorized by federal or other law or rule to provide [services] in [the] jurisdiction” per Rule 5.5(d)(2).


[Question 2-13, Casebook p. 58]

Does Joan commit UPL if she leaves F&I to become in-house counsel at Monolith, Inc., located in Sirius?

(A) Yes

(B) No

Correct Answer: (A) (B)

Even though this position is not temporary, and therefore does not fall under the exceptions in Rule 5.5(c), it does fall under the exception in Rule 5.5(d)(1) for services “provided to the lawyer’s employer or its organizational affiliates [that] are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission.”

Lawyer can cite judges’ praise in advertising

OTHERWISE: Lawyer can cite judges' praise in advertising.
Plaintiff’s employment lawyer Andrew Dwyer has won high praise from judges in their findings in support of counsel fees under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. He uses the judges’ words in his firm’s website. The New Jersey Supreme Court barred such advertising as “misleading”. The Third Circuit overturned the New Jersey rule:

“Guideline 3 as applied to Dwyer’s accurate quotes from judicial opinions thus violates his First Amendment right to advertise his commercial services. Requiring Dwyer to reprint in full on his firm’s website the opinions noted above is not reasonably related to preventing consumer deception. To the extent the excerpts of these opinions could possibly mislead the public, that potential deception is not clarified by Guideline 3. In any event, what is required by the Guideline overly burdens Dwyer’s right to advertise. “

GM Legal Department

According to yesterday’s NY Times, attention is now turning to how GM’s legal department handled the complaints about the defective ignition switches.

Great article to share with students when discussing Model Rule 1.13.


You can read more about General Counsel Michael Milikin here: http://www.gm.com/company/corporate-officers/michael-millikin




Commentary: From the bench to the podium : SCOTUSblog

Commentary: From the bench to the podium : SCOTUSblog.

Lyle Denniston, perhaps our most senior Supreme Court reporter, is skeptical about judges stepping into the public forum. His case in point is the Senate testimony on campaign finance reform by Justice Stevens.

Denniston’s commentary begins:
“In ways large and small, the idealized expectation that the Supreme Court will stay outside the political arena continues to diminish in a country with polarized partisanship and fragmented cultural values. One reason is that those on opposite sides of the divide increasingly seek to use the Court to advance their own agendas — and, increasingly, succeed at it.

Another reason, though, is that the Justices are moving regularly into the public realm, and taking their deep divisions with them. In short, they frequently move from the bench to the podium, and use public platforms to defend their judicial records – at times, to settle old scores or to stir up old wounds.

In some ways, this may be a welcome new form of transparency for an institution long known for its capacity to keep its own secrets. But it also may be an unhealthy turn toward public self-justification, a reluctance to let the judicial record speak for itself….”

It is in this context that another breakthrough in public advocacy has come: retired Justice John Paul Stevens took the witness chair on Wednesday before the Senate Rules Committee — his first appearance before a Senate committee since his nomination hearings thirty-nine years ago, he noted. He was there to promote reform of campaign finance law.

OTHERWISE: The Supreme People’s Court Releases 7 Typical Cases of Judicial Misbehavior | Supreme People’s Court Monitor

OTHERWISE: The Supreme People’s Court Releases 7 Typical Cases of Judicial Misbehavior | Supreme People’s Court Monitor.

面子”文化 “face culture” makes shaming a form of legal discipline with particularly Chinese characteristics. Susan Finder explains how it is being used to scold and discipline judges,

Work-product privilege – Lawyer must disclose documents to be used in cross exam

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Douglas Hague required plaintiff attorneys to produce deposition transcripts for medical malpractice defendant Tamburello’s expert and precluded use at trial of any deposition document not identified beforehand. But Hague said the defense was not entitled to information about how the plaintiff would use them at trial. The Appellate Division affirmed in part in Dalton v. Crawley. Although the transcripts are discoverable (because they were not “prepared” for trial – only gathered. But in requiring plaintiff to designate those which he intended to use at trial the order intruded on a lawyer’s “mental impressions”, “trial stratagy, etc.

Read more: http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202650460417/Work-Product-Privilege-Covers-Using-Experts%27-Prior-Testimony-To-Impeach#ixzz2yaTUSQz1

Law Firm That Enabled Child Snatch Liable for Father’s Emotional Distress | New Jersey Law Journal

OTHERWISE: Law Firm That Enabled Child Snatch Liable for Father's Emotional Distress | New Jersey Law Journal.

A New Jersey appellate court has found that aggravated circumstances permit the recovery of emotional distress damages in a legal malpractice case for breach of fiduciary duty. The court allowed counsel fees as proximately caused damages to the non-client plaintiff father.

The defendant lawyer turned over a child’s passport to the mother in violation of a parenting agreement between mother and father. The child has been separated from her father for ten years, living in Spain with her maternal grandparents who echo the mother’s unsubstantiated accusations of child abuse. The mother is serving a fourteen year sentence for child abduction. A jury awarded the father nearly $1 million in emotional distress damages. The Appellate Division upheld the award to the father but overturned the award to the child due to lack of evidence.
Disclosure: I testified for plaintiffs on breach of fiduciary duty. – gwc