Tobacco Research Center replies to ALI on industry influence

OTHERWISE: Tobacco Research Center replies to ALI on industry influence.

The Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education at UCSF has sharply criticized the ALI for its response to the Center’s criticism of the Institute’s conflict of interest policies.  The Center demonstrated that tobacco industry lawyers privately lobbied the Reporter William Prosser who responded by exempting “good tobacco” from the strict liability rules of the second Restatement of Torts.  The Product Liability Restatement was drafted by law professors who had been paid consultants of tobacco companies.

The Center urges the ALI to adopt as a model the conflict of interest policies employed by the National Academies of Science. See the post above for key documents and commentary. – GWC

ReInvent Law Silicon Valley March 8 @ Computer History Museum

We have over 500 registered to attend ReInvent Law Silicon Valley on March 8 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.  More than 30 speakers will give high energy talks on all things related to law, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  For those who can’t join us, we will be posting the talks on our ReInvent Law Channel (  Many of the talks will address lawyer ethics and regulation.  Once all of the talks are up on our channel, I’ll post an index for our casebook adopters with recommended clips to use in teaching.SiliconValley2013List

When do Model Rules Amendments Appear on the MPRE?

Bruce Green writes:

Here’s a link to the MPRE examination booklet.  At page 11, it says: “Amendments to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct or the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct will be reflected in the examination no earlier than one year after the approval of the amendments by the American Bar Association.”.

Legal Ethics Forum: ABA Adopts Final Proposals from Ethics 20/20

ABA Ethics 20/20 reports recommend changes to Model Rules of Professional Conduct – Legal Ethics Forum
Summary by Chief Reporter Andrew Perlman

Overview Report HERE.  Go to the post above for links to each proposed model rule change and the rule-specific report.
Resolution 107A amended Model Rule 5.5 so that it expressly permits qualified foreign lawyers to serve as in-house counsel while based at their employers’ U.S. offices.

Resolution 107B amended the 2008 ABA Model Rule for Registration of In-House Counsel to bring foreign lawyers within the scope of that Rule.

Resolution 107C amended the ABA Model Rule on Pro Hac Vice Admission so that it provides guidance to judges who may be asked to grant pro hac vice admission to qualified foreign lawyers. 

Resolution 107D amended Comment [5] to Rule 8.5 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct so that it expressly allows a lawyer and client to specify a particular jurisdiction as the jurisdiction where the “predominant effect” of the lawyer’s conduct will occur for purposes of a choice of law analysis under Model Rule 8.5.

OTHERWISE: Judge Rakoff gets vigorous support in Second Circuit Appeal

OTHERWISE: Judge Rakoff gets vigorous support in Second Circuit Appeal.

As lawyers we tend to think that our agency empowers us to dispose of all issues by agreement with the adversary.  That sense is enhanced when one of the parties is the government and the “contracting” parties have “settled” their differences.  The current controversy between the S.E.C., Citigroup, and District Judge Jed Rakoff suggests the limits of parties’ ability to employ the judicial power.  Even public executive authority may not appropriate that power. Rakoff’s assertion of a judicial obligation to determine if the public interest is served by a proposed injunction by consent is contested by the S.E.C. which describes as “at best minimal” the court’s role in reviewing the agency’s agreement with Citigroup. in a securities fraud enforcement action.

Rakoff’s attorneys.argue in their brief “the law is clear that a federal judge has a responsibility to independently determine whether a proposed consent judgment satisfies well-established standards of being fair, adequate, reasonable, and in the public interest. The deference due the SEC in considering a proposed consent judgment cannot and does not eliminate that responsibility, nor does the fact that the parties have agreed to the terms of a proposed court order require the judge to sign off on that order without inquiry into whether it meets those standards. In making that inquiry, depending on the particulars of the case before it, a federal judge has every right to seek an evidentiary basis where necessary to determine whether the proposed settlement conforms to the established standards.”
These issues are explored and links to documents supplied in the blog post above.