The Supreme Court heard arguments today in McCoy v. Louisiana, which presents the question of whether it is unconstitutional for defense counsel to tell the jury that a client is guilty when the client insists he is innocent. It also raises interesting questions about the ethical obligations under ABA Model Rule 1.2 that “a lawyer shall abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of representation” and ABA Model Rule 3.3, Candor Toward the Tribunal.
As Justice Sotomayor observed in questioning McCoy’s attorney, “this sounds like my ethics class in law school, and this very hypothetical of what do you do with a lying client?” Full oral argument transcript is here.
Adam Liptak noted in the NY Times that the justices seemed likely to side with McCoy: “Several justices said a decision as fundamental as admitting guilt in a capital case belonged to the client rather than the lawyer.” Full article here.
Cross-posted at the Legal Ethics Forum
On behalf of the Executive Committee for the Section on Professional Responsibility, I write to share with you a fabulous day of events planned for the AALS Annual Meeting in sunny San Diego on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Please plan to join us.
8:30-10:15 PR Section Plenary Session – The Ethics of Legal Education
Deans Dan Rodriguez (Northwestern Law) and Andy Perlman (Suffolk Law) as well as Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Joan Howarth (Michigan State Law) are confirmed speakers, and others will be selected from a call for papers. Proposals are due August 15–details here.
11:30-1:30 PR Section Lunch and Annual Meeting, hosted by the University of San Diego Law School
A bus will depart the AALS hotel lobby at 11:30AM, with lunch beginning at noon, followed by the annual meeting and presentation of the Zacharias Award. The bus will return to the hotel at 1:30PM. USD Law is generously providing this lunch for our section, but you must RSVP in advance no later than November 30 in order to attend.
Please RSVP to Pam Watson: email@example.com with “AALS PR Section Lunch RSVP” as the subject.
3:30-5:15 PR Section Works-in-Progress Session
Proposals are due September 30–details here.
Proposals are due September 30–details here.
Call for Papers
AALS Section on Professional Responsibility
The Ethics of Legal Education
2018 AALS Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
January 3-6, 2018
The Section on Professional Responsibility is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the Section’s 2018 Program: The Ethics of Legal Education. In addition to featuring invited speakers (Professor Joan Howarth, Dean Andrew Perlman, and Dean Daniel Rodriguez), we will select up to two speakers from this call.
This panel will explore the ethical challenges U.S. law schools have faced during the past decade and will consider the path ahead. Speakers will address various subjects that may include: alternative and accelerated degree programs, for-profit law schools, accreditation decisions, admissions and scholarship practices, employment issues, and litigation filed by students and alumni against law schools. The panel will explore the factors that have influenced ethical and values-based decision-making, leadership challenges, and how law school leaders’ ethics and values in this area may influence the future of the legal education and the legal profession.
Participants need not write a paper, but will have the option to publish a paper if they choose to do so.
Any member of the full-time faculty of an AALS member school may submit a 500-1500 word proposal by August 15, 2017 to Renee Knake at firstname.lastname@example.org. The title of the email submission should read: Submission – 2018 AALS Section on Professional Responsibility.
The Planning Committee for the Annual Meeting of the Section on Professional Responsibility will review all submissions and select up to two papers by September 1, 2017. Please note that all faculty members presenting at the program are responsible for paying their own annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses.
Any questions should be directed to 2018 Program Co-chairs Renee Knake at email@example.com or Paula Schaefer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AALS Section on Professional Responsibility invites papers for its program “Professional Responsibility 2018 Works in Progress Workshop” at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego. Two papers will be selected from those submitted.
This workshop will be an opportunity to test ideas, work out issues in drafts and interrogate a paper prior to submission. It will pair each work in progress scholar with a more senior scholar in the field who will lead a discussion of the piece and provide feedback. Successful papers should engage with scholarly literature and make a meaningful original contribution to the field or professional responsibility or legal ethics.
Full-time faculty members of AALS member law schools are eligible to submit papers. Preference will be given to junior scholars focusing their work in the area of professional responsibility and legal ethics. Pursuant to AALS rules, faculty at fee-paid law schools, foreign faculty, adjunct and visiting faculty (without a full-time position at an AALS member law school), graduate students, fellows, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit. Please note that all faculty members presenting at the program are responsible for paying their own annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses.
PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE:
Two papers will be selected by the Section’s Executive Committee for presentation at the AALS annual meeting.
There is no formal requirement as to the form or length of proposals. However, the presenter is expected to have a draft for commentators one month prior to the beginning of the AALS conference.
The paper MUST be a work in progress and cannot be published at the time of presentation. It may, however have been accepted for publication and be forthcoming.
Please email submissions to Ben Edwards, Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, at email@example.com on or before September 30, 2017. The title of the email submission should read: “Submission – 2018 AALS Section on Professional Responsibility.”
The Second Circuit recently upheld a New York court’s dismissal of Jacoby & Meyers’ lawsuit challenging Rule 5.4’s ban on nonlawyer ownership of law firms (opinion here), and last week a Connecticut federal district court dismissed a similar challenge.
From today’s New York Times:
The Supreme Court is taking up the case of a longtime U.S. resident who is facing deportation to South Korea after pleading guilty to a drug crime based on his lawyer’s bad advice.
The justices are hearing arguments Tuesday in an appeal by Jae Lee, who has lived in the United States for 35 years and has never been back to South Korea since coming to the United States when he was 13.
The case has taken on increased importance because President Donald Trump has promised to step up deportations, with a special focus on immigrants who have been convicted of crimes. The American Bar Association has estimated that one of every 10 criminal defendants is not an American citizen.
Lee agreed to plead guilty to possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute after his lawyer, Larry Fitzgerald, assured him that doing so would not make him subject to deportation. The lawyer was wrong.
The issue in Lee’s appeal is whether the lawyer’s recommendation to take the deal offered by prosecutors was so bad that it amounts to a violation of Lee’s constitutional right to a lawyer.
Both sides agree that Fitzgerald’s performance was deficient in representing Lee. The Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that immigrants have a constitutional right to be told by their lawyers whether pleading guilty to a crime could lead to their deportation.
But Lee almost must show that the bad lawyering mattered to the outcome of the criminal case.
Full article here.