Supreme Court hears argument today on a lawyer’s bad advice

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.

Prawfsblawg Symposium on Law’s New Frontiers

Prawfsblawg recently hosted Law’s New Frontiers, a symposium focused on the books by Richard & Daniel Susskind, The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts and Gillian K. Hadfield, Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy. The bottom line? Both books are must-reads for those interested in the future of the legal profession. Here are links to the contributions:

Dan Rodriguez, Law’s New Frontiers: an on-line symposium

Phil Weiser, What Susskind can teach law school educators

Andy Perlman, Predicting the future of legal services

Phil Weiser, Hadfield’s anti-institutional innovation agenda and the administrative state

Renee Knake, What is missing from Hadfield’s Rules for a Flat World and the Susskinds’ The Future of the Professions?

Daniel Sokol, The future of law, innovation and disruptive technologies

Andy Perlman, Legal education in the 21st century

Jeff Lipshaw, A response to the Susskinds mostly and Hadfield

Bill Henderson, Losing the scholarly prose

Javier de Cendra, Some reflections on technology, law and legal systems following “The Future of the Professions” and “Rules for a Flat World”

Andy Perlman, Towards the law of legal services: reflections on Gillian Hadfield’s “Rules for a Flat World”

Stephen Denyer, Rules for a Flat World: the UK experience

Cross-posted at the Legal Ethics Forum

Jotwell Review on The Commercialization of Legal Ethics

Earlier this week, Professor Amy Salyzyn published a Jotwell review of my recent essay, The Commercialization of Legal Ethics.  I’m grateful that she read it, and I hope her review encourages you to read it as well.  She says:  “Professor Knake’s essay is important, compelling and timely: a ‘must-read’ for those interested in the future of legal services markets both in the United States and abroad.”

Another excerpt from her review:

Previous scholarship has shown us how legal ethics in America has become “federalized” and “privatized.”1 In a recent essay in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Renee Newman Knake outlines another modern phenomenon: the “commercialization” of legal ethics. Reading this piece, it becomes clear that the significant complexity now characterizing the regulatory environment for legal services in the United States, with state bars, courts, federal agencies and clients all now playing a role, shows no signs of waning.

The full review is available here.  And here is a link to the essay: Renee Newman Knake, The Commercialization of Legal Ethics, 29 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 715 (2016), available at SSRN.  Casebook adopters–excerpts from this essay will appear in our Third Edition, which will be published spring 2017 in time for fall use.

 

Teaching the Torture Memos

I’m wrapping up Chapter 2 today, teaching the pieces by Luban and Mukasey/Filip on the torture memos that appear at the chapter’s conclusion. This article from Clare Keefe Coleman has been helpful in framing the discussion: Teaching the Torture Memos: “Making Decisions Under Conditions of Uncertainty,” 62 J. Legal Educ. 81 (2012). Abstract follows the jump.Read More »

What do female Olympians and Supreme Court justices have in common? Apparently the media can’t stop focusing on their husbands (or lack of them)

The headlines and tweets in recent days about the media’s gendered coverage of female Olympians are strikingly similar to findings from a media study I conducted with Professor Hannah Brenner on the gendered coverage of female Supreme Court nominees.  (Remember the headlines when Obama nominated Justices Kagan and Sotomayor?  “Then Comes the Marriage Question” was one of many in this vein…)

Vox offers a critique of the Olympics coverage here:  Women are crushing it at the Rio Olympics, but the media keeps focusing on their husbands. For a summary of our media study on Supreme Court nominees, click through the slides below and read our article.

 

Cross-posted at the Legal Ethics Forum blog

ABA revises Model Rule 8.4 to include a provision addressing harassment and discrimination

From the ABA press release:

ABA strengthens provision making harassment, discrimination “professional misconduct”

The American Bar Association adopted Monday a revised resolution to strengthen language in Rule 8.4 that would classify harassment or discrimination in the practice of law professional misconduct subject to disciplinary action.

While the proposal drew widespread interest in the legal profession and division among ABA entities during the past few months, recent changes, including incorporating a knowledge requirement in the specific language of the model rule, served to bring near unanimous agreement in the final vote. More than 70 ABA members signed up to speak on behalf of the revised proposal, while none spoke against it. The House approved the change by voice vote with only a few members voting “no.”

Read more here.