Section on Professional Responsibility AALS Annual Meeting Events in San Diego Jan. 6, 2018

On behalf of the Executive Committee for the Section on Professional Responsibility, I am writing to remind you about the fabulous day of events planned for the AALS Annual Meeting in sunny San Diego on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Please note the 11/30 RSVP deadline for lunch. And congratulations to scholars selected from the call for papers for both the plenary session as well as the works-in-progress session. We hope you will 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. Two additional panelists were selected from the call for papers: David McGowan, Lyle L. Jones Professor of Competition and Innovation Law (USD Law) and Brian Tamanaha, John S. Lehmann University Professor (Washington University St. Louis Law).

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: phwatson@law.tamu.edu with “AALS PR Section Lunch RSVP” as the subject.

3:30-5:15 PR Section Works-in-Progress Session
Peter Marchetti (Thurgood Marshall Law), The Need to Regulate For-Profit Law Schools to Prevent Inherent Conflicts of Interest (commentary by Ben Barton—Tennessee Law)
Irene Joe (UC Davis Law), Ethics of Mass Prosecution (commentary by Ellen Yaroshefsky—Hofstra Law)
Veronica Root (Notre Dame Law), Two Paths Forward (commentary by Renee Knake—Houston Law)
Moderator, Ben Edwards (UNLV Law)

Welcome to our 3d Ed and CasebookPlus!

Welcome back; it’s hard for me to believe it’s Fall semester already.  This summer, I taught a fully -asynchronous PR course @ Wake Forest University School of Law using our new 3d edition.

This new edition has several innovative components, for online courses and traditional courses, including multiple choice questions via CasebookPlus that students can take as they study the text, audio mini-lectures on particularly challenging or important content, and learning outcomes tracked to the multiple choice questions – great for formative assessment exercises!

We’ve also included new role-play simulations in each chapter.

Access sample syllabi (including for 2- and 3-credit courses) here, and email us (murphyme@wfu.edu) if you’d like the password to our power point slides for each chapter.

If it’s your first time using CasebookPlus, check out this tutorial.

Welcome!  We look forward to your feedback.

 

Section on Professional Responsibility AALS Annual Meeting Events in San Diego Jan. 6, 2018

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: phwatson@law.tamu.edu 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.

Florida Contemplates Fee Sharing with Out of State NonLawyers | Legal Ethics in Motion

Source: Florida Contemplates Fee Sharing with Out of State NonLawyers | Legal Ethics in Motion

Florida Contemplates Fee Sharing with Out of State NonLawyers

A proposed advisory opinion by The Florida Bar’s Professional Ethics Committee addresses fee-splitting with out-of-state lawyers when the out-of-state lawyer practices in a law firm with nonlawyer ownership. In the opinion, the committee states that a Florida Bar member should not be subject to discipline simply because a nonlawyer owner of an out-of-state law firm could receive a portion of the legal fees.

Partnerships with out-of-state lawyers are hardly new, but tensions between Florida’s Rules of Professional Conduct, and the organization and ownership of out-of-state-firms led the Florida Bar to clarify the matter.

Under Florida Rule of Professional Conduct 4-5.4, lawyers are prohibited from partnering or sharing legal fees with a nonlawyer. However, some U.S. jurisdictions—Washington, D.C. and Washington state—permit nonlawyer ownership of law firms.

The Florida Bar proposed advisory opinion follows in the footsteps of ABA Formal Opinion 464, and several other jurisdictions, in deciding that nonlawyer ownership of law firms in jurisdictions where permissible should not cause collaborating Florida lawyers to violate the prohibition against fee sharing set forth in Rule 4-5.4.

The underlying policy of Rule 4-5.4  concerns the improper influence of a nonlawyer may on a  lawyer’s professional judgment. However in the scenario analyzed in the proposed opinion, Florida Bar committee believes that a lawyer’s professional independence is not at risk simply because a nonlawyer owner receives a portion of an out-of-state lawyer’s fees.

Ultimately, the proposed opinion encourages attorneys to work with out-of-state lawyers despite differences in ownership structure, and allows clients to maintain flexibility in choosing counsel from other jurisdictions.

To read the proposed opinion please click here.

Welcome!

Welcome to our community of professional responsibility teachers!  This web site provides teaching resources, ranging from syllabi and powerpoints to real time updates and videos.  The web site accompanies our casebook Professional Responsibility:  A Contemporary Approach (3d ed. 2017).   The Casebook uses the problem method and offers learning outcomes, multiple choice assessment questions, role plays and simulations, and an interactive online version that includes short audio lectures.  Please feel free to share your ideas and resources with our community of adopters.

We look forward to getting to know you and working with you and our fellow adopters.

The Authors (Bruce A. Green, Peter A. Joy, Sung Hui Kim, Renee Newman Knake, Ellen Murphy, Russell G. Pearce & Laurel S. Terry)

AVVO, Rocket Lawyer, Legal Zoom Blocked by New Jersey Supreme Court Ethics Committees

Source: OTHERWISE: Avvo, Rocket Lawyer, Legal Zoom Blocked by New Jersey Supreme Court Ethics Committees

Opinion 732 – AVVO, Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer
NJ Supreme Court Committees: Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Attorney Advertising, Unauthorized Practice of Law

Responding to an inquiry by the New Jersey State Bar Association, the New Jersey Law Journal reports today that a binding joint Opinion of three New Jersey Supreme Court Committees has found that AVVO Legal Services fee plan violates the Court’s Rules of Professional Conduct.  The business model runs afoul of  RPC 5.4 (a) bar on division of fees with non-lawyers and constitutes an impermissible referral fee in violation of RPC 7.2 (c).

New Jersey lawyers are barred from participating in AVVO Legal Services.
The Opinion is binding subject to discretionary review by the Supreme Court itself.

Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer were found to be permissible legal services plans, but lawyers may not participate until the plan is properly registered with the Supreme Court.

AVVO asserted a First Amendment defense but the Committees responded:

AVVO asserted that its marketing scheme is commercial speech that must be tested against the intermediate scrutiny standard applied to First Amendment commercial speech. The Committees are not restricting Avvo’s marketing; the focus of this Joint Opinion is on the for-profit lawyer referral program and sharing of a legal fee with a nonlawyer. The First Amendment does not protect lawyers who seek to participate in prohibited attorney referral programs or engage in impermissible fee sharing.

NOTICE TO THE BARLAWYER PARTICIPATION IN THE AVVO LEGAL SERVICE PROGRAM AND IN LEGAL ZOOM AND ROCKET LAWYER LEGAL SERVICE PLANS 
On June 21, 2017, the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Committee on Attorney Advertising, and Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law issued a Joint Opinion (ACPE Opinion 732, CAA Opinion 44, UPL Opinion 54) stating that the legal service program operated by Avvo through its website is an impermissible lawyer referral service, in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct 7.2(c) and 7.3(d), and comprises improper fee sharing with a nonlawyer in violation of Rule of Professional Conduct 5.4(a). New Jersey lawyers may not participate in the Avvo legal service program. The Joint Opinion further states that LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer appear to be offering legal service plans that have not been registered pursuant to Rule of Professional Conduct 7.3(e)(4)(vii). New Jersey lawyers may not participate in the LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer legal service plans because they are not registered with the New Jersey Supreme Court (Administrative Office of the Courts).
***
Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.,
Acting Administrative Director of the Courts