There is a long tradition of presidents appointing loyalists as Attorney General. Robert F. Kennedy and Griffin Bell come immediately to mind as the brother and childhood friends of John Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. Professor Jed Shugerman has critically explored that history at length in a work in progress.
But there was an important post-Watergate shift which sought to buttress the independence of the office of the Attorney General and the entire Department of Justice from the presidency. In 1977 the passage of 28 USC 508 governed succession in the Department of Justice in the event of a vacancy of the office of the Attorney General – head of the Department of Justice, itself created in 1870, a subject explored in the Stanford Law Review by Fordham legal historian Shugerman. The 1977 Act was preceded by the 1976 Omnibus Crime Control Act 42 USC 3701 that created a ten year term for the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who must be confirmed by the Senate. The clear policy thrust is to strengthen independence of the Department of Justice and Attorney General. It is that which is threatened by Mr. Trump’s appointment of Mark Whitaker as Acting Attorney General to assume oversight of an investigation of the President himself. I discuss the legality of Trump’s appointment in the post linked below- GWC
Source: OTHERWISE: Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker unlawfully bypasses Senate-confirmed officers
Lawyers’ advertising is governed by RPC 7.1 which provides A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawye…
Source: OTHERWISE: Advertising oneself as “expert” OK’d by New Jersey Attorney Advertising Committee
In light of recent events, this announcement seems particularly timely:
FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) is now accepting applications for its 2019 Law program.
FASPE Law is a fully-funded, two-week fellowship program in professional ethics and ethical leadership that begins by examining the actions and choices of German lawyers in enabling Nazi policies. It then draws on this historical example to help Law Fellows both grasp their role as influencers in their field and in their communities as well as identify and confront the ethical issues currently facing lawyers and the legal profession. The program takes place in Germany and Poland at the sites of Nazi actions, allowing Fellows to benefit from the power of the place and immersive, contextual learning.
Program Dates: Saturday, May 25 – Friday, June 7, 2019.
Fully-funded: All program costs are covered, including travel, lodging, and food.
Interdisciplinary: FASPE Law Fellows travel with Fellows in the FASPE Business and Journalism programs.
Itinerary: Fellows will travel to Berlin, Krakow, and Oswiecim (the location of the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz).
Eligibility: Applicants must be currently enrolled in a JD or LLM (or equivalent) program OR have received such a degree between May 2017 and January 2019.
FASPE programs are non-denominational. Candidates of all nationalities, religions, and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. ASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) is now accepting applications for its 2019 Law program.
Links to additional information appear below:
- A one-page informational flyer available here
- A social media image is available here
- A sample syllabus from the 2018 program is available here
- Our application page is accessible here
My students have been quite interested in the complaints filed against now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, so I prepared some materials for our class today. I have a set of slides I’m happy to share – email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. For quick research, two pieces I can recommend, both from Russell Wheeler @ the Brookings Institute, are the recent short but concise and clear summary article “What’s happening with the ethics complaints against Brett Kavanaugh?” along with 56 Ariz. L. Rev. 479 (2014), A Primer on Regulating Federal Judicial Ethics.
This week, the ABA released a formal opinion clarifying (somewhat) the obligations lawyers have when a data breach occurs involving (or having a substantial likelihood of involving) material client information.
Just in time for Cybersecurity Awareness month 2018.
You can find Formal Opinion 483 here.
Judicial Conference Addresses Workplace Conduct and Criminal Justice Act Issues | United States Courts Published on September 13, 2018 …
Source: OTHERWISE: U.S. Courts: Judicial Conference Addresses Workplace Conduct and Criminal Justice Act Issues | United States Courts
The Judicial Conference today approved changes to the Judiciary’s Model Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR) Plan to cover interns and externs and to extend the time for initiating EDR complaints from 30 to 180 days. The Conference’s Judicial Resources Committee will consider further changes to the model plan at its next meeting. The Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts also reported on the recruitment of a Judicial Integrity Officer in the Administrative Office and the expansion of judicial, staff, and law clerk orientations and education dealing with workplace harassment.
In addition, the Chairs of the Committees on Codes of Conduct and Judicial Conduct and Disability reported to the Conference on proposed amendments to the Codes and Conduct Rules responsive to the recommendations contained in the June 2018 Report of the Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group. The proposed amendments were published today for public comment.
The amendments include provisions that state:
- A judge has an affirmative duty to promote civility, not only in the courtroom, but throughout the courthouse.
- A judge should neither engage in nor tolerate workplace misconduct, including comments or statements that could reasonably be interpreted as harassment, abusive behavior, or retaliation for reporting such conduct.
- A judge should take appropriate action upon learning of reliable evidence indicating the likelihood that another judge’s conduct violated the Code. The action should be reasonably likely to address the misconduct, prevent harm to those affected by it, and promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary.
- In order to file a misconduct complaint, an individual does not have to be subject to alleged misconduct.
- Confidentiality obligations of employees should never be an obstacle to reporting judicial misconduct or disability.
- A judge has an obligation to safeguard complainants from retaliation. Retaliation for reporting misconduct constitutes judicial misconduct.
- A judge’s failure to call to the attention of the relevant chief judge clearly identified information reasonably likely to constitute judicial misconduct constitutes judicial misconduct.
- An express reference to workplace harassment within the definition of misconduct.