Ethics & Professional Responsibility

That’s right, if you can believe it, Ethicking.com launched one year ago, on October 24, 2019. …so, what a year, huh? Like anything that was launched a year ago with certain (any) expectations, this did not go as I’d planned. Sure, I did manage to keep up with the blog generally, updating every couple of weeks or so (and sometimes more often, though not quite at the weekly frequency I’d hoped). I thought I’d…
Finding purpose in our lives is more important than ever. From the global pandemic, to the death of George Floyd, to the contentious election, 2020 has been beyond unpredictable and dispiriting. Yet, as the Buddhist teacher and author Pema Chodron asks, “What if rather than being disheartened by the ambiguity, the uncertainty of life, we accepted it and relaxed into it?” For lawyers, one way to relax into unpredictability is to take control of what…
Q. I’ve been approached to represent the husband in a messy custody case. His wife is using an old law school classmate and fellow golfer who serves with me on a bar association committee. Would that present a conflict? A. Maybe. Maybe not. It really depends on the nature of your relationship and whether it may interfere with your duties as opposing counsel. Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, a conflict would arise if the relationship
A pair of new and interesting twists in the ongoing story of lawyers resisting in-person appearances in Immigration Courts due to COVID-19 surfaced recently. First, an opinion was issued by the N.Y. State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics stating that an attorney could withdraw from a case if he/she had a fear of contracting COVID-19 that would interfere with effective representation. The option relied upon New York Rule of Professional Conduct 1.16 which allows…
(Note to self: I really need to find better free clip art.) Years ago, in law school, I wrote this in my “ethics journal” (which I found tedious at the time and here I am, ethics journaling for the world to see): This does make me wonder: Are attorneys bound under the Model Rules or their state equivalents if they’re not actively engaged in the practice of law but in a position where their legal…
My kid is 10 and is attending fifth graded 100% virtually. His gym teacher has assigned his class to keep a log of their daily real-life physical activity. (As an aside, a good way to sap a kid’s enjoyment of anything is to make them log it. See—reading log, writing log, gym log. Good thing my kid rides his scooter to procrastinate on schoolwork.) Anyhow, today he discovered something familiar to most lawyers—the joys of…
The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the rapid nomination of a replacement with a different judicial philosophy should remind both those who voted in the last Presidential election and more pointedly those who didn’t that “Elections have consequences” and this is one of them. The visible hypocrisy that has provided the context for the contrast between the timing of this nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and that of Judge Merrick Garland should…