Ethics for Litigators

Synopsis

The presenters of the course examine a variety of issues involving ethics and professional responsibility in the context of a civil litigation practice. An experienced panel of attorneys and Judges discuss recent developments in the law regarding lawyer's ethical considerations, real life tips and strategies, recent disciplinary proceedings, and the ethical issues relating to public interest and/or government attorneys. Other topics addressed include the specific ethical considerations that affect public interest attorneys, the ethical implications of performing investigatory work in other jurisdictions, and a lawyer’s ethical obligations to tell his/her client no, even if it means losing the business.   

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Outline

I. Ethical Issues for Litigators Explored
    A. Introductions
    B. A Whole New Meaning for Ethics
    C. Ethics Case Law
        1. Dunton vs. The County of Suffolk
        2. Representation Letters
        3. Banks vs. Yokemick - The Facts
        4. Banks vs. Yokemick - The Decisions
    D. Practical Reasons to Understand the Ethical 
    E. Social Media and Ethics
        1. A State of Revolution
        2. Social Media and Lawyer Advertising
        3. Social Media and Confidentiality
        4. Social Media and Client Representation
        5. Communications with Represented Parties and Jury Research
    F. Model Rules and Ethical Opinions
        1. It's an Important Issue
        2. Model Rules 3.3 and 3.4
        3. Opinions 982 and 980
        4. Opinion 984
        5. Opinion 997
        6. Opinions 977 and 968
    G. Panel Discussion
        1. The Use of Friending
        2. Government Attorneys and Prior Work
        3. Ex Parte Discussion
        4. Conducting Investigations Outside the Jurisdiction
    H. Tips for Dealing With Social Media Ethical Issues
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The years following the Civil War were tumultuous ones for New York City, offering many opportunities to the dishonest. Unsavory politicians and errant members of the bench and bar were among those who took advantage of those troubled times. In December 1869, a letter was circulated among some of the city’s lawyers addressing those improprieties. It called for the creation of a new bar association to “sustain the profession in its proper position in the community, and thereby enable it ... to promote the interests of the public ....” More than 200 lawyers responded by signing a declaration of organization and in 1870 The Association of the Bar of the City of New York was born. The young organization quickly made its presence felt. Among its first activities was a campaign to defeat corrupt politicians and judges at the polls and to establish standards of conduct for those in the legal profession.

The association continues to work at political, legal and social reform, and maintaining high ethical standards for the legal profession. The association also continues to implement innovative means by which the disadvantaged may be helped. Much of this work is accomplished through the Association's more than 160 committees, each charged to consider a specific area of law or the profession.

The association has grown to more than 23,000 members. To serve them, the association strives to move ahead in many areas. The library is the largest member-funded law library in the country, and provides members with a “gateway” to online services, including free use of LexisNexis and WestLaw, while continuing to provide more traditional library services. The Small Law Firm Center, Career Management Program and other benefits are constantly evolving to serve members’ needs. More than 150 continuing legal education programs are presented annually.

The public good remains one of the association’s highest priorities. The Legal Referral Service, jointly sponsored by the association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association, provides an array of services directly aimed at serving the needs of the public. The City Bar Justice Center identifies the most pressing legal concerns of New York’s neediest and uses novel approaches to address them, often involving community participation.

 





Speakers / Authors:

Photo of Jed M. Weiss

Jed M. Weiss

Jed M. Weiss is a Member in the litigation department of Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard, P.A. Mr. Weiss counsels businesses and individuals engaged in a wide range of legal matters, including business/partnership disputes, lender liability, employment matters, contract disputes, business torts and commercial foreclosure. His practice is concentrated in New York, where he represents clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts and in arbitration.

Mr. Weiss is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut, and before the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and U.S. Court of Appeals, Second District.

Mr. Weiss recieved his J.D., cum laude, in 2002 from American University Washington College of Law, and his B.A., M.A. in 1996 from Wheaton College.

Photo of Muriel Goode-Trufant

Muriel Goode-Trufant

Muriel Goode-Trufant is Chief of the Special Federal Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department. Established in September of 1998, the Special Federal Litigation Division was created as a specialized division to defend the City and its officials in civil rights cases brought in federal court in which police, District Attorney or correction officer conduct is challenged. The cases on which the division attorneys work grow out of contact between citizens and law enforcement officials in three distinct contexts: police operations; criminal prosecutions; and detention of arrestees in City facilities. The Division defends against individual damages actions and class actions seeking institutional reform. Ms. Goode-Trufant has served as Chief since April 2002.

Since February 2003, Ms. Goode-Trufant has also served as the Law Department's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer. Among her duties as EEO Officer is coordination and conduct of EEO training for all Law Department employees; oversight and handling of EEO investigations; and supervision and provision of EEO counseling. 

Ms. Goode-Trufant is also a member of the Committee on Civil Practice for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Ms. Goode-Trufant is a graduate of the Temple University School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania.

Photo of Jeffrey K. Oing

Jeffrey K. Oing

Justice Jeffrey K. Oing was elected to Supreme Court of the State of New York on November 2, 2010, and took office on January 1, 2011. Justice Oing presides over a general IA Part with a case inventory of approximately 500 cases. He handles jury and nonjury trials involving personal injury, commercial, and governmental matters. On April 7, 2011, Justice Oing was assigned to the Commercial Division. In addition to his responsibilities in the Commercial Division, he will continue to preside over his current IA Part inventory. Prior to his election to Supreme Court, Justice Oing was an elected New York County Civil Court Judge from 2004 to 2010. On June 18, 2009, Justice Oing was appointed Supervising Judge of the New York County Civil Court, and was designated an Acting Supreme Court Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. As Supervising Judge, Justice Oing was responsible for the day-to-day Civil Court operations at 111 Centre Street. In addition to his supervisory duties, Justice Oing presided over jury and nonjury trials, as well as conferencing and mediating cases.

In 2002-2003, Justice Oing served as Deputy General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, The Council of the City of New York, overseeing litigation and legal matters involving the City Council. During that year, he was appointed by Speaker Gifford Miller to the post of Deputy Director for the New York City Districting Commission, where he was responsible for assisting the Districting Commission in redistricting the City's fifty-one City Council districts, and for obtaining from the United States Department of Justice preclearance under the Voting Rights Act for these council districts.

Justice Oing has over 20 years of legal and administrative experience, the majority of which has been in public service. Between 1993 and 2002, he held various positions in the NYS Supreme Court. From 1993 to 1995, Justice Oing served as Court Attorney in the NYS Supreme Court (New York County). He also served as Law Secretary to Justice Marylin G. Diamond (1995-1998) and to Justice Walter B. Tolub (2000-2002). Between 1998 and 2000, Justice Oing was a Principal Appellate Court Attorney in the Appellate Division, First Department. In those positions, he had the opportunity to assist in authoring major decisions ranging from contract law to constitutional law.

Before coming to the NYS Supreme Court, Justice Oing spent several years in private practice concentrating on commercial litigation. In the midst of private practice, he served a brief stint as Assistant Counsel to New Jersey Governor Jim Florio. Prior to entering private practice, Justice Oing began his legal career as judicial law clerk to Chief Justice Robert N. Wilentz of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Justice Oing received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1989 and his B.A. in English from Columbia College in 1986. At NYU, he was a staff editor for the Journal of International Law and Politics.

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Subscribers: FREE
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Details

Course Code : 773161

Release Date: 7/30/2014 12:00:00 AM
Recorded Date: 5/20/2014
Length: 1hr 36min
Format Type: Video

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