Jack Marshall

The Virtuous Lawyer’s Ethics Challenge

[ 2-3 hours Legal Ethics CLE ]

Description: The key to ethical practice is not in knowing the rules, or even in having reliable ethical instincts.  It is a well-developed ability to spot and analyze ethical problems, dilemmas and traps before they occur, knowing how to mitigate them when they do occur, and navigating through them when they threaten to do real harm.  The best way to develop this ability, short of being engulfed by actual ethical challenges, is to practice the legal ethics decision-making process.

In The Virtuous Lawyer’s Ethics Challenge, that is what participants do. After a brief overview of methods, developments and tools by facilitator/presenter Jack Marshall, participants break into decision groups of 5-9 members. For 30 minutes, they examine a complex scenario, based on actual cases, raising multiple ethics issues. They then report their conclusions and recommendations to the group, which takes part in a spirited debate. The presenter supplements the discussion with relevant Rules, legal ethics opinions, and other useful information.

The session includes two or three scenarios, as well as a brief lecture segment, complete reference materials including relevant Rules, and a lively Powerpoint presentation.

Among the many issues covered in the various scenarios:

  • Using social networking sites to investigate witnesses.
  • New technology developments and ethical implications
  • Abuse of process
  • Conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice
  • The duty to reveal borderline fraud on the court
  • Multiple party representations
  • Disobeying or reporting  a supervisor
  • Personal views and conduct detrimental to the client
  • Organization representation
  • Negotiation
  • …and more.
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