Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Conflict of Interest for Adjunct at Rutgers-Newark Law

Dan Filler at The Faculty Lounge picked up this story by Henry Gottlieb, New Jersey Law Journal, about Rutgers-Newark Law forcing adjunct professor Sheryl Mintz Goski to choose between working as an adjunct at the school or representing a client in a dispute with Rutgers Business School.  Ms. Goski chose the client and will give up here teaching gig at the law school.

From the story:

A couple of other adjuncts at state law schools say the rule is clear, though Goski may have a point about the distance between adjunct professors and schools.

I hesitate to use the word 'attenuated,' which is maybe what she says it is, but it almost seems to fit," Andrew Kushner of Asbell, Kushner & Eutsler in Cherry Hill, N.J.

Kushner, an adjunct professor of professional responsibility at Rutgers Law School-Camden, adds, however: "Practically speaking, the university has an interest in preserving the perception that there is no funny business going on between one of their staff -- albeit a part-time staff member who teaches in another school in the university -- and a case involving a private client."

"One can understand the reason for the rule, one can understand the purpose of it and from that perspective I don't have a problem with it," he adds. He says Goski made the right choice: the client.

"Sometimes you have to shrug your shoulders and move on," he says.

Jeffrey Mandel of PinilisHalpern in Morristown, N.J.,an adjunct professor of appellate practice at Rutgers-Newark, jokes that if he were told about the one-rule-fits-all-faculty policy, he would respond, "Are you going to pay me the same?

I wonder if Professor Mandel is really joking.

Craig Estlinbaum

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