Friday, October 13, 2006

Info on Problems Textbook by Dzienkowski & Burton

posted by Alan Childress

Just out from John Dzienkowski (U. Texas) and Amon Burton (Texas lawyer and adjunct at UT) is a collection of case studies and problems, Ethical Dilemmas in the Practice of Law (West), for use stand-alone (e.g., a 2-hr. class) or to supplement more case-law oriented ethics books (like, I'd say, Gillers, or Dzienkowski's own traditional casebook).  It presents 12 case studies on attorney-Ethdilempix client relationships, confidentiality, conflicts, candor to the court, and fees.  The scenarios include real documents--wills, motions, contracts, etc. 

Their goal is to simulate the way lawyers encounter and think through problems in practice.  Take this one, echoing NY's Belge case: Babysitter disappears and child is missing.  Amber alert finds the woman in Kansas City.  A PD meets with her and a map is drawn showing burial site for child.  Authorities learn that a map has been drawn and seek its production.  The woman’s lawyer refuses and a proceeding is initiated to produce the map.  Is the map confidential?  Privileged?  This chapter uses newspaper articles, lawyer affidavits, statements by the woman, and a hearing transcript to present the problem to students as they might see it live.  There's also a documented case study involving a NY law firm’s representation of an aggressor in a takeover against a company that had used the firm in shaping some [unrelated?] anti-takeover advice.  More details below the fold.

JdzienkowskisgFurther highlights of note: (1) Several attorney-client agreements used to evaluate the ethical dilemmas involving fees and attorney control over the client matter; (2) Annotated attorney-client consent letter in a multiple client representation; and (3) A case study on the criminal trial of Arthur Andersen.  You can see all the coverage and case scenarios clearly below from its table of contents--which are unfortunately absent from the West sales page linked above.

To me, what sets this book apart is its displays of actual documentation such as the client waiver form above.  The real cases we use in class from otherwise-great casebooks always refer to such paperwork but the students only see it if we bring in a copy from our own former practice.  It's also pretty cheap for a law book--$30--so the students may not scream at its use as a supplement.  That's particularly cheap given that West is analogizing it to a new car by releasing it now and copyrighting it 2007.

Dzienkowski, pictured above (and most easily pronounced as 3 simple words: zen COW ski) is an editor ar the legal ethics forum blog.

    Ch. 1 - Forming Attorney-Client Relationships

  • Case Study - The Japanese Investors

  • Case Study - The Murray Ohio Tender Offer

  • Case Study - Motion to Disqualify a Spouse's Law Firm in a Divorce

    Ch. 2 - Confidentiality

  • Case Study - The Missing Baby and the Map

  • Case Study - Secretly Changing Joint Wills

    Ch. 3 - Selected Issues in Conflicts of Interest

  • Case Study - The Boutique Law Firm and Advance Consent

  • Case Study - Motion to Disqualify a Law Firm of a Co-Defendant to a Joint Defense Agreement

  • Case Study - Forming a Closely Held Entity

  • Case Study - Trading Legal Services for Client Stock

    Ch. 4 - Candor to the Court

  • Case Study - Not Disclosing a Winning Lottery Ticket to a Spouse in a Divorce

  • Case Study - The Criminal Trial in Arthur Andersen

    Ch. 5 - Fee Agreements

  • Case Study - Fee Agreement in a Case Challenging a Prenuptial Agreement

  • Contingent Fee Agreement in a Personal Injury Case

  • Contingent Fee Agreement in Commercial Litigation

  • Engagement Letter in a Trademark Representation

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