Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Posted by Alan Childress
Call for Participation -- Due Date: December 8, 2009
The 2010 Annual Meeting of Law and Society Association Thursday, May 27 through Sunday, May 30, at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel.
Theme: AFTER CRITIQUE: What is Left of the Law and Society Paradigm?
Born out of disillusionment with the failures of liberal legalism to deliver social justice or equality, law and society scholarship at the time aimed to expose those failures and challenge liberal legalism’s legitimating premises. Twenty years after the founding of LSA, during the decade of the 1980s, the critical impulse of law and society scholarship was itself put under the microscope by some who turned critique inward, calling out law and society scholars for embracing empty empiricism or for their complicity with legal and political elites. In this period, meta-debates raged over theoretical, methodological, and political questions.
More recently events in the academy and the world seem to have squelched our appetite for critique either of the legal order itself or of the premises and purposes of our own scholarship. In an era when the rule of law has come under sustained attack, can we go beyond celebrating it and allying ourselves with its projects? At a time when there are no dominant theoretical or methodological perspectives in the academy, should we turn away from epistemological questions and just get on with our work?
The theme of the 2010 LSA Meeting–After Critique–invites us to consider the law and society enterprise today and to think about its future direction. We want to reflect on the various ways that law and society scholarship has been and should be engaged with the threat of terrorism and governmental responses to it, national and global attacks on the rule of law, questions of sovereignty and sovereign prerogative, the contemporary situation of identity politics, and the collapse of the global economy and the crisis of neo-liberalism.
This year there is a new option: the Work in Progress Paper. For info on this and any other question, contact Judy Rose.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Call for Papers: Golden Gate & SALT Teaching Conference on Vulnerable Populations and Interdisciplinary Law Teaching
The conference is March 2010 in San Francisco, but the call for papers has an approaching deadline. Here is the conference announcement. [--Alan Childress]
Golden Gate University School of Law and the Society of American Law Teachers—SALT—are presenting a two-day teaching conference in San Francisco on March 19/20, 2010. This event will bring together new data and theories from the social sciences, communications and media, and legal education about our most vulnerable populations for use in law teaching across the curriculum. The conference will explore questions such as: how can law teachers integrate economic issues precipitated by class, race, and gender into a broad range of courses, including, for example, first-year Contracts or Professional Responsibility, Health or Environmental Law, Clinics and Externships? What types of nontraditional classes would most effectively focus student interest on the economic needs of vulnerable populations? How do law schools initiate and encourage collaborative alliances to broaden discussions and promote positive change? The conference will consider these issues from the perspectives of interdisciplinary academics, practitioners, and activists.
Persons interested in participating as speakers and/or in publishing a piece in a forthcoming academic press publication should submit an abstract of their proposed presentation or article to Professor Michele Benedetto Neitz, by October 16, 2009. Abstracts should be no longer than three pages. Presenters will be selected on or before December 15, 2009. Materials for distribution at the conference must be submitted by March 1, 2010, and will be available to conference participants and posted on the SALT website. Scholars and practitioners from all disciplines are welcome to contribute. Limited funds for travel expenses may be available to presenters.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Posted by Alan Childress
The Conference themes are “Lawyers Beyond Borders” and “Practicing Law in the Electronic Age.” The keynote speaker is Steve Gillers of NYU. University of Akron School of Law's Miller-Becker Institute for Professional Responsibility [with co-sponsorship from the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility] is putting it on, and has a website here. Other speakers are below the fold (including our friends Andy Perlman, Laurel Terry, and John Dzienkowski). The announcement says:
This Symposium examines important developments and questions concerning multijurisdictional practice, both on a domestic and international basis. It also considers the role of technology in the practice of law, the regulation of lawyers and the increasing globalization of the profession (cross-border practice).
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The latest edition of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics (Vol. XXII, No.3 Summer 2009) just hit the streets. The Current Developments 2009-2009 student notes cover a wide array of emerging ethics issues such as risks of online peer advice, implications of online disciplinary records, proposals for regulating legal hotlines, a discussion of nonconsensual screens, making sense of inadvertant disclosure and many other valuable and interesting topics.
The articles may be found at the following link.
Disclosure: I am biased as I serve as journal co-faculty advisor with Professor Mitt Regan. (Mike Frisch)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Call for Papers [to select a speaker] for the
Program of the Section of Professional Responsibility at the
2010 AALS Annual Meeting
New Orleans, Friday, Jan. 8, 2010, 10:30-12:15
TOPIC: The 2008 FATF Lawyer Guidance
Submission Deadline: September 1, 2009: Length: 3-5 Pages
The AALS Section of Professional Responsibility is issuing a call for papers to select one speaker to participate in its 2010 AALS Annual Meeting program. This program will be held in New Orleans on Friday, Jan. 8, 2010, from 10:30-12:15pm. The paper should address the program topic, which is “The Transformative Effect of International Initiatives on Lawyer Practice and Regulation: A Case Study Focusing on the FATF & its 2008 Lawyer Guidance.” (The theme for the annual meeting is “transformative law.”)
Even if you have never heard of the FATF or its October 2008 Lawyer Guidance, please don’t rule yourself out of this call for papers - you are in good company! One reason why we selected this topic for the Annual Meeting program is our belief that few legal ethics scholars (or other scholars) are aware of the FATF’s legal profession gatekeeper initiatives, even though they have the potential to implicate the lawyer-client relationship in significant practice areas and are likely to change, in some significant ways, the manner in which these U.S. lawyers practice. See Risk-Based Approach Guidance for Legal Professionals (Oct. 23, 2008)[FATF 2008 Lawyer Guidance], http://www.fatf-gafi.org/dataoecd/5/58/41584211.pdf; Kevin L. Shepherd, Guardians at the Gate: The Gatekeeper Initiative and the Risk Based Approach for Transactional Lawyers, 43 Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal 607 (2009).
Monday, August 17, 2009
American University's law school is hosting this year's conference for LatCrit XIV and the LatCrit/SALT New Faculty Development Workshop; the schedule and preliminary program is here. The conference takes place in D.C. and Bethesda, Maryland. Registration and cheap hotel info is here. Subject: The conference theme for LatCrit XIV is "Outsiders Inside: Critical Outside Theory and Praxis in the Policymaking of the New American Regime." Early bird registration before Labor Day is especially affordable. Note, too, the program for development of new and junior faculty, cosponsored by SALT and the University of Denver, including an eye-opening mock “Job Talk” for law teaching aspirants.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Our own Bill Henderson is making news:
Indiana University Maurer School of Law Dean Lauren Robel has announced the launch of the school's new Center on the Global Legal Profession. Based at IU Bloomington, the center will focus on the unprecedented challenges lawyers are facing around the world and develop research and training materials to assist current and future attorneys in their understanding of international legal systems.
The center is directed by Professor William Henderson, who will work closely with fellow law professors Jayanth Krishnan and Ken Dau-Schmidt, and Ethan Michelson, an IU sociologist and the first social scientist to conduct rigorous empirical research on the Chinese legal profession.
Its launch was announced Saturday in New Delhi, India, where a conference on how globalization is affecting the practice of law and legal education was co-sponsored by the IU Maurer School of Law and the Jindal Global Law School.
The full announcement is linked here. (Mike Frisch)
Monday, July 20, 2009
Posted by Alan Childress
Thanks to Clark Cunningham, professor in legal ethics at Georgia State University, we pass along the announcement below on a Fall 09 workshop in Georgia of interest to our readers. Note that the workshop is open not just to law profs but also to practitioners with an interest in ethics training. Also the link to the National Institute for Teaching Ethics & Professionalism (NIFTEP) is here.
The conference info is:
NIFTEP was founded in 2005 as a consortium of five nationally-recognized university centers on ethics and professionalism. It conducts national workshops that bring together leading academics and practitioners involved in promoting the teaching of ethics and professionalism. Attendance at these highly participatory events is limited to invited speakers and to those selected to be NIFTEP Fellows. Fellowships are typically granted either to full-time law professors who teach legal ethics or to practitioners actively involved in ethics CLE education and professionalism programs. However, any person committed to promoting ethics and professionalism may apply. Fellows are reimbursed for their travel expenses and there is no charge for the workshop.
Fellowship applications are not yet available, but will open on the NIFTEP website beginning August 17, 2009: http://law.gsu.edu/ccunningham/Professionalism/NIFTEP/ [or Google NIFTEP]. We expect to begin reviewing applications on September 11, 2009, and to make selection decisions by September 25. (Prior NIFTEP Fellows are welcome to apply for this workshop.)
Though the Fall 2009 workshop program has not yet been finalized, previous workshop programs are available on the NIFTEP website.
If you wish to receive an email reminder when the application is available, please contact NIFTEP Deputy Director Charlotte Alexander at email@example.com, put "NIFTEP MAILING LIST" in the subject line, and include your contact information in the body of the email message.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
A Conference Sponsored by the
Center for the Study of the Legal Profession
Georgetown University Law Center
March 22-23, 2010
Law firms have been affected to an unprecedented degree by the current economic downturn. Many have made deep cuts in lawyers and staff. Others have reduced salaries and hours, rescinded outstanding offers of employment, frozen hiring, delayed start dates for incoming lawyers, and even paid graduates to forgo the positions they earlier were offered. Many have lost clients as entire sectors of the economy have disappeared or have been radically realigned. Practices that historically served as countercyclical buffers, such as litigation and bankruptcy, often have not been sufficiently robust to balance the loss of other work in the current downturn.
Challenges for law firms also come directly from clients, many of whom operate on a global scale. Corporate counsel enjoy increasing influence in relationships with outside lawyers and law firms. They pressure firms to reduce fees and make them more predictable, and to share with clients a greater amount of the risk in engagements. They also have asserted more control over which law firm lawyers do their work. In addition, some clients are drastically reducing the number of firms in their provider networks, which may generate new forms of relationships between clients and law firms that blur the boundary between them.
Are the dramatic steps that firms have taken temporary adjustments to market conditions, which will have limited long-term effect after economic recovery? Or do they reflect fundamental changes in the business model of law firms that are likely to transform the market for legal services? Is an economic recovery likely to reestablish the law firm hierarchy and competitive conditions that existed before the downturn? Or will it usher in a novel landscape with new winners and losers and different stresses and opportunities?
We are soliciting papers from scholars that address the myriad issues raised by these questions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Among many others, these issues may include:
How has the structure of competition in the law firm services market been evolving? Do changes in the market suggest that firms will fare differently in the market depending on their size, organizational structure, the type of clients they serve, or the kinds of work they do? How will the transformation of investment banking clients affect law firms?
What skills are necessary to succeed in law practice, have these changed as a result of the downturn and restructuring of law firms (if any), and how can legal professionals acquire them? Working in a large law firm has often been an entrée to other positions, whether in boutique firms, in corporate legal departments, or in firms with alternative business models. Will this role of Big Law continue, or are there likely to be new arrangements for training and development that impart these skills? If firms increasingly rely on contract lawyers to operate more efficiently, how will these lawyers gain the skills necessary to advance and remain flexible in charting their careers?
Are firms adopting different strategies for global practice? Has the global market for legal services changed as a result of the economic downturn and response of clients and law firms? What formal and informal regulatory systems are likely to evolve in response to these developments? Is there an increased need for a global regulatory approach? Will differences in national responses to the economic crisis in general, and financial market instability in particular, influence the path of law firm evolution in the global economy? Is a set of skills distinctive to global law practice likely to emerge?
Is increasing client insistence on cost-efficiency leading to new models of service delivery? If so, how will these models affect firms’ risk profiles, the ways in which work is organized, career paths available to lawyers, compensation, opportunities for advancement within firms, and lawyers’ understanding of their professional obligations?
Do lawyers still need connections to large law firms in order to engage in high-end work? Will law firms be able to induce commitment and sustain coherent organizational cultures under emerging market conditions? What forms of management, leadership, and guidance will be necessary in order to do so?
If clients are likely to require firms to collaborate with each other in providing services, what impact might this have on the law firm market? Will law firms create collaborative and/or ownership networks and relationships (akin to corporate parent-subsidiary or joint venture relationships) to help manage relationships with clients and lawyers.
Is the way that firms finance their operations changing as a result of the credit crisis?
Will new financial performance metrics emerge that supersede profits per partner, and will other standards arise that take account of non-financial considerations?
Have the challenges facing law firms during the credit crisis eliminated the concern for work-life balance? For diversity initiatives? What are the implications of law firm evolution for legal education?
What lessons might law firms draw from the experiences of other professional service firms?
Submission of Abstracts
Please send an abstract of approximately 1000 words to Carole Silver, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Septmber 15th, 2009.
The conference will take place on March 22nd & 23rd, 2010, at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. We anticipate that the formal program will begin the morning of March 22nd and run through early afternoon on the 23rd.
Carole Silver, Mitt Regan & Jeff Bauman
Center for the Study of the Legal Profession
Georgetown University Law Center
Friday, June 26, 2009
The New Jersey Appellate Court has issued a decision concerning an employee's rights with respect to emails sent to her attorney on a computer provided by the employer:
...we address whether workplace regulations converted an employee's emails with her attorney-- sent through the employee's personal, password-protected, web based email account, but via her employer's computer--into the employer's property. Finding that the policies undergirding the attorney-client privilege substantially outweigh the employer's interest....we reject the employer's claimed right to rummage through and retain the employee's emails to her attorney.
The employee had been the employer's executive director of nursing and had filed claims of discrimination against her former employer. Counsel for the employer was able to obtain the emails by extracting and creating a forensic image of the computer hard drive. The emails were discovered while reviewing the employee's Internet browsing history. Counsel then used some of the emails in its papers and fought disclosure of the material to plaintiff.
The court discusses the ethical obligations imposed by DR 4.4(b), which obligates counsel to cease reading known privileged documents, notify and return the documents to the adverse attorney. Rather, here:
[the law firm] appointed itself the sole judge of the issue and made use of attorney-client emails without giving plaintiff an opportunity to advocate a contrary position.
The court remanded the matter for a determination whether the employer's attorneys should be disqualified as a result of reviewing the emails and directed the employer to provide all recovered emails to the employee. There is also an extended discussion of the impact of company computer policies on the issues presented. (Mike Frisch)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
At the end of April, I attended a fascinating day-long symposium organized by fellow blogger Dave Hoffman and two of his colleagues at Temple, Jonathan Lipson and Peter Huang, on issues of complexity arising in the current financial crisis. One of the questions that kept occurring to me was the context of the complexity issue - what exactly were we trying to fix, if anything? My analogy was this: if law is a "science," and something about the financial crisis (whether complexity or something else) reflects a disease, then what is the relationship between what we know about the disease and the regulatory medicine we would want to prescribe? I liken financial boom-and-bust to bipolar disorder - is there a regulatory equivalent of lithium that we are assured will tamp down the peaks and valleys? And even if there is, do we want to prescribe it? Maybe we like the booms enough to bear the busts! There's a good chance Tchaikovsky and Van Gogh were bipolar - would we have their art if they had been medicated?
Anyway, when I get to thinking, I usually get to writing (particularly when ensconsed in our Michigan house). This seemed like grist for the mill on one piece of a longer work on the difficulties in forward-looking judgment, namely, the difference between looking backward and assessing causation as a matter of attributing blame, and understanding what is going on as a descriptive matter sufficient to make a good forward-looking decision in real time under conditions of significant uncertainty. The result is The Epistemology of the Financial Crisis: Complexity, Causation, Law, and Judgment, which I've just posted on SSRN. (I apologize for the use of the word "epistemology" but I like it.) Here is the abstract:
The focus on complexity as a problem of the financial meltdown of 2008-09 suggests that crisis is in part epistemological: we now know enough about financial and economic systems to be threatened by their complexity, but not enough to relieve our fears and anxieties about them. What marks the current crisis is anxiety that the financial world has evolved to the point that there are hidden structures, like concentrated "too big to fail" institutions and mechanisms, or like credit default swaps, that have widespread and adverse downsides. I propose an analogy between medicine and law in the sense of "regulatory technology." If bubbles are the disease, then the analogy is to bipolar syndrome - exuberance, or even a little hypomania is okay on the upswing, but true mania is bad, as is the resulting swing to depression. Good regulation, then, would be something like lithium, which keeps us on an even keel. The question is really whether we understand the forces well enough to regulate them. Regulation is a function of prediction; prediction is a function of observed regularity; observed regularities invoke the problem of causation; causation raises the issue whether the process being analyzed is reducible. Complexity in itself relative; what seemed inordinately complex to ordinary people, much less deep thinkers, in 1787 or 1887 might not seem at all complex to us now. What we are dealing with instead is a crisis of confidence in those who purport to be experts in what we cannot fathom merely through common sense. The conundrum, of course, is that if it takes an expert to see the problem caused by complexity, how are we, possessing merely common sense, supposed to do anything but rely on their judgment? The epistemological crisis arises from our own judgments to rely on, believe in, trust, or have faith in, that judgment.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center has issued a call for papers for a March 2010 conference. The topic could not be more timely: "Law Firm Evolution: Brave New World or Business as Usual?". Based on numerous conversations I have had with law firm insiders, my money is definitely on the former. The full details can be found online here.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
North Dakota has amended its Rule 1.8 (prohibited transactions) to add a provision governing lawyers who act as a fiduciary of an estate, trust or conservatorship . The pertinent addition reads as follows:
The new provision has the following explanatory comment:
The full amended rule is linked here. (Mike Frisch)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law cordially invites you to attend the inaugural Lecture on the Legal Profession delivered by Theodore Schneyer, Milton O. Riepe Professor of Law, University of Arizona, speaking on the topic of “Developments in the UK and Australia: How Might They Affect the Regulation of Legal Practice in the United States?”
Monday, April 20, 2009, at 4:00 p.m., in the Gewirz Student Center, 12th Floor, 120 F Street, N.W., Washington, DC.
Please RSVP by April 10th to email@example.com.
The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law is devoted to: promoting interdisciplinary scholarship on the profession informed by awareness of the dynamics of modern practice; providing students with a sophisticated understanding of the opportunities and challenges of a modern legal career; and furnishing members of the bar, particularly those in organizational decision-making positions, broad perspectives on trends and developments in practice.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
[posted by Bill Henderson]
Thanks to the Georgetown Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, on March 3, 2009, GULC will be holding another major conference on the empirical research on the legal profession. As always, the public is welcomed to attend. Details online here.
One of the best features of the Georgetown conferences is the intense interaction between the academics and the practitioners -- both groups learn a lot and really enjoy the experience. Over the years, the Center has generated a loyal following within the DC Bar.
Congrats to Carole Silver, Mitt Regan, Jeff Bauman, and the editors of the Georgetown Journal on Legal Ethics for putting together a wonderful program.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Posted by Alan Childress
A cutting-edged Tulane law journal offers a Friday the 13th conference on an interesting subject. That is also a great weekend to see New Orleans -- lots of great parades (days and nights) and fun during the weekend before the weekend before Fat Tuesday. And for the hook for this site, there is also an ethics CLE hour included. Great speakers from all over the USA. So here is the announce:
The Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality will be hosting a symposium on Friday, February 13 at Tulane Law School in New Orleans: Beyond Marriage: The Broader Implications and Unforeseen Consequences of State Defense of Marriage Acts. The symposium will focus on the legal ramification of the state Defense of Marriage Acts, and panelists will include esteemed law professors and practitioners working in this area. The program offers 6 CLE units including 1 hour of ethics.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Boston is lovely in mid-February. This announcement from NOBC, the National Organization of Bar Counsel website: "The 2009 Mid-Year Meeting will be held at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston from February 11-14, 2009." Info and registration coming soon to the site, under the "members' tab."
The Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, or APRL, also holds its winter meeting nearby each year. Theirs is Feb. 12-14, 2009, so that leaves one extra day to enjoy the winter sights. Here is the link. Their meetings will be at the MCLE Conference Center, at 10 Winter Place, except for the joint morning program with NOBC held at the Colonnade Hotel on Feb. 14. Accommodations are at the Jurys Hotel in Back Bay. Here is the program agenda.
Downdate: The two camps will meet by canoe across the Charles for the winner-take-all Annual Ethics Elympic Games on which the good guys' continued ownership of the camp inexplicably hinges. It is predicted that the Aprl Zeals will take the egg-tossing event and the SOX race, but the Nobc Naughtybusters will come back strong in both the third-handed race and the tug-of-warrant. The inevitable tie will be broken by a cross-country race where a now middle-aged and paunchy Wudy the Wabbit Esq., inspired by coach Bill 'Tripper' Murray, hopes to get the jump yet again on his more athletic opponent, this time in an obscene obstacle course through the Green Zone. Have fun, all.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Harvard Law School's Program on the Legal Profession has put up a useful webpage organizing sessions and materials presented at its intensive Nov. 21 conference. Links to conference materials are included, and for several sessions you can view their presentations (see their webpage near the bottom for these links). Also linked and credited (twice) is Jeff Lipshaw's own live blogging of the event, all as organized at a final post Jeff helpfully provided. [Alan Childress]
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
Unfortunately, my posts from the Harvard Law School Program on the Globalization of the Legal Profession had to end at about 1:00 p.m. I could not stay for the lunch talks by Detlev Vagts, Elena Kagan, and Ben Heineman, nor the after-lunch program moderated by David Wilkins on outsourcing of legal work to India.
As a follow-up of sorts, the New York Times has a long piece today on U.S. associates in big firms going overseas.
Here are links back to the live blogging from Friday, November 21:
Friday, November 21, 2008
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
The next panel is on Lawyer Qualification and Professional Responsibility in the Global Setting.
U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns (D. Mass.) is speaking, and talking about the fact that he carries a diplomatic passport. Russia had a pre-Revolution jury system based on the English system, abolished by Lenin in 1917, and reconstituted in the 1991 constitution. He was involved in helping the Russian Federation with that effort.
He's also been involved with the international regimes for border security and WMD, using traditional judicial institutions. Everything changed with 9/11. Impulses to reject any international regime, spurred on recent economic problems - rise of nationalism and protectionism.
What does this have to do with lawyer regulation? The question is whether the international legal regime will survive at all.
[UPDATE: All Jeff's posts on live-blogged sessions are collected and linked at a final post. This later-session post continues after the jump.]