Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Yes, there are professional ethics involved in every aspect of lawyering, including legal writing. Judge Gerald Lebovits provides a concise review of the ethical considerations inherent in legal writing in his recent articles in the New York State Bar Association Journal. Legal-Writing Ethics -- Part I appears in the September/October 2005 issue, and Legal-Writing Ethics -- Part II appears in the November/December 2005 issue. These articles are both short enough and informative enough for student reading assignments.
Judge Lebovits is a judge of the New York City Civil Court, Housing Part, in Manhattan, and he also teaches as an adjunct at New York Law School. In recent years he has been the primary author of The Legal Writer, a regular column in the NY State Bar Association Journal. His tone and his thoroughness make it obvious he speaks from long experience in the courtroom.
Making Judge Lebovits's articles on legal writing ethics even more interesting are the sources he cites. The scholarship of many legal writing professors is cited in the footnotes, including books and articles by:
Donna Chin (Seton Hall)
Beth Cohen (Western New England)
Nancy Lawler Dickhute (Creighton)
Judith Fischer (Louisville)
Linda Edwards (Mercer)
Terri LeClercq (Texas)
Wayne Scheiss (Texas)
Lou Sirico (Villanova)
Michael Smith (Mercer)
Melissa Weresh (Drake)