Select Page

Professional Responsibility
University of Baltimore School of Law
Rochvarg, Arnold

Professional Responsibility Outline
 
Introduction
 
      lawyer: self-regulating profession
 
Where do rules come from?
 
      Constitution: first amendment
      state’s highest court is regulatory body
      some federal regulations (i.e. Sarbanes-Oxley), but no fed. commission/agency
      ABA Model Rules – states model rules after these
o   voluntary private organization
o   40% of lawyers belong (but not involved)
o   1878 – ABA created
o   1908 – “Canons of Professional Ethics”
o   1908-69 – every state adopted Canons
o   1969 – redrafted rules: Code of Professional Responsibility (DRs)
o   1973 – every state adopted code
o   1983 – Kutak: Rules of Professional Conduct
§ 45 states adopted (but not in entirety)
§ MD: 1986, effective 1987
o   Ethics 2000 – more rules
o   2002 – amendments to ABA Rules
o   2005 – amendments to MD Rules
      ALI: Restatements
o   1986: Rest. of Law Governing Lawyers
o   never finished but can be used as persuasive authority
      Law of Agency
o   people who do work for someone else
o   lawyer = agent of client
o   duty of loyalty
      customs of workplace and community
 
The Legal Profession
 
Integrated State Bar Association
      mandatory for members of state’s bar association
      D.C. & majority of states
 
Non-integrated State Bar Association
      voluntary organization; no official status
      MD (MSBA) – very few participate
 
State bars & ABA have ethics committees
      issue ethics opinions (persuasive authority)
      hotlines
      if you rely in good faith upon these decisions, you won’t be disciplined
 
Other associations
      ATLA: assoc. of trial lawyers America – Ps’ laywers
      ACTL: American college trial lawyers – Ds’ lawyers
      WBA: social networking and mentoring
 
Facts about Lawyers
      1 million lawyers in US and 320 million people total
      1 lawyer for every 320 people
      this number has increased from 1/800 in 1880
o   started to change in 1950
o   1960s-70s numbers really started to change
 
Growth of Lawyers
      after WWII, “G.I. Bill”: vets education paid by for by gov’t, which led to increase in higher ed and increase in lawyers
      1960s – Civil Rights Movement: greater awareness of importance of law, people wanted to go to law school
      TV shows
      each year, we add about 40,000 new lawyers (pass bar), which decreases to about 30K b/c of death, quitting, etc.
      each year, we add about 50,000 new law students
      lawyers are increasing greater/faster than growth of population
      BUT not distributed evenly
o   some communities have higher ratio of lawyers and vice versa
o   DC: 1/20 people are lawyers (some work for gov’t, non-legal)
o   NC: 1/600 people are lawyers
o   MD: around national average
o   NY: 1/180
o   larger cities have more lawyers
 
Age, Gender, Race
      Median age: 40
      Median age of women: 34-35
 
      Gender
o   1970: M = 97%, W = 3%
o   1980: M = 92%, W = 8%
o   2007: M = 70%, W = 30%
o   Law Students – 2007: 50/50
o   Law Firms (new lawyers) – 2007: 50/50
 
      Race
o   until 1943, ABA was black only
o   early 50s, blacks joined
o   until 70s, legal education segregated
o   4 primary black law schools, in 1983, majority of black lawyers graduated from those 4 law schools
o   1980 – legal ed opened up across board for blacks
o   2007: 90% white, 10% black (lawyers)
o   Most people within legal profession value diversity; most people outside of it don’t
o   U.S. à 30% minorities
 
Where do lawyers work?
      75% private practice (half of them are sole practitioners)
      government
      in-house corps
      gov’t (other)
 
“Too many” lawyers say lay people
      people don’t like lawyers
      too much litigation, too expensive for taxpayers, medical care is expensive, leads to increased cost in everything
 
When lawyers say there are too many lawyers, they just want more money and clients
 
Should be: when all legal needs are

ond day in MD
 
Maryland
      no max flunks
      if you flunk 3 times, need special permission
      Pass rate: 65%
 
Admission to the Bar – Character
 
–       must prove you have moral character to be a lawyer
–       MD: mandatory character committee interview for all applicants
 
Cord v. Gibb
 
Cord living w/ man not her husband
–       not admitted to bar in VA b/c of this
–       appealed to court
–       eventually went to Supreme Court of VA (has original jurisdiction over admittance of lawyers to the bar)
–       Admitted
*Schware Test: qualification of state must have rational connection w/ applicant’s fitness and capacity to practice law
–      Cord disputed the rationality of this qualification
–      marriage: extremely important institution
–      should immorality be basis of denying someone admission?
–      Today’s standards of morality are different
–      Criticism of character committee decisions: INCONSISTENCY!
–      does present/past conduct predict future actions as lawyer?
 
Maryland v. Gilbert
 
Gilbert: bar admittee convicted of assault, forgery (went to jail) and accused of murdering wife; Court of Appeals admitted him ultimately to Bar b/c he was “rehabilitated”
–      after admission, committee found out he failed to disclose civil suit on application (tried to collect on life ins. policy of dead wife)
–      in civil suit, judge had decided that by preponderance of evidence, G killed his wife
*Failure to disclose is more damaging than what you actually did!!!
–      Non disclosure = bad moral character
–      expelled from bar