Legal Profession Cooper Fall 2016
We are going to use a Problem-Based Approach.
Actually read the rules. Where it says consider, READ IT.
Card System- if you have read, you leave a notecard with your name on it on the podium before class. For every card you turn in you get 5 raw points on the exam. Exam is out of 1800 points. If you turn in all the cards you get a 10% bump on the test.
Exam- 2/3 is Essay- OPEN BOOK. 1/3 is Multiple Choice (MPRE Style) 3 hrs long. There will be questions on Confidientiality and Conflict of Interest
MPRE- must take to pass the bar. Study MPRE practice tests for this test.
Supplement- Examples and Explanations by Brad Wendel- RECCOMMENDED
Bring/Send news items
Introduction- what is this class about anyway?
Doctors: don’t call, wait for a long time in the waiting room, paid by pharmaceuticals, don’t disclose conflicts of interests.
Real estate agents: two houses right by each other for sale by same person. (Conflict of interest for client)
Lawyers can’t do the before mentioned things. WE HAVE A GREAT SET OF RULES.
This is the Law Governing Lawyers NOT Legal Ethics.
Concrete Field of Law. MEMORIZE LAWS
ON FINAL: What must/may/ should the lawyer do? Answer is a LAW not MORALS
There are exceptions to rules. Ex. Confidentiality has 7 exceptions. One of them is threat of bodily harm. So if client says they are going to kill someone, the lawyer MAY tell the authorities but do not HAVE TO.
Another exception is where the lawyer disagrees with the rule. Is there a time where the rule should be broken?
Sources of Law
Primary source of law are the MODEL RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Put out by the ABA, all states but California follow these
Tested on these MODEL RULES in this class, bar, etc.
“Law is a self-regulated profession”- referring to Model Rules.
We are also going to be studying GENERAL CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LAW
Law isn’t as self regulated as it appears!
Also going to read CASES AND ETHICS OPINION.
Dean Cooper is on the Ethics Committee for MS Bar.
We also have a RESTATEMENT of the law
In no other profession is there a Restatement of the Law.
Sometimes redundant, but also brings in other law
Comprehensive Statement of what law governs lawyers.
Sometimes disagrees with Model rules
Consequences of Rule Violation/ Violation of Law
Bar discipline AND/OR
Civil or Criminal Liability AND/OR
Other Judicial Remedies (see RLGL Section 6)
Therefore, one bad act can lead to multiple different consequences.
-LAWYERS AND ROLE; LAWYERS AND Law- pgs. 3-17 problems 1-1 to 1-4
“LAWYER WHO THREW A CITY CASE IS VINDICATED, NOT PUNISHED”
Why regulate who can become a lawyer?
Lawyers have great power, taking people’s life into your hands.
Bar Exam (and MPRE)
Good moral character
Do we care if Mary Moore plagiarized?
Yes. Dishonesty. Honesty is very important to lawyers because people rely on the word of lawyers to make informed decisions. Single incident? Context? Misunderstanding?
What about drunk driving 5 years ago and again last year?
Drinking problem? Second time is a concern. Rehab?
What about Aryan supremacy and becoming a KKK general council?
Hale, Pg. 30.- NOT admitted to the bar.
Easy to not admit him because he pretty much said he won’t follow the rules.
1st amendment issues?
What about massive debt?
Money management problems? Will they mismanage client funds?
Chapter 2: Judicial and Professional Regulation of Lawyers
Burden on applicant
Disciplinary rules referenced in admission
Bar authorities concerned about:
Inability to work within the system
Multiple instances vs. single instance
Conduct involving dishonesty (8.4)
In re Application of Converse
Attorney U v. The Mississippi Bar
What does it mean to “KNOW”
Rule 8.3: Reporting Professional Misconduct:
A lawyer who KNOWS that another lawyer has committed a violation that raises a SUBSTANTIAL question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects shall inform the appropriate professional authority.
This rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6
C IS USUALLY ON THE EXAM!!!!!!!!!!!
if the lawyer doesn’t like the client or what the client has done and that feeling is exceptionally strong, it may affect the competence and zealous advocacy of the lawyer.
Firm’s reputation also comes into play. Your clients impact your firm’s reputation. Rule 1.2 (b) says that a lawyer is not a reflection of his or her clients. But this is a very unhelpful rule.
If the client is rich also plays a role in deciding whether to take the client. Opportunity to make a lot of money. Also because they are rich, they WILL get representation if not by you by someone else because they can pay.
If the client is a pro bono client plays a role because it could count towards your 50 suggested hours of pro bono work Rule 6.1
Determining a lawyer-client relationship
See RLGL section 14
Wife went to the lawyer about a medical malpractice case. Lawyer said prob no case. Court said that there WAS an attorney-client relationship. Mrs. Togsdad relied on the legal advice and that is why she failed to file suit. Lawyer should have sent a non-engagement letter. If there is any vagueness the court will most likely find for the client. Giving legal advice is most likely creating a lawyer-client relationship.
RLGL section 14 TEST FOR LAWYER- CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
Offer- a person manifests to a lawyer the person’s intent that the lawyer provide services for the person
Acceptance- the lawyer manifests to the person consent to do so; or the lawyer fails to manifest lack of consent to do so, and the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the person reasonably relies on the lawyer to provide the services.
Engagement Letters- rule 1.2 (c) you CAN limit the scope of representation.