Ethics roundup

by Walter Olson on May 13, 2014

  • If you doubt lawyers can be heroes, consider Rashid Rehman, gunned down after defying death threats to represent university lecturer in Pakistan blasphemy case [BBC]
  • Some asbestos lawyers may have reason to be nervous as Garlock documents pave way for fraud-checking [Daniel Fisher/Forbes, Legal NewsLine, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle] Given consumer groups’ zeal for making litigation data public, they’ll support greater transparency in asbestos settlements, right? [WLF]
  • “Colloquium: The Legal Profession’s Monopoly on the Practice of Law” with John McGinnis and Russell Pearce, Benjamin Barton and others [Fordham Law Review]
  • “BP’s Billions Draw Scam Artists” [Amanda Bronstad, NLJ; NYTimes ("They told us we don't even need a lawyer"); Insurance Journal]
  • “South Carolina: LegalZoom is not the Unauthorized Practice of Law” [Legal Ethics Forum]
  • Black lung series with legal ethics angle wins Pulitzer [Chris Hamby/Center for Public Integrity, earlier]
  • Much more to come in Chevron saga as oil company seeks $32 million in attorneys’ fees from adversary Donziger [Roger Parloff] Ted Boutrous, who repped both defendants, on parallels between Chevron and Dole scandals [USA Today]

{ 1 comment }

1 Anonymous Attorney 05.13.14 at 12:39 pm

The Bridgette Dunlap article in the Fordham Law Review looks promising.

It is flat-out amazing to consider: “Law” is one of the most central institutions in our society (America), yet it is not taught in grade school, high school, or EVEN COLLEGE. Civics class — social studies, whatever — barely touches it. You can sit for hours of politics classes and never learn law. I knew ZERO about law before law school, even after working as a journalist in Washington.

Yet law is the key to everything: the money, the power, who can do what, and when, from the simplest question of dog licensing to billion-dollar deals, a life of incarceration, etc.

THIS IS A CONSPIRACY. The lawyer class LIKES IT that way, because they become the holders of the power, and charge for the privilege of insight. Yet things are unlikely to change: the politicians are largely lawyers themselves. Some truncated version of law school should be mandatory for high school graduation: property, torts, crimes, procedure, the Constitution, some evidence… everything they give you as a 1L should be given to ALL CITIZENS. It could be done. It can be done.

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