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211.2 sec. 1 - Practical Ethics: A Simulation Approach (Fall 2012)

Instructor: Bruce Budner  (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Units: 2
Meeting Time: W 6:25-8:15
Meeting Location: 145

Course Start: August 22, 2012
Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 49523

This seminar is designed for those who are looking for a practice-oriented approach to ethics and who enjoy learning by doing and discussing.

We will focus on a set of hypotheticals that simulate the kind of hard problems lawyers face every day. Two to three students will present many of the hypos in the form of a role play lasting approximately 15 minutes. Classes will typically feature two student presentations. Every student will participate in one presentations during the semester. Each one is a joint project, not a combination of solo efforts. Following each presentation, we will engage in a lively discussion of the issues raised by the hypo and variations of it. Every student will also be expected to prepare a written summary of one hypo, detailing the issues, rules, and consequences of the lawyer's choices.

The body of hypos will implicate a wide range of ethical issues. We will assess the kinds of choices lawyers must make and the many consequences of those choices to the lawyer, the client, and others. Our analysis will begin with the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the California Rules of Professional Conduct (where they materially vary from the Model Rules), and other relevant authorities. We will explore the extent to which the rules offer guidance and where they fall short. We will also consider the difference between what is ethical--i.e., permitted by the rules--and what students consider to be consistent with their own moral compass. Students are strongly encouraged to introduce their own values and worldview into the conversation.

We will examine the majority of the Model Rules in depth. Though the course is not an MPRE prep course per se, the course will provide a strong foundation for your independent MPRE preparation.

The presentations, summaries, participation in class discussion, and a take-home exam will account for the final grade.

This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility Requirement.

This course satisfies the Skills Requirement.

Exam Notes: TH
Course Category: Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

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Required Books are in blue

  • Ethical Problems in the Practice of Law
    Lerman and Schrag
    Edition: Third/2012
    Publisher: Wolters Kluwer (Aspen)
    ISBN: 9781454803010
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: To Be Determined

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