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210.1S sec. 1 - Legal Ethics in the Practice of Law (Summer 2014)
Instructor: Bruce Budner (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Meeting Time: MTuW 2:00-4:45
Meeting Location: 145
Course Start: June 30, 2014
Course End: August 06, 2014
This course will look at ethical issues through the lens of typical problems that lawyers confront in their daily practices. Using the ABA Model Rules and the California Rules of Professional Conduct as our starting points and readings from the textbook as stimuli for discussion, we will examine the hard questions faced by lawyers. We will assess the kinds of ethical and moral decisions lawyers must make and the wide range of consequences of those decisions.
Active student participation will be the centerpiece of the course. Students will be expected not just to analyze rules and recognized authorities, but also to introduce their own values and worldview into the conversation.
Classes will typically feature student presentations. Each presentation will focus on a hypothetical problem that involves authentic ethical challenges. Two students will be responsible for each presentation. Each presentation should take approximately 15-20 minutes, to be followed by extensive class discussion. Presentations will typically be in the form of a role-playing in a format chosen by the presenters.
Among the questions to be examined for each problem are:
1) the ethical issues and choices, which may evolve over time;
2) to what extent the rules and other relevant authority offer guidance and where they stop short;
3) whether tensions exist between ethical standards and any other considerations;
4) the range of potential consequences of the choices for the lawyer, in terms of discipline, civil or criminal liability, and any personal cost;
5) the impact the choices might have on the client, third parties, the legal profession, the justice system, and/or the general community;
6) how you would conduct yourself when facing such a problem; and
7) how the ethical problems might have been avoided.
The course will not cover every rule. It will focus on those difficult cases that fall in the interstices of the rules, a place where common sense and a moral compass offer necessary guidance. This seminar will provide a strong foundation for MPRE preparation.
This course is only open to 2S students.
This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility Requirement.
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Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.