I’m pleased that Bloomberg BNA has made one of my conference reports available online. It’s from the midyear meeting of the National Organization of Bar Counsel, held in Chicago in February, entitled “Speakers at Bar Counsel Meeting Probe Gray Areas in Ethics of Advice on Marijuana,” and reports a program at which the speakers addressed how lawyers may advise marijuana business clients (and now recreational marijuana business clients also, in Colorado and Washington) in states that have decriminalized marijuana use without violating lawyer ethics rules.
March 2, 2014
January 20, 2014
Getting to hear the remarkable Fr. Michael L. Pfleger speak on violence last week at a meeting of an organization of lawyers and judges to which I belong was especially timely given that today is Martin Luther King Day in the U.S. I can’t adequately summarize everything he said–you need to listen to him yourself–but, among other things, he emphasized the importance of good schools and education for every young person and said that we as a nation must “come to terms with our love affair with guns.” I couldn’t agree more.
Fr. Pfleger is an eloquent, direct, and dynamic speaker whose message deserves wide dissemination. You can read more about him and watch a number of his speeches on the website of Chicago’s St. Sabina Parish, where he is pastor. Be sure to check out St. Sabina’s main page, too, which has other links of interest.
Several rather disparate books I’ve read in the past few years came to my mind on this holiday honoring Dr. King:
1) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, a remarkable memoir that takes the 21st-century reader inside the life of a 19th-century slave. The link takes you to a site with the free text.
2) Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty, by Helen Bryan. This well-written and carefully researched biography is not only a fascinating story of its subject but also a detailed study of slavery that demonstrates what a deeply sick system it was and what profound and long-lasting effects it had for our country. A bonus for me was noticing that the author, whose job was quite difficult because her subject deliberately left so little documentation for posterity (Martha burned every scrap of correspondence between herself and George that she could find), is a lawyer.
3) Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann. The book as a whole did not quite work for me; it consists of several stories of people in New York City that the author links with 9-11-01, and I did not find that the link was strong enough to call the separate stories a novel. But McCann writes really well. His depiction of the violence and despair in New York’s inner city is realistic and heart-rending.
The speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. are, of course, tremendous. CNN has a story of some that are often overlooked or overshadowed by the more famous “I Have A Dream.”
How inspiring and hopeful that one man could effect such change in our country through determination and nonviolence.
January 6, 2014
October 23, 2013
As part of a team of lawyers at the American Bar Association and Bloomberg BNA, I write and edit the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct. Every now and then, someone asks me if they can read them. Most are behind a paywall, but a few are posted on this or that website and are freely available. Here are some of them:
Panelists Examine How Prosecutors Can Be Held Accountable for Misconduct, 27 Law. Man. Prof. Conduct (2012)
APRL Panelists Debate What Role Regulation of Lawyer Ads Should Play in 21st Century, 29 Law. Man. Prof. Conduct 103 (2013) (Oops! The final page of this article, p. 105, was unfortunately not included. The final page online, p. 106, is the end of a different article that I wrote reporting another program from the same conference and the entirety of still another short article, cited in the next paragraph here.)
Lawyers Who Counsel Other Lawyers Should Give This Advice, Judge Suggests, 29 Law. Man. Prof. Conduct 106 (2013) (scroll down to last page)
Internet Marketing Raises Ethics Issues But Bar Representatives See Few Grievances, 29 Law. Man. Prof. Conduct 1 (2013) (you can also access the article here on BNA’s website)
Speakers Say Anticipate Potential Problems Before Lawyer Leaves Firm or Dies Suddenly, 29 Law. Man. Prof. Conduct 4 (2013) (scroll down to 3d article at link)
I’ve also filed reports for the Lawyers’ Manual on cybersecurity, the new ethics regime for solicitors in England and Wales, and government lawyers and ethics, among other topics. And I’ve just finished one on third party opinion letters from last week’s mindblowing Aon Law Firm Symposium, held in Chicago. I was especially pleased to get to cover the session on third party opinions because I recently updated that chapter in the Lawyers’ Manual, and it’s exciting for me to see it published on the ‘net less than 24 hours after final edits.