Law and Conversation

March 2, 2014

Another article online!

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.

Previously I linked to other articles I’ve written that are freely available.

October 23, 2013

Recent articles online

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.

February 6, 2013

American Bar Association in Dallas

Filed under: ethics,Law,legal writing — Helen Gunnarsson @ 12:47 am
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I’m looking forward to covering ethics programs for the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct at the Midyear Meeting of the American Bar Association this week in Dallas.

You can download and read “Panelists Examine How Prosecutors Can Be Held Accountable for Misconduct,” an article I wrote about a program at a meeting last year, on the website of the National Organization of Bar Counsel. If you’re interested in legal ethics, be sure to check out the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.

May 18, 2012

More Free CLE

Filed under: Law — Helen Gunnarsson @ 12:01 am
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The other day I urged lawyers and judges to sign up for a free trial membership in the American Bar Association, my employer. Do so, and you get to register for one free hourlong CLE webinar per month as long as you’re a member. The trial membership offer extends through August 31, but you have to sign up this month, before May 31, to take advantage of it. My employer might give me a cool prize if I recruit enough new members, so I hope you’ll sign up–the ABA is a great organization, you get all the usual member benefits in addition to the FREE CLE, and–I did say it was FREE, didn’t I?!

Lawyers in active practice always need CLE credits, and here is another nice way that you can not only get several hours of free CLE but also do some important pro bono work if you’re in the Chicago area: attend a 2.5 hour free MCLE credit training session, conducted by Cabrini-Green Legal Aid and the Cook County Public Defender, for the annual Expungement Summit on Saturday, June 2 at Apostolic Church of God (6320 S. Dorchester Ave), sponsored by the Circuit Clerk of Cook County.

Here’s more info on the summit from a CGLA e-mail:

“We need our experienced attorneys to help staff two four hour shifts (morning (~10-2) and afternoon (~2-6)) where they will advise summit attendees of their eligibility for expungement or sealing and assist those who are eligible to fill out forms.  It will very closely resemble the work we do at the Expungement Help Desk, with the differences being attendees come to us with their court dispositions verses us having to look up their record ourselves.  We’re expecting several thousand attendees and are hoping to train at over 100 private and public sector attorneys.”

This is a great opportunity to get some free CLE and do some good pro bono work at the same time. Though I can’t make the summit, I’ve been volunteering at the Expungement Help Desk at the Daley Center. It’s not glamorous and won’t garner you any headlines, but it’s a way to provide people who need it some help to get their lives on track after having made and paid for some mistakes. There but for grace and fortunate circumstances might go many of us, right?

I’d urge any lawyer with an interest in the area, or in doing something different and something good, to join the CGLA volunteers. The training sessions are May 23 and 24; you just have to attend one of them to volunteer at the summit. And then, when you have to report not only MCLE compliance but also whether you’ve done some pro bono work, you can feel very satisfied by answering “Yes!”

May 15, 2012


Filed under: CLE,Law — Helen Gunnarsson @ 9:00 am
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Lawyers, have I got a deal for and a favor to ask of you: if you are not already a member of the American Bar Association, sign up by using this link for a FREE trial membership through August 31. There is no obligation; you don’t have to provide a credit card number to sign up, and if you don’t want to continue to be a member, when the ABA sends you a bill at the end of the trial, you can just write cancel on it and send it back. (Though you might decide you like it and want to continue. I hope you will; it’s a great organization.)

In the meantime, you get all the usual member benefits, including some FREE CLE–1 webinar a month, I think. And we all have to do CLE!

What’s in it for me: as long as you use the link in this e-mail to sign up, I’ll get credit and could (but probably won’t) win a cool prize. But regardless of whether I win anything, it’s FREE to you, there is no obligation to continue, and clicking on the link will not give you a virus or subject you to spam. Deadline is May 31, but the next free member CLE webinar is this coming Monday, May 21, on cloud computing, so it makes sense to join now.

Thanks much, and please share the link with your friends!

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