By the way, the proposed standards seem to go a long way toward fixing the faults noted by the Carnegie Report and the much-older complaints by Judge Edwards. Are law schools really equipped to teach legal practice?
[Edit: I should have noted that this post complements Andy's post below.]
Story here. I'd be curious to know what approach NJ is taking. From my experience, states that require CLE vary widely in their focus on the needs of lawyers, the needs of bureaucrats, and the needs of the local state bar to earn cash.
If water coolers exist in 2040, one of them might be a
backdrop for this conversation:
Junior Faculty 1: Did you hear that Perlman is retiring?
JF2: I heard.Too bad.He’s a nice guy.
JF1: Yeah, he’s
nice.But he’s part of that old guard who
really don’t do much to move the school forward.
JF2:What do you
mean?I thought he’s still pretty
JF1:It’s not that
he’s unengaged; it’s just that he focuses on all of the wrong things.He’s one of those people hired in the late 20th
century and the early part of this century.
JF2: I’m not sure what you’re driving at.
don’t know your history.
JF1: Well, there was a legal education boom in the latter
part of the last century.The legal
profession was growing quickly, and there were a lot of high paying jobs at
stand alone law firms. It was before the rise of all of these mega companies,
like PriceWaterhouseSkadden.I think
there was some change in some ethics rules that caused the shift.Something about multidisciplinary practices
or some such thing.Anyway, law schools back
then were cash cows for universities, primarily because of how law students
were taught and the jobs they could get.
JF2:I don’t follow.
JF1: For a long time, most schools relied heavily on large
student-faculty ratios, with large classes that were taught using the Socratic
method.There was relatively little
practical training, so law schools could collect a lot of tuition and pay for
fancy buildings and high professor salaries and then send lots of students off
to high paying jobs.Haven’t you seen all
of those beautiful law school buildings that were built between 1990 and 2010?
JF2: Now that you mention it, you’re right.So what happened?
JF1:Here’s the other
wrinkle.There was this magazine.I think it was called U.S. Report and News,
or some such thing.I can’t remember;
it’s not around anymore.It had an
annual ranking of law schools that was really important, so law schools tried
to do a lot of things to affect their rankings, including how they hired
that up.You’re saying that a magazine
influenced what kind of people law schools hired?
This paper studies the effect of campaign contributions to lead plaintiffs — “pay to play’’ — on the level of attorneys’ fees in securities class actions. We find that state pension funds generally pay lower attorneys’ fees when they serve as lead plaintiffs in securities class actions than do individual investors serving in that capacity. This differential disappears, however, when we control for campaign contributions made to officials with influence over state pension funds. Thus, pay to play appears to increase agency costs borne by shareholders in securities class actions.
According to this NYT article, New York state courts handled 4.7 million cases this year. That whets my appetite for stats on cases per each state, and federal cases, per year. Does anyone know where that data might be?
Imagine that you (a lawyer) are hired as an ethics
expert in a legal malpractice case.You
ask for and are given a retainer as an advance on your fees.Do you have to deposit the retainer into a
client trust account and draw on it only as you have earned your fees?Or can you deposit the full amount into your
personal account and simply refund any money that you do not subsequently earn?
ethics expert has given me the latter answer, on the theory that ethics experts
are not retained for their legal services and are thus not subject to the usual
rules regarding retainers.The answer
seems plausible to me, but it raises the larger question of which of the ethics
rules (if any) apply to a lawyer who is serving as an expert.I suspect that this issue has been addressed
by some authority, article, or treatise (or all of the above).Can anyone offer citations that address the retainer
issue or the broader question of which ethics rules apply to lawyer-experts?
I imagine that I'm the only one who doesn't know what the situation is with regard to "person" and "party" in MR 4.2. I had understood that the Cornell website correctly states the history of 4.2. It says: Rule 4.2 was amended in August 1995 to make clear that the rule applies to contacts with represented persons whether or not they are, in a formal sense, actual or prospective "parties" to a proceeding or transaction. "Person" was substituted for "party" in the title and text of the rule.
Also, the ABA website gives MR 4.2 as follows:
Rule 4.2 Communication With Person Represented By Counsel
In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the
subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be
represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the
consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court
However, I just noticed that in my 2009 edition of the Model Rules, sent out by the ABA/CPR, the text uses the word "party" instead of "person." (However, the heading and the comments to 4.2 consistently use "person.')
Have I missed an important amendment, or is there just a typographical error in the text of 4.2 in the 2009 edition that I'm the last one to know about?