Professionalism for the Ethical Lawyer



  • Available Until 5/31/2021
  • Next Class Time 11:00 AM MT
  • Duration 60 min.
  • Format MP3 Download
  • Program Code 0118367

Course Price: $65.00


Untitled Document

Ethics rules, the principles of professionalism, and sanctionable conduct are distinct areas yet they are subtly interrelated. Lawyers have a duty to zealously represent their clients but they do not have a duty to engage in offensive conduct desired by clients. Lawyers have an ethical duty to train and supervise subordinate lawyers and non-lawyer support staff. These duties are closely related to training staff to deal courteously with adversaries, clients, and the courts. Lawyers have duties of confidentiality and honesty, but those duties do not always require pressing every advantage, such as when the lawyer knows that opposing counsel has made a material drafting error in a transactional document. In these and many other scenarios, ethics rules, professionalism, and potentially sanctionable conduct subtly interact. This program will provide you with a real-world guide to professionalism for the ethical lawyer.

  • Interrelationship of ethics rules, professionalism, and sanctions
  • Zealous representation v. needlessly embarrassing an adversary or third-party
  • Reacting to an adversary’s drafting errors in transactional documents
  • Ethics, professionalism and inadvertent transmission of communications
  • Duty to supervise and train subordinate lawyers and staff, including to ensure courtesy to clients, opposing counsel, and courts
  • Offering candid advice to clients and withdrawal when they desire offensive conduct
  • Avoiding discrimination and bigotry
  • Dealing with an adversary’s discourteous deposition conduct

Speaker: Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a broad complex commercial, business and securities litigation practice. He also has a substantial practice advising businesses on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections. For more than 20 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written “The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner’s Guide,” a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation. Mr. Spahn has served as member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.