Ethics Update: How to Deal with Bullies Without Breaking the Rules
Created on November 19, 2018
In this new and expanded version of the popular ethics program, gain a refresher and an updated analysis of ethical rules applicable to assessing and responding to overly aggressive bullying behavior by lawyers against opposing parties and counsel. This program will also expand on topics covered in the earlier version and covers additional topics such as discrimination as a form of bullying and bullying behavior during trial.
Many attorneys practice with the misconception that their ethical duties require overly aggressive advocacy. Attorneys who bully, break ethical rules, and misuse their positions often excuse their bad behavior by referencing a "duty" to zealously advocate on behalf of their clients. These unprofessional adversaries misunderstand the Model Rules and the obligations that they impose on attorneys. In fact, their conduct violates ethical rules and exposes them to sanctions. In order to deter bad behavior and to encourage practice with civility, we must use the tools available to us under the Model Rules, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and 28 U.S.C § 1927 to call unprofessional adversaries to task by reporting unethical acts, and in some cases, asking for sanctions. Recent rule changes also address how discrimination in the practice of law constitutes an ethics violation and how bullying is often directed at certain groups more than others.
This program is presented by Francine Friedman Griesing, founder of Griesing Law LLC, and covers several ethical issues arising out of aggressive litigation practices and presents an array of tools to use when dealing with opposing counsel who engage in those practices.
Examine the ethical rules and guidelines around professional conduct
Discuss the common ethical challenges relating to aggressive client advocacy
Recognize and respond ethically to discrimination in the practice of law
Identify appropriate responses to counsel who cross the ethical line
Explore how to enlist the courts to address and sanction unethical, overly aggressive and bullying conduct
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