What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Attorney Ethics & Well-Being

Streams live on Tuesday, December 03, 2019 at 01:00pm EST

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Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Beginner
Categories Ethics

Course Description

It has been a truism for decades, if not centuries, that lawyers have problems with the bottle - so common that it even appears as a cliché in movies and novels. This program, taught by Meredith Heller, a solo practitioner and frequent speaker on quality of life and professionalism issues for attorneys, Eileen Travis, the Director of the New York City Bar Association’s Lawyers Assistance Project, and Joseph Milowic III, a Founder of the nonprofit Lawyers With Depression, will first address some of the underlying reasons that lawyers suffer disproportionately high rates of substance abuse and mental health problems. The course will then review some common examples of attorney misconduct caused by substance abuse and/or mental illness. The panel will examine both how these issues affect the individual attorneys and the law firm and profession as a whole, and will provide resources for attorneys who are seeking help. Viewers will also hear firsthand about the experience of managing depression while maintaining a law practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Analyze the material issues in the legal profession that make mental illness and substance abuse disproportionately common among attorneys
  2. Discuss hypothetical scenarios of attorney misconduct that can arise due to mental illness or substance abuse
  3. Review the ethical rules relevant to attorneys abusing substances or suffering from mental illness
  4. Identify resources that are available to attorneys looking for help

Credit Information

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Joseph Milowic

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Joseph Milowic III is a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in New York City. He is also a Founder of the Lawyers Depression Project (LDP), a grassroots project aimed at addressing depression and other mental health issues in the legal profession. In 2018, Mr. Milowic was selected by his peers as a New York Metro “Super Lawyer” in Intellectual Property.  He was also selected as a Global Fellow by the Federal Circuit Bar Association in recognition of his “commitment to leadership and cooperation in the global legal community.”   

Over the past decade, Mr. Milowic has litigated, prosecuted, and opined on matters involving a wide range of technologies, including:

  • nanotech, fiber optics, optical networks, semiconductors and semiconductor processing
  • digital signal processing, error correction (turbo codes, LDPC codes, convolutional codes)
  • medical devices (glucose monitor test strips, gel electrophoresis, brachytherapy seeds)
  • chemicals, biologics, and pharmaceuticals (Hatch Waxman, ANDA cases, antidepressants)
  • memory and storage (DRAM, flash memory, hard disk drives, CDs)
  • wireless technologies (802.11 (wi-fi), 3G, 4G LTE, RFID, NFC)
  • software and consumer products (smartphones, tablets, USB chargers)

Meredith Heller

Law Office of Meredith S. Heller

Meredith S. Heller has considerable experience representing clients at both the trial and appellate levels in criminal and civil matters in the state and the federal courts, including arguing cases before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the New York Court of Appeals. She has also counseled attorneys facing discipline and bar applicants in the admissions process.

Meredith is a frequent speaker at CLEs and the Orientation Program for Newly Admitted Attorneys in the First Department where she discusses quality of life issues, substance abuse and the resources available through the Lawyers Assistance Program. She has spoken at the Second Department Orientation Program on civility and professionalism.

Eileen Travis

New York City Bar

Eileen Travis is the Director of the Lawyers’ Assistance Program at the New York City Bar.