Tomorrow (which somehow is now being called “Love Your Lawyer Day”?) I’ll be part of a panel presentation with Tennessee’s Chief Disciplinary Counsel and Deputy Chief Disciplinary Counsel at the annual Ethics School hosted by the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee at the Nashville School of Law.
The three of us will be talking for an hour about everyday ethical issues and taking questions from what, based on registration numbers, will be an audience of a couple hundred Tennessee lawyers. It should be a very interesting discussion and I expect we’ll touch on a lot of the topics you’d expect from a presentation focused on ethics issues regular lawyers tend to encounter on a routine basis. With so many lawyers in attendance, I’m certain will get some good questions that will give us the chance to cover other issues as well.
We probably won’t talk about any scenario that seems as much like a lawyer version of Walter White from Breaking Bad as the story of this Indiana lawyer reads. We also won’t likely be talking about a situation like hers in terms of its ultimate impact because she was permitted at the end of the month of October 2015 to resign her Indiana law license. In Tennessee, we do have a mechanism for surrendering one’s license, but I’m pretty sure my co-panelists tomorrow would confirm that a lawyer who ends up sentenced to 10 years in prison for meth production would find disciplinary counsel insisting on the imposition of harsh discipline (more likely than not pushing for disbarment) rather than agreeing for the lawyer to simply surrender her license.
I might also try to talk about my suggested general rule of thumb. It’s always worth talking about because sometimes statements and conduct that might get brushed aside if engaged in by a lawyer having just one really bad day end up resulting in the imposition of discipline. The latest example appears to involve the conduct of this Virginia lawyer who received a public reprimand for poor treatment of opposing counsel during a deposition.
If you happen to be in attendance at the seminar in Nashville tomorrow and are a reader of this blog, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Though, if your opinion of my blog is the same as the Virginia lawyer’s opinion of his opposing counsel’s case, you can just tell me it’s crap once. I promise you won’t need to tell me twice.