Testimony of Jeremy M. Miller

I. Background of Participant

I plan to attend the Ethics 2000 Hearing in Montreal and would appreciate the 5 minute allotment. As requested, the following outline is also submitted on diskette. A c.v. is included, showing an extensive background in Legal Ethics. I was appointed by President Edmond M. Connor, of the Orange County Bar Association. Additionally, I served on a like task force in and for California, have written articles, books, produced tapes, lectured in MCLE, and taught this area for 15 years. My column in the Los Angeles Daily Journal on Legal Ethics was widely read. The law school, of which I was founding dean, the Chapman University School of Law (and am still a professor) attempted to utilize a new model integrating Legal Ethics substantially. My experience as Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Lawyer has also aided my understanding of Legal Ethics' interface with all areas of law.

II. Miscellaneous Outlined Suggestions . . .

1. Follow the East European model, thus solving M. Freedman's now "old" debate--parties to a lawsuit, be the suit civil or criminal, testify never under oath.

2. Page 5, 1/30-31/98 Tennessee minutes: #7--abandon "generally" in favor of objective term "reasonably".

III. California and State Anomalies

1. Axiomatic is that a uniform code and standard throughout the United States would aid understanding of Legal Ethics and at least incrementally improve obedience to those norms.

a) It is simply indefensible for the ABA to continue to "support" the extreme minority Model Code of Professional Responsibility. Years ago, that code's well-meant format, because it was unworkable (DR's overlapped with EC's) was replaced. To test it, e.g., on the MPRE adds to ultimate student confusion. The ABA should officially "pull the plug," and within five years it will be history only.

b) Coming in line with California--or at least giving forceful position papers why not to come in line, will enhance uniformity among the several states--including California:

i) California Rules of Professional Conduct (CRPC) 2-200(c) legalizes pure referral fees;

ii) CRPC 3-120 presumption of impropriety if sex;

iii) California Business and Professions Code (B&P) sec. 6068--written reporting requirements, e.g., regarding three malpractice suits in the last year;

iv) B&P sec. 6146--limits on maximum percent contingency fees;

v) California Civil Code sec. 2860--duty of insurer to provide independent " Cumis" counsel to avoid conflicts of interest;

vi) The Maxwell case--acceptable to receive book rights as fee;

vii) No prohibition of contingency fee payment in criminal or family law (general freedom of contract).

Thank you for considering the above and for 5 minutes time. Disk enclosed with registration form and hard copy.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jeremy M. Miller

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