Overview

On August 27, 1908, at a meeting in Seattle, Washington, the American Bar Association adopted the Canons of Professional Ethics, the first set of model standards of ethical conduct for lawyers nationwide. The development of rules for the self-regulation of the legal profession has been a critically important aspect of the ABA’s work since then, progressing through the Model Code of Professional Responsibility in 1969 to the current Model Rules of Professional Conduct, initially promulgated in 1983. Nearly every state in the country has substantially embraced the Model Rules in form and substance, and other nations regularly look to the ABA framework as they develop ethical standards for their own lawyers. In August 2008 the ABA marks a century of worldwide leadership in developing standards of professional conduct for the legal profession.

Centennial Planning Committee | Landmark Dates in Professional Responsibility

Commissioned Papers

Nine papers were commissioned by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility to celebrate the Centennial of the Canons of Professional Ethics. These papers have been published, along with related items, in the 2008 Journal of the Professional Lawyer.

Repudiating the Holmesian "Bad Man" Through Contextual Ethical Reasoning: The Lawyer as Steward
Author/Bio: Keith R. Fisher

The Fallacy of the Monolithic Client-Lawyer Relationship: Leaving 1908 and Procrustean Regulation Behind
Author/Bio: Steven C. Krane

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Future of Self-Regulation-Canada between the United States and the English/Australian Experience
Author/Bio: Paul D. Paton

The Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Serving the Non-Legal Needs of Clients: Professional Regulation in a Time of Change
Author/Bio: Robert Rubinson

Bar Associations, Self-Regulation and Consumer Protection: Whither Thou Goest?
Author/Bio: Judith L. Maute

The Evolving Regulation of the Legal Profession: The Costs of Indeterminacy and Certainty
Author/Bio: Irma S. Russell

How Things Have Changed: Contrasting the Regulatory Environments of the Canons and the Model Rules
Author/Bio: Ted Schneyer

The Future Regulation of the Legal Profession: The Impact of Treating the Legal Profession as "Service Providers"
Author/Bio: Laurel S. Terry

Moral Engagement Without the "Moral Law" A Post-Canons View of Attorneys' Moral Accountability
Author/Bio: Robert K. Vischer

Centennial Program Updates

Read an article from the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct on the Coverage of the ABA Annual Meeting Centennial Program.

Panel Program and Reception

FROM CANONS TO CODES TO RULES:
1908-2008 AND BEYOND

A Centennial Celebration of the
ABA Legacy of Lawyer Ethics

Friday, August 8, 2008

Marking the centennial celebration of the adoption of the ABA Canons of Professional Ethics, forerunner to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, this program drew upon issues raised in scholarly papers that have been commissioned for the event that reflect on how the regulation of the practice of law has changed over the past 100 years and how the regulation of lawyers in the United States, and in the international arena, will continue to evolve over the next 100 years.

Keynote Speaker
Hon. Judith S. Kaye
Chief Judge of the State of New York

Moderator
Professor Charles J. Ogletree
Professor of Law and Director of Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School

Panelists

Susan Hackett - Senior Vice President & General Counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel

Steven C. Krane – Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Carolyn B. Lamm – ABA President-Elect Nominee

Osama Rahman - Chief Economist, United Kingdom Ministry of Justice

Ross Ray - President, Law Council of Australia

Deborah L. Rhode - Professor of Law and Director of the Stanford Center on Ethics at Stanford Law School

William P. Smith III – General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia

Laurel S. Terry -Professor of Law, Penn State Dickinson School of Law

OUR APPRECIATION GOES TO FOLLOWING SPONSORS OF THE ABA CANONS OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

PATRON OF THE CENTER

FRIENDS OF THE CENTER

 

GENERAL SPONSORS

 

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