Inside Business Law

Focus on Professional Responsibility

The mission of the Professional Responsibility Committee is to improve the law and inform section members with respect to issues of legal ethics, professional responsibility, professional conduct, and the law governing lawyers. As a reminder, the committee has expertise in model rules of professional conduct, formal opinions of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, issues of ethics and professional responsibility law that affect lawyers whose practice (whether transactional, counseling, or dispute resolution) involves business law or the governmental regulation of business, the interface between general rules of ethics and professional responsibility and specialized rules of ethics and professional responsibility promulgated by statute or administrative regulation, and issues of multinational ethics and professional responsibility encountered in the transnational practice of law, including issues affecting multinational law firms and law departments.

This month's quarterly newsletter is published right in time for the ABA's Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., held from April 4 to 6. The committee newsletter provides useful information on the use of social media in law, new case law developments in certain states, and an update on subcommittees.

Nonprofit Organizations Committee

The Nonprofit Organizations Committee provides a resource for nonprofit lawyers on issues affecting nonprofit organizations in a rapidly changing legal and regulatory environment and monitors and updates the Model Nonprofit Corporation Act. For recorded webinars and the Spring Meeting schedule, visit their main committee page.

The Nonprofit Organizations Committee Chair, Michael E. Malamut, provides an overview of the upcoming programs at the Spring Meeting in the first quarter newsletter. The committee is a main sponsor of "Setting up a Social Entrepreneurship Organization," a panel discussing the different legal structures for a social entrepreneurial organization. It has participated in the preparing the following CLE programs for the Spring Meeting:

  • "Lawyer's Obligations Servicing on Boards of Nonprofits."
  • "Health Care M&A Legal and Financing Issues: 2012 and Beyond."
  • "Showcasing Diamonds: An Interactive Discussion with Glass Cutters."

The newsletter, packed with useful information, provides a summary of law review articles relating to nonprofit organizations, national updates, and state updates. Some of the featured articles include:

  • Christyne J. Vachon's article "Scratch My Back, and I'll Scratch Yours: Scratching the Surface of the Duty of Care in Cross Sector Collaborations - Are For-Profits Obligated to Ensure the Sustainability of their Partner Nonprofits?" in the Hastings Business Law Journal, Winter 2012, addressing cross-sector collaborations between nonprofit and for-profit institutions.
  • Kavita Gupta's article in the California Bankruptcy Journal 2012, "Representing a Nonprofit Debtor in Bankruptcy" which provides useful information for practitioners on the bankruptcy process for nonprofit organizations.
  • Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer's article, "Nonprofits, Politics and Privacy," in Case Western Reserve Law Review, Spring 2012, on the disclosure obligations for tax-exempt nonprofit organizations engaged in political activity.

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Question: On April 13, 2010, Maryland became the first state to recognize benefit corporations (or B-corps, as they are colloquially known) with the adoption of the Maryland Benefit Corporation Act (Maryland Corporations and Associations Article §§ 5-6C-01 through -08). The Maryland Benefit Corporation Act was sponsored by a member of the American Bar Association. Can you name him?

Please see Inside Business Law for the answer to this month’s Business Law Section Trivia Question.

The August issue of BLT will focus on an important issue in business law practice: diversity. Other feature articles focus on an array of topics: the Yates Memo, protecting your brand in a complicated Internet landscape, and immigration law compliance. This BLT issue contains much more business law content—don’t miss it!

Do you have a great idea for a BLT article? Would you like to see more of a featured column? Let us know how we can make Business Law Today the best resource for you and your clients. We welcome any suggestions. Please send us your feedback here.

Saratoga Institute on Equine, Racing and Gaming Law
August 9-10, 2016
Saratoga Springs, NY

Business Law Section Annual Meeting – Last chance to save $100. Register by July 22!
September 8-10, 2016
Boston, MA

Miscellaneous IT Related Legal News (MIRLN) 26 June - 23 July 2016 (v19.10)

BLT is a web-based publication drawing upon the best of the Section's resources, including featured articles and other information from around the Section. Stay informed on the latest business law practice news and information that will benefit you and your clients.