This program provides important information about ethical obligations relating to large-scale disasters, cyberbreaches, and issues relating to disabilities and wellness in the legal profession. Recent ethics opinions dealing with the first two topics and recent resolutions – one adopted, one proposed but not adopted – along with some older ethics opinions on the latter two topics will be discussed.
In addition to discussing the concerns that the ethics pronouncements are intended to address, the panel will consider problems arising from reconciling ethics pronouncements with the realities of contemporary law practice, particularly business law practice. Often, such pronouncements may be made despite the absence of any widespread concerns, inside or outside the profession, about lawyers not fulfilling ethical obligations in these areas. There are also dangers that “one-size-fits-all” solutions fail adequately to take into account the nuances of the issues and the varied contexts in which such issues arise. This concern is especially serious when the pronouncements seek to articulate and impose “ethical obligations” that may be novel or are not necessarily a reasonable extrapolation from, or interpretation of, existing rules of professional conduct.
In addition, issues relating to large-scale disasters, cyberbreaches, disabilities, and wellness highlight the importance of succession planning for lawyers and law firms. This topic will also be explored.