Features

Ethics

Behind the Curtain: Ethics for Mediators

Written by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Ethics Subcommittee, this article focuses on the importance of hiring a mediator regulated by a Code of Ethics. Mediation is still largely unregulated, though some states regulate particular types of mediators. The different regulations that exist for mediators are briefly discussed, as well as the codes of ethics for mediators, including the 2005 Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators.

Ethics

Dishonest Or Unworthy Clients: Pink Flags

Douglas R. Richmond, Managing Director of Aon in Kansas City, MO, writes on the liability risk of dishonest clients. A majority of the costliest publicly-reported settlements involving U.S. law firms are due to the representation of such clients. Mr. Richmond identifies “pink flags,” in contrast to “red flags,” as warning signs that potentially display prospective or existing client dishonesty or unworthiness. To aid in the identification of pink flags, he highlights several elements lawyers should pay special attention to when dealing with clients and evaluating their trustworthiness.

Ethics

Ethical Issues in Representing Clients in the Cannabis Business: “One toke over the line?”

In his timely piece, Dennis A. Rendleman, Ethics Counsel at the American Bar Association, examines the ethical issues that arise when representing clients in the cannabis business. He provides a summary of the states which permit the manufacture, distribution and use of recreational or medical marijuana, and then moves on to discuss the federalism conflict. Mr. Rendleman also discusses whether the ABA Model Rules and Ethics Opinions restrict what a lawyer may do in counseling or assisting clients involved in cannabis businesses in states where medical and/or recreational use of cannabis is permitted. Existing rules and ethics opinions from other jurisdictions are examined and the author delves into a more thorough application of the Model Rules when state and federal laws conflict. The author ultimately concludes that a lawyer does not violate the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, specifically Rule 1.2(d) or Rule 8.4(b), when advising or representing a client in establishing, operating, or withdrawing from a medical or recreational marijuana business permitted by state law.

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The Professional Lawyer is a periodical covering current issues, trends and controversies in the fields of legal and judicial ethics and professionalism.

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