Beyond the Schoolyard: Effective Strategies for Ethically Dealing with Bullies in the Practice of Law

$169.00

Unfortunately, too many attorneys mistakenly believe that they have to take zealous advocacy to the extreme by engaging in bullying, hostile, abusive and unprofessional conduct. This conduct often is directed against junior attorneys, women, minorities and LGBYQ+ persons. It may include comments that are sexist, racist or otherwise offensive. In addition, it is not limited to dealing with outsiders or opposing counsel. Surveys show that the extent of bullying and harassment within a firm, legal department, government entity or other legal workplace by lawyers against their own colleagues and even their clients is troubling. Recent events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread closures, stay at home orders and protests due to racism and injustice, have raised our awareness for the need for civility in the profession. Having a good understanding of the ethical prohibitions against bullying in the practice of law and the proper and permissible ways to respond to this misconduct, can make a difference is how effectively you represent your client and protect yourself. This program will review the ABA Model Rules, codes of civility and proven strategies for countering conduct that crosses the ethical line. It will also address how law firm leaders and in house counsel clients can set the tone, promulgate meaningful policies and impact real change to combat these issues. It will also address the role of the courts in tackling systemic bullying and bias.

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Event Details

Webinar Date

Webinar Time

Course Type

Credit Hours

2

Original Date Of Course

Course Instructor

Francine Friedman Griesing, Esq., Melissa Hazell Davis, Esq.

General Credits

2

Course Description

Unfortunately, too many attorneys mistakenly believe that they have to take zealous advocacy to the extreme by engaging in bullying, hostile, abusive and unprofessional conduct. This conduct often is directed against junior attorneys, women, minorities and LGBYQ+ persons. It may include comments that are sexist, racist or otherwise offensive. In addition, it is not limited to dealing with outsiders or opposing counsel. Surveys show that the extent of bullying and harassment within a firm, legal department, government entity or other legal workplace by lawyers against their own colleagues and even their clients is troubling. Recent events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, widespread closures, stay at home orders and protests due to racism and injustice, have raised our awareness for the need for civility in the profession. Having a good understanding of the ethical prohibitions against bullying in the practice of law and the proper and permissible ways to respond to this misconduct, can make a difference is how effectively you represent your client and protect yourself. This program will review the ABA Model Rules, codes of civility and proven strategies for countering conduct that crosses the ethical line. It will also address how law firm leaders and in house counsel clients can set the tone, promulgate meaningful policies and impact real change to combat these issues. It will also address the role of the courts in tackling systemic bullying and bias.

Syllabus

  1. Understanding the balance between permissible advocacy and unethical bullying under the ABA Model Rules and the rules of court
  2. Specific instances of Bullying and unethical conduct in the practice of law such as misrepresentations to the court and counsel, filing frivolous claims and motions, thwarting discovery or progress of a case, contacting represented parties without counsel’s permission, and dishonest tactics during negotiations
  3. Obligations to report bullying that amounts to unethical conduct
  4. Effective strategies for dealing with bullying adversaries who don’t play by the rules
  5. The disparate impact of bullying and bias on historically marginalized groups
  6. Effective strategies of leaders in the profession, clients and judicial officers to challenge bullying, bias, inequity, harassment and other unethical and unprofessional conduct by lawyers towards colleagues, clients, and adversaries.

Instructors

Francine Friedman Griesing, Esq

Melissa Hazell Davis, Esq.

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