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The rules governing lawyer conduct provide significant discretion to lawyers in how they choose to practice law, but there are limits on what a lawyer can and should do. Professionalism standards provide one approach to exercising discretion, but professionalism can sometimes be in tension with the concept of zealous representation of clients. Moreover, professionalism and zeal can be seen as components of a general philosophy of lawyering and living.
The program will examine various philosophies of lawyering in the context of specific examples when lawyers must make discretionary decisions. The presenters will blend into the program discussion of the obligations of competence, civility, integrity, and commitment to the rule of law, to justice, and to the public good, along with the Lawyer’s Creed and Aspirational Statement of Professionalism adopted by the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism of the State of Georgia. The following are examples of the types of situations that the presenters will discuss:
- Reporting opposing counsel for misconduct during a pending case
- Filing a motion to disqualify a judge
- Responding to juror misconduct
- Firm obligations regarding mental health of its lawyers and staff during a time of crisis
- Lawyers’ obligations to justice in a time of crisis
Please join Craig Dobson of Dobson Law LLC and Nathan M. Crystal of Crystal & Giannoni-Crystal, LLC for a session that will focus on development of a philosophy of lawyering, including the relationship of between zeal and professionalism.