239 Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation

This course examines the principles of legal ethics and professionalism. Our focus will be on identifying and responding to the key issues faced by a civil litigator, and on the model rules of professional conduct, case law, and ethics opinions that a lawyer must consider in resolving such issues. Topics include the formation and termination of the attorney client relationship, conflicts of interest, and communications with the court and opposing counsel through the discovery and trial process. We will examine the balancing of the duty of advocacy with the duty to the administration of justice. We will also explore issues such as admissions, discipline, and common law firm associate dilemmas such as billing and changing law firms. During the semester, students will prepare two short (3-5 pp) memoranda. There will also be an open book in-class exam at the end of the semester.

Course Areas of Practice
Course Type
Lecture
Learning Outcomes
Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system
2016
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

239.01 2
  • Scheduled in-class examination
  • Practical exercises
Marilyn Forbes Phillips TuTh 5:15-6:10 PM 4047

This course examines the principles of legal ethics and professionalism. Our focus will be on identifying and responding to the key issues faced by a civil litigator, and on the model rules of professional conduct, case law, and ethics opinions that a lawyer must consider in resolving such issues. Topics include the formation and termination of the attorney client relationship, conflicts of interest, and communications with the court and opposing counsel through the discovery and trial process. We will examine the balancing of the duty of advocacy with the duty to the administration of justice. We will also explore issues such as admissions, discipline, and common law firm associate dilemmas such as billing and changing law firms. During the semester, students will prepare two short (3-5 pp) memoranda. There will also be an open book in-class exam at the end of the semester.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2015
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

239.01 2 Marilyn Forbes Phillips Tu/Th 3:45-4:40 PM Room 4047
This course examines the principles of legal ethics and professionalism. Our focus will be on identifying and responding to the key issues faced by a civil litigator, and on the model rules of professional conduct, case law, and ethics opinions that a lawyer must consider in resolving such issues. Topics include the formation and termination of the attorney client relationship, conflicts of interest, and communications with the court and opposing counsel through the discovery and trial process. We will examine the balancing of the duty of advocacy with the duty to the administration of justice. We will also explore issues such as admissions, discipline, and common law firm associate dilemmas such as billing and changing law firms. During the semester, students will prepare two short (3-5 pp) memoranda. There will also be an open book in-class exam at the end of the semester.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2014
Fall 2014
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

239.01 2 Marilyn Forbes Phillips Tu 3:15-5:05 pm Room 3041
This course examines in detail ethics in the context of civil litigation. This will include study of the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, as well as discussion of the implications of the adversarial process on ethical obligations of lawyers. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions, statutory rules, and administrative regulations. During several weeks during the semester, the class will be divided into two seminar-sized sections where students will draft and discuss ethics opinions focusing on key issues. There will also be a 2-hour exam at the end of the semester.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
Spring 2014
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

239.02 2 Marilyn Forbes Phillips M/W 11:05-12:00 pm M/W 11:05-12:00 pm Room 4047
This course examines in detail ethics in the context of civil litigation. This will include study of the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, as well as discussion of the implications of the adversarial process on ethical obligations of lawyers. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions, statutory rules, and administrative regulations. During several weeks during the semester, the class will be divided into two seminar-sized sections where students will draft and discuss ethics opinions focusing on key issues. There will also be a 2-hour exam at the end of the semester.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2013
Fall 2013
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

239.01 2 Marilyn Forbes Phillips Tu/Th 1:30-2:25 pm Room 4055
This course examines in detail ethics in the context of civil litigation. This will include study of the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, as well as discussion of the implications of the adversarial process on ethical obligations of lawyers. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions, statutory rules, and administrative regulations. During several weeks during the semester, the class will be divided into two seminar-sized sections where students will draft and discuss ethics opinions focusing on key issues. There will also be a 2-hour exam at the end of the semester.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2012
Fall 2012
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

239.01 2 Thomas B. Metzloff T / Th 3:00-4:15 pm T / Th 3:00-4:15 pm Room 4055
This course examines in detail ethics in the context of civil litigation. This will include study of the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, as well as discussion of the implications of the adversarial process on ethical obligations of lawyers. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions, statutory rules, and administrative regulations. During several weeks during the semester, the class will be divided into two seminar-sized sections where students will draft and discuss ethics opinions focusing on key issues. There will also be a 2-hour exam at the end of the semester.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.