6 CLE Ethics hours
The Twelfth Annual Symposium on Legal Malpractice & Ethics
Topics and Speakers
The Failed Gatekeeper and the “Equally Guilty” Client
Kevin Michels is the J. Donald and Va Lena Scarpelli Curran Faculty Chair in Legal Ethics and Professionalism and Visiting Associate Professor at Gonzaga University Law School. He has authored articles in numerous law reviews and is the author of New Jersey Attorney Ethics, a treatise frequently cited by New Jersey courts. Prior to joining academia, Professor Michels practiced law for twenty years. He received his J.D. from Rutgers Law School-Newark, where he was Research Editor of the Rutgers Law Review. He clerked for Justice Clifford of the New Jersey Supreme Court; served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Professional Conduct; is an elected member of the American Law Institute; and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law.
The Accidental Lawyer: A Law and Economics Perspective on Inadvertent Waiver
Ido Baum is Assistant Professor of Law and director of the inter-disciplinary studies program at the Striks School of Law, College of Management, Israel. His teaching and research focuses on procedural law, economics, securities law, and media law. He earned his doctoral degree, summa cum laude, from the Institute for Law and Economics at Hamburg University, Germany. He has LL.M. degrees from the Erasmus European master program and Tel Aviv University. Professor Baum was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley Boalt Hall and at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. His international experience includes working for the Zurich-based tribunal resolving claims to pre-WWII Swiss bank accounts held by the United States. In addition, Professor Baum is the leading legal publicist in his country, and has served as the spokesperson of the Israeli Ministry of Justice and as the assistant of the Attorney General.
The Advent of Local Lobby Restrictions and Its Legal and Ethical Consequences for Attorneys
Ross Fischer is an attorney with the law firm of Denton, Navarro, Rocha & Bernal in Austin where he advises clients—including municipalities and other political subdivisions, officeholders, candidates, law firms, and private corporations—on issues involving ethics compliance. Mr. Fischer’s career has hovered at the intersection of professional ethics and local government law. He has been the Chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission, which regulates ethics laws in the political process, including campaign law, candidates for office, officeholders, and lobbyists; Assistant Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the State Bar of Texas, where he prosecuted ethics violations throughout the state; and the elected Kendall County Attorney, where he served as both the county’s civil advisor misdemeanor prosecutor. Mr. Fischer is an honors graduate of St. Edward’s University and a graduate of the University of Texas Law School.
A graduate of Trinity University and the University of Texas School of Law, Jack Gullahorn maintains a consulting practice for clients interested in complicated public policy issues and has a legal practice focused on individual and corporate ethics, lobbying, and political legal compliance. He serves as President and General Counsel of the Professional Advocacy Association of Texas (PAAT), a professional association for registered lobbyists in Texas. Mr. Gullahorn’s background includes serving as the head of the State Public Law and Policy Section for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld and as the senior Managing Director in charge of the development of Texas public policy advocacy efforts for the clients of Public Strategies, Inc. (PSI). He also served as the Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Billy Clayton.
A Scout is Trustworthy”: Applying Virtue Ethics to Lawyer Professionalism
Justice Jeff Brown has served on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals since 2007. From 2001 to 2007, he was judge of the 55th District Court. Justice Brown earned his B.A. from the University of Texas and his law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Houston. He then worked as a law clerk for Justices Jack Hightower and Greg Abbott on the Supreme Court of Texas before practicing civil trial law at Baker Botts in Houston. Justice Brown was named Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas by the Texas Young Lawyers Association in 2006 and Appellate Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists in 2011. He is co-author of the Texas Rules of Evidence Handbook. An Eagle Scout, Justice Brown is an active leader in the Boy Scouts of America. He lives in Houston with Susannah, his wife of 20 years, and their three children.
Recent Developments: Issues of Interest in Legal Malpractice and Professionalism
Kathy Stephens is an attorney at Clemens & Spencer in San Antonio, where her practice includes civil litigation and appeals. Ms. Stephens was a briefing attorney for Justice Phylis Speedlin in the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio prior to entering private practice. She also previously interned for the Honorable Fred Biery, United States District Judge in the Western District of Texas. Ms. Stephens is a member of the San Antonio Bar Association, Bexar County Women’s Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Texas Association of Defense Counsel, and Texas’s Defense Research Institute. She was named a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star by Texas Monthly magazine in 2007 and 2008 and is an elected member of the American Law Institute. Ms. Stephens was the Symposium Editor of the St. Mary’s Law Journal from 2003-2004. She is married to Dan Stephens and is the mother of two young daughters.
The Litigation Privilege in Texas
Sam Johnson graduated from Baylor University, summa cum laude, in 1984, where he was in Phi Beta Kappa and selected as the Truman Scholar for Texas in 1983. Mr. Johnson received his J.D. with High Honors from the University of Texas Law School. He was a member of Chancellors, the Texas Law Review, and Order of the Coif and served as teaching quizmaster. After law school, Mr. Johnson clerked for District Judge Sydney A. Fitzwater of the Northern District of Texas. He has been with Scott, Douglass & McConnico since 1988. He began defending numerous officer and director lawsuits and legal malpractice lawsuits arising out of the massive Savings & Loan crisis in the mid-1980s. Since then, Mr. Johnson has been involved in defending over 150 legal malpractice cases. Today, his practice continues to center on complex business litigation and legal malpractice defense work. Mr. Johnson has consistently been listed in the Best Lawyers in America and as a Texas Monthly Super Lawyer. Mr. Johnson was an adjunct professor at the University of Texas Law School. He has made at least a hundred CLE presentations on numerous topics.
Walking the Ethical Tight Rope in the Use of Social Media
John Browning is the founding partner of the Dallas office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, where he handles employment law, intellectual property, commercial cases, defense of products liability, professional liability, media law, and general negligence matters. Mr. Browning received his B.A. with general and departmental honors from Rutgers University in 1986, where he was a National Merit Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from the University of Texas Law School in 1989. He is the author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Social Networking: Understanding Social Media’s Impact on the Law, as well as two forthcoming books on social media and the law. He has been quoted as a leading authority on social media and the law by The New York Times, TIME, The National Law Journal, Law 360, and Inside Counsel magazine and is a recurring legal commentator for the NBC and FOX news stations in Dallas.
Regulating the Behavior of Lawyers in Mass Individual Representations: A Call for Reform
Richard Zitrin is Lecturer in Law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and founder and first director of the Center for Applied Legal Ethics at the University of San Francisco. After serving as a partner in his own firm, where he tried over 50 cases ranging from products liability to murder, he is now Of Counsel to the San Francisco firm of Carlson, Calladine & Peterson. He is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in legal malpractice. His current principal practice is litigating and advising on a wide range of attorney conduct issues. Mr. Zitrin has co-authored several books on legal ethics, including Legal Ethics in the Practice of Law and the trade book The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer, recently translated into three languages. In addition to academic work, Mr. Zitrin writes a current column for American Law Media and op-eds for general circulation media. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and New York University School of Law.
When & Where
St. Marys Law Journal
Founded in 1969, the St. Mary's Law Journal has enjoyed an exceptional past. Built on a "practitioner's journal" platform, the Journal has contributed immensely to the legal community both in the State of Texas and on a national level. From the very first article printed to those we publish today, the St. Mary's Law Journal has endeavored to provide members of the bench and bar timely, relevant scholarship.
Since the Journal's inception, over 1,400 St. Mary's law students have dedicated thousands of hours to the Journal as staff writers, associate editors, or members of the editorial board. In contributing to the St. Mary's Law Journal, these students have engaged in challenging research, writing, and editorial projects which immeasurably add to their depth as future attorneys, judges, professors, and members of the political and business communities.