This class treads the line between professional responsibility and civil procedure. It is designed for students who intend to become civil litigators. Students who expect to practice in other fields will be better served by a different professional responsibility course.
The topics covered vary from year to year and have recently included lawyers' responsibilities in litigating and settling aggregate lawsuits, fee awards in class actions, principal/agent problems, the writings of Monroe Freedman on legal ethics, the requirements and ambit of the fiduciary duty, the professional responsibilities of lawyers supplied by insurers to defend lawsuits against policyholders, and the decision to drop a client as a result of pressure from interest groups. Topics commonly covered in the survey course, such as conflicts of interest, will also be included.
The reading load for this class can be fairly heavy. I also assign many of my own writings, along with works by my critics (I have many). Everyone is expected to come to class prepared to discuss the readings, i.e., to ask questions and make comments on them. Anyone who misses more than 2 class sessions will be dropped from the course.
Grades will be based on in-class presentations, short essay papers, and final exam or a seminar paper, depending on the number of students that enroll.
This course satisfies the professional responsibility curriculum requirement for graduation from the Law School.