Request for information re: discipline of prosecutors

Judge Blue’s recent summary suspension of defense lawyer John Williams for twenty days as a result of alleged misconduct during a criminal trial has raised the question of whether prosecutors who have violated the rules are ever subject to discipline. If anyone knows of instances in which prosecutors have been subject to professional discipline, kindly let me know. Thanks.

It’s Time for CLE

In an article in the Connecticut Law Tribune,  by comparing law to other professions, CBA President Mark DuBois suggests that the legal profession in Connecticut should be embarrassed by its refusal to adopt CLE standards.

I suggest that the CBA adopt voluntary CLE standards along with a program allowing lawyers who meet those standards to certify (and advertise) that they have done so. The program would permit lawyers to decide what constitutes CLE and require them to keep a record of the CLE programs attended whether in person or online, including the date, the location, the length, the topic and the provider.

Perhaps the CBA can move beyond being a trade association by offering its members the opportunity to voluntarily and publically commit to embracing core principles of professional responsibility in exchange for the ability to advertise their commitment to those core principles.

More thought required. Comments welcome



Law schools: The President suggests a way to increase the value, relative to cost, of a legal education

It is no secret that law schools across the country are searching for ways to be of greater value in a highly competitive job market. Recently, President Obama suggested one way for law schools to do that: do less. Specifically, as reported by the Economist (August 31 – September 6, 2013 issue – North America edition – at page 24, the President said “This is probably controversial to say, but what the heck.” ..”[L]aw schools would probably be wise to think about two years instead of three.”

There is an old saying about law school.  The first year they scare you to death. The second year they work you to death. And the third year they bore you to death. To the extent there is some truth in that saying the price of the third year is far too high and it should be dropped.

The legal profession, including law schools, is on a forced march to create value and to make clear to clients (and to prospective students) that legal services, including legal education (which must teach more about rendering legal services), are worth the investment. Perhaps the President is on to something when he suggests that law schools create greater value by charging less and and spending less time before granting a degree.  Might the same concept apply to law firms? It is always a challenge to know when enough is enough in terms of time spent on a client matter. Past a certain point clients won’t pay. But before a certain point one can not do a first rate professional job. Law schools need to focus on teaching students how to render legal services efficiently on a cost effective basis. If law school graduates entered the marketplace as engines of efficiency, including using technology effectively, they would be of value to firms that have clients but that may not have cutting-edge knowledge of how to serve their clients most efficiently. The focus must be on creating value for clients. The rest is a waste of time and money.

An unexpected resource for fans of the Supreme Court

Roku 3 is a device that streams programming from the Internet to T.V. Through Roku one can access high quality, free programming such as Democracy Now, Newsy and PBS. Thanks to the Sunlight Foundation one can also listen to many Supreme Court arguments. from the Sunlight Foundation’s Supreme Court website. Listening to Supreme Court arguments may not offer the same level of excitement as a professional sporting event but on the other hand, if one is interested in what goes on during a Supreme Court argument, there is no substitute to listening to the back and forth between members of the Court and counsel. At times it is so intense as the remind one of an athletic event, a cross-fit workout perhaps, with relentless questioning leaving counsel little time to transition from one topic to another. Check it out.  It’s free. And definitely check out Democracy Now and Newsy. I find them to be much better than network and cable news. They cover more real news, report in depth and are not burdened by ads or by heated exchanges between partisans who offer insults but little data.