Lawyers on Trial

Lawyers on Trial : Understanding Ethical Misconduct

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Lawyer misconduct affects many people: clients, adversaries, opposing counsel, judges, the legal profession, and society at large. The records of disciplinary proceedings offer a penetrating, and largely ignored, perspective on how lawyers misbehave. Because the lawyers' professional lives are at stake, the factual records are extraordinarily detailed and the lawyers surprisingly open about their motivations and justifications.

In Lawyers on Trial, Richard L. Abel presents the stories of ten California lawyers who broke the rules: hiring an ex-cop to chase ambulances, flouting fee limitations in medical malpractice cases, creating a fictitious company and impersonating non-existent people in order to appropriate Sega's computer games, a former California Real Estate Commissioner defrauding developers and financiers, helping a represented co-defendant negotiate a plea without his lawyer's participation or
knowledge, and defying a judge's sealing order and his own client's wishes for closure in order to champion the "defenseless " and "oppressed " and protect "widows and children. " The book begins by showing how nearly a century of political struggle over self-regulation shapes the way the disciplinary system
selects and processes cases and concludes by canvassing reforms that could improve the performance of the legal profession.

Lawyers on Trial will be invaluable for those contemplating law school, law students and teachers of professional responsibility, continuing legal education classes, lawyers encountering ethical dilemmas in their practice or trying to understand misbehaving colleagues, members of the public thinking of retaining a lawyer, and clients dealing with their own lawyers.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 516 pages
  • 163 x 235 x 32mm | 864g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199760373
  • 9780199760374

Table of contents

Table of Contents


1. The Politics of Self-Regulation

2. Cops Chasing Ambulances

3. MICRA: Unconstitutional until Proven Otherwise

4. Playing Games with Sega

5. Reaching for the Brass Ring

6. Serving Two Masters

7. Championing the "Defenseless" and "Oppressed"

8. Making Regulation Work



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About Richard L. Abel

Richard L. Abel is Michael J. Connell Professor of Law Emeritus, UCLA School of Law, where he helped found the Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. Before joining UCLA's law faculty in 1974, he taught at Yale Law School and served as a lawyer with the New Haven Legal Assistance Association; he also has taught as a visiting professor at USC, NYU, CUNY, and Fordham University.

After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1965, Professor Abel worked as a lawyer with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Jackson, Mississippi. He then completed a Ph.D. in African law at the University of London, supported by a Marshall Scholarship and a Foreign Area Fellowship. His extensive experience in African law and legal anthropology led to a position as editor of African Law Studies and the Law & Society Review and the publication of many
insightful books on the role of the lawyer,
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