University of Illinois law professor and dean Vikram David Amar describes the problem of race-based peremptory challenges and argues that peremptory challenges be eliminated altogether on the grounds that we should not allow a person to be denied the right to serve on a jury for any reason that would not also suffice as a reason to deny that person the right to vote in an election.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda discusses a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit with respect to the disqualification of a lawyer from representing a client due to a conflict of interest. Rotunda cautions that the decision, if read broadly, could signal major risks for patent firms, but he argues that the decision need not be read so broadly.
Former counsel to the president John W. Dean laments the willingness—even enthusiasm—of Bill Cosby’s legal defense team to engage in ethically questionable tactics with respect to Cosby’s victims, including using the media to defame the victims.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda describes the apparent confusion in many jurisdictions over the phrase “moral turpitude” with respect to whether and when attorneys are subject to discipline. Rotunda points out that while many states have adopted the model rules (which, in their current form reject the prohibition against “illegal conduct involving moral turpitude”), these states’ courts still rely on the vague standard when applying the rules.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda discusses the various judicial opinions and ethics rules that govern whether, when, and to what extent lawyers may lie during negotiations.
UC Davis law professor Vikram David Amar continues his discussion of the low 2014 bar pass rates in California and throughout the country.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda comments on the purportedly random assignment of judges to cases in federal courts. Rotunda points out that particularly in the Ninth Circuit, which has been singled out as having highly unlikely results of “random” assignment, the process of case assignment is unnecessarily opaque; Rotunda argues for greater transparency to ensure fairness and justice.
U.C. Davis law professor Vikram David Amar comments on the lower bar pass rate for the July 2014 exam as compared to prior years. Amar discusses the response by the exam’s creators and how educators, practitioners, and others can use the incident to explore broader questions regarding the licensure requirements for the practice of law.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda comments on the pervasive problem of attorneys overbilling their clients.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda discusses the benefits of law firms designating in-house ethics counsel rather than relying on outside counsel for ethical issues that arise during the practice of law.