OPM Teaching Exercise

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Long title: 
CONFLICTS, CONFIDENTIALITY AND REPRESENTING A CORPORATE ENTITY
Author(s): 
Cunningham, Clark D.
Conference title: 
Sixth Annual Symposium on the Teaching of Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Conference location: 
University of New Brunswick, Canada
Country: 
USA
Year: 
2011

This program will review important principles regarding professional duties to avoid conflicts of interest and to preserve client confidences, as well as the special responsibilities of representing a corporate entity, by applying these principles to a dramatic real-life case from the 1970s that presented a New York City law firm with profound ethical dilemmas.

The program will be highly interactive through the presentation of a simulated meeting between the law firm partner with primary responsibility for representing the company and the company's Chief Executive Officer. Work for this company produces 60% of the law firm's revenue. Moments before the CEO arrives without an appointment, the attorney has read a confidential memo from the company's Chief Fiscal Officer raising concerns that the CEO has engaged in fraudulent conduct; if the allegations are true, this situation could create civil and criminal liability for the law firm also.

Participants in this program will also learn to apply a theoretical model, based on empirical research, for understanding how professional misconduct can be committed even by persons of good character who are aware that an ethical dilemma exists.

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