Ethics in Negotiations – Boasts, Shading, and Impropriety Out of Stock
Lawyers must be truthful. Yet they must be zealous in the representation of their clients. The tension between these two principles is perhaps never as great as when the lawyer is negotiating for a client. The negotiation may be a settlement of litigation or in connection with a transaction. The lawyer may make statements about the law or fact - or simply refrain from making statements because the lawyer knows certain facts or legal precedent are adverse to his or her client's interest. Lawyers may also “puff” or boast, signaling that a negotiating stance is firmer than a client's true positon or more substantively valid than the law can reasonably support. At some point, the gray ethical line is tripped and what the lawyer does becomes improper. This program will provide you with a real world guide to ethical issues in lawyer negotiations.
- Ethics and ethical drawing lines - what's an acceptable level of deception in negotiations?
- Affirmative statements of fact, value or intent in settlements
- Silence about adverse law in negotiations
- Silence about facts unknown to an opponent or counter-party
- Silence about errors in settlement agreements or transactional documents
- Non-litigation work in another state - “temporary” practice
About the Speakers
Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a substantial practice advising clients on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections. For more than 30 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written “The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner's Guide,” a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation. Mr. Spahn has served as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.
Elizabeth Treubert Simon is an ethics attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where she advises on a wide range of ethics and compliance-related matters to support Akin Gump's offices worldwide. Previously, she practiced law in Washington DC and New York, focusing on business and commercial litigation and providing counsel to clients regarding professional ethics and attorney disciplinary procedures. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Discipline and the District of Columbia Legal Ethics Committee. She writes and speaks extensively on attorney ethics issues. She received her B.A. and M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Albany Law School.
This program qualifies for 1.0 MCLE credit hour, including up to 1.0 LEPR credit.
This seminar is an Intermediate level program.
Note: When submitting your compliance reports to the SC Commission on CLE and Specialization, if you completed this in 2019 please use this course code: 192473ADT