Georgia Professionalism

Ethics & Professionalism: Best Practices for Attorneys


This course features several of the New York City Bar Association's most distinguished ethics experts discussing real-world challenges that are portrayed in video vignettes. Topics include the use of social media; expectations of candor; billable hours; reuse of forms and documents; changing law firms; and honesty in negotiations. The panel takes a real-world look at firms that expect 3,000 hours of billing, retaining clients as you change law firms, and abuses in timekeeping.


I. Ethics & Professionalism: Best Practices for Attorneys
   A. Program Overview
   B. The Real World of Litigation
   C. The Legal Profession is Now the Law Biz
   D. Integrity and Reputation
   E. Judges Are Recovering Lawyers
   F. Refusing to be Unethical
   G. Changing Law Firms
   H. Grabbing Clients on the Way Out
   I. The Ethics of Billing
   J. What is Substantial Fairness?
   K. The Files Belong to the Client
   L. How Did You Bill 3,000 Hours?
   M. Reuse of Forms and Documents
   N. Assigning Firm-Related Expenses
   O. Acceptable Puffery vs. Deception
   P. Degrees of Candor
   Q. Candor Before a Judge
   R. Ethics and Social Media
   S. Don’t Misrepresent Using Social Media

Content Provided


The years following the Civil War were tumultuous ones for New York City, offering many opportunities to the dishonest. Unsavory politicians and errant members of the bench and bar were among those who took advantage of those troubled times. In December 1869, a letter was circulated among some of the city's lawyers addressing those improprieties. It called for the creation of a new bar association to "sustain the profession in its proper position in the community, and thereby enable it ... to promote the interests of the public ...." More than 200 lawyers responded by signing a declaration of organization and in 1870 The Association of the Bar of the City of New York was born. The young organization quickly made its presence felt. Among its first activities was a campaign to defeat corrupt politicians and judges at the polls and to establish standards of conduct for those in the legal profession.

The association continues to work at political, legal and social reform, and maintaining high ethical standards for the legal profession. The association also continues to implement innovative means by which the disadvantaged may be helped. Much of this work is accomplished through the Association's more than 160 committees, each charged to consider a specific area of law or the profession.

The association has grown to more than 23,000 members. To serve them, the association strives to move ahead in many areas. The library is the largest member-funded law library in the country, and provides members with a "gateway" to online services, including free use of LexisNexis and WestLaw, while continuing to provide more traditional library services. The Small Law Firm Center, Career Management Program and other benefits are constantly evolving to serve members' needs. More than 150 continuing legal education programs are presented annually.

The public good remains one of the association's highest priorities. The Legal Referral Service, jointly sponsored by the association and the New York County Lawyers' Association, provides an array of services directly aimed at serving the needs of the public. The City Bar Justice Center identifies the most pressing legal concerns of New York's neediest and uses novel approaches to address them, often involving community participation.


Speakers / Authors:

Photo of Elizabeth Donoghue

Elizabeth Donoghue
Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue & Joseph

Elizabeth Donoghue is a partner at Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue & Joseph, which is a New York City tenant rights and representation law firm.

Prior to entering private practice she represented tenants in New York City as a staff attorney at Municipal Employees Legal Services Plan, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO. She was a housing specialist at Bronx Legal Services NYC, and a supervising attorney at the Lower East Side Local Enforcement Unit, MFY Legal Services, Inc.

From 1988-1990 she was the Institute Fellow at the Harrison Institute for Public Law, Georgetown University Law Center, a law school clinical program which specializes in the representation of tenants' associations. From 1985 to 1986 she worked at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation in Mattoon, Illinois, as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow.

Ms. Donoghue is a member of New York County Lawyers, where she served on the Task Force on Housing Court and is also active in the New York City Bar Association. She is the former Chair of the Housing Court Committee and is currently the Chair of the Judiciary Committee. She is involved with youth sports in the Yorkville Youth Athletic Association and blogs for the Huffington Post.

Ms. Donoghue received her J.D. in 1983 from Antioch School of Law and graduated from Stockton State College in 1979 with a degree in Political Science. In 1990 she earned her LL.M. at Georgetown University Law Center, majoring in Advocacy.

Photo of Jorge Dopico

Jorge Dopico
Jorge Dopico is the Chief Counsel at the Department Disciplinary Committee, First Judicial Department, Appellate Division, New York Supreme Court. He has served the Disciplinary Bar for 20 years; initially as a Principal Attorney and later as a Deputy Chief of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the Appellate Division, First Department.

Prior to joining the Disciplinary Bar he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County for seven years and as an Associate Attorney in the New York State Tax Department.

Mr. Dopico earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979, and received his B.A. from the State University of New York.

Photo of William F. Kuntz II

William F. Kuntz II


Hon. William F. Kuntz II is a Judge for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. He began private practice in 1978, as an associate with Shearman & Sterling LLP. He was a partner in firms such as Milgrim Thomajan Jacobs & Lee P.C., Seward & Kissel LLP, and Torys LLP. He was counsel at Constantine Cannon LLP and at the time of his appointment to the bench in 2011was a partner in the New York office of Baker & Hostetler LLP.

Dr. Kuntz, who holds four degrees from Harvard, has extensive litigation experience. His specialty is commercial and labor litigation. He has conducted numerous trials in federal courts in the Second, Third and Tenth Federal Judicial Circuits, has argued more than 20 appeals, and has supervised hundreds of trials and appeals and investigations in his capacity as a Commissioner of the Civilian Complaint Review Board of the City of New York.

He served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and was elected to the Practising Law Institute Board of Trustees in 1996, becoming Chair of the Executive committee in 2006.

Dr. Kuntz received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1977, his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1979, his M.A. from Harvard University in 1974, and his A.B. from Harvard College in 1972.

Photo of Frederic S. Newman

Frederic S. Newman
Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney, LLP


Fredric S. Newman, a founding partner of Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney LLP, is a legal generalist with decades of experience in commercial litigation, corporate transactions, employment counseling and alternative dispute resolution. As a litigator Mr. Newman has won numerous jury trials, bench trials, dispositive motions, and appeals in the federal and New York state courts. He is a member of the bar of the State of New York, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Before opening the private practice that evolved into Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney LLP, Mr. Newman was a litigation associate at White & Case LLP. He served as Assistant General Counsel, and then Vice President and General Counsel, of Philip Morris USA, in New York City.

Mr. Newman just completed a six-year tenure as a Member and Panel Chair of the First Departmental Disciplinary Committee appointed by order of the Appellate Division. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and other civic and non-profit positions have included: Court-appointed Mediator in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; Director, Columbia Law School Association; Trustee, The Calhoun School, New York City; Founding Director and Vice President, American Corporate Counsel Association, New York Chapter; Director and Secretary, New York Fire Safety Foundation; and Sustaining Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation.

Mr. Newman received his J.D. from Columbia University Law School in 1970, and earned his MBA from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business in 1984. He graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 1967.

Photo of Alice Schlesinger

Hon. Alice Schlesinger

Hon. Alice Schlesinger is a Justice on the Supreme Court of New York County, where she has served since 2000. She hears and decides multiple Special Proceedings, such as Article 75 and Article 78 matters, and has a number of published decisions in various areas of the civil law. From 2000-2010 she presided over Medical Malpractice Part 16.

Justice Schlesinger was a Judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York prior to joining the Supreme Court and an Acting Justice in the 1st Judicial District of the New York State Supreme Court before that.

She was admitted to the Bar in 1968, serving in the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society and the Criminal Law Clinic of New York University. 

Justice Schlesinger received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and admission to the New York State Appellate Division, First Department in 1968, and graduated with a B.A. from Beaver College in 1961. 

Photo of J. Richard Supple

J. Richard Supple
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

J. Richard Supple is the Partner-in-Charge of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP’s New York office. He represents law firms and lawyers in professional ethics-related matters, including disciplinary and malpractice cases, partnership and fee disputes, disqualification and sanctions motions, risk management advising, and internal investigations.

Mr. Supple has tried dozens of disciplinary cases in the role of prosecutor or defense counsel. He has also tried or arbitrated partnership and attorney contract disputes, litigated professional ethics matters in state and federal courts, and argued appeals before the United States Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit, the New York Court of Appeals, and intermediate appellate courts.

Before joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in 2004, Mr. Supple was counsel to a large, international law firm, and before that was Principal Trial Counsel to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department.

Mr. Supple is an adjunct professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, a faculty member of the Practising Law Institute and is the Chair of the New York City Bar’s Professional Discipline Committee. He received intensive mediation training at Pepperdine University School of Law’s top-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. In 2011 he was included in “The Best Lawyers in America®” in the area of Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law.

Mr. Supple has written and lectured widely on professional ethics matters, including at more than 50 CLE programs in the New York area and elsewhere, and is a frequent speaker at Hinshaw’s annual Legal Malpractice and Risk Management Conference in Chicago.

Mr. Supple received his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989, and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Duke University in 1985.

Price (USD)

Standard Rate: $173.00

Course Code : 773136

Length : 1hr 37min
Recorded Date : 4/11/2013

Format Type : eLearning

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