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Important reminder: you must cite to the Model Rules in your assignments. This is required. It is also good practice for your life as a legal professional. It is true that all written legal work requires cites to legal authority. This is also true for your work in legal studies classes. In this class, by citing to the Model Rules, I mean each of your answers must refer to a Model Rule or Rules as legal authority for your conclusion. Here is how you can cite to the Model Rules: the full cite is the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct. For convenience sake, it is perfectly ok to simply cite to the "Model Rules." If you want to say an act is prohibited by section a of the confidentiality rule you would write, the act is prohibited by Model Rule 1.6(a). If you want to say an act is prohibited by subsection 1 or section b of the confidentiality rule, you would write, the act is prohibited by Model Rule 1.6(b)(1). It is very important (and required) to cite to the sections and to the subsections of the rules if that is what your answer refers to. Please ask questions about this issue if you have any doubt about what is required.
Assignment. This is a two part assignment. You must cite to the Model Rules in your answers. In citing to the rule, be sure to cite to the applicable section and subsection if applicable.
Part 1 Assignment: The Nevada State Bar publishes a monthly magazine which always contains an article or two about legal ethics. My personal favorite part of the magazine is the Bar Counsel Report. This article reports each case describing the ethical violation and the disciplinary action that was ordered. Most of the cases reported contain the attorney's name.
The assignment this week is to read the article "Staying Ethical In The Digital Age" in the March 2013 Nevada Lawyer which is the name of the magazine mentioned above. I encourage you to try to find the magazine on the Nevada State Bar's website so you will get familiar with bar websites and the resources they contain. But if you are in a rush, here is the link: http://nvbar.org/articles/sites/default/files/NevLawyer_March_2013_CLE_ARTICLE.pdf
After you read the article, answer the following question: briefly discuss the technology you have used recently to communicate with others that could have been intercepted or the communications could have been overheard. Also, describe what actions you could take in the future to prevent such interceptions or to prevent others from hearing your communications.
Part 2 Assignment: Research on the internet to find conflict checking systems. Compare two of these systems. At a minimum you must tell us the name of the system and the basic features each has. Be sure to read my post in the Discussion!!
Describe in about 2-3 paragraphs the steps you would take if you work for a law firm that represents a client who is suing a civil service group that you are a long-time volunteer for.
Clarification: It is important to understand the difference between confidentiality and conflicts for project 2 and the final project. Here is a quick way to understand that difference. Confidentiality is governed by Model Rule 1.6. It prohibits an attorney and all who work for/with the attorney from revealing any information about a client without the client's consent. The client gives consent to reveal her name and certain facts of her case when she hires up to represent her in a case. Even then we must be careful of the facts we include in court filings because these facts immediately upon filing become public. Generally, we have the client review all documents that will be filed with a court or agency before they are filed. Forget the part of the rule about representation, that is really meaningless in the real world. It only means if we read or hear something about say our famous client, we could talk about that with people outside the law firm but I say never talk about a client outside the firm because it is likely that if a complaint was ever filed, it would be impossible to prove we talked about a matter that we did not obtain from our client. In sum: Model Rule 1.6 Confidentiality means we cannot reveal any information about a client without the client's consent.
Conflicts is governed by Model Rules 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10 and 1.11. That many rules to govern conflicts should tell you this is a broad and complex area of ethics. For purposes of this class, we concern ourselves with Model Rules 1.7, 1.8 and 1.9. Taken together, the portions of these rules that are relevant means an attorney/law firm cannot represent any client if that representation would be adverse to a former or current client. In sum, Model Rules 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9 means we cannot represent a client if it would hurt a current or former client.
Comparing the above summary of conflicts and confidentiality, there should be no confusion about these two separate ethical issues.
Important reminder: you must cite to the Model Rules in your assignments. This is required. It is also good practice for your life as a legal professional. It is true that all written legal work requires cites to legal authority. This is also true for your work in legal studies classes.