Monday, March 30, 2015

Supreme Court denies cert petition in Truvia v. Connick

Last month I wrote about the cert petition in Truvia v. Connick, the most recent in a series of cases from New Orleans on whether an exonerated criminal defendant who spent years in prison after a prosecutor violated the duty to disclose exculpatory evidence can recover for damages.  You can read my original post here.

I was hoping the Court would grant the petition and revise its view on the issue, but it was not to be.  I found out today that the Court denied the petition a week ago.  Here is a page where you can find links to the documents in the case.

Thanks to Prof. Joan (Shaun) Shaughnessy (Washington & Lee) for the update.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Another opinion on the duty to disclose client's death

Last month I posted a comment on a recent Illinois case on whether an attorney has a duty to disclose the death of his client when the attorney is negotiating a settlement in litigation.

About ten days ago, the Legal Profession blog reported on another opinion on the same subject.  In this one, an attorney who had failed to disclose his client's death prior to settling an employment claim was suspended for one year.  The case is called Matter of Rosner and it is available here.

Better Call Saul

Anyone who knows me knows I like to watch legal themed movies and TV shows (and read novels too).  I have written reviews of some of those shows and movies here on the blog, and I often make references to, and show clips of, movies in class. 

The most recent TV show I have been watching is Better Call Saul which is a prequel to the very popular series Breaking Bad, focusing on lawyer Saul Goodman from that series (although one of the first things we learn in the new show is that Saul Goodman is not his original name).

I like the show, and I really like the blog The Legal Ethics of Better Call Saul by Nicole Hyland.  In the blog, Nicole discusses the ethical issues of each episode of the show in great detail. If you have been watching the show, you really ought to check out the blog.

Florida Bar considers three hot topics: multijurisdictional practice, a national bar exam and legal services by non lawyers

Talk about timing!  Tomorrow morning I am leaving town to go speak at a conference in Puerto Rico on the future of the regulation of the profession.  For my talk I used the title "Current Debates on the Regulation of the Profession" and in it I outline a few topics I think are the current (or next) "big things" in the field of professional responsibility.  In my opinion, these are: the possibility of allowing non lawyers to provide some legal services, the possibility of allowing lawyers to form partnerships with non lawyers or to get non lawyer investors, the possibility of a national bar exam and issues related to multijurisdictional practice.

So, while I was reading my notes one more time just a few minutes ago, the Puerto Rico Supreme Court issued an opinion on admission by motion (that underscores the debate on mutijurisdictional practice in the island) and the Florida Bar Association posted a podcast discussing these exact same issues!  The podcast appears below and you can listen to it by pressing on the play button, or by going here.   More proof that these topics are pretty "current", I guess.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

On the need to make prosecutors accountable for their misconduct

Long time readers of this blog know how much I have argued over time that courts do not do enough to discourage misconduct on the part of prosecutors.  I am, of course, not alone in expressing this sentiment.  Here is a very good recent post in the "a public defender" blog on the subject.