Monday, March 14, 2022

Texas files complaint against Trump campaign lawyer Sydney Powell for filing frivolous lawsuits

 A standing committee of the State Bar of Texas filed a complaint in the District Court of Dallas County, Texas against former president Donald Trump’s attorney Sidney Powell, claiming that she engaged in misconduct by pursuing baseless lawsuits alleging fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The complaint, which was filed on March 1, was released to the public on Tuesday.  You can read the (very short) complaint here.  Jurist has more on the story here.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Should the Character and Fitness Committee ask whether an applicant has ever been arrested?

In a recent report, a working group of the New York State Bar Association concluded that the New York Bar should not and perhaps legally may not ask applicants to the bar whether they have been arrested. (In New York, the question is known as "Question No. 26). The main reason appears to be the correlation between race and ethnicity, on the one hand, and interactions with the police, on the other. 

This is an interesting issue that I must confess I have not given enough thought to.  In contrast, over at Justicia, Joanna L. Grossman, the Ellen K. Solender Endowed Chair in Women and Law at SMU School of Law, has posted a thoughtful comment on this question.  She proposes a compromise:

Accordingly, if Question 26 is reconsidered, I would propose the following substitutes for eliminating altogether an inquiry into arrests: (a) exempt groups whose membership correlates with arrest rates and therefore are suggestive of bias, or (b) take arrests of African Americans and Indigenous people with a grain of salt in reviewing Question 26, or (c) keep the question but only for domestic violence and rape (and all of their synonyms), or (d) keep the question but investigate more deeply the cases involving perpetrators who know their victims. At a time when more and more seemingly ordinary people turn out to be dangerous and violent con artists, the New York Bar must do its part to screen malefactors out of the profession.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Article on the case against John Eastman

As you probably know by now, the State Bar of California recently announced that it had initiated a State Bar Investigation into John Eastman, former Champman University professor, for his involvement in the Trump's campaign efforts to invalidate the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. 

The fact that the State decided to make announcement itself generated some controversy.  See here, for example.  But, perhaps more interesting, is the discussion of the merits of the issue.  What is the basis for the complaint?  Is it valid?  Is it likely to lead to sanctions?

If you are interested on these questions, head over to Law Fare where Paul Rosenzweig offers a lengthy comment on the subject.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Podcast on Utah's program that allows lawyers and other professionals to own legal service providers

Not too long ago, Lex Blog started posting links to a new Podcast called Legal Ethics Now & Next, and just a few days ago, the second episode became available.

This episode covers the so-called Utah's “regulatory sandbox," which they describe as a program that allows lawyers and other professionals to own legal service providers.  The episode covers how the program works and what it might mean for the future of legal regulation.

You can listen to the program by going here.