NE MCLE #182105. 1.0 Ethics Hours (Regular/Live)
NE MCLE #182106. 1.0 Ethics Hours (Distance Learning)
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$65.00 – Regular Registration
$50.00 – NSBA Voluntary Dues-Paying Member
$0.00 – Corporate Counsel Section Members
$0.00 – Law Students
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Hmmm . . . I Didn't See That One Coming:
Could there possibly be an ethics or liability problem which you, as a highly experienced corporate attorney, wouldn't see coming? This session will identify four candidates – see if you can say at the end, "I knew about all of them – no surprises here." Topics will include:
- Supervision of Non-Lawyers. Rule 5.3(c) makes a lawyer responsible for the conduct of someone over whom the lawyer has supervisory authority when that person's conduct would, if engaged in by the lawyer, violate the Rules of Professional Conduct. Is this rule broad enough to cover independent third party contractors? In a 2016 New York case the court said yes, and more.
- Who's Your Client? Do your company's executives understand that you are the company's lawyer and not theirs? Do you always have clear sight of who your client is – the company or the owners/executives? Rule 1.13(f) addresses this in several ways, but it can be complicated in the trenches. We'll review a New York case where an executive over-relied on company counsel, and a Massachusetts case where the lawyers over-served the majority owner.
- Personal Liability for Settlement. Can you be personally liable for breach of a settlement agreement which you sign as your client's counsel? A recent California court said yes, while in 2011 the Nebraska Supreme Court said no. We'll review these two cases and also look at the somewhat related implications of Rules 5.6(b) and 1.9(c).
- Real Problems in the Electronic Age. Finally, we'll take a quick look at a 5th Circuit case where General Counsel's internal legal hold notice was held to constitute whistleblower retaliation under Sarbanes-Oxley, and a Virginia case where the court tried to impose balanced sanctions when both plaintiff's counsel and defense counsel mishandled electronic evidence.
Jonathan R. Breuning, Baird Holm LLP
Jon Breuning is a 1979 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, and is currently General Counsel at Baird Holm, LLP. In that role, Jon advises the firm and its attorneys on matters of legal ethics, professional responsibility and risk management. Jon represents external business clients on a wide range of legal issues, with particular focus on labor and employment law. Jon previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for a technology company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, where his responsibilities included all legal, human resource and facilities operations, and serving as the company's chief ethics officer. Jon has been active in the Omaha business community for more than 35 years and has served on the Boards of Directors of Community Alliance, Inc., Community Alliance Housing Corporation, Heartland Family Service, the American Lung Association of Nebraska, the Combined Health Agencies Drive, Creighton University Medical Center, and Omaha Morning Rotary.