Heroes & Villains
Course Home Page:
Clark D. Cunningham
Georgia State University College of Law: Law Course 6020
March 4, 2015)
All Assigned Readings are published
on this course web site and linked directly to this Syllabus except for the duplicated materials distributed in class.
To be handed out (no charge) at the first class:
(1) Materials on Georgia Legal Ethics ("GLE")(which include the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct): optional download as a 223 page MS Word document)
(2) Case Studies, Volume I: The Garrow Case -- Privileged Information by Tom Alibrandi & Frank Armani (edited)
An on-line guide to Legal Ethics in Georgia is available at
When a Georgia or ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct is assigned,
the accompanying comments are also assigned unless otherwise indicated.
GRPC = Georgia Rule of Professional Conduct. MR = ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct. GLE = Materials on Georgia Legal Ethics
All writing and other projects assigned for a particular class are due at noon on the Monday preceding class unless otherwise indicated on the syllabus, to give the instructor sufficient time to review before Wednesday class.
This course requires you to view videos on a computer to complete several assignments. To view the videos, the computer you are using must have the QuickTime software installed. To download this software for free, click on the following link:
Free Version of QuickTime
NO CLASS ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14.
Make-up class at 2:45 - 4:25 on Tuesday, April 28 now confirmed.
CLASS ONE (1/21/15)
Review information on the course home page about firms and appealing quiz scores.
Please complete the on-line student information and learning contract form by Monday, January 19 (click here for the form)
Please complete short, anonymous on-line survey by Monday, January 19: Character Strengths of an Ideal Lawyer
NOTE: Be prepared to change seats within the first 5 minutes of class as we form "firms" for the semester.
- Course Introduction
- American Bar Association: New Standards for Approval of Law Schools (August 2014)
- American Bar Association Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions (22 page pdf)
What are the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct?
- Georgia State Bar Rule 4-102: Disciplinary Action; Levels of Discipline
- GRPC: Preamble
- GRPC: Scope
Readings 7-20 are NOT assigned for reading before class on January 21. You will refer to them, as found in your copy of Georgia Legal Ethics, handed out during class, to answer questions on a sample in-class quiz (not for grade) using "clickers"
How are the Rules interpreted?
- Ways to Get Advice on the Application of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct GLE 146-47
- Formal Advisory Opinions GLE 148-50
How are the Rules enforced?
- GRPC 5.1: Responsibilities of Supervisory Lawyers
- GRPC 5.2: Responsibilities of Subordinate Lawyers
- GRPC 5.3: Responsibilities for Nonlawyer Assistants
- GRPC 8.1: Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters
- GRPC 8.3: Reporting Professional Misconduct
- GRPC 8.4: Misconduct
- GRPC 8.5: Choice of Law
- GRPC 9.1: Reporting Requirements
- GRPC 9.2: Prohibition on Agreements not to File Disciplinary Complaints
- GRPC 9.3: Cooperation with Disciplinary Authorities
- GRPC 9.4: Jurisdiction and Reciprocal Discipline
- Georgia Attorney Discipline Procedures GLE 124-45
CLASS TWO (1/28/15)
Regulation of Lawyer Advertising Through the Bar Disciplinary System
- Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977) (established 1st Amendment right for attorneys to advertise)
- GRPC 7.1: COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING A LAWYER'S SERVICES (GLE 99-100)
- Read ABA MR 7.1 (including the comment)
- Comparison chart on Rule 7.1 (Word document)
- GRPC: 7.2: ADVERTISING (GLE 100-102)
- GRPC 7.3: Direct Contact with Prospective Clients
- ABA MR 7.3
- GRPC 7.4: COMMUNICATION OF FIELDS OF PRACTICE (GLE 106)
- GRPC 7.5: Firm Names and Letterheads (GLE 106-107)
- Read ABA MR 7.2, 7.4 and 7.5 (you are NOT required to read the comments)
- In the Matter of Anonymous, 775 N.E. 2d 1094 (Ind. 2002) (example of deceptive lawyer advertisement)
- Sample website that violates the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (created by Robert Bexley, COL '10):ppt pdf
- Falanga v State Bar of Georgia , 150 F.3d 1333 (11th Cir.1998)
- Formal Advisory Opinion 05-6: Ethical propriety of lawyer advertising where the intent is to refer out to other lawyers (GLE 186=88)
GRADED WRITING ASSIGNMENT (0-2 points)
Due Monday, February 2 by noon. Email to Professor Cunningham AND your other firm members your Proposed Firm Code of Conduct (3-5 standards for peer evaluation).
To review codes of conduct adopted by firms in prior years: Fall 2012 Fall 2013
Class Three (2/4/15)
There will be an open book, graded quiz in Class 3. Make sure you always bring your copy of both sections of Georgia Legal Ethics (GLE) to class
Four possible quiz questions (pdf) (Class 3 quiz will include one or more additional questions as well)
- GRPC 1.5 Fees
- Stephanie Cahill, "New York Courts Require [Fee] Letter," ABA Journal E-Report (3/29/02)
- New York Rule 1215: Written Letter of Engagement
- Advisory Opinion 47: Contingent Fees to Collect Past Due Alimony or Child Support
- Formal Advisory Opinion 87-5: Assertion of Attorneys' Retaining Liens
- Formal Advisory Opinion 91-2: Advance Fee Payments
- Formal Advisory Opinion 01-1: Is it ethically permissible to charge for a standard unit of time without regard to actual time expended?
- Formal Advisory Opinion 03-1: May an attorney charge a non-refundable special retainer?
- Formal Advisory Opinion 11-1: Flat fixed fee contract for legal services
1.15(I) Safekeeping Property - General
- Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington, 538 U.S. 216 (2003)
- GRPC 1 .15(II) Safekeeping Property - Trust Account and IOLTA
- GRPC 1.15(III) Record Keeping; Trust Account Overdraft Notification; Examination of Records
Monday, February 9
-- Deadline for emailing appeals to Class 3 quiz is Monday at 12 noon
-- Final FIrm Conduct Rules due Monday at 12 noon (GRADED WRITING ASSIGNMENT (0-3 points)
-- What Clients Want: Conduct short interview and complete on line questionnaire by noon on Monday ( After completing the on-line form, send Professor Cunningham an email confirming that you have completed the assignmen. :If you have not been able to find a person who has been dissatisfied with a lawyer after three attempts, you may satisfy this assignment by certifying in your email that you have contacted three people.) GRADED WRITING ASSIGNMENT (0-3 points)
CLASS FOUR (2/11/15)
- Clark D. Cunningham, What Do Clients Want From Their Lawyers?
- GRPC 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 2.1
The Duty of Confidentiality and Its Exceptions: Frank Armani and the Robert Garrow Case
- Excerpts from Paul S. Milich,”Attorney Client Privilege,” Courtroom Handbook on Georgia Evidence
- Davita Dialysis case (email Professor Cunningham if problem linking to Daily Report stories))
-- Judge Sanctions Dialysis Clinic Firm for Spoiling Discovery (Fulton County Daily Report Aug 20, 2014) (also emailed to class)
U.S. v Davita, Order dated Aug 12, 2014
-- Skeptical Judge Gives Lawyers More Time to Keep Client Conversations Under Wraps (Fulton County Daily Report Jan 30, 2015) (also emailed to class)
U.S. v Davita, Order dated Jan 27, 2015
- GRPC 1.6 (Confidentiality of Information)
- GRPC 1.14 (Client Under a Disability) (pdf)
- GRPC 1.16 (Declining or Terminating Representation)
- Georgia Superior Court Rule 4: Attorneys Appearance, Withdrawal and Duties (excerpts)
- Sample Appearance (Word document)
While reading the Garrow Case, ask yourself what Garrow's attorney, Frank Armani, would have been permitted, required or prohibited from doing if the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct you have read so far had been the applicable rule of professional conduct in New York at that time.
- Case Study I (The Garrow Case): Read through the following pages quickly as you would a mystery novel:
Then go back and re-read carefully pp. 20-21, 42-45, 48-50, 72-78, and 85-86. You will be expected to remember the material on these pages for both class discussion and the final exam.
CLASS FIVE (2/18/15)
There will be an open book, graded quiz in Class 5. Make sure you bring your copy of both sections of Georgia Legal Ethics (GLE) to class as well as Case Study 1 (The Garrow Case)
Six possible quiz questions (pdf) (Class 5 quiz may include one or more additional questions as well)
- GRPC 3.3 (Duty of Candor toward the Tribunal)
- Volume I (The Garrow Case): Read through the following pages quickly as you would a mystery novel:
pp. 90 - 119
pp 133 - 155
pp 161- 176
Then go back and re-read carefully pp. 106-111, 113-114, 148-49, 153-54, and 165-66. You will be expected to remember the material on these pages for both class discussion and the final exam.
- "Slayer's 2 Lawyers Kept Secret," New York Times (
) (1 page)
- New York Public Health Law (excerpts) (1 page)
- People v Belge, 372 N.Y.S.2d 798 (Onondaga County Court 1975) (5 page pdf download)
- People v Belge, 376 N.Y.S.2d 771 (App. Div. 1975) (1 page)
- People v. Belge, 41 N.Y.2d 60 (Ct. App. 1976) (1 page)
- N.Y. State Bar Opinion No. 479 (1978) (5 pages)
- In re Ryder, 263 F.Supp. 360 (E.D. Va. 1967) (8 pages)
- GRPC 3.8 (Special Duties of a Prosecutor)
Monday, February 23
-- Deadline for emailing appeals to Class 5 quiz is Monday at 12 noon
NO CLASS ON 2/25/15 (Snow Day)
CLASS SIX (3/4/15):
There will be an open book, graded quiz in Class 6. Make sure you bring your copy of both sections of Georgia Legal Ethics (GLE) to class as well as Case Study 1 (The Garrow Case)
Three possible quiz questions (pdf) (Class 6 quiz may include one or more additional questions as well)
- 1st Simon Exercise (all students to review carefully to prepare to play role of lawyer at initial meeting with Simon) Additional information about how the First Simon Exercise will take place.
- Volume I (The Garrow Case): Read through the following pages quickly as you would a mystery novel:
pp 177 - 205
pp 211 - 215 (end of book)
Prepare to discuss in class Armani's disclosures of information about Garrow to the police at pp. 20-21 and p. 199 with his failure to disclose at pp. 180-81. Would each of these decisions been appropriate under GRPC 1.6?
- Mohandas K. Gandhi: Biography
- Gandhi, "Deceived By a Client "
- Gandhi, "How a Client was Saved"
- Clarence Darrow, The Story of My Life (1932): Chapter 23 (George Bissett)
Monday: March 9
-- Deadline for emailing appeals to Class 6 quiz is Monday at 12 noon
-- Confirm Video Access by 12 Noon on Monday (link will be activated on 3/5) (should take less than 10 minutes) (password is 15S). 2 points for timely completion.
To view the videos, the computer you are using must have the QuickTime software installed. To download this software for free, click on the following link: Free Version of QuickTime
CLASS SEVEN (3/11/15)
Possible open book quiz.
- Second Simon Exercise
(confidential instructions handed out during Class 6) Additional instructions for the Second Simon Exercise. Firm performance graded 0-3 points
- Freedman, "Professional Responsibility of the Criminal Defense Lawyer: The Three Hardest Questions," 64
L. Rev. 1469 (1966)
- ABA Model Code: DR 7-102
Nix v. Whiteside, 475 U.S. 157, 106 S. Ct .988 (1986)
- History of Confidentiality Exceptions
- Original version of ABA Model Rule 1.6 as adopted in 1983
- Ethics 2000 recommendations to amend MR 1.6
- Summary of ABA House of Delegates Actions in 2001 on MR 1.6
- ABA MR 1.6 as adopted in 2002
- ABA MR 1.6 as amended in 2003 (current version)
- Comparison of 1983 and 2002 versions of ABA Model Rule 1.6
- Comparison of Current MR 1.6 and GRPC 1.6 (Word document) (pdf)
SPRING BREAK (March 16-20)
Tuesday: March 24
-- Deadline for emailing appeals to Class 7 quiz is Monday at 12 noon
CLASS EIGHT (3/25/15)
Possible review quiz for all material covered to date. May be closed book.
No new readings
Monday: March 30
Graded Writing Assignment on Simon Exercise (6-8 double-spaced pages -- 40% of course grade) due by noon on Monday, March 30 (Make sure to review all material on the Exercise One web page)
-- Deadline for emailing appeals to Class 8 quiz is Monday at 12 noon
Tuesday, April 28 (make-up day)
2:45 - 4:25