HEROES & VILLAINS
Graded Writing Assignment (40% of Course Grade)
Format: Double-spaced, 12 point Times Roman font, one inch margins on all sides. 6 - 8 pages. The grade will be reduced if the paper is less than 6 pages long; if longer than 8 pages, the grade will only be based on the first 8 pages. Number your pages and begin on page one without a separate cover sheet. Please submit as an email attachment in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, or Rich Text Format. Papers receiving a grade of B+ or better may be posted on the course web site; your name and the actual grade will not be posted. Place your name at the top of the first page, only, and do not place your name in a header or footer. Please title your text file: F13-WA-[initials]. (For example, if I submitted a paper in Word Perfect, the text file would be named F13-WA-CDC.wpd.) Please send your paper to me AND to my assistant, Karen Butler; her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please proofread carefully. Repeated errors in spelling, punctuation or grammar may affect your grade. You should write with the same care you would put into a memo to a law firm partner or a brief filed with the court.
Grading: The assignment will be graded using the conventional A-F letter grading system.
Citations: You are encouraged to make good use of relevant readings assigned for class in writing your analysis. If you are citing to the hypothetical New York Rules of Professional Conduct (which are assumed to be identical to the Georgia Rules) use the format: NYRPC __._ ( ), e.g. NYRPC 3.3(a)(4). Because the readings are web-based, there is no standard pagination for most of the assigned readings. Therefore you do not have to provide full Blue Book citation, except for cases. (You do not have to provide internal page citations for cases published on the course web site.) If you cite to an article or book excerpt assigned for reading, it is sufficient to use the author and title information provided in the syllabus. There is no need to research material not assigned for class reading.
Citation format for videotaped interviews: "Stan: 3:00-3:20" would cite to a 20 second segment during the videotape titled "Stan's Meeting with Ms. Simon," beginning 3 minutes into the tape. Jack: 3:00 - 3:20 would cite to the videotape called "Jack's Meeting with Mr. Simon." If you are comparing the two interviews, refer to Stan or Jack and Ms. Simon or Mr. Simon.
Due: By 5:00 pm on Friday, November 1. The paper grade will be reduced by the equivalent of a full letter grade (e.g. A to B, D to F) if submitted late without good cause. Further grade reduction is possible depending on how late the paper is submitted.
Address both of the following topics, giving approximately equal weight to each. Assume that the relevant rules of professional conduct are the hypothetical New York Rules of Professional Conduct, which are identical to the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. The videotapes of both role plays to be analyzed -- Stan's Meeting with Ms. Simon and Jack's Meeting with Mr. Simon -- are of actual role plays conducted by students taking Heroes & Villains in prior semesters. (The students playing the attorney were not, however, actually named Stan or Jack.) All the students (both those in the lawyer role and the client role) have given their permission to the use of these videos. Approximate transcriptions of each video are also posted but you are responsible for confirming the accuracy of any transcript segment against the videorecording. You will also need to annotate these transcripts with the time codes from the videotapes in order to cite the videos in your paper.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The students playing Stan and Jack were instructed to explain the ABA Model Rule versions of 1.6 and 3.3. The ABA and Georgia versions of 3.3 are identical; however, ABA Model Rule 1.6 is different in many ways from GRPC 1.6. Therefore, do not attempt to analyze the accuracy of their explanations of 1.6 exceptions. For example, in the Stan video between 3:00 and 5:00 Stan is explaining ABA 1.6(b)(2): "A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary ... to prevent the client from committing a crime or fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer's services." Stan is not trying to explain 3.3 at this point. (I am adding this explanation because last year some students quite reasonably thought that Stan was instead trying to explain GRPC 3.3(a)(2) which provides that a lawyer "shall not" knowingly fail to disclose a material fact to a tribunal if such disclosure would be necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by the client.)
Analyze the explanations of NYRPC 3.3 given by Stan and Jack as to whether each lawyer provided an explanation that (a) accurately and completely described what 3.3 requires, prohibits and permits, and (b) was comprehensible to the client. (Cite to specific time codes to support your analysis.)
Compare the ways Stan and Jack conducted their respective meetings in attempting both to gain Simon's trust and to learn the truth about where Gordon was on the night of mugging. (Cite to specific time codes to support your analysis.) Obviously each took significantly different approaches. Include in your discussion consideration of what effect their differing explanations of confidentiality and its exceptions appeared to have on the meeting. Conclude by describing how YOU would now conduct this meeting with Simon in what you consider to be the right way. By the "right way" I want you to think about all four elements of the Four Component Model of professional conduct: moral sensitivity, moral reasoning, moral motivation (professional identity) and effective implementation.