How Ethics Rules Apply to Lawyers Outside of Law Practice



  • Available Until 5/11/2021
  • Next Class Time 1:00 PM ET
  • Duration 60 min.
  • Format MP3 Download
  • Program Code 0118360

Course Price: $79.00


Untitled Document

Lawyer ethics rules are chiefly intended to guide conduct when a lawyer acts in his or her capacity as a lawyer. But the rules do not always stop there. Lawyers can be held responsible and disciplined under ethics rules for things they do when acting as non-lawyers. Lawyers may be disciplined under ethics rules for criminal conduct – even for misdemeanors – entirely unrelated to their lawyerly conduct. More broadly, they may be disciplined for any conduct that involves dishonesty, misrepresentation, or any actions prejudicial to the judicial system. Lawyers acting in their own financial interests as participants in a business transaction may be disciplined for certain actions. This program will provide you with a real-world guide to the rules and circumstances in which ethics rules apply to lawyers when they act in something other than in their capacity as lawyers.

  • How lawyer ethics rules apply even when a lawyer is acting in a non-lawyer capacity
  • Discipline for dishonesty and misrepresentation when a lawyer is acting as a non-lawyer
  • Lawyers acting as business people – how counter-parties can allege ethical misconduct
  • Ex parte communications – when lawyers represent themselves in litigation or in other matters, who can they communicate with?
  • Violations of law, including misdemeanors, as ethics violations
  • Restrictions on lawyers ability to market themselves in non-lawyer roles

Speaker: Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a broad complex commercial, business and securities litigation practice. He also has a substantial practice advising businesses on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections. For more than 20 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written “The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner’s Guide,” a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation. Mr. Spahn has served as member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.