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Legal Ethics

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NEWS
September 5, 1986 | By Frederick Cusick, and Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Citing the lawyers' code of ethics, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Robert P. Casey said yesterday that he could not respond to his Republican opponent's demand that he identify his legal clients. Casey, on leave from a partnership with the politically influential Philadelphia law firm of Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Kauffman, said at a news conference that prefessional ethics prevented him from identifying clients without permission. In releasing copies of his tax returns last month, Lt. Gov. William W. Scranton 3d, the GOP candidate, had called on Casey to identify legal clients he served while he was state auditor general in the 1970s.
NEWS
July 22, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
The head of the Temple University faculty union said that board of trustees chairman Patrick O'Connor's representation of comedian Bill Cosby in a sexual-assault lawsuit posed a conflict of interest and that O'Connor should "seriously consider" stepping down. Art Hochner, president of the Temple Association of University Professionals, said Monday that O'Connor should have either stepped down from the Temple board before representing Cosby in 2005, or asked Cosby to find another lawyer.
NEWS
October 19, 1990 | By Henry Goldman, Inquirer Staff Writer Inquirer staff writer Emilie Lounsberry contributed to this article
Four law professors who specialize in legal ethics say that lawyer Thomas L. McGill Jr. engaged in unethical conduct by paying a "referral fee" to former Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Kenneth S. Harris in return for Harris' sending a client to him. The professors, from Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Rutgers University, said in separate interviews this week that they had never heard of such an...
NEWS
January 10, 1994
Attorneys have been doing a lot of complaining about "lawyer bashing" lately in beer ads and comedy routines, but it has been our observation that no one can bash lawyers like other lawyers. The current issue of Philadelphia Lawyer contains an article on "What Lawyers Really Think" about the current requirement that each lawyer undergo five hours of "continuing legal education" annually in legal ethics. One respondent to the survey said, "Requiring a knave to listen to five hours of lectures on ethics per year will give you a bored knave, not an honest attorney.
NEWS
December 9, 1992 | By Emilie Lounsberry, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Judges in need of ethics classes? Nah, the state Supreme Court has ruled. At a time when the justices are mired in a credibility crisis because of allegations of wrongdoing leveled by Justice Rolf Larsen, the court has rejected a call for all judges in Pennsylvania - including themselves - to attend classes in legal ethics. Like professionals in many fields who are required to update their knowledge, Pennsylvania lawyers are required to take five hours of classes each year in legal ethics and professionalism as a result of a Supreme Court order earlier this year.
NEWS
February 3, 1987
The beat goes on in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. Now we have the case of Judge Ricardo C. Jackson who augmented his paycheck as a Mr. Fixit for a legally incompetent North Philadelphia man for whom he serves as legal guardian. Judge Jackson pulled down $44,252 over an 11-year period, 10 of which he also served as a judge. That, said Common Pleas Judge Paul Silverstein after reviewing the payments and ordering Judge Jackson to refund $32,852 to John H. McMichael, a disabled veteran, within 90 days, was "self-dealing of the most blatant kind.
NEWS
December 8, 2005 | By Larry Eichel INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It was just one paragraph, almost an aside in the 26-page document laying out the extortion and corruption case against local lawyer Leonard N. Ross, a former law partner of Mayor Street's. But it was creating a lot of conversation yesterday. The paragraph, which had no direct bearing on the criminal charges, stated that Ross had an arrangement with a law firm that was to pay him $10,000 per month "for so long as John Street is the Mayor of Philadelphia. " In the context of the pay-to-play culture, the arrangement seemed to place an unusually explicit price tag on Ross' friendship and professional relationship with Street.
BUSINESS
August 15, 1988 | By Richard Burke, Inquirer Staff Writer
Some of the lawyers are calling it a Global Peace Plan. In return for a settlement payment of $50 million, the venerable Philadelphia law firm of Blank, Rome, Comisky & McCauley would be freed from a tangle of lawsuits in which the firm is accused of misconduct in the 1985 failure of a Florida savings and loan. The far-reaching settlement would eliminate the threat to Blank Rome of any future lawsuits on the issue. If approved by the federal judge overseeing the case, the agreement would be the largest legal-malpractice settlement in U.S. history.
NEWS
June 15, 2013 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery raised objections about a judge hearing a civil case brought by a firm that paid his wife a referral fee and whose principals have contributed to his campaign, according to sources in the justice system. McCaffery's involvement last year in a case heard by Common Pleas Court Judge Allan L. Tereshko resulted in several tense exchanges and eventually reached Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, who made it clear to other officials that the judge would not be reassigned, the sources said.
NEWS
December 23, 2008 | By Carrie Rickey, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Movies are like waves. When you catch one at the right place and time, before it breaks, you ride it, propelled by its force until it deposits you at the shoreline. But when you don't quite catch it, you scramble and splash, scraping yourself on ocean bottom as you fight it. I had both experiences at The Reader , Stephen Daldry's cool and detached account of the hot and intimate affair between a mature woman and a secondary-school student in Germany, circa 1955, a brief tryst with repercussions down the decades.
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NEWS
July 22, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
The head of the Temple University faculty union said that board of trustees chairman Patrick O'Connor's representation of comedian Bill Cosby in a sexual-assault lawsuit posed a conflict of interest and that O'Connor should "seriously consider" stepping down. Art Hochner, president of the Temple Association of University Professionals, said Monday that O'Connor should have either stepped down from the Temple board before representing Cosby in 2005, or asked Cosby to find another lawyer.
NEWS
June 15, 2013 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery raised objections about a judge hearing a civil case brought by a firm that paid his wife a referral fee and whose principals have contributed to his campaign, according to sources in the justice system. McCaffery's involvement last year in a case heard by Common Pleas Court Judge Allan L. Tereshko resulted in several tense exchanges and eventually reached Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, who made it clear to other officials that the judge would not be reassigned, the sources said.
NEWS
December 23, 2008 | By Carrie Rickey, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Movies are like waves. When you catch one at the right place and time, before it breaks, you ride it, propelled by its force until it deposits you at the shoreline. But when you don't quite catch it, you scramble and splash, scraping yourself on ocean bottom as you fight it. I had both experiences at The Reader , Stephen Daldry's cool and detached account of the hot and intimate affair between a mature woman and a secondary-school student in Germany, circa 1955, a brief tryst with repercussions down the decades.
NEWS
April 29, 2007 | By Nancy Phillips INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For years, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Willis W. Berry Jr. has been using his judicial office and staff to help run his real estate business, according to interviews and copies of the judge's correspondence. A leading expert on legal ethics - who happens to be an adviser to Berry's campaign for state Supreme Court - says that's wrong. "Oh, boy," lawyer Samuel C. Stretton said when told of Berry's practices. "You can't do that. "You can't use your judicial staff to do your personal business.
NEWS
December 8, 2005 | By Larry Eichel INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It was just one paragraph, almost an aside in the 26-page document laying out the extortion and corruption case against local lawyer Leonard N. Ross, a former law partner of Mayor Street's. But it was creating a lot of conversation yesterday. The paragraph, which had no direct bearing on the criminal charges, stated that Ross had an arrangement with a law firm that was to pay him $10,000 per month "for so long as John Street is the Mayor of Philadelphia. " In the context of the pay-to-play culture, the arrangement seemed to place an unusually explicit price tag on Ross' friendship and professional relationship with Street.
NEWS
September 13, 1999 | By Meredith Fischer, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A misplaced legal memorandum clearly kept David Marshall Brown in prison 19 years too long, attorneys on both sides agree. What is less clear, some area lawyers and law professors say, is how the mistake went undetected for so long and whether there was any legal malpractice. "I can't imagine how it could happen," said Leonard Packel, a professor at the Villanova University School of Law for 26 years who currently teaches criminal procedure and legal ethics. "It really does sound like there's too many mistakes for it to be true.
NEWS
March 17, 1994 | By Maureen Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Last month, physicians at Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center in Camden were faced with an impossible decision: The parents of a severely ill newborn baby girl told the doctors to let the infant die. The child, known in court records as Baby Jessica, was irreversibly paralyzed from the waist down, had spina bifida, and suffered from hydrocephalus or water on the brain. If she lived, the parents argued in court hearings on Feb. 18 and Friday, her life would be little more than a series of painful operations.
NEWS
January 10, 1994
Attorneys have been doing a lot of complaining about "lawyer bashing" lately in beer ads and comedy routines, but it has been our observation that no one can bash lawyers like other lawyers. The current issue of Philadelphia Lawyer contains an article on "What Lawyers Really Think" about the current requirement that each lawyer undergo five hours of "continuing legal education" annually in legal ethics. One respondent to the survey said, "Requiring a knave to listen to five hours of lectures on ethics per year will give you a bored knave, not an honest attorney.
NEWS
October 26, 1993 | By Maura Webber and Pam Belluck, FOR THE INQUIRER
The night of Friday, Sept. 24, was a bad one for law enforcement in Gloucester County. The second-ranking official in the county prosecutor's office punched and kicked his girlfriend repeatedly at a Woodbury Heights fire hall, the woman charged. And by her account, the roomful of lawmen at the party inside did little to intervene. Now, the state Attorney General's Office is investigating. Lawrence Magid, 51, the first assistant Gloucester County prosecutor, has been charged with simple assault and faces a domestic-violence complaint.
NEWS
March 3, 1993 | By Linda Loyd, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The 400-member Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges will petition the state Supreme Court for mandatory, continuing legal education for judges, including ethics training. The conference, meeting in Pittsburgh last week, also overwhelmingly endorsed selecting appellate judges by a merit system rather than the current election process. The conference, which comprises Pennsylvania's rank-and-file trial judges, offers voluntary, continuing legal education for judges who gather twice a year in Pittsburgh and Hershey.
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