Legal Profession: Ethics and Tactics in Criminal Law

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Fall 2012 Course
Meets: W 1:00pm - 3:00pm in WCC Room B015
2 classroom credits

The purpose of this course is to sensitize law students to the array of ethical issues that they are likely to encounter if they practice law, either as a defense or prosecuting attorney (or even as a judge). It is my experience that ethical issues do not arise in a vacuum; nor can they always be anticipated. Typically they force themselves on the busy lawyer amidst the hurly-burly of a hotly contested criminal trial. Sometimes they arise in the pretrial phases; sometimes before a trial--or even a crime--is contemplated. Many practicing lawyers fail to recognize ethical issues when they arise. It is the goal of this course to assure that such recognition occurs at the earliest possible time so that the lawyer can think about, and decide, how to resolve ethical issues. There rarely are clear-cut right and wrong answers to the kind of dilemmas we will be posing, and it is not my purpose to moralize you. Resolution of ethical issues is the responsibility of each lawyer. It is the purpose of this course to make you think about these issues as clearly as possible.

Ordinarily, students may not enroll in two nonclinical courses that satisfy the professional responsibility requirement. The classroom components of certain clinical courses satisfy the Law School's professional responsibility requirement. Students may enroll in a second clinical course with a professional responsibility component, but the course taken second will be reduced by one classroom credit. Students enrolling in a clinical course which satisfies the professional responsibility requirement but who have already completed a nonclinical professional responsibility course will ordinarily receive one less classroom credit for their clinical course. In other situations where students take a second course that satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, the second course may be reduced by one classroom credit if there is substantial overlap in professional responsibility coverage with the first course. Students should check with the Registrar's Office if they have a question about professional responsibility requirement courses.

Subject Areas: Legal Profession, Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility .