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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NY Ethics 'April Fools' Joke Ready

"Ethics Standards are useless if those overseeing compliance are themselves corrupt." (Frank Brady, 2009) 

New Ethics Standards Take Effect Tomorrow

The New York Law Journal by Joel Stashenko - March 31, 2009

ALBANY, NY - A new code of conduct for New York attorneys that goes into effect tomorrow should largely be familiar to lawyers who have practiced under the old standards, according to the chairman of the state bar committee that began developing the new code nearly six years ago. The format of the new Rules of Professional Conduct also should be familiar to lawyers from outside the state since they adopt the numbering and titling sequences of the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which have been accepted in part or in whole by 48 other states since they were adopted by the ABA in 1983. Former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and the four presiding Appellate Division justices, including new Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, adopted the new rules late last year (NYLJ, Dec. 17, 2008). They are a modified version of proposed rules developed by the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct that were approved in a piecemeal fashion by the bar group's House of Delegates in 2006 and 2007. About three-quarters of the new rules embody the current state code, with the remaining one-quarter lifted directly from the ABA's Model Rules or are ABA rules reworked for the state code.

Steven C. Krane, a Proskauer Rose partner and chairman of the state bar's standards committee, said New York lawyers may be unfamiliar with the numbers on the 43-page-long new rules, but not the concepts behind them. "The more I go around talking about them and lecturing on them and studying them, the more I realize they are, for the most part, consistent, if not identical to, the Code of Professional Responsibility," said Mr. Krane, who estimated that he has spoken to between 3,000 and 4,000 lawyers about the new rules. Differences between the old code and the new rules largely concern the more expansive definitions provided in the new guidelines, according to Mr. Krane. For instance, the new code declares that conflict waivers must be the product of informed consent confirmed in writing. "Informed consent," "confirmed in writing" and "writing" are all defined in the new rules, Mr. Krane noted. "I tell people that the most important rule is Rule 1.0 on terminology," Mr. Krane said. "If they read nothing else, they should read that and familiarize themselves with the terms that are defined."

Under the old code, which was adopted in 1970, oral conflict waivers were permitted. Mr. Krane called the requirement that the waivers now be in writing one of the "major" changes in the new rules. Professor Stephen Gillers of New York University School of Law said another major change is the abandonment of the way the code treated instances where lawyers discovered that their clients had provided false information to a court or another tribunal. The expiring code treats disclosure of confidential information by the lawyer, even to correct a wrong against another party in litigation, as a violation of attorney-client privilege. Under the new rules, the state has adopted the ABA model rules provision that a lawyer is required to disclose a false representation by a client, either intentional or unintentional, to the court in any criminal or civil matter.

'Clash' Seen

Ralph Halpern, also a member of the state bar committee, said the new rules 1.6 and 3.3 requiring lawyers to reveal client falsehoods "clashes with the common-law concept of the lawyer-client confidentiality." He predicted the validity of the new requirement would be litigated in the courts. Mr. Halpern was chairman of the standards committee in 1985, when the state bar's House of Delegates narrowly rejected the ABA model code. Mr. Halpern said some members were uneasy about having to reveal possible fraud by their clients, feeling it was a violation of attorney-client privilege. "That [opposition] has softened over time," Mr. Halpern, of Jaeckel Fleischmann & Mugel in Buffalo, said yesterday in an interview. "Lawyers didn't feel at that time they should be policemen. They said, 'We are advocates, not policemen.'"

Howard A. Levine, a former Court of Appeals judge who is also on the standards committee, said he has sensed an improved awareness by lawyers of their obligations under the old conduct code and, with "no radical" changes between the old rules and the new ones, he predicted that most attorneys should be up to speed on the new guidelines within a year.  Mr. Levine, now with Whiteman Osterman & Hanna in Albany, said the requirement that attorneys must take four hours of continuing legal education in ethical and professional conduct every two years to be re-licensed has been helpful in raising awareness of ethical standards. "Even if they can't cite chapter and verse immediately about which rule applies, they'll do the research or maybe talk to lawyers who are experts in the field," Mr. Levine said. Also, since 1983, new attorneys have been quizzed on the ABA model code as part of the multistate phase of the state bar exam. Mr. Krane said that about two-thirds of the attorneys in New York have been admitted to the bar since 1983.

Mr. Krane said an important feature of the new rules is that since they are numbered the same as the ABA guidelines and most other states' codes, it will become easier for lawyers in New York researching ethical and professional conduct questions to locate legal precedents and ethics opinions elsewhere in the country. Mr. Krane said soon-to-be-released commentary on the new rules will also provide extensive guidance on the guidelines.  Mr. Gillers questioned how precise lawyers' knowledge is of the conduct guidelines, despite the CLE and bar exam requirements. "What most lawyers think is, 'Look, the rules I have to know to stay out of trouble are pretty simple: Don't lie. Don't steal money. Don't ignore cases,'" Mr. Gillers said. "If you follow those three rules, you are going to be pretty safe against discipline." But he said ethical violations can result in grief for lawyers outside of the disciplinary process, such as suits filed against them for breach of fiduciary duty or legal malpractice actions or fee forfeiture. Joel.Stashenko@incisivemedia.com

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Update rules that aren't followed is a complete waste of time. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is..

most of this could be found in prior ethics opinions..

but the lawyers treat the opinions as optional...

Anonymous said...

"Look, the rules I have to know to stay out of trouble are pretty simple: Don't lie. Don't steal money. Don't ignore cases,'" Mr. Gillers said. "If you follow those three rules, you are going to be pretty safe against discipline."

Mr. Gillers you need to add to those three rules, don't sexually abuse your client, extort sex, solicit sex, rob your client's money or estate, don't foget to pay your dues so that you're protected from being bisbarred, sanctioned or disciplined!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

THIS IS A ******* JOKE, RIGHT? The first thing the Ethics Committees should do is to have ordinary citizens on the Boards to hear the complaints. Let the civilian board members pick a few members of the Bar for counsel.

The framers of the new regulations should then apply for jobs in a Korean Massage Parlor, and special in Happy Endings - because that is what they do best - stroke.

If the ******g Grievance Committee was so concerned about lawyers/prosecutors being held liable for knowingly allowing false testimony to stand they would have done something in the complaint I made to them in July, 2007, that a Suffolk prosecutor did such and admitted it in court, and admitted it to them in his reply to my complaint.

I guess when these shysters went to Law School they skipped Constitutional Law and didn't read Napue v. Illinois, or People v. Savvides, and People v Steadman.

PS

Anonymous said...

' but the lawyers treat it as optional'

Reminds me went I went on tour of Rome. The tour guide warned us to be careful before we stepped out into the curb because the traffic light favored us. We were told that a YELLOW LIGHT is not a signal for a driver to stop, put a signal to speed it up before the light turned RED.

A RED LIGHT is merely a suggestion to stop, and is not considered mandatory to stop. PF

Albany atty said...

Rules, what rules? They don't mean anything! The secret is there are no stinkin RULES and we like it that way

Anonymous said...

I notice these new mandates do not cover permission to massively altering chunks of a witness's testimony under oath...in an official court transcript....that could be used in an art 78 hearing in front of the appellate court.

An Administrative judge who is a "lawyer" and has no functioning oversight to monitor her behavior, and her "attorney' administrative assistant, authorized just that conduct, and I have the defective printed altered transcript, my extensive notes from the hearing reflecting the real testimony...and of course the fatal blow..the testimony at a federal deposition under oath, of the same witness stating that they did not state what was reflected in the transcript under their name...as I had always maintained.

OCA thought they had bought this person's silence, as they had purchased the other employees' perjury with promotions and special favored assignments...you know who I mean!

Anyone in the 8th judicial district should question their transcripts submitted to higher courts receiving negative results... to view what they actually reflect. OCA is well known to alter transcripts to produce results that they want...ask all court reporters how often and common this practice is. Try the retired ones...they may feel guilty and tell you the truth.

Ethic rules for the legal community is a waste of trees...just recycle the old altered transcripts and write...do whatever you want..no one will come after you!

What a freaking JOKE!!!!!! said...

Close down the DDC's and the CJC's..they're nothing but a bunch of HACKS protecting the POLITICALLY CONNECTED JUDGES and LAWYERS.

Anonymous said...

You would think that the NYS BAR website would have the new rules.

These alleged new rules as as much of a fruad as the old ones.

Anonymous said...

this is eye wash for the unwashed, but people are not stupid we know the real deal - the con men are at work, this sucks!

Anonymous said...

The new fancy label on the bottle of lawyer snake oil. Teddy Roosevelt paraphrased: "in 9 out of 10 cases the NY lawyer is better off dead and in the tenth case; don't ask too many questions."

Anonymous said...

Altering the court record by a judge?

I made such a claim to the CJC against Suffolk County Court Judge James C Hudson that he caused the official transcript to be altered. This was the back and forth between the judge and the ADA, in a criminal case that sent an innocent man to jail:

Judge Hudson: Mr.Timmons, I know where you are going with this and if you do so I am going to call a mistrial. You do so at your own peril.

ADA Timmons: I understand your instructions, Judge, and I am going to do so anyway.

This was on the daily sheets provided to the defense by the same stenographer that provided the official transcript for the appeal. I also witnessed the back and forth as this was happening. I also saw the defense attorney give us a look to get ready, here it comes.

The information the ADA intentionally goaded and confused the defense witness to give had been decided on at a pre-trial hearing. The information was offered as one part of 6 parts of Molineux evidence the prosecution petitioned the court to allow into trial The judge allowed in two incidents of Molineux, and rejected the item I speak of. The Judge took two items of the 'menu of 6" and gave them BS when the whole six should have been disallowed.

The damned DA intentionally tried to call a mistrial after almost a month at trial because he believed the case would end in an acquittal. you just don't do what he did.

CJC - worthless as tits on a bull.

THEY DID NOTHING, and there were two other charges incorporated into the complaint. NOTHING.

More of the same from the Grievance Committee. More of the same by the SIC. More of the same by the NYS Attorney General. All ducking under the rocks not to deal with a serious issue of misconduct.

CORRUPT AND USELESS. Time to send them on the way of the SIC has been sent in the new Executive Budget. I still don't know if the Useless Ones in the Legislature slipped in back into the Governor's budget proposal that eliminated the SIC

Anonymous said...

I was in the same position as you were/are with my transcript alteration, but the real saving grace was the testimony on record by the person whose testimony was changed and was provided a transcript by OCA... of their past testimony to reflect on at the deposition. Irony!

This deposition transcript negating what the hearing transcript said... is on record in federal court and will be dealt with in a few months.... innocent OCA cannot seem to stop stalling or delaying...but I was warned they would do this back in 2005 and used their empty time to collect massive amounts of additional evidence, etc.

The scary thing about this case is that the judge/or judges involved ( there may also be one administrative judge from NYC who gave the ok to authorize the extensive changes) were not involved in hearing the case at all...but definitely were involved in the final determination where the testimony given would impede their desired and mandated determination. The original testimony given did not allow them to create the outcome they had in mind, so they changed it, thinking I was just not smart enough to have paid attention or possessed the ability to prove it...like so many others couldn't.... that they have screwed this way!!

This type of judicial misconduct is a warning to all people in NY state, that innocent citizens can and will be set up by their very own trusted JUDICIAL SYSTEM....Look out everyone the black robed monster lurks "all" over this state!

Anonymous said...

Pitchforks and torches. God bless the G20 protesters. Take it to the streets, if you know a judge or lawyer that drinks too much call the police when they leave the bar Also, call the newspaper in the morning and tell them that you called the police and ask why it is not rpeorted in their police logs. Also, If they are having an affair call their spouse. Don't harass or stalk.....just do your job as a concerned citizen.

upset said...

this is all a fraud, a big joke - April Fools suckers - you got screwed once again people.

Eliot Bernstein said...

Did I hear Steven C. Krane of Proskauer or Porksour Rose is giving ethics advice and making change to ethics. Is this the same Steven C. Krane who was ordered for investigation by the First Department for conflict, violation of public office and the appearance of impropriety. By unanimous vote -Order for Formal Investigation & Disposition of Conflicts and Appearance of Impropriety - Unpublished Orders M3198 - Steven C. Krane / M2820 Kenneth Rubenstein and M3212 Raymond A. Joao.
and
Complaint against Steven C. Krane, Proskauer & Meltzer Lippe Goldstein Wolfe and Schlisshel. Case No. T-1689-04
and
Complaint against Steven C. Krane, Proskauer & Meltzer Lippe Goldstein Wolfe and Schlisshel. Complaint No. 2004.1883
and
Steven C. Krane is a defendant in the TRILLION dollar Iviewit lawsuit at the Court of Appeals.
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Docket 08-4873-cv - Bernstein, et al. v Appellate Division First Department Disciplinary Committee, et al. - TRILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT
Cases @ US District Court - Southern District NY
(07cv09599) Anderson v The State of New York, et al. - WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT
(07cv11196) Bernstein, et al. v Appellate Division First Department Disciplinary Committee, et al.
(07cv11612) Esposito v The State of New York, et al.,
(08cv00526) Capogrosso v New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, et al.,
(08cv02391) McKeown v The State of New York, et al.,
(08cv02852) Galison v The State of New York, et al.,
(08cv03305) Carvel v The State of New York, et al., and,
(08cv4053) Gizella Weisshaus v The State of New York, et al.
(08cv4438) Suzanne McCormick v The State of New York, et al.
( ) John L. Petrec-Tolino v. The State of New York
-------
If Steven Krane made changes make sure they do not appear in your cases and that all prior cases appeal for use of old rules being grandfathered. This guy is the scum of New York law, in fact, in my view, being unethical in ethics is worthy of a flogging. Whips free @ www.iviewit.tv
Steven Krane, my friend, you are epitome of everything bad in law, the toilet bowel scum that no one wants to touch, a disgrace to every good lawyer that ever existed and I await you and your slimy friends in hell. Oh wait, I already see you are in living and hell, I guess I will just wait to dance on your grave and turn up the heat. The sooner you jump, the better off your family and children will be, if you need a push, feel free to call. Take this to the judge and cry your being harrassed like the big fat ass you are.
Eliot Bernstein
Inventor
Iviewit Technologies, Inc.
www.iviewit.tv
iviewit@iviewit.tv

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2