Keeping Lawyers' Houses Clean: Global Innovations to Advance Public Protection and the Integrity of the Legal Profession
Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Vol. 33, pp. 891-930, 2020
Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20-26
41 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2020
Date Written: September 9, 2020
Around the globe regulators are rethinking the scope of their mandates and responsibilities. They are assuming more expansive roles rather than limiting their efforts to disciplining lawyers after misconduct occurs. This Article examines such regulatory initiatives in three areas. First, it discusses developments related to proactive management-based programs in which regulators partner with lawyers who self-assess their firms’ management systems. Data reveal that such assessments help lawyers avoid problems through developing their firms’ ethical infrastructure. When misconduct occurs, injured persons often seek monetary redress. These persons may not be able to obtain recovery unless they have suffered substantial damages to support a contingency fee lawyer pursuing legal malpractice claims. The Article considers how two jurisdictions now provide injured persons an alter-native avenue for seeking monetary recovery. The third category of regulatory initiatives deal with the serious problem of sexual harassment in the legal profession. Finally, the survey of regulatory programs reveals how U.S. regulators can learn from the systematic manner in which regulators in other countries study proposed changes and collaborate with other stake-holders in examining and designing new programs to improve the delivery of legal services, advance public protection, and promote the safety and diversity of lawyer workplaces.
Keywords: proactive management, public protection, sexual harassment, legal profession, law firm, attorney discipline, attorney regulation, legal malpractice, remedies, client complaint
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