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November 2007 Issue

Cover

Cover Story

Top 10 Ethics Traps

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Perhaps there was a time when ethics rules for lawyers were straightforward and following them was largely a matter of professional common sense. But it probably ended before your grandfather took down his shingle.

Today it’s a much different story. As law practice has become more complex, so have professional conduct rules—at least in their practical application.

“There are still bright lines, but there are lots of ambi­guities,” says professor Stephen Gillers, who teaches ethics at New York University School of Law. “If you think it’s just about the basics, you’re on the road to perdition.”

With help from Gillers and other experts on professional conduct, the ABA Journal presents its list of the 10 top ethics traps for lawyers. Some of these traps might seem a bit arcane, others obvious. But according to our experts, lawyers in all practice fields fall into them regularly—sometimes with disastrous effects.

Feature Section

    A Shot at the Second Amendment

    If the U.S. Supreme Court declares a right to bear arms, the decision may be in spite of the powerful NRA gun lobby—not because of it.

    Beast Practices

    High-profile cases are putting plenty of bite into the lively field of animal law.

    Paying Politics

    When it comes to campaign donations, lawyers lead the pack.

McElhaney on Litigation

How to Make a Losing Argument

Corner Office

Law on the Fly

Solo Network

Charging by the Slice

President's Message

Overcoming Our Obstacles

Executive Director's Report

ABA: Perception vs. Reality

Report from Governmental Affairs

It’s Only Fair

Precedents

November 20, 1945

Letters to the Editor

Law and Terror