CLE: Legal Ethics

Can't Blame the Boss for Ethical Lapse

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John B. Bowden learned the hard way that blaming the boss gets you nowhere. Indeed, the South Carolina lawyer discovered shortly after beginning work in Greenville that his firm was inflating government recording fees on settlement statements for HUD-1 real estate transactions. When Bowden asked his boss about it, he was assured the practice was legal and ethical.

Not true. And the state disciplinary agency let Bowden know the rules, and he ended up with a reprimand.

The Bowden scenario is one of 10 ethics traps presented in the November ABA Journal. Read about Bowden, the nine other traps and advice from professional responsibility experts on how to avoid getting trapped at all.

(The article is part of the ABA Journal’s November CLE, The Top Ethics Traps for Lawyers.)

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