Ethics Rules In Need of 21st Century Makeover with Eric Cooperstein [LGE 004]

Mar 6, 2018 | Podcast

The legal profession is evolving and yet, so many of the ethics rules can’t seem to keep up. They are simply outdated and need a 21st century facelift.  I’m joined by Eric Cooperstein, an ethics consultant and practitioner in Minneapolis, and we explore the relevance of several of the ABA Model Rules. We also offer our own insight on how these rules can be updated to reflect the realities of the legal profession today.

What We Discuss in This Episode:

  • Why the rules need to be updated in order to spur innovation in the legal profession
  • How Rule 5.4 as it currently stands affects who lawyers can share profits with (even when it comes to their own paralegals)
  • What is Rule 5.4 designed to protect against? Is that still a relevant concern nowadays?
  • How other rules, like Rule 4.2 – communication with a represented person, and Rule 4.3 – dealing with an unrepresented person, contradict Rule 5.4
  • Why the belief that lawyers are improperly influenced by third parties is not based on any empirical data
  • How legal companies run by non-lawyers aren’t restricted like lawyers are so they’re able to innovate faster
  • Rules restricting practicing in multiple jurisdictions unless admitted to those bars – are they unrealistic in our current legal climate?
  • Are lawyer non-compete agreements beneficial?

Resources Mentioned: 

Bates v. Arizona State Bar 

ABA Model Rule 1.1

ABA Model Rule 4.2

ABA Model Rule 4.3

ABA Model Rule 5.4

ABA Model Rule 5.5

ABA Model Rule 5.6


Eric’s Twitter @ethics_maven

Thank you for listening!

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every Tuesday.

If you enjoyed this episode, please help me get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play, and be sure to share this podcast with a friend.

Be sure to connect with me and reach out with any questions/concerns:




Email me at megan[at]zaviehlaw[dot]com

This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matters, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.

Check out this episode!