The legal industry has been stagnant when it comes to making any sort of ethics reform. For the states that are making changes to their ethics rules, those changes are typically based on opinions and arguments but not on data. The data is out there; we need to collect it and organize it in a way that will help regulators make better decisions.
I’m joined by criminal defense attorney and legal ethics enthusiast, Erin Gerstenzang. Erin and I are leading the charge on the Data Driven Ethics Project, which is a research project to compile, analyze and organize data about today’s world of legal services in order to better draft the rules of professional conduct to embody traditional legal ethics in today’s technology-enabled world.
What We Discuss in this Episode:
- Why no state wants to be the first to “stick its neck out” when it comes to progressive ethics reform
- Why some states are banning lawyer referral services by companies like Avvo and why that’s, in fact, harming the public instead of protecting them
- Many of the ethics rules as they are now limit the ability of the public to seek the help they need, which ultimately has the opposite effect of why the rules exist in the first place
- California’s recent ethics reform is certainly a huge leap forward and the changes are useful, but they’re still not based on data
- In order for lawyers to be able to follow the rules, they must be able to understand them. And unfortunately, most of the ethics rules and opinions are not written clearly
- If regulators are to create rules that truly reflect how lawyers practice these days and how the public interacts with lawyers, they need to rely on data
Thank you for listening!
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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.