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Ethical Lawyering: A Guide for the Well-Intentioned, First Edition

  • Bernard A. Burk
  • Veronica J. Finkelstein
  • Nancy B. Rapoport
Series / Aspen Coursebook Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

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Many professional responsibility professors struggle to engage students in a required course, one that students wouldn’t otherwise have chosen to take, covering material that simultaneously appears both obvious and intricately technical. Ethical Lawyering: A Guide for the Well-Intentioned addresses those concerns with a fresh look at teaching and learning Professional Responsibility. Instead of containing impenetrable cases typical of most professional responsibility casebooks, which force students and teachers to sort out convoluted facts and incomplete or out-of-date analysis, this book “flips the classroom” by providing detailed explanations of the Model Rules, accompanied by problems for class discussion that require students to explore how the Rules apply in real-world situations—a structure which lends itself easily to both in-person and online courses. The book’s explanations are focused on building statutory interpretation skills, and then bringing these skills to common practice scenarios. Discussion covers all aspects of the law governing lawyers, from professional discipline to civil liability to court sanctions, as well as informal concerns, such as client relations and the business of law practice.

Professors and students will benefit from:

  • A “flipped classroom” structure in which the book provides detailed explanations of the Model Rules, interspersed with problems for class discussion, that are both drawn from practice and illustrate some of the challenges in applying the rules in real-world situations.
  • MPRE-style multiple-choice review questions at the end of each chapter (or after substantial portions of a chapter) addressing the material.
  • An informal, irreverent, down to earth, and conversational style, meant to be accessible, crafted to engage students without understating the seriousness of the subject matter, and to encourage them to put themselves into the “hot seats” that the problems describe.
  • A statutory construction approach to the Model Rules, designed to build text-interpretation skills.
  • A comprehensive treatment of the law regulating lawyers, considering all of the practical hazards that lawyers face, and illustrating the connections between the Model Rules as a basis for professional discipline and the law of torts (fiduciary duty and malpractice), contracts (scope of the attorney-client relationship and engagement agreements), agency (authority), and procedure (sanctions), as well as informal concerns such as client relations and reputational issues.
  • A digital edition that includes links to all necessary statutory materials.

Teaching materials Include:

  • A detailed Teacher’s Manual, including:
    • Suggested syllabi for two-hour and three-hour courses.
    • Detailed analyses of all of the problems, including pedagogical suggestions, to stimulate class discussion.
    • Explanatory answers to the MPRE-style multiple-choice review questions.
    • Suggested PowerPoints for class use.
  • Two online-only chapters (The Government Lawyer; Judicial Ethics).
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About the authors
Veronica J. Finkelstein
Assistant U.S. Attorney
U.S. Department of Justice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Veronica J. Finkelstein is a 2004 graduate, with honors, of the Emory University School of Law and 2001 graduate, with dual distinction and dual honors, of the Pennsylvania State University. Finkelstein currently works as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has served as the Civil Division Training Officer and Paralegal Supervisor for the civil division prior to being selected as Senior Litigation Counsel. As the Department of Justice Finkelstein serves as primary litigation counsel for the United States.  She handles a variety of civil affirmative and defensive matters as well as criminal child exploitation cases. She has also tried numerous civil cases to defense verdicts in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, including in tort, employment law, and medical malpractice cases. She has successfully litigated cases on appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  In addition to this defensive work, Finkelstein investigates and prosecutes affirmative fraud claims, including qui tam actions. She recently resolved civil allegations relating to two hospitals in Lancaster, Pennsylvania as part of a $260 million settlement arising out of fraudulent billing practices in multiple healthcare institutions across the United States. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Finkelstein clerked for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. She also worked as an associate at Duane Morris, LLP and Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman, PC where she practices construction law. In private practice, she first or second chaired jury trials, mediated or arbitrated cases, drafted pleadings, prepared witnesses, and engaged in deposition practice. She previously worked for the United States Department of Labor as a Pension and Welfare Benefits Advisor in its Atlanta Regional Office and for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a legal intern. She has taught at the National Advocacy Center on ethics, appellate advocacy, legal writing, and trial practice. In 2014 she was awarded the Executive Office of United States Attorneys Director’s Award for Superior Performance as a Civil Assistant United States Attorney. In 2019 she was awarded the United States Department of Health and Human Services Offices of the Inspector General Cooperative Achievement Award. She frequently serves as a program director for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Finkelstein also serves as adjunct faculty of law at Drexel Law, Emory Law, and Rutgers Law. She teaches a variety of courses including evidence, pretrial advocacy, trial advocacy, appellate advocacy, criminal law, and professional responsibility. She is the co-author of the Professional Responsibility textbook “Ethical Lawyering: A Guide for the Well-Intentioned” and has published a book chapter, several scholarly articles, and two moot court problems. She was awarded the Carl “Tobey” Oxholm III Outstanding Contribution to the Thomas R. Kline School of Law Community Award in 2021 and has been named Rutgers Law School Adjunct Professor of the Year from 2007 to the present.

Nancy B. Rapoport
William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

bNancy B. Rapoportb is the Garman Turner Gordon Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and an Affiliate Professor of Business Law and Ethics in the Lee Business School at UNLV.& After receiving her B.A., isumma cum laude,i from Rice University in 1982 and her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1985, she clerked for the Honorable Joseph T. Sneed III on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then practiced law (primarily bankruptcy law) with Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco from 1986-1991.& She started her academic career at The Ohio State University College of Law in 1991, and she moved from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with tenure in 1995 to Associate Dean for Student Affairs (1996) and Professor (1998) (just as she left Ohio State to become Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law).& She served as Dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law from 1998-2000.& She then served as Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center from July 2000-May 2006 and as Professor of Law from June 2006-June 2007, when she left to join the faculty at Boyd.& She served as Interim Dean of Boyd from 2012-2013, as Senior Advisor to the President of UNLV from 2014-2015, as Acting Executive Vice President & Provost from 2015-2016, as Acting Senior Vice President for Finance and Business (for July and August 2017), and as Special Counsel to the President from May 2016-June 2018. Her specialties are bankruptcy ethics, ethics in governance, law firm behavior, and the depiction of lawyers in popular culture.& Among her published works are Corporate Scandals and Their Implications 3d (Nancy B. Rapoport and Jeffery D. Van Niel, eds. West Academic 2018), which addresses the question of why we never seem to learn from prior corporate scandals, Law School Survival Manual: From LSAT to Bar Exam, co-authored with Jeffrey D. Van Niel (Aspen Publishers 2010), and Law Firm Job Survival Manual: &From First Interview to Partnership, also co-authored with Jeffrey D. Van Niel (Wolters Kluwer 2014).& She is admitted to the bars of the states of California, Ohio, Nebraska, Texas, and Nevada and of the United States Supreme Court.& In 2001, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute, and in 2002, she received a Distinguished Alumna Award from Rice University.& In 2017, she was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi (Chapter 100).& She is the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (the Mob Museum) and a Trustee of Claremont Graduate University.& She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. &In 2009, the Association of Media and Entertainment Counsel presented her with the Public Service Counsel Award at the 4suthsu Annual Counsel of the Year Awards.& In 2017, she received the Commercial Law League of America’s Lawrence P. King Award for Excellence in Bankruptcy, and in 2018, she was one of the recipients of the NAACP Legacy Builder Awards (Las Vegas Branch #1111).& She has served as the fee examiner or as chair of the fee review committee in such large bankruptcy cases as iZetta Jet, iiToys R Us, Caesars, Station Casinos, Pilgrim’s Pride,i and iMirant.i She has also appeared in the Academy Awardsu®su-nominated movie, iEnron: The Smartest Guys in the Room i(Magnolia Pictures 2005) (as herself).& Although the movie garnered her a listing in IMDB, she still hasn’t been able to join the Screen Actors Guild.& In her spare time, she competes, pro-am, in American Rhythm and American Smooth ballroom dancing.& In 2014, she won the national U.S. Open ProAm Rising Star American Smooth Competition B Division, and in 2017, she came in 2sundsu in the “C” Open to the World ProAm American Style 9-Dance Championship.& The most interesting thing about her is that she is married to a former Marine Scout-Sniper.& The best way to reach her is to call her on her cell phone.

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