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February 27, 2017


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Bernie Burk

Steve, I share your concern. For another example of earnest outrage co-opting the appropriate limits of attorney discipline, see the first column I ever posted to the Lounge here:


I agree the complaint against Conway is basically in a non-lawyer role and therefore misguided. However, the lawyer who got up at Trump's press conference -- as a lawyer -- and stood in front of stacks of folders which purported to be documents keeping Trump separate from the Trump business but were likely blank documents for show should be disciplined. This is in addition to the whole conflicts management plan being a complete farce.


Wow, they still have editors are Slate? Your article is a glimmer or sanity for Slate. That publication has gone off the deep end and has become unreadable. It was an online magazine that once held a lot of promise.


Here's the template. We've seen it again and again and again.

We all know that X, a republican, is a wrongdoer: perhaps, an evil wrongdoer. Some member of the Party wants to roast this devil over a spit (BTW, if there is any doubt about use of the term Party, capitalized, see the most recent issue of the New Republic, which is now in the business of coaching the "Party" and expressing what the "Party" thinks best).

Roasting over a spit is not appropriate because, although a devil, the preferred method of dealing with this devil should be {insert something that sounds reasonable]. Roasting over a spit is inappropriate.

Of course, there are no wrongdoers in my Party, ever, so the issue of an appropriate response to the things done by members of my Party will never be considered at all. Whatever they may do, no matter how egregious, somehow their conduct will never come to my attention. I only pay attention to the talking points of my Party, and comment thereon. I am the soul of reasonableness (as I bring to your attention the deplorable Republicans and what OTHERS believe is an appropriate way to deal with them.) I will never, ever, question the conduct of members of my Party in this transparently partisan way, or in any way at all.

Do I not serve the public interest by acting as a cool headed commentator on the appropriate way to deal with Republicans? Is not a "faculty lounge" a particularly appropriate vehicle for such activity? Am I not a deep and astute observer of political culture in the United States, educating my fellow citizens about the issues of the day in a thoughtful and objective manner that goes beyond all the petty concerns of the day to day and delves into the structural forces that are in play in America and tearing the fabric of our society apart?

Nah ...

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

It is interesting that these SO CALLED ethics experts would beef over something like this, They should get their (our) own house in order first. If they want to go after "misrepresentation" or sleazy tactics, I will show them the billboards in and around Chicago's Expressways advertising Traffic Ticket Lawyers for $49.00. Or these late night/mid-afternoon TV auto wreck blowhards Or they could focus on the legions of newbie attorneys who steal from clients, neglect their cases or worse, sexually exploit them. Does anyone out there see attorney conduct as getting worse?


Yes, very good point. This 'higher obligation' nonsense could easily be used to hoist these profs on their legal petards. Their ongoing efforts through their legal writings to influence the judiciary under the guise of academic theory could be twisted to serve as the basis for complaints along with their other activities.


I read your piece - and I must say I agree with it. Lawyers are not 'priests,' whose every action impacts their mission. We are professionals who do a job, and in general, what does not relate to our role as lawyers should not be the basis of discipline. I can make sense of disbarring lawyers for criminal offences, especially those that reflect on their ability to represent clients. I can even see that if Conway was applying for admission to the Bar, one might ask questions about her long pattern of public dissembling and the degree to which that raises issues about her suitability for admission.

But her public role in the Trump campaign and administration has, so far, to be a spokes-shill, and reprehensible though her behaviour is, it was not 'legal representation.'

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King


I don't see how a professor or author is relevant or related to "feet on couch sitter" Kelleyanee Conway's misrepresentations and falsehoods. Legal research, law reviews, treatises, books are all part of stare decisis and the rule of law... A judge is free to select what she believes supports her position. A Professor like Lubet moves the law forward and Solo shleppers presenting stuff that he writes to overworked trial court judges is an inherent part of the process...

Patrick S. O'Donnell Perhaps not surprisingly, I see things a bit differently.


Well, turn about IS fair play, after all.

I mean, these same 15 legal ethics experts made the same request for bar discipline regarding Mrs. Clinton's conduct “involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation” when she made up wild lies about dodging sniper bullets on the tarmac.

Right? Oh, wait. You mean they didn't?

Hmmm. Maybe these same 15 legal ethics experts made the same request for bar discipline regarding Mr. Clinton's conduct “involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation” when he was found by a federal court judge to have given intentionally false testimony, and held in contempt and fined?

Right? Wait - they didn't??

Steve's right. This is both dumb and dangerous.


Hey Concerned Citizen. despite your -- you may not realize it, but bar discipline WAS imposed in the second example you gave of Mr. Clinton -- his law license in Arkansas was suspended for five years and he paid a $25,000 fine for the infraction you cited. He was also disciplined by the SCOTUS bar.


And, more relevantly, a sanction of $90,686 in the federal court.

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