COVID-19 and Legal Ethics: Novel Issues


Webinar:
Monday, April 6, 2020
10:00 am - 11:30 am

Speaker:

Marc D. Garfinkle, Esq.
The Law Office of Marc D. Garfinkle
Morristown, NJ


Agenda

10:00 am – 11:00 am
Program

11:00 am – 11:30 am
Questions and Answers


Fee: $39.00 - NJAJ Members
Fee: $59.00 - Non-Members

Register for Webinar


Never in our lifetimes has a natural threat impacted our lifestyles, our livelihoods and our futures so extensively and so quickly as the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. It is hard to imagine anything short of war or Earth’s collision with an asteroid having such potential for the destruction of families, business, national economies and even our civilization. Some experts fear that we are still on the front edge of the problem and that it is still impossible to predict the extent of the devastation to expect.

But life goes on, and the myriad reasons that clients need lawyers continue to exist. So does the reason that lawyers need clients. Today, however, practicing law is significantly different than it was even a month ago. The fear of infection has caused the shuttering of businesses - even industries - courthouses and law offices. It has brought about the prohibition of meetings and caused us to rethink how humans must communicate and work together without being in the same place. Much of this is temporary; how temporary we don’t know.

The virus and its resulting quarantines, curfews and conditions have raised many issues for attorneys. Some of the issues concern the mandates and prohibitions of attorney conduct under the Rules of Court and the RPCs. Primarily, the focus is on competence, confidentiality and communication. We also examine the lawyer’s obligation to protect our clients and imagine the ways in which we can run afoul of the Rules in this new, work-from-home, no-handshake world.

In this webinar, we will try to anticipate the legal ethics problems which may befall us as the virus persists and its impact continues.


This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the
Supreme Court of New Jersey for 1.10 hours of total CLE credit.

Of these, 1.10 qualify as hours of credit for ethics/professionalism,
and 0.0 qualify as hours of credit toward certification in civil trial law
.


Bio
Marc D. Garfinkle, Esq.
 

Marc Garfinkle is a former trial lawyer whose Morristown practice is now limited to legal ethics and discipline, bar admission and judicial misconduct. Marc represents attorneys before the District Ethics Committees, the Committee on Character, the Disciplinary Review Board, the Committee on Advertising, the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct and the NJ Supreme Court. A solo, he is a former NJ Attorney Ethics Investigator and Vice-chair and Chair of the NJ Supreme Court District (VB) Attorney Ethics Committee. Marc also is the Public Defender in the Township of Livingston and an Adjunct Professor of Persuasion and Advocacy at Seton Hall Law School. Marc has an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

In addition to his practice, Marc is a popular speaker at live legal education programs from coast to coast. He presents ethics programs and he trains attorneys in oral persuasion and advocacy, as well. Recent audiences include the state bar associations of Ohio, Missouri, Oregon, Alaska and South Carolina, the ICE Trial Attorney Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Association of Federal Defense Attorneys, the Inn of Transactional Counsel and law firms across the state. Marc was a featured speaker at the prestigious Seton Hall Law Review Ethics Symposium in 2014 and at the 2015 Professionalism Day program in Essex County. Marc has also produced on-line and live CLE for such providers as Lawline.com, West’s LegalEdCenter.com, Lorman, Clear Law Institute, Solo Practice University, Thomson-Reuters, NJ-ICLE, Rocket Matter and several county bar associations.

A 1978 graduate of Hastings College of the Law (U.Calif.), he hung out a shingle in San Francisco the day after he was admitted to the California bar. In 1982, he moved back to his native New Jersey where he went solo again. This inspired him to write the popular, “$olo Contendere: How to Go Directly from Law School into the Practice of Law without Getting a Job, 3d. ed.” (©2010, 2016, Solo Contendere Press, all rights reserved), which has been endorsed by many state bars for their newly admitted lawyers. Marc has also written the “Hip-Pocket Guide” series of short books for improving skills such as courtroom advocacy, police testimony and speaking in public.

Marc enjoys family activities, traveling, reading field guides, hiking, camping, gardening and fishing. Oh, and eating.