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Staying Out of Trouble 2021

Speaker(s): James Q. Walker, Ronald C. Minkoff, Sarah D. McShea
Recorded on: Dec. 6, 2021
PLI Program #: 306632

Ronald C. Minkoff is the head of the Professional Responsibility Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC and one of New York State’s leading practitioners in the field of attorney ethics and professional responsibility.  In addition to representing businesses and individuals in commercial litigation, Mr. Minkoff represents attorneys in partnership disputes, disciplinary cases, and legal malpractice actions.  Mr. Minkoff is a member of the Executive Committees of the New York State Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association, a member of the Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct of the New York State Bar Association, which helped draft and continues to revise the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, a member of the Policy Implementation of the ABA Center on Professional Responsibility, and a past President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.  He has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Professional Responsibility at Columbia University School of Law, New York University School of Law, Fordham University School of Law, Cardozo School of Law and Brooklyn Law School. He has served as the editor of the New York Legal Ethics Reporter, and has written extensively for that and other publications on all aspects of the “law of lawyering.”

James Walker is a partner in the New York office of Perkins Coie LLP, where he also serves as that office’s Loss Prevention Partner.  He concentrates in government investigations and professional liability. Mr. Walker represents companies and senior executives in government investigations, civil litigation, and employment matters, and defends law firms and lawyers in malpractice claims, disqualification motions and professional conduct advice. Mr. Walker Chairs the New York County Lawyer’s Association Committee on Professional Ethics, is on the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct and Law360’s Legal Ethics Editorial Advisory Board, and is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) and Committee on Professional Ethics. He also serves on the New York City Bar’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Mr. Walker frequently lectures and publishes on topics that include internal investigations, technology and legal practice, and professional liability. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1990 and B.S. in Applied Math from Yale College in 1985. 

Sarah Diane McShea has practiced in the professional responsibility field for 41 years. She served as a bar prosecutor in New York City for more than eight years and was then recruited to head the public corruption bureau in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. For the past 28 years, McShea has maintained a solo practice, advising lawyers, law firms, in-house counsel, and government lawyers on a wide variety of professional responsibility and legal ethics issues. She consults on law firm mergers, dissolutions, fee disputes, marketing, and conflicts issues, advises on sanctions and disqualification motions, and represents lawyers in disciplinary proceedings and bar applicants in character and fitness proceedings.  

McShea has been a member of the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct since 1994 and served two terms as Board Chair (1999-2000, 2018-2020). She is a founding member and Past President (1997-1998) of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL).  McShea serves on the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC), the Committee on Professional Ethics and the Professional Discipline Committee. She is a member of NYSBA’s Committee on Law Practice Management and chairs the Law Practice Continuity Subcommittee which issued the NYSBA Planning Ahead Guide (2nd Ed. 2016). She was a contributing editor to The New York Rules of Professional Conduct (Oxford University Press) and regularly writes and speaks on ethics issues. Recent articles for the New York State Bar Association Journal include “Professional Obligations for Lawyers – Are You in Compliance?” (May 2019) and “Professional Obligations for Lawyers: Tax Returns! (August 2019).  She has taught professional responsibility as an adjunct professor at Columbia University School of Law, Fordham University School of Law, Brooklyn Law School, and St. John’s University School of Law and has been a guest lecturer at New York University Law School, New York Law School and Cardozo School of Law. She is a former Deputy Chief Counsel to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee (First Department) and former Bureau Chief (Public Corruption) in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.  She graduated from Yale College and Boston University School of Law.